Essay about Jean Kirkpatrick: Machiavellian Wonderwoman
In 1979 Jean Kirkpatrick published Dictatorships And Double Standards, an article dealing with U.S. foreign policy under Jimmy Carter, including policy toward the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Kirkpatrick argues that Carter “abhors only right wing autocrats” ((43) and that he ignores the primary goal in foreign policy which should be U.S. interests. In her world view, the end justifies the means and stability should be sought over any sentimental notions about democracy for, or sovereignty of foreign nations. She argues that Latin America is not fertile for democracy and that, in the long run, supporting right wing dictatorships will lead to a better chance at this goal, to be achieved …show more content…
Had the Sandinistas been left to themselves they probably would have done pretty well for Nicaragua. They were aided by Cuba who sent a force of 2500 school teachers, doctors, nurses, and sanitary workers “to help the revolutionary government raise basic living standards” (Skidmore, 336). Also present were Cuban military advisors and police in case of “counterrevolutionary attacks from within and without”(336). Kirkpatrick sees the presence of Cubans as sinister but the Reagan administration proved that the Nicaraguan’s fears were not unfounded. Reagan organized a trade embargo and a counter revolutionary force known as the Contras to wage a terrorist style guerrilla war on Nicaragua. The war on Nicaragua demanded that the Sandinistas spend 50% of their budget on defense which sapped their ability to build their revolutionary state. With the economy in shambles from the war effort it is not surprising that a tired Nicaraguan people finally gave in to the U.S. pressure to oust their socialist government. An elated President Bush called it “a victory for democracy” and “Senator Robert Dole declared that ‘the final outcome is a vindication of the Reagan policies’” (Blum, 304).