I think this is a particularly good year to remember Kent State on the anniversary of the day when many of my generation learned the true nature of government. Of course if you are a 20 something you may not know about today back in 1970 when the National Guard fired into a crowd of anti-war protesters killing 4 of them. America was forever changed and that probably marked the beginning of the end of the Vietnam war.
Fast-foward to last night’s Republican debate where most of the candidates (with the notable exception of Ron Paul) rushed to outdothemselves in proving how they had the plan, the experience and the attitude required to lead us to victory in this decade’s version of the good fight. McCain doesn’t seem to have learned much from his “bomb-bomb-Iran” episode. He may be clear that America “must win” but he seems a lot less clear on how to do it. Most of the candidates seem to believe we need to maintain our intervention in Iraq a little bit longer and the majority seem to think we need to extend our intervention to Iran. None of them seem to remember that Iran is a radical theocracy today only because of United States interventionist foreign policy.
That’s right, Iran would be a democracy today if the United States had kept it’s nose out of Iran’s business and let free people run their own lives. Of course it WAS a democracy until the United States – in her infinte wisdom – decided to intervene in Iran’s domestic affairs and overthrew Mohammed Mossadeghthe democratically elected Prime Minister in a CIA sponsored coup in 1953. It seems we decided for them that they would be better off living under the mass-murdering Shah and giving us lots of cheap oil than benefitting from their own natural resources and developing as a democracy. There was of course the argument that they might fall under the influence of the Soviet Union. Of course in the ’50s all you had to say was “communist” and you had all the justification you needed for the war machine to swing into action, specially if there was oil to be had in the bargain.
Of course today all you have to say is “Islam” and you have all the justification you need for regime change, skyrocketing deficits, disappearing civil liberties and bombing anybody who gets in our way. I’m just as big an opponent to terror as anyone but as Judge Judy says “don’t be stupid”. Face Facts. The US Government has repeatedly attempted to have her way with all manner of sovereign nations and has created some pretty amazing catastrophes in the process. Not convinced? Take a look at Stephen Kinzer’s Overthrow.
The world would be a much better place today if we hadn’t intervened all over the globe for the last hundred years and we have no reason to believe doing it again will produce any betters results. We don’t know what we are doing in Iraq. We didn’t know what we were doing in Viet Nam, or Cuba, or the Philippines or a dozen other places. We didn’t know what we were doing Iran in the ’50s and now we are about to blunder our way into a nuclear war because George Bush and John McCain need to out-macho each other.
It’s quite true that Iran is pretty scary proposition. As I said we made it that way. But wouldn’t we be in a better position to deal with the Iran regime if our resources were not strained to the breaking point in a war-of-choice in Iraq.
And the more we rattle our sabres the more nationalism we stir up in Iran. The people of Iran are already putting a ton of pressure on their rulers to reform. We’ve seen what threats against the US do to our level our civil liberties. What do you think will happen in Iran?
A policy of non-intervention was a critical element of what made this country great in the first place. It’s what the founding fathers intended and it should be our policy again.
Do the candidates we heard last night know anything about history? (Only Ron Paul does.) Or do they just lack the leadership put us back on the right course.