The United States and Third World
A Case for Benign Detachment
by Ted Galen Carpenter
www.cato.org/, August 15, 1985
It is a central dilemma of contemporary
American foreign policy that the world's leading capitalist democracy
must confront an environment in which a majority of nations are
neither capitalist nor democratic. U.S. leaders have rarely exhibited
ingenuity or grace in handling this delicate and often frustrating
The current turmoil in Central America
is illustrative of a larger problem. American officials assert
that this vital region is under assault from doctrinaire communist
revolutionaries trained, funded, and controlled by the Soviet
Union. Danger to the well-being of the United States is immediate
and serious, administration spokesmen argue, and it is imperative
that the Marxist-Leninist tide be prevented from engulfing Central
America. Accomplishing this objective requires a confrontational
posture toward the communist beachhead (Nicaragua) combined with
massive support for all "friendly" regimes, ranging
from democratic Costa Rica to autocratic Guatemala. Washington's
Central American policy displays in microcosm most of the faulty
assumptions underlying America's approach to the entire Third
The current strategy of the United States
betrays a virtual siege mentality. It was not always thus. Throughout
the nineteenth century U.S. policymakers exuded confidence that
the rest of the world would emulate America's political and economic
system, seeing the United States as a "beacon on the hill"
guiding humanity to a better future. As late as the 1940s,
most Americans and their political representatives still believed
that democracy would triumph as a universal system. The prospective
breakup of the European colonial empires throughout Asia and Africa
was generally viewed as an opportunity, not a calamity. Scores
of new nations would emerge from that process, and Americans were
confident that most would choose the path of democracy and free
enterprise, thus isolating the Soviet Union and its coterie of
Marxist-Leninist dictatorships in Eastern Europe.
The actual results were acutely disappointing.
No wave of new democracies occurred in this "Third World";
instead, decolonization produced a plethora of dictatorships,
some of which appeared distressingly friendly to Moscow. This
development was especially disturbing to Washington since it took
place at a time when America's cold war confrontation with the
USSR was at its most virulent. The nature and magnitude of that
struggle caused American leaders to view the Third World primarily
as another arena in the conflict. Consequently, the proliferation
of left-wing revolutionary movements and governments seemed to
undermine America's own security and well-being.
Cold War Factors
Washington's response to this adversity
has been a particularly simplistic and unfortunate one. American
leaders increasingly regarded any anticommunist regime, however
repressive and undemocratic it might be at home, as an "ally,"
a "force for stability," and even a "friend."
At the same time, they viewed leftist governments--even those
elected under democratic procedures--as little more than Soviet
surrogates, or at least targets of opportunity for communist machinations.
A portent of this mind-set among U.S.
policymakers surfaced during the earliest stages of the cold war.
President Harry Truman's enunciation of the so-called Truman Doctrine
in 1947 proclaimed the willingness of the United States to assist
friendly governments resisting not only external aggression but
also "armed minorities" in their own midst. It was
an ominous passage, for the United States was arrogating the right
to intervene in the internal affairs of other nations to help
preserve regimes deemed friendly to American interests. Although
Washington had engaged in such conduct throughout Central America
and the Caribbean for several decades, those incidents were a
geographical aberration in what was otherwise a noninterventionist
foreign policy. The Truman Doctrine raised the specter that America's
meddlesome paternalism in one region might now be applied on a
Although President Truman stressed that
the status quo was not "sacred," his doctrine soon made
the United States a patron of repressive, reactionary regimes
around the world. It was a measure of how far that trend had developed
by 1961 that President John F. Kennedy could proclaim in his inaugural
address America's determination to 'support any friend, oppose
any foe" in the battle against world communism. Today, leading
foreign policy spokesmen such as Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig,
and Jeane Kirkpatrick express a fondness for "friendly"
authoritarian regimes that would have seemed incomprehensible
to most Americans only a few decades ago.
A false realism as well as moral insensitivity
characterizes American policy toward Third World dictatorships.
There is a disturbing tendency to view such regimes in caricature,
regarding right-wing governments as valuable friends whose repressive
excesses must be ignored or excused, while perceiving leftist
insurgent movements and governments as mortal threats to America's
national interest, justifying a posture of unrelenting hostility.
For example, the Reagan administration pursues a confrontational
policy toward the Marxist government of Nicaragua, terminating
all aid programs, imposing a trade embargo, and supporting rebel
guerrillas. At the same time, Washington lavishes economic and
military aid upon equally repressive "allies" in South
Korea, the Philippines, Zaire, and elsewhere.
The consequences of this simplistic and
morally inconsistent strategy are highly unfortunate. America
finds itself involved far too often in futile or mutually destructive
confrontations with left-wing regimes. Even worse is the evolution
of a cozy relationship between Washington and a host of right-wing
authoritarian governments. A pervasive perception of the United
States as the sponsor and protector of such dictatorships has
undermined America's credibility as a spokesman for democracy,
caused Third World peoples to equate both capitalism and democracy
with U.S. hegemony, and established a milieu for rabidly anti-American
revolutions. It is an approach that creates a massive reservoir
of ill will and, in the long run, weakens rather than strengthens
America's national security.
Washington's policy toward Third World
dictatorships is seriously flawed in several respects. One fundamental
defect is the tendency to view largely internal struggles exclusively
through the prism of America's ongoing cold war with the Soviet
Union. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was an early practitioner
of this parochial viewpoint during the 1950s when he insisted
that the emerging nations of Asia and Africa "choose sides"
in that conflict. Nonalignment or neutralism Dulles viewed as
moral cowardice or tacit support for the USSR. Such an attitude
only antagonized nonaligned leaders who were concerned primarily
with charting a postcolonial political and economic course for
their new nations and cared little about an acrimonious competition
between two alien superpowers. The chilly relationship between
India, the Third World's leading democracy, and the United States
throughout this period was due in large part to Washington's hostility
toward Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's policy of nonalignment.
American policymakers have learned few
lessons from Dulles's errors in the subsequent quarter-century.
During the 1960s, Washington still saw internal political conflicts
in nations as diverse as Vietnam and the Dominican Republic exclusively
as skirmishes in the larger cold war. A decade after the victory
of one faction in the complex tribal, linguistic, and economic
struggle in Angola, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger
describes that war as part of "an unprecedented Soviet geopolitical
offensive" on a global scale. Kissinger's former boss,
Gerald Ford, likewise interprets the episode purely as a struggle
between "pro-Communist" and "pro-West" forces.
Former U.N. ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick views such countries
as Mozambique and Nicaragua not as nations in their own right,
but as components of the Soviet empire. Similarly, President
Reagan's bipartisan commission on Central America describes the
multifaceted conflicts of that troubled region as part of a Soviet-Cuban
"geo-strategic challenge" to the United States.
This failure to understand the complexities
and ambiguities of Third World power rivalries has impelled the
United States to adopt misguided and counterproductive strategies.
One manifestation is an uncritical willingness to embrace repressive
regimes if they possess sufficient anticommunist credentials.
At times this tendency has proven more
than a trifle embarrassing. During a toast to the shah of Iran
on New Year's Eve 1977, President Jimmy Carter lavished praise
on that autocratic monarch: "Iran, because of the great leadership
of the Shah, is an island of stability in one of the more troubled
areas of the world. This is a great tribute to you, Your Majesty,
and to your leadership, and to the respect and admiration and
love which your people give to you." Apparently concluding
that America's vocal enthusiasm for the shah and his policies
during the previous quarter-century did not link the United States
sufficiently to his fate, the president emphasized: "We have
no other nation on earth who [sic] is closer to us in planning
for our mutual military security."
Barely a year later the shah's regime
lay in ruins, soon to be replaced by a virulently anti-American
government. President Carter's assumption that the shah was loved
by the Iranian people was a classic case of wishful thinking.
CIA operatives in the field warned their superiors that the American
perception was a delusion, but those reports were ignored because
they did not reflect established policy. Blind to reality,
the administration identified itself and American security interests
with a regime that was already careening toward oblivion.
One might think that American leaders
would have gained some humility from the wreckage of Iranian policy
and at least learned to curb vocal expressions of support for
right-wing autocrats. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.
Less than four years after Carter's gaffe, Vice President George
Bush fawned over Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos: "We
stand with you sir. . . . We love your adherence to democratic
principle [sic] and to the democratic processes. And we will not
leave you in isolation."
It is a considerable understatement to
suggest that the burgeoning Philippine opposition (which contains
many legitimate democrats, such as Salvador Laurel and Butz Aquino)
did not appreciate effusive praise for the man who suspended the
national constitution, declared martial law, governed by decree,
and imprisoned political opponents to perpetuate his own power.
From the standpoint of long-term American interests (not to mention
common decency and historical accuracy), Vice President Bush should
have considered how a successor Philippine government might perceive
his enthusiasm for Marcos. Instead of acting prudently, the Reagan
administration seems determined to antagonize the opposition forces.
During his second presidential campaign debate with Walter Mondale,
President Reagan not only defended this nation's intimate relationship
with the current Manila regime but also implied that the only
alternative to Marcos was a communist takeover--a gross distortion
Ill-considered hyperbole with respect
to right-wing autocratic governments places the United States
in an awkward, even hypocritical posture. Equally unfortunate
is the extensive and at times highly visible material assistance
that Washington gives such regimes. For more than three decades,
the United States helped train and equip the military force that
the Somoza family used to dominate Nicaragua and systematically
loot that nation. Similarly, the American government provided
lavish military hardware to the shah of Iran as well as "security"
and "counter insurgency" training to SAVAK, the monarch's
infamous secret police. Throughout the same period Washington
gave similar assistance to a succession of Brazilian military
governments, a parade of Guatemalan dictatorships, the junta that
ruled Greece from 1967 to 1974, and several other repressive governments.
Most recently, the United States gave the Marcos regime economic
and military aid totaling more than $227 million, plus millions
more in payments for the military installations at Clark Field
and Subic Bay. Despite ample signs of that government's increasingly
shaky tenure, the Reagan administration ask Congress to increase
aid by nearly 20 percent. Congress exhibited little enthusiasm
for that approach, approving instead a significantly smaller sum
and attaching various "human rights" restrictions.
Warm public endorsements of autocratic
regimes combined with substantial (at times lavish) material support
produce an explosive mixture that repeatedly damages American
prestige and credibility. Many of those governments retain only
the most precarious hold on power, lacking significant popular
support and depending heavily upon the use of terror to intimidate
opponents. When repressive tactics no longer prove sufficient,
the dictatorships can collapse with dramatic suddenness--as in
Iran. American patronage thus causes the United States to become
closely identified with hated governments and their policies.
The domestic populations see those regimes as little more than
American clients--extensions of U.S. power. Consequently, they
do not view the ouster of a repressive autocrat as merely an internal
political change, but as the eradication of American domination.
Moreover, there is a virtual reflex action
to repudiate everything American--including capitalist economics
and Western-style democracy. The United States unwittingly contributes
to that process. By portraying corrupt, autocratic rulers as symbols
of the "free world,' we risk having long-suffering populations
take us at our word. They do not see capitalism and democracy
as those systems operate in the West, enabling people to achieve
prosperity and individual freedom. Instead, Third World people
identify free enterprise and democratic values with the corruption
and repression they have endured. Historian Walter LaFeber describes
how that reasoning has worked in Central America: "U.S. citizens
see [capitalist democracy] as having given them the highest standard
of living and the most open society in the world. Many Central
Americans have increasingly associated capitalism with a brutal
oligarchy-military complex that has been supported by U.S. policies--and
An attitude eventually emerges that if
Ferdinand Marcos, Augusto Pinochet, or Chun Doo Hwan represents
democratic capitalism, then any alternative, even communism, might
be preferable. It is a dangerous delusion, and Washington justifiably
urges Third World populations to recognize Marxism as a lethal
snare. But the suspicion engendered by America's myopic foreign
policy inclines them to reject such warnings as self-serving propaganda.
The explosion of emotional, often hysterical,
anti-Americanism in Iran cannot be understood apart from the context
of Washington's massive and highly visible sponsorship of the
shah during the preceding quarter-century. The same relationship
exists in Nicaragua, where a more sedate, but still pervasive,
anti-Americanism is directly attributable to America's long-standing
connection with the detested Somoza family. Other caldrons are
now boiling in Zaire, Guatemala, South Korea, and the Philippines.
Ramon Mitra, an opposition member of the Philippine National Assembly,
underscores the danger inherent in America's sponsorship of repressive
regimes, warning that once Marcos is overthrown, "this will
become one of the most bitter, anti-American countries in this
part of the world." As a recipe for breeding antagonism
and ill will, it would be difficult to surpass existing U.S. foreign
Hostility to the Left
The flip side of Washington's promiscuous
enthusiasm for right-wing autocrats is an equally pervasive hostility
toward leftist Third World regimes and insurgent movements. There
have been occasional exceptions to this rule throughout the cold
war era. For example, the United States developed a cordial relationship
with communist Yugoslavia after Premier Josef Tito broke with
the Soviet Union in 1948. A similar process occurred during the
early 1970s, when the Nixon administration engineered a rapprochement
with China, ending more than two decades of frigid hostility.
These achievements are instructive and should have demonstrated
to American policymakers that it is possible for the United States
to coexist with Marxist regimes. But that lesson has not been
learned, and such incidents of enlightenment stand as graphic
exceptions to an other- wise dreary record.
More typical of America's posture is the
ongoing feud with the Cuban government of Fidel Castro, now in
its 27th year. The campaign to oust Castro or, failing that, to
make him a hemispheric pariah, was shortsighted, futile, and counterproductive
from the outset. It served only to give him a largely undeserved
status as a principled, courageous revolutionary and to drive
his government into Moscow's willing embrace. Soviet defector
Arkady Shevchenko recalls a 1960 conversation with Nikita Khrushchev
in which the latter viewed America's hostility toward Cuba with
undisguised glee. Describing U.S. efforts to "drive Castro
to the wall" instead of establishing normal relations as
"stupid," Khrushchev concluded: "Castro will have
to gravitate to us like an iron filing to a magnet."
It was an accurate prediction.
Apparently having learned little from
the Cuban experience, the Reagan administration seems determined
to make the same errors with the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.
Washington's attempts to isolate the Managua regime diplomatically,
the imposition of economic sanctions, the "covert" funding
of the contra guerrillas, and the use of apocalyptic rhetoric
to describe the internal struggle for power in that country all
seem like an eerie case of deja vu. President Reagan's depiction
of the contras as "the moral equal" of America's own
founding fathers constitutes ample evidence that U.S. policymakers
have not learned to view Third World power struggles with even
modest sophistication. One need not romanticize the Sandinista
regime, excuse its suppression of political dissent, or rationalize
its acts of brutality (e.g., the treatment of the Miskito Indians),
as the American political left is prone to do, to advocate a more
restrained and detached policy. Administration leaders fear that
Nicaragua will become a Soviet satellite in Central America; Washington's
current belligerent course virtually guarantees that outcome.
As in the case of Cuba nearly three decades ago, the United States
is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The American government's hostility toward
left-wing regimes in the Third World has even extended to democratic
governments with a leftist slant. An early victim of this antipathy
was Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh. Evidence now clearly
shows extensive CIA involvement (including planning and funding)
in the 1953 royalist coup that enabled the shah to establish himself
as an absolute monarch. Mossadegh's "crime" was
not that he was communist, but that he depended on communist elements
for some of his support and advocated policies inimical to powerful
Anglo-American economic interests. A year later, the left-leaning
reformist government of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala suffered the
same fate. This time American complicity in the overthrow of a
democratically elected government was even more blatant. The U.S.
ambassador to Guatemala reportedly boasted that he had brought
the counterrevolution to a successful conclusion barely "forty-five
minutes behind schedule." Even President Reagan's bipartisan
commission on Central America concedes U.S. assistance in the
coup, and Washington's role has been amply documented elsewhere.
Buoyed by such successes, the United States
helped oust Patrice Lumumba, the first elected prime minister
of the Congo (now Zaire), in 1960. Like Mossadegh and Arbenz,
Lumumba had committed the unpardonable sin of soliciting communist
support. There is also some evidence of American complicity in
the 1973 military coup that toppled the government of Chilean
president Salvador Allende. We do know that the Nixon administration
sought to thwart Allende's election in 1970, discussed a coup
with disgruntled elements of the military immediately following
that election, and ordered steps to isolate and destabilize the
new government economically. No less a figure than Henry Kissinger,
then serving as national security adviser, concedes that the United
States authorized covert payments of more than $8.8 million to
opponents of the Allende government during the three years preceding
the coup. Given the relatively modest size of the Chilean
economy and population, an infusion of $8.8 million certainly
created a considerable political impact, but Kissinger and Nixon
both blame Allende's downfall entirely on internal factors. The
Marxist president's pursuit of disastrous economic programs together
with his systematic attempts to undercut the conservative middle
class and harass political opponents undoubtedly galvanized the
opposition, weakening his already precarious political position.
Nevertheless, it would be naive to accept at face value the Nixon
administration's protestations of innocence regarding the coup,
especially in light of Kissinger's ominous assertion that Allende
was 'not merely an economic nuisance or a political critic but
a geopolitical challenge."
It is reprehensible for a government that
preaches the virtues of noninterference in the internal affairs
of other nations to have amassed such a record of interference.
The level of shame mounts when American meddling undermines a
sister democracy and helps install a repressive autocracy. Yet
in Iran, Guatemala, Zaire, and Chile that was precisely what happened.
Post-Mossadegh Iran endured the shah's corrupt authoritarianism
for 25 years before desperately embracing the fanaticism of the
Ayatollah Khomeini. Guatemala after Arbenz has witnessed a dreary
succession of military dictatorships, each one rivaling its predecessor
in brutality. The ouster of Patrice Lumumba facilitated the
rise to power of Mobutu Sese Seko (nee Joseph Mobutu) in Zaire.
Mobutu's regime is regarded as one of the most corrupt and repressive
on any continent.
Perhaps Chile is the saddest case of all.
Although deified by Western liberals, Salvador Allende had his
unsavory qualities. His enthusiasm for Marxist economic bromides
pushed his nation to the brink of disaster. He also exhibited
a nasty authoritarian streak of his own, including an intolerance
of political critics. Nevertheless, his actions remained (although
sometimes just barely) within constitutional bounds. Moreover,
he was the last in an unbroken series of democratically elected
rulers stretching back more than four decades--an impressive record
in Latin America. The Pinochet dictatorship that replaced Allende
nearly 12 years ago is conspicuous for its brutal and systematic
violation of individual liberties. Yet Henry Kissinger can assert
that the "change in government in Chile was on balance favorable--even
from the point of view of human rights." Such a view
reflects either willful blindness or an astounding cynicism.
Those individuals who justify America's
existing policy toward the Third World cite strategic, economic,
and ideological considerations. On the strategic level, they argue
that the United States must prevent geographically important regions
from falling under the sway of regimes subservient to the Soviet
Union. Otherwise, a shift in the balance of global military power
could jeopardize American security interests, perhaps even imperil
the nation's continued existence. Economically, the United States
must maintain access to vital supplies of raw materials and keep
markets open for American products and investments. It is not
possible, this argument holds, for an economy based upon free
enterprise to endure if the world is dominated by state-run Marxist
systems. Finally, beyond questions of strategic and economic self-interest,
the United States must thwart communist expansionism in the Third
World to ensure that America and its democratic allies do not
become islands in a global sea of hostile, totalitarian dictatorships.
All these arguments possess a certain
facile appeal, but they hold up only if one accepts some very
dubious conceptions of America's strategic, economic, and ideological
interests. Moreover, proponents have often employed these arguments
as transparent rationalizations for questionable foreign policy
The notion that the United States must
assist and defend right-wing regimes while opposing leftist insurgencies
or governments for its own strategic self-interest depends on
several important subsidiary assumptions. Those who justify America's
Third World policy on this basis generally define "strategic
interests" in a most expansive manner. In its crudest form,
this approach regards Third World states as little more than bases
or forward staging areas for American military power. Reagan administration
officials defend continued support of the Marcos dictatorship,
for example, because otherwise the United States might lose its
installations at Clark Field and Subic Bay, complicating the defense
of other Far Eastern allies.
A more subtle argument is to portray a
particular regime as a "keystone" or "force for
stability" in a particular region. This thesis featured prominently
in Washington's support for the shah of Iran with respect to the
Persian Gulf, Mobutu Sese Seko with respect to Central Africa,
and a succession of Brazilian military governments with respect
to South America. Such a rationale is convincing only if one assumes
that the United States truly possesses "vital" strategic
interests in regions as diverse as Southeast Asia, the Persian
Gulf, Central Africa, and South America, and that successor regimes
in regional "key- stone" nations would be hostile to
One can and should question whether the
United States actually has strategic interests, vital or otherwise,
in areas thousands of miles removed from its own shores. Moreover,
Washington's current approach assumes that the presence of authoritarian
Third World allies somehow enhances America's own security. It
is a curious belief. How a plethora of small, often militarily
insignificant nations, governed by unpopular and unstable regimes,
could augment U.S. strength in a showdown with the Soviet Union
is a mystery. One could make a more plausible argument that attempts
to prop up tottering allies weaken America's security. These efforts
drain U.S. financial resources and stretch defense forces dangerously
thin. Worst of all is the risk that a crumbling Third World ally
could become an arena for ill-advised American military adventures.
As we saw in Vietnam, the entrance to such quagmires is easier
to find than the exit.
The inordinate fear of successor governments
is equally dubious, for it assumes that such regimes would inevitably
be left-wing and subservient to Moscow. Neither assumption is
necessarily warranted. The ouster of a right-wing autocracy does
not lead ineluctably to a radical leftist government. Vigorous
democracies succeeded rightist dictatorships in Portugal and Greece,
and there is a reasonable possibility of a similar occurrence
in the Philippines once Marcos passes from the scene. Moreover,
even in cases where a staunchly leftist government does emerge,
subservience to Moscow cannot be assumed. Such pessimism may have
had some validity in the bipolar ideological environment of the
late 1940s and early 1950s, but given the diffusion of power away
from both Moscow and Washington in the past 30 years, it is now
dangerously obsolete. When China and the USSR are mortal adversaries,
Yugoslavia charts a consistently independent course, and such
a country as Rumania--in Moscow's own geopolitical "backyard"--dares
exhibit maverick tendencies on selected foreign policy issues,
the assumption that a Marxist Third World state will be merely
a Soviet stooge is clearly unwarranted.
There is no doubt that the Soviet Union
exploits local crises to further its own foreign policy objectives
and that the Kremlin often supports, equips, and funds radical
insurgencies. But there is a vast difference between assisting
a revolutionary movement and controlling it. The mere fact that
leftist forces accept Soviet money and military hardware does
not mean that once in power they would tamely submit to dictation
from Moscow. Yet this distinction has escaped two generations
of American foreign policy officials. They habitually equate support
with control--regarding any acceptance of Soviet aid as a 'mark
of Cain" justifying unrelenting U.S. hostility.
Otherwise sophisticated foreign policy
spokesmen spin elaborate theories about the supposed strategic
dangers posed to the United States if "friendly" autocratic
regimes fall. At times this attitude verges on paranoia. The report
of President Reagan's bipartisan commission on Central America,
for example, concludes that a proliferation of Marxist governments
in Central America would threaten U.S. shipping lanes in the Caribbean,
interdicting vital supply lines in the event of a Middle East
or European war. How the nations of Central America could
accomplish such a feat against the world's foremost military power
the commission sages do not say. As it is doubtful that the Central
American states could muster more than minuscule naval and air
power contingents of their own, the only plausible theory is that
they would allow their homelands to be used as bases for Soviet
strikeforces. Such action would make sense only if the regimes
all had suicide complexes, since U.S. retaliation would be inevitable,
swift, and devastating. Yet commission members brazenly cite such
a strategic "threat" as an imperative reason for the
United States to defend Central American autocracies against "destabilizing"
The Economic Dimension
The economic thesis for current U.S. foreign
policy is no more persuasive than the strategic rationale. Assumptions
that rightist governments serve as pliant instruments of American
economic objectives or that left-wing regimes become commercial
adversaries cannot be sustained as a general rule. It is true
that countries ruled by right-wing autocrats tend to be friendlier
arenas for U.S. investment, but the price in bureaucratic restrictions
and "commissions" (i.e., bribes) to key officials is
often very high. Moreover, governments of whatever ideological
stripe usually operate according to principles of economic self-interest,
which may or may not correspond to American desires.
Washington received a rude awakening on
that score in the 1970s, when its closest Middle East allies--Iran
and Saudi Arabia--helped engineer OPEC's massive oil price hikes.
Neither U.S. client was willing to forgo financial gain out of
any sense of gratitude for political and military support. Much
the same situation occurred in 1980, when the Carter administration
invoked a grain embargo against the Soviet Union for the latter's
invasion of Afghanistan. The United States encouraged, even pressured,
its allies to cooperate in that boycott. Nevertheless, the Argentine
military junta, a regime that the United States had routinely
counted upon to stem the tide of leftist insurgency in Latin America,
promptly seized the opportunity to boost its grain sales to the
Just as right-wing regimes exhibit a stubborn
independence on economic matters, revolutionary leftist governments
are not inherent commercial enemies. When the United States has
allowed trade with leftist countries to occur, that trade has
usually flourished. The lucrative oil and mineral commerce with
the Marxist government of Angola is a case in point. Similarly,
once the emotional feud with mainland China ceased in the 1970s,
commercial and investment opportunities for the United States
also began to emerge. Although a Marxist state dominating the
global market in some vital commodity might conceivably attempt
to blackmail the United States, that danger is both remote and
theoretical. Indeed, as several scholars have shown, the entire
notion of the democratic West's "resource dependency"
Economic realities exert a powerful influence
that often transcends purely political considerations. Most Third
World governments, whether right-wing or left-wing, benefit from
extensive commercial ties with the industrialized West, particularly
the United States. America is often the principal market for their
exports and is a vital source of developmental capital. Revolutionary
rhetoric, even when sincerely believed, cannot change that fundamental
equation. It is no coincidence that Third World governments have
rarely instituted economic boycotts; most embargoes originate
as a deliberate U.S. policy to punish perceived political misdeeds.
As in the case of political and military
bellicosity, a confrontational approach to commerce is unproductive.
The Reagan administration's trade embargo against Nicaragua is
designed ostensibly to deflect the Sandinista government from
a pro- Soviet course. It will likely produce the opposite effect.
External pressures strengthen doctrinaire elements, like Interior
Minister Tomas Borge, who want to chart an uncompromising Marxist-Leninist
course. Under the pretext of national unity, Borge and his cohorts
can now promote greater economic regimentation and equate even
mild dissent with treason. Trade sanctions also injure Nicaragua's
fragile private sector, already under siege from collectivist
forces in the government. Worst of all, America's withdrawal as
a trading partner offers the Soviet bloc a superb opportunity
to fill that void, thus integrating Nicaragua into a global socialist
Rather than adopting economic sanctions
as a device for political intimidation, the United States should
relish the prospect of promoting commercial connections to the
greatest extent possible. Nothing would more readily provide evidence
to left-wing leaders that a system based on private property and
incentives is vastly superior to the lumbering inefficiencies
of Marxist central planning. On those rare occasions when the
United States has pursued a conciliatory rather than a truculent
and confrontational approach, the results have been gratifying.
The Marxist regime in Mozambique, for instance, first looked to
the Soviet bloc for economic as well as ideological guidance,
only to confront arrogant Russian imperialism and a recipe for
economic disaster. The disillusioned leadership now has begun
to turn away from the USSR and open its country to Western trade
and investment, a process that is likely to accelerate in the
The most misguided justification for America's
attachment to right-wing Third World states lies in the realm
of politics and ideology. Proponents assume an underlying ideological
affinity between authoritarian systems and Western democracies.
They insist that while rightist regimes may be repressive, such
governments are natural U.S. allies in the struggle against world
communism. Conversely, revolutionary leftist movements are "totalitarian"
in origin and constitute accretions to the power of that global
No one has advanced this thesis more passionately
and at greater length than former U.S. ambassador to the United
Nations Jeane Kirkpatrick. While conceding that "traditional"
autocracies sometimes engage in practices that offend American
"sensibilities," Kirkpatrick clearly finds those regimes
more palatable than their leftist adversaries. She asserts that
"traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive
than revolutionary autocracies," are "more susceptible
to liberalization," and are "more compatible with U.S.
interests." That being the case, American aid to keep
such friendly regimes in power is not only justified but becomes
something akin to a moral imperative.
Kirkpatrick's thesis is flawed in several
respects. Her assertion that rightist autocracies are less repressive
than their left-wing counterparts is only partially valid. If
one selects an extreme example, like the murderous Pol Pot government
of Cambodia in the mid- and late 1970s, even the worst rightist
regimes compare favorably. Moreover, Marxist dictatorships do
tend to be more systematic in eradicating all competing power
centers, thus rendering it more difficult for a political opposition
to coalesce. In other words, "totalitarian" regimes
are usually more efficient in institutionalizing their repression.
Nevertheless, it is pertinent to observe that several former and
current U.S. allies in the Third World have amassed appalling
human rights records. Their brutality may be less efficient, but
in many cases it is scarcely less severe.
Even if one concedes that the repression
practiced by leftist dictatorships is more pervasive and severe
than that of right-wing dictatorships, a more fundamental issue
still exists-- American complicity. The United States has neither
the power nor the requisite moral mandate to eradicate injustice
and oppression in the world. At the same time, as the most powerful
and visible symbol of democracy, America does have an obligation
not to become a participant in acts of repression and brutality.
Our sponsorship of right-wing autocracies violates that crucial
responsibility. Assisting dictatorial regimes makes the U.S. government
(and by extension the public that elects it) an accomplice in
the suppression of other peoples' liberty. In a profound way,
such complicity constitutes a stain on our democratic heritage.
Kirkpatrick's contention that traditional
autocracies are more susceptible to liberalization likewise misses
a fundamental point. She asserts that autocratic regimes sometimes
"evolve" into more democratic forms, whereas no analogous
case exists with respect to revolutionary socialist governments.
Yet her own examples--Spain, Greece, and Brazil--do not involve
evolutionary transformations, but rather the restoration of democratic
systems that right-wing elements had destroyed. History demonstrates
that while communist revolutionaries oust competing repressive
systems, rightist insurgents habitually overthrow democratically
elected governments. There is only one instance of a successful
communist uprising against an established democracy: the takeover
of Czechoslovakia in March 1948. Conversely, right-wing coups
and revolutions have erased numerous democratic regimes. Spain
(1936), Guatemala (1954), Brazil (1964), Greece (1967), the Philippines
(1972), Chile (1973), and Argentina (1976) represent only the
most prominent examples. It may be more difficult to eradicate
leftist (especially totalitarian) systems than it is to replace
rightist regimes, but right-wing autocratic movements pose the
more lethal threat to functioning democracies. No fact more effectively
demolishes the naive notion of an underlying affinity between
democracies and rightist dictatorships. The two systems are not
allies; they are inherent adversaries.
Those who embrace Kirkpatrick's thesis
accuse American liberals, with some justification, of applying
a "double standard" toward Third World dictatorships.
Liberals have indeed exhibited selective morality on a score of
occasions. Some who condemned the repressive policies of U.S.
allies in Southeast Asia during the late 1960s and early 1970s
remained strangely silent when Hanoi created a flood of refugees
and violated the sovereignty of neighboring nations. Today, it
is fashionable for liberals to advocate sanctions against South
Africa and Chile while supporting expanded contacts with Cuba
and the Soviet Union, nations with equally abysmal human rights
records. Many leftists conveniently ignore atrocities committed
by revolutionary socialist regimes, even when, as in the case
of Pol Pot, those acts reach genocidal proportions.
But Kirkpatrick and her cohorts also employ
an obnoxious double standard. For example, the Reagan administration
denounced the November elections in Nicaragua as a "farce"
because of restrictions the Sandinistas placed on their opponents.
Yet administration officials praised the balloting in South Korea
three months later as an important and positive step toward full
democracy, even though opposition parties labored under onerous
restraints comparable to those in Nicaragua. We have already
seen examples of Washington's enthusiasm for Marcos-style "democracy"
in the Philippines.
An even more blatant application of a
double standard is the attitude of American conservatives toward
the practices of right-wing autocrats. While excoriating Marxist
dictators, Jeane Kirkpatrick fairly gushes with enthusiasm for
the likes of Somoza and the shah. Those leaders were "positively
friendly" to the United States. They sent their sons to be
educated at American universities and voted with America at the
UN, and their embassies were active in Washington social life!
Perhaps Kirkpatrick believes that such behavior should have impressed
the inmates languishing in the political prisons of Managua and
Teheran. What she finds inconvenient to recognize-- a point equally
true of Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig, and George Shultz--is
that the autocratic "friends" who seem so charming during
periodic Washington visits are the same individuals who routinely
order the imprisonment, torture, or murder of political opponents
at home. Only a pervasive double standard allows American conservatives
to condemn Marxist repression while acting as apologists for the
brutal excesses of right-wing "allies."
Jimmy Carter and Human Rights
Unfortunately, indiscriminate support
for "traditional" autocrats combined with pervasive
hostility toward Marxist regimes has been a staple of American
policy in the Third World for the past 35 years. The most notable
deviation from this dreary record occurred during Jimmy Carter's
administration. President Carter's approach to Third World affairs
began with an apparent sophistication that had eluded his predecessors
entirely. In May 1977 Carter stated: "Being confident of
our future, we are now free of that inordinate fear of communism
which once led us to embrace any dictator who joined us in that
fear." He made it clear that human rights considerations
would play a significant role in determining whether U.S. military
and economic aid would flow to other nations.
It seemed a gratifying departure from
previous policy, but the Carter approach contained two fundamental
flaws, both of which contributed to its ultimate failure. In his
memoirs, the former president unwittingly underscored one weakness
himself: "I was determined to combine support for our more
authoritarian allies and friends with the promotion of human rights
within their countries." This conception produced a constant
"balancing act" between perceived American security
interests and human rights considerations. As one scholar of the
period has observed, Carter's foreign policy became "whipsawed"
between those conflicting objectives. By 1980 "the president's
human rights policies had been hopelessly compromised by exceptions
made for security reasons."
Moreover, Carter defined human rights
in such an expansive manner as to include issues of education,
nutrition, housing, and so on. Thus armed, the administration
assumed a right to meddle in the internal affairs of numerous
nations, provoking resentment on all sides. The results were predictable.
President Carter's seemingly noble objectives degenerated into
a hypocritical hodgepodge that left America's policy toward the
Third World in near chaos.
The fundamental weakness of the Carter
approach was its attempt to graft concern about human rights to
an existing interventionist foreign policy rather than reassessing
the underlying elements of that policy. Administration leaders
should have viewed human rights considerations as a rationale
for reducing the level of American political and military involvement
in the Third World. But to adopt such a course would have meant
evaluating whether the preservation of various right-wing autocracies
was actually vital to American security, indeed, whether important
American interests were involved at all in regions remote from
our own homeland. Neither the president nor his subordinates were
willing or able to make such a drastic reassessment. Consequently,
the human rights issue became a vehicle for more rather than less
An Alternative: Benign Detachment
This central defect in the Carter administration's
foreign policy should serve as a cautionary reminder regarding
efforts to structure a more equitable and coherent approach to
Third World affairs. A new policy must eschew inconsistent moral
posturing as well as amoral geopolitics. The most constructive
alternative would stress "benign detachment" toward
all Third World dictatorships, whatever their ideological orientation.
The concept of benign detachment is grounded
in the indisputable reality that, for the foreseeable future,
the United States will confront a Third World environment in which
a majority of nations are undemocratic. It would unquestionably
prove easier to function in a community of capitalist democracies,
but we do not have that luxury. Democracy and capitalism may emerge
as powerful doctrines throughout the Third World, but such a transformation
would be long-term, reflecting indigenous historical experiences.
We certainly cannot hasten that process by abandoning our own
ideals and embracing reactionary autocrats. In the interim, the
United States must learn to coexist with a variety of dictatorships.
Benign detachment represents the most productive and least intrusive
method of achieving that objective.
This approach would reject the simplistic
categorization of right-wing regimes as friends and Marxist governments
as enemies. It would require redefining America s national interests
in a more circumspect manner. No longer should Washington conclude
that the survival of a reactionary dictatorship, no matter how
repressive, corrupt, and unstable it might be, somehow enhances
the security of the United States. A policy of benign detachment
would likewise repudiate the notion that there is an underlying
kinship between rightist autocracies and Western democracies.
Right-wing dictatorships are just as alien to our values as their
America's primary objective should be
a more restrained and even-handed policy toward repressive Third
World regimes. Cordial diplomatic and economic relations should
be encouraged with all governments that are willing to reciprocate,
be they democratic, authoritarian, royalist, or Marxist. This
would require normalizing diplomatic and commercial relations
with such states as Cuba, Nicaragua, and Vietnam while curtailing
aid to so-called allies.
Conservatives invariably protest that
this position is a manifestation of a liberal double standard.
It is not. In fact, conservatives ignore the actual effects such
policies have had in the past. Take the case of mainland China.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Washington's attempts to isolate
the People's Republic of China only caused that nation to turn
inward and fester, producing a particularly oppressive and regimented
system. Since the United States abandoned its misguided strategy
in the early 1970s, China has become a far more open and progressive
nation. Deng Xiaoping and his followers now eagerly welcome Western
trade and investment, particularly in the field of high technology.
Equally important are the changes sweeping the domestic economy.
Chinese officials are dismantling crucial elements of Marxist
central planning, decentralizing production, creating incentives,
and even legalizing certain forms of private property. All those
developments should be gratifying to Americans who believe in
the virtues of a market economy. Moreover, the first, albeit hesitant,
signs of political liberalization in China are beginning to emerge.
Prominent Chinese spokesmen even assert publicly that Karl Marx
was not infallible and that many of his ideas are irrelevant in
the modern era--sentiments that would have merited the death sentence
only a few years ago.
While the U.S. initiative in establishing
cordial political and economic relations with China cannot account
entirely for this movement toward liberalization, there is no
question that it helps facilitate progressive trends. Conservatives
who advocate isolating Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, and other Marxist
states would do well to ponder that point. Liberals who endorse
economic sanctions against South Africa should consider whether
their suggested strategy is not counterproductive as well.
Encouraging diplomatic and commercial
relations with all nations is a beneficial strategy, but aid programs
and security training are another matter entirely. Economist Peter
T. Bauer has shown how foreign aid inherently undermines the values
of capitalism and democracy throughout the Third World. Developmental
funds promote distressingly little economic progress and help
entrench corrupt political elites. "Since official wealth
transfers go to governments and not to the people at large, they
promote the disastrous politicization of life in the Third World,"
Bauer observes. Moreover, aid "increases the power, resources
and patronage of governments compared to the rest of society and
therefore their power over it."
The tragic results of military assistance
and security training are even more apparent. Both help repressive
regimes maintain authority through acts of terrorism directed
against ideological opponents and the public. Incentives for essential
reforms and liberalization are diminished because the governments
believe that U.S. material aid and political support will prove
sufficient to perpetuate their power. Even worse, military aid
implicates the United States in the atrocities those governments
commit, thus creating extensive and potentially disastrous entanglements.
An even-handed policy should avoid involvement
in Third World quarrels not directly pertinent to America's own
security requirements, however crucial they might seem to the
immediate participants. The United States has no holy writ to
destabilize the governments of Cuba or Nicaragua because it finds
them repugnant, nor to preserve autocratic systems in South Korea
or Zaire because it considers them congenial. By the same token,
America has not been anointed to overthrow the Pinochet regime
in Chile or reform the South African government, even though zealous
liberals might think such actions would promote human progress.
A policy of benign detachment is not isolationist--at
least insofar as that term is used to describe a xenophobic, "storm
shelter" approach to world affairs. Quite the contrary, it
adopts a tolerant and optimistic outlook, seeing Third World states
not merely as pawns in America's cold war with the Soviet Union,
but as unique and diverse entities. Extensive economic relations
are not merely acceptable, they are essential to enhancing the
ultimate appeal of capitalism and democracy. There is even room
for American mediation efforts to help resolve internecine or
regional conflicts, provided that all parties to a dispute desire
such assistance and our role harbors no danger of political or
military entanglements. The United States need not practice a
surly isolation. America can be an active participant in Third
World affairs, but the nature of such interaction must be limited,
consistent, and nonintrusive.
A policy of benign detachment would bring
numerous benefits to the United States. No longer would America
be perceived as the patron of repressive, decaying dictatorships,
or as the principal obstacle to indigenous change in the Third
World. Our current policy tragically identifies the United States
and-- even worse--its capitalist democratic system with the most
reactionary elements around the globe. This foolish posture enables
the Soviet Union to pose as the champion of both democracy and
Third World nationalism. It is time that America recaptured that
moral high ground. If the United States allowed the people of
Third World nations to work out their own destinies instead of
trying to enlist them as unwilling combatants in the cold war,
Russia's hypocritical, grasping imperialism would soon stand exposed.
Moscow, not Washington, might well become the principal target
of nationalistic wrath throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Moreover, the inherent inequities and inefficiencies of Marxist
economics would soon become evident to all but the most rabid
Equally important, a conciliatory noninterventionist
posture toward the Third World would reduce the risk of U.S. military
involvement in complex quarrels generally not relevant to American
security. Savings in terms of both dollars and lives could be
enormous. Our current policy threatens to foment a plethora of
"brush fire" conflicts with all the attendant expense,
bitterness, and divisiveness that characterized the Vietnam war.
Finally, and not the least important,
reducing our Third World commitments would put an end to the hypocrisy
that has pervaded U.S. relations with countries in the Third World.
It is debilitating for a society that honors democracy and fundamental
human rights to embrace regimes that scorn both values. A nation
that believes in human liberty has no need for, and should not
want, "friends" who routinely practice the worst forms
of repression. A policy of detachment would restore a badly needed
sense of honor and consistency to American foreign policy.
Ted Galen Carpenter is a foreign policy
analyst at the Cato Institute.
 In his farewell address, President
Andrew Jackson expressed the prevailing sentiments of his countrymen
when he said that Providence had selected the American people
to be "the guardians of freedom to preserve it for the benefit
of the human race." See James D. Richardson, ed., Messages
and Papers of the Presidents, vol. 3 (Washington: Government Printing
Office, 1896), p. 308.
 Public Papers of the Presidents of
the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1947 (Washington: Government
Printing Office, 1963), pp. 178-79.
 For examples of such sentiments see
Henry A. Kissinger, Years of Upheaval (Boston: Little, Brown &
Co., 1982), especially pp. 409-13, 667-74, 676; Alexander M. Haig,
Jr., Caveat: Realism, Reagan and Foreign Policy (New York: Macmillan,
1984), pp. 30, 90, 96, 126, 268-70, 275, 278, 298; and Jeane Kirkpatrick,
Dictatorships and Double Standards (New York: Simon and Schuster,
1982), especially pp. 23-25, 32-33, 44, 49-51, 65-67, 70-71, 80,
86, 133-134. An even more blatant apologia can be found in Richard
Nixon, No More Vietnams (New York: Arbor House, 1985), pp. 13,
20-21, 218-19, 225.
 A concise analysis of such thinking
is provided in Melvyn P. Leffler, "From the Truman Doctrine
to the Carter Doctrine: Lessons and Dilemmas of the Cold War,"
Diplomatic History (Fall 1983): 245-66.
 An excellent discussion of that process
can be found in Jonathan Kwitny, Endless Enemies: The Making of
an Unfriendlv World (New York: Congdon and Weed, 1984), pp. 48,
106-8, 264-68, 389-90, 394.
 Kissinger, p. 28.
 Gerald R. Ford, A Time to Heal (New
York: Berkley Books, 1980), p. 334.
 Kirkpatrick, p. 123; see also her
speech before the Dallas Council on World Affairs, April 12, 1985,
quoted in Mark Miller, "Kirkpatrick urges support for U.S.
aid to contras," Dallas Morning News, April 13, 1985.
 The Report of the President's National
Bipartisan Commission on Central America (New York: Macmillan,
1984), p. 14. For additional expressions of the same thesis, see
pp. 16, 102-3, 105, 109-12.
 Public Papers of the Presidents of
the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1977 (Washington: Government
Printing Office, 1978), pp. 2221-22.
 Jesse Leaf, "Iran: A Blind Spot
in U.S. Intelligence," Washington Post, January 18, 1979;
Barry Rubin, Paved with Good Intentions: The American Experience
and Iran (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), p. 201.
 Department of State, Department of
State Bulletin 81, no. 2053 (August 1981): 30.
 "A Tie Goes to the Gipper,"
Time, October 29, 1984, pp. 24-25.
 Greg Jones, "Anti-U.S. sentiment
grows in Philippines," Dallas Morning News, April 4, 1985;
"House approves two-year $25.4 billion foreign aid bill,"
Dallas Morning News, August 1, 1985. A Senate Foreign Relations
Committee staff report, prepared by Carl Ford and Frederick Brown
following lengthy visits to the Philippines, warned of the increasingly
precarious position of the Marcos government. Even officials within
the State Department and Defense Department reportedly urged that
the United States begin to "distance itself" from Marcos.
"Downsiders vs. Optimists," Newsweek, October 22, 1984,
 Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions
(New York: W.W. Norton, 1984), p. 14; Kwitny, pp. 5-6, 105-8,
203-4, 302-6, 389-90, 394.
 Greg Jones, "Communists reported
gaining in Philippines," Dallas Morning News, March 13, 1985.
A concise discussion of the growing turmoil in the Philippines
and its potential consequences for the United States is found
in Robert A. Manning, "The Philippines in Crisis," Foreign
Affairs (Winter 1984-85): 392-410.
 Arkady N. Shevchenko, Breaking with
Moscow (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), p. 105.
 Gerald M. Boyd, "Reagan Terms
Nicaragua Rebels 'Moral Equal' of Founding Fathers," New
York Times, March 2, 1985.
 Kwitny, pp. 164-77; Richard and Gladys
Harkness, "The Mysterious Doings of the CIA," Saturday
Evening Post, November 6, 1954, pp. 34-35; Rubin, pp. 77-90.
 Quoted in Richard H. Immerman, The
CIA in Guatemala (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982), p.
 Commission on Central America Report,
p. 25. Accounts of the CIA operation include Immerman, passim;
LaFeber, pp. 119-25; Blanche Wiesen Cook, The Declassified Eisenhower
(Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1981), pp. 218-19, 233-89; Stephen
Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer, Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story
of America's Coup in Guatemala (New York: Doubleday, 1982), passim.
 Madeleine G. Kalb, The Congo Cables
(New York: Macmillan, 1982), pp. 50-55, 63-67, 77-83, 89-104,
129-39, 144-52, 157-79, 184-96; Kwitny, pp. 52-70.
 Henry A. Kissinger, White House Years
(Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1979), pp. 673-77, 681.
 Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp.
382, 395, 403.
 Ibid., p. 376.
 Even President Reagan's commission
on Central America conceded that after the ouster of Arbenz, Guatemalan
politics became especially "divisive, violent and polarized."
Commission on Central America Report, p. 25. See also John A.
Booth, "A Guatemalan Nightmare: Levels of Political Violence,"
Journal of Interamerican Studies (May 1980): especially 199-200,
 Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, p.
 See the comments of Richard L. Armitage,
assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.
"The Carrot and the Stick," Newsweek, March 25, 1985,
 For examples, see Commission on Central
America Report, pp. 31-32, 103-9; Haig, pp. 26-27, 32, 122-23,
125, 129, 135; Department of State, Communist Interference in
El Salvador: Documents Demonstrating Communist Support of El Salvador
Insurgency (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1981), passim.
 Commission on Central America Report,
 "Argentina's Silent Partner,"
New York Times, March 26, 1980; Edward Schumacher, "Argentina
and Soviet Are No Longer Just Business Partners," New York
Times, July 12, 1981.
 Terence Smith, "Companies Resisting
U.S. Foreign Policy," New York Times, June 27, 1981; Kwitny,
pp. 149-50; James Brooke, "Inside the East Bloc's African
Outpost,' New York Times, January 13, 1985.
 See, for example, Michael Shafer,
"Mineral Myths," Foreign Policy (Summer 1982): 154-71.
 For a discussion of this point, see
Kwitny, pp. 18, 75-76, 149-50.
 Anthony Lewis, "Mozambique Seeks
Western Investment," New York Times, February 5, 1983; "Mozambique
Dismisses 3 Cabinet Ministers," New York Times, June 17,
1984; Jeff Trimble, "Mozambique's Marxists Turn to the Left,"
U.S. News and World Report, February 25, 1985, pp. 37-38.
 Kirkpatrick, pp. 44, 49.
 "U.S. official calls vote in
Nicaragua a 'farce, "' Dallas Morning News, November 6, 1984;
"A Challenge for President Chun, Time, February 25, 1985,
 Kirkpatrick, p. 25.
 Public Papers of the Presidents:
Jimmy Carter, 1977, p.
 Jimmy Carter, Keeping Faith (New
York: Bantam Books, 1982), p. 143.
 Walter LaFeber, "From Confusion
to Cold War: The Memoirs of the Carter Administration," Diplomatic
History (Winter 1984): 6; See also the views of former secretary
of state Cyrus Vance on the need to "balance" security
and human rights concerns. Cyrus Vance, Hard Choices: Critical
Years in America's Foreign Policy (New York: Simon and Schuster,
1983), pp. 32-33, 127-28, 516.
 Carter, p. 144.
 See, for example, Kirkpatrick, pp.
41-42, 46-47, 69; and Gerald Ford, p. xvii. Implicit in their
arguments is the notion that U.S. taxpayers are obligated to continue
funding right-wing dictators in the manner to which they have
 "China repudiates orthodox Marxism
as obsolete theories," Dallas Morning News, December 8, 1984.
On Chinese economic reforms see George C. Wang, ed. and trans.,
Economic Reform in the PRC (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1982),
passim; and A. Doak Barnett, China's Economy in Global Perspective
(Washing- ton: Brookings Institution, 1981), especially pp. 34-37,
45-55, 86-98, 506-39.
 Peter T. Bauer, Equality, the Third
World and Economic Delusion (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
1981), pp. 103-4.