From the National Post:
No one knows for sure if President Franklin D. Roosevelt really said, of the U.S.'s support for the corrupt Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza Garcia, "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch." Most likely he didn't. It hardly matters. The fact the quote has, for 72 years, taken on a life of its own -- it has been held up as the defining, cold-hearted mentality behind U.S. foreign policy--does…. But the U.S. has also got better at hedging its bets: With this dictator's days certainly numbered, Washington prays that whoever replaces him isn't too resentful of its pro-Mubarak record -- another SOB it can even live with. What it can't tolerate is someone hostile to U.S. interests. "The United States is used to juggling that [inconsistency] when dealing with people who are authoritarian and distasteful but are also stable, and you have problems where they can be helpful," says Patrick Morgan, chairman of peace and conflict studies at the University of California, Irvine. "So you hold your nose and you work with them, and that includes doing things that compromise your principles. On the other hand, you take opportunities to say, 'You know we'd like it if you cleaned up your act.'"

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