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Foreign Policy: Diogenes continues his search.
"Seek and ye shall find." Well, Diogenes hasn't yet. The Reform Party convention was a rather silly affair, with no mention of foreign affairs except for charges that the government was allowing China to steal our secrets. The Green Forum was more academic, but still virtually no mention of foreign affairs.
Even policy toward Mexico is a nonsubject. Most of the major candidates, even Geoge W. Bush, found a pretext not to go the meeting of La Raza, which was meeting in his Texas. Possibly they had been warned that it is a rather crazy organization, which extolls the Mexican "race" while calling gringos racists. Mexican critics of the United States applaud it, as is evident from an article in Proceso, reproduced in the August 1999 edition of World Press Review.
The article, entitled "Latinos in the Military," is an attack on the U.S. armed forces. It is therefore surprising and disappointing that Senator John McCain, that symbol of military honor and pride, should have addresses the meeting in such flattering terms that he was loudly applauded. Either he did not know much about La Raza, or it was a populist ploy to a group which hates the moneybags as much as he does.
All this suggests that the American public is little interested in international affairs. The Pentagon, the State Department, and the National Security Council have unpublicized contingency plans. In a crisis the President, whoever he is, will have to select one. In the Bay of Pigs disaster, the CIA gave terrible advice, as the Pentagon did in the Cuban Missile Crisis, which Kennedy handled brilliantly. In the Iran-Contra scandal, the National Security Council showed its incompetence. It looks as though we shall have to wait for a crisis, and then hope that the next President will choose the winning card, if there is one. There was not in Vietnam. President Johnson's speeches promising success sound pathetic in retrospect. As John Gardner related in our recent TV interview, he lost the war and the battle with himself.
Ronald Hilton - 07/28/99