"Regime change" did not begin with the administration of George W. Read more...
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"Regime change" did not begin with the administration of George W. Bush, but has been an integral part of U.S. foreign policy for more than one hundred years. Starting with the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and continuing through the Spanish-American War and the Cold War and into our own time, the United States has not hesitated to overthrow governments that stood in the way of its political and economic goals. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 is the latest, though perhaps not the last, example of the dangers inherent in these operations.
In "Overthrow," Stephen Kinzer tells the stories of the audacious politicians, spies, military commanders, and business executives who took it upon themselves to depose monarchs, presidents, and prime ministers. He also shows that the U.S. government has often pursued these operations without understanding the countries involved; as a result, many of them have had disastrous long-term consequences.
More than 200 years ago, British statesman Edmund Burke said, "Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it." A wise observation that still holds today. One wonders what might have happenedor not happenedif our current leaders had taken a cue from Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, Stephen Kinzer's well-researched, fascinating history of the last 110 years of American foreign intervention. Kinzer focuses on only "the most extreme cases," 14 in all, where the U.S. "arranged to depose foreign leaders." Our century of regime change began in Hawaii in 1893, picked up momentum and support with the Spanish-American War, continued on to Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Chile and Iran among others, and now finds us in Iraq. It's all described here in measured prose, mirrored by Michael Prichard's straightforward, newscaster delivery. Seeing these events as a continuum offers the perspective of history with its sad repetitions and sobering conclusions.