Friday, June 23, 2006

History Shows Liberty Can Be Delayed & U.S. Can Be the Delayer

(AP) By changing 6 letters to 4 in President Bush’s speech on liberty, one gets a drastically different picture. The U.S. Executive said “The lesson of the Hungarian experience is clear, liberty can be delayed, but it cannot be denied. The desire for liberty is universal.”

By changing Hungary to Iran, the story remains true but becomes the U.S.’s current nightmare. Iran haunts the U.S. in part from the CIA engineered overthrow of democratically elected leaders during 1953-4. The overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadegh paved the way for the dictatorial and oppressive Shah to rule until his overthrow in 1979.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution arose from the very desire for liberty of which President Bush speaks. Most Americans find this thought offensive or horrific as part of their revolution involved the taking of hostages from the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Those memories are a dark vision in our national nightmare. Yet to most Iranians it is as important as our tossing tea in the Boston Harbor.

The Bush Administration believes in regime change, having already done so in Iraq. It is very concerned about democratically elected governments in Venezuela and Bolivia because of their populist stands. Last fall Sec. Rumsfeld spoke of the threat of leftists taking over in Nicaragua but he failed to mention the surreptitious method by which they would gain control, upcoming elections! He did take the time to meet with their military leaders. Did he appropriately nod and wink in response to what they should do if the wrong candidate won? What other underhanded efforts might the CIA, the DIA, or any other covert U.S. group with a black box budget have in the works?

The history of U.S. sponsored regime change is not one of long term success. It may bring short term stability, the kind which pleases American corporations. The Iranian and Guatemalan overthrows in the 1950’s were conducted expressly for business interests. Prime Minister Mossadegh,Time's Man of the Year in 1951, made the mistake of nationalizing some of their country’s oil resources. Anglo-Iranian Oil Company survived as a British company courtesy of President Eisenhower’s intervention. The United Fruit Company benefited from America’s tampering in Guatemala. Established democracies fell for oil and bananas, pushed by the CIA.

As President Bush is a strong student of history, this information is not new to him. It’s just the version he prefers not to acknowledge, much less share. For many outside the U.S., especially in the affected countries, this information is fresh in their minds despite its occurrence over 50 years ago. Yet it is mostly absent from the greater American psyche.

Yes liberty can be delayed, and what plans does the U.S. have to do so in countries with democratically elected leaders we don’t like?

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