May 18, 2003
Dr. Bahman (Buzz) Fozouni
The Motivational Factors Driving U.S. Foreign Policy
The meeting began with a tribute to Anna Andrews for her service to
HAGSA in her most recent role as Chair of the Program Committee. It should
be noted that she was also HAGSA’s President for three years.
Our invited speaker, Dr. Bahman (Buzz) Fozouni turned out to be a real
treat. Originally from Iran, he now teaches courses in international
politics, the Middle East and nationalism in the Government Department at
California State University Sacramento. Dr. Fozouni started by saying that
although he was quite optimistic when the Cold War was ending, he has been
quite bothered by American foreign policy in its aftermath. He has been
especially bothered by the public’s ignorance and jingoistic attitudes
that now seem to be the norm. He blamed the media for this.
Dr. Fozouni went on to talk about political "realism" of the kind
espoused by Rice, Perle and Wolfowitz. It is the idea of power
determinism; that is, that any nation with power will try to add to it.
The weapons determine policy. This "realism" is hegemonic and is likely to
be viewed by the rest of the world as predatory. To be successful in this
kind of power politics, a nation must be powerful both economically and
militarily. Gaining control of the world’s oil reserves, if it is
successful, will give our government tremendous additional leverage
internationally. A few neo-conservative Defense Department officials who
promote this type of hegemony now have more influence on American foreign
policy than does the State Department. This does not bode well for the
After his presentation Dr Fozouni fielded a lot of questions related to
America and the Middle East. He paid tribute to his mentor, Richard W.
Cottam, author of "Nationalism in Iran" and "U. S. and Iran: Case Study in
prepared by Wayne Luney, HAGSA Recorder
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