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Jul-15-2013 19:54printcomments

The Rhetoric of Spreading Democracy ---The World isn't Buying it

Under US law the government cannot financially support a "military coup", so their solution is to avoid calling it what it is, making us a laughing stock around the world.

(JAMESTOWN, RI) - The Egyptian people love the American people, but hate our government, as do many other people in nations around the world.

A recent poll showed the people of Egypt hate the US government more than most other populations, so we must ask why? For the past 30 years the US government financially supported Egypt with an enormous annual contribution of $1.3 billion. The $1.3 billion was almost exclusively military aid which allowed Hosni Mubarak to build a military power and use it to control his own people. In addition to the gift of $1.3 billion, the CIA funneled money to various military officials to win favor, and many Egyptian military leaders were trained in the US; so in many ways the Egyptian army was a proxy army of the US, keeping the Egyptian people "in their place'.

Hosni Mubarak, the US backed dictator, survived and ruled for 30 years with the power of his US built and funded military, all this being done while the US government was trying to convince the Egyptian people they had a democracy. When the will of the Egyptian people finally prevailed, and Mubarak was overthrown, the US demanded an election. A free and fair election was held with Mr. Morsi winning the first democratic election in Egypt's history.

Less than one year later the US financed military overthrew the elected leader in a military coup. Everyone in the world views this as a military coup save the US government. Obama refuses to even use the word coup, despite the fact that the "military" threw out a democratically elected leader and the military is now calling the shots and appointing leaders in Egypt.

The US wishes to continue giving $1.3 billion to the Egyptian military, but under US law cannot financially support a "military coup", so their solution is to avoid calling it what it is, making us a laughing stock around the world. Documents just revealed show money funneled through the U.S. State Department has been going to groups who were trying to rid Egypt of Mr. Morsi, despite the fact he was democratically elected. The Egyptian people realize the US government is preventing democracy, and has done so for 30 years.

This kind of hypocrisy is not new to the US government, for the US government over the years has installed and propped up military strongmen and dictators in many nations, much to the disgust of the oppressed people in the respective nations. Let's look closer to home for yet another example.

In Honduras Manual Zelaya was elected leader of Honduras in 2005, but was overthrown by the right wing business class and the powerful Honduran military. During the prior 10-15 years, the US poured millions of US dollars into training and equipping the Honduran military, making it a political force to be reckoned with. The US trained and financed military orchestrated a coup in 2009, overthrowing Zelaya and forcing him to flee the country, and once again the US government refused to call this a military coup, a position contrary to world opinion. The US backed a variety of strongmen in Honduras for many years in an effort to rid nearby Nicaragua of the Sandinista, another elected group the US government did not approve of.

In 2006, US demanded an election be held in Gaza, because we did not like the party in power. The US government was shocked when the Hamas political party emerged victorious, in what all observers described as a fair and democratic election. The US government was horrified at their victory, and led by Israel, began to starve the people in Gaza for voting the "wrong way". The US and Israel hoped things would get so bad the people would overthrow Hamas, which has not happened despite the horrible conditions we and Israel have created. Gazans do not believe the rhetoric of Obama and the US government about spreading democracy. They are being punished for their democracy.

It was the CIA and the US government who overthrew the democratically elected popular leader of Iran back in 1953 and then installed a brutal dictator who murdered thousands over the next 30 years with his secret police, trained and funded by the CIA. Iranians do not believe the rhetoric of the US government about spreading democracy, they know the US prevented democracy in Iran.

So while President Obama preaches the importance of spreading "democracy", most people around the world snicker at his hypocrisy. The US public, largely uniformed on what the US government is doing in their name, continues to drink the proverbial "Kool-Aid" offered by the US government for its military interventions and efforts to prevent democracy. The danger here is that the line between the US government and the American people is becoming blurred, for if we really have a democracy and our government expresses the will of the people, are we not one and the same with the government, and therefore culpable in the eyes of the world?

Joseph Clifford

_________________________________ Writer Joe Clifford, lives in historic Jamestown, Rhode Island, and has contributed a number of articles relating to foreign policy to newspapers in the Rhode Island area for years.

He graduated from Providence College where he earned an undergraduate and graduate degree. After a lengthy career as a high school teacher he turned to the study of US foreign policy, and then to writing, as a means of expressing an alternative perspective. His reading and research on foreign policy is broad and extensive, especially as the policy relates to the Middle East. His interest in foreign policy was inspired by the American misadventure in Vietnam. You can write to Joe at this address:



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