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Acton Institute speaker acts as an apologist for war criminal and agent of global capitalism, John Foster Dulles

February 25, 2020

One week ago, the Acton Institute hosted a luncheon lecture entitled, John Foster Dulles: Faith, Freedom, and the Cold War Architect. The presentation was presented by John D. Wilsey, a professor and author of several books and an Affiliate Scholar in Theology and History at the Acton Institute.

Wilsey’s comments were that of a most academics, since the presentation was not that engaging, but also because the professor acted primarily as an apologist for the former Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles. Wilsey made the claim that as Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles was primarily interested in the “containment of Communism.” And why such a statement is true, it does not pain the whole picture of who Dulles was and what role he played in furthering US imperialism.

The Acton Institute presenter acknowledged that John Foster Dulles and his brother Avery Dulles, had some dealings with Germans who were part of the Nazi Party. Wilsey even included a few pictures, but Wilsey said it was ridiculous for historians to suggest that the Dulles brother collaborated in any way with the Nazis.

My own reading of the Dulles brothers would challenge Wilsey’s claims. The Dulles brothers were lawyers and worked for the very influential law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. In Christopher Simpson’s book, The Splendid Blonde Beast: Money, Law, and Genocide in the Twentieth Century, Simpson asserts that John Foster Dulles played a key role as it relates to Germany just after WWI had ended and during the time of Nazi control. First, while Dulles was acting a a US government representative, Simpson states, “Dulles favored restricting the definition of war crimes to greatest degree possible, then limiting the defeated powers’ obligation to pay reparations to those few cases that had been successfully prosecuted.

The other major role that John Foster Dulles played, while working for the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell, was to help broker massive investments in Germany on behalf of major US corporate interests. According to Simpson, these investments totaled over $1 billion in the late 1920s and were key investments in industries that were particularly profitable in the Nazi war machine, like IG Farben.

John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, was a main player in the US effort to recruit numerous Nazi high ranking officers to come to the US and assist the US government and the newly created CIA to assist the US during the Cold War.

Because of the relationships that both of the Dulles brothers had developed from the 1920s through the early 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower appointed both of them to his cabinet when he took the office at the beginning of 1953. Allen Dulles became the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and John Foster Dulles became Eisenhower’s Secretary of State. It is during their 8 years as part of the Eisenhower administration that both of the Dulles brothers played an even larger role in expanding US global imperialism.

In 1953, after the government of Iran had nationalized their oil, the US became increasingly concerned with what inside planners (like Dulles) referred to as Arab Nationalism in the Middle East. The US would not tolerate Iran’s nationalizing of their oil, which prompted John Foster Dulles to say, “this is how we get rid of that madman Mossadegh.” Dulles was referring to the CIA orchestrated coup, which removed Mossadegh from power and put the despot Shah in power.

Less than one year later, the Dulles brothers were at it again, this time orchestrating a CIA coup in Guatemala in 1954 on the behest of the United Fruit Company. What made this particularly insidious was the fact that not only did the United Fruit Company use the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell (where the Dulles brothers used to work), but that the Dulles brothers directly represented the United Fruit Company while working for Sullivan & Cromwell.

The CIA coup in Guatemala was particularly problematic, since it solidified the right wing power structure in that country, which led to genocidal policies against the indigenous population and maintained a massive wealth gap that plagues Guatemala even up to the present day.

John Foster Dulles also played a key role in making sure that the US would not support Ho Chi Minh, despite Minh’s efforts to gain US diplomatic support against the French occupation of Vietnam. Before Dulles died in 1959, he would also influence the US antagonism directed at the Egyptian leader Nassar and the Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro. (see Stephen Kinzer’s book, The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Avery Dulles, and Their Secret World War)

Many of us have been conditioned to believe that US policy between WWII and the collapse of the Soviet Union was a nobel endeavor. However, the amount of suffering and oppression that the US caused during those years was unimaginable. John Foster Dulles, along with his brother Allen, would be considered as war criminals for the roles they played the violence of US policy, especially during their time as Secretary of State and Director of the CIA. We should never forget that, even when the Acton Institute presenter claims that John Foster was a man of faith and deep conviction.

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