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View Diary: Aug. 19, 1953: When the Eisenhower Administration destroyed Iran's secular democracy (281 comments)

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  •  While there may be some truth to this thought, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight, eztempo, charliehall2

    the idea that they all would have been "good guys" if we hadn't pushed them to be bad is pure and destructive fantasy.  Anyone who thinks that Mao would have turned into a liberal democrat (note the small letters) with a little encouragement from the right folks is ignorant. This is the same guy that created and led the Cultural Revolution.

    This is the same kind of thinking that got that dumbass Rumsfeld and his cronies into Iraq (and with them, all of us). Order and peace are not the easy, natural state of human affairs. Foreign policy decisions are often extremely difficult, even when viewed in hindsight.  

    What this diary does get exactly right is that a good number of courses of action shouldn't be hard decisions, especially after we've learned the lessons of past mistakes.

    •  That's not only a false equivalency, (0+ / 0-)

      it's profoundly naive of what really went on.   Sandinista Nicaragua isn't Maoist China in any sense.

      It was the US which chose to slap an embargo on Nicaragua almost immediately after the revolution, so that they couldn't get any spare parts for all the American tractors they used.   It was the US which chose to conduct a massive terrorism campaign against Nicaragua, often targeting women and children in rural villages.   We chose to murder 30,000 people in a country which had done absolutely nothing to us.

      They didn't mine our harbors, we mined theirs.    We were sore losers because we lost control of our puppet in Nicaragua and we decided to take revenge.

      That's the larger lesson of Iran, Guatemala, Angola, Nicaragua,'s the very poor choices the US has made which directly impact the outcome.    In almost every case we've made those choices to serve petty business interests rather than human rights.

      •  The Mao inclusion was a direct response to one of (0+ / 0-)

        the above posts. There were a series of them all claiming the same general line of argument, the one that I clearly identified: that they all could/would have been friends of the US if the US government had only given them a chance.

        I clearly agree with you on the negative impact of those poor choices (and said that), including the Regan administration's illegal activities, many of which exacerbated and made more bloody what was essentially a civil war.

        I do disagree with you that it was all about serving petty business interests, it was a lot more complicated than that. Even with hindsight, I'm not convinced that cuddling up to the Sandinistas would have been a good idea.  They were a pretty ugly group at the time and weren't on a path that would have lead to a quick turn to a more tolerant, democratic version.

        •  Obviously there were atrocities on both sides, (0+ / 0-)

          but without the US involvement to begin with there would have been no Contra terrorist group, no war, and likely very little conflict outside of Bluefields (where the Somocistas first regrouped after the revolution).    The US chose to create that conflict.

          It's also frankly idiotic to equate the Contras to the Sandinistas given that the Contras primarily targeted civilians.

          •  The second part of your first sentence is simply (0+ / 0-)

            not factually correct, and the US didn't create that conflict, it made an existing conflict much worse. You're not really arguing that the whole country was backing the Sandinistas or had be cowed prior to US involvement, are you? We don't and can't know how it would have gone without US involvement.  Perhaps the situation would have been peace followed by an evolution to a decent regime, but it's also possible that the outcome is nearly as bad as what happened, or perhaps it becomes something like Cuba or, alternatively, perhaps it becomes something like Cambodia from 1975-79 (or perhaps El Salvador gets even uglier).  

            Again, my point was that we can agree that there are some things that are quite clearly not actions the US should pursue.  My problem is with people that seem to believe and argue that if we did nothing in the international sphere (including the Ron/Rand Paul crowd) or spoke nicely to everyone (including those that have inimical goals to liberal values) and gave them flowers, that the world would turn out a better place.

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