((… To see the promotion of American democracy throughout the world has been always the greatest matter for American foreign policy…)) Nil Levis
Journalist (New York Times)
Although history of U.S throughout twenty century, president have resembled each other but hardly you may see both of them, though with highly time distances, to have similarity in their foreign policy. The presidents whose foreign policy will be studied in this article are Woodrow Wilson (1913- 1921) and George W. Bush, both of them tried to show themselves moral , religious and good Christians, especially Wilson as Presbyterianist. According to historian(Schuel, History of U.S, translated by E. Sedghiani,1383,Tehran,Amir Kabir publication)Wilson desired in keeping nations’ international rights. Bush also believes in helping nations with rogue states to promote real democracy in the same way Wilson viewed, “only U.S could lead world into a new, peaceful era of unobstructed commerce, free market nonexploitative capitalism, democratic politics, and open diplomacy…Armament had to be reduced” .
It is interesting to see, even different parties of which presidents have come out but they have functioned alike in terms of foreign policy. Wilson who came to office as a democratic nominee and won presidency in 1913 had a legacy of two powerful terms during T. Roosevelt and a relatively weak of W.H. Taft, even though Taft intervened in some Central American countries for he believed “The interventions provided America strategic and financial interests as well as convenience for these countries” .Wilson was an idealist as well as realist, so he meddled and intervened in Mexico to help promote democracy. Parallel to what Bush intend to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. But what is interesting is that a kind of exceptionalistic view can be seen in both presidents’ view of democracy. Two presidents believe that only American democracy can solve third world problems. One of similar aspects of both presidents’ foreign policy is to attract nation’s support and attention to indicate multilateralism of their actions, e.g. Wilson, to support Mexican revolutionary leaders, better to say intervention, consulted some South American states as Brazil, Argentina and Chile to know their idea, and then supported Carransa against Huerta to empower, though Americans occupied its land later. The basic point is that why Wilson did uniquely in Mexico and did not ask collaboration of those countries when intervened in Mexico. This is a critic to him and can be compared to what Bush does in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush, although at the break out of War on Terror parted all world two parts, with America or against it, today most of states helped U.S fighting in Iraq but only America and Britain make decision for Iraq and its future, apart from plundering its oil by U.S and Britain, and reconstruction, and no one can see U.N (United Nations) and Security Council or other states’ role in this issue. Of course, the reason lays on period of post cold war and the birth of American unilateralism after Soviet Union collapse in the late 1980s, while in first decades of twenty century the international position was not so easy. At the break of twenty century superpowers competed politically and for land, while they also formed political treaty to act successfully in world scene.
In U.S, people and politicians have been introduced to be conservative in different occasion. Refusing enter the first world war by Wilson signified it. He was pressed, while he resisted, by some pro-British in America to enter the war for being Anglo-American and had same ancestors. Even when Lusitania was attacked to be sunk and 128 Americans among others died. He only warned Germans by ending political relations and complained for what they did. A competition between America and European powers caused Wilson not favor of each side because triumphant of each side would damage U.S security, power and position in world (Lafeber. Walter, The American Age, 1994, Norton Company, New York).
Bush’s and neo-cons’ doctrine as first American government in twenty first century led America to pre-emption war, as some believe they, themselves, caused the war broke out. The attack on September 11 aroused war and was a manipulated tragedy. A tragedy designed to attract Americans and congress to make them supporters of war, the target Bush and Neo-cons wanted to reach. Bush as Wilson has made democratization and toppling rogue states as a goal in world. Ideally he thinks of nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan and envisions it as his American mission (Fukuyama, Nation-Building, p. 1), but does not understand that “it is state-building rather than nation-building” (Fukuyama, 3).
Wilson in 1915 targeted Haiti for democratization. Haiti had been influenced by U.S since 1905. Some puppet governments had come to power and were rejected by coupe. Wilson in 1915 dispatched troops to Haiti to pacify and suppress Haitians who had rioted against Guillaum Sam, American surrogate whom people had killed for revenge of his execution of opponents. Americans organized presidential election and even a new constitution, as they did in Afghanistan after toppling Taliban regime. Establishing a Luyeh Jergeh, a kind of elite assembly, Americans organized a so-called election to elect president by people and Hamed Karzay was elected as a American surrogate.
American leaders, today, seek for strengthening their position in Afghanistan by indicating some issues as Taliban’s’ return, Terrorism and Jeopardized democracy in Afghanistan to manipulate public opinion and prepare them for their stay, understand to be pressed on by American citizens and international community. It will happen in Iraq as well. As George Bush called people in America and world that American troops had captured Baghdad and “Iraqi people are now free” (his speech on news), all people waiting for Bush’s declare end of war and time to go out of Iraq, but he noted sometimes directly his idea about democratization and reconstruction, or before them finding WMD and Saddam, so his speech implicated not to quit Iraq. Like many military missions during twenty century, in Central America, that lasted some years, war on terror will continue, as Bush noted in his speech.
Wilson and Bush resemble in re-election for presidency. Wilson in first term showed his reluctance for war and Americans re-elected him by the idea that “He kept us out of war” in 1916, but they regretted very soon because in 1917 America entered world war and it cost 117000 casualties and 26000 death , so people became exhausted and pessimistic toward war and Wilson. When Wilson asked people to elect democrats for congress, they did against it. Offered his peace treaty with 14 principles in Paris, Wilson could not please republican senators and representatives to ratify the treaty in congress.
Bush profited of saddam’s arrest for re-election in 2004 presidential election for he had achieved his goal, arresting Saddam. Although Kerry could use Bush’s defeat in finding WMD to win the campaign, for it was Bush’s main explicit excuse to attack on Iraq, but he did not , may be public attention was influenced by arresting the dictator and Bush’s triumphant, so Kerry under Jewish lobbies could not benefit Bush’s defeat. In congress election, November 2006, people of America shocked President Bush and voted for democrats.
Wilson entered the first world war for democracy, as noted before, Wilson believed in multilateralism, of course, it was due to the time because U.S could not assume itself without rival, so he planned League of Nations and introduced himself and U.S as caller for peace and freedom. He said “the world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty”(Tindall,1134).In peace conference, Wilson spoke about “peace without victory”(American Age. 294).He does not like to identify the winner, for U.S security and interests would be jeopardized by winner group in Europe and world. The war, itself, had weakened both sides made occasion for U.S to benefit political and economical opportunities. The U.S became a source of funding and credit for Allied countries in Europe.
Bush came to office after Clinton and from the very beginning criticized Clinton’s foreign policy in his presidential campaign. He claimed that Clinton had pushed America to isolated policy. Setting a group of experts by neo-cons to modify and re-define foreign policy for assessing status quo to design more important role for U.S throughout world. The politicians as Candoliza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Ramsfeld and the likes planned attack after 11 September and directed Bush toward Middle East. They believe in America unilateralism in world and say that U.S should not trust on international organizations about different issues for they aim to weaken U.S. According to such an idea, Bush pretends apparently to follow Security Council of U.N on international issues, but all witnessed while Security Council inspectors did not confirm WMD in Iraq, Bush announced America right to attack Iraq to find weapons and paid no attention to international and domestic opposition. During its history U.N has not been as weak as it is
In general, if some one pays a careful attention to U.S history, he will find out, despite of party competition and rivalry, all American presidents completed the function of others in the past.
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