December 27, 2006
Gerald Ford and the Indonesian Invasion of East TimorIn response to Bruce's comment on my previous post, I replied that Gerald Ford's presidency is most notable for its mediocrity and that I neither credit nor fault him much for anything. I may have spoken too hastily:
AMY GOODMAN: Brad, you recently got documents declassified about President Ford and his role in 1975, in meeting with the long reigning dictator of Indonesia, Suharto. Can you explain what you learned?The rest of the declassified documents as well as the history of the U.S. government's 25-year support of the invasion are available at the National Security Archives website.
Like Nixon, Gerald Ford was a realist in the conservative sense of the word, meaning in the name of national vital interest, the United States should preserve the international status quo and not interfere with the affairs of other nations even for the sake of human rights and other such supposedly ideological nonsense. And like Nixon, he went one step further by embracing Henry Kissinger's version of realpolitik, or amoral politics by any means, including physical aggression, extortion and/or economic manipulation .
Bruce and Wonkette fault Ford for the rise of Rumsfeld and Cheney, but those two are a different breed altogether. They are neocons who flourished under Reagan and who believe that the United States should be the lone superpower in the world by vanquishing its enemies (specifically communism then and terrorism now) and spreading democracy (read: capitalism) even if it means coddling authoritarian friends.
Kissingerian realpolitik or neoconservatism. I can't decide which is worse.
Update: More on Gerald Ford's duplicity regarding the pardon of Richard Nixon via Bruce Miller's excellent post at The Blue Voice.
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