I think it would be reasonable to admit that no country is perfect, that no government system is beyond reproach. Every country faces challenges; those challenges could be related to ethnic strife, the economy, ideological divisions, government corruption, and a host of other things.
Also, it would be naive to deny that the United States, as the world's lone super power, would not be involved in activities meant to shape events. But the fundamental problem we are facing is that of the character of many of the people behind the shaping of those events.
And that leads to hidden agendas that have little to do with our national interests, and instead are designed to advance special interests. And that puts us (the populace) in extreme danger.
What the U.S. is doing in both countries (and others as well) is not only taking advantage of their internal strife, but actually engaging in a clandestine destabilization campaign, not to advance our national interests, but again, to advance narrow special interests.
I'm fully aware that we live in a dangerous world, and that not everybody plays nice, and that because of it, nations engage in all kinds of covert operations.
The problem we are facing, in my opinion, is that the actions these behind-the-scenes special interests are taking to purposely destabilize other regimes, have very little to do with our national security, and the interests of the citizenry.
And furthermore, these actions have little to do with the stated purposes our government professes, like democracy, letting people decide their own future, helping them rise up against oppression. We are being lied to. We are being told that we are helping the people of these countries rise up against oppressive regimes, and that we support democracy and the rule of law, but in fact what we are doing is engaging in destabilization campaigns in a very dangerous geopolitical game.
The ruling elite here is getting drunk on power and that leads to hubris and miscalculations. If things go sideways, we-the-people are going to be left holding the bag--again.
UPDATE: SAT MARCH 1, 2014 AT 8:30 AM PST
The Coups of the Obama Administration by AntiWar.com
In the comment thread there are a few users who have questioned professor Stephen Cohen's credibility. I'd like to share his credentials so readers can judge for themselves:
Stephen Frand Cohen (born 1938) is an American scholar of Russian studies. His academic work concentrates on developments in Russia since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the country's relationship with the United States.
Cohen is well known in both Russian and American circles. He is a close personal friend of former Soviet Pres. Mikhail Gorbachev, advised former U.S. Pres. George H.W. Bush in the late 1980s, helped Nikolai Bukharin's widow, Anna Larina, rehabilitate her name during the Soviet era, and met Joseph Stalin's daughter, Svetlana.
Since 1998, Cohen has been professor of Russian Studies and History at New York University, where he teaches a course titled "Russia Since 1917." He previously taught at Princeton University. He has written several books including those listed below. He is also a CBS News consultant as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.