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US believes it can ‘do no wrong’ Wednesday, 27 August, 2008

Posted by Farbod in Interviews.
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Press TV – US believes it can ‘do no wrong’.

By Afshin Rattansi

Press TV’s Afshin Rattansi interviews former Director of CIA Regional and Political Analysis, Bill Christison, on the failures of US foreign policy and the possibility of change under a new US president.

Press TV: I understand the US media is very concerned about Obama’s choice for Vice-President. Obama is a man who supports more troops in Afghanistan do you think his campaign workers know that so many Afghan children have been killed by US-backed forces in the past 24 hours?

Bill Christison: I doubt that most of them do. And those who know don’t really care that much. It’s a terrible tragedy that the United States is continuing this war in Afghanistan. This is a war that unquestionably when it started in 2001, 9 out of 10 human beings living in Afghanistan did not know anything about Osama bin Laden. Despite the efforts of so many people trying to prevent this war from happening, thousands of Afghan people have been killed and now the democratic contender for the presidency in the United States wants to make a bigger war in Afghanistan than there is today. I have to confess to you, a great many people in the United States will support this war. I want to emphasise that I personally and many other Americans are totally against it but I think people in other countries have to realise that an equal or perhaps greater number of Americans want to continue this war in Afghanistan. There are too many people in the United States that think the war in Afghanistan is a “good” war, even though they will admit that the War in Iraq was not a good war. But it is a tragedy that so many children were killed. This is not the last time this will undoubtedly happen more until the US government reaches some meaningful understanding of what’s going on in the world today and changes almost every aspect of its foreign policies in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Press TV: With Mr. [Zbigniew] Brzezinski for Obama, Mr. [Henry] Kissinger for McCain what possible difference of opinion is there between the two candidates on Afghanistan, South Ossetia, the Polish missile shield and Iran. You perhaps know or ran into Mr. Brzezinski and Mr. Kissinger.

BC: I have run into them both over the years and this is truly an awful situation. We have in the United States two major political parties – none of the other small parties count for much – and there is no significant difference between the two parties on this question of the war in Afghanistan and there is no significant difference on the question of the war in Iraq. There is no significant difference on the issue of Iran and nuclear weapons. There is no significant difference on any major foreign policy question between the two parties. We have in the United States a political system that is quite bad – that’s an understatement – it’s quite terrible.

Press TV: You were at the CIA. What would the CIA be advising on these issues – especially on South Ossetia where its widely beleived that US decision-making has reduced its influence in the Caucasus. And do you think the CIA actually care who wins the next election?

BC: No I do not. I think that you and all people in other countries should realise that once any president has been in office for five or six or, in this case, seven years, by that time, if he is a strong president – and George W. Bush is a quite strong president – he has been able to insert people who are loyal to him into all the significant positions in the CIA and in any other agency of the government.

Press TV: Aren’t there any old timers who are advising other CIA people in Langley?

BC: You probably just heard me sigh. I’m sure that there are and I am not alone in the views that I hold but when a person is president for a good numbner of years, after the first few years he has his own people in all of the positions that count. We in the United States have not learned one thing form the last 40 years of history. I personally spent two and a half years in Vietnam. And I know full well that in the last two or three years we didn’t gain one thing. All we did was lose the lives of many Americans and many, many more Vietnamese. And we could have had the same kind of deal that we finally got in Vietnam three years earlier and not have lost that many lives.

Press TV: Are there CIA agents in Herat, Tblisi? what would they be reporting back from the field? That things are going well in Afghnistan? That things are going well in Tskhinvali?

BC: There will always be people at middle and lower levels who will report just as honestly as they can back to Washington. But the decisions are not made in the field. The decisions are made by higher level people in Washington who know that the first thing they must be is loyal to the then existing president. That is where practically every decision of importance is made. I’m sorry to say that I suspect that is true in almost every government in the world. The United States claims to be a democracy but it is no better a democracy than so-called democracies elsewhere in the world. All of us have major deficiencies that we should try to fix but there is an attitude widely held in the United States – too many of us believe that we are an exceptional people and we can do no wrong.

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Comments»

1. Stop US Wars » Blog Archive » US believes it can ‘do no wrong’ - Wednesday, 27 August, 2008

[…] eluse wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThere are too many people in the United States that think the war in Afghanistan is a “good” war, even though they will admit that the War in Iraq was not a good war. But it is a tragedy that so many children were killed. … […]

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5. Donna - Saturday, 30 August, 2008

Kudos Mr. Christison, for telling it like it is.

Excellent interview!

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[…] US believes it can ‘do no wrong’I personally spent two and a half years in Vietnam. And I know full well that in the last two or three years we didn’t gain one thing. All we did was lose the lives of many Americans and many, many more Vietnamese. … […]

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