(Korea: Police Action - swore up and down we'd be there a few weeks)
Note: This is a repost from last November, but the misfires linger on.
Our legacy of Foreign Policy misfires is long and involved and certainly not the exclusive property of the last twenty or so years. Although it does make you wonder how long we've been screwing up and has it always been this bad.
There was that matter of Korea and the Domino Theory of Communist takeovers in the Far East put forth by the Eisenhower Administration. There was also the matter of the Red Scare and how the Marshall Plan was a dismal failure guaranteed to make the U.S. a weaker superpower. There was the blame game where the United Nations was a dismal failure, also guaranteed to make the U.S. a weaker superpower and how we needed to divest ourselves of that body.
But nowhere in all the arguments, even going back to 1950, was there an alternative to what we were doing and doing badly.
Everybody agreed something was wrong and something needed to change drastically over how we were dealing with the rest of the world and both sides of the political aisle varied wildly over what the solution was. This exchange between Senators William Benton (D-Connecticut) and George Malone (R-Nevada) offer ample proof. The program was The American Forum Of The Air, broadcast on July 9, 1950 - the subject: "Do We Need A New Foreign Policy?". The ensuing shouting match said it all.
Sen. George Malone: “We have not yet had a definite Foreign Policy. I note that your subject today, do we need a new foreign policy? I say definitely we do, because we have never yet said and the President has not said in Korea whether or not the integrity of Korea is important to our ultimate safety. He (President Truman) has said he has got us in it on account of the United Nations and half of the world is not with us in the United Nations. Eastern Europe, Russia, Communist China. We better make up our minds just what our foreign policy is and let the American people know it and let the other nations know it. So we can come out. Now if he has any ideas at all, if he has any ideas, I say he ought to let us know what they are.”
60 years later and the arguing doesn't look like it's ending anytime soon. Meanwhile, there's the body bags . . .
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