The Politics Of Backing Bullies Is Not A Bully Good One

During the past half century American political leaders whether Democrats of Republicans have adhered to one basic foreign policy goal– support any dictator, any human rights violator, as long as he is on “our side.” The same policy holds true in the so-called “war on terrorism.” This “war” has witnessed support for brutal leaders as long as those leaders do not interfere with US foreign policy goals. In the 1980s, the American government supported Saddam Hussein’s war against Iran, and we know what happened to that man seven years ago. The people of Kyrgyzstan rose up and drove out their corrupt leader Kurman Bakiyev, who was a supporter of Americans and allowed them to use an important air field in order to supply forces in Afghanistan. The interim leader, Rosa Otunbayeva waited over 72 hours to hear from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about support for the rebels. Oh, she head much earlier from the Russian government and received warm support from Prime Minister Putin.

There is scant doubt that as a result of this revolution, Russia has emerged as the winner because it supported insurgents. Of course, everyone knows that former President Bakiyev’s family won a lucrative contract with the US to supply petrol to its planes. When will American leaders recognize that always supporting thugs and brutes is not the best policy, either for other nations, or for the American people and their foreign policy goals.