NOT JUST PUTIN
In my previous blog I portrayed Vladimir Putin as a thoroughly reprehensible figure. While I still find him obnoxious, an honest portrayal requires that I recognize that some of the most appalling foreign policy offences during Putin’s tenure have been the product of American rather than Russian actions.
World War II was over, when they counted up the cost,
Russia faced more devastation than all its allies lost.
Yet next a new alliance was quickly put in place
A NATO combination that Moscow had to face.
For although the treaty’s members claimed a peaceable intent,
That no aggressive purpose could conceivably be meant
For Russians it was thought to be a most unpleasant sign
When NATO moved on eastward to the Russian borderline.
As for foreign policy the Russians must endure
Charges that they’re cynics while Americans are pure.
Yet the CIA it seems was all too capable and deft
In undermining governments we thought were too far left.
Thus Mohammad Mosaddegh had been elected in Iran,
And on oil he introduced a major confiscation plan.
But by U.S. corporations this could never be approved,
So the fellow who proposed it simply had to be removed.
In Chile when Allende offered neo-Marxist schemes
His generals derided them as ineffectual dreams.
They called upon the CIA to help them plan a coup
And Allende found to shoot himself was all that he could do.
On the other hand the CIA had little to commend
When instructed by our presidents to hasten Castro’s end.
They plotted to accomplish this with bombs and goons it’s said,
But he died when he was 90, very peacefully in bed.
This is not the total catalog of U.S. dirty tricks
Congressional committees have uncovered quite a mix.
And when it comes to Vietnam, and later to Iraq,
I don’t believe it’s Putin who commanded the attack.
Of course, Putin’s not a pacifist, he decided he would gain
From fighting in Afghanistan and Georgia and Ukraine.
But wars and coups and killings, we must confess at last,
Are all too much a feature of the U.S. recent past.
And yet our past behavior need not be our future guide
Proposals based on conquest must quite clearly be denied.
Let’s build back our alliances with democratic friends,
And tell the world: THE AGE OF WAR WE’RE BRINGING TO AN END.