Iran and imperialism

“We had a democracy once, but you crushed it”

On foreign policy, Democrats would have you believe that Bush is the most reckless President and that he has ripped the United States away from a tradition of cooperative diplomacy by violently overthrowing governments.

But as former New York Times reporter Steven Kinzer points out, the opposite is true.

Bush is actually following and escalating a long-established tradition.

Beginning with the ouster of Hawaii’s monarchy in 1893, the United States government has not hesitated to overthrow governments â┚¬â€œ fourteen by Kinzer’s count â┚¬â€œ that stood in the way of its political and economic goals.

One example from the fourteen: Fifty-three years ago, the United States launched Operation Ajax to overthrow the democratically elected leader of Iran â┚¬â€œ Mohammed Mossadegh.

Now it looks like Bush is preparing for Iran again.

In 1953, Mossadegh was fed up with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company â┚¬â€œ now BP â┚¬â€œ pumping Iran’s oil and shipping the profits back home to the United Kingdom.

Mossadegh said — hey, this is our oil, I think we’ll keep it.

Bad idea.

For the United States government, close to the Big Oil Companies, decided to overthrow Mossadegh’s government.

Kinzer, who has written a number of books documenting a century of regime change overseas, puts it this way:

“Imagine today what it must sound like to Iranians to hear American leaders tell them — ‘We want you to have a democracy in Iran, we disapprove of your present government, we wish to help you bring democracy to your country.’ Naturally, they roll their eyes and say — ‘We had a democracy once, but you crushed it.'”.

Is Bush insane enough to invade Iran and use nukes too? Sure. But with his popularity so abysmal and some of the generals now in near open revolt, this may act to stop him. However, the important point to realize is Bush is not an aberration, but an extreme example of the continuing policy of imperialism that has governed the US for decades. That he is greedier, more bloodthirsty, and markedly less competent than his predecessors simply helps make it all the more clear.

“The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today [is] my own government.” — Rev. Martin Luther King, April 4, 1967.