Thanksgiving Verses from Saul Landau

We give thanks that none of the following is remotely connected to reality and that in any case it is dated and irrelevant, and that we are the greatest force for good in the entire world…

Below, a brief excerpt from Landau’s 1988 book The Dangerous Doctrine: National Security and U.S. Foreign Policy (p. 105):

Dictators suited the Nixon-Kissinger national security notion far better than did weak democracies and naïve reformers. In any event, the Third World would not be allowed by the United States to assume center stage as a major actor in world policy. Henry Kissinger told Chilean chancellor Gabriel Valdes very frankly that “the axis of history starts in Moscow, goes to Bonn, crosses over to Washington, and then goes to Tokyo. What happens in the South is of no importance.”[1]

Nixon’s doctrine implicitly understood that the president could not rally the nation behind the use of U.S. troops abroad, short of another Pearl Harbor. Surrogate regional powers would have to maintain their land, labor, and markets inside the U.S. orbit, with the help of U.S. trainers, equippers, and advisers. On paper, the plan looked feasible. Before the local powers could do these jobs, however—as was proved by the failure of the South Vietnamese to sustain their government—these leaders required a solid military and civilian infrastructure, which was not easily attainable with the kinds of Third World rulers that Nixon and Kissinger found compatible with U.S. interests.

In lieu of old alliances and the ability to use U.S. troops, Nixon looked for platform countries, junior partners in the Third World that could help smash insurgencies or afford the United States air and intelligence bases. Israel, South Africa, Iran, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Turkey, and Pakistan became potential staging areas from which the United States launched counterrevolution. When crises arose in other pro-U.S. dictatorships, the Nixon White House responded as if a 911 call had been received, shipping whatever deadly aid was needed to keep nations from gaining independence.

[1] Seymour Hersh, The Price of Power (1983), p. 263.


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