Journalist Suzy Hansen wonders how she, an Ivy League-educated journalist, could have been so ignorant of the extent of the US’s role in remaking the post-World War II world.
…Istanbul immediately defied her expectations – she was shocked by how much nicer its airport was than the run-down one she had departed from in New York. “I had been invested in an idea of the East’s inferiority without even knowing it,” she confesses, “and its comparative extraordinariness shook my own self-belief.” Hansen was further jolted when everyday Turks spoke matter-of-factly to her about how Cold War-era American foreign policy, specifically military and economic aid provided as part of the Truman Doctrine to contain Soviet expansion, had helped shape current political conditions in the country. “Americans are surprised by the direct relationship between their country and foreign ones because we don’t acknowledge that America is an empire,” she writes. “It is impossible to understand a relationship if you are not aware you are in one.”