Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith helps explain why the country with the most Social Justice Warriors is perceived in many parts of the world as acting out of expediency and greed rather than as part of a search for justice. Eisenhower kicked off a new policy of having the CIA run covert operations to overthrow elected governments, typically to protect American commercial interests and typically with the public story that it was part of a fight against global Communism. The 1953 coup in Iran was the first example, with a Guatemalan coup to protect United Fruit Company assets shortly afterwards (Eisenhower had received a cable from his friend William Prescott Allen: “Yes, Guatemala has a very small minority of Communists, but not as many as San Francisco.”) Smith characterizes Eisenhower as a political genius, but points out that in this case he failed to see the long-lasting consequences of being discovered.
I’m wondering if in the long run the Chinese will be seen as the honest foreign power. The Europeans are tarnished by their colonial history. We’re tarnished by the above and other adventures.