Let’s not create the next Libya in Iran

‘Free’ Libya shamed by new torture claims

I would love to see the US government enact a more humble foreign policy. The urge to “do something” in the face of human rights abuses is natural, and in a sense admirable.

Yet time and again violating another country’s sovereignty to force regime change has unintended consequences.


When a foreign military deposes a leader, it creates a power vacuum, usually filled by the next-most-well-armed person. This person doesn’t have any legitimate claim to rule other than having the guns. He or she also has the added hindrance to perceived legitimacy of having been put into power by a foreign government. So to maintain control of a population that’s already riled up and not on board, he or she tortures and kills citizens into submission.

This is entirely predictable. Iran, Afghanistan and Rwanda are all examples of what happens when foreign governments create power vacuums.

There’s an event on February 4,  No War in Iran. Let’s stop making the same mistakes. Let’s stop believing the lies that these countries pose an imminent threat to our safety (Iraq). Let’s stop believing that the US has the power to replace despotic leaders with better ones (Libya). Let’s stop believing the US has the right to kill people in other countries without declaring war (Pakistan).

Photo by Crethi Plethi

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