Sunday, September 13, 2009

College Paper 3: US Humanitarian Intervention in Africa and the Political Realism that drives it

(In my attempt to clean up some of the clutter on my hard drive, but also to preserve some pf my finer works from my Undergrad, i have posted some old papers i wrote)

PL SC 496A Independent Study
Final Draft
Political Realism and Humanitarian Intervention in Africa
December 15, 2008

Few things are as controversial in politics these days as nations, particularly the U.S., declaring that they have the right to violate the sovereignty of a potential enemy people, when their own national security is at risk. Another divisive issue in many political arenas of the West is how to address the political chaos and gross human rights violations that plague many different nations in Africa. As many of these nations are former-colonies to those Western powers, some sense of obligation still exists to help fix the many different problems plaguing Africa. The United Nations has taken several steps over the years to foster these fledging democracies that are still in travail and has provided much humanitarian intervention to help them address numerous social injustices.

Other than its involvement through the UN, how has the U.S. addressed these problems in Africa? What US policies are in place to deal with these 3rd world issues, and how are these policies implemented? Also, and possibly most important of all, what are the motivations behind these policies? Is it just for national security and special interests, or do social or moral concerns also factor into U.S. policymaking? As such, the current US policy in dealing with Africa according to the State Department Director of the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Claudia Anyaso, is that “In Africa, our policies are straight forward (1) to support political freedom and democracy (2) to expand economic opportunities and growth (3) to fight infectious diseases, (4) to end wars and combat terror and violence, and (5) to increase mutual understanding through cultural and educational exchanges.”

This paper will adopt four African nations, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Darfur (Sudan), as case studies, and will from the presuppositions based on the theory of political realism, run these four case studies through two different hypotheses. By looking at policies, past actions and relations between these four nations and the U.S., as well as how they measure up against the two hypotheses, some measure of understanding will emerge to see if the U.S. is only motivated by self-interests when it comes to humanitarianism. Or it will show that there could be some moral factors that are present in their policies that go beyond just the self-interests of the United States.

The first hypothesis states: does the U.S. intervene in the affairs of other nations for the purpose of national security, and conversely will the U.S. not intervene if there is no security risk to itself or its interests. The second hypothesis by with the four case studies will be tested against states: does the U.S. consider the morality of humanitarianism when factoring in the decision to intervene, particularly when it in includes human rights.

In order to create the most accurate test, a clear understanding of what is meant by humanitarian intervention and political realism is in order. For the purposes of this paper, humanitarian intervention will be defined by the description given by Professor of International Relations at Cambridge University, James Mayall, which is: “the coercive (military) interference in the internal affairs of a state with the purpose of addressing massive human rights violations or relieving widespread human suffering.” Also, given the many subtle nuances to political realism, for the purposes of this paper, this theory can best be understood as being that each nation-state is “operating on the basis of self-help and survivability.” Therefore, “selfishness is a virtue than vice; national interests are of the most vital consideration in deliberating the state’s policies.” Or to put it another way, political realism is a theory, which assumes that all men are “inherently evil, selfish, and power-hungry,” thus, all nation-states are motivated by these interests, and that any implemented policy will be manifested from these self-interests.
With those definitions in mind, the first of the four case studies, Liberia, can be placed through the two hypotheses. The United States and Liberia have always shared in a unique history and special relationship with one another. Originally, Liberia was one of the few areas in Africa that had not been colonized by European powers. So, in 1819, Congress appropriated one hundred thousands dollars for the American Colonization Society (ACS) to begin the establishment of Liberia, which means "land of the free," in order to serve as a place of refuge for freed slaves and non-slave African Americans who wanted to go back to Africa. The first group of 86 settlers arrived and “established a settlement in Christopolis (now Monrovia, named after U.S. President James Monroe) on February 6, 1820.” Thousands of freed slaves would immigrate over the next few decades to Liberia, until finally on July 26, 1847, these Americo-Liberians declared their own independence and the Republic of Liberia was born. The U.S. officially recognized Liberian independence in 1862.

The ACS members that were most responsible for the establishment of Liberia were namely Quakers who “felt that African Americans would have a much better chance at liberty in a country of their own than they would in America.” Also, many slaveholders were all for sending free African Americans and freed slaves to Africa. However, their motivations had little to do with religious or moral values, but rather they were driven by their own self-interests and prejudices, because “they wanted to rid America of any free Blacks who might help organize a slave rebellion.” Though, Liberia was free of the direct parental control of America, they still relied very heavily on the financial assistance of the U.S. to maintain their economy. As the 20th century began Liberia and the U.S. still had maintained a close relationship, but one that was still dominated by American interests first and Liberian needs second.

During WWI, at the behest of the U.S., Liberia declared war on Germany. In response, the Germans sent some of their U-boats and bombed Monrovia, which crippled not only Liberia’s previous trade agreements with Germany, but the whole Liberian economy as well. Following the war, the U.S., exploiting the devastated Liberian markets, sought to take advantage of Liberia’s abundant natural resource, its rubber. The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Ohio opened negotiations with Liberia for its access to this resource.

The result was an agreement, supported by the U.S. government, that clearly disadvantaged Liberia: Firestone would lease one million acres for 99 years at the annual rate of six cents per acre; any gold, diamonds, or other minerals discovered on the land would belong to Firestone; and Liberia would accept a $5 million loan from Firestone for a 40-year period with which to settle all outstanding foreign loans, in effect taking on new debt to pay off old debt.

Other than just commercial interests, the U.S. would also push its military interests on Liberia during both WWII and the Cold War. In exchange for a more financial aid, The U.S .was able to build military bases in Liberia in the 1940s, which allowed them to maintain continuous air patrols over North Africa and Europe. In 1943, FDR stopped in Liberia to visit U.S. troops. Many Liberians took this visit by the president to demonstrate the close relationship between the two nations and that financial aid would continue, which it did. As the decades progressed and the Cold War took off, America viewed Liberia as the ideal base of operation to “contain” the spread of Communism in Africa. President Kennedy sent the Peace Corps to Liberia to set up economic and military programs to assist Liberia’s government. Liberia, in turn, let the U.S. rent land free of charge, in order to carry out its anti-communist programs. “From 1962 to 1980, Liberia received $280 million in aid from the U.S., the greatest level of U.S. aid to any African country on a per capita basis at the time.”

During the 1960s, Liberian President William V.S. Tubman supported the U.S. on nearly all of its international policies, including Vietnam. However, this U.S. dominated relationship began to fall apart in 1971 when Tubman died. His successor, William R. Tolbert, started to promote Liberian political freedom from America. He broke relations with Israel and welcomed various communist ambassadors from the U.S.S.R., China, and Cuba. Such drastic changes in Liberia’s relations forced President Jimmy Carter to visit Liberia in 1978 to reaffirm the two countries’ unique and close relationship. Perhaps fortunate for American interest, in 1980, indigenous master sergeant Samuel K. Doe led a successful coup to overthrow Tolbert. Doe had Tolbert and his cabinet executed as he assumed control of Liberia. With his indigenous heritage he was well accepted by many Liberians at first. However, as the 1980s advanced his cruelty and oppression of his people grew.

According to one Liberian newspaper, “Liberia received more political and military assistance from the USA in the decade of Doe’s rule than it had ever received, despite an increasingly deteriorating political climate and human rights record.” Doe still enjoyed the support of the U.S. Government, because he capitulated to nearly every U.S. demand in regards to fighting off communism. The Reagan Administration considered fighting the Cold War more important to its own interests than ending Doe’s corrupted regime. In order to stop alleged Soviet influences from growing the U.S. gave nearly $500 million in aid to Liberia, some of which made its way into Doe’s own personal pocket. In order to cover its growing international shame for supporting such a corrupted regime, the U.S. pressured Liberia to hold democratic elections in 1985, which Doe won overwhelmingly. When asked by the U.S. Congress about the fixed presidential election, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Chester Crocker testified “that the election was imperfect but that at least it was a movement toward democracy”. He further justified his statement with the claim that, “in any case, all African elections were known to be rigged at that time.”

In 1989, as the Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. was ending, a civil war in Liberia was erupting as rebel leader Charles Taylor was leading his forces into Liberia from the Ivory Coast. Over the next seven years a very bloody civil war raged on in Liberia. Many Liberians were hoping that the U.S. would intervene and pressure Doe to resign his presidency or help to negotiate a peace treaty. The U.S. did nothing of the sorts, but rather regarded the war as an internal problem, and at most recommended that neighboring African nations and intergovernmental organizations should negotiate a peace treaty. America’s hands-off policy toward the war and Doe would allow Taylor to eventually overthrow Doe, and name himself president in 1997.
Under Taylor’s regime the human rights violations and abuses continued in even greater numbers than before, and with the U.S. cutting nearly all of its direct funding for Liberia, the citizens suffered greatly. Liberia’s neighbors also suffered with Taylor in power as he planted seeds of instability in Sierra Leone, which contributed to a civil war in that country as well. In response, the UN placed heavy sanctions against Liberia. The U.S. was hesitant to offer up financial aid to Liberia with Taylor in charge, other than that of aid in the form of “humanitarian services (health care, education, social services),” which were for the Liberian people and not the government.

Following a second civil war in 2003, Taylor was overthrown, and a new democratic government was established. The U.S. restored its friendly relations with Liberia and its first female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. After the war, the U.S. “contributed over $750 million in bilateral assistance and more than $750 million in assessed contributions to the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).” Also, in February 2008, President Bush, visited Liberia and met with Sirleaf. Bush promised that the U.S. would continue to assist Liberia in its internal rebuilding through the U.S. Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). “The U.S. Government's development assistance program in Liberia is the second-largest USAID development program in Africa.”

The relationship between Liberia and the U.S. has been a very complex one, but a few consistent threads do emerge when one considers this brief overview of the history between these two nations. When applying the first hypothesis to the case study of Liberia, it is quite clear that the U.S. did intervene in Liberia when it suited its own interests or national security, which keeps in step with the political realist theory. Liberia’s founding suited the interests of the Southern slaveholders, because by having the freed slaves out of the country, there was a less likely chance of them starting a slave rebellion, thus, the Southern way of life could be preserved. The commercial and military interests of America were always pressed on Liberians, in exchange for loans and aid, so as to insure the national security of the U.S. against the Germans and then the Soviets, even at the cost of turning a blind eye to obvious human rights violations by Doe.

Conversely, following the conclusion of the Cold War, the U.S. was no longer pressured to contain Communism in the region, and withdrew much of its direct aid and support for Liberia. The national security of America was no longer perceived by policymakers to be at risk, so the financial aid to Liberia mostly ceased. Thus, the Liberian case study proved the second part of the first hypothesis correct. Even though the U.S. was partially to blame for some problems in Liberia in the 1990s, it still refused to directly intervene in the war. The U.S. had its reasons, and not just due to lack of a direct threat to its own security, but also due to an incident in Somalia in 1993, which will be addressed later in this paper.

As for the second hypothesis, though not nearly as apparent, or a least as beneficial for the Liberian people, the U.S. did to some extent consider the morality of humanitarianism when factoring in the decision to intervene in Liberia in the 1980s with money and military supplies when fighting the Communist threat at the expense of Doe’s abuse of human rights. However, as was suggested prior, the Reagan Administration maintained that the policies of the Cold War took precedent over those of Liberian human rights. Again, the ethics of the situation were considered, just not in the positive aspect as many Liberians or political moralists would have preferred. However, the humanitarian services given to Liberia by the U.S. over the last ten years have helped somewhat to make up for the policy decisions of the 1980s. On the other hand, one may argue that the U.S. is only doing that as a way to help combat terrorism and anti-American sentiment in that region, which would make the current humanitarian outpouring seem less like making amends, and more like a continuation of national security interests. The simple answer is that it is probably a bit of both, given America’s current policy objectives in Africa.

The next case study, Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, was once a British colony until it declared its Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from the United Kingdom on November 11, 1965. The British viewed this act of UDI as illegal, but took no military actions to stop it. Instead they imposed sanctions on their former colony and convinced the UN to do the same. Also, following the UDI, the U.S. recalled many of the government officials, including the Consul General, and ceased all their activities in that country; say for a few staff workers that were still working under the British Crown.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the U.S. supported British policy toward Zimbabwe, until finally in 1976 when America began to move toward bringing about a peace between the U.K. and Zimbabwe. However, America supported an end to the conflict, but by helping to negotiate an “end to the dispute, lent the weight of the United States to the search for a peaceful settlement and were a counterpart to the Soviet-Cuban use of military power to increase their influence in southern Africa.” So by carving out this positive image for itself, the U.S. was able to establish a strong foothold in the region, which enabled them to combat the growing communist threat in Southern Africa.

Following a successful negotiation, on December 10, 1979, the British officially recognized Zimbabwe’s independence and lifted all remaining sanctions, the U.S. followed suit six days later. In early 1980, the ZANU party, under the leadership of Robert Mugabe's won the majority of seats in the elections and formed Zimbabwe's first government. Years of economic sanctions had taken their toll on the nation and the new government had its work cut out for it. They faced an economic crisis and much civil unrest. By 1981, the U.S. “pledged $225 million over a 3-year period toward the government's goals of postwar reconstruction, distribution and development of land, and the development of skilled manpower,” and by 1986, they had “contributed $380 million, the majority in grants, with some loans and loan guarantees” to the African nation.

With a nonaligned foreign policy adopted by Mugabe's, relations between Zimbabwe and the U.S. operated on a limited base. Throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and as recently as this year, Mugabe has won every single election he has held for the country. Claiming overwhelming majorities in the poll results, when only a small percentage of the population actually votes, the elections are neither fair nor sincere. With corruption fluent in his government and clear lack of respect for human rights, the U.S., since 2000, has not only condemned Mugabe’s regime, but has suspended many economic and military aid programs with the country. On the other hand, when it comes to fighting HIV and AIDS, the U.S. still has agencies on the ground in the country to help deal with these deadly epidemics that threaten the health and lives of many in Zimbabwe. “Despite strained political relations, the United States continues as a leading provider of humanitarian assistance to the people of Zimbabwe, providing about $400 million in humanitarian assistance from 2002-2007, most of which was food aid.”

Due to Mugabe’s brutal policies toward his own citizens, poor handling of his country’s internal affairs and his unwillingness to relinquish his political power, the relationship between the U.S. and Zimbabwe has grown exceedingly strained in recent years. In 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Zimbabwe is on a list called the "outposts of tyranny," which placed it alongside other U.S. enemy nations, such as Iran, North Korea, and Cuba. The White House later defended this placement of Zimbabwe by saying that the Zimbabwean government's "actions and policies pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.”

Furthermore, President Bush, in that same memo to Congress, said that because of this security threat he would continue “to maintain in force the sanctions to respond to this threat.” On the other hand, Bush stated in November 2008 that even though Mugabe has not resigned his office since the June elections in Zimbabwe, and that his regime continued to “suppress basic human rights” and has denied “citizens access to basic medical services” the U.S. will still offer up aid. “In spite of the regime's aggressive actions against its own people the United States will continue to honor its commitment to provide emergency humanitarian assistance.” He concluded his statement by pointing out that the U.S. has already given $186 million in aid this year alone, and is willing to offer more in the future providing that the country forms a “legitimate government that represents the will of the Zimbabwean people.”
Through the lens of political realism the course of events between Zimbabwe and the U.S. fit well within the measure of the first hypothesis to the extent that in terms of national security and interests the U.S. supported its Cold War ally, Britain, in their policies toward their former colony. However, it was only to the extent that the U.S. was able to still able to be perceived as respectable enough to broker a peace treaty in 1979. With the U.S. gaining influence in Zimbabwe they were able to move their personal agenda of containing Communism wherever it lay in that region of Africa. Conversely, in spite of the U.S. Government publicly condemning Mugabe’s behavior and policies, and even listing him as a threat to U.S. Foreign Policy, the U.S. has taken no direct or indirect military operation to remove him from power.
In terms of the second hypothesis, not too much humanitarian intervention has been conducted in Zimbabwe, prior to this millennium. One of the few positive highlights of the current administration has been its desire to provide humanitarian aid and treatment for HIV/AIDs in Africa. However, considering the current political relations between the two nations getting that assistance to the Zimbabwean people has proven difficult. However, in this situation it does appear that the U.S. has to some extent considered the morality of the issue, and has proceeded to intervene in terms of humanitarian assistance for the Zimbabwean and not for Mugabe’s regime. Mugabe’s human rights violations have not seemed to detract the U.S. from maintaining aspects of its foreign agenda in Africa.

Zimbabwe, in the first hypothesis, is a threat but not to the extent that the U.S. will intervene with force. Also, considering the domestic problems in Zimbabwe: 200 million percent hyper-inflation, the HIV/AIDs epidemic and internal political strife, those are things that the U.S. policymakers feel that this country can not afford to get weighted down with at this time. Secondly, by still offering up humanitarian assistance, in spite of Mugabe, the U.S. not only accomplishes it goals of combating deadly diseases, but one may also argue that the U.S. is also planting seeds of good-will for tomorrow. With the Zimbabwean people having a more pro-American attitude, they would be less likely to support or become terrorists themselves against America, unlike other nations on America’s "outposts of tyranny" list.

For the next case study, Rwanda, there are several additional outside factors that one needs to consider when interpreting America’s foreign policy decisions toward this African nation. Before that a brief historical context is in order to fully appreciate the course of events that occurred in this country in the 1990s. Rwanda, prior to European colonization in the 19th century, was dominated mostly by two indigenous ethnic groups: the Hutu and the Tutsi. The Hutu in spite of being the majority of the population (~85%) were still dominated and ruled over by the minority the Tutsi. The dynamic of these two groups resembled that of Medieval Europe, where the peasant majority (the Hutu) is ruled by the aristocratic minority (the Tutsi). However, by the end of the 19th century, Rwanda had fallen under the control of Germans, who would control the land until 1915, when “Belgian troops from Zaire chased the small number of Germans out of Rwanda and took control of the country.”
Though under Belgium control, the Tutsi still enjoyed a lot of political power over their Hutu neighbors. Even after both World Wars, the League of Nations and UN both had left de facto control of this colony in the hands of the Belgium. Finally, during the 1950s, Belgium began to encourage the establishment of democratic institutions in Rwanda, but these measures were heavily opposed by “Tutsi traditionalists who saw in them a threat to Tutsi rule.” However, the Hutu would have no more of the Tutsi domination, and with the support of the Belgian military, a revolution broke out in the colony in 1959, which resulted in the Tutsi ‘monarchy’ finally being overthrown. Following the revolt, “more than 160,000 Tutsis fled to neighboring countries,” and the Party of the Hutu Emancipation Movement (PARMEHUTU) was born. On July 1, 1962, Rwanda was granted full independence from Belgium, and shortly after that Gregoire Kayibanda, leader of the PARMEHUTU Party, was elected as Rwanda's first president, “leading a one-party government chosen from the membership of the directly elected unicameral National Assembly.”

Kayibanda’s regime, which promoted Hutu-supremacist ideology, was plagued by several internal problems such as “inefficiency and corruption,” and after only a decade of rule, a military coup in July 1973, would leave power in the hands of Major General Juvenal Habyarimana, “who dissolved the National Assembly and the PARMEHUTU Party and abolished all political activity.” In 1975, Habyarimana created the National Revolutionary Movement for Development (MRND), and under a one party state, he established both his and his party’s place of power. The Hutu were more than eager to embrace their new leader, whether out of fear, admiration, or simply because he was the only legal candidate, Rwandans re-elected him again and again throughout the 1970s and 1980s. However, in 1990, Tutsi exiles began to return to Rwanda in the form of a rebel army, and they “forced Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana into signing an accord which mandated that the Hutus and Tutsis would share power.”
Ethnic tensions between the two groups would continue to swell, even with the arrival of 2500 UN peacekeepers who worked to preserve a temporary cease-fire between the government and the rebel forces. The Hutu were vehemently opposed to ever sharing power again with the Tutsi. Many Hutu extremists were looking for any opportunity they could find to break the truce and kill as many Tutsi as they could; which they got in April 1994.

On April 6, 1994, Rwandan President Habyalimana and Burundi's new President, Cyprien Ntaryamira, were flying back from a peace meeting in Tanzania, when their jet was shot down on final approach to Kigali airport in Rwanda. Both leaders were killed. “Immediately after their deaths, Rwanda plunged into political violence as Hutu extremists began targeting prominent opposition figures who were on their death-lists, including moderate Hutu politicians and Tutsi leaders.” Across the whole country, Hutu military and militia groups “began rounding up and killing all Tutsis and political moderates, regardless of their ethnic background.” The UN peacekeepers, small in numbers, could do little to stop the ensuing rioting and killings, and many of them fear for their own lives. After ten Belgium peacekeepers were captured, tortured, and then killed, America, France, Italy, and others all began evacuating their people out of the country. Little or no effort was made to help Tutsi civilians or Hutu moderates escape the ravages of the Hutu’s wrath.
Over the next few months as the massacre continued, the UN argued about what sort of action should be taken. The U.S. and the UN were very careful not to call the killing genocide, because then they would have been forced to intervene under the mandate of the Genocide Convention of 1948. Following the Holocaust, an UN treaty was created, which stated that genocide was an international crime and that those who signed this treaty were responsible for preventing any acts of genocide and were to punish those who would commit the crime. The treaty defined genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religions group.” This was clearly the case in Rwanda, but the UN Security Council was still divided on the proper course of actions. They eventually sent 5000 troops, but it was not enough to stop the killings. Their failure to act with sufficient force resulted in the deaths of over 800,000 Tutsi civilians and Tutsi sympathizers. From April to July 1994, the world watched and did little while Rwandans killed nearly 10% of their own population. The only thing that ended the genocide was that neighboring countries began military invasions of Rwanda.

The genocide in Rwanda was a point of great contention and grief for the Clinton Administration and the U.S. Foreign Policy. In June that same year, “the Clinton administration instructed United States spokespersons not to describe deaths in Rwanda as genocide,” and not in spite of the 1948 Genocide Convention, but because of it. Since, labeling Rwanda as genocide would then require that the U.S. send forces to a region of the world, in which, American troops and its foreign policy had just recently been in and had met with disastrous results. The area was the country of Somalia.

Following a violent civil war, Somalia found itself in a massive famine, the U.S. working through the UN, created a relief effort of humanitarian intervention on August 15, 1992. Distributing the food and supplies to a tired and frustrated populace was difficult. Many political factions, private armies, and gangs gathered much of the food for themselves, instead of sharing it with the public; they used it as means of influence over the public. The U.S. military created a coalition, called UNOSOM II, and attempted to create a safe zone in the Southern part of the country, free of the violence, in order to better distribute the food to the right people. One of the political factions, under the leadership of Mohamed Farrah Aidid, saw this coalition as a threat to their power, as such; their militia began carrying out assaults on the coalition. In August 1993, a battle broke out between Aidid’s forces and U.S. coalition forces in the city of Mogadishu. By the end of the battle, over 1000 Somalians had been killed along with 18 U.S. soldiers (73 were wounded). The dead soldiers were put on display and dragged through the streets of the city. Clinton ordered the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Somalia.
With such a humanitarian intervention disaster in Somalia still looming on the minds of many U.S. policymakers; their hesitation about sending more forces into another unstable African civil war only a year after Somalia seemed prudent on their part; albeit unfortunate for Rwanda. Justifiable, or not, the U.S. policy not to intervene, and the use of word games as to what should be considered as genocide; left Rwandans unchecked to kill nearly one million of their own people. The difficult tension of the situation was felt even back on Capitol Hill, as one Rep. stated:
There is no question that the United States' policy in Somalia was a disaster. What started as a humanitarian mission became a nation-building experiment and turned into a protracted foreign policy disaster... Regardless of what the Clinton administration says, genocide occurred in Rwanda. Regardless of what the administration says, our policy in Rwanda was a disaster and failed to stem a disaster.

In the years following the genocide, U.S. interests regarding Rwanda have shifted from humanitarian concerns “focusing on stability and security” to humanitarian concerns that foster “strong partnership and sustainable development.” Today the U.S. still provides much foreign assistance in terms of economic and medical programs to aid Rwanda in the rebuilding of their country. Rwanda has slowly began to recover from the genocide, but a lot of work still needs to be done in terms of rebuilding the government as well as dealing with health problems, such as HIV and malaria. It seems the U.S. is currently keeping within their framework toward their overall African policies in Rwanda.

America’s controversial decision not to intervene following the outbreak of violence in Rwanda in 1994 certainly was one made out of the necessity of political realism. In terms of the first hypothesis, the U.S. national security was in no way directly threatened, and the U.S. did not have many political or commercial interests in Rwanda to consider either. Thus, national security or national interests were factors only to the extent that many policymakers wanted to prevent another ‘Somalia incident’ that could claim more American lives. As for the second hypothesis, the morality of humanitarian intervention was heavily considered when the U.S. decided not to intervene, but it, obviously, was not enough to convince America to take any meaningful actions at all.

With the failures of the intervention in Somalia still fresh in their memories, policymakers were hesitant to get involved. This can be seen by the U.S. stalling the UN to take any effective actions in the immediate onset of violence in the summer of 1994. Also, by how Clinton refused to use the word genocide to describe the situation, so that he could avoid having to take any formal action in the region, which happened to be geographically close to Somalia. It is clear that in this situation the U.S. deemed that political factors trumped those of moral responsibility. In America’s attempt to avoid another humanitarian intervention crisis and by extension the lives of U.S. troops, by not getting involved; failed. On the other hand, by not acting, a more serious crisis, genocide, occurred and 800,000 people died. It really was a no-win situation; in addition it was a “sad story and record for the United States, the United Nations, and the world, and most tragically for the lost people of Rwanda.”

The final case study, Darfur, which is a region located on the western boarder of Sudan, has been declared one of the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world, according to international observers and the U.S. State Department.” It was formally declared genocide in July 2004 by the U.S. Congress and addressed as such by the Secretary of State, at the time, Colin Powell. Congress urged Bush to pushed it through the UN under the Genocide Convention of 1948, and seek an UN protection force to send to Sudan. The UN did respond and passed a resolution on July 30, 2004, which threatened to use “sanctions against Sudan if it failed within 30 days to apprehend and prosecute the Janjaweed.” However, before further information about this situation can be considered a better understanding about how the prior course of events and the players behind those events have brought this country into its current crisis needs to be explored.

In terms of demographics, today, the northern areas of Sudan are mostly urban and populated by about 22 million Sudanese, which are mostly Arab and are Muslim in background. As opposed to the rural southern regions, which has a population of about only 6 million whose citizens are mostly black African, and whose beliefs are mostly Christianity and indigenous. As for the history of the nation, up until the 19th century, Sudan was little more than a series of small autonomous kingdoms and principalities that consisted of a plethora of various tribes and ethnic groups. In 1820, Egypt launched a campaign against its southern neighbor and managed to bring many tribes under its fold, thus, unifying much of the northern region of Sudan. Egypt was unable to gain considerable influence in the southern portions of the country. In 1881, a religious zealot claiming to be the Islamic messiah, the Mahdi, took advantage of Egypt’s weakening control of the area to unify the people around himself, and they overthrew the Egyptian officials. In 1898, with the help of the British, the Egyptians retook its former lands in Sudan. From 1898 to1953, both Egypt and Britain jointly administered authority over the Sudanese; however the British provided most of the political policies and the officials to carry them out.
In 1953, British and Egyptian officials concluded an agreement allowing Sudan to become an independent nation, and by January 1, 1956, Sudan was under its own rule. The new constitution was silent on key issues for Southern leaders, such as the implied Islamic dominance of the Northern states in the document, as well as the lack of defining what system of government would be implemented; federal or unitary. This led to a breakdown of the new government and was followed by seventeen years of an off and on again civil war between the North and South in Sudan. Amidst the continuous fighting of the 1950s and 1960s, a series of military and civilian leaders tried to take hold of power, but always to no avail, namely because those who got into power kept pushing a Northern Arab dominated agenda, which only fueled the South’s resistance.

“In May 1969, a group of communist and socialist officers led by Colonel Gaafar Muhammad Nimeiri, seized power.” Not long after coming to power, Nimeiri declared Sudan a socialist state, as opposed to an Islamic state, and he also entered into talks to give the South its autonomy. Taking these steps not only angered all the Muslim parties, but the Soviets who had previous supported Nimeiri withdrew their support once he turned socialist as well, but not before trying to overthrow him, which failed. Having no other powerbase to rely on, Nimeiri sought to win the favor of the Southern regions. In 1972, a peace agreement was reached and the civil war was declared ended with the South being granted its own autonomy.

The peace treaty, called the Addis Ababa Agreement, lacked the support from the powerful Islamic and secular parties in the North. After a series of treaties in that 1970s that accomplished nothing, other than alienate the North’s agenda to advance an Islamic state in Sudan, Nimeiri eventually figured that he needed the support of the North more than the South if he was going to stay in power. In 1983, Nimeiri declared an end to the South’s autonomy; he took control of the South’s army and named Arabic the official language of the whole country. As a result, a second civil war broke out that same year. Nimeiri’s regime was finally overthrown in 1985, by General Suwar al-Dahab, whose first act was to disband all of Nimeiri's government and its policies. Some peace negotiations were held, but nothing concrete was able to be hammered out between the North and South leaders, so the fighting continued.

In 1998, amidst more conflict, an Islamic army faction, led by General Omar al-Bashir toppled the national government and created an Islamic state in Sudan. Throughout the 1990s, this Islamic government alienated not only the South, but also the Western and Eastern portions of Sudan, which were composed of both Muslims and non-Muslims. The Islamic government supported many Muslim extremists and terrorist groups, such as Osama Bin Laden and al Qaida. As Bashir’s regime was supported by many other Muslim nations, likewise, many of Sudan’s neighbor’s Ethiopia, Uganda, etc, supported the rebel forces in the South. By the end of the 1990s, many regional influences were pushing for a peace treaty to the civil war, and by 2001, the U.S. and UN had entered into helping to broker a peace, which has gradually developed through a serious of U.N. resolutions and treaties, and was finally made official in 2005.

The United States and Sudan have had a complex relationship, back during the first civil war, Sudan broken off relations with America in 1967, due to its’ support and involvement for the Arabs side during the Arab-Israeli War. However, after the new Sudan government broke ties with Soviets in 1972, the U.S. was quick to restore relations with Nimeiri, and even offered to help resettled refugees following the end to the war. America did not have any particular interests in the area, beyond the desire to fight the communist threat of the Soviets. Helping Nimeiri seemed to be the best way to carry out this agenda. Other than a few minor issues, the two countries’ relations remained mostly calm throughout the 1970s. However, when the second civil war broke out in the 1980s, relations between the two became quite strained. By 1986, their relationship was completely shattered, when America carried out military actions against one of Sudan’s allies, Libya. As a result, many Libyan terrorists started attacking the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum (Sudan’s capitol) and had managed to kill a few embassy employees in the process.

Prior to this, Sudan received more aid and military assistance than any other sub-Saharan Africa country, but after the attack and the establishment of Bashir’s regime, the U.S. cut off all assistance to the country. With the take over of an Islamic state, which supported known terrorists, such as bin Laden, the U.S. closed its embassy in Khartoum, imposed economic and trade sanctions of the country, and placed Sudan on its list of States that sponsor of terrorism. With international pressure to ends its civil war, Sudan turned to the U.S. for assistance in this matter, which the U.S. agreed to do in exchange for Sudan’s support to fight terrorism in its own boarders and abroad. As the War on Terror escalated in Afghanistan and Iraq, Sudan both publicly supported and condemned U.S. actions in these two countries. As of 2008, Sudan still remains on the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism.

As for Darfur, in 2003, following nearly two decades of civil war, the people in that region, who are mainly black African Muslim farmers, grew tired of the government and its’ neglect to help alleviate the problem of poverty and famine in the area. Frustrated and out of options, two rebel factions arose out of Darfur against Bashir’s regime. Under the guise of putting down the insurrection, the Sudan government not only crushed the rebellions, but proceeded to make an example of the people of Darfur. With the support of the government a local Darfurian Arab tribe formed a militia, called the Janjaweed, who have since proceeded to burn Darfur’s farms, conduct raids, destroy villages, rape, pillage, and kill many civilians in Darfur. By 2004, 400,000 Darfurians were believed to have been killed in mass genocide by the Janjaweed, and millions more have fled to neighboring countries to avoid the violence.

As mentioned earlier, following the news of the situation, both Congress and President Bush quickly identified the situation as genocide along with the UN. Since then there has been a huge international movement to help Darfur refugees as well as to put pressure on Bashir to end the violence and help his fellow Sudanese. The U.S. has taken the same steps to help the people and pressure Bashir. However, such pressures did not hinder Bashir from supporting, or stopping, further violence actions against the peoples of Darfur. In May 2007, because Bashir had not kept any of the UN resolutions he had previously agreed to, President Bush announced that he was going impose stronger sanctions. In addition, he said, the “Treasury Department will add 30 companies owned or controlled by the Government of Sudan to its list of Specially Designated Nationals.” This in essence forbids these companies from the U.S. market and makes it illegal for any “American companies and individuals to knowingly do business with them.”

Many officials hoped that with new imposed sanctions, the U.S., with the help of the UN and African Union will be able to “prohibit Sudan's Government from conducting any offensive military flights over Darfur” as well as “strengthen the international community's ability to monitor and report any violations.” The U.S. policy has been “pushing for full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” which ended the civil war back in 2005, as well as “the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement signed between the Government of Sudan and some Darfur movements in May 2006.” Together, the two treaties have provided the bases for the U.S. policy goals for the “development of a peaceful, unified, and democratic Sudan.”
As for the humanitarian invention dimension of Darfur, as of April 2008, there were over “20,000 military personnel and more than 6,000 police will form the core of the force, whose mission is to protect civilians and humanitarian workers and to ensure peace and security” in Darfur. Furthermore, the U.S. policy in Darfur seems to be one that is proactively cooperating with the UN and AF and shares in their goals to end the genocide. In addition, the humanitarian aid the U.S. has given to Darfur is immense, which as of 2008, America has provided “over $4 billion in humanitarian assistance” as well as “40,000 metric tons of food aid monthly” to the war ravage regions of Sudan.

With respects to the first hypothesis, when one considers all that has happened in Darfur in terms of the genocide and the U.S.’ reaction, certain interests have to be considered. Since, Sudan is on America’s list of states known to have sponsor terrorists, such as Osama bin Laden, it certainly in the interest of the U.S. national security to intervene in the affairs of Sudan, in order to prevent, any further support for terrorist activities from the realist prospective. These factors were most likely considered when U.S. policymakers were so quick to declare Darfur genocide in 2004, in addition to the factors pertaining to the humanitarian crisis. One might consider that under the veil of humanitarian intervention, the U.S. has been able to advance its own goals of fighting terrorism in Sudan. With its sanctions on Sudan, America has not only been able stop further genocide from occurring, but also conduct measures in the region to fight terrorism that it might not have been able to do without the humanitarian crisis needs as a cover.

As for the second hypothesis, the U.S. did consider the morality of the situation in Darfur, and has taken steps of intervention to end the genocide along with the help of the international community. However, one thing that the current administration has made it appoint to voice, as opposed to the Clinton Administration, and that is to call the situation in Darfur genocide. One may content that part of the reason why the U.S. and the international community was eager to send peacekeeping forces, stems from both their failures to stop the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Darfur could be seen as their chance to make up for past mistakes. However, despite their better response than in Rwanda, the fact remains that 400,000 souls have been murdered in Darfur. The actions taken by the U.S. and the UN have certainly though kept that number from growing any further in recent years, and thanks to the 20,000+ troops, billions of dollars, and the huge amount of food supplies, the situation is better than what it was only a few years ago.

In conclusion, it has been demonstrated that in each of the four African case studies, though certain circumstances may vary over time and location, the evidence, however, remains the same in that U.S. foreign policymaking in matter of humanitarian intervention is heavily influenced by America’s national security and interests. Looking at the history, policies, past actions, and current relations between these four nations and the U.S. has demonstrated that fact. Whether Cold War policies or the War on Terror, America has generally put its own interests over those of the nation in which it is intervening in, or not intervening as in the case of Rwanda. Even in situations of obvious human rights violations by corrupted 3rd world governments, America tends to place its needs first, as all nations tend to do, which keeps in step with the theory of political realism.

Although factors of national security and interest are primary when determining foreign policy, they are however not the only factors. Secondary concerns of morality, human rights, and peace are all present in people when they determine what authoritative values their nation will adopt in matters of domestic and foreign policy. True these values are generally trumped by whatever national interests are paramount at any given time, or are often used as a smokescreen to carry out other more selfish objectives. However, the fact that these ideals continue to be apart of American society and serve as frameworks for many of its’ overarching foreign policies, such as those in Africa. As the Founding Fathers wrote: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

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College Paper 2: The XYZ Affair: America and France 1st International Scandal, Bribery, and Blackmail

(In my attempt to clean up some of the clutter on my hard drive, but also preserve some of finer works from my Undergrad i have posted some of old papers)

¬Brad Fitch
History 487: US Foreign Policy
XYZ Affair-Final Draft
05/02/08 - Dr. Rossi

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.” These are the opening words of Charles Dickens’ immortal work, A Tale of Two Cities, which he used to describe some of the more turbulent times of the early modern era. The late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century experienced some of the most amazing and drastic changes in politics, society, and every day life that a person could ever want. It was full of extremes and dualities as Dickens’ quote would suggest. Both the American and French Revolutions were the fuel for this era’s storm of changes. As the only two democracies of that time, both of these countries’ destinies seemed intertwined to one another.

These two sister republics started off as close war allies, but would soon find themselves on a path that might have lead them to an all out war. In spite of their common beliefs and enemy--Great Britain, these two allies had their share of tensions and miscommunications; none of these incidents being as influential or damaging to Franco-American Relations as the infamous XYZ Affair. Thus, in what manner did the French respond to the Anglo-American neutral shipping treaty? Why did they respond in that manner? What compelled the French foreign minster and his agents to press the U.S. Diplomats so hard for bribe? Also, to what extent did the XYZ Affair have on the U.S. foreign policy toward France? These questions as well as the reactions of President Adams, Congress, and the American people to the XYZ Affair all play a key role in understanding this dynamic part of history.

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress endorsed Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, whereby the thirteen colonies effectively and officially declared their freedom from Great Britain after nearly one hundred and fifty years of English rule. The reasons for these drastic political actions are many, but needless to say, the British Crown was not about to give up its most financially valuable colony without a fight. The war for revolution and independence was afoot.

The British military, with its powerful warships and seemingly endless sea of red mass, which composed of well-trained and armed soldiers, struck fear into the hearts of her enemies during any battle campaign. Given their lack of weapons, supplies, and military experience, American leaders knew if they were going to have any chance of succeeding in defeating this military superpower, they would have to enlist the aid of other European nations, most notably France. In order to negotiate agreements with these nations in a way that would be beneficial to both parities, John Adams, at Congress’s request, created the Model Treaty. This treaty was a template document that setup various provisions for trade agreements and neutral rights with America and other foreign countries. Congress approved Adams’ treaty on September 26, 1776. In December of that same year, Adams, Ben Franklin, and few others arrived in France with a copy of the Model Treaty in hand, in order to negotiate a formal military alliance against Great Britain.

Even with his charismatic demeanor and Adams’ intellectual support, Franklin had a hard time convincing French Foreign Minister, Charles Gravier, the Comte de Vergennes, who was assigned by the French Government, to negotiate with the Americans to support the United States with war against England. There was certainly no love-lost between France and Britain. Both had been at odds with each other for generations; fighting wars for survival as well as imperial conquest. One of the more recent and notable wars, The French and Indian War, had left France humiliated and without colonies in North America, and she was looking for a chance to get back at England. However, France’s problem was that she was still broken and exhausted from so many wars, the thought of investing more French money and lives in yet another war would be hard for the government to sell to the restless nobility and officials. Basically, America had to prove to Vergennes they could defeat Britain in battle as well as have the resolve to see the war all the way through, then France would help them help them win the war.

It would be nearly another ten months, but on October 17, 1777, American troops manage to defeat British forces, in a decisive victory, at the Battle of Saratoga. Winning this battle demonstrated that America could perhaps defeat the British and were not a lost cause after all. Thus, in February 1778, Franklin and Vergennes signed two agreements. The first was a treaty of amity and commerce, based after the Model Treaty, which defined what was considered contraband, in addition to defining the neutral trade rights for both parties. The second, and more important, was an Alliance Pact, in which both agreed never to make peace or any other agreements with England without consent from the other first.

With the arrival of fresh French troops and supplies, the tide of the American Revolution was slowly, but surely, changing in favor of the Colonists. By 1781, American and French forces had the British on the ropes. By September of that year, America had trapped British General Cornwallis at a fort in Yorktown. At the Battle of Chesapeake, French warships successfully managed to stop British supplies ships from reinforcing Cornwallis. That following October, Cornwallis officially surrendered at Yorktown, which is when many historians consider the final major battle of the Revolutionary War. The official end of the war came on September 3, 1783, after the signing of the Treaty of Paris by the Americans and British.
The Americans had let the proverbial cork out of the bottle in terms of revolutions, because now it was France’s turn. As America was struggling to adopt an effective form of government to lift them out of the difficulties of the post-revolution, on the other side of the Atlantic, France had been dealing with troubles of its own. Having fought so many wars with England, along with recent American Revolution, the French coffers were empty. The French monarch, King Louis XVI, tried imposing heavy taxes on the nobility and peasants alike, in order to bring France out of a depression. However, with heavy taxes, inflation, famine, and supply shortages, the people could no longer take it and they began to revolt against the French Crown. On July 14, 1789, hungry and frustrated citizens stormed the Bastille in Paris, marking the beginning of the French Revolution.

The king and his family fled the city, but eventually were forced back to the palace as a mob escorted them there by force and placed them under proverbial house arrest. Louis tried to exert control once more, but it proved to be unsuccessful. He was put on trial for his crimes in December 1792 and was beheaded by the guillotine the following month, thus ending the Absolute Monarchy in France.

In 1793, as France was seized with internal anarchy in a gruesome period called the Reign of Terror, thousands of people were being murdered or executed for no reason. The French Revolution was out of control. Both out of fear of a revolution happening in their own countries as well as for a chance to take advantage of France’s internal discord, many European nations joined together, in what would be known as the First Coalition, and attacked France. These nations included: Spain, England, Prussia, Austria, Ottomans, and a few Italian States. Most stopped fighting after a few years, except for England; these two would wage war on and off again until 1802.

With the continuous conflict between France and England, neutrality was hard to maintain for Americans, as some wanted to help France, to return the favor from the American Revolution. Still others wanted to support England, because it was still America’s main trading partner and financial supporter. President George Washington felt that taking any side and getting dragged into a foreign war would be detrimental to this infant nation as she still had many domestic problems to address before dealing with other nations problems. So, in April 1793, Washington declared the Proclamation of Neutrality, which stated that America would not directly get involved in Europe’s wars. In it he said that in the “interest of the United States require, that they should with sincerity and good faith adopt and pursue a conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerent Powers (France, England, Austria, Prussia, etc..).”
Though Washington had pacified the debate for now, he still had woes to deal with because of Europe, particularly England. Since the Treaty of Paris, in 1783, British ships had been seizing American vessels, showing little respect for the new nation’s sovereignty, but because of the war with France, British assaults on U.S. trade ships had increased to intolerable levels. British forces had seized nearly 250 American trade ships bound for the foreign ports. England would take the trade ships cargo and men to use in its war with France. In response to increased attack on America ships, Congress enacted a 60 day embargo on all U.S. shipping bound for foreign nations (particularly England).

Seeking a more permanent solution to this problem, Washington sent John Jay to London to negotiate some kind of peace, establish stronger neutral trade rights, and get a few other pieces of land Britain was still holding onto in North America. After many concessions on both sides an agreement was made. It was called the Jay Treaty and was signed on Nov. 19, 1794. Due to her lingering war with France, England capitulated too many of the American’s demands, which was fortunate for the U.S., because England’s view of America was one of condescension. In spite of this, Americans were still angered over the treaty and at John Jay, because nothing about the previous attacks of American ships by the British was ever really addressed. Washington had a hard time selling the treaty to Congress and the people, but finally, in June 1795, the treaty was endorsed by Congress. It was the lowest point of his career.

The Jay Treaty was only meant to resolve growing tensions among England and the U.S., but France viewed the treaty as nothing less than an Anglo-America alliance pact. For France, this was a direct violation of the 1778 Treaty Alliance that America and France had signed, which said neither could enter into an agreement or alliance with Britain without of the other’s approval. So feeling the Americans had broken their side of the deal, France ended their side too, thus, voiding all American neutral trade rights in French controlled territories.

Now tensions between France and U.S. had been growing for many years, and this only served to add more fuel to fire. In August 1796, Washington recalled Foreign Minster to France, Jams Monroe, back home as tensions between the two had grown even thicker. With France no longer recognizing U.S. neutrality, France was seizing its trade ships left and right. In addition, on March 4, 1797, John Adams took office as the second president of the United States; inheriting both the presidency and the war-like tensions with France. The following June, Secretary of State Timothy Pickering reported that French privateers had seized nearly 316 of America’s ships since ending the neutral right agreement a year prior. They took the supplies and men to use in their war effort with England.

Having had the same problem with England a few years ago as well as wishing to avoid war, Adams decided to send delegates to France to get some kind of a Jay Treaty deal and restore neutral trade with them. Adams and his cabinet nominated three envoys to carry out this very mission to France. The men chosen for this task were former Minister to France Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Virginian Delegate and Attorney John Marshall, and a former Congressman Elbridge Gerry. Though at first Francis Dana, Chief Justice of Massachusetts was suppose to go, but could not make it, so Gerry went in his place.

Gerry and Marshall left for Europe, meet up with Pinckney who now lived in Amsterdam, and arrived in Paris on October 4, 1797, in hopes of restoring neutral trade rights and ending French privateering. Almost immediately, the envoys received word that the French Foreign Minister, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, wanted to setup a meeting with them in two days at two o’clock. Two days later, in a short, but pithy meeting, Talleyrand gave the men cards of hospitality to prevent them from being deported by French authorities while they were in France, as well as asked them to hold off negotiations until he had the approval of his formal report about the whole situation by the Directory*.

Talleyrand’s report to the Directory reviewed Franco-America relations from 1792 to 1797. In it, he concluded that Adams seemed more appeasing than Washington and that current political tension in America would prevent Adams from taking any strong anti-French policies. Also, direct war would not be advisable for either side, which was what both sides seemed to want to avoid, according to Talleyrand. From that, he concluded to the Directory that any and all negotiations should be conducted at a slow and careful pace. The Directory gave its approval to Talleyrand, and on October 14, the negotiations began, but with Talleyrand implementing an odd, but cunning, delay tactic.

Talleyrand had his secretary let it be known to a friend of Pinckney, who told Pinckney that the Directory had been “greatly exasperated” by a speech that President Adams had given back in May, and they demanded an explanation for it. According to Marshall, the particular parts of the speech that offended them were never expressed in any details; however, the informant said that they should not meet with the Directory until after they have finished negotiations with Talleyrand. Over the next many months of negotiations, the ‘Adams’ speech’ excuse would be used as stall tactic again and again by Talleyrand and his agents. Of these agents, the ones that would have the most interactions with the three U.S. representatives were Conrad Hottinguer (X), Pierre Bellamy (Y), Lucien Hauteval (Z), and the lesser known associate Nicholas Hubbard (W).

These men would later receive their aliases thanks in part to a letter that Gerry wrote to Adams, as Adams was about to make the events of the French negotiation public, but Gerry wanted to keep the agents names confidential. He stated to Adams that he “had promised Mr. X and Y that their names should in no event be made public” as well as saying “they did not produce, to my knowledge, any credential or document of any kind” that would have properly identified them. As such, history would come to known these four French agents as merely W, X, Y, and Z.

On October 18, three days after the first meeting, the envoys were at the home of one of these agents, Hubbard, when another agent, Hottinguer, arrived saying that he a message from Talleyrand. He took Pinckney into another room alone, where he first went on about Adams’ speech again, but more importantly, he next told him that if any kind of treaty was ever going to be reached, America first had to give France a loan to aid in its war with England in the amount of thirty-two million Dutch Guilders (~$12 Million) and a personal fee, or bribe, to Talleyrand for fifty thousand Pounds (~$250,000). Pinckney was shocked; he requested that his colleagues join him, and that Hottinguer restate his demands to all of them, as to prevent the risk of him jumping to his own conclusions about the proposal. Gerry and Marshall were equally surprised when Pinckney told them as well as when Hottinguer restated his terms the next night. The three envoys flatly refused him.

For Hottinguer and the others, the American diplomats’ response of imminent shock and offence was a little surprising, because in Europe, this method of personal bribery of government officials, or pot de vin, in order to expedite anything more quickly in the government, was quite common place. Talleyrand, after hearing Hottinguer’s report, sent another agent and friend, Pierre Bellamy, with Hottinguer to the next meeting with the envoys. During the next few days of negotiations, the two agents and the three envoys could not come to any agreements about the bribes, trade rights, or privateering. Frustrated, the envoys offered to send a man back to Adams for new instructions, but the French had to stop attacking American ships in the mean time. The French refused and negotiations broke down again.

Talleyrand desired to continue stalling, but also had to prevent the envoys from going home, so he sent, yet, another agent, Lucien Hauteval, to meet privately with Gerry and reassure him of Talleyrand’s sincerity in reaching a peaceful negotiation. Due to Hauteval’s inexperience in negotiating, playing the role of soother was primarily his for the rest of the negotiations. A week later, the negotiations resumed with three of agents X, Y, and Z pressuring the three envoys with threats of war if they did not receive their money. Bellamy even went so far as to indirectly imply that Gerry, Marshall, and Pinckney were second rate diplomats, and that if America had sent men like Aaron Burr or James Madison, an agreement would have been reached by now. The envoys held their previous stance of not paying the bribes, in addition, it was at the end of this meeting when a frustrated Pinckney uttered his famous line “No, No, not a sixpence” in response to the French demands for a bribe. When these meeting records were published a year later, an American newspaper would spin this line as the other famous quote from the XYZ affair “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!"

The reason why Talleyrand and his agents had this unwavering desire to receive their money, William Stinchcombe, history professor at Syracuse University, argues in the William and Mary Quarterly, can be answered by the economic and social insecurities that were still lingering in France as a byproduct of their revolution. They had lost many of their investments in war, and now they sought a new way to restore their lost fortunes. “In delaying the negotiations, Talleyrand and his associates did not intend to risk the peace, but only to reward themselves.” To this end, Talleyrand employed other less abrasive agents besides X, Z, and Y. They were able to keep stringing the three envoys along for another five more months using more subtle tactics. This change in agents was a brilliant idea on his part, as it bought him the extra time he wanted.

By December 1797, all three envoys were well aware of Talleyrand’s attempt to delay them. They became quite frustrated with each other due to the months of failed negotiations. They argued about whether or not they should go home. Gerry, who had seemingly been more open to the French way, argued that if the mission failed, it would lead to war as well as “disgrace republicism” for both countries. Marshall had up until now showed a willingness to cooperate, but at this moment was less than thrilled with French hospitality. He argued that they should soon go home if a treaty could not be reached soon.

Marshall further disagreed with Gerry and argued that the failure to produce a treaty would not lead to war between the two nations. He also rejected the idea that France was a true republic. Many years later, Marshall wrote in his autobiography, “France is not and never will be a republic is a truth which I scarcely dare whisper even to myself," and he concluded that “it is in America and America only that human liberty has found an asylum.”

Pinckney also had become completely annoyed with Gerry, he stated that he was “habitually suspicious, and hesitates so much, that it is very unpleasant to do business with him.” In spite of their personal differences, they still held onto their convictions about not capitulating to Talleyrand’s demands for a bribe before any formal negotiations could begin. By January 1798, they had written a memorandum, which listed all their grievances with France during this whole mission, especially the earlier encounters with W, X, Y, and Z, and were ready to go home. However, Talleyrand still had few aces up his sleeves as well as a queen.

Back in October 1797, while attending a dinner party, the three delegates had met an enchanting noble woman and close associate of Talleyrand’s named Reine Philiberte de Varicourt, Madame de Villette. Madame de Viellete, a young widow, was a follower of Voltaire, as well as being rather pro-American allowed her to make quite the impression on Gerry and Marshall. So in November, when the three envoys had their personal conflicts with one another, both Gerry and Marshall moved out of Pinckney’s house in Paris and into small home on an estate outside of town that was owned by Madame de Villette. Whether at Talleyrand’s request or her own personal reasons, she offered her tenants many special services. She taught Gerry French, took Marshall to the theater, and often threw parties for both them. Poor Gerry had to explain to his wife “why he had moved into the house of an attractive widow in her thirties.” Gerry exclaimed, “that Paris crowds and burglars had made the Pinckney house so dangerous that he had to sleep with a pair of pistols under his pillow.” For some odd reason, the Pinckney family never expressed any such threats or feelings of concerns.
As the three had made out their memorandum of complaints against France, of which Talleyrand would later comment to a friend that “Frenchman were not use to receiving such long epistles,” nonetheless he was determined to keep them around a bit longer. In February, the men asked for their passports back, but Talleyrand ask for another meeting, and they agreed. However, matters of the state would have to wait, as Madame de Villette and another female friend took Marshall and Gerry away on a little weekend excursion to Madame de Villette’s summer Chateau in the country at the request of Talleyrand. When they returned, Talleyrand suggested that they pay the loan after the war with England was over, this way, it would appear as if America was continuing its neutrality. Gerry saw this as good opportunity to further negotiate, but Marshall and Pinckney did not share his sentiments.

The two also pointed to their original instructions, which were not to pay any kind of loan to France. Furthermore, they knew that had “no power even to negotiate for loan of money,” because the U.S. government had not “contemplated such circumstances in any degree whatsoever.” Thus, even if the envoys had agreed to make a payment to France, it would have been voided by the fact that such an act excided their powers given to them by Adams. If the envoys had deceived France in this manner, it only would have made the current tensions between the two nations worse. Also, at Pinckney’s behest they never made this fact known to Talleyrand. Because Pinckney felt they would longer be able to get an audience with Talleyrand if he knew the envoys could not officially offer him the money. As such, the envoys had to try negotiating without given into Talleyrand’s demand for a bribe.

The three envoys would have two more meetings with Talleyrand in March, but they were in a stalemate, though there was no real talk of loans or bribes, both sides blamed each other, and nothing was going to be accomplished. “Talleyrand still declined to abandon French maritime attacks or discrimination against American vessels, and the envoys still refused to acknowledge any contradiction between the Jay Treaty and the 1778 French Alliance.” Talks broke down for the final time. Both Marshall and Pinckney thought a war would not break out, so they got their passports back and journeyed home. Gerry stayed in Paris a little while longer, in a useless effort to negotiate, but after more dead ends and orders from Adams, he came back home three months later.
In March 1798, Pinckney returned with his family to the Netherlands and Marshall arrived in America, a national hero, by the time he gotten back to America, the whole XYZ affair scandal had been made public. The fact that he had resisted those corrupted Europeans made Marshall a celebrity and greatly increased the popularity of the Federalist party. One newspaper called Marshall’s behavior as having been “marked by an affection of dignity and of reserve which were very unseasonable” in France, because it was filled with the “grossest corruption and barefaced falsehood” of any country in the world.

In June, Secretary of State Timothy Pickering, following Adams’ orders, wrote Gerry insisting that there seemed to be no “probability or hope that existed that you would accomplish the object of your mission.” Furthermore, he told Gerry that the “respect due to yourself and to your country irresistibly required that you turn your back on a Government (France) that treated both with contempt.” Following Pickering’s letter, Gerry informed Talleyrand of his pressure to return to America and asked for his passport back.

However, even after Gerry left, it still did not stop Talleyrand from trying to keep Gerry around. Talleyrand, even went so far as to, according to one newspaper at the time, “give secret orders to the commandant to detain the Sophia (Gerry’s ship).” This too proved fruitless for Talleyrand, as Gerry would still make it home that October. Conversely, unlike Marshall who came home as hero, Gerry was unfortunately viewed by many as French sympathizer because he choose to stay in France so long.
While these three had been dealing with their problems in France, Adams had been contending with his own problems back in America. As word about failed negotiations with France reached America, many in Congress, as well as the public, demanded an explanation for why Adams’ and his envoys ostensibly failed to bargain any kind of a treaty. Adams went before Congress on March 19, 1798, where he debriefed them on the matter. He told them about the demands for a loan to the French war cause, the personal bribe that was necessary to do business with Talleyrand, as well as showing them all the correspondence letters between the three envoys and Adams’ cabinet.
Americans were inflamed with anger over the whole incident, and many, particularly the Pro-British factions, demanded retribution on France for its disrespectful demeanor toward America. All across the country there was a growing demand that America go to war with France. One newspaper said that the “Government of France, from the destruction of the Bastille, to the present hour, has exceeded in tyranny and injustice.” Also, France and America were once part of the same “pure virtue and republicanism,” but now France drifted away down a path of a “bloody and lawless revolution.” The article went to talk about how American patriots need to be ready for a war with France, because of its past actions, war was not only just, but necessary to defend American honor.

Not long after testifying before Congress, Adams said in another speech that following June, he would not “send another minster to France without assurance that he will be received, respected, honored as representative of a great, free, powerful, and independent nation.” Though Adams spoke with more powerful words, he knew, as Washington had that America, as still young nation, could not risk getting dragged into a total war with France without serve consequences. In spite of the fact, many in Adams’ party wanted to go war, as did many of the citizens, Adams knew would have to follow a careful course of diplomacy. Even as the Quasi-War with France raged on, Adams still did not give up hope of negotiations with France. The adoption of this foreign policy with France would cost Adams his political career after his term as president, but it would protect America from destruction.

Congress also acted boldly in order to subvert French interests in America, first, by passing a series of Alien and Seditions Acts of June 1798. These laws did several things, such as, extending the waiting period to become a citizen from five to fourteen years, and they allowed the president to deport any alien considered a national treat to peace, in this case, Pro-French radicals. Also, any alien who was member of country that the U.S. was at war with could be deported too. Lastly, the more dubious law, the Sedition Act, which made it illegal to publish or publicly say anything that was slanderous, or with malice, about America was very extreme and seemed to violate American’s newly formed constitutional rights. These laws only were in affect a few years due to their unconstitutional nature, but these laws have come back into play in U.S. history whenever America has been in major war.

Another thing Congress did was to void all treaties with France and create a Navy Department, which commissioned the constructions of naval warships to combat the French privateers in Caribbean. These combined actions would lead to the start of a Quasi-War between America and France, in which neither side would ever officially declare, due to their own respective political interests. In September 1798, Talleyrand learned of America’s outrage about the bribes. In order to help smooth things over, he began a series communications with U.S. foreign ministers John Q. Adams (the president’s son) and William Vans Murphy. Talleyrand told the ministers that if the America would send new envoys, they “shall be received in character, and shall enjoy the privileges attached to his character by the law of nations, and that a minister of equal rank, title, and powers shall be appointed to treat with him, to discuss and conclude all controversies between the two Republics by a new treaty.”
At the bequest of his son and Murphy, who thought Talleyrand offer to be sincere, President Adams finally agreed to send delegates back to France to negotiate. Adams wanted very much to avoid further conflict with France, but he had to be sure that if negotiations did resume that America would not be treated as impertinently as she had been during the XYZ affair. So, in February 1799, Adams sent a memo to the Senate, informing them that he was convinced that it was now appeared plausible to “restore tranquility” with the French Republic and he was awaiting their decision. He also petitioned that the Senate nominate Murphy as one of the representative, because he was already involved with and experienced in this delicate situation.

Congress would spend many more months arguing about whom the other envoys would be, because many still wanted to continue the fight with France, even people in Adams’ own Federalist party. Thus, this selection process served as stall tactic for many who wanted that fight. Finally after nearly a year, they choose their three commissioners, including Murphy, Oliver Ellsworth, and Will Davie to go to Paris. In March 1800, the three arrived in France. Negotiations continued over the next few months between the three U.S. Envoys and Talleyrand. Napoleon himself also intervened at different points, in order to restore all the damage caused by XYZ Affair and the political turmoil that had arisen over the years. On September 30, 1800, an agreement was finally reached called The Treaty of Mortefontaine (or Convention of 1800), which ended the quasi-war, voided all previous troublesome treaties, and restored many of the neutral trade rights. The overall gist of the agreement was to create partnerships and not alliances, which served both sides interests well enough for now.

Adams, by this point was tired of the whole affair and wanted the matter to be closed. He told the Senate that he would have agreed to the treaty “unconditionally, yet as in this point I found I had the misfortune to differ in opinion from so high a constitutional authority as the Senate” Though he went on to say that because it was in the best interest of the US to ratify the treaty with certain prescribed conditions, America will complete all her final treaty ratification with France. However, Adams concluded by adding that “I shall take no further measures relative to this successor may proceed with them according to his wisdom.” In the end, Adams, though successful in avoiding direct war and negotiating favorably with France, decided that he had enough and simply wanted to wash his hand of the whole XYZ Affair.

After the final ratification was signed, Franco-American tensions calmed down, but trouble was brewing over the horizon. Napoleon’s interest and ambitions to have some of his own territory on the North American Continent would only further exasperate this already troublesome partnership. However, that is a story for another time, for the moment, things were tranquil for America.

Adams’ masterful handling of the situation and peace negations kept the U.S. from getting pulled directly into European affairs, despite many Americans strong feelings to go to war. The Alien and Sedition Acts that Congress had enacted changed not only the law, but how people thought of the Federal Government and its power. All of this, coupled with the XYZ Affair and Quasi-War would set the status quo for American foreign policy for the next twelve years. The XYZ Affair had created a ripple affect that extended far beyond the gates of 1798 Paris. Dickens was right; this era was the best and worse of times. For it was indeed the age of wisdom and foolishness.

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