Among the protesters in Egypt is a group called the April 6 Youth Movement. According to one of the documents leaked by WikiLeaks, that group has connections to the U.S. government. That implies that the American government is involved in the demonstrations in Egypt. If so, it wouldn't be the first time the West has done something like this.Amazingly, the day after I posted this, both Vonage and TiVo shares rose exactly 1 cent. Although my government may not have liked certain parts of this article, I am sure they really, really, really liked the last sentence, “I am still waiting.” That is exactly what they want me to do – wait for them to do something right. Of course, if I do that, I will have to wait an eternity, which is what they want. Meanwhile, they can continue to kill people and rip people off. Obviously, I need to stop waiting and start doing…something.
Three decades ago a wave of protests forced the Shah of Iran into exile in the Iranian Revolution. After he left Iran, the Shah blamed America for his ouster.
“I did not know it then – perhaps I did not want to know – but it is clear to me now that the Americans wanted me out,” said the Shah of Iran. “Clearly this is what the human rights advocates in the State Department wanted.”
The Shah had good reason to believe this. Before his ouster, America pressured him to release a large number of dissidents from his jails. Upon release, those dissidents immediately sought to overthrow him.
The West probably wanted to overthrow the Shah for several reasons. Iran is a large country in the Middle East with an abundance of natural resources. If the West continued to allow Iran to develop, Iran could become powerful and a threat to its neighbors. In the western theory of international relations, that is something should be prevented. Staging a revolution would send Iran back to the stone ages and would sever its ties to the West and would therefore cut off western support to Iran. Removing that support – particularly economic support – could prevent Iran from growing more powerful.
Instability in Iran pushed up oil prices and led to the 1979 oil shock. Once again, an oil shock would disrupt the Japanese economy. That isn’t the only similarity to the first oil shock. The first oil shock happened soon after Nixon went to China and Japan normalized its relations with China. The second oil shock happened at about the same time that America normalized its relations with China. But after America normalized its relations with China, there was no reason for maintaining the Cold War. The West created the Cold War to separate China and Japan. With both countries enjoying normalized diplomatic relations with each other and with the West, the reason for the Cold War had ended. But the West still had to do something about the Soviet Union.
On September 14, 1979, Hafizullah Amin staged a coup in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union believed Amin was an American agent. After all, Amin went to school at Columbia University. Not surprisingly, the people of Afghanistan didn’t like Amin any more than the Soviet Union did.
“Amin is the reincarnation of Joseph Stalin,” said one Kabul resident.
The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to overthrow Amin and install its own government. After the Soviets invaded, we started to supply weapons to a group of Islamic fundamentalists to fight the Soviets. Note that an Islamic fundamentalist regime in neighboring Iran would probably aid the Islamic fundamentalist rebels fighting in Afghanistan. That’s another reason why the West would have preferred an Islamic regime in Iran. The war in Afghanistan would help bring an end to the Soviet Union. In an interview after the Cold War ended, Zbigniew Brzezinski offered this justification for what the West did.
“What is most important to the history of the world?” asked Brzezinski. “Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”
On January 27, 2011, Bill Clinton gave an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos. During the interview, President Clinton recited the famous quote given by Winston Churchill, who said that Americans always do the right thing after they’ve exhausted all the other options. He went on to say that he hoped America would soon get past the exhaustive phase and move on to doing the right thing. Given what’s going on in Egypt, it seems like America will try stay in the exhaustive phase for as long as it can.
“What I think America needs as much as anything else is to stop conducting its politics in a parallel universe divorced from reality,” said Clinton.
I am still waiting.
Since January 12, when Vonage shares hit $3.26, their price remained remarkably stable. The highest they went was $3.33. The lowest they went was $3.17. TiVo shares remained fairly stable too. On January 5, TiVo shares hit $9.85. From that day until January 27, the highest they got was $10.05. The lowest they got was $9.56. Most likely, my government was keeping both stocks in a holding pattern. After I didn’t convince my family at the beginning of January, my government lifted the price of both stocks dramatically. Then, my government kept their prices in a holding pattern until the next trip, which happened on January 28, when I saw my brother for a few hours.