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Regime change

Regime change is a euphemism for the overthrow, either peaceful or via military coup d'etat, of a leader or government (regime) by another force.

The term was popularized by US President George W. Bush, in reference to Saddam Hussein's regime.

Some critics of the Bush plan, including United States Senator John Kerry, turned the catch-phrase against Bush, and somewhat tounge-in-cheeckly called for "regime change" in the United States.

Regime change in Iraq became the stated goal of the United States when Public Law 105-338 (the "Iraq Liberation Act[?]") was signed into law by President Clinton. The act directed that:

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Political observers such as Frank Gaffney feel that Clinton did nothing to implement regime change[1] (http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20021203-90267824.htm). President George W. Bush, however, has repeatedly declared regime change in Iraq to be the policy of his administration, and appears more willing, even eager, to pursue this policy through military action. Many observers correctly predicted that this policy would culminate in a U.S. invasion of Iraq.

During the 2003 Iraq war, as US Marines and Iraqis joined forces to topple a statue of Saddam Hussein in downtown Baghdad, Vice President Dick Cheney cited "evidence of the collapse of any central regime authority" but warned "hard fighting" may yet lie ahead. [2] (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/afp/20030409/ts_afp/iraq_war_us_bush_030409190113)

Views

There has been much discussion of the motives of the Bush administration for seeking regime change in Iraq.

Supporters of Bush or of America in general tend to credit the administration with sincerely seeking the good of the Iraqi people, including the Kurds, as well as seeking stablity in the region.

Opponents of US policy, particularly those in the Islamic world or favoring it, tend to accuse the administration of various nationalistic or self-seeking motives or even racism. Other opponents note that acting on this policy violates Iraqi soverignty and is so against international law and the U.N. Charter.

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