This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
In These Times: Opinion: Noam Chomsky: The Long Shameful History of American Terrorism
I beg to differ with Noam Chomsky that America is the world leader in American terrorism. I would first look at Iran and perhaps even Russia now with Vladimir Putin. America has made some serious mistakes in who we’ve decided to back and that goes back at least as far as the Vietnam War. My main problem with American intervention in third world authoritarian states are the government’s and regimes that we’ve backed. Especially dictators like Saddam Hussein in Iraq in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, The Shah of Iran from the 1940s until he was ousted from power in 1979.
The theory behind the backing of authoritarian regimes at least going back to the Eisenhower Administration in the 1950s has been that if we don’t back these government’s, they’ll be replaced by people who are worst. That will be worst for the people there and our interests in those countries. The crater size hole in that argument is that the people on the ground tend to hate their government’s. Because of how authoritarian that they are and the lack of rights that they have. And they see what America is doing by backing the regime there and take that out on the government and America.
I don’t have a problem with backing developing countries and the people there. The questions are who do you back, to what point do you back them and what is the money being used for. Are you backing freedom fighters, or people who would replace the regime in power with another authoritarian state. Are you backing freedom fighters and people would serve their people and govern responsibility? Or are you backing terrorists that may be even worst for the country than the current regime.
America unfortunately has a history of backing the wrong people as I’ve already pointed out. And we’ve paid a heavy price for that going back to at least 1978-79 when the Shah of Iran was kicked out of power and replaced by a far-right theocratic Islamic regime that has sponsored terrorism against the United States for the last thirty-five years. Again it is not whether you should back developing countries and people looking to overthrow dictators. But who you back and how you back them that America needs to better at. That I’ll explain in more detail in a future blog.