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Foreign Policy and China

Americans, even WAISers, are strident in their comments on foreign policy, usually blaming one leader or party for their misguided leadership. Now our China policy is again the focal point. Pat Buchanan is touring the country blaming both parties.

What we fail to remember is that foreign policy is instigated or influenced by people unknown to the public, usually the C.I.A., which has an excellent corps of analysts. However, it can make some egregious mistakes, of which the Bay of Pigs was the most notorious. Other adventures are mixed in their result, e.g. support for the Chilean army in overthrowing Allende, aiding the contras in Nicaragua, or intervening in Afghanistan, now controlled by the horrible Talban,

President Nixon surprised the world and won wide commendation by establishing ties with that other empire of evil, Communist China. Yet few people realize that he was prompted by Doak Barnett, an academic China specialist. His recent death went generally unnoticed, since he was not a public figure. However, he rated a page-long obit in the elitist Economist (3/27/99). I restore the word elite to its old honorable meaning.

Ronald Hilton - 04/08/99