Liberals sign on to supporting regime change


The obsession of liberals and the Democratic party establishment with this idea that Russia influenced the last US elections sufficiently to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency has led them down a rabbit hole to old Cold War attitudes, in which they see Russia as an arch-enemy that must be combated everywhere. This has led them to supporting regime change in those countries such as Venezuela and Syria that have support from Russia, despite the disastrous effects of previous regime change efforts in Iraq and Libya.

Matt Taibbi writes about how some of the people popularly identified as ‘liberals’ in politics and the media have become advocates for war and enthusiasts for regime change, with the consensus rhetoric used against Venezuela being a prime example.

The American commercial news landscape, in schism on domestic issues, is in lockstep here. Every article is seen from one angle: Venezuelans under the heel of a dictator who caused the crisis, with the only hope a “humanitarian” intervention by the United States.

There is no other perspective. Media watchdog FAIR just released results of a study of three months of American opinion pieces. Out of 76 editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post, the “big three Sunday morning talk shows” or PBS News Hour, zero came out against the removal of Maduro. They wrote:

“Corporate news coverage of Venezuela can only be described as a full-scale marketing campaign for regime change.”

Allowable opinion on Venezuela ranges from support for military invasion to the extreme pacifist end of the spectrum, as expressed in a February op-ed by Dr. Francisco Rodriguez and Jeffrey Sachs called “An Urgent Call for Compromise in Venezuela”:

“We strongly urge… a peaceful and negotiated transition of power rather than a winner-take-all game of chicken…”

So we should either remove Maduro by force, or he should leave peaceably, via negotiation. These are the options.

After the disaster of Vietnam eons ago, American thought leaders became convinced we “lost” in Indochina because of — get this — bad PR.

The real lesson in Vietnam should have been that people would pay any price to overthrow a hated occupying force. American think-tankers and analysts however somehow became convinced (and amazingly still are) that the problem was Walter Cronkite and the networks giving up on the war effort.

He says that the way that liberals have started openly supporting regime change has been stunning to see.

We inevitably end up propping up dictators of our own, and the too-frequent pattern now — vividly demonstrated in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan — is puppet states collapsing and giving way to power vacuums and cycles of sectarian violence. Thanks, America!

Opposing such policies used to be a central goal of American liberalism. No more. Since 2016, it’s been stunning to watch the purging and/or conversion of what used to be antiwar voices, to the point where Orwellian flip-flops are now routine.

Earlier this month, onetime fierce Iraq war opponent Rachel Maddow went on TV to embrace John Bolton in a diatribe about how the poor National Security Adviser has been thwarted by Trump in efforts to topple Maduro.

“Regardless of what you thought about John Bolton before this, his career, his track record,” Maddow said. “Just think about John Bolton as a human being.”

The telecast was surreal. It was like watching Dick Cheney sing “Give Peace a Chance.”

He says the rhetoric used against anti-interventionists is a drearily familiar one.

We have been down this road before. Remember that liberals and the Democratic party were largely responsible for the escalation of the Vietnam war, using the rhetoric of combating the communism of Russia and China.

Liberals and Democrats love ‘humanitarian’ military interventions in other countries. It allows them to demonstrate support for a muscular and aggressive foreign policy and the military, to buff their patriotic credentials (because nothing shows patriotism more than bombing the hell out of other countries), while at the same time appeasing their consciences that the carnage is being unleashed in order to alleviate suffering. A win-win!

Comments

  1. Myra Greenwood says

    I disagree, Democrats were only against the Vietnam War because of the draft. Hilary voted for war. Of course she isn’t a liberal and neither is Rachel Maddow. I’m not shocked by anything Maddow says. She is a corrupt corporate mouth piece pout on air to sooth thinking folks from actually realizing how corrupt our media really is.

  2. colinday says

    “Just think about John Bolton as a human being.”

    Would Ms. Maddow give the citizens of Venezuela the same consideration?

  3. Margaret Lind says

    Many times, how we view the world, ourselves or those who report the news on television is through the lens of our own prejudices.
    No. 1: The Vietnam War dates back to JFK, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. It goes back to a time when the United States thought that if South Vietnam fell to Communism that the whole Indochina Peninsula would fall to Communism, and that that would be harmful to the safety and security of the United States. You can search Indochina Peninsula map to see that.
    No. 2: The internet more than any other factor has changed our world. The things we love are nearer. The things we dislike are nearer, and the things we disdain are nearer also. If you dislike someone’s point of view, it doesn’t mean they are a bad person. It simply means they have a different point of view than you. They probably were born in a different place than you, were raised by different people than you, had a different religion than you.
    Gratefully, the United States of America was founded for us all. Hate is the product of fear, and fear is the product of lack of knowledge. Let us seek more knowledge… instead trying to do away with what we individually see as that which is to be hated and feared.

  4. says

    I think that money in politics in an immense problem. I don’t like billionaires influencing who wins some election. Simultaneously, I don’t care what is the citizenship of some billionaire who bought a bunch of Facebook advertisements for some political candidate. There is no reason why a Russian billionaire buying advertisements for Trump should be perceived as any worse than some American billionaire buying advertisements for Trump. Thus I’m perplexed by Americans being so worried about the fact that some advertisements were paid for by, gasp, a Russian citizen. Who cares.

  5. EigenSprocketUK says

    Andreas, #4

    some advertisements were paid for by, gasp, a Russian citizen. Who cares.

    During a UK campaign period, overseas campaign funding is illegal.
    In the UK, our pockets are not as deep as the USA and Russian oligarchs, and there’s a lot of damage to be done to powerless people. For example, US Health”care” interests are currently eyeing up the UK’s nationalised healthcare system, fully intending to squeeze money out of those with no alternative.
    Who cares, you ask? To give just one single example: A Member of Parliament in the UK was assassinated during the 2016 campaigns: yes, most of us care. I worry for those who don’t.