Thursday, June 23, 2016

Exporting democracy

Malcolm Muggeridge refused an appointment in the spy services on the grounds that spies are inevitably second-raters. He was too generous.

 Had Aramco changed its mind? Cutler left it an open question, but William Chandler, vice president at the time of Aramco-owned Tapline, said in an interview before his death in 2009 that the company did resume cooperation, at least to some extent. He received a call in early 1954 from an Aramco executive to expect a briefing about a “special program” involving Tapline, which operated an oil pipeline across Saudi Arabia. The plan was to disable the pipeline if the Soviets invaded by destroying key valves in its pumps. Company supervisors were trained to use plastic explosives, which they stored in footlockers under their beds. “It was something we were ordered to do,” said Chandler.

This harebrained plan helps explain why Iran is an enemy today. It didn't have to be so.

The world was damn lucky the CIA didn't manage to set off a nuclear war in the '50s. It wasn't for lack of trying.

We already know a lot: the military aggression against China, for example. But new and ever crazier schemes keep coming out, like this one to nuke oilfields.

Imagine if the United States had instead supported patriots and democrats in the Middle East. It might not be too late even now. We could support the Kurds.

We won't, though, because the people running our foreign policy are 1) stupid and 2) incapable of learning from experience.

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