The United States, which was founded upon winning a revolutionary war for independence against a decrepit and insane King George III of England, has become the world’s chief promoter of restoring monarchies in nations it has invaded. The latest attempt of monarchy restoration has come in the failed nation of Libya, which saw its legitimate government overthrown in 2011 as a result of NATO intervention in a civil war.
The civil strife in Libya was initiated by the US Central Intelligence Agency and non-state actors financed by non-governmental organizations that included George Soros’s various front groups, the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Obama administration is now advancing a proposal to restore the Libyan monarchy that was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi in 1969. When Gaddafi ousted the aging and extremely corrupt King Idris in 1969, his revolution was hailed by the Libyan people. Gaddafi was able to use Libya’s oil wealth to bring one of the poorest nations in Africa into the 20th century.
The United States fancifully believes that if it places the relatively unknown Libyan crown prince, Mohammed al-Sanusi, on a restored Libyan throne, the Islamic State, which controls large coastal regions from central to eastern Libya, and other factions, including those led by a CIA-inserted Libyan warlord, General Khalifa Hifter, will all swear fealty to an American-inserted monarch. There is also the problem that Mohammed al-Sanusi is not the only pretender to the Libyan throne. He faces competition from his cousin, Prince Idris al-Sanusi, who has also laid a claim to the throne.
Libya is not the only case of the United States attempting to restore a monarchy in a Muslim nation it has invaded. After CIA-backed Afghan mujahideen defeated the Afghan socialist government of Najibullah in 1989, there was an attempt by US-backed Pashtun mujahideen forces to restore former King Mohammed Zahir Shah, overthrown in a republican coup in 1973, to the Afghan throne. After the US routed the Taliban in 2002, Zahir Shah returned to Afghanistan from exile in Italy to open the Loya Jirga, the traditional grand assembly of tribal and clan leaders.
Although the US initially supported Zahir Shah’s return to the throne, Washington double-crossed him by favoring longtime CIA asset Hamid Karzai as head of state. Zahir Shah could only settle for some of his family members being appointed to major posts in Karzai’s transitional government. Zahir Shah died in 2007 within the presidential palace compound in Kabul. Only because the CIA favored the corrupt Karzai in power in Afghanistan did Afghanistan remain an Islamic republic under a president rather than a kingdom under Zahir Shah and his heirs.
The CIA pulled a similar double-cross in Vietnam. After backing Vietnamese emperor Bao Dai, was «State of Vietnam» chief of state from 1949 to 1955, when the US puppet Ngo Dinh Diem ousted him after a fraudulent referendum on establishing a republic in South Vietnam. In 1955, the CIA discovered that the French government was urging Bao Dai to return to South Vietnam from exile in Cannes. The CIA, believing that Bao Dai might accommodate the Communist Viet Minh forces and thus pose a threat to Diem, scuttled the move.
Although it fought a bloody war for independence from the English monarchy of George III, the United States in its infancy retained a love affair for monarchies. In 1782, US Continental Army Colonel Lewis Nicola wrote a letter to General George Washington. Nicola floated the idea of the independent colonies becoming a monarchy under a king. His letter stated:
«Some people have so connected the ideas of tyranny and monarchy as to find it very difficult to separate them, it may therefore be requisite to give the head of such a constitution as I propose, some title apparently more moderate, but if all other things were once adjusted I believe strong argument might be produced for admitting the title of king, which I conceive would be attended with some material advantages».
Some historians have suggested that Washington was offered the kingship of the United States but turned down the offer. Others argue that no such offer was ever made to Washington. However, Washington’s successor as president John Adams favored the establishment of a «republican monarchy» with the president having absolute powers, including the right to veto without an override, congressional legislation.
America has certainly seen its share of hereditary presidents: John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams; William Henry Harrison and his grandson, Benjamin Harrison; Theodore Roosevelt and his fifth cousin Franklin D. Roosevelt; and George H. W. Bush and his son, George W. Bush. The quasi-monarchist trend continues with Bill Clinton’s wife Hillary Clinton hoping to be elected president this year.
Americans also have an odd affectation for as much news as they can consume about every facet of the lives of the British royal family, from deaths like that of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother Elizabeth, to births like those of the children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and every malady and bowel affliction suffered by Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Windsor. The true revolutionary founders of the United States, people like Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison would be aghast not only at the devotion of America to royalty abroad but in supporting the restoration of monarchies in countries like Libya and Afghanistan. To be a royalist is, in fact, the very definition of being «un-American».
Perhaps part of the reason for American infatuation with monarchies like that of Britain is the number of US political and business leaders who have been sheep-dipped as Rhodes scholars at Oxford University in England. The scholarship program was endowed by one of the most rabid colonialists of the British Empire, mining magnate and arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes’s dream was to unite all Anglo-Saxon nations, including the United States, under a single British-led empire. US political leaders who were indoctrinated as Rhodes scholars in Rhodes’s imperialist philosophy include former US House Speaker Carl Albert; Secretary of State Dean Rusk; Walt Rostow, assistant national security adviser to President Kennedy; US Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach; CIA directors Stansfield Turner and James Woolsey; Senators Richard Lugar of Indiana, Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, Larry Pressler of South Dakota, Bill Bradley of New Jersey, David Vitter of Louisiana; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Cory Booker of New Jersey; and David Boren of Oklahoma; Chairman of the US National Intelligence Council Joseph Nye, Sr.; Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig; NATO Supreme Commander General Wesley Clark; Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair; Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbot; Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass; national security adviser Susan Rice; US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul; Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter; and Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
America’s biggest pro-royalist folly was the 1953 CIA and British MI-6 coup that overthrew the democratically-elected prime minister of Iran Mohammad Mossadeq. The coup, code named Operation AJAX, installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as Shah of Iran. America has also stood idly by as autocratic monarchs in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Brunei, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Tonga have cracked down on internal dissent. The CIA has also waged covert activities to stifle pro-republican sentiment in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Canada, Jamaica, Tonga, Barbados, Belize, Spain, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Grenada.
America’s affinity for monarchs and its desire to restore the Libyan monarchy illustrate to the entire world the fact that the United States has become a «tired old man» of international politics whose time has come and gone.