Have you ever seen a mainstream news report containing the phrase “the French regime”? How about “the British regime” or “the Australian regime”?
If these phrases look a bit odd, it’s because you’ve never seen them written down before. Ostensibly the word simply means “a form of government” or “a government in power”, but it’s generally understood that it’s got a kind of negative connotation to it just because of the way it tends to be used. In theory its meaning is closer to “a bad or authoritarian government”, and in practice by the western media it means “a government which disobeys the dictates of Washington”.
Just look at some recent examples of the way that word has been used in headlines by the mass media:
“Amb. Michael McFaul: Putin’s treatment of Navalny proves ‘this is a regime that is in decay’“ by MSNBC on April 8.
“Appeasing Cuba’s Regime Didn’t Work“, by The Wall Street Journal on April 2.
“Senior GOP Senators Call BBC ‘Notoriously Sympathetic to the Iranian Regime‘” by Newsweek on April 8.
“Hitting Nerve With Kim Jong Un Regime Takes Just a Few Words” by The Wall Street Journal on March 18.
“America Will Only Win When China’s Regime Fails” by Foreign Policy on March 11.
“At a Hotel in Caracas, Oil Executives Weigh a Return to Venezuela–Promises of more autonomy to tap the world’s biggest crude reserves are drawing the oil industry to meetings with the Nicolas Maduro regime” by Bloomberg on March 19.
— FAIR (@FAIRmediawatch) August 20, 2018
As Gregory Shupak documented in a 2018 Fair.org article titled “A ‘Regime’ Is a Government at Odds With the US Empire“, this label is seldom affixed to US allies–even US allies with extremely oppressive governments like Saudi Arabia–while it is used constantly on empire-targeted governments like Venezuela and Syria.