The massive protests in Egypt have dominated much of the news for the past week. Finally, President Obama himself spoke to the public on the issue.
“…It is not the role of any other country to determine Egypt’s leaders…” (via Rueters)
I agree with his statement. It is true that sovereign nations have the right to choose their leaders and their style of government. However, where were these sentiments when we invaded Iraq? When we invaded Afghanistan? When the American CIA orchestrated a coup to overthrow the Iranian government in 1953 under President Dwight Eisenhower, another American-led coup in Chile in 1973… The list goes on and on.
The United States has in fact led several coups and plans to overthrow foreign governments. These facts aren’t secrets, even though you rarely hear them talked about in the classroom or in the mainstream media. Most Americans I’ve talked to were shocked when I mentioned US backed and supported missions to overthrow other governments – many people didn’t believe me.
Naomi Klein wrote a great book called The Shock Doctrine, which outlines how American neo-liberal economic policies, in the name of free market capitalism, have ravaged countries across the globe, from Poland to Brazil to South Africa.
A great website I found gives a list of nations that America has meddled in, removing and overthrowing governments around the world, many of which were democratically elected. As Americans, we like to believe that we are the forerunners of democracy and that we are upholders of democracy around the globe – but history tells us a very different story. It also explains one of the main reasons for so much anti-American sentiment around the world.
This website is Krysstal. The page I’m talking about is “Coups Arranged or Backed by the USA,” and the information is fascinating. Of course, like all information you find, both on paper and online, you have to make sure it is reliable and accurate. Anyone can find an outlet to rant and rave, spewing irrelevant information and telling likes. Look at Glenn Beck. But as far as I can tell, from my own research and reading, this information is historically accurate and based on historical fact.
Like I said, this information is not secret, no one can deny the American involvement in the coup against the Iranian government in the ’50’s, for example, although for the most part, it is not discussed. But it should be. How can we truly be a nation that promotes democracy if we actively crush democratic governments because of their stance on Palestine or American big business doesn’t like their economic policies? We can’t be, and if history has anything to tell us, we aren’t that kind of nation.
The United States and Egypt have been allies for a long time, which is our administration has not been stronger about taking a side on the issue until now. I can only imagine what would happen if Egypt was an American hot-button nation like Iran.