This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive!
Editor’s Note: This article is not the usual run of the mill one comes across in papers & on blogs. It is different. The writer, shares his own experiences of war and the terrible scars it leaves on a human being, this,with a view on the Foreign Policy of USA-makes an absorbing read.The personal flashes reveal the feelings of the writer, making this a piece that sets itself apart from the ones churned out daily.
By: Archie Hasse
“The opposite of Courage is not Cowardness it is conformity.” “Even a dead fish can go with the flow” – Ex Texas politician Jim Hightower.
I have a few aspirations for the world, this is just one. All those who work for government in areas of responsibility not unlike foreign policy take their job as being a sacred trust. The opportunity to serve the nation’ s people. Not to serve themselves. I am not a historian; however I feel a large portion of earth’s nations/cultures passed on because of indifferent elite governmental autocrats. Governments functioning well today ,are kept honest alive, and breathing by government employees who work hard for the people they represent, themselves second. This may not be true concerning many elite US foreign relation functionaries.
Concerning hard working employees working for people. I am afraid this is not the case for many government employees in my own country. (USA) If anyone is courageous enough to read my words I ask them to read an article written by Joshua Kucera in Foreign Policy Magazine December 1, 2010. He brings up some good points for discussion. I agree with most all what he says. At least he questions what has became the status quo the last 30 years, and to me Kucera article has humorous overtones. Always fun on topics so serious.
I am an old soldier. Actually a former US Marine. I fought for my country in the Vietnam war. In Vietnam I was wounded, and hospitalized for eight months from wounds I received in combat. Later in the late 70’s became an advocate for forgotten soldiers who fought America’s wars. I am talking about former combat soldiers needing financial and medical help after the obvious physical wounds of war healed.
Because of this I know the arrogance of self-absorbed government people. I hate to think how this type of worker affects our US foreign policy. To make my point look at American foreign policy today: “The proof is in the pudding”.
During the late 1970’s and very early 1980’s I was active in getting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder recognized, supporting compensation for veterans suffering from PTSD. I had to deal with comfortable elite Alzheimer policy makers in the US government after the Vietnam War, who continuously insulted American combat veterans. These insults came from the mass media smearing all Vietnam veterans as misfits.
We veterans are patriots who hate senselessness incompetent governmental workers handling the reins of government. This lack of common sense and indifference by government workers with their lack of compassion regarding returning veterans. was led by elite thinking politicians and bureaucrats. Making life hell for combat veterans trying to recover from their wounds of war. And scars of the soul!
I can only imagine how insolated these people in the US State Department are at wars suffering distant lands from Washington DC. For example drone strikes against alleged terrorists. “It was an unfortunate error.” This is the common statement made by those in government insulated from war concerning collateral damage. I do not know about you, the reader, but I learned to hate this phrase:Collateral Damage.
My sense of international justice and injustice came to me while studying Refugee Law with regards to International Law from the renowned Professor “Dr. Vera Gowland Debbas” in Geneva ,Switzerland. I am sure she would be surprised I learnt anything. But I did, and I thank her! She gently told me International Law is not all about America. Thank you Vera!
Since sitting in Dr. Gowland’s class, and the tools she gave me, I look at the world in a different way. At the moment I look at how my government operates. Who is in control. I look also how the effects of decisions made by employees concerning foreign relations effect the rest of the world.
Since Ronald Reagan, and accelerating under the last Bush, the US government is now run by the Corporations with support from Christian ideologies. Clearly —- Wall Street should have influence in Washington because they provide jobs for working class America. However, the executives running Wall Street today no longer provides jobs as their chief motivation. Their main inspiration is providing of profits for their global miserly few top of the heap stock holders.
When the Cold War ended G.H.W. Bush talked about a new world order, and new jobs for the CIA protecting Wall Street, and Americans in global business. They forgot to remind that American business was no longer American, it was global. Consequently American soldiers are no longer protecting American interests in Afghanistan or Iraq. They are protecting global bankers financial interests.
The focus was taken off the average American’s security. It is now focused on special interest security, be it Wall Street, or giving Bible based Christian faith more power in writing domestic, and foreign policy legislation. You see today in Washington &Wall Street and it’s statistically miserly few use conservative Christian values as a tool to gain and hold onto power. Making sure people like GW Bush and Sarah Palin or the likes get elected, if not elected then at the least drive the talking points away from how just corrupt and selfishly narcissistic Washington and Wall Street seem to be.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are not alone trying to keep radical politics away from religious zealots. Let me drop a few names to Google—- Pat Robertson, and Reverend John Hagee, read. It should clue readers into just how sick and fanatic these shadowy dark forces in Biblical Christianity are to peace. So far they are not planting road side bombs. But who knows in the future. With a few more stolen US elections they might be in charge of America’s nukes. Sarah Palin.
What really amazes me is how Wall Street executives bamboozle fundamentalist Christians in the US to support their self-indulgent corporate profits. Unfettered little oversight Free Market! (I see this also a growing problem in Latin America and across the world in regards to this new world order G.H.W. Bush talked about).
They tie Bible based Christianity to Wall Street earnings. This runs at the same time as the crusade against Muslims. To all who read this, this is against long held American values! Many Americans like myself hold the historical values passed down to us by Thomas Jefferson dear. These new crusades, and new American values are wrapped up in radical corporate mega church Christianity. These Christians believe deep in their heart they are saving America, and the world. The battle cries of these American Christian patriots are to mobilize those who are the financially challenged, and to support tax breaks for the rich, and no abortion. In the United States all you have to do is keep Americans stupid keeping the talking points dim-witted?
I even had one woman tell me Americans should attack, and control Venezuela’s oil fields. Why? Because it was God’s intention to keep Americans a top global broker. Amazing they tie together Christian stuff like abortion, and anti gay anger to tax breaks for the rich, all the while sending other people sons and daughter off to fight in corporate wars in Iraq. I can only guess Wall Street operatives in control in Washington politics are trying to find profit in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
The United States since WW 2 believed in a sort of moral “certain” truth. It is in our belief in “Manifest Destiny”. Because of this certainty US foreign policy has been at times more destructive then helpful to the broad global world. American foreign policy caused great suffering to those at the end of America’s gone astray moral principles sword. Done in by people hiding behind an insulated comfortable political, and diplomatic life in Washington DC.
Amazingly when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan the American government stood tall in front of
World’s global media talking about the immoral Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Hiding from responsibility for the collapse, including the rebuilding of Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal. It was okay for these comfortable insolated policy makers in DC having Pakistan full of Afghan refugees living in tents for decades.
There is a former diplomat; a former ambassador in the State Department tied to this sorry tale of the betrayal of the Afghanistan people, and by proxy Pakistan, this former diplomat is also the divorced spouse of a US Ambassador who died years ago in a airplane crash killing Pakistan’s then president Muhammad Zia ul Haq. Today this person works for Obama in AfPak region. Not even embarrassed, just promoted.
This diplomat met with the late Ahmad Shah Massoud leader of the Northern Alliance to surrender his forces to the Taliban where they could jointly rule with Al Qaeda. See what I am talking about when it comes to governmental employees? This retired diplomat was never fired in fact was promoted. Still advising Obama on Afghanistan and Pakistan. In elite circles of US diplomacy, you are not shamed you are transferred or promoted.
Google April Glaspie another US diplomat. Spin as she and US State Department did in regards to giving Saddam Hussein a green light to invade Kuwait. Frankly she did not do her job, and it cost thousands of human lives. Another example of someone in the US state Department insulated from their actions.
Today we are confronted with the need to rebuild Afghanistan and stabilize Pakistan. We also have a need to bring an end to the India -Pakistan standoff. In order for this to happen true transparency in dialogue needs to happen. Americans need to find balance. Afghanistan and Pakistan need to find balance. If we are in the US and Europe are going to criticize Muslim extremists taking power in Asia then we need to make sure our diplomacy is insulated from our own home grown narrow special interest extremism.
“Wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with a good government.” – Thomas Jefferson 1789.
(The writer is a Pacifist — US Marine combat with 2nd Bn 4th Marine Regiment in some of the heaviest fighting of America’s involvement during the Vietnam war.He has Worked with the Roma population (Gypsy) in Prague CZ addressing human rights abuses. Alumnus School for International Training Brattleboro Vermont).