The First Amendment; Edouard Bustin
When. The eastern Public Radio Network in cooperation with the Institute for democratic communication at Boston University now presents the First Amendment and a free feed world a weekly examination of civil liberties in the media in the 1970s the host of the program is the institute's director Dr. Bernard Reuben. I'm delighted to have on this program. Professor Edouard Dr. Boustany is chairman of the political science department at Boston University and an expert on air who will be able to tell us about recent
developments in Africa. He studied at the University of Leo's Belgium. He taught in Belgium and ins I have often on from one thousand fifty nine through nine hundred seventy two. Also at UCLA he's been at Boston University since 1963 has written widely on topics of Africa and his latest book is London under Belgian rule which was published by Harvard University Press in 1976. Well let me refer to a article that you had in the Boston Globe on May the 30th 1978 which you say that you entitle a new start for the United States in Africa and some of the points that you make are tremendously interesting and I think we might go over them one by one for your additional comments. One point that you make to start out with and semi contentious way is that under Henry Kissinger and his administration in the State
Department National Security Council and whatnot we were quite contemptuous of Africa and had a very ill forged policy of what you call collusion with repressive white regimes. You feel very strongly about that when you go into more detail. Well it's a rather well documented fact and one which I think Dr. Kissinger himself would probably not deny that the United States during the Nixon years was relatively uninterested in African affairs shall we say and considered it an area of low priority. Now this is specifically it took the form of a national security study memorandum. That was drawn up in 1969 in which American policy option shall we say in the continent specifically in Southern Africa were reviewed this was at the beginning of the Nixon administration and. The point that was made in that infamous memorandum as a matter of fact was that for all
practical purposes southern Africa would continue to be a white dominated area that the whites were there to stay and that only through their intervention and their support for resale where their cooperation could any sort of change or progress be achieved in southern Africa. Now that was in 1969 and of course that was a rude awakening in 1974 and Dr. Kissinger reacted of course you know to the developments in 1074 that is the collapse of the Portugese regime immediately revising his position quite you know quite flexible ways as a matter of fact and by in effect where we say discovering Africa I guess one can speak really of Dr. Kissinger the discovery of Africa in 1974 75. But for many years the damage was done and the image that the United States acquired in Africa as a result of these years of benign neglect really say. Was a rather negative one one in other words which led to the general belief in
Africa that the United States was by and large on the side of continuing white supremacy in one go live in Mozambique in South Africa. Now in regard to Dr. Kissinger's time again in the administration of President Ford when the Portuguese lost out in Angola the American government came out with all sorts of statements the administration trying to get the Congress to support some sort of intervention in Angola but with Vietnam so close in our minds and nothing was done and we all breathed a sigh of relief but. An administration opposed to the United States in every which way has appeared in Angola and now has attacked its neighbor in the air or is supporting the attack I think that's the way to put it. Well I think this calls for a number of corrections. Bernie because for one thing for instance you said that
because of the Vietnam precedent because of congressional opposition in the form of the clocke amendment for instance there was no direct American involvement there was however and this has not been made public of course considerable indirect involvement that's behind the United States through the Central Intelligence Agency and we've had reports for instance from people who were involved in this operation explaining the extent of our cover support of course you know for one of two in fact of the factions involved in the young civil war this is a point I wanted to make. The former CIA director and people who are writing books about the Central Intelligence Agency and I'm Gola. Are now questioning whether this support meant one thing or another I think Mr. Colby for one has a lot of explaining to do about what we were doing that that story is still not fully told is it. Well no it's told only in parts in bits and pieces I guess you could say it's possible that it has in fact been possible for quite some time for people who are interested in finding out of course
to discover exactly what we were doing and who we're supporting and for what purpose of course. As you've mentioned of course Mr. Khalidi daughter CIA officials about Afiq have admitted that we were intervening in Angola so that part shall we say for the record now is settled. The degree the significance of the validity or the legitimacy of our intervention is still open to some debate. Now there are a number of points though about the on going situation perhaps that ought to be clarified because they do bear on the situation in the air for instance it has developed in the past two years. One I think perhaps would have to do with the nature of some of the movements that we were involved in supporting the so-called foreign friends and the movement of join the Savimbi for instance on the other hand. Now the FMLA in a number of ways I think has been presented in this country as being representative and has having being.
The first Or perhaps most prominent of the Engle immigration movement which is a number of ways inaccurate and the facts have come out in recent hears that have exposed the degree to which he was an effectually manufactured operation one which relied very largely on an ethnic basis one which exploited ethnic or tribal sentiment among the Congo shall we say and one which was funded by the Central Intelligence Agency head of state from a very stage there was indeed a long record of collusion between prisons has been shown to be a recipient of CIA funds and Holden Roberte who also received funds of similar source. It's all the more ironical because Hold on Roberta although he was born and never really lived in Angola at all he came to came to live in the at the age of two and spent his entire youth in Congo as it was known and grew up in fact speaking French with a number of
Marion's many of whom have become prominent in a year. And as far as Sunita is concerned of course you know South African intervention and South Africa support for has of course also been a matter of record for quite some time. What is perhaps less well known is that there has continued to be South African support for the talk in recent months indeed in recent weeks. And one of the interesting dimensions about the situation in trouble for instance has been the existence in the combat zone of a base in which the troops or infiltrators shall we say are being trained with the complicity of the government for infiltration. These are elements from Southern Angola who have been married to her by a South African plane and who have been there who have been trained there by South African and they are instructors as a matter of fact and that I think is part of the
situation. What role the role of the United States in that in that phase of it. Frankly I don't know because it's not terribly well documented I have fragmentary information about that some of which goes back to the Angolan civil war as a matter of fact in 1974 1975 at which point I happened to be personally acquainted with some of the people that were involved in a mutiny by Angola and refugees who were being assembled and trained as a matter of fact for reading filtration into Angola to fight against the Angolan refugees came from North Eastern which means that they were in sympathy with the MPAA they were not at least in sympathy with the FMLA and factions that we were supporting and they rebelled against the idea of being sent back into Iraq to fight in this mutiny had to be done by the army. Now for
instance speaking of this invasion France and speaking of the relation between they are in Angola. You've mentioned the fact that this conventional wisdom goes shall we say you know there has been an invasion of western tribal shall we say you know by hanging and refugees and that I guess has to be seen also in the broader perspective of the relations between as they are now over you corrected me on that one is the correction there. Well personally that if we want to keep the record straight it should be mentioned that it was here that started supporting intervening if you will in the end going in civil war and sending its army its army contingents into long go to fight against the NPT. It was not and it was certainly not the NPA regime which at the time was obviously busy gaining power and establishing its control over Angola that was in a position to threaten the 1974 1975 it was rather the opposite. It was a year which was actively
supporting one of the factions sending its own army into northern Angola and you know again if we much to keep the record straight. There was an invasion of Angola by his area and forces prior to any involvement but if I if I read you correctly in effect you're saying a pox on both their houses. You know way I guess you could say that with again one correction namely that as much as we've been talking about invasion it has to be realised that the quote unquote invasion in question is an invasion of your body's Ariens we're not talking about Angolans and intervening in science they were not talking about invading the air whereas for instance in 1775 they were Europeans invading entering into one go and fighting inside Angola alongside the if in Italy and we need to Forces Alright now you've explained two aspects to two legs. Situation that affect American policy and criticize two aspects one was our support of
white regimes in the southern part of Africa in the Kissinger days and afterwards And secondly the the misapplication of American foreign policy toward Angola Arion affairs. You explain that it's much more complex than we've been led to believe it is. Now let's move on to the third phase in a more closely historical context along comes Jimmy Carter. He announces his new humane policy on civil rights. He appoints Andrew Young to the United Nations and really young electrifies people around the world by his statements. And is one of those committing the United States to antipathy an antagonism to every kind of repressive regime in Africa. Having said that what is your own impression of the success of the Carter administration so far in its African policy in
its civil rights approaches to the African continent. I wish I could give you the simple and clear answer but that of course you know would depend on there being a clear and consistent and simple policy and that I'm afraid has really been the case. I can say that we've had one policy toward Africa. I can say that there has been a for a more consistent line followed by the Carter and distribution I think it's a fairly well-known fact for instance that one can speak of the Andrew Young wing ration of the ski wing of the restriction as far as African as far as foreign policy issues are concerned and to a large extent it seems to me that our policy at this point is navigating between these two poles or between these two extremes. Now this is important I think it's important to realize that America's credibility is at stake America's credibility in the eyes of the Africans is at stake.
We have and I think this is an extremely important extremely positive point. Keep in mind we have achieved precedented credibility in the eyes of the Africans since the Carter administration came into office largely as a result of Andrew Young's efforts to commit this country firmly to the side of African liberation. Let me stop you there that's the commitment of the American ambassador Andrew Young American pastor to the United Nations and I think you inferred not necessarily the commitment the Brzezinski wing which is a little more firm in its policy. All right all right let let's let's clarify this. We are after all talking about President Carter's policy. President Carter is a chief executive. He is the one who primarily formulates and direct American for Has he chosen between these two. Well that's precisely the point and that's where the ambiguity lies. I think as far as our stand on Southern Africa is concerned President Carter has been irreproachable in his support for the
cause of African liberation for the idea of majority rule for another you know in Rhodesia or maybe and indeed for also some of the statement that he has made with respect to South Africa which have gone largely unnoticed but which still and all I think reflect the views of people like Andrew Young for instance and who surround him. On the other hand of course when it comes to other parts of the continent when it comes say for instance when it comes perhaps or when it comes to various outer areas of the continent for instance it would seem that time and again the counsel of people like Brzezinski for instance have been listened to more and more and seem to have carried more and more weight which I guess means that at this particular stage we're following a schizophrenia foreign policy in this far as Africa is concerned and this is increasingly I feel producing some rather negative reactions on the part of the African
states who on the one hand of course you know and Myron approve of the stand we have taken with respect to southern Africa much more dubious of course about a kind of policy which is implicit in our support for President Hu's regime or or implicit also for instance in the intimation that have been made time and time and again recently that we ought to stand up to the Cubans and the Soviet friends and possibly by getting involved in some sort of covert or indirect action to destabilize the Angola regime and so on so forth. I mean you know now you know there's nothing you have written that the regime in there is a corrupt regime thoroughly corrupt or almost as possible as you can be to be thorough about corruption. And in that view you also understand that that there is corruption in other places throughout Africa. Is the American view of what government
should be known to the Africans clearly explain to the Africans or let me even be more pertinent. Is it relevant to the struggles that are going on in the Horn of Africa. Is it relevant to the particulars of the Angolan area in contra time. Is it is it relevant. No it's not only not clear between the two camps in the American foreign policy establishment. Is it at all relevant to the situation in Africa even if it was clear. No it probably isn't Xavier's a corrupt regime I think is a fairly well-known fact it is accepted and has been has been mentioned time and time again friends in the media for instance at the time of this latest flare up in here. I don't think we are under any illusions about the legitimacy or the degree of popular support all the hottest of all of the Mbutu regime. Now that raises a number of question not perhaps so much in terms of morality although I know President
Carter at least sensibly. Stands for moral posture. But ultimately I would say this as you did as a matter of fact that this is perhaps indeed relevant. We're not in the business of legislating morality in that we're not in the business of decreeing or seeing to it shall we say that honesty and morality is going to be a introduce or injected in any country in the world as a matter of fact we have plenty of problems right at home and frankly I mean I don't see that in any business what I always lines are. But that's not me. Yeah well that isn't in fact of course the issue when we're talking for instance about the government. If we want to be hard nosed about it I suppose the real issue is is the government doing the job. Has it developed enough popular support as it ensured enough satisfaction of the people's needs for insulin is it capable of providing enough of a sense of
popular participation for instance to be able to stand. Let's say that without all this I would say the answer to all of these questions is No. Yes. What is the alternative is the alternative. I'm saying this because I don't know not only is the alternative a similar regime and another regime for the next quarter of a century until things get sorted out. Or is there some more drastic way that we could could end the despotism and the petty corruption of the tyranny or the great corruption and tyranny in Central Africa Tauriel Africa. Well in equatorial and western and eastern Africa that's not the only part of Africa I suppose were tyranny or corruption prevail Of course you know. Well I would say that there was a there was a general and abstract answer to your question. There's clearly nothing that we can or perhaps nothing that we should do about Again choice in legislating morality for foreign governments. It's ultimately a matter for the Africans themselves are the science a matter for these people themselves to take care of.
And as far as that is concerned I think the best or at least the most sensible and certainly the most ethical policy for this or any other country for that matter would be to lead the area and take care of their own problems and try to develop as best they can form of government which they think is best suited to their needs. In practice it's possible for us to take such a detached position because we have been involved in it for a number of years we have been involved in Slayer since 1960 and even before 1960 in regard to the Shaba Shaba province known to many more people correct the economic interests of Western states including the United States cannot be overlooked. I know godless is the moral position by whites of course but what I'm saying is that we have a responsibility in this because the regime that now exists there in fact the successive regimes that have been in power in saner since 1960 have all to a greater or lesser extent being supported by the United States and other Western powers including
Belgium for instance. So that we do have in fact a responsibility about what happened so we have a responsibility simply because for all practical purposes we invented we put him where he is shall we say and what happens to the year is that extensionally say something that we ought to accept a certain amount of responsibility for economic interest yes indeed of course it cannot be overlooked. I'm sure there are. They've figured very prominently of course in recent weeks and say for instance in France's decision to send troops to be clear that whatever the rhetoric may have been of course you know economic grounds Well that's the old stamping wrong of the Union which of course has been nationalized now for for over 10 years about where Belgium of course still retains considerable interest despite nationalization. And it's true indeed of course that the French have been motivated by economic consideration I'm not ignoring them and I'm not saying that they shouldn't be taken into consideration I'm not even saying that they're not
legitimate. I'm saying that there ought to be a difference between inference and the kind of support we're pouring or. Considering pouring Chiles into as they are at this point just as we speak as a matter of fact as you know there is a conference taking place in Paris at what kind of Western financial system can be extended over the next five years to make it possible for the country to survive. In fact it's really a matter of survival. So there is a difference between that type of issue of course you know and the issue of the legitimacy and support for the particular regime for the particular group of people for the particular choices that are presently in power and control. Let me clarify this for instance with reference to I'm going to precisely I'm going nowhere despite the fact that has a government which you yourself described as being
anti-American I think that's you know I don't want to you know I'm saying in the in the press. All right all right. We don't know what's going on but Preston's these simplicities abound. Yes they do and they're not entirely and they're not and entirely out of order. The government of Angola has ideologically and Dora's Marxism for us and they see themselves as attempting to develop a socialist society. And of course that there is usually a wider gap between theory and reality. It's also interesting to know that there are number of American firms operating in Angola that go for France and has continued to operate the oil deposits of Cabinda under the protection of Cuban troops something which is hardly ever mentioned in the press for instance you know or that the Boeing company for instance has been involved in doing very sort of contract work on behalf of the end going on the government and there to that American technicians are working in Angola again under the protection of Cubans for instance you know that
sort of thing is interesting because it's just that as in Guinea as in Mozambique as in Tanzania there is room for American enterprise there is room for American assistance there is room for American business this is a matter of fact you know to turn a profit as long as they're willing to respect the people the country's right to decide on the kind of regime it wants and to decide on the kind of government that wants it and the kind of ideology and the kind of philosophy and developmental policy that wants to follow. As an expert in affairs in African affairs of the part of the continent. What do you make of the success. This is a very broad question of the Cubans the Cubans are so far away from home culturally away from their own home and so on and so forth. Yet they're spread out in different points in Africa. They have been very important in Ethiopia they've been important in Angola they're alleged to have had a part in the
Shabab situation. What causes them to be successful against all the odds of displacement of being small in numbers of being overwhelmed by what they're attempting to do. Yes well they're there in the far away from home I suppose in a number of way but then again you know our own American citizens who are working or being active in various parts of Africa of course you know and there they are in that respect no more alien and perhaps less so as a matter of fact than most westerners Europeans or Americans. There is after all an important black Africa. Black heritage in Cuban society and I think that has played a rather significant role. But leaving that aside of course I think what has made the Cuban successful is the nature of the situations in which they have become involved. I think what has made the Cuban successful is the degree of their credibility and their ability to align themselves with forces fighting for the liberation in
southern Africa for instance or for dramatic social change. I think there is for instance. There's a phenomenon which of course has long been recognized and that is the neo colonialism or the fact that independence African independence has largely been a hoax that position has largely represented a transition from colonialism to neo colonialism. And this is becoming increasingly transparent increasingly untenable and there is increasingly an Africa an anti cologne or anti nuclear you know I guess I should say struggle which is following and continuing the anti-colonial struggle and in several places I think the Cubans have benefited from the fact that they have been able to us to align themselves with popular aspirations. That and enormous amounts of Russian money we are led to absolutely and that's the key to it. Do you see any new initiatives coming in the short term from the
United States. Well it's not entirely clear unfortunately I wish I could give you a popular answer but perhaps I would ask back to discuss just that one. No no no it's just that precisely because as I suggested earlier in the you know the United States has been rather schizophrenia in its approach to African problems recently. I think we are we can look forward to further American support for instance for African cell determination in southern Africa and unfortunately for other American and generally speaking western involvement will we see various civil wars where on the continent. It's a fascinating subject and you've helped to clarify it far beyond what we're getting in the press now and I thank you very much. My guest has been Edward boozed chairman of the political science department at Boston University for this edition. Burna driven the. Eastern Public Radio Network in cooperation with the Institute for democratic communication at
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