Rights and regime change By Shahnaz Durrani

16 February 2012Asia Times Online: Rights and regime change

Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing.

The dawn of twenty-first century has brought a new phenomenon in its wake, which unfortunately has been little questioned or debated: the right of the mightiest to regime change. Where earlier the pretext of communism’s displacement reigned, followed by orthodox theocracy, now is the age of supplanting assertive regimes, even though they may be progressive and their ouster may mean the power of the religious orthodoxy.

How long can the ‘enlightened’ allow this game to go on and how could the genuine ‘revolutionaries’ be the ones calling for a change and not the fifth-column of an outside power? As long as the foreign meddling in domestic affairs of a country is not

stopped and the people seeking the change do not rise to the occasion and disallow the use of armed-force, using only peaceful means until a settlement is reached through negotiations, the whole movement would remain hijacked.

Regime change can be brought about peacefully as shown by the Egyptians, Tunisians and Yemenis, even though their successes are being tempered with by the foreign powers in the aftermath. Nevertheless, their achievements showed us how it can be done without fire-power. Those that infiltrate such a movement and bring in armaments need to be isolated and distanced from, so that the genuine demands are not suspect or undermined and the movement remains homegrown.

History has shown how war benefits the dwindling might. It is not only the economic crisis of the ex-colonial powers and the dire financial straits in which the United States finds itself in that is reverting them to these age-old tactics, but also the threat to US currency that is being dispensed with through regional currencies. Indeed, the world is culprit in having allowed a currency like the US dollars to have taken over without any checks and balances, which in turn has allowed the US Federal Reserve to print-out as much to support its armaments’ machinery.

The potential of development shown by the emerging economies is seen as a danger that the only way to counter is through regime change, with mayhem in its tracks. The slogan of democracy is thrown to the winds, as long as the autocrats are at the beck and call of one’s agenda, no matter the uprisings there.

Irrespective of the slurs to the double veto at the United Nations by Russia and China, forgetting the dozens of solo vetos by the United States in the past 30-plus years, it is good to see finally a check to the hegemonism of the US policies, especially in the Middle East, whose oil and gas resources it wants to sit on to control the world.

Indeed, any might is only as strong as it is given the leash. The Arab populations are relieved, despite the Western media and its cohorts’ full-drive at distortions, that the hidden agenda of the US & co has been halted and no aerial bombardment such as what took place in Libya has been allowed.

Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing. Articles submitted for this section allow our readers to express their opinions and do not necessarily meet the same editorial standards of Asia Times Online‘s regular contributors.

Shahnaz Durrani majors in international relations and is a researcher in Germany.

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