Dr. Online Harold Pease
Why is it that both Republican and Democrat administrations always favor tyrannical non-democratic regimes in times of revolution? Time and time again whether in Iran in 1979, under Jimmy Carter, Tiananmen Square in China under George Bush, Iran again less then two years ago, under Barack Obama, or now in Egypt under Hosni Mubarak, it is the same. We want guaranteed stability from known murderous dictators rather than risk the unknown by supporting pro-democracy governments. We alone are capable of individual liberty, a position somewhat insulting to other people. The fallout is always the same; we only preach freedom but do not support it in practice. We consistently let the people seeking their own liberation down then wonder why they fall to more radical preachments and end up hating us. We play these people for our own benefit.
President Carter, in 1976, openly supported the Shaw of Iran, as had his predecessors, a brutal dictator against the will of his people demonstrating for freedom. I had several Iranian students in my classes at the time and they could not understand such friendship. They said, almost in unison, “We don’t hate America!” “Your media lie to you!” “We hate—how you say his name—‘Roc-ke-fell-er’.” “You know about him?” History does show David Rockefeller as having played a major role in bringing the Shaw to power in Iran. When the hated Shaw was finally forced out we brought him to Panama for medical treatment despite intelligence reports that the Iranians would retaliate. Iranians were, in part, driven to accept a far more radical leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, by linking their hated leader with America who sustained him in power. The more extreme element expressed their anger by taking U.S. embassy personnel hostage.
In Tiananmen Square university students built a statue of liberty modeled after our own then paraded it about with slogans asking for freedom as expressed in America. The government, caught totally off guard, finally brought in tanks to encircle the thousands of dissenting students. One student stood in front of incoming tanks. They unsuccessfully tried to move around
him. Friends finally removed him but his “Patrick Henry type” body statement, ”Give me liberty or give me death,” resounded throughout the world. This promising bid for liberty ended when in the middle of the night tanks savagely raced in crushing hundreds of sleeping demonstrators. The U.S. reprimand was mild and short lived as George Bush awarded the Chinese most favored trade status within a month of this horrifying event.
Less than two years ago the Iranian people begged America to help them depose their fanatical religious dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. President Obama, with absolute knowledge of this tyrant, who soon will have nuclear power, found it prudent not to get involved. Video coverage released to the internet, by the victims themselves, shared the sounds of Iranian paramilitary forces entering the homes of dissidents. Their last cries for help were heard worldwide as they were savagely beaten. When we had the power to usher in a far more friendly government our silence only strengthened the repression. Why would any Iranian thereafter have faith in our words of freedom? We are hypocrites.
For many years Hosni Mubarak has been the second major recipient of our foreign aid. Just sixteen months ago President Obama spoke in Egypt calling upon the Arab world to respect the “will of the people.” The Egyptian people loved him and now wonder where he is when they want it. They are finding his silence a form of betrayal just as have other protestors in other lands. One protester’s sign in English, obviously for the West to see, said it all, “Foreign Governments Stop Hypocrisy and Stand For Egyptian Freedom.” Perhaps President Obama will surprise us and it won’t be too little too late as in the case of Iran.
If our foreign policy was not always based upon what is only good for us and we gave some attention to what is good for them also, we would not be consistently linked to the hatred they have for their abusive leaders. We would not play a part in driving them to the more extreme elements that gain power by that connection, as for example, the Muslim Brotherhood. Consequently, we would then have many real friends.
Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 25 years at Taft College. To read more of his articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.