The United States has a government, security organizations and allies. The Soviet Union, however, has a regime, secret police and satellites. Our leaders are consummate politicians; theirs are wily, cunning or worse. We give the world information and seek influence; they disseminate propaganda and disinformation while seeking expansion and domination. (Stephen F. Cohen, Sovieticus: American Perceptions and Soviet Realities, New York: Norton, 1985, pp. 29-31)Some liberals and leftists do use the term "Bush regime," but even they do not use terms such as the "US regime," the "American regime," and so on very often, while it's much more common among them, too, not just rightists, to use terms such as the "Iranian regime," the "Islamic regime," and so on. Here are two examples, one from the center Left and the other from the far Left:
The impression conveyed by unequal application is that the US government is more legitimate than the Iranian government.
- As a result, the dilemma for U.S. policy-makers is this: the most realistic way to overthrow the Iranian regime is through a process the United States cannot control.
The U.S. government has historically promoted regime change through military invasions, coups d'etat and other kinds of violent seizures of power by an undemocratic minority. (emphasis added, Stephen Zunes, "The United States and 'Regime Change' in Iran," Right Web, 7 August 2007)
- Under increasing pressure from the US government, which has classified Iran as part of its 'axis of evil', there has been a recent escalation of conflicts within the Islamic regime. (emphasis added, Justus Leicht, "Social Tensions Escalate Conflicts within Iranian Regime," WSWS.org, 6 September 2002)
The problem of inequality can be solved by using the same term to refer to both: the US and Iranian governments; the US and Iranian states; or the US and Iranian regimes.
But it is not so much words themselves as the structure of feeling that gives rise to the aforementioned usage -- an unconscious but deep-seated idea that governments designated by Washington as its official enemies are automatically less legitimate than the US government itself -- that is the problem. The problem demonstrates the strength of hegemony of the US power elite, who have "spontaneous" consent of those whom they rule, including most liberals and leftists, however much they criticize this or that policy of this or that President or Congress.