by Jacob G. Hornberger
The front page of today’s New York Times details another instance of the rank hypocrisy that underlies U.S. foreign policy. According to the article, U.S. officials are hopping mad at their partner and ally, the Pakistani government, for trying to tilt U.S. foreign policy in favor of Pakistan’s position in its longtime dispute with India over Kashmir.
The feds have indicted two U.S. citizens over the matter. They work for a Washington-based organization named the Kashmiri American Council, which “lobbies for and holds conferences and media events to promote the cause of self-determination for Kashmir” and also donates around $100,000 to U.S. political campaigns.
What’s wrong with that? Well, it turns out that a major donor to the organization is the Pakistani government and, specifically, the ISI, which is Pakistan’s counterpart to the CIA. Apparently, the feds are claiming that the Kashmiri American Council is just a sham or a ruse to enable the Pakistani government to influence U.S. foreign policy.
What’s wrong with that? Well, U.S. officials consider it evil or bad or morally wrong for foreign governments to be interfering with the U.S. political system. That’s why they’ve made it illegal for foreign governments to donate to American political candidates.
The U.S. indictment of those two American citizens is as audacious — and, of course, hypocritical — example of U.S. foreign policy as one could ever hope to find.
After all, virtually all of U.S. foreign policy is oriented toward influencing the political situation in foreign countries. That’s what foreign aid to dictators and others, financial aid to NGOs, the CIA’s secret funneling of money into countries, CIA front companies, embargoes, sanctions, invasions, occupations, coups, regime-change operations, and assassinations are all about.
Indeed, how much money has the CIA funneled into the coffers of “pro-democracy” groups in Cuba, Venezuela, and other countries whose rulers are not among U.S.-favored dictators? We don’t know because it’s all secret. They won’t let us know because, they say, if we were to know how they distributing the money that the IRS forcibly collects from us, “national security” would be threatened.
How many millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have been funneled into the coffers of dictators in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world? Isn’t the point of such government-to-government “donations” to keep the dictatorship in power? Examples: The Shah of Iran, who the CIA installed into power through a coup, the military dictatorships installed in Guatemala through a CIA coup, the CIA’s interference in Argentina to prevent Salvador Allende from being democratically elected, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Pakistan’s Pervez Musharraf, and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai, one of the most corrupt dictators in history.
How much U.S. taxpayer money has been used to finance and subsidize torture centers in U.S.-favored dictatorships, especially ones that have tortured people pursuant to torture partnerships between such regimes and the U.S. government? Syria and Egypt come to mind.
Let’s not forget those 1,000 military bases in some 130 countries around the world. How many foreign regimes have military bases inside the United States? Why are they not permitted to do what the U.S. Empire does? Could the reason be that they might be perceived as influencing U.S. policy with a strong military presence within the country?
Let’s not forget the CIA’s regime-change operations in Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, and many other nations.
In fact, let’s not forget the CIA’s decades-long obsession with Cuba, which has included terrorist attacks inside the country and even assassination attempts on Cuba’s president, Fidel Castro. Pardon me, but wouldn’t trying to assassinate a ruler of a foreign country constitute more direct interference with the internal political affairs of another country than simply making campaign contributions to some candidates?
Let’s also not forget the case of Alan Gross, who has been jailed in Cuba for the last year for spying. Sure, the CIA denies that he works for the CIA but the CIA would deny it even if he were, so the denial is worthless. According to the BBC, at the very least Gross was “working for the Cuba Democracy Programme, a U.S. government programme aimed at promoting political change in Cuba.”
And we really shouldn’t forget the military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan — or, for that matter, Panama, Granada, Cuba, and others — for the purpose of ousting the rulers of such countries and installing a U.S.-appointed ruler in their stead.
Let’s also not forget that while the U.S. is now charging the Pakistani government with interfering with the political system within the United States, the U.S. government has never been reluctant to interfere with the political system within Pakistan. It was the U.S. government who long propped up Pakistan’s military dictator Pervez Musharraf, especially with money, until the Pakistani people were finally able to oust him from power and install a democratically elected ruler. Also, at the risk of belaboring the obvious, it’s not the Pakistani government that is assassinating people living in the United States with pilotless drones. It is the U.S. government that is assassinating people living in Pakistan with pilotless drones.
The death and destruction that the U.S. government wreaks around the world, along with its callous indifference to suffering among foreigners that such death and destruction bring, are among the principal reasons that people around the world hate the U.S. government. Another big reason is the rank hypocrisy that runs through U.S. foreign policy.
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation.
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