LOG CABIN CHRONICLES

America, example to the world?

Posted 02.27.15
FRED RYAN

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | Finally we have something concrete on which to build Canadian foreign policy. There's an undeniable historical example -- a precedent, really -- which the Americans have created and which the rest of the world, not just the Yanks, can begin to use. This is the concept of neighbourhood-benefit regime change.

The Americans have been destabilizing democratically-elected governments in countries from Venezuela to Bolivia and Iran to Egypt. This is not novel with George W. Bush's presidency -- it was well underway just after World War II, with American overthrows of Guatemala's new government, followed by Iran, Indonesia, all the way to attempts on Cuba and even the Soviet Union itself.

What has all this to do with Canada?

We seem to avoid meddling in foreign nations (most of the time), or we may be really good at camouflage, but anyone watching the American presidential primaries will have wondered what might happen if the likes of Trump or Ted Cruz end up in the White House, unleashing their macho rage-culture on the world. We may have to reconsider our hands-off attitude toward other governments.

In fact, with the prospect of any present Republican becoming president, it's time for us to re-visit our old policies. Time to brush off and exercise that very principle of "neighbourhood-benefit regime change" and prepare to apply it to the USA itself -- should our neighbourhood of the world be faced with a nutsy or coarse, proto-fascist Washington regime. We should be talking to our neighbours. If we're concerned, they must be, too.

No appeals to international jurisprudence or to traditional democratic principles need be undertaken. The Americans themselves have told us so. They have assured us, year after year, as they destabilize one regime after the next, that this benevolent regime-changing is right and beneficial. Pizza's here, America!

Let us consult with our allies around the world to prepare, first, for the unbelievable (say a Trump presidency), and, second, for a world-response to the unbelievable. Should these meetings be done on the quiet, or perhaps a public, international conference might wake up the slumbering giant and bring its people back to the real world?

This is all worst-case scenario. There must a positive approach, something proactive, which we've over-looked or ignored in our surprise every time we read a newspaper or watch the evening news.

A proactive approach might be to undertake a massive effort to help educate Americans. Maybe UNESCO could be involved. This would introduce science and history (at least that) into the American educational system. We could target America's infamous functionally-illiterate public, although could the UN also deal with FOX news and America's shock-jocks and all-talk radio extremism? The challenge would be enormous, with no guarantee of any success.

Or, we keep within the trajectories of today -- fighting terrorism. In any tally of civilian deaths by terrorising attacks, America's military machine holds the record. See, there's lots we can do if a Trump wins the final election.

Or is there?

john@johnmahoney.com




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