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The global politics of regime change

Many countries around the world have been plagued by all kinds of armed rebellions, economic sanctions, civil wars, “democratic coup d ‘edats and /or wars of regime change.

These countries included the Ukraine, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Somalia, and Lebanon. Even in the core capitalist countries the overwhelming majority of citizens are subjected to brutal wars of economic austerity. These social convulsions seem to have become more numerous in recent years and have become more frequent since the mysterious 9/11 attacks, the 2008 financial implosions and European crises and beyond. Ishamael Hossen Zadeh, a professor of economics at Drake University argues that the social turbulences are induced, nurtured and orchestrated from outside, that is by the USA and its allies and of course in collaboration with their class allies from inside ( the bourgeoisie compradors).

Contrary to long established historical pattern of social revolutions, where the desperate and disenfranchised masses rebelled against the ruling elites, in most of the recent struggles it is the elites that have instigated insurgencies and civil wars against the masses. There are shared interests and collaborative schemes of the international plutocracies against the global 99%. Professor Zadeh reasons that the official rationale offered by the US and its allies that the goal of supporting anti government opposition forces in places like Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela e.t.c is to spread democracy no longer holds any validity, it can easily be dismissed as a harebrained pretext to global neo liberalism and austerity economics. Abundant and irrefutable evidence shows that in places where the majority of citizens voted for and elected governments that were not to the liking of Western powers; these powers mobilized their local allies and hired all kinds of mercenary forces to overthrow the duly elected government thereby quashing the majority votes. Such blatant interventions to overturn the elections that resulted from majority votes include the promotion of Orange Revolution in Ukraine (2004 and 2014), Rose Revolution in Georgia (2003) Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, The Green Revolution in Iran (2009). They also include the rejection and effective annulment of the duly elected Hamas government in Palestine in 2006.

The real driving forces behind regime change need to be sought in the imperatives of expansion and accumulation of capital on a global level. An American dissident intellectual Noam Chomsky decries that socialist, social democratic, populist or nationalist leaders who do not embrace neo liberal economic policies, and who may be wary of having their markets wide open to unbridled foreign capital, would be targeted for replacement with pliant leaders or client states. In other words the driving force behind recent wars of regime change is that the US and other major capitalist powers have lately embarked on austerity economic policies at home and they also expect and indeed, demand for the rest of the world to follow suit. For example after resisting the imperialists pressures for years, The late colonel Ghaddaffi eventually relented in 1993, granted major oil and other transnational corporations of western capitalist powers lucrative investment and trade deals, dismantled his country’s nuclear technology. Despite these huge concessions, the US and its allies violently overthrew his regime in 2011 and was literally butchered by the thuggish gangs that were trained and armed by western powers. He was killed because the  US and its allies expected more and

wanted him to follow the economic guidelines of the experts of global finance, that is of the US and European economic “advisors” of the International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organisation. In short he was expected to dismantle his country’s rather robust state welfare programs and to restructure its economy after the model of neo liberalism.

The imperialist powers have also been scheming to overthrow populist or socialist regimes of the late Hugo Chavez and his successor in Venezuela, the Castro brothers in Cuba, Evo Morales in Bolivia. The list is endless. The plutocratic establishment in the core capitalist countries intolerance for “regimented” economies stems from fear that a strong state sponsored economic safety net programs elsewhere may serve as “bad” models that could be demanded by citizens in these core capitalist countries. The goal or mission of converting other economies to the US style capitalism also helps explain why the US has engaged in so many military operations and engineered so many coup d états and regime changes around the world. Global financial elites change “unaccommodating” regimes not only in less developed countries but also in the core capitalist countries. They accomplish this not so much by military means but by utilising two very subtle but powerful means of artificial money driven elections peddled as “democracy in action” and powerful financial institutions and think tanks such as the IMF, Central banks, and bond/credit rating agencies like Moody’s, Standard & Poor and Fitch Group. An unfavorable rating report by these agencies on the credit status of a country’s economic, financial and   currency position in world markets, thereby dooming its government to collapse and replacement. All the scheme and wars of regime change, whether by the traditional military means or the by the “soft” power of the global financial juggernaut, essentially represent one thing: a disguised class war on global level, a relentless worldwide economic war by the 1% of the financial economic oligarchy against the rest of the 99% of the world population. A staunch critic of the corrupt global neo liberal regime, Naomi Klein posits that the financial oligarchy and their proxies in the governments of core capitalist countries have been carrying out systematic coup d’états against the people, ravages of which includes transfer of trillions of dollars from the public to the financial oligarchy through merciless austerity cuts. Policies of regime change are usually designed and carried out as collaborative schemes by cross border plutocracies, that is, by the oligarchies of imperialist countries in partnership with their naïve counterparts in the less developed countries. In Cynthia Freehand analysis, the elites of global capital are becoming a transglobal community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back at home. In other words the elites of the international capitalist class are not bound by territoriality or national boundaries. Through their global strategies and operations, transnational capitalism has broken free from national constraints and commitment at home and has successfully shifted the correlation of class forces and social alliances worldwide leaving a trail of destruction and misery in its wake.

*Solly Rakgomo is a graduate

student of International Relations

Opinion & Analysis



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