Fritz Kraemer & the Provocative Weakness Doctrine

By: Ruth Calvo

seminal.firedoglake.com | February 6, 2010

 An influence that worked to involve our country in several destructive wars appears to have been exercised by an official who held the theory that failure to wage wars was provocative and would be an invitation to our enemies to aggression against us. The holder of that theory worked in the Nixon White House and passed his theory on to several members of that group. Although he himself was not in the forefront, studies of the circle that brought criminal activity to bear on Nixon’s campaign show that civilian adviser Fritz Kraemer shaped such rising members of that administration as General Hague and Darth Cheney in their careers.

As a moral absolutist and militarist of the first water, Kraemer was convinced that the only effective foreign policy was one backed by the realistic threat of using military force to achieve its goals. He distrusted diplomacy, especially with dictatorial regimes, was dismissive of the efforts of international organizations such as the United Nations, and advocated that foreign policy be made and executed by a self-selected elite without interference from elected officials or the bourgeoisie.

The discoverer and shaper of Henry Kissinger, and the mentor of Alexander Haig, Kraemer provided these two protégés, especially, with an antipodal, absolutist, ideologically pure anti-Communist pole to the pragmatism of Richard M. Nixon during his administration. The tape of a half-hour’s conversation between Kraemer and Nixon in the Oval Office on October 24, 1972, moderated by Kissinger, provides a classic example of the clash of ideologue and pragmatist: Kraemer tries to warn Nixon that the forthcoming peace accord to end the war in Vietnam will not prevent Vietnam from going Communist and will cause allies and enemies alike to believe that the U.S. will not fight to keep its promises.

Through his study of tapes that were fortunately not erased, Schachtman has learned about the shadowy presence with its evil influence on our foreign policy by pushing for entry into wars that were pointless. The destructive course of foreign policy of U.S. was caused by insistence on a ’strength’ that had to be maintained by wars – against even nations that had no discernible tendency on their own part to war with the U.S. Its effect can hardly be underestimated.

Without the constant pushing toward wars that damaged our standing and torn a gaping hole in our actual strength, there would be a great deal accomplished that economic stress effectively has deprived this country of. It’s easy to see what stands between us and the great need of the populace for viable infrastructure and benefits such as health care.

The nonsense of ‘provocative weakness’ has created the very weakness that keeps us from prosperity and actually achieving real greatness, to the deprivation of us all