Greenville, SC (Special to Informed Comment) – Now that the disastrous Trump presidency is over, there is much hope placed in Joseph Biden. But it may be misplaced if the American people do not reckon with themselves.
We all hated the images from the Washington Capitol a few days ago, and we heard words like ‘sedition,’ ‘terrorism,’ and ‘coup.’ Democrats were quick to point fingers at Republicans, rightly so. However, like Republicans, Democrats have also supported this kind of unrest, for decades, in foreign countries. It’s overdue for us to reflect on our hypocrisy. If we hate something for ourselves, we shouldn’t like it for others. It’s an easy principle, and as most Americans are Christians, they can read about it in the
Let’s take John F. Kennedy, one of the Democrats’ most beloved presidents. When in 1959 Fidel Castro assumed power in Cuba, there is good evidence that he sought an amenable relationship with the U.S. However, he also pursued economic independence, and Washington saw this as an affront against U.S. businesses in Cuba and across Latin America. Kennedy insisted, “
Let’s take Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the Republicans’ most beloved presidents. A few years before the Bay of Pigs, Eisenhower presided over another coup, this time in Iran. In 1950, Mohammed Mosaddegh became the prime minister of a democratically oriented government. Washington leaders feared that Mossadegh would restrict U.S. and British control of the Middle Eastern oil industry. In early 1953, $1 million was transmitted to the CIA station in Tehran to be used “in any way that would bring about the fall of Mosaddeq.” American operatives then orchestrated the mob-driven and violent fall of Mossadegh, which led to rule of the Shah who was previously described as “unscrupulous.” Yet, he fell in line with perceived U.S. interests.
Eisenhower wrote later in his diary, “Another recent development that we helped bring about was … the elimination of Mossadegh. The things we did were ‘covert.’… I listened to [our agent’s] detailed report and it seemed more like a dime novel than an historical fact.” Yet, it was an historical fact, and it brought ongoing authoritarian rule over the Iranian people. Again, not only was this an absolute moral failure, but this episode was also the catalyst for the conflictual relations between the U.S. and Iran that remain today.
Unfortunately, these are only two of so many examples. Some years ago, the New York Times acknowledged, “Since the end of World War II, the United States … has installed or toppled leaders on every continent, secretly supported political parties of close allies …, fomented coups, spread false rumors, bribed political figures and spent countless billions of dollars to sway public opinion.” These inclinations continue in America’s interventionist foreign policy establishment. All too often, the consequences are injustice to people in foreign countries and a tarnished image of the U.S. with all the consequences that this brings.
A few days ago, in regards to the assault on the Washington Capitol, the Venezuelan government stated, “With this unfortunate episode, the United States is suffering the same thing that it has generated in other countries with its policies of aggression.” There’s some truth to this statement, but the full truth is that the attack on the Capitol is nothing in comparison to what U.S. operations have caused in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Many Americans won’t like to hear this as they prefer a virtuous image of their country in world affairs. Then, however, they have no moral right to complain about the state of our own republic.
Bonus Video added by Informed Comment:
PBS NewsHour: “Insurrection at Capitol draws condemnation across the globe”