What Happens When the U.S. Intervenes Abroad?

On page 394 of the book Endless Enemies, written in 1984 by Jonathan Kwitny, we read the following illuminating passage:

“It should not be surprising that needless U.S. intervention leads to popular resentment of the U.S. And this, of course, can be marshaled into support for local leaders, sincere or demagogic, who choose to exploit it. The hostility the U.S. sometimes finds overseas isn’t hostility toward the U.S. system, or toward the U.S.  people as they exist at home. It is hostility toward U.S. foreign policy, which usually has nothing to do with the U.S. system.

What we send abroad with our covert and overt military intervention doesn’t resemble democracy or free markets in the slightest. No organization can be more socialistic and antidemocratic than an army, even the American one, and even if it dresses in civvies like the CIA. When our forces intervene, local people don’t see the flag of individual liberty; they see one more meddlesome government bureaucracy, and it’s not even theirs.

Often our main economic contribution to a country is the sale of weapons. These sales are encumbered by all sorts of government regulation and involvement (mostly for good reason, of course – weapons are dangerous) that is uncharacteristic of a free economy. Our concentration on the sale of weapons, and even on major civil development projects, is a concentration on goods bought by governments. Therefore, the sales enhance the socialist part of the purchasing country’s economy, which is counterproductive to our supposed goal.

We continue to press not our system, which encourages free choice, but some convoluted notion of our system, which imposes our choice. We insist on imposing solutions to particular problems involving foreign people. They are asked to live by our choices, when they often don’t want or even understand them. Nor do American voters understand, or necessarily want, the kind of administration that our colonial bureaucrats bring to the countries we take over.”


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