“Should not someone, somewhere in an authoritative position in our government, on a continuing basis, be counting the immediate costs of disappointments, . . . calculating the impacts on our international position, and keeping in mind the long range wisdom of activities which have entailed our virtual abandonment of the international “golden rule,” and which, if successful to the degree claimed for them, are responsible in a great measure for stirring up the turmoil and raising the doubts about us that exist in many countries of the world today? What of the effects on our present alliances? What will happen tomorrow?”
Well, tomorrow is here, and what we see in Syria and the Middle East — and the refugee crisis with its effects abroad (and here in Montana) — is a result of almost a century of U.S. covert foreign policy. The above quote is from the 1956 “Bruce-Lovett” report on the CIA, a report that is still classified and hidden away from the public, though some snippets have escaped as a result of other reports. The above quote was snipped from a piece on the meta surrounding the report.
The Bruce-Lovett report reminds us, once again, that our chickens (foreign and covert policies) will always come home to roost… even 50-75 years later. Today’s refugee problem is nothing more than a reminder that an unchallenged foreign/covert policy — either unchallenged by the press or by the people during elections — will have unforeseen consequences that will be passed off by short-sighted individuals as a result of events concocted (e.g. Assad’s “chemical weapons attack”) to conceal the real roots of chaos.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. published an interesting piece at Politico a few days ago, referencing some of these themes:
“The so called “Bruce-Lovett Report,” to which he [Joseph P. Kennedy] was a signatory, described CIA coup plots in Jordan, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Egypt, all common knowledge on the Arab street, but virtually unknown to the American people who believed, at face value, their government’s denials. The report blamed the CIA for the rampant anti-Americanism that was then [ca. 1956] mysteriously taking root “in the many countries in the world today.” The Bruce-Lovett Report pointed out that such interventions were antithetical to American values and had compromised America’s international leadership and moral authority without the knowledge of the American people. The report also said that the CIA never considered how we would treat such interventions if some foreign government were to engineer them in our country.”
60 years later, the words of the Bruce-Lovett report still ring true. What this tells me is that any presidential election campaign that doesn’t directly challenge American foreign/covert policy will be doomed to continue and/or repeat the mistakes of the past. JFK paid for this with his life, when he challenged Allen Dulles (and fired him) for his failed shadow foreign/covert policies, particularly the failed Bay of Pigs operation that was intended to draw JFK into war with Cuba, and potentially by alliance, with the USSR.
“It is time for Americans to turn America away from this new imperialism and back to the path of idealism and democracy. We should let the Arabs govern Arabia and turn our energies to the great endeavor of nation building at home. We need to begin this process, not by invading Syria, but by ending the ruinous addiction to oil that has warped U.S. foreign policy for half a century.””