Americans Should Learn From History Before Calling for Regime Change in Iran

Protests and calls for reformation of the strict theocratic government have wracked cities across Iran, prompting calls by various pundits for the US to stand with the Iranian people as they struggle to throw off the oppressive yoke of the Ayatollahs. Weekly Standard managing editor Kelly Jane Torrance took to Fox Business to excoriate the world leaders who have remained silent in the face of the clashes. On “Face the Nation,” Senator Lindsey Graham called upon President Trump to stand with the Iranian people and to renegotiate the Iranian nuclear deal.

Iran has long been targeted for regime change by America’s supposed crusaders for justice. President George Bush named Iran as part of “the axis of evil” in 2002. Bush’s former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, has often called for the US to carry out regime change in Iran, recently arguing that the US should provide material and financial support to the Iranian opposition, to that end. Bolton epitomizes the usual approach of wanting to charge in and smash the bad guys, before we even know what is really going on. US history is littered with the failures of this approach.

While commentators eager to topple the regime and spread democracy call for the US government to help facilitate the process, the New York Times reports that the protestors currently taking to the streets of Iran differ in both ideology and demographics from previous pro-democracy protests. Writing in the New York Times, Iranian journalist Amir Ahmadi Arian notes that “demands like freedom of speech and the rights of women and religious minorities have, for the most part, been either absent or vaguely implied.” He also notes that the protesters are not from the ranks of the highly educated and the middle-class like they were in the 2009 pro-democracy Green Revolution. Instead, he notes that the protesters come from people who are struggling and are much more concerned with their own personal economic circumstances, rather than abstract rights. Also lending credence to the argument that the current protests differ from the previous ones in 2009 is that fact that former Iranian president and interventionist boogieman, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, participated in the unrest and has been arrested for a December 28th speech at an anti-government rally where he attacked the regime. Seeing how the 2009 pro-democracy protests were against his reelection, it certainly seems implausible that any movement that has him on stage will plan on transforming the country into a Western-style democracy, should they succeed.

Unfortunately, wanting the US government to charge headlong into conflicts to defeat evil, without really knowing what is actually going on, has been an American trait since the beginning of the country.

The list of well-intentioned but poorly considered foreign interventions goes on and on.

Think back to Jefferson and Paine urging support for the French Revolution against the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchy, only to recoil in horror at the torrents of bloodshed and upheaval that followed. In the past century, think of the US intervention into the First World War, pushed by, among others, progressive Protestant clergy eager to help “make the world safe for democracy” by fighting “the war to end all wars.” In contrast to the noble sentiments, the war only paved the way for an even more devastating world war 20 years later. The list of well-intentioned but poorly considered foreign interventions goes on and on: Iraq ripped apart by sectarian strife, Libya a failed state with slave markets, and Syria with its raging and bloody civil war with seemingly no end in sight.

As history indicates, Americans have favored crusading forth to attempt to vanquish evil since the founding of the country. However, America also has a solid history of restraining that crusading spirit and fighting against the impulse to march forth from what is supposed to be our shining city on the hill to save the world. Notably, there is George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address in which he urged “harmony” and “liberal intercourse with all nations” and cautioned against entangling alliances and becoming embroiled in foreign affairs.

This sentiment was also channeled by John Quincy Adams in his Independence Day speech of 1821, in which he argued that the US “goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Adams instead argued that even though the United States “is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

Dominion and force exercised abroad inevitably returns home and leads to intrusions on liberties.

For too long has America scorned Adam’s advice, and as he predicted the US has become enamored with imperial power, rather than liberty. It is little wonder that the United States is viewed by a majority around the world as the largest threat to world peace, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. And, as professor Robert Higgs argues in his 1987 book Crisis and Leviathan, such dominion and force exercised abroad inevitably returns home and leads to intrusions on liberties, a point easily understood by those of us living under the all-encompassing eye of the US-surveillance state.

Echoing Adam’s sentiment, Americans hope that the Iranian people are able to throw off the oppressive yoke of the Islamist regime, but it is not our job to win such freedom for them. As our track record indicates, we have too often charged into such endeavors lacking vital knowledge and understanding of the situation and its various nuances, leading to disaster. Let us, instead, attend to the monumental task of improving our own society, so that we may serve as an inspiration and example to the world.

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Zachary Yost is a Free Society Fellow with Young Voices who lives in the Pittsburgh area. Opinions presented here belong solely to the author.

Why is my name on this deep state-backed Ukraine 'disinformation watch list'?

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Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

On Thursday, Texty.org, a so-called independent media outlet with an editor-in-chief who has ties to the U.S. State Department, placed dozens of American politicians, activists, and media outlets — including Blaze Media and myself — on a list of those who have allegedly shared Russian disinformation and anti-Ukrainian statements. The outlet published an article titled, "Roller Coaster: From Trumpists to Communists. The forces in the U.S. impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it."

We have a color revolution happening within our own country.

There are 75 individuals on the list with the nearly 400 entities that have opposed sending aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia. Blaze Media and I were mentioned on page 34 of a 47-page list.

The group admits it couldn’t establish direct, proven ties between most of the entities on the list and the Russian government or known Russian propagandists. Instead, it gathered “evidence” that these people and outlets have spread Russian disinformation by echoing key messages of Russian propaganda in their arguments for ending further aid to Ukraine.

Who exactly are the people behind Texty.org? Its cofounder Anatoly Bondarenko was involved in the "tech camp," a public diplomacy program established by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. The tech camp is very much part of the State Department’s efforts to foment “color revolutions” in other countries. They find “tech-savvy people” and show them how to build movements against their governments. That's what our State Department is doing. What a coincidence that the editor-in-chief and cofounder was trained by the State Department and has ties to USAID.

I did a "Glenn TV" special a few weeks ago about regime change. It's been the United States' policy for a very long time. We use covert CIA operations to go into foreign counties and influence policy, manipulate the foreign media, meddle with and topple governments. We never admit that we do these things. When asked, we say, "We didn't do that. What are you talking about?"

It begins with those in the government who want to overthrow a regime.

This strategy started with the Cold War, but nothing the CIA has pulled off comes even close to what its successor began doing: the United States government, including the CIA, NGOs, trade unions, and people like George Soros. They coordinate together to bring about color revolutions. The first one that was really successful was in the Middle East: the Arab Spring. I told my audience years ago that the Arab Spring had its roots in 20th-century communist revolutions. After the “Communist Manifesto” was written, there was the European spring, which was the communists’ attempt to overthrow all of Europe.

We've carried out color revolutions in the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Ukraine is one of them. Here’s how they do it. The United States keeps its distance from the “dirty work” by going through NGOs and trade unions. They train and mobilize street movement — like the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots or the current pro-Palestinian protests. These movements are funded by the same people and seem to pop up every four years.

Their money and actions usually come at a time of massive civil unrest right before an election. There's some kind of government element at the top — whether it be the CIA, the State Department, or USAID — but ultimately the office of the president calls the shots.

It begins with those in the government who want to overthrow a regime, and then the operation is privatized to give it distance from those in the government who are in charge.

This is where NGOs like the National Endowment for Democracy come in. The National Endowment for Democracy is composed of four different entities: the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, and the Center for International Private Enterprise. Do you see what's happening here? It appears that the National Endowment for Democracy is composed of organizations from both sides of the aisle so it looks fair: Republican and Democrat, labor and private enterprise. But this is a bipartisan “cover story.”

Next on the food chain are the multibillion-dollar financiers and their organizations that partner in the entire operation. This is where George Soros comes in along with his organizations, the Open Society Foundations, and the Tides Foundation, which spread the message coming from the top: “Demonstrate in the streets!” They influence the media to report what the government wants to communicate to the masses.

This is the color revolution blueprint. We've done it many times, and I make the case that these same people are doing it here in America.

So, why am I on this list? I believe I'm on this list because I’m telling you exactly what’s happening.

We have a color revolution happening within our own country. Our government, NGOs, George Soros, and all the same actors used to initiate color revolutions abroad are now initiating a color revolution within the U.S.

This is what they've practiced in foreign nations, tested in 2020, and are doing right now ahead of the November presidential election. They might succeed this time because they can't have Donald Trump as president again. If he wins, you will have the government, the media, and the masses in street movements all saying that the election was illegitimate. This is how we've brought about regime change in foreign nations, and now it is being attempted on our own soil.

Top FIVE public figures calling out woke mob

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As Glenn says, there is balance in all things. The further the pendulum swings one way, the stronger the counter-force grows.

For the past decade, the pendulum has been swinging left so fast that it has been hard to keep up with. What's considered progressive and woke one day is suddenly old-fashioned and intolerant the next. Fortunately, many people (such as yourself) have seen the writing on the wall and have taken a stand against the woke mob that drags us closer and closer to tyranny, despite personal risk.

Some of these people have taken a stand despite being in the public eye, at the height of their careers, and having everything to lose. For these people, it would have been easier (not to mention more profitable) to stay quiet, keep their heads down, and do what they're told. But they didn't. Instead, they risked it all to make a stand against wokism. This is where we see the tide turning, the pendulum slowing, and perhaps starting to swing the other way. This is where we begin to take America back.

These are the top five public figures who have recently made a stand against the woke mob:

Harrison Butker

In his now famous commencement address to the graduating class of 2024 at Benedictine College, Kansas City Chief Kicker, Harrison Butker stood up for his religious values (and assumingly, the values of the students at this Catholic College). Butker criticized the president and media for perpetuating "degenerate values" and promoted traditional family values. For this, he was vilified by the media.

Jerry Seinfeld

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has come under fire for defending his values several times over the last several months. During his commencement speech at Duke University that made the rounds on the internet a few weeks ago, Seinfeld was met with protests and walkouts by the pro-Palestine crowd due to his public support of Israel. Seinfeld has also received criticism for an interview with the New Yorker during which he blamed "the extreme left and P.C. crap" for the absence of quality comedy on television.

Joe Mazzulla

The NBA finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics are the hot sporting event at the moment. The head coach of the Celtics, Joe Mazzulla, is an outspoken Catholic and speaks frequently about his faith. In a recent interview, Mazzulla was asked if he felt that it was significant that the head coaches for both teams were black, to which he responded "I wonder how many of those have been Christian coaches?"

Aaron Rodgers

NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers caught flack in 2021 for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine and going on air to defend his decision. He also criticized "woke culture" for being so easily offended. Rodgers has admitted that he lost money, friends, and media allies on a podcast with Joe Rogan since becoming outspoken about his beliefs. Rogers has continued to be vocal over issues concerning the vaccine and has championed other athletes who have spoken against vaccination.

Russell Brand

UK actor and comedian Russell Brand has faced recent criticism from the mainstream media for speaking his mind on several controversial issues. Brand started during the pandemic when he began posting videos on his YouTube channel that were critical of the way governments across the world were handling the crisis. Since then, Brand has defended his stance on COVID-19, called out woke corporations, and even converted to Christianity.

10 lessons on prepping from around the world

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Prepping is a human condition practiced across the globe for thousands of years. Customs are influenced by geography, culture, politics, and threat. Here are ten applicable observations on preparedness from around the world.

1. Argentina: Get hard.

Fernando “Ferfal” Aguirre’s The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse is required reading for preppers, and it’s chock-full of real-life lessons from his experiences during Argentina's 2001 economic crisis. But the very first thing he starts with is preparing your body and your mind so you’re not a soft target. Stop being soft. Do difficult things to develop your body and your mind. Go camping. Hit the gym. Get in shape! It’ll do wonders for your health, survivability, and confidence.

Take home point: here’sa simple weightlifting plan that most able-bodied adults can perform. Learn to stand up straight and act confident. Get your dental and health problems fixed while you can—don’t put it off for after stuff hits the fan.

2. Netherlands: Involve the kids!

The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Be Prepared” and the organization has taught boys wilderness and practical skills for over 100 years. The Dutch have their own version of inculcating confidence in their children via a cultural tradition known as Dutch Dropping. Kids, starting around the age of 11-12, are dropped off in the forest alone or in small groups at night with minimal gear and instructed to find their way home or to the campsite with ZERO adult assistance. Some nights are tough and miserable, but overall, the practice instills independence, decision-making skills, and is widely practiced.

Take home point: instill grit and self-confidence in your children early.

3. Israel: Always be prepared.

Entire books could be dedicated to the 10/7 attack, but the key takeaway is this: no one saw it coming. The folks attending the Supernova music festival expected a fun party, and what they got instead was hell. Israel is a bit of a special case, but the reality is you never know when a mass shooter or other disaster will strike. Never get too intoxicated, never let your guard down too much, because you never know when your life will change forever.

Take home point: you don’t have to live on hyper-alert (that is grossly unhealthy) but keep your wits about you and have a plan if things go south.

4.Taiwan: Grassroots communities are the best.

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Post-COVID and especially after the start of the Russia-Ukraine War, prepping has exploded in Taiwan. Fearing an imminent blockade and invasion, the Taiwanese have recognized their precarious position. Prepper groups have sprung up across the island and vary in their focus from all-hazards to gear geeks to weaponized resistance forces training with airsoft guns. Skills taught are varied; examples include building an emergency kit, learning first aid, and basic survival proficiencies.

However, some groups go much further and provide instruction on military simulations. Participants run the political gamut and are highly varied in their professions, reflecting a massive cross-section of the island. One common theme that appears across these groups is the adage that disaster can happen at any moment and can consist of assorted hazards. The April 2024 severe earthquake is proof positive of this understanding.

Take home point: community resilience is vital!

5. Bosnia: Get your ham radio license.

During the Bosnian War of the early 1990s, ham radio operators like Himzo Devedzija helped separated families stay in touch via radio. These days, the ubiquity of the internet and smartphones has made ham radio seem obsolete, but radio has a key advantage over more modern and user-friendly tech: it requires practically no infrastructure. Hook a radio up to a battery connected to a solar panel, throw a wire over a tree, and you’re in business. Master digital modes like Winlink and you can even send email over the air. The downside is the equipment is expensive, and you need to take tests with the FCC to obtain the necessary licenses. Your best bet is to contact yournearest ham radio club, who can help prepare you for the tests and recommend the best equipment for your area. But you can do a lot of interesting things even without a license, like listen to worldwide HF transmissions and learn how to track down radio transmitters through foxhunting.

Take home point: pick up a hobby, even if it’s not ham and make it FUN!

6. Russia: Plant a garden.

While the leadership of Russia is commonly maligned, the Russian people are damn tough. They’ve survived Genghis Khan, famines, a communist revolution, and total government collapse. One secret to Russian resiliency? Dacha gardens, which the Russian people have maintained for over 1,000 years. These small backyard gardens account for 3% of Russia’s land but provide over 50% of the country’s food, including 92% of potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruit, 59% of meat, and 49% of milk. You don’t have to grow everything overnight, but simply starting with a single raised bed of lettuce and maybe a handful of chickens will give you invaluable real-world experience you can scale when the chips are down.

Take home point: build your resilience in bite-sized (pun intended) chunks.

7. Cyprus: Diversification saves.

During the 2013 financial crisis in Cyprus, Germany agreed to bail out the island, but with some characteristic German austerity: a tax of 6.75 percent from insured deposits up to €100,000 and a 9.9 percent from uninsured amounts over €100,000. People panicked, and Cyprus had to shut down banks for two weeks to avoid a run. Ultimately, depositors lost nearlyhalf of their savings. The crisis in Cyprussparked Bitcoin’s meteoric rise from obscure nerd money to a financial titan as the savvy rich realized that they couldn’t trust the banks. Of course, there are alternative places to store wealth other than a bank, but as for your liquid capital, it pays to diversify. Keep some in cash, Bitcoin, and precious metals.

Take home point: your mother was right, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

8.Japan: Government CAN be helpful.

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Japan overall, and Tokyo specifically, take disaster preparedness quite seriously. The 2024 New Years Day earthquake hammered that point home, yet again. At the national level, the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force is habitually prepared to respond to calamity; everything from earthquakes to typhoons to tsunamis.

As a country, September 1st is nationally designated as Disaster Prevention Day, commemorating the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake which claimed 140,000 lives. School children, businesses, theme parks, and members of the national government participate annually. At the municipal level, Tokyo publishes a very thorough and thoughtful pamphlet on preparedness for its residents (English link here:https://www.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/english/guide/bosai/index.html). Tokyo also boasts the massive Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park, near downtown, that is used both as a tourist attraction and an actual disaster response site.

Take home point: remembrance, codified in national action and tribute, contributes to a culture of preparedness.

9. Finland, Switzerland, Israel: Bunkers aren't mainstream, but the concept is widespread.

You would really have to be a tinfoil hat wearing loon to invest in a bunker, right? Wrong. Switzerland mandates either a personal bunker or a tax for a space in a public bunker. In 2023, Finland ascertained it had over 50,000 bunkers, enough to shelter nearly 90% of its population. For these countries, the shelters are due to nuclear fears. Israeli law stipulates residential homes should possess a Merkhav Mugan (translation: protected space) to protect from conventional rocket and mortar attacks. Some countries and some areas are at higher risk for conventional or nuclear attack. It is folly to ignore this.

Take home point: the need for a nuclear bunker at home should not be a top prepping priority, but many areas of the US could greatly benefit from a reinforced room (e.g. panic room, tornado, or hurricane shelter) to mitigate threats.

10. United Kingdom, Canada, Australia: International preparedness is growing.

Although the tide is turning (slowly), one negative export from America on prepping, especially to the Western World, is that prepping is fringe and even anti-social, if not downright dangerous. Fortunately, things are changing for the better. The United Kingdom is, at least anecdotally, seeing an uptick in interest. The reality series Alone Australia, a spin-off of the American show where survivalists test their wits in nature, is a hit. A December 2023 survey of Canadians found 7% considered themselves preppers with British Columbia reporting the highest levels. Given wildfires, home prices, and general angst regarding a host of potential crises, it’s not hard to see why many are changing their views regarding preparedness.

Take home point: prepping has been a human staple for millennia; the world is rediscovering this and taking action.

About the authors:

Josh Centers has no masters degrees, but he does own four chickens along with some meat rabbits on his Tennessee compound. He runs unprepared.life, the best-selling Substack newsletter on preparedness, where he discusses subjects like food storage, nuclear war preparations, homeschooling, and the importance of cleaning your dryer vents. His views absolutely do not reflect the views of the Department of Defense or the Army.

Dr. Chris Ellis has four masters degrees and earned his PhD at Cornell University. He is a Colonel in the Army who specializes in a variety of disaster and homeland defense initiatives. His views are from his studies and experience and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense, the Army, or his current command. Sadly, Chris does not own any chickens.

5 Christian denominations that have EMBRACED LGBTQ+

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The United Methodist Church (UMC) just lost one million members overnight, and they're on their way to losing another 1.5 million in the coming weeks.

Early this May, the UMC, which has been succumbing to the pressures of the progressive mob for years, made one of its biggest concessions to date. At the UMC's general conference meeting in Charlotte, they voted to allow LGBTQ-practicing clergy and reversed their ban on same-sex marriage. For the leaders of the United Methodist Church of Ivory Coast (EMCUI), this was the straw that broke the camel's back, and they voted to withdraw from the United Methodist Church. This was a massive blow to the Church, which has been losing U.S. congregations over the last few years.

The EMCUI's decision to stand up against pressures from the progressive wing of the Church and defend its core values is being reflected in other churches within the UMC. The 1.5 million-member-strong Korean Methodist Church may soon be on its way out of the UMC before long. The controversy stemming from the general conference meeting provoked the following response from the conservative faction within the Korean Methodist Church: "Homosexuality cannot be accepted until the Lord returns. This is not an emotional issue but a matter of unchangeable truth. Homosexuality is clearly a sin."

But the UMC is not alone. There has been a continuing trend of denominations across America changing their stance on LGBTQ matters and condoning gay clergy and gay marriages.

Here are FIVE examples of Christian denominations that have embraced the pride movement:

United Methodist Church (UMC)

The chargeable offenses for clergy being found to be "self-avowed practicing homosexual" or for presiding at a same-sex marriage or union ceremony are deleted.

Rev. Burton Edwards

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)

The [Presbyterian Church U.S.A] apologizes for the church’s previous unwelcoming stance on LGBTQ parishioners, celebrates LGBTQ church pioneers, and states the church will welcome, lift up, and fight for the human rights of all people created in the eyes of God.

Overture 11-13: "On Celebrating the Gifts of People of Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities in the Life of the Church"

The Episcopal Church

Ordination and the offices of bishop, priest, and deacon are open to all without discrimination. Laypeople and clergy cooperate as leaders at all levels of our church. Leadership is a gift from God and can be expressed by all people in our church, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.

The Episcopal Church's statement on "LGBTQ+ in the Church"

United Church of Christ (UCC)

LGBTQIA+ siblings know intimately the nature of being deemed an outcast. The clarion call for LGBTQIA+ advocacy is reverberating from state capitol rotundas, family dinner tables, city streets, and church pews.

The UCC's Love is Louder Campaign

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

We give thanks for the gifts, wisdom, leadership and faith of our LGBTQIA+ neighbors and siblings in Christ. We ask the Spirit to embolden us in advocating for social, institutional and legislative change that reflects justice, total inclusion and God’s boundless love for humanity in all its diversity.

The ELCA's prayer ventures; June 4, 2024