[Marxism] Regime changes

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 10 11:21:25 MST 2004

by Derrick O'Keefe

The past year has been marked by the U.S.-led "regime change" in Iraq, a 
process carried out by the brute force of the most powerful military 
machine in the history of the world.  After the celebrated "fall of 
Baghdad" in April, 2003, pundits, hawks and anti-war activists alike 
began to speculate -- some with glee, and some with worry -- on the next 
target of the Pentagon's firepower, and all could see visions of U.S. 
tanks rolling into Damascus, Tehran, or even Pyongyang.  The sheer 
audacity of the Bush-Blair campaign in Iraq had us all seeing 
apocalyptic visions of two, three, many "shock and awes."

Recent events in Haiti, and indeed the past several years in Venezuela, 
should serve as a sharp reminder that regime change comes in many 
shapes, sizes and methods.  And from the perspective of U.S. 
imperialism, there is a lot to change in its Latin American "backyard" 
if it is to prove able to implement its Free Trade Area of the Americas 
regime and thwart the world's most vibrant social movements, which have 
emerged from south of the Rio Grande in spite of a generation of the 
most brutal repression in the 1970s and 80s.  That savage 
counter-revolution, an era marked by mass disappearances, death squads 
and the infamous contras, was in many countries preceded by a coup, 
almost always with, at the very least, nodding approval and cooperation 
from the United States government.

The coup d’etat, in Latin America but also in the dozens of 
nominally-former colonies that make up the Third Word, has been and 
remains an important weapon in the imperial arsenal of regime change. 
Malcolm X made famous the rallying cry of “by any means necessary”, as a 
challenge to the ruling pacifist ethos of his era’s social movements. 
While this type of militancy continues to make some queasy, progressives 
of all stripes would be wise to remember that the ruling class has 
always, and continues, to play by that uncompromising maxim in its 
efforts to secure pliant governments, from Baghdad to Port-au-Prince and 

full:  www.sevenoaksmag.com/features/03_regimes.html

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