Condoleezza Rice: Mid-East Wars Not About Bringing Democracy

Her statements run in contradiction to official “Operation Iraqi Freedom” White House statements that the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 in order to promote democracy,
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    Code Pink member Desiree Anita Ali-Fairooz, pictured here confronting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over the Iraq war, has been convicted of being disruptive at US Attorney General Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

    Code Pink member Desiree Anita Ali-Fairoo confronts Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over her role in the Iraq war at US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

    Last week, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made some surprising admissions about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, claiming U.S.-led interventions in the Middle East were not about spreading democracy but were instead about addressing security issues.

    During an interview at the Brooking Institute last Thursday, Rice stated the following:

    “We didn’t go to Iraq to bring democracy to Iraq, we went to Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, who we thought was reconstituting his weapons of mass destruction and who we knew had been a threat in the region. It was a security problem.”



    Condoleezza Rice also stated:

    “We didn’t overthrow the Taliban to bring democracy to Afghanistan, we overthrew them because they were harboring Al-Qaeda in a safe haven after 9/11.”

    Her statements run in contradiction to official “Operation Iraqi Freedom” White House statements that the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 in order to promote democracy, as noted by Newsweek.

    “Once we had done that, it was a separate decision as to whether or not to try to advocate for a post-Saddam or a post-Taliban Iraq or Afghanistan that would be democratic, or that it would be given a chance for democracy. And we actually debated whether that ought to be the case. But we felt, particularly in the Middle East, we had done enough of support authoritarians because they are stable, and then watch them ultimately not be stable,” Rice added.

    According to Condoleezza Rice, as Bush’s foreign policy advisor, she would never have asked Bush to bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan by military force, which she said was a “dramatic” example of democracy promotion.

    For example, former Vice President Dick Cheney once said:

    “The point would be that the conflict will be intense, but it’s intense because the terrorists understand that if we’re successful at accomplishing our objective — standing up a democracy in Iraq — that that’s a huge defeat for them.” [emphasis added]

    To anyone who has been paying attention to these conflicts, Rice’s admission is hardly surprising. Not only did she already admit in 2011 that “we didn’t go to Iraq to bring democracy to the Iraqis,” but clearly, the U.S. has no interest in delivering actual freedom and democracy in any of the countries in the Middle East, as American-led interventions have only led to chaos and destruction. Further, if Cheney’s stated goals were correct, it still begs the question as to how a country can deliver freedom and democracy to another country by using outright force — completely contrary to the stated principles of democracy. For example, Saddam Hussein was far more popular prior to the 2003 invasion than any puppet government the U.S. could ever have installed. The U.S. hardly heralded a democratic transition.

    Further, Rice’s rationale for the “intervention” are almost exactly what we were told at the outset in the days leading up to the U.S. invasion, namely that Saddam Hussein posed a major security threat to the region (and to the United States); particularly in relation to his non-existent weapons of mass destruction. By the time the U.S. invaded, the narrative that they were bringing Iraq “democracy” had already gained popularity.

    Condoleezza Rice’s latest book is entitled: Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom. Just two days ago, Rice explicitly told Politico that she views her book as really helping Americans to understand the great sweep of America’s involvement in democratic transitions, the promotion of democracy, trying to help us understand it from the context of our own democracy and the very long road that it took us to get to a stable democracy.

    According to Rice, democracy means “trying to help the Ukrainians deal with the most difficult circumstances,” for example.

    According to a cable obtained by Wikileaks, Viktor Yanukovych’s successor in Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, previously worked as a mole for the U.S. State Department during the Bush-Cheney era. The State Department even referred to Poroshenko as “our Ukrainian insider.” He currently has a 17 percent approval rating.

    To people like Condoleezza Rice, that is the meaning of democracy: replacing an unfriendly regime with a regime that will do Washington’s bidding. In the case of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was doing Washington’s bidding up until the U.S. government decided to turn its back on him.

    At least with Rice’s brutal honesty and recent confirmation, which directly contradicts what the rest of the Bush administration have been telling us for years, we now know his removal had nothing to do with promoting the democratic interests of the Iraqi people.


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    • tapatio

      Condoleezza Rice is STILL LYING!!!

      EVERY WAR AND “ACTION” BELOW WAS/IS ABOUT PROFIT AND POWER – NOTHING ELSE.

      AMERICA’S “REGIME CHANGE” OPERATIONS AROUND THE WORLD.

      -THESE ASSAULTS WERE ALL AGAINST GOVERNMENTS WHO DID NOT “COOPERATE” WITH THE CORPORATIONS WHICH CONTROL THE CORPORATE STATES OF AMERIKA. MOST WERE AGAINST PROPERLY ELECTED GOVERNMENTS – NOT “EVIL” DICTATORS.
      -EACH OF THE CHANGES/ATTEMPTED CHANGES BELOW WAS ENTIRELY MOTIVATED BY BANK/CORPORATE INTERESTS.
      -EACH INVOLVED VIOLENCE, MURDERING FROM A FEW TO OVER TWO MILLION PEOPLE PER INSTANCE.
      -NOT ONE OF THESE COUNTRIES POSED ANY THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES.
      -EACH REGIME CHANGE OPERATION WAS FINANCED BY THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER AND BENEFITTED ONLY CORPORATE INTERESTS.
      -EACH REGIME CHANGE/ATTEMPTED REGIME CHANGE WAS IN VIOLATION OF EXISTING INTERNATIONAL LAWS TO WHICH THE UNITED STATES IS SIGNATORY.
      -ALMOST ALL INVOLVED PROVEN WAR CRIMES BY THE UNITED STATES, UNDER EXISTING DEFINITIONS AS SIGNED OFF BY THE UNITED STATES.

      IRAN 1946
      YUGOSLAVIA 1946
      URUGUAY 1947
      GREECE 1947-49
      GERMANY 1948
      CHINA 1948-49
      PHILIPPINES 1948-54
      PUERTO RICO 1950
      KOREA 1951-53
      IRAN 1953
      VIETNAM 1954
      GUATEMALA 1954
      EGYPT 1956
      LEBANON l958
      IRAQ 1958
      CHINA l958
      PANAMA 1958
      VIETNAM l960-75 (TWO MILLION+ DEAD)
      CUBA l961
      GERMANY l961
      LAOS 1962
      CUBA l962
      IRAQ 1963
      PANAMA l964
      INDONESIA l965
      DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 1965-66
      GUATEMALA l966-67
      CAMBODIA l969-75 (TWO MILLION + DEAD)
      OMAN l970
      LAOS l971-73
      MIDEAST 1973
      CHILE 1973 (thousands dead)
      CAMBODIA l975
      ANGOLA l976-92
      IRAN l980
      LIBYA l981
      EL SALVADOR l981-92
      NICARAGUA l981-90 (tens of thousands dead)
      LEBANON l982-84
      GRENADA l983-84
      HONDURAS l983-89 (tens of thousands dead)
      IRAN l984 (hundreds of thousands dead)
      LIBYA l986
      BOLIVIA 1986
      IRAN l987-88
      LIBYA 1989
      VIRGIN ISLANDS 1989
      PHILIPPINES 1989
      PANAMA 1989
      LIBERIA 1990
      SAUDI ARABIA 1990-91
      IRAQ 1990-91
      KUWAIT 1991
      IRAQ 1991-2003
      SOMALIA 1992-94
      YUGOSLAVIA 1992-94
      BOSNIA 1993
      HAITI 1994
      ZAIRE (CONGO) 1996-97
      LIBERIA 1997
      ALBANIA 1997
      SUDAN 1998
      AFGHANISTAN 1998
      IRAQ 1998
      YUGOSLAVIA 1999
      YEMEN 2000
      MACEDONIA 2001
      AFGHANISTAN 2001
      YEMEN 2002
      PHILIPPINES 2002
      COLOMBIA 2003
      IRAQ 2003-11 (1.5+ million dead)
      LIBERIA 2003
      HAITI 2004-05
      PAKISTAN 2005
      SOMALIA 2006
      SYRIA 2008
      YEMEN 2009
      LIBYA 2011
      IRAQ 2014
      VENEZUELA 2015 – present
      SYRIA 2014-2017 (hundreds of thousands dead)

    • James Wherry

      There’s nothing surprising about her statement at all. We do not have any legal right to overthrow any country including Syria to bring democracy.

      We did have a legal right to enforce UN Security Council resolution against chemical weapons.