Saturday, January 25, 2014

Foreign Policy Explained...and Ultrarunning

Next time you are feeling cynical about the foreign policy motives of our leaders, here it is in a nutshell. 

This is an excerpt from an interview with William Blum, " American author, critic of American foreign policy and retired employee of the US State Department. He is the author of numerous books and articles discussing uncoverings of the Central Intelligence Agency and writes about our involvement in worldwide terror operations, often in the name of democracy. Blum is the author of the famous book Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions since World War II (Common Courage Press)."

Q:   What do you think the people need to know who are interested in military history or the history of the Vietnam War or how American foreign policy is essentially made in the United States?

BlumThe most important lesson one can acquire about US foreign policy is the understanding that our leaders do not mean well. They do not have any noble goals of democracy and freedom and all that jazz. They aim to dominate the world by any means necessary. And as long as an American believes that the intentions are noble and honorable, it's very difficult to penetrate that wall. That wall surrounds the thinking and blocks any attempt to make them realize the harm being done by US foreign policy. That's what's in my writing and in my speaking. My main aim is usually to penetrate that wall of belief that we mean well.
Q:  How do you think people that are a part of the electorate today and participants in the two major parties differentiate President Bush from President Obama, and what are the differences between the two in approach of the office in terms of diplomacy, meaning in terms of diplomacy or foreign affairs?

Blum:  Well, in foreign policy there's no difference. I cannot name any significant difference in foreign policy between Bush and Obama. Obama is, perhaps, worse. He's invaded six nations already. I cannot think of any way to point out that Obama is less of an imperialist than Bush. The Obama supporters would love to think he's better and they would argue even - and they do argue that it's the Republicans who forced him to do what he did. It's like - it's on par with the dog ate my homework.  I get this again and again. If Obama was free to do what he wants, he would be an angel or at least much better than he is now. I don't buy that. He's the most powerful person in the world, and he's just lacking courage - he's lacking belief, too. That's even more important. I've written this several times about Obama. There's nothing really important to that man except being president of the United States. That he likes. He likes what goes with that. But there's no issue that he would not compromise on. He's willing to take any side of any issue in order to get elected. So he's no better than Bush. Bush at least believes what he says, I think. Obama doesn't even do that.

This piece expresses pretty much my disappointment over what the people want versus what the leaders want.  When Obama got elected I was in the hopey-changey camp and had such high expectations for a real change in this nation.  Now I see it's just more of the same.

So, I'd better connect this to Ultrarunning or I may do some self-harm in my cynicism.  There's no secret here: when the external pressures get to be too much, then it's time for a long trail run in the backcountry.  It's good for what ails you.

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