Lifting the veil on American foreign policy: Part One

White House

The absolute irony of the Trump presidency is that he is inadvertently exposing the terrible hypocrisies underlying an extremely hawkish American foreign policy consensus that in many ways does not serve America’s national interests well, if at all. – Peggy Mason, President of the Rideau Institute

Backed by ferociously powerful domestic lobbies, America’s blind support for Israel and Saudi Arabia — and therefore against their mutual adversary, Iran — is perhaps the best example. Especially during his second term, President Obama fought hard to begin to limit Saudi and Israeli influence and did make some progress: witness the historic nuclear deal with Iran and the non-veto of a UN Security Council resolution condemning yet more illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

Similarly, President Obama, through the dedicated and persistent diplomatic efforts of his Secretary of State, John Kerry, actually reached a deal with Russia over Syria. But Pentagon civilians and military officers refused to play ball, publicly declaring that they would “never cooperate” with Russia.

When Trump inartfully admitted to Bill O’Reilly that the USA, like Russia, “has a lot of killers,” he was telling the truth. But western publics will not easily allow their governments to support naked aggression, so it has to be dressed up as morally superior.

Trump is exposing the same hypocrisy with his glib support for “one state or two states or whatever the parties agree upon.” Surely he knows that the longstanding and oft professed American preference for a “two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict serves as a useful smokescreen behind which Israel builds ever more illegal settlements, encroaching on ever more Palestinian land until presumably there is simply none left for them?

Bernie Sanders started a conversation with the American public on how to pursue genuine economic and social justice, one that continues apace today, despite Trump’s cynical hijacking of populist rage to further enrich himself and his billionaire buddies.

The same type of honest conversation is urgently needed over American foreign policy. The status quo is increasingly untenable and President Trump has nothing to offer but bluster and threats, at best, and malevolent chaos and conflict at worst.

And Canada is not immune to this cynical misdirection in our foreign policy either, as Peter Larson’s latest blog, Canada appears more interested in supporting a “2 state solution” than in defending Palestinian human rights  graphically illustrates.

For more on the emptiness of the American policy on Israel-Palestine see: One-State Two-State Blues (Roger Cohen, NYTimes 17 Feb 2017).

Photo credit: Wikimedia


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10 Responses to “Lifting the veil on American foreign policy: Part One”

  1. Gayle McIntyreFebruary 19, 2017 at 10:23 pm #

    Yes, Excellent points Anne Streeter. Russia has done nothing. The media is a fantasy which they all parrot without hardly an exception supplying no proof or evidence as usual. The Ottawa Citizen did write a more truthful article about a year after the event which describes the nazi, banderist background and events. Russia had been subsidizing Ukraine for decades until the illegal overthrow of the government in 2014. Never a mention of all the humanitarian assistance supplied by the Russians to the eastern provinces demonized by the fake Ukrainian government, nor how thousands of people displaced by this government genocide and destruction have moved to Russia for safety and protection. These are all war crimes as per usual nato activity, it is complicit, ignored by the people here and funded by our tax dollars. Trudeau recently replaced, was it Stephen Dion? with a woman from Alberta whose history and ancestors are tied in with the banderists of Ukraine and the nazi hitler fiasco of WWII. This is not commonly reported either and I am not sure where this article is now as it was when she was first appointed. Canada, apparently has the largest diaspora of Ukrainians so I’m sure much money is supporting Trudeau to go along with whatever story the Ukrainians want to supply. It is unlikely canada is a sovereign country as you say they are repeating what the usa tells them which it seems is mostly what the Israelis dictate to all the western governments it appears. I didn’t vote for him trudeau and nearly didn’t vote as my litmus test was what is the party stand on “Foreign Policy” which was all exactly the same so it was a pointless exercise to vote. Supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons so they can support their ISIS terrorist groups destroying their neighbours is hardly my idea of good governance. It is especially cynical of the UN to allow the Saudi’s to purchase the Human Rights Committee or whatever it is while they continue to bomb and destroy Yemen the poorest country in the world.

  2. Richard TarnoffFebruary 18, 2017 at 11:15 am #

    Good article, but it doesn’t say where it is from.

    • Peggy MasonFebruary 23, 2017 at 2:07 pm #

      This is not an article. It is an original blog with links to articles and other source material. This means that Rideau Institute staff are responsible for the blog. ( is a project of the progressive research and advocacy think thank, Rideau Institute.)

  3. Guy St HilaireFebruary 18, 2017 at 10:16 am #

    Trump wants to have a good relation with Russia and that would be a good thing.For all the people that drank the proverbial Kool-Aid that our Western media has fed us , about the boogie Russia , and by our own Canadian government ,by the way, it is time for people to tart thinking for themselves and at least ask questions . You might be surprised to find where the fake news comes from.
    Nurturing division will never lead us to peace . The purveyors of division have never been so vociferous as they are now .

  4. John TeeFebruary 17, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

    The American people wanted change. Hillary would have been more of the same old establishment elite. Trump now stands no chance to deescalate confrontation with Russia, China and Iran with the Neocons and alphabet Intelligence in control. Trudeau jr is a loyal Washington lapdog. We Kanadians are all Amerikans now. Our votes don’t count, neither do theirs.

  5. JocelynFebruary 17, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

    Trump, aka The Orange President (even though he lost by 3 million legitimate votes): is nothing but an embarrassment; to the country, the electoral system and to humanity as a whole.
    He is an idiot, he has no idea what a presidency entails, and he LOST the election by 3,000 LEGAL votes as opposed to paying of the insanely corrupt “ELECTORAL COLLEGE”, which is nothing but a group of greedy men willing to let a looser win IF he pays them enough $$$$. What a monumental embarassement!

  6. lili Soleil.February 17, 2017 at 7:45 pm #

    I meant GOD only knows.

  7. lili Soleil.February 17, 2017 at 7:44 pm #

    Trump is trouble with a capital T. The U.SA have indeed opened a can of worms.
    where it will all end GOG only knows and he aint telling.

  8. Anne StreeterFebruary 17, 2017 at 6:21 pm #

    We should also worry about Trudeau’s position vis a vis Israel and Saudi Arabia! Also, why is Canada defending the illegal and corrupt government of Ukraine and demonizing Russia for no good reason? Why do we always jump when the U.S. tells us to? It is embarrassing!

    • Peggy MasonFebruary 23, 2017 at 2:11 pm #

      These are indeed excellent criticisms of Canadian foreign policy, about which has had a lot to say. The main aim of this blog, however, was to focus on some of “the emperor has no clothes” aspects of American foreign policy .