For years, Winston Churchill’s famous quote, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried,” has served as Americans’ last word in any political discussion which requires validation of the US government, no matter how corrupt or flawed in its behavior, as the best in the planet, comparatively or by default. Never mind the meaning that Mr. Churchill had intended back in 1947, or how the international political panorama has changed during the past seven decades.
These remarks were made by Britain’s prime minister before the House of Commons a few months before there was a changing of the guards in the “Anglo-Saxon Empire” as the Brits gave away their colonial hegemony in favor of the super-influential economic and military power represented by the United States. And that was symbolically marked by Britain’s relinquishing its mandate in Palestine, and the creation of Israel.
Such reference to democracy in the quote, explicitly defining it as a “government by the people,” basically applied to Britain and the United States at the close of World War II; but such condition has deteriorated in the US to the point where the “common people” no longer have a say as to how the nation is run, either directly or through politicians elected with financial support provided by special interests, undoubtedly expecting their loyalty-vote. Yet, while this un-democratization period in our system of government was happening, there were many nations that were adopting a true code of democracy, their citizens having a greater say as to how their countries are governed. Recognizing such occurrence, however, is a seditious sin for an American mind still poisoned by the culture of exceptionalism and false pride in which it has been brainwashed.
And that’s where our empire, or sphere of influence, stands these days… fighting the windmills of the world, giants that we see menacing “American interests,” and doing it under the banner of “for democracy and human rights.” Such lofty empire aims appear to rationalize an obscene military budget almost twice as large as those of Russia, China, India and United Kingdom combined! Americans, representing less than 5 percent of the world’s population, are footing a military bill almost twice as large as that expended by half of the world’s population. If that isn’t imperialistic and obscene, it’s difficult to image what other societal behavior could be more detrimental to peace and harmony in this global village where we all try to co-exist.
Empires and global powers of the past most often resorted to deposing of antagonistic foreign rulers by invading their countries and installing amicable/subservient puppet rulers. The United States and the United Kingdom, perhaps trying to find refuge, or an excuse, in their democratic tradition, have resorted to regime change “manipulations” to deal with adversary governments-nations. [Bush43’s Iraq invasion stands as a critical exception by a mongrel government: half-criminal (Dick Cheney-as mentor), and half-moronic (George W. Bush-as mentee).]
Regime change has served the United States well throughout much of the Americas from time immemorial; an endless litany of dictators attesting to shameless in-your-face puppetry… manipulations taking the form of sheer military force, or the fear of such force; bribery of those in power, or about to attain power – usually via military coup; or the promise of help from the Giant of the North (US) in improving economic growth, education and health. Kennedy’s 1961 Alliance for Progress proved to be more political-PR than an honest, effective effort to help the people in Latin America… such program becoming stale and passé in Washington by decade’s end; the focus shifting in a feverish attempt to counter the efforts by Castro’s Cuba to awaken the revolutionary spirit of sister republics in Central and South America (Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua…).
After almost two centuries of political and economic meddling in Latin America under the Monroe Doctrine (1823) banner, much of it involving regime change, the US is finally coming to terms with the reality that its influence has not just waned but disappeared. Not just in nations which may have adopted socialist politics, but other nations as well. US’ recent attempt to get other regional republics to label Venezuela (Maduro’s leftist government) as a security threat not only met with opposition from the twelve-country Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) but has brought in the end of an era. It’s now highly unlikely that secretive efforts by the CIA to effect regime change in Latin America will find support; certainly not the support it had in the past.To Washington’s despair, similar results, if for other reasons, are happening throughout North Africa and the extended Middle East; certainly not the results the US had hoped for or anticipated from the revolutionary wave in the Arab Spring, now entering its fifth year. It is no longer the flow of oil that keeps Washington committed to a very strong presence in the Middle East. It is America’s Siamese relationship with Israel.
But if regime change is no longer an effective weapon for the US in Latin America or the Middle East, the hope is still high that it might work in Eastern Europe, as America keeps corralling Russian defenses to within a holler of American missilery. Ukraine’s year-old regime change is possibly the last hurrah in US-instigated regime changes… and it is still too early to determine its success; the US counting on its front-line European NATO partners to absorb the recoil in terms of both the economy and a confrontational status now replacing prior smooth relations.
Somehow it is difficult to envision an outcome taking place in Ukraine which would allow the United States a foothold at the very doorsteps of Russia; something totally as inconceivable as if China or Russia were contemplating establishing military bases in Mexico or any part of Central America or the Caribbean.
The era of using regime change as a weapon of mass deception may have already ended for the United States of America… and hopefully for the entire world.
© 2015 Ben Tanosborn
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