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Meaning of national security

February 24, 2005

Spreading democracy is one of the mantra's of U.S. foreign policy. Austrians, of course, know otherwise. The military is often used not for alturistic aims, but to secure the financial interests of unscrupulous firms that have an influence over government policy.

I found a most frank example in a recent article in The Economist,

"The view from abroad," dated 19 Feb. 2005

"Latin Americans may think they have better reasons to harbour a grudge. Mexico, for instance, lost about half its territory to the United States in the war of 1846-48. In the BBC survey last month, only 11% of the Mexicans polled had a mainly favourable view of the influence of their northern neighbour, less even than the proportion of Argentines, who are in other respects even more hostile. Cubans have resented the United States ever since 1898, when their hard- and long-fought war of independence against Spain was in effect stolen from them by the yanquis prosecuting the Spanish-American war. The United States then made some 30 military interventions in and around the Caribbean in the next 30 years, many of them under Smedley Butler, a marine corps general, who summed up his career thus:

I helped make Honduras "right" for American fruit companies in 1903. I helped make Mexico...safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street...I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China, I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."

Point, set, match I suppose. For an extended treatment of the malevolent bent of U.S. foreign policy, take a look at Rothbard's Wall Street, Banks and American Foreign Policy, available on Mises.org. It is one of the most influential books on the subject I have ever read.

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