When John F. Kennedy was running for president in 1960 he used to say, "Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a good neighbor in Latin America because he was a good neighbor right here at home."
Kennedy was referring to Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy which increased America's popularity to people in that region. The future president was correct in citing the connection between how people of other nations see us relative to what we are doing at home, and the parallel between adopting a humane attitude domestically and extending it to other nations with which we interact.
Now we are regrettably in a negative cycle in which other nations see America as marauders based not on what the typical American has done, except in instances where voters have overlooked the obvious when some kind of choice was afforded, but what has been done in the name of greed to serve the interest of a tiny handful.
As Mitch McConnell and John Boehner struggle mightily to preserve Bush tax cuts to aid the top two percent of Americans we see the level of resistance against America extending political and economic influence.
The brainwashing machine of Fox News seeks to explain negative reaction against America's involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan as nothing more than the efforts of terrorists out to destroy America's way of life.
Fox propagandists such as Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity will never tell listeners about the influence of the CIA and the impact it has had on American policy as well as the perceptions that its actions have generated among people throughout the world.
We know what has happened with the activities of one multinational corporation in the U.S. with British Petroleum and the great Gulf Calamity euphemistically referred to as an "oil spill" to make it sound less ominous than what it really is.
After World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency was created by President Harry Truman to collect information in that important realm. He conceded at the end of his presidency that it had become something completely different.
What it became was a government of its own, and one that is not answerable to anyone ultimately since it operates on the pretense of needing to operate in the realm of super secrecy for the benefit of protecting America from influences seeking to destroy it.
In the case of BP there was an angry claim that it was not getting a large enough share of Iran's oil after democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh wanted greater profits for the Iranian people for its oil deposits than what the corporation found acceptable.
The result was a CIA engineered coup. As for Mossadegh, a popular and democratically elected leader, he was arrested for three years and then placed under house arrest until his 1967 death.
Mossadegh's successor was the brutal and oppressive Shah of Iran, whose Savak, Iran's secret police, operated a reign of terror that was constantly cited for human rights violations by the United Nations.
Much more could be written about this, but the next step in the process being explored of a democratically elected president being overthrown to be replaced by CIA operated and controlled despotism was President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala.
Arbenz made what turned out to be his fatal mistake by being involved in the first peaceful transition of power in Guatemala's history, assuming the presidency in 1951. President Arbenz began carrying out badly needed land reform, seeking to give peasants who had been literally robbed a fair shake.
What Arbenz was doing sounds very much like what the future President Kennedy and FDR had been doing and speaking about in the Good Neighbor Policy. Here was democracy being practiced in a Latin nation that badly needed it.
The CIA had other ideas. The United Fruit Company, a Rockefeller owned enterprise, did not like the fact that Arbenz' agrarian reform affected the corporation. The United Fruit Company was the leading landholder in Guatemala and 85 percent of its holdings were uncultivated, making it subject to Arbenz' agrarian reform effort.
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