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The Turkey and the Eagle

The Struggle for America's Global Role

The Turkey and the Eagle by Caleb Stewart Rossiter
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This book is about not just the effects but the making of U.S. foreign policy.  It shows how advocates of basing U.S. relations on progress toward democracy struggle in Washington with advocates of support for repressive regimes in return for economic benefits such trade, investment, and mineral resources and military benefits such as access to their territory for U.S. armed and covert forces. By arguing that the outcome of this struggle is determined by the average citizen?s position, the book makes readers participants rather than observers. By arguing that a ?cultural pump? constantly promotes a vision of American domination as a positive force in the world, it encourages readers to analyze the day-to-day effect of this vision on their own perceptions.

Intended for a general audience, the book features enough inside tales and colorful characters to intrigue the casual reader, but also provides the clear themes and historical context needed for a high school or college text on U.S. policy after World War II toward the colonized, and then post-colonial countries.

Algora Publishing; January 2010
ISBN 9780875868004
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Title: The Turkey and the Eagle
Author: Caleb Stewart Rossiter

This book tells the story of how US politics became mired in the assumption of domination, and it offers a way for advocates of a foreign policy of cooperation to change that assumption. That is the real issue....

Would America be an eagle or a turkey in its relations with others? Would it Sharp and Rob, or would it mind its own Farm Yard? Would America be, as many of its founders advocated, a new kind of nation not just in its popular form of government and its religious tolerance, but also in having a foreign policy in which right made might, and neighborly collaboration replaced the interference and intervention practiced by European monarchs? As one can tell by looking on the back of the dollar bill, Franklin lost the symbolic struggle over the eagle and the turkey. He also soon fell behind in the real struggle over foreign policy. Calls for acceptance of the rights of Native American nations and neighboring governments were brushed aside by the political and economic mainstream as unacceptable weakness. The belligerent expansion of the government?s zone of control continued under such imperious claims as god-given exceptionalism, racial superiority, the Monroe Doctrine, and Manifest Destiny.... 

There were strong and coherent arguments for self-restraint made in case after case by highly-respected commentators, including Franklin?s own denunciation of slavery, Chief Justice Marshall?s unenforceable rejection of Cherokee removal, and Congressman Abraham Lincoln?s oration against invading Mexico. None, however, seemed able to deflect the American flood that kept surging toward the western shining sea. Individual acts of local aggression by settlers escalated into land grabs by the states they formed, and finally into federal military enforcement of large-scale rail, mining, and ranching claims that drove Indian nations onto reservations. At each step, convenient moral arguments were adopted to justify the taking of labor and land: slavery was a benefit to child-like Africans, civilization was a benefit to savage Indians, and American rule was a benefit to misguided Mexicans. Such logical contortions are, of course, not unique in the history of expanding powers. The Roman sweep into barbaric Europe under Caesar, the Muslim sweep across North Africa under the banner of Muhammed, the simultaneous sweeps at the start of the 19th century of Napoleon Bonaparte and his conscripted armies across Europe, Uthman don Fodio and his Fulani Jihad across west Africa, and Arthur Wellesley (later the Duke of Wellington) and his Scottish regiments across central India ? each employed a well-reasoned message that was firmly believed by the fighting men and the folks on the home front, a message of altruism and reform. Indeed, it would be difficult to find an expansion in history that was not justified on moral grounds by those doing the expanding....