Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Review of the book "OVERTHROW, America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

The question is, how much democracy can you afford?

We seem to think democracies are the best form of government, but they have a very critical flaw as is shown in Kinzer's book. That is gullibility. My bet is that if Americans (me included) knew about all these US Sponsored regime changes in the past and how they failed, how we have never had a successful regime change, I think we'd resolve to stop doing it. But as Kinzer showed, all it takes is a simple little lie (they are godless savages, cannot govern themselves, etc.) to whip well meaning people into a frenzy of wanting to "help" when really, very few of those countries needed our "help." The help they (and all other third world countries) need is education.

Not related to the book, I have this opinion: We need do drop millions of tons of food, not bombs, books, not ideologies, and especially not politicians. America could be the wellspring of life, technology, and education for the rest of the world, but instead, most of us only care about money.

But seriously though, I'd suggest you read this book. It's a little left of center maybe, but that's ok, because it is moderate, and as I believe everything in moderation. The book starts out with the detailed story of how Hawaii lost its peaceful monarchy to money hungry banana barons. The book then continues on to recount in great detail the stories of nearly every overthrow in America's history. The list is quite staggering. Here are some of the countries where the United States has staged coups and regime changes: Hawaii, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran, Afghanistan, Cuba, Chile, Vietnam again, Panama, Granada (a success by the way, though still crooked,) and finally, a little country who generally liked America, and still caved under pressure, but got invaded anyway, Iraq.

I was against invasion of Iraq from the beginning. I was also against Saddam Hussein for all the murders he caused, but I just don't think it's the Christian way to go invading other countries. Christians were never meant to be conquerors, or even kings. Christianity thrives in the most oppressive of countries, and always will. The fact remains that Iraq was a secular state. Not fundamentalist. Saddam had spent years getting rid of fundamentalists. But our president had it in his mind to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and the evidence followed the conclusions, not the other way around as is should be, and now lots of people are dead and the whole thing is a mess. Just like every other regime change.

The reason why I have focused on Iraq so much when the book only focuses one section on it is this: I am young, it's almost the only one I was an adult for. And I want to make it clear that I did not vote for Bush, I voted for not Kerry. That guy was a loop. He decided it for me when in the same sentence he affirmed his Catholic faith, he stated that he was pro fetal homicide. Now that's hypocracy.

Back to the book. It's a good book written by a guy who knows what he's talking about. I was floored, angered, saddened, and outraged by this book and I hope it brings out some of the same reactions in you.


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