Entry in progress—B.P.
Wikipedia: John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) served as U.S. Secretary of State under Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive moralistic stance against communism throughout the world. He negotiated numerous treaties and alliances to bring that about. He advocated support of the French in their war against the Viet Minh in Indochina but rejected the Geneva Accords that France and the Communists agreed to, and instead supported South Vietnam after the Geneva Conference in 1954.
Dulles is said to have made the candid quote, “The United States of America does not have friends; it has interests.” With time it has become infamous in some sectors due to the country’s future (and previous) foreign policies. Yet, no such quote exists in the historical record—although these words were actually spoken by Charles De Gaulle. The myth appears to have grown out of an incident in 1958 when Dulles traveled to Mexico and anti-American protesters held up signs reading “The U.S. has no friends, only interests.”
Wikiquote: Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston (1784-10-20 - 1865-10-18) was a British Whig statesman and Prime Minister from 1855-1858 and 1859-1865.
Therefore I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England. We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.
. Speech to the House of Commons (1 March 1848), Hansard’s Parliamentary Debates. 3rd series, vol. 97, col. 122.
Wikiquote: Charles de Gaulle
Charles-André-Joseph-Marie de Gaulle (22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970), in France commonly referred to as le général de Gaulle, was a French military leader and statesman. During World War II, he reached the rank of Brigade General and then became the leader of the Forces Françaises Libres ("FFL" — the “Free French Forces"). Between 1944 and 1946, following the liberation of France from German occupation, he was head of the French provisional government. Called to form a government in 1958, he inspired a new constitution and was the Fifth Republic’s first president, serving from 1958 to 1969.
France has no friends, only interests.
. Clementine Churchill: “General, you must not hate your friends more than you hate your enemies”
. De Gaulle (in English): “France has no friends, only interests.” (De Gaulle did not speak specifically of France, but of all nation-states, including Britain. This remark was in line with his saying “Men can have friends, statesmen cannot").
Les hommes peuvent avoir des amis, pas les hommes d’Etat. Interview, December 9 1967.
14 December 1948, Florence (SC) Morning News, “Nations Are Friends Only When Their National Interests Happen To Coincide” by Relman Morin (AP Foreign Affairs Analyst), pg. 4, col. 3:
A European statesman once observed, with some sadness, that “nations have no permanent friends; they have only permanent interests.”
In other words, nations are “friends” when the demands of their separate national interests happen to coincide at a given point. They are no longer friendly, and they may become shooting enemies, when their separate interests diverge.
Hence, the gloomy theorem of international politics—permanent interests always, permanent friends never.
29 December 1950, Portsmouth (NH) Herald, “Our ‘Enemy,” Japan, May Be Strong Ally” by Relman Morin (AP), pg. 1, col. 5:
Nations have no permanent friends; but they do have permanent interests. Ours and the Japanese, at this hour at least, are practically identical.
17 June 1955, New York (NY) Times, “Peron a Master at Splitting Foes; Impressive in Balcony Scenes” by Milton Bracker, pg. 14:
Juan Domingo Peron, President of Argentina, clings to the theory that neither nations nor men have permanent friends. His idea is that they have merely permanent interests.
The United States does not have friends; it has interests. — John Foster Dulles
7 September 1966, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “The Motives of De Gaulle” by Harvey Meyerson, sec. 1, pg. 10, col. 5:
To paraphrase a passage in De Gaulle’s memoirs: individuals can have friends; nations, by their nature, cannot. They can only have interests.
8 October 1966, Pasadena (CA) Star-News, “De Gaulle’s Objective” (editorial), pg. 11, col. 2:
Alliances are only temporary arrangements, and he has told his foreign minister “no nation worthy of the name has friends—only interests.”
7 July 1968, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Man in a Pressure Cooker” by Arthur L. Gavshon (AP), pg. 5AA, col. 5:
But in politics few leaders have permanent friends—only permanent interests. Loyalties change. Power balances shift.
(The story is about Great Britain’s Harold Wilson—ed.)
Google News Archive
22 July 1975, The Ledger (Lakeland, NJ), “Our Ties To Israel Exceed Self-Interest” (William Safire, New York Times News Service), pg. 6A, col. 3:
For years, diplomatists have been insisting that great powers do not have friends, only interests.
Safire’s Political Dictionary
By William Safire
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
President Kennedy is reported to have said that “politicians do not have friends, they have allies.” This was an adaptation of “the British Empire has no friends, only interests.”
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Thursday, June 20, 2013 • Permalink