The US got involved in the Philippines because we were Marcos’s patron by mattsteinglass
June 21, 2009, 11:56 am
Filed under: democracy, Iran

Greg Djerejian has a good post here (via Andrew Sullivan) explaining why Paul Wolfowitz’s call for more direct US support of the Iranian opposition is wrong. But he doesn’t mention what I think is the central flaw in Wolfowitz’s use of the Philippines example: the US took a direct diplomatic role in the People Power revolution because the US was Ferdinand Marcos’s patron state. The US had to take a position there in the same way the USSR had to take a position in Berlin in 1989. In Iran, in contrast, it would be as counterproductive for the US to take a strong position supporting Moussavi and the opposition as it would have been for the USSR to take a strong position supporting the People’s Power revolution in 1984. Soviet support for the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and for the Civil Rights movement in the US was similarly unhelpful.

By contrast, Obama’s support for non-violence and his warnings that governments must respect their citizens’ rights to freedom of assembly and expression now put the US in a position to condemn Iranian government repression of the demonstrators. In principle, one could see the UN’s 2005 endorsement of governments’ “responsibility to protect” their citizens being invoked here. That is a strong diplomatic position to be in. And all the US can do at this point is diplomacy.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Oh my god loved reading your article. I added your feed to my google reader.

Comment by AntatlyBani

US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has mentioned the sluggish recovery might possibly imply the financial institution will take further action on the financial system.

Comment by Handyman in Sacramento

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: