By John Perkins
There have been times in the course of human history when change is brought about with violence, anger, passion, and bloodshed. In recent years the two sides in such a clash are often the ruling class and big business (the corporatocracy) on one side, and the people affected by poverty and oppression on the other. The corporatocracy has the power to brutally withstand those fighting for a new way of life, and the people who are challenging the status quo have to declare their independence and their rights in the face of danger and repression.
This is one of those times in Ukraine, the Eastern European country bordering Russia. This nation is currently embroiled in a deadly collision between the people fighting for democracy, freedom, and economic stability and the corporatocracy fighting for control and profits.
It is totally unacceptable that Russia is attempting to dominate another sovereign nation, and doing it with military might and violence. It is imperative that we do everything in our power to stop Moscow’s intervention. At the same time it is important for us in the United States to re-examine our own foreign policies. The bloody example of Ukraine can serve as a mirror for us to look at our own repressive actions in our hemisphere, to say nothing about our interventions in far more distant lands.
Washington has used the Monroe Doctrine and the idea of manifest destiny to control governments throughout our hemisphere for more than two centuries. It has taken on new implications in recent history. We recklessly invaded a non-hostile country like Panama in 1989; more than 2000 innocent civilians were killed by U.S. bombs and troops and a large sector of the capital city was destroyed by the U.S. military. Similar events occurred in Grenada and Guatemala. During my life-time we’ve launched coups against democratically elected presidents Allende in Chile, Arbenz in Guatemala, Aristide in Haiti and most recently Zelaya in Honduras. The U.S. government has officially admitted to its part in many of these invasions and coups, as well as to our decisive role in Nicaragua during the Iran-Contra debacle. But our leaders have not yet taken the next step of denouncing these actions when they involve the U.S, in the same way they denounce them when they involve Russia or other countries.
So, yes Mr. President, Congress, and We the People, let us stand solid against Russia in the Ukraine. Let us also use this as a teaching tool and an impetus for us to look inward. Let us commit to never again allowing our own government to interfere with the rights of other sovereign nations – not through assassinations, coups, political skullduggery, or outright invasions.
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