Imagine for a moment the year is 1776, and the world is watching events unfold in the British North American colonies. Imagine also there is a body similar to the United Nations at this time. This body, like the real modern version, takes it upon itself to make sure all nations are formed properly and for the good of all.
But this body has a standard of nationhood that is overwhelmingly favoring a strong, monarchy-style government that does not favor individual rights. Just like the real incarnation of the UN, this body tries to make sure all new nations adhere to the standard set by all other nations.
Had this body actually existed, our country as we see it never would have gotten off the ground. Inspectors from all over the world monitoring our emerging nation’s progress would have decried and bedeviled what was going on, claiming our path to nationhood violated British sovereign rights. Further, each member nation would see this as a threat to their own systems of government and quickly acted to quash the revolution.
Fast forward to the present day, where the real UN sends inspectors out to emerging nations all over the world to make sure things are on the up and up. Is this really fair though?
In our country, sharp indignation is registered any time the United Nations tries to dictate anything to us. One of the most recent is a huge row about gun issues that the UN seeks to control. Headlines abound of protesters angry at the intrusion upon our nation’s sovereign right to govern itself. Fair enough.
So my question is this: what gives OUR nation the right to insert its view of governing on other nations? Just because we don’t like a way another nation forms or does business does not mean we get to decide how they set up shop. Several times in our history, we have interfered in a fledgling or struggling nation’s path only to have it blow up in our faces later.
We supported the Shah of Iran when his own people were angry several of his policies. Finally, Iran got fed up, and almost 40 years later we are still mortal enemies.
Then we backed Saddam Hussein against Iran, even though he was seen as a dangerous man. We thought we were choosing the lesser of two evils I guess. And here we are after twenty years of fighting and strained relations with the Middle East as a whole.
All this because we seem to think we can decide how every other nation should run itself, but hypocritically state that no other country will tell us how to do business.
I am not saying we should not look out for our own interests abroad. I am not saying we should not encourage democracy. And I am certainly not saying we should deny aid to those who request our help. What I am saying is we have no right to assume our way is automatically the only way to govern. I am also saying that our elected leaders do NOT have the right to dictate who should or should not be included in government building when a nation is struggling. President Obama made headlines insisting that the Muslim Brotherhood be part of Egypt’s new and emerging government. But that is not his call. I would say the same if he was demanding that only democratic leaders were part of the process.
John McCain claims the Obama administration should not condone the overthrow of a freely elected government. Except it is not for President Obama to decide how other nations govern themselves. As a person with past presidential aspirations, he should know that the Commander in Chief’s authority only applies to the United States. Other nations must be afforded the same sovereignty we like to trumpet about so strongly.
While I am definitely not a fan of a military coup in any sense, it could be argued that the birth of our own nation was a similar action. We took up arms and forcibly changed the existing order. Egypt is doing the same. To deserve our right to nationhood, we must step aside and let Egypt find their own.