Saturday October 22, 1999

American Foreign Policy Blunders
Turned Saddam Hussein's weapons against Americans.

By P. D. Spyropoulos

NEW YORK - Pakistan's coup last week was merely the latest feedback from a long line of US foreign policy blunders. Our backing of the Shah's regime helped spark an Islamic revolution in Iran that continues to plague US foreign policy, serving as a parable of how our support of repressive governments eventually returns to haunt us.

American policymakers made the same mistake when arming Iraq as a ballast against Iran -- it was not long before Saddam Hussein turned the weapons we had lavished upon him against American soldiers and allies.

After a decade of appeasement and billions in US support, a nuclear and militant Pakistan is now backing Taliban extremists in Afghanistan and fanning the flames of Islamic fundamentalism.

Pakistan's metamorphosis from the intimate ally America knew in the 1980's to a potential adversary is a lesson to be considered when looking at our relationship with another Islamic nation firmly entrenched in authoritarian tradition.

Turkey has among the worst human rights records on earth, and over the past 25 years Turkish troops have violated the sovereignty of Greece, Cyprus, Iraq and Iran, a list that includes two European democracies and, among them, a NATO ally. Turkey still occupies 40% of Cyprus after its 1974 invasion and has unilaterally occupied a "security zone" in Iraqi territory.

US policymakers are now looking the other way as Turkey quietly pursues a nuclear weapons program, seeking to purchase the same technology from Canada that sparked Pakistan and India's nuclear arms race.

[Editor's Note: P. D. Spyropoulos, Esq. is the Executive Director of American Hellenic Media Project in New York City. It is a non-profit organization which encourages independent, ethical and responsible journalism. The e-mail address is]

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