Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Inhofe Hearts Gbagbo

Jim Inhofe continued his run as America's Worst Senator with a speech yesterday defending Ivory Coast dictator Laurent Gbagbo against the attacks by U.N. supported and fairly elected Alassane Ouattara. Why would Inhofe do this?

Because Gbagbo is an evangelical Christian and Ouattara is Muslim.

The right conducts its foreign policy in no small part based upon their comfort with the religion of the individual they are talking to. Right-wing evangelical Christianity has had no problem supporting murderous dictators who have converted. Guatemala's Rios Montt is possibly the most famous example of this. Gbagbo is a more recent example.

In the 1960s, the entire foreign policy establishment operated this way. Powerful American Catholics such as John Foster Dulles and Mike Mansfield supported Diem in Vietnam because he was a member of the Catholic elite in a Buddhist nation.

This was a tremendously stupid way to run foreign policy. Democrats and some Republicans have moved on from this myopia. Neoconservatives and the evangelical right very much have not.