Tag Archives: George Kennan

Some recent quotes I’ve come across about the reality of Western foreign policy

Some recent quotes I’ve come across about the reality of Western foreign policy
by Ian Sinclair
6 June 2016

“The study of international relations is analogous to studying the rules of the game among Mafia families.” – Professor Ello, Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, 1965

“If you study history what you learn is wars are always accompanied by lies, wars are always accompanied by deceptions, wars are always accompanied by ‘we are going to war to fight for democracy, we are going to war to fight for freedom’. Behind all the lies and deceptions that accompanied all these wars was one basic motive that is behind all of these wars: expansion, power, economics, business.” – US historian Howard Zinn on US wars, ‘Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train’ documentary, 2004

“There is, it may be safely asserted, no war within memory, however nakedly aggressive it may seem to the dispassionate historian, which has not been presented to the people who were called upon to fight as a necessary defensive policy, in which the honour, perhaps the very existence, of the State was involved.” – J. A. Hobson, British historian and economist, 1902

“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 of its population… In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction… We should dispense with the aspiration to ‘be liked’ or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers’ keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague… objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.” – George Kennan, Head of the US State Department’s Policy planning department, 1948 Top Secret memo