Fear of the Russians has become apart of American politics and culture again. Just like throughout the Cold War, politicians and the media are now feeding fears that the Russian menace is trying to undermine the American way of life. This year, the allegation is that the Russians interfered with the presidential election. This interference occurred with repeated hacks of Democratic Party officials and entities and subsequent release of the information. This arguably swayed the election cycle, both in the primary and general.
Even if it were true the Russians were interfering with our own election, do we have a right to be outraged?
Former Congressman Ron Paul, who twice ran for the Republican presidential nomination, said the United States is not in any position to condemn election meddling. In an interview on Fox Business Network, Paul discussed the allegations against the Russians and our own foreign policy.
Paul even takes it a step further by pointing out that our government’s interference often goes beyond simple election meddling. In some instances, it involves military action and others it involves more covert activity. History shows us multiple examples of the United States meddling in other country’s affairs.
And the former Republican Congressman from Texas is absolutely right.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who was often the target of these hacks either directly or indirectly, even supported regime change herself in Iraq. The result of the destabilization of Iraq has been the rise of ISIS and the strengthening of the terrorist presence.
A prominent historical example of our meddling involves Iran in the 1950s. In 1951, Mohammad Mosaddegh was elected Prime Minister of Iran. Once upon a time, Iran had fair elections and a government that wasn’t hostile or extremist. This all changed however in just two years time.
Mosaddegh became immensely popular in Iran after he nationalized the oil industry. Despite the popularity of the move by Iran’s people and the fact Iran had just elected him two years prior, this move upset foreign powers.
The result was the 1953 coup that overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister over a move that was, while unpopular to foreign powers, quite popular in Iran itself. A coup that the Central Intelligence Agency even admitted it played a pivotal role in.
We all know how relations with Iran have been and where they stand now.
From Iran to Iraq and numerous other interventions in between, former Congressman Ron Paul’s point about meddling still stands. There is a moral argument against interfering in the internal politics of another nation, let alone attempting to influence their own electoral process. The problem here is the hypocrisy in the United States being outraged over the Russians apparently meddling through giving Americans a little transparency regarding the Democratic Party.
When it comes to meddling in the politics and elections of other countries, the United States is in absolutely no position to be outraged. If we are seriously concerned about the principle of the situation, it’s time we change our approach to foreign policy.