‘A Moment To Remember’ — When The US Abandoned Any Pretense Of Democracy For The Love Of ‘Our S.O.B.s”

“In December 1954, the NSC [National security Council] met in the White House to stake out a strategy that could tame the powerful nationalist forces of change sweeping the globe. Across Asia and Africa, a half-dozen European empires that had guaranteed global order for more than a century were giving way to new nation, many — as Washington saw it — susceptible to “communist subversion.” In Latin America , there were stirrings of leftist opposition to the region’s growing urban poverty and rural landlessness. To make it “absolutely clear we will not tolerate Communism anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.”influential Secretary of Treasury George Humphrey advised his NSC colleagues that they should “stop talking so much about democracy” and instead “support dictatorships of the right if their policies are pro-American.” At that moment, [President] Dwight Esienhower interrupted to observe, with a flash of strategic insight, that Humphrey was, in effect, saying, “They’re OK if they’re our s.o.b.’s.” The secretary agreed, adding: “Whatever we may choose to say in public about ideals and idealism, among ourselves we’ve got to be a great deal more practical and materialistic.”

“It was a moment to remember. …

“…Worldwide, Washington would pour massive military aid into cultivating the armed forces across the planet by using “training missions” to create crucial ties between American adviser and the officer corps in country after country. If subordinate elites did not seem subordinate enough, then these American advisers could help identify alternative leaders who would kip the ballot box and seize power by coup d’état.”

— Alfred W, McCoy, Harrington Chair in History, UW-Madison,  “In The Shadows Of The American Century: The Rise And Decline Of US Global Power”, 2017. (pp. 62-63)