The US and tolerance of dictators

The world is full of dictators.  Some even call themselves president or prime minister, and sometimes there is even a superficial semblance of democracy. T here is no question that these individuals are reprehensible individuals.  But having said that, the recent American policy of the last decade demonstrates that instead of actively trying to remove them, it might be wiser simply to back off from any interference.

The problem is, our government leaders never seem to learn from their mistakes.  Just listen to John "the walking dead" McCain.  And, to tell the truth, we have become addicted to sticking our noses into other countries' business.

The Middle East region during this past decade provides ample proof of this dictum.  The fiasco caused by that consummate imbecile, George W. Bush, is one that has endured to this day and whose mistakes we are all still paying for.  It is because of him that there is a Shiite Iraq, a Palestinian region run by an elected radical group, and a genocidal ISIS out from the Iraqi ashes (and Bush still believes he did a good job as president – just like Jimmy Carter).  This was followed up by Libya and Syria falling into civil war and anarchy.  Whereas Libya, Syria, and Iraq may have been pariah states under those dictatorships, the resulting demise (or imminent demise) led to wholesale butchery that has spilled over the borders and has increased tenfold the number of deaths.

During the Cold War, leftists routinely condemned the United States for "supporting" authoritarian regimes (this "support" ranged from simply having regular diplomatic relations to supplying them with weapons), such as Mobutu Sese Seko of the Congo, as being immoral.  Ironically, these same leftists showed no moral indignation whatsoever at atrocities committed by Marxist regimes.  Their moral indignation has always been highly selective.  It may have been "immoral" (a term that is highly subjective), but in the global chess game of the time, it was a necessity, just as it was necessary to supply the Soviet Union during World War II.

This means that it should be in the best interest of the United States to keep its nose out of other countries' internal affairs – especially if no one has any accurate idea of the circumstances in that country.  Look: Vladimir Putin is corrupt, a murderer, and a democracy-killer, no question about that, but he was correct when he told the West regarding the mess in Libya, Syria, and Iraq, "Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster – and nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life.  I cannot help asking those who have forced that situation: Do you realize what you have done?"

Armando Simón is a retired college professor and is the author of A Cuban from Kansas, The U, and The Only Red Star I Liked Was a Starfish.

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