Sunday, 20 July 2003

The Latest Thing in Hegemony

I am starting to see opinions that the US should extend its hegemony in the wake of the great success of regime change in Iraq.

I won't go to whether Iraq has been a success (tell me when the jury's back).

But the concept of regime change is actually not new.

All that has changed since the collapse of the Soviet Union is that what used to be done covertly is now done overtly.

What has the success of past regime change been? On the whole, pretty pathetic. With the excuse of opposing Communism, democratically elected governments were overthrown and replaced by vicious dictatorships. Of course, things have changed now: there is no evil empire to oppose so maybe the New Regime Change will be more benign. But ask the people of Angola, Congo, Southeast Asia and countless other countries and regions whether regime change US-style is such a popular option.

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