ENGAGE!

Cleveland Peace Action is about taking action to stop violence, war and terrorism, through peaceful, just and democratic means. The USA is a violent nation, so taking action often means using violence. When the USA takes action against terrorism it usually means military action. Problem is, this just leads to more terrorists and more violence.

Our Action Groups reflect the issues we are currently working on, by raising public awareness and influencing our elected officials, supporting peace, diplomacy and engagement with the rest of world and across communities here at home. If you think we're misguided, then read on......

Regime Change: the History of US Foreign Interventions

We're the good guys, right?  Think again. The good ole' USA has a long history of foreign interventions - "regime change" by overt and covert means. We have often engineered the overthrow of democratically elected governments, usually in the names of freedom and democracy.  More precisely, such actions have ensured freedom for US corporate and business interests, while subjecting the victims of our interventions to oppression at the hands of some decidedly undemocratic regimes.

Our interventionist tradition began in earnest in the 1890's with the annexation of Hawaii. This was followed by actions in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Phillipines, Nicaragua, Honduras, Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile, Grenada, Panama, and of course, Afghanistan and Iraq.  In the long run, most of these adventures have come back to haunt us, and nowhere is this more obvious right now than in Iraq and Iran. Should we wonder why they hate us (or at least hate the US government)?  We set the stage for the current Iranian government by overthrowing the democratically elected President Mossadegh in 1953, and installing the repressive and hated Shah, who held power, with our support, until 1979.  And of course Saddam Hussein was a long-time client of the US, whose brutal dictatorship was overlooked in Washington because he was fighting Iran. When we invaded Iraq in 2002, to overthrow him, we destabilized the region. Out of the resulting power vacuum and the resentment that the American occupying force aroused, came violent opposition. Out of this, emerged ISIS and the sense of threat that Americans feel about possible terrorists acts at home. How will we respond this time? 

To find out more, see Steven Kinzer's Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, Times Books, 2006. 

Contact us and purchase for $5, Addicted to War, an illustrated summary of US foreign policy beginning with the Monroe doctrine.  Its not a pretty story, but one that every patriotic American should know well. 

Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.

- George Santayana