Regime change – endless failures by the United States

by Professor Dr Albert A. Stahel

According to the prevailing political orientation in the White House be it that of Republicans or Democrats, right-wing neo-conservatives or left liberals in the respective administrations regularly call for the overthrow of inconvenient rulers all over the world and for their replacement by democratic governments. The US-propagated and boosted regime change of more recent times has started off with the overthrow of the Afghan President Mohammad Najibullah in April 1992. Yet the result was no democracy in Afghanistan, but a civil war between the various Mujahideen parties, which led to the destruction of Kabul and later to the seizure of power by the Taliban, who eventually murdered Najibullah in Kabul on 27 September 1996. This was followed by other regime changes along the same lines:
In December 2001, the Taliban regime in Kabul was eliminated after the US air war and the advance of the Northern Alliance. The result was and is that the war continues unabated and drug production and trafficking has become downright flourishing.
On 5 October 2000, the Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic was forced to resign by mass protests in Belgrade. Serbia continues to be an instable state.
When the US and its coalition of the willing attacked and occupied Iraq, Saddam Hussein was overthrown on 9 April 2003 and later executed on 30 December 2006 by the new rulers. The consequences continue to this day. The removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime has strengthened the power of Iran in Iraq and given rise to the emergence of an Islamic State in western Iraq.
By means of the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the country’s president, Eduard Shevardnadze, was overthrown on 23 November 2003. Under his successor, Georgia oriented itself towards the US. In 2008, he indirectly instigated a war against Russia, which led to a division of the country.
On 14 January 2011, the Tunisian dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was driven out by means of demonstrations and fled to Saudi Arabia. The result is that in Tunisia, Islamists and Ben Ali supporters are still vying for power, Tunisia is still regarded as an unstable state.
On 11 February 2011, Egypt’s long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak was toppled by mass protests. Subsequently Muslim Brother Mursi was elected as president, only to be overthrown on 3 July 2013 by a military coup led by Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. The latter was elected president in 2014. His security forces are being worn out in a war of attrition against Islamists in Egypt and on Sinai.
In March 2011, mass protests against the regime of Bashar al-Assad were triggered in Syria. They were sponsored by Neocon organizations in the United States as well as by Turkey and by Saudi Arabia. Today civil war is raging in Syria, and it is dominated by, amongst others, the Salafist organizations of the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra. Syria is considered to be destroyed. There are millions of refugees.
Supported by US air war, by the UK and France, militias seized power in Libya and on 20 October 2011 first castrated Libyan strongman Gaddafi on the hood of a car and then killed him. Today Libya is considered a state in disintegration where a brutal civil war is raging.
On 22 February 2014, the elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was degraded by his Parliament after mass protests in Kiev. He fled to Russia. The Russian president Vladimir Putin exploited the subsequent destabilization of Ukraine for the annexation of the Crimea. Separatists have been fighting against militias and the army of Kiev in the eastern part of Ukraine ever since. Ukraine has been split into two parts.
On the basis of these various examples it can be concluded that nowhere at all the US policy of regime change has brought about democracy. On the contrary – in almost all these countries civil war and chaos are now reigning. The US would have done better to spend the money used for this purpose to solve their own problems. They should have invested in and fixed their own crumbling infrastructure, their inadequate educational and health care systems and their languishing pensions system.    •

Source: “Institut für Strategische Studien” (Institute for Strategic Studies), www.strategische-studien.com  from 17 January 2015

(Translation Current Concerns)