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The US, Europe, "High Noon" and the Axis of Evil

We welcome Jim Woolsey to WAIS. He is especially welcome because of his significant career, of which here is a revised account: Robert James Woolsey, Jr. has a close relationship with Stanford, where he received an AB with great distinction in 1963. He later served (1972-74) on the Board of Trustees and is a member of Stanford Associates. He went to St. John's College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and received his law degree from Yale in 1968. He has held several Washington posts, one as director of the CIA (1993-95). He served with the US Army (1968-70) and was Undersecretary of the Navy (1977-79), and he has held many defense-related posts. In sum, he has an unusual knowledge of international affairs, with stress on military matters.

His piece on High Noon and the Europeans elicited interesting comments. Ex-Washingtonian Glynn Wood says: "Jim Woolsey's take off on high noon is small cheese as compared to Henry Kissinger's version that he gave to Oriana Fallaci back in the 70's. In that version HK saw himself as Secretary of State going down Main Street with his trusty six-shooters at the ready, etc. That was much more fun, although some of us thought HK was being serious". I am obviously uneducated; historian Richard White mentions that movie as an example of Hollywood's teaching the accepted version of life in the American West.

Probably Kissinger meant it, and therein lies a lesson. Kissinger had a double strategy, strengthening his reputation for duplicity. On the one hand to push detente with communist USSR and China, and on the other to support the Latin American generals who were crushing Communist sympathizers such as Castro's Chilean host Salvador Allende. These generals were the marshal's team. Unfortunately they used their six-shooters indiscriminately, and so are hated in Argentina, as WAISers know. Kissinger is viewed as the organizer of this wild band. The unparalleled hate mail about him received from Argentines was not posted. The US must be careful that in its shootout with the Axis of Evil it does not produce similar consequences. Of course, those who favor realpolitik would say he was successful.

That brings us to good WAISer Miles Seeley, who writes: "I can only thank Mr. Woolsey (whom I do not know, I left the CIA long before he became Director) for his assessment. I do not care for many of President Bush's domestic policies, but I admire his stand against terrorism wherever it is found, and his plain-spoken views. I did not like Reagen's policies on social issues either; but it seems to me that after he labeled the USSR the Evil Empire and increased defense spending, the USSR went broke trying to keep up. Not a bad thing, in my book. There is much to be said for a clear, and clearly stated, foreign policy, and we have not seen that for a long time".

Ronald Hilton - 2/26/02