Overthrowing Foreign Governments ≠ Spreading Democracy

01/08/2017 09:07 pm ET Updated Jan 13, 2017

I find it scary to know that regime change or overthrowing foreign governments by force has bipartisan support from both parties. It never works and has never worked, and neocons like John Bolton are very much in denial as to what the consequences are of doing so; I liked how Rand Paul put it when he described neocons like Bolton on what they think: they think that we can spread democracy around the world by overthrowing foreign governments by force and then Thomas Jefferson will rise from the dead. That's not reality and I find this type of naive thinking to be dangerous, knowing that it has often led to blow-back; none of these interventions have anything to do with spreading democracy or keeping America safe and they say all that in order to cover up their wrongdoing.

What really blows my mind is that, since 1945, the United States have overthrown or attempted to overthrow a huge number of foreign governments, most of which have been democratically-elected; what strikes me is that those who think that regime change can still work don't learn from what happens or what happened. However what's really sad is that they don't understand the concept of blow-back. A great example of blow-back is when we sent in a coup in Iran to overthrow a democratically-elected prime minister to install the Shah in 1953 and the blow-back from our actions occurred in 1979 with the extremist Iranian Revolution, the storming of the US embassy in Tehran, the taking of our hostages and the many problems we have with Iran as greatly detailed in the video above.

I give Ron Paul credit for raising this subject often because I don’t think that the CIA, who helped orchestrate the coup, would have declassified documents and finally admit their role had Ron not said anything. But we kind of did have the truth more than a decade before the CIA released those documents; in March 2000, Madeleine Albright acknowledged in a speech at a conference by the American Iranian Council about the overthrow and even expressed regret for the actions that were taken by the US.

I used to be a neocon and I used to be ignorant like John Bolton, thinking that if we invade foreign countries and topple their governments we can bring peace and democracy to the world; that is very much ignorant thinking and, I have to say it, dangerous talk. Look what happened when we overthrew Saddam Hussein when we invaded Iraq, or when we overthrew Muammar Gaddafi when we intervened in Libya; both of those events lead to blow-back, which was ISIS controlling portions of both countries. Would you call that spreading democracy? Oh I don’t think so! I couldn’t agree more with Rand Paul when he said that it was wrong to overthrow both Hussein and Gaddafi; even Bernie Sanders admits that it was wrong, too, and correctly points out that invading Iraq and Libya has lead to the rise of terrorist groups like ISIS.

As I leave you all with this to think about, should we start waking up to the mistakes and failures of our current foreign policy and stop thinking that we can spread democracy around the world by force? I think so and I certainly hope that moving forward, we start being honest with ourselves and learn from the consequences of our actions; we can’t go on thinking that after doing something that is clearly a mistake that we can try doing it again in hopes that the consequences won’t turn up negative. We should also ask ourselves what do you think we would say if Iran did to us what we did to them? We would be objecting, we need to look at what we do from the perspective of what would happen if another country did that to us; it’s unfortunate that too many people don’t reach this conclusion or even think about a situation like this very carefully, and I hope that in the nearby future that people will start waking up to what’s really going on.

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