The Tech (M.I.T.) - American Foreign Policy Blunders (published October 26, 1999)


Tuesday, October 26, 1999
Volume 119, Number 53


American Foreign Policy Blunders

The recent column on Pakistan [“The Pakistan Coup’s Other Side,” October 22] has overlooked the fact that Pakistan’s coup is merely the latest of a long line of U.S. foreign policy blunders.

Our backing of the Shah’s regime helped spark an Islamic revolution in Iran that continues to plague U.S. 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 U.S. 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 1980s 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 percent of Cyprus after its 1974 invasion and has unilaterally occupied a “security zone” in Iraqi territory.

U.S. 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.

P. D. Spyropoulos
Executive Director
American Hellenic Media Project

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