Our Man in Iran

How the CIA and MI6 installed the Shah.

The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations, by Ervand Abrahamian, The New Press, 277 pages, $26.95.

Both the critics and the admirers of the Central Intelligence Agency have tended to portray it as an all-knowing, all-powerful, invulnerable entity and to exaggerate the ability of America's spies to determine the outcome of developments around the world. An American reporter interviewing an ordinary citizen—or an official—in Cairo, Buenos Aires, or Seoul may hear that “everyone knows” that the CIA was behind the latest rise in the price of vegetables or the recent outbreak of flu among high-school kids. It’s like you Americans aren't aware of what's obvious (wink, wink).

New histories of the agency, drawing on recently released classified information and memoirs by retired spies, provide a more complex picture of the CIA, its effectiveness, and its overall power, suggesting that at times Langley was manned not by James Bond clones but by a bunch of keystone cops. My favorite clandestine CIA operation, recounted in Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes, involves its 1994 surveillance of the newly appointed American ambassador to Guatemala, Marilyn McAfee. When the agency bugged her bedroom, it picked up sounds that led agents to conclude that the ambassador was having a lesbian love affair with her secretary. Actually, she was petting her two-year-old black standard poodle.

But the CIA's history does include efforts to oust unfriendly regimes, to assassinate foreign leaders who didn't believe that what was good for Washington and Wall Street was good for their people, and to sponsor coups and revolutions. Sometimes the agency succeeded.

Topping the list of those successes—if success is the right word for an operation whose long-term effects were so disastrous—was the August 1953 overthrow of Iran's elected leader and the installment of the unpopular and authoritarian Shah in his place. Operation Ajax, as it was known, deserves that old cliché: If it didn't really happen, you'd think that it was a plot imagined by a Hollywood scriptwriter peddling anti-American conspiracies.

Ervand Abrahamian isn't a Hollywood scriptwriter but a renowned Iranian-American scholar who teaches history at the City University of New York. With The Coup, he has authored a concise yet detailed and somewhat provocative history of the 1953 regime change, which the CIA conducted with the British MI6. If you don't know anything about the story, The Coup is a good place to start. If you've already read a lot about Ajax and the events that led to it, the book still offers new insights into this history-shattering event.

Abrahamian constructed his narrative by analyzing documents in the archives of British Petroleum, the British Foreign Office, and the State Department as well as the memoirs of the main characters in the drama. These characters—British spies and business executives, American diplomats and journalists, Soviet agents, Communist activists, Nazi propagandists, Shiite mullahs, Iranian crime bosses—have double or even triple agendas to advance as they jump from one political bed to another and back, lying, cheating, stealing, and killing. It all makes the CIA-led extraction of the American hostages in Iran, depicted in the film Argo, look kind of, well, boring.

On one side there was Muhammad Mossadeq, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953, a secular, liberal, and nationalist leader who wanted to join the “neutralist” camp that disavowed commitment to either of the superpowers during the Cold War. An aristocratic and eccentric figure who welcomed foreign officials into his house wearing pajamas, Mossadeq introduced many progressive social and economic reforms into the traditionally Shiite society, and sent shock waves across the world when he moved to nationalize Iran's oil industry, which had been under British control since 1913 through the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.

On the other side there was Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt, Jr., Teddy's grandson, a legendary spymaster, a self-promoter who dined with major world leaders and business executives but also befriended power-hungry Iranian military generals, corrupt politicians, merchants in the bazzar, and quite a few thugs, who helped him achieve what became Washington's goal: to remove Mossadeq and his political allies, which included liberals, social democrats, and Communists, from power; to return the oil industry into British hands (with more American presence in Iran’s oil business); and to place reliable pro-western politicians in power.

It seemed to work beautifully. The United States gained a key strategic ally in the Middle East. American companies received a considerable share of Iran’s enormous oil wealth. Other oil-producing Middle Eastern nations got a lesson in what might happen if they nationalized. At a time when the Americans were facing challenges from nationalists such as Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser and were trying to contain the so-called Soviet threat in the Middle East, Our Man in Tehran welcomed American soldiers and investors (and purchased a lot of American weapons). It all looked good until it didn’t.

While the coup did set back the nationalization of the oil resources in the Middle East, the delay ended in the 1970s. In that decade, Abrahamian writes, one country after another—not just radical states such as Libya, Iraq, and Algeria, but conservative monarchies such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia—“took over their oil resources, and, having learned from the past, took precautions to make sure that their oil companies would not return victorious.”

At the same time, the coup decimated the secular opposition, leaving Shiite clerics as the most viable political force when the Iranian Revolution deposed the Shah in 1979. The pro-American puppet gave way to a radical and anti-American Islamic Republic where the secular and liberal opposition remains weak and leaderless. That, as they say in Langley, is blowback.

The coup also intensified what Abrahamian calls the “intense paranoid style prevalent throughout Iranian politics.” While the Iranian clerics worry that Washington wants to do a rerun of the 1953 regime change, many members of the opposition are counting on that to happen. In Tehran, they still think the CIA makes the world turn around.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Why won't the CIA install someone to lead the United States? How much worse could it get?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    What makes you think they haven't?

  • ||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I was thinking more Daddy Bush, since he ran the damn thing, but whatever.

  • ||

    Too obvious.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Obvious or audacious?

  • ||

    lol +1

  • Paul.||

    What makes you think they haven't?

    Because it got worse.

  • Marie487897||

    what Don explained I am startled that some people can profit $5986 in a few weeks on the computer. did you read this webpage... www.snag4.com

  • ||

    So, Persian women. What's up with that?

  • ||

    For example. SFW.

  • ||

    Dunno.

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/....._calendar/

    NSFW - It is saturday after all.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Ooo-kay, ladies, don't call us, we'll call you.

  • Paul.||

    They look like American Feminists. Nudity: It's a commodity. When you give it away free, well, you get the idea.

  • Paul.||

    Egyptian women.

    SFW: but damn.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clNxNi8Mxqo

  • ||

    Kind of a shemale face.

  • playa manhattan||

    Curse those ugly persian women:
    http://wickedweasel.com/en/ww_model_galleries/2819

  • C. Anacreon||

    Nice close-up shot of the tiny bikini bottom on the Persian gal, with the caption "desire knicker".

  • Paul.||

    Posting pictures of 9 year old girls. For shame...

  • Ken Shultz||

    "In Tehran, they still think the CIA makes the world turn around."

    And we wonder why they believe in conspiracy theories!

    Incidentally, it isn't clear to me that the forces that brought the mullahs to power wouldn't have brought them to power, eventually, anyway.

    It works that way here in the U.S., too. We imagine that policies and results are orchestrated from above, and our politicians claim the credit for everything good that happens. But it's mostly an illusion. It's really a bottom-up world we live in.

    Events are mostly dictated to the people running things. You can resist the trend for a while, but in the end, you either flow with the trends or end up on the ash heap.

    If the Iranian people wanted what brought the mullahs to power, then the C.I.A. couldn't stop history forever. The Muslim Brotherhood is finding out the same thing in Egypt, right about now. They find themselves acting like Mubarak did. They're at the mercy of social trends, just like the CIA was.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "But it's mostly an illusion. It's really a bottom-up world we live in."

    Do you have photos of nude Iranians, too?

  • jili5||

    Why am I seeing an advertisement for lesbian dating sites on here? Oh wait it goes by my previous google searches....

  • Hyperion||

    Since there are normally around 3 women, total, that post here, and it's not likely that all 3 of them are lesbians, I think it is not money well spent by whoever posted the ad.

    But, if they want to donate to the cause, who are we to complain?

  • ||

    Three? Kristin, Nicole, Dagney, Invisible Furry Hand, HazelMead, Banjos ( not so much anymore ), Suki, Pagan Priestess.....

    Ok, now that you mention it most of them dont post that often. I guess we really do run them off unless they have a high tolerance for our boorishness.

  • Hyperion||

    It's the Warty factor, Suthenboy. Nicole is our most active female poster, by far. She seems to be immune to our non-PC ways, a true comrade for the cause.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Hazel's a dude.

  • General Butt Naked||

    And suki doesn't exist.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Hazel Meade is a character from TMIAHM.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazel_Stone

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Hazel's a dude.

    Really? I recall her posting a picture of herself and she looked very feminine.

    ... Hobbit

  • SIV||

    Suki is a guy.

  • General Butt Naked||

    How about, "The imagination that Suki currently occupies is possessed by a man."?

  • Hyperion||

    Is he still around? Isn't he the one who was always on a rant about Palestinians? Maybe I am thinking of someone else...

  • AlmightyJB||

    I just saw Suki on the other day but he/she will go a while without posting.

  • Hyperion||

    Actually, I was joking, I know who Suki is, it hasn't been that long that I was on late one night and he was the only other poster here.

    but I just had a momentary flashback about a poster who used to go on Anti-Palestinian rants, and it seems that... I think that person has a similar name...

  • General Butt Naked||

    It kinda confuses things; that is, that Suki (john t) is vehemently anti-Muslim.

  • ||

    I'm a girl. A heterosexual one, but still.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: jili5,

    Use Duck Duck Go for your searches.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    While the coup was illegal and unethical, let's avoid the urge to canonize Mossadeq. Yes, as a "secular, liberal" Non-Aligned Movement leader, he seems to hit all the spots that make certain thinkers in the West feel good. However, a Mossadeq-led Iran would have just as quickly devolved into 3rd World destitution, as he would have followed the economic folly of Left-wing populist Nationalism.

    Mossadeq was just one economic crisis away from becoming a Persian caudillo who would maintain that the gringo, or is it the farangi as the cause of all Iran's problems.

  • Sam Grove||

    By intervening, the CIA made it certain that the west would be blamed.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Absolutely. Which is why these United States need to stop routing around these shitholes like pigs sniffing for truffles.

  • Hyperion||

    Obviously, you want the terrorists to win.

  • juris imprudent||

    He just don't unnerstan that God hisself annointed these here United States to fuck with every part of the world. God Bless America and all.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    America! Fuck, yeah!

  • AlmightyJB||

    It's not our fault that they're living on our oil fields.

  • Cytotoxic||

    West will be blamed anyway. This way, a pro-Soviet disaster was prevented.

  • juris imprudent||

    More to the point, without Iran, we would've lost an important venue we needed in order to keep an eye on them Ruskies.

  • Gladstone||

    It should pointed that after the Shah fled Mossadegh held a referendum to approve of his actions. Voting was open and what do you know he won 99% of the vote. Doesn't sound fishy at all.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....ndum,_1953

  • Gladstone||

    is it the farangi as the cause of all Iran's problems

    Well they did give us this. http://images.wikia.com/memory....._Lumba.jpg

    PS: They are indeed named after the farangi.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Tearing out my eyeballs didn't work - the image is still seared in my brain!

  • Hyperion||

    Well, if that didn't work, then we will have to post pictures of the Hildebeast with no makeup on!

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Heroic Mulatto,

    Mossadeq was just one economic crisis away from becoming a Persian caudillo who would maintain that the gringo, or is it the farangi as the cause of all Iran's problems.


    Maybe, but that falls under the category of "It's not YOUR fucking problem."

    MYOB.

  • Gladstone||

    Well it's more like that just because the US helped overthrow him that doesn't mean he was some sort of libertarian or did not have bad policies.

    For example there is a tendency among anti-war libertarians to suggest that, for example, Mossadegh was going to use the profits from the nationalized oil industry to help the people. However is say Obama were to nationalize the oil industry to help the people I doubt many libertarians would agree with that.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well it's more like that just because the US helped overthrow him that doesn't mean he was some sort of libertarian or did not have bad policies.

    Exactly. To note that Mossadegh was just Hugo Chavez with class, doesn't imply support for an interventionist foreign policy.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Gladstone,

    Well it's more like that just because the US helped overthrow him that doesn't mean he was some sort of libertarian or did not have bad policies.


    Who he was is irrelevant. Focus on the argument, and the argument is that the CIA had NO business deposing anybody or getting involved in coups in foreign countries.

    MYOB!

  • Gladstone||

    Mossadeq introduced many progressive social and economic reforms

    and

    foreign leaders who didn't believe that what was good for Washington and Wall Street was good for their people

    and

    Other oil-producing Middle Eastern nations got a lesson in what might happen if they nationalize

    Are more than stating that supporting foreign coups are wrong.

    Is not

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Focus on the argument, and the argument is that the CIA had NO business deposing anybody or getting involved in coups in foreign countries.

    The only person on this thread that seems to think that thesis is being disputed is you. The rest of us are discussing the tendency of Rothbardians, Rockwellians, and bears (oh my!)[a clique of which Hadar has explicitly aligned himself] to transform any 3rd World populist thug into a principled, lion-hearted fighter against U.S. hegemony. Need I remind you of Rothbard's eulogy of Guevara? I'd take Rand's naive schoolgirl crush a hundred times over Rothbard's vile threnody.

  • SIV||

    Threnody is my favorite lingerie alt-model.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Ms. Threnody is not vile, I must say.

  • SIV||

    the CIA had NO business deposing anybody or getting involved in coups in foreign countries.

    Another example of the government crowding out the private sector

  • Cytotoxic||

    It's not YOUR fucking problem."

    Except it was because Cold War.

  • juris imprudent||

    Cold War yes - but not so much to turn out a possible pro-Soviet govt as to make sure we kept our vantage point for keeping an eye on the USSR.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Mossadeq "nationalized", ie, stole the oil companies operating in Iran. I've got no problem with the oil companies defending their property, I just don't want to be forced to pay for it, and be on the ass-end of all the blowback.

  • mtrueman||

    I won´t bother wondering about what would have happened to the Mossadeq regime had there been no coup. But his policies were not out of line with the West. Britain (under Attlee) nationalised her energy sector (coal mostly) years before Mossadeq arrived on the scene.

  • Gladstone||

    Britain (under Attlee) nationalised her energy sector (coal mostly) years before Mossadeq arrived on the scene.

    So? It was stupid when Atlee did it and was stupid when Mossadegh and anyone else did it. And no the US would not be justified in overthrowing Atlee or Mossadegh or anyone.

  • mtrueman||

    So?

    Pointing out that there´s nothing weirdly third world about nationalising.

    There´s also irony lurking here if you care to look. The Brits were taking umbrage at the Persians who were following British policies almost to the letter. There´s a lot more here than stupidity.

  • Gladstone||

    the August 1953 overthrow of Iran's elected leader and the installment of the unpopular and authoritarian Shah in his place

    This is a complete lie.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....on_of_Iran

    Seriously why doesn't anyone read about Iranian history before 1953? Also Mossadegh was elected by Iranian Parliament so describing him as "democratically elected" is not exactly true unless you consider the Iranian parliament of the time to be democratically elected.

    Also want is reason's position on nationalisation of oil industry?

  • MWG||

    "Also want is reason's position on nationalisation of oil industry?"

    Well, if Reason is against the CIA led coup, then OBVIOUSLY they're for the nationalization of the oil industry.

  • Gladstone||

    Well, if Reason is against the CIA led coup, then OBVIOUSLY they're for the nationalization of the oil industry.

    Considering the attitudes of many anti-war libertarians the fact that the CIA staged a coup over nationalization of the Iranian oil industry means that it couldn't have been all that bad. Mossadegh, Hussein, Gaddaffi, etc. were TOP MEN unlike say Obama.

  • ||

    Ridiculous.

  • Gladstone||

    http://lewrockwell.com/orig10/swanson-d5.1.1.html
    According to another theory – a quaint little notion that I like to refer to as "verifiable history" – the CIA, operating out of that U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1953, maliciously and illegally overthrew a relatively democratic and liberal parliamentary government, and with it the 1951 Time magazine man of the year Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, because Mossadegh insisted that Iran's oil wealth enrich Iranians rather than foreign corporations.

  • Gladstone||

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/reiland/reiland21.html
    Believing that Iranian oil belonged to Iranians, Mossadegh became a U.S. target after he backed a policy of nationalizing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company......

    Not unlike George Washington, Mossadegh saw his country getting the short end of the stick in its economic relationship with the British.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Except that it wasn't ANYBODY'S oil until the oil companies found and recovered it.

  • Gladstone||

    http://fff.org/2011/12/05/iranians-hate-love/
    When the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohamed Mossadegh, decided to nationalize Iran’s oil, with the unanimous consent of the Iranian parliament, British officials were outraged. As far as the British were concerned, Iran’s oil belonged to the British Empire, not Iran.

  • juris imprudent||

    How long had that Iranian govt been in existence again? Who ruled that piece of turf before that?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    It wasn't "Iran's oil". It wasn't ANYONES, until the oil companies found and recovered it.

  • Gladstone||

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/cum.....ngs11.html
    Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadegh, who had headed a secular, fledgling democracy that had the temerity to nationalize the oil fields that, up to that point, had been exploited by BP.

  • Calidissident||

    You do realize that LRC and Reason aren't exactly on the best of terms?

  • ||

    LewRockwellites are certainly not anti-war, and some would say they are barely libertarians.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    That's a strange claim, considering that everyday they have one or two anti-war posts.

  • ||

    Well there is an article about how all prescription drugs should be avoided, but I don't see any anti-war posts. Maybe you weren't here when the Rockwellites were calling commenters here cosmo pussies during the WMD era.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    This is up there today, I'd say it's anti-war

    http://lewrockwell.com/spl5/i-.....esden.html

    And this was up yesterday.

    http://lewrockwell.com/buchanan/buchanan299.html

    I don't go there much anymore because I got tired of the evil american empire theme that's so prominent.

    Don't know what your referring to about the WMD era.

  • ||

    Neither are anti-war. Does the first question WWII? It even complains that commenters at LR are giving him shit for speaking out against Dresden. WTF? Does the second question the Korean War?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    My account of this tragedy, Dresden: A Survivor's Story, was published on the day of the anniversary this week. I gave a number of interviews around the publication, in which I insisted that the affair was a war crime at the highest level, a stain upon the name Englishman that only an apology made in full public view would suffice to obliterate.

    Sounds pretty anti-war to me.

  • ||

    So you can't be pro-war and anti-war crime?

  • ||

    And by WMD era I mean the time shortly before and after we went into Iraq.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I wasn't reading reason then. Are you saying that the rockwellites were pro war then?

  • ||

    I'm saying they have always been pro-war. Critical of how the government handles the war after the fact, yes, but still pro-war.

  • Gladstone||

    I'm saying they have always been pro-war. Critical of how the government handles the war after the fact, yes, but still pro-war.

    ?

    I would argue that the Rockwellians hate the wars of the US and its allies. When its enemies engage in war well those are fine since saying they are bad means agreeing with the neocons and therefore supporting war.

  • ||

    When its enemies engage in war well those are fine since saying they are bad means agreeing with the neocons and therefore supporting war.

    This sentence makes no sense to me. Can someone translate?

  • Gladstone||

    Since they oppose US wars they can't accept that the US's enemies are guilty of whatever the US accuses them of doing. For example since the neocons call Putin a thug he can't be a thug since agreeing that Putin is a thug means the neocons are right and if the neocons want war with Putin then agreeing with the neocons means agreeing to war with Russia.

  • ||

    Since they oppose US wars they can't accept that the US's enemies are guilty of whatever the US accuses them of doing.

    I'm pretty sure no one thinks like this. Again, you're beating a ridiculous straw man.

  • Gladstone||

    I was accusing the Rockwellians of thinking like that. If you read many of their articles they will argue essentially that criticizing a foreign regime opposed by the US is pro-war.

    And here wareagle essentially says that Sheldon Richman thinks like this. http://reason.com/archives/201.....nt_3540231

  • d_remington||

    Yeah, sure, except lewrockwell.com was putting up anti-war posts during the runup to the iraq war which basically stated that all the stated reasons to go to war with Iraq were false, so you're full of shit.
    (just put inn the lewrockwell dot com stuff in front of most articles, reason is being a bitch about links)
    For example, this 2002 article:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/dmc.....thy36.html

    and another from 2002:
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/die.....an132.html

    or this Jeff Tucker article from 2002:
    tucker/tucker24.html

    Some 2003 anti war posts (shitting on fox news):
    orig/steinreich8.html

    From 2003, kirkwood on WMDs:
    kirkwood/kirkwood34.html

    another 2003 kirkwood:
    kirkwood/kirkwood40.html

    another 2003 Woods:
    woods/woods21.html

    a 2003 call to impeach bush:
    dieteman/dieteman152.html

    So yeah, Lewrockwell.com was consistently anti war in the runup to and early stages of the Iraq war and remained so throughout it, and heller has no fucking idea what he's talking about, suprise surprise.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Who cares who owns the oil and production equipment? Whoever owns it isn't going to give it to us for free. Rockefeller can pay for his own troops.

  • tarran||

    I don't know Reason's position, but the argument that led to the nationalization of the oil industry was prompted by the Anglo-Iranian oil company's refusal to allow outsiders to audit its books.

    The Iranian government (and the population for the most part) were suspicious that the oil company was understating its profits in order to reduce their royalties, much like a Hollywood production company understating the income of a film in order to deny actors who are being paid a share of the profits their cut.

    The Anglo Iranian oil company become increasingly intransigent, and IMHO behaved as if their stated accounting recrods were untenable in the face of an outside audit.

    Persians are very different than Arabs culturally, and I don't think nationalization was an inevitable outcome. I think the Iranians pushing for it thought it the only way to get their "fair" share.

    Certainly the U.S. intervention was a disaster for Persian American relations. Culturally speaking, Persians have a great deal of affinity for American culture and legal institutions, and it was natural that even if unaligned formally, an independent Iran, if left to its own devices would have likely been agreeable to good relations with the U.S. The cost of that favor for the socialists in the English establishment was the conversion of a probable ally to an enemy.

  • Cytotoxic||

    if left to its own devices would have likely been agreeable to good relations with the U.S.

    Or joined the Soviet orbit endangering millions.

  • Gladstone||

    Well Churchill did think that getting help from Stalin to install Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was a good idea...

  • Calidissident||

    And you have no evidence that Iran was about to become a Soviet puppet state

  • Cytotoxic||

    I have evidence. It's called 'reality'. Historical record. Tudeh was growing stronger and stronger. Massive rallies. Northern Iran partly occupied by the Soviets. There was very good reason to fear.

  • Calidissident||

    You're speculating on something that might have happened. There was a possibility of it happening eventually, but that doesn't say much. By no means was it the imminent certainty or likelihood you portray it as

  • General Butt Naked||

    Not to mention that a lot of former Soviet states are more free than Iran is now. We can play guessing games all day long; perhaps Iran would have embraced secular capitalism after the fall of the USSR.

  • juris imprudent||

    Those damn commies and their plots. Ya never heard of the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907. That "reality" you talk about - does it account for long-standing Russian objectives in SW Asia? Or is it all about the commies?

  • Copernicus||

    "much like a Hollywood production company understating the income of a film in order to deny actors who are being paid a share of the profits their cut."

    I wanted to go with your analogy but I failed when you portrayed Hollywood actors as victims. Really, it was a great analogy, it's just a mental block I have.

  • ||

    Finally, someone who agrees with me on actors/actresses.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Even if the nationalization was completely illegitimate, why should the US get involved? If you want to make expensive, non-portable capital investments in third-world hell holes, there's a risk someone is gonna sieze it from you. Why would we be obligated to stir up a hornets nest to bail oil execs out when they do?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Gladstone,

    Also Mossadegh was elected by Iranian Parliament so describing him as "democratically elected" is not exactly true unless you consider the Iranian parliament of the time to be democratically elected.


    "They have to pass MY tests before they can be considered 'democratic'!!"

    I normally do not go around telling people "God, you're wearing that?" because that would be a quick way of getting a busted lip. I suggest you try the same.

  • Gladstone||

    Well Communist Countries and Nazi Germany had elections that showed over 90% approval for those regimes. Would anyone say that those countries were really democratic?

    Also I didn't say that Iranian parliament of the time wasn't democratic as I have little knowledge of the electoral system of that time.

    Anyway the real problem is that Mossadegh is being described as if he was Iran's President when he was the Shah's Prime Minister. Yeah so the Shah was already in power. Perhaps he was more of a figurehead at this point but he was on the throne so the 1953 coup could not have "installed" or "re-installed" him.

  • juris imprudent||

    What do you care how "democratic" any given country is, and whether it is "real" or show?

    Funny that now you mention the Shah as the Iranian head of state, since he ascended to the status as the result of the '25 coup. Real legitimate govt there, huh G?

  • juris imprudent||

    To clarify, the only claim of the Shah to being head of state, as ordained by the Brits and Russians, was he was the son of the man who led the '25 coup.

    Iran - a banana republic without the bananas.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    To clarify, the only claim of the Shah to being head of state, as ordained by the Brits and Russians, was he was the son of the man who led the '25 coup.

    Fair enough, but the Qajars got into power by deposing the Zand dynasty.

    I have a feeling we could play this game all the way back to the Medes.

  • juris imprudent||

    all the way back to the Medes

    If you want, though time does tend to confer some legitimacy to a govt - at least as tradition. Serial instability does not, and from the late 1800s, Iran had precious little stability.

  • Gladstone||

    To clarify, the only claim of the Shah to being head of state, as ordained by the Brits and Russians, was he was the son of the man who led the '25 coup.

    Iran - a banana republic without the bananas.

    Well you could also mention that Reza Khan originally intended to create a Persian Republic but instead decided to make himself Shah.

    And that the British supported his coup as a bulwark against the Soviets only to end up allying with the Soviets to overthrow him!

  • gaoxiaen||

    Iran produces bananas, but is a net importer. Now, the USA...

  • Gladstone||

    What do you care how "democratic" any given country is, and whether it is "real" or show?

    If you phrase it that way then why should we care if any regime the U.S. opposes is "democratic" or not?

    Real legitimate govt there, huh G?

    I don't recall ever suggesting that the Pavlavis were a legitimate regime just that the Shah was the head of state before, during and after the coup. Mossadegh wasn't which many articles imply by refering to the coup as "installing" the Shah in "place" of Mossadegh.

  • juris imprudent||

    Right. For close to 100 years, Iran was a chessboard for Brits and Russians/Soviets.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Gladstone,

    Well Communist Countries and Nazi Germany had elections that showed over 90% approval for those regimes. Would anyone say that those countries were really democratic?


    Yes, that's possible. Let's have the CIA install people you like, so that you can finally stop bitching about it. What do ya say, pal-o-pal?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Let's have the CIA install people you like, so that you can finally stop bitching about it.

    They should totally pick me, I could be an awesome tin-pot puppet. Hell, I'm already a general (lacking uniform, but still).

  • Gladstone||

    Where did I say I supported CIA coups?

  • mtrueman||

    ¨Also Mossadegh was elected by Iranian Parliament¨

    Also Obama (and most US presidents) was elected by the electoral college...

  • Gladstone||

    Most? You mean all. Unless you are talking about the old Continental/Confederation Congress.

    Also I did mention that it depended on whether or not the Iranian Parliament of the time could be considered democratically elected. No one seems interested in looking into that.

  • mtrueman||

    No electoral college elected Gerald Ford.

  • John Galt||

    "Actually, she was petting her two-year-old black standard poodle."

    Actually, she was starting with a little heavy poodle petting just to fluff the mutt up for the main event.

  • gaoxiaen||

    And struggling to get the peanut butter jar open.

  • Gladstone||

    Okay so how come everybody ignores the fact that it was Churchill and Stalin that installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as Shah in 1941 not the CIA and Churchill in 1953? I mean it is a pretty clear historical fact. I suppose it is ignored becauses it complicates the narrative of the 1953 coup.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Gladstone,

    Okay so how come everybody ignores the fact that it was Churchill and Stalin that installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as Shah in 1941 not the CIA and Churchill in 1953?


    And he was deposed and then the CIA placed him in the throne again. I don't see how one historical fact invalidates the other.

  • Gladstone||

    But he couldn't have been "installed" if he was already on the throne. Not mention that he didn't take Mossadegh's "place."

    The Shah wasn't deposed. He fled the country though. And this occured during the initial phases of the coup so describing it as "re-installing" him is not the most accurate.

  • ||

    The dude was in fucking exile, so yeah, he would have to be re-installed.

    It would be just like if the US had Mubarak reinstalled last suummer. He was still the sitting president, but he had fled.

  • Gladstone||

    He wasn't deposed though like Old Mexican claimed.

    It would be just like if the US had Mubarak reinstalled last suummer. He was still the sitting president, but he had fled.

    Actually no. It would be more like if the US supported Morsi in an attempt to suspend the constitution and this leading to unrest and him fleeing and then suppressing said unrest and bringing him back.

  • RyanXXX||

    So you're beef is grammatical, then?

    "He wasn't installed, he was re-installed! I'm making a point, I swear!"

  • Gladstone||

    Saying that the coup "installed" him is inaccurate as his saying he replaced Mossadegh.

  • Hyperion||

    Spinning forward 20+ years, I remember well the nostalgic days of Jimmah and the Iranian hostage crisis.

    At the time, I had no understanding at all of what was going on, all I knew was that some bad guys had taken American hostages and that they needed their butts whooped. Amurika, Fuck Yeah! There was no internet back then and I didn't pay much attention to what News coverage there was. I didn't know anything about the Shah, only that weird Ayatollah dude, who looked nothing like us Murikans, and that needed his ass kicked.

    It would be another 25 years before I really started paying attention to politics, thanks to Boosh 2nd term and assholes like that idiot, McCain.

    Sometimes it's just little things like having to show your drivers license to buy sinus pills, that wakes you up. I guess that's better than waiting until you are headed to the gulag, to start giving a fuck.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You were right. Ayatollah needed to be asskicked and the USG's unwillingness to do so to the degree warranted (removal) was a massive unforgivable moral failing.

  • Calidissident||

    "the USG's unwillingness to do so to the degree warranted (removal) was a massive unforgivable moral failing."

    Speak for yourself. Not that the Ayatollah and the mulahs aren't POS

  • Cytotoxic||

    I am making a statement. A correct statement.

  • Calidissident||

    The USG not stealing money from people to overthrow the Ayatollah (and then what?) was a massive moral failure?

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    No, it's false.

  • Cytotoxic||

    On one side there was Muhammad Mossadeq, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953, a secular, liberal, and nationalist leader who wanted to join the “neutralist” camp that disavowed commitment to either of the superpowers during the Cold War. An aristocratic and eccentric figure who welcomed foreign officials into his house wearing pajamas, Mossadeq introduced many progressive social and economic reforms

    Thanks for outing yourself as a bullshit artist but could you do it sooner please? Mossy was an authoritarian who implemented emergency law to get his way. Would the author like to highlight any of his other 'progressive' policies and actions? Mossi was an incompetent too. Unpopular and unstable, it looked like Tudeh could've taken power. Tudeh was unabashedly pro-Soviet. If Iran had sided with the Soviets, it would have been worse than Cuba and the Iranian people would've been faced with catastrophe. Thank goodness the Mossi was removed in massive street protests (NOT a coup).

  • Cytotoxic||

    Here is a review of a vastly superior book: http://online.wsj.com/article/.....58390.html

    Notable: Anti-Mossadegh rumblings began to reverberate through the bazaar and the seminaries.

    Mossadegh responded by yielding to his "demagogic gene," bullying the Majlis into granting him plenary powers for a six-month duration in 1952, then seeking a yearlong extension. "He accused anyone doubting him of lacking patriotism," Mr. de Bellaigue writes. "He had arrogated to himself the authority to judge when and how the constitution should be applied."

    Mossadegh had dissolved the Senate, canceled elections, and was governing by decree.

    Sounds really fucking progressive.

    The extent of American involvement in Mossadegh's toppling is widely contested. Mr. de Bellaigue sees a major American role. His narrative—like Mr. Kinzer's of a decade ago—is marred by heavy reliance on pro-Mossadegh voices and on the memoirs of the alleged coup-masters themselves—above all that of Kermit Roosevelt (grandson of Theodore and CIA station chief in Tehran), who spent much of his long life spinning self-aggrandizing yarns in Washington.

    The coup planned by the CIA for Aug. 15, 1953, failed to depose Mossadegh and the shah fled. The crowds that marched through Tehran on Aug. 19 seem to have been largely spontaneous.

  • ||

    This makes me think about how almost every time I come across something about Salvador Allende, he's solely described as "democratically-elected", not a word about his Marxism and collectivization/nationalization policies/etc. But, hey, Michael Moore says he was assassinated, it must be true and so we must grieve for him.

  • Gladstone||

    There was also this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I.....ndum,_1953

    Doesn't look fishy at all!

  • Homple||

    Mossadegh had dissolved the Senate, canceled elections, and was governing by decree.

    Sounds really fucking progressive.

    Sounds like what our progressives would like, so I would have to agree he was progressive.

  • Libertarius||

    LOL I was thinking the same thing

  • Calidissident||

    According to the CIA's own records they paid people to organize the mob. Mossadegh was far from a saint, but let's not pretend that the regime that replaced him didn't need to be protected by a brutal secret police and Western support just to maintain power for the next 25 years. It wasn't like we got rid of Mossadegh and then let the Iranians have free elections

  • ||

    Exactly. They might have still had an authoritarian regime without our involvement, but as things happen we were quite complicit in their oppression.

  • juris imprudent||

    Dammit, when we install a tin-pot dictator we expect him and his shit-hole country to stay bought.

    Sorry, just channeling a little TR and compatriots there.

  • ||

    "If you want to work, if you want to become an American, we welcome you."
    Rand Paul

    Am I the only libertarian who has a problem with this? How many hundreds of millions of people would would want to work in an America that "welcomes them." The question isn't why an African peaseant living on less than a dollar a day would want to immigrate. It's why he wouldn't want to immigrate.

  • ||

    Well, if he doesn't have the skills to succeed in this country that might be one reason.

    Are you arguing that the open borders policy prior to the early 20tj century was a negative for this country?

  • ||

    Of course it was a negative, look at the Irish Catholic scourge ruining this country!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And without them we wouldn't have had an endless supply of progressive pols including the Kennedys and Fauxcohantus.

  • ||

    You're right, and if we should had stopped immigration at Columbus this country would be even more lib free!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The mass immigration of the late 19th-early 20th century did lead directly to FDR and the rise of the welfare-warfare state. Several generations later, those immigrant populations were thoroughly assimilated, but the relationship of US society and government was changed forever, for the worse.

  • ||

    Yes and the mass immigration during colonial times led directly to everything bad that has ever happened in this country! You're an idiot.

  • ||

    And don't forget: Adam Lanza's mother buying guns led directly to him shooting children. You're an idiot.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Wow!

    That's exactly the kind of 'logic' I expect from an Irishman.

  • ||

    That's exactly the logical argument you used. If I didn't know better, I would think you're just pretending to be severely retarded.

  • juris imprudent||

    Perhaps we could retroactively deport those who's forebears fit that description.

  • Old Johnnie Goggabie||

  • ||

    The retardation of the yokel is beyond parody.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Someone using cosmotarian seriously is a sign of mental retardation, heller. Don't match it with the equally moronic "yolel".

  • General Butt Naked||

    errr, yokel or yokeltarian

  • ||

    Then what would you call them? A yokel is anyone who uses cosmotarian as an insult.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    I hope you are (the only libertarian that has a problem with this).

  • Paul.||

    Saaaaaturday song of the daaaay.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eBQgbJ7Glw

  • Hyperion||

    This is like, the worstest Saturday, ever, on H&R.

  • C. Anacreon||

    You would think a website called Reason would be reasonable enough to have AM and PM links on the weekends too. (drink)

  • Tristan34||

    like Francisco explained I'm shocked that a single mom can earn $4886 in four weeks on the internet. did you look at this web link http://WWW.FLY38.COM

  • Hyperion||

    Depends on how the tits and ass are holding up.

  • Almanian!||

    HAH! You should have picked someone besides Francisco. Everyone KNOWS he's a liar! So get out of here, liar Tristan!

    /what the hell

  • The Sherriff of Fistingham™||

    Okay Francisco and Tristan, why don't you two take a seat right over there.

    /Chris Hansen

  • John||

    Forgive me for being skeptical of Reason's view of the benign nature of Muhammad Mossadeq. This is the same magazine that two years ago was convinced the Muslim Brotherhood was a liberal organization that had very little chance taking over the newly western democratic Egypt.

    It is very easy to make the case against installing the Shah because there is no way to know how things would have turned out if we hadn't. Beyond that, saying that he US installing the Shah is responsible for the government of Iran today is just nonsense and conflates the Iranian revolution with the rise of the mullahs. The Iranian Revolution did not put the mullahs in power. The first post revolutionary Iranian President was Bani Sader, who was a secularist moderate. It wasn't until 82 or 83 that the Mullahs took over and Sader ended up exiled living under armed guard in Paris. Even if you blame the US for the Iranian Revolution, it is difficult to blame the US for the rise of the mullahs since the mullahs didn't take over until several years after the initial revolution. What happened in Iran is the same thing that happened in Imperial Russia and is happening in Egypt today. A dedicated group of fanatics coopting a popular revolution by being the ones most willing to use terror and force.

  • Calidissident||

    Khomeini was the main leader of the Revolution, and became the Supreme Leader of the country in 1979. Even if it was not initially intended for him and the other clerics to have as much power as they eventually had, it's not at all accurate to say the mullahs had nothing to do with the Revolution. And even if things happened as you portrayed them, installing and supporting the Shah led to the environment that allowed the mullahs to seize power. So it's not like that suddenly becomes irrelevant just because they didn't immediately seize total power

  • John||

    Even if it was not initially intended for him and the other clerics to have as much power as they eventually had

    I am sure it wasn't. Just like it wasn't initially intended for communists to have so much power in Russia. That is the whole point.

    And even if things happened as you portrayed them, installing and supporting the Shah led to the environment that allowed the mullahs to seize power.

    Three years later? First, that is assuming that the things would have worked in Iran had we not put in the Shah and that is just conjecture on your part. Second, the Mullahs took over because they had guns and were willing to use them. There is no reason to think they wouldn't have been willing to and able to take out any other liberal government just like they took over the original revolutionary government of Iran.

  • Calidissident||

    "I am sure it wasn't. Just like it wasn't initially intended for communists to have so much power in Russia. That is the whole point."

    The situations aren't comparable. From day 1, Khomeini was the central figure of the Revolution. He was given the constitutionally most powerful position in government in 1979. Banisadr (who didn't even become president until a year after the Revolution) was a follower of his that fell out of favor and Khomeini had deposed. He served less than a year and a half. Khomeini was in control the entire time. It wasn't like they established a secular democracy and then Khomeini overthrew it. It was an Islamic Republic the entire time.

    "First, that is assuming that the things would have worked in Iran had we not put in the Shah and that is just conjecture on your part ... There is no reason to think they wouldn't have been willing to and able to take out any other liberal government just like they took over the original revolutionary government of Iran."

    Define "would have worked." What exactly do you mean by that? The events we're talking about took place 30 years apart. Khomeini and his movement would not have gained the popularity they did if not for 25 years of autocratic rule by the western-backed Shah.

  • Calidissident||

    Perhaps eventually some Islamic group may have hypothetically seized power at some point. But that is pure conjecture. It is not conjecture to say that the Islamic movement that ACTUALLY succeeded in seizing power was able to do so in the context of an unpopular dictatorial regime that was installed and supported by the US.

  • JeremyR||

    I doubt that. Look at Turkey. It's now essentially as Islamist as Iran, yet it's been democratically done.

    Ataturk realized this, which is why the military was set up to intervene when the government got too Islamized. Only this time they took out the military before the military could act.

    People who think Iran would be any different are kidding themselves about Islam.

  • JeremyR||

    And let me add, a lot of the Shah supporters were Zoroastrian, and supported him because they knew they were be persecuted (and were/are).

    Never mind that Iran is the freaking home country of Zoroastrianism.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It's now essentially as Islamist as Iran, yet it's been democratically done.

    Don't you think that's over-egging the pudding just a bit?

  • tarran||

    It's now essentially as Islamist as Iran, yet it's been democratically done.

    I think you need to find alternate sources for info about the middle east, because the guys who tell you that are full of shit and are making you look like an idiot.

  • ||

    JeremyR is just another retarded yokel. He probably copypasted that from Sand Nigger News.

  • Virginian||

    Eh, it could happen. I mean, I defer to you on Turkey of course, but isn't it possible that Erdogan is slow boiling the frog?

  • tarran||

    Oh, I think Erdogan is hoping to slow-boil the frog, but he has to fight a society that has been marinating in state promoted and enforced secularism since the 1930's.

    It would take another 15 years of control of the state educational apparatus to make a dent in the secular culture, I think. And Erdogan's party are even dumber on economics than their predecessors, so I don't think they'll last that long before some crisis sweeps them out of office.

  • Calidissident||

    "I doubt that. Look at Turkey. It's now essentially as Islamist as Iran, yet it's been democratically done."

    As someone who knows several Turks, as well as other people from Europe who visit or have visited, I can assure you that you are completely full of shit.

  • The Sherriff of Fistingham™||

    "A dedicated group of fanatics coopting a popular revolution by being the ones most willing to use terror and force."

    The M.e.K of Iraq remember exactly how it feels to be coopted. Quietly backed by the Soviets from Azerbaijan (Azeri’s are ~ 12-15% of the Iranian population, IIRC), to foment a successful astroturf movement, only to be coopted by the Ayatollah's islamists after the movement had grown and begun to bear fruit. The M.e.K was ultimately betrayed by the mullahs (Ayatollah Khomeini/clerics of Qom), the ones that could not escape Iran were marched up to the wall and shot. Islamists cannot build shit, never really could… only hijack/coopt what others built. IMO(Iran/Egypt/Syria/Libya/Tunisia).

  • OldMexican||

    Re: John,

    Forgive me for being skeptical of Reason's view of the benign nature of Muhammad Mossadeq.


    10 Holy Marys and 5 Our Fathers and you will be forgiven.

    It is very easy to make the case against installing the Shah because there is no way to know how things would have turned out if we hadn't.


    If I had to guess, I would say the Iranian people would not have someone to blame for their troubles. Even today, they refuse to blame Costa Rica for imposing the Shah on them! No, they blame the U.S. only because the CIA did it. I mean, what's all that about??

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Even if you blame the US for the Iranian Revolution, it is difficult to blame the US for the rise of the mullahs...

    The left-douche tendency to blame evil foreign governments on some action of the US is the mirror image of right-douches that believe the US can transform the world for the better. Underlying both views is the attitude that the US government is an all powerful god and that the rest of the world lacks agency as is only our plaything.

  • Calidissident||

    I would agree that there are times were leftists and some libertarians give too much blame to the US government on certain foreign policy matters, and I would agree that US intervention is/was far from the only factor at play, but I don't think it's by any means delusional to think that a the rise of a regime that came to power in the wake of the collapse of another regime that was installed and supported for 25 years by the US government may have had something to do with the US government installing and supporting the previous regime.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yeah, the ultimate regime probably would have arisen organically earlier.

  • Calidissident||

    That's a statement that has absolutely nothing to back it up. One one had we have Cyto swearing they were on the verge of becoming a communist Soviet puppet state, and here we have VG swearing they would have become an Islamic theocracy even earlier

  • ||

    They would have been an Islamo-communist Soviet puppet theocracy!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yeah, that's absurd because Iran (Persia) never had an Islamic theocratic government before Khomeni.

  • ||

    That's not a reason to predict it will be the same in the future. Saying it COULD happen because it's been like that before doesn't make it inherently more probable to happen. It doesn't mean that they would have been like that again if things had happened differently.

  • John||

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit.....dal_humor/

    This is funny and sad and true.

  • Hyperion||

    Rubio is a NeoCon.

  • John||

    LOL

  • Hyperion||

    Why LOL? Tell me how he is not a NeoCon? Do you think Rubio is a Libertarian?

  • John||

    Because NEOCON is a stupid term that has been robbed of all of its original meaning and whenever anyone uses it, I just laugh.

  • Hyperion||

    It's not a stupid term. It describes, perfectly, nearly all of the GOP establishment elites. Leftist lite, war mongering, economic fascists, who want nothing more than control and power.

    Rubio is striving for the elitist GOP camp, John, he is not a tea partier or Libertarian. He's a GOP elitist wannabe.

  • John||

    The establishment hates Rubio. They never wanted him elected.

    And we had a thread on Neocon and no one could ever define what it meant and when they did, the definition fit all kinds of people it shouldn't. It is a stupid term.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I would agree that the term "Neocon", like "Fascist", has been watered-down to just a pejorative. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of folks who subscribe to the goals of the Project for the New American Century, which is the schwerpunkt of Neoconservatism.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    WTF is schwerpunkt?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The best translation of schwerpunkt would be "focal point", but the German carries with it meaning that is lost in English. There is an additional connotation of "heaviness" and "centeredness".

  • Hyperion||

    I just defined it.

    Rubio wasn't the current 'establishment' guy, but he'll do now.

    Rubio is no Rand Paul, John. BTW, how did he vote on the NDAA?

  • Calidissident||

    Rubio might not be the good ole boys of the GOP, but he is not anti-establishment in the sense that the Pauls or Amash are. His views are well within the mainstream of the Republican Party

  • OldMexican||

    Re: John,

    The establishment hates Rubio. They never wanted him elected.


    That does not mean he's not a Neo-con. He wants to bomb towel-heads using MY FUCKING MONEY???? Then he's a Neo-con.

  • ||

    Rubio is more of a Neocon lapdog than a full fledged Neocon.

  • Gladstone||

    He wants to bomb towel-heads using MY FUCKING MONEY???? Then he's a Neo-con.

    So pretty much every member of Congress and the press, entertainment media and academia?

  • juris imprudent||

    The establishment hates Rubio.

    Uh-huh. That must be why they had him deliver the SOTU response, because they hate him.

  • John||

    It would be nice if Reason would pick a coherent narrative about Iran. Half the time Reason is telling us how popular the US is with the Iranian people and how for that reason the Iranian nuclear program is no threat. The other half of the time, Reason is telling us how the CIA hopelessly poisoned the well by installing the Shah. Both of those things can't be true. If the US is actually popular with the Iranian people, then the US installing the Shah has either been forgotten or is not the root of our conflict with Iran.

  • Calidissident||

    There's a difference between "the US" and "the US government". You're making the same mistake liberals do on domestic issues, which is confusing government with society

  • Hyperion||

    This. It's just like when I go to Brazil. People there like American people and are very westernized, but I have yet to meet even one person there who approves of our governments foreign policy.

  • John||

    And there isn't a difference between the Iranian people and the Iranian government?

    There is a way to explain this. And that is that the popular revolution in Iran was coopted by fanatics who hate the West and the US. It doesn't matter what the Iranian people think of the US because they are not the ones in charge. And the ones who are in charge have grievances and hatred that have nothing to do with the US support of the Shah. They belong to a fascistic religious movement bent on making war with anyone not them.

    Reason for whatever reason just cannot accept that maybe there are people in the world who really don't care what the US has or hasn't done in the past beyond using it as an excuse for doing what they planned to do anyway.

  • Hyperion||

    There is a big difference between the Iranian peeps and their government.

    There is a way to explain this. And that is that the popular revolution in Iran was coopted by fanatics who hate the West and the US.

    Well, they don't hate us for our freedoms like Bush would have us believe, they mostly hate us because we are fucking around in their countries, where we have zero business.

  • John||

    Well, they don't hate us for our freedoms like Bush would have us believe, they mostly hate us because we are fucking around in their countries,

    All of the evidence is completely contrary to that. They hate the Saudis and pretty much the rest of the Arab world more than they hate the US. Have they been fooling around in IRan?

    That is a fantasy you people tell yourselves because it makes you feel better. If the US caused these assholes to hate us, then the US can by changing its behavior get them to stop hating us. If only it were true. It is not. It is no different than the people who claimed during the cold war that the only reason communist states hated the west was because of Western aggression and imperialism.

  • Calidissident||

    "All of the evidence is completely contrary to that. They hate the Saudis and pretty much the rest of the Arab world more than they hate the US. Have they been fooling around in IRan?"

    False equivalency much? There's over 1,000 years of history behind the Sunni-Shiite and Arab-Persian. But yes, it wasn't that long ago that an Arab state invaded Iran and started a war that lasted nearly a decade and left over a million people dead.

    The problem with the way that you, Cytotoxic, etc. think is that you view Islamic terrorists and radicals as a set, monolithic bloc of people. Ultimately, they are individuals. And they don't just randomly spawn with jihad in their hearts. These groups have to recruit people. You mentioned earlier that these people only us Western aggression as an excuse - now why would they do that? It couldn't possibly be to recruit new members and gather popular support? Even if the people at the top hate the US for no reason and just wanna kill infidels doesn't mean that every member of the group was always like that

  • Calidissident||

    *should say "divide" at the end of the second sentence

  • juris imprudent||

    All of the evidence is completely contrary to that.

    You go RED T O N Y, you GO!

  • Hyperion||

    I think that most Iranians, who are, you know, Persian and not Arab, like western ways and customs, not that they like Amurika, so much.

    Not many people around the world like America, John, our government are a bunch of global bullies. People might like 'Americans' and like western things, but I think most people really despise our meddling. Fuck, I even hate that aspect of America.

    The thing is, the people of Iran need to resolve their own affairs. Our meddling is only helping the mullahs, not the other way around.

  • John||

    Our meddling is only helping the mullahs, not the other way around.

    Really? So if we hadn't done any sanctions against Iran and Iran were fully a part of the world, the Mullahs would be less popular even though the people would be better off? That is just nonsense. If we did what Reason asks and did nothing about Iran and traded with them and ended all sanctions, things would get better in Iran and Mullahs would happily take credit and be more popular not less, just like Hitler was more popular after he took Austria and the Rhineland.

  • Hyperion||

    Come on, John, don't buy into the Cytotoxic way of thinking.

    You will come around one day, it took me a while to finally abandon my neocon thinking on foreign policy.

    Yes, we have made things a LOT worse in the middle east. And we should have came out and supported the popular uprising in Iran a few years back, in words only, not with any type of intervention. But what did we do? Fucking silence, that's what.

  • John||

    Sure we have. But you know what, none of that makes a damn bit of difference when it comes to the people running Iran. They have their own ideology and their own reasons for doing things. They don't give a fuck about you Hyperian. They have their own problems. And their biggest problem is that they are terrified of their own people and what is going to happen if they are ever held accountable for what they have done. So, what they have got to do is figure out ways to keep their own people at bay. And the best way to do that is to declare other countries enemies and go and extort and loot them. They are going to do what they think they need to do to stay in power. We are not going to talk them into loving us or even tolerating us.

  • Hyperion||

    They don't give a fuck about you Hyperian

    Neither does the US government. And I am a lot more worried about them, than I am Iran.

    This is not the country that I grew up in, and I sure as fuck do not trust this gang of corruptocrats to police the world. I don't even trust them to police our own country. They have went totally rogue and lawless, and they do not represent us, at all, they represent only themselves.

  • John||

    Life is like that. Just because our government sucks doesn't mean people don't hate our guts. I have no doubt that if they had the capacity and thought they could get away with it, the people who run Iran would bomb the US into the stone age and tell the world it was Allah's vengeful will. Do I think they will do that? No. But I have no illusions about the fact they would love to if they thought they could.

  • Hyperion||

    Moot point, they can't, it would be suicide and they know it. They're not as insane as you think they are. If there is a country in the world that would try such foolishness, it would be the Norks.

    There is no country on earth that can attack the US. Russia is the closest in capability, in fact they still have more nuclear warheads than we do. China is 2nd. Neither one of them is even thinking about such insanity.

    And Obama would do the same to them in a second if he didn't know it would destroy him politically, and would gain him anything at all. The Mullahs are not more evil than the US government.

    We don't need to be running around the globe, trying to police the world, for all the wrong reasons. It's going to destroy any vestige of freedom we have left here.

  • John||

    They're not as insane as you think they are.

    Other than wishful thinking, I see no evidence to believe that. Wouldn't you agree that insane people have taken over country's before. Hitler, Mao and Stalin were all insane and made totally irrational decisions.

    And suppose the do get the bomb. We are left with living with MAD again. The world barely avoided a nuclear war multiple times when the US and USSR were going toe to toe. MAD sucked. MAD almost destroyed the world. And now you guys think that it is a great idea to do it again, only this time with a regime that is more irrational, unstable, and likely to fuck things up than the USSR was and oh by the way, the US has worse leaders than it did as well.

    No thanks.

  • Calidissident||

    Having a nuclear bomb doesn't necessarily mean you can assure the destruction of your opponent. You have to have a lot of them, and a means to quickly deliver them across the world. Iran is not close to having any of those capabilities. And saber rattling isn't going to make nuclear war less likely

  • ||

    I admire what you are trying to do, Hyperion, but it's all for naught. John is Red Tony, and impervious to any reason.

  • General Butt Naked||

    If they could get away with it, America wouldn't be worth bombing. They rattle their sabers precisely because they can't get away with it, and I can't imagine a series of events that would allow them to get away with it. They may seem crazy, but I'd bet they're sane enough to piss themselves over the thought of any military contest with any nation bigger than lebanon. The leaders in Iran for all their militancy, desire greatly to not die and to remain in power until they do die.

    Like when McCain sang his little ditty, the only people who seriously thought he'd actually nuke Iran were probably the mullahs.

  • John||

    All good points GBN. But we know the Soviets didn't want war. Yet, we still almost blundered into having one. Most wars aren't really wanted by the parties. What happens is both sides miscalculate and end up doing things they never intended. Having a nuclear stalemate with Iran is a really bad and risky idea.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I agree, which is why this is such an intractable problem. If there were a realistic threat that Iran would nuke us, then we could start bombing shit immediately. But, that's harder to justify when facing the (relatively) benign threat of a stand-off.

    I also think that Israel is much more in a position to take on Iran than the US (not logistically, but politically) and will do so if there is a credible threat of a nuclear Iran. I think the smart move for us is to continue making our distaste of a nuclear Iran, and our support for Israel public while playing it cool and gathering intelligence (in addition to comparatively non-aggressive acts like stutnex) as we've been doing.

  • juris imprudent||

    It isn't nuclear stalemate with the U.S. that Iran represents - it is nuclear stalemate with Israel.

  • juris imprudent||

    So, what they have got to do is figure out ways to keep their own people at bay.

    So John, you demonize them for doing what every fucking ruling class does around the world? Including our own?

  • John||

    So John, you demonize them for doing what every fucking ruling class does around the world? Including our own?

    Why do I demonize a bunch of insane assholes who shot people in the streets last year? Why would I?

    Go Reason TONY Go!!

    We were having a perfectly reasonable conversation until you showed up. Things for shiting on the thread and being a douchebag.

  • juris imprudent||

    We were having a perfectly reasonable conversation until you showed up.

    I wasn't planning on having another drink, but if you insist.

  • RyanXXX||

    So you admit that the welfare of the Iranian people is not a concern of yours at all John? That you just hate the Mullahs and are A-OK with the people suffering if it means weakening their rulers?

    That's fine, I don't really care about people in other countries either, but that means you can't spew bullshit about "liberating" them

  • John||

    Where have I ever said that we owe the Iranian people liberating? I couldn't care less if they are run by mullahs. They are the ones that let them in power. It is their problem to solve. But I am sure as hell not in favor of letting the crazy fucks get nukes. Beyond that, I couldn't care less about Iran. They can figure it out for themselves.

  • Calidissident||

    Sanctions makes it easier to blame others for the problems of the country. They certainly haven't helped overthrow the Castros, and they're not working in Iran either. And in the meantime it deprives people of the freedom to trade and has real consequences for people living in Iran

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    And who really gives a fuck if the mullahs are popular? What is our dog in this fight?

  • The Sherriff of Fistingham™||

    "What is our dog in this fight?"

    Destroying the last vestiges of resistance to the machinations of the Saudi's Wahhabis/Salafists and their vision of a new trans-regional super caliphate.

  • juris imprudent||

    The Mullahs give you a real boner, don't they John?

  • RyanXXX||

    Is there anything the government does overseas that John and Cyto won't defend?

  • John||

    Is there any problem in the world you don't think the US is responsible for? I am not defending the coup in 1953. I am just saying it is a fantasy to think that is what gave rise to the Mullahs or that apologizing for it will ever get the Mullahs to be anything but what they are.

  • Calidissident||

    "I am just saying it is a fantasy to think that is what gave rise to the Mullahs"

    It's fantasy to think that installing and supporting a dictator for 25 years might have affected who seized power when that dictator was inevitably overthrown?

    "or that apologizing for it will ever get the Mullahs to be anything but what they are."

    Who suggested that apologizing would change who the mullahs are?

  • The Sherriff of Fistingham™||

    "Is there any problem in the world you don't think the US is responsible for?"

    I going to agree with you here, the "fuck team America" bandwagon has been the most popular ride in the park (well, fuck them too, point out the country free of transgerssions). Some of it we deserve, fair enough, most of it we don't, get over it, or don’t..I don’t give a shit.. As long as some shithole's fucked up regime needs a universally recognized bad guy to miss-direct anger, the U.S. will always do. Who gives an airborne shit what they think anyway. The progs/leftists trumpet this exact kind of horseshit all all day/every day (as to somehow make us feel eternally guilty), as they love to loathe the country that has respected their right to piss & moan about it, they can all die in a fire. It’s my country; with both its blessings and faults....

  • juris imprudent||

    Unlike the progtards, I feel no need to grovel before the unwashed begging their forgiveness. That doesn't mean our govt should continue to do fucked up shit just because we can. The govt is supposed to represent the American sovereign - which isn't a bunch of fuckwads in suits at cocktail parties, or corpocrats or religious zealots. Well, okay, it is them - but a shitload more.

  • Hyperion||

    The US serves it's corporate crony partners.

    It only does the will of the victim class (minorities and feminazis) to get the votes necessary to stay in power.

  • Calidissident||

    I think you need to add senior citizens, the Religious Right (for Republicans, though this is mostly rhetorical) and a few other groups to that list

  • Hyperion||

    Ryan and John, let me ask you both the same question.

    Who are you more afraid of, the US government, or Iran?

  • John||

    That isn't even a sensible question. One has nothing to do with the other since they are not mutually exclusive. You can be afraid of both and being afraid of one has no affect on how afraid you are of the other.

    So what if the answer is the US government, does that mean that it is just fine for the Iranians to do what they like to the US?

  • Hyperion||

    That isn't even a sensible question

    Why not?

  • Hyperion||

    I don't even have the least problem, or any hesitation in answering that question.

  • John||

    And the answer to it says nothing what so ever about Iran. Okay, so you are more afraid of the US government. So what? Maybe you should be afraid of both. One has nothing to do with the other. That is why it is not a sensible question.

  • Hyperion||

    I'm not afraid of Iran, at all, John. They have no power to do any harm to me.

  • John||

    Okay. You have a right to that opinion. But whatever your opinion of Iran is, it has nothing to do with how afraid you should or shouldn't be of the US government. One has nothing to do with the other.

  • Almanian!||

    John, Are you more afraid of the dark, or of running out of gas on a dark and stormy night?

  • ||

    I have to agree with John on this one, I don't understand the purpose of this question.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Are you more afraid of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the child catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Band or the bat monkies from Wizard of Oz.

  • Hyperion||

    Dude, the bat monkeys are by far the most scariest! They are almost as scary as the Iranian terrorist with mini nukes that are living under my bed! But not as scary as Hillary.

  • juris imprudent||

    I am more afraid of Pelosi and hipsters that vote than I am of any foreign douchebags.

  • RyanXXX||

    US Gov't, no question. Exponentially more threats to my liberty and safety come from D.C. than Tehran

  • Hyperion||

    Wise answer.

  • The Sherriff of Fistingham™||

    "Who are you more afraid of, the US government, or Iran?"

    Fear nor trust either.

  • SIV||

    Do you know who else was implicated in a coup to depose a democratically elected leader ?

  • Sevo||

    Dink, dink, dink (tapping wine glass with knife).
    Sequestration?! The HORROR!
    "Federal budget sequestration could jeopardize the aerobatic flying team as well as the parade of ships."
    Now, I happen to enjoy the pure power of those things, but I also wonder WIH I'm paying for the show.

  • John||

    You know what sequestration means? It means a bunch of bureaucrats no longer get to travel on the government dime and lose a couple of weeks pay. The horror. The horror.

  • Sevo||

    So it's all good and we need to make it permanent!

  • RyanXXX||

    But think of their children!

  • Sevo||

    Sorry, left off the link. Seems SF might not get the Navy jets:
    http://blog.sfgate.com/cityins.....ing-block/
    Now, Feinstein was totally against the display (in, oh '79 or so), so the fly-boys did what they always do in that circumstance; stuck her in the back seat and took her for a ride! Presto! Instant convert! Those things are MAGIC!
    Where I live, there is maybe one 'close' pass per show; say at 1,500'. It certainly gets your attention.

  • Ted S.||

    You'll note they always trumpet things like this or the parks that lose 1% of their funding in "sequestration" or a government "shutdown", and not the puppy-killing cops or the lazy bastards at the DMV.

  • Sevo||

    I live in CA. *EVERY* cut in state expense means DEAD CHILDRUNZ IN THE STREETS!
    I've lived here for some time; that sleazy, mendacious moonbeam is part of my education and experience.
    Personally, I wish him a slow, painful death.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I live in CA...

    No wonder you're such a salty bastard.

  • Hyperion||

    Can we come to a compromise and bind him and Martin O'Malley , back to back, to a rocket, and shoot it into the sun?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Went to see Skyfall this afternoon. Not bad. Seemed to run a little longer than it needed to. Best scene (I thought) was before the opening credits which didn't help.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Dude! Skyfall was AWFUL. Bourne rules all!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Haven't seen the lastest Bourne film. Big fan of the series though. I wouldn't Say Skyfall was awful but it certainly wasn't one of the better Bond films. I like Daniel Craig but they're always trying to show some underlying emotional complexity in him like that's what we go to see Bond films for. Kill the bad guys with cool toys and seduce the women. It's a formula that's always worked.

  • Hyperion||

    Did he at least only use weapons that didn't look too scary, and that only used magazines with less than 7 bullets? Otherwise, what type of teabagger garbage are you watching? Do you hate the children?

    Seducing women? Are you saying that this pig violated the rights of vaginas by making them victims of his maleness?

    Disgusting, these films. Where are our leaders when they are needed to ban things to protect the wimins and childinz?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Actually the first bad guy he came up against had a full-auto Glock pistol with a dual drum magazine. It was the awesome.

  • JeremyR||

    Meh. Bourne is James Bond for lefties.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Matt Damon is left handed?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Robert Ludlum is one of my favorite writers back to The Rhineman Exchange and The Osterman Weekend.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Skyfall was a good film. It wasn't a good Bond film

  • juris imprudent||

    Bourne rules all!

    You probably like Michael Bay movies too, don't you?

  • Almanian!||

    Watching "The Third Reich - The Fall" on the History Channel. Again.
    It never gets old. Or less awful. What a fucking waste. Like most war.

  • Hyperion||

    I recently lurnt on the history channel, that the Mayans had wireless technology!

    They dug up an entire Mayan city recently, and guess what? They didn't find any wires! Wireless technology! And where could they have got that 30,000 years ago? Aliens!

  • Sevo||

    And they didn't find any crashed satellites, so the obviously had a successful satellite program!
    I remember the first time looking at a von Daniken book where a photo showed who-knows-what and the caption read something to the effect of: 'Well, it's not a pot to piss in, so it must be a space helmet!'

  • Hyperion||

    Von Daniken was my hero when I was a kid. I had all of his books.

    When I found out that he was a charlatan, I became the jaded old asshole that I have been ever since.

    Not that this type of lesson is without merit.

  • Sevo||

    Hyperion| 2.16.13 @ 8:45PM |#
    ..."Not that this type of lesson is without merit."

    Skepticism saves you from shithead!

  • SIV||

    I was a kid and read von Daniken and saw Uri Geller on the Mike Douglas or Merv Griffin show around the same time. Fortunately I was already quite skeptical of God and the State. I bought The Amazing Randi's book at the drug store off of one of those revolving wire racks with my allowance money, borrowed a copy of Crash Go the Chariots and my skepticism was off and running. I temporarily fell for some revisionist history and learned I should be skeptical of skepticism. Later I read Thomas Szasz and W. Arens along with some other stuff which confirmed my suspicions about pretty much everything.

  • Hyperion||

    I am still very intrigued by human history and thoroughly convinced that there is a lot that we do not know, and I am sure that as technology progresses, we will learn things that we never suspected.

    It's just that I am more realistic about these things now and realize that the archeologists and anthropologists, no matter how boring in comparison with Von Daniken and other profit seeking charlatans, are following the correct scientific method, and that their skepticism is exactly what is required.

    That being said, a lot of them are way too sure about how much we know. We are are still a primitive tribe, barely above monkeys in our knowledge and technology. We have a lot to learn, we know relatively nothing.

  • RyanXXX||

    Agreed. Great documentary.

  • Sevo||

    I have yet to see this, in spite of being a student of WWII.
    Is it scheduled such that I can find it?

  • C. Anacreon||

    So I today decided to add my email address to my log-in name on H&R and now, if I hit the Preview button, it just goes to a blank page with a link to my email at the top. It erases my comment and puts me back at the H&R home page. This persisted even after a computer restart. Anyone else having this, or am I doing something wrong? I'm using Reasonable.

  • OldMexican||

    Yes, you're doing something wrong: You're clicking on the Preview button.

    Clearly, that button is not meant for you.

  • ||

    I've been having the same problem. I liked the preview button.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That happens to me too. You also want to get in the habit of copying your comment before you hit post so when it envitably crashes you don't have to retype the whole thing.

  • Hyperion||

    Yeah, and make sure to check the remember me box when you login, or you will soon be logged out. This has been an issue since the site re-design.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Why aren't you watching hockey? And I have a preview button.

  • lap83||

    If anyone wants to read a thorough yet nuanced book on Iran-US relations, I recommend "The Twilight War" by David Crist.

    This book sounds like the guy's agenda is too apparent, I don't usually waste my time on history books like that. My position is that each issue requires a period of mere learning before you develop your view, some more than others. Middle eastern politics is so complex and dependent on the massive history of the area that I'm not sure you could ever reach the point where you can honestly claim you know enough to have the correct opinion on all of it.

  • Sevo||

    Also read "Paris 1919": "Kurd" translates as "Nomad".
    Sedentary farming (and the tax man) started in the ME, while nomads continued to duck the SOB.
    And then it turned out there was oil under those sands!
    Now what nomad owned what land?

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    are there any decent WWI documentaries?

  • Sevo||

    You mean TV?
    I've never seen any hint of them. Good books on WWI seem hard to come by.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Yes. Or even Netflix.
    There's a WWI BBC doc on Youtube, but it's very stuffy.

  • Hyperion||

    There's a few available from Netflix, but none are streaming.

  • Hyperion||

    They're

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    There's also "WWI in Colour" on Youtube. That was somewhat interesting.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    Wolf Blitzer ‏@wolfblitzer
    Enjoying #NBAAllStar #SlamDunk contest. @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/fXOCHof3

    Says it all about the NBA, doesn't it?

  • General Butt Naked||

    MidwayUSA: we won't sell to cops if we can't sell to citizens.

    Hopefully we see more of this. Midway is a good company, ordered some pmags from them during the panic at a fair price and with good service.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I've ordered from Midway USA as well. Quick delivery. No problems. Have a good website. I'll definately be giving them more business now.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    It's gotten that Musicians who don't have beards shave ironically.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Imagine the horror of being a poor guy that doesn't like to shave, and drinks Pabst non-ironically. I have to open carry just so's I don't get mixed up with the hep kids.

    Jesus.

  • The Sherriff of Fistingham™||

    "so's I don't get mixed up with the hep kids."

    Hep-C?

  • General Butt Naked||

    Those too.

  • The Sherriff of Fistingham™||

    I suppose the best way to not "get mixed up with the hep kids" would be to not share needles.
    Just saying.

  • ||

    Or to be aware of swing era slang terms.

  • GankFonk||

    OK wow, so who comes up with all that crazy stuff?

    www.RealPrivacy.da.bz

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Obedience brings victory.

  • Udolf41||

    If you think Edith`s story is something,, five weeks ago my dad earnt $5937 sitting there a fifteen hour week an their house and their best friend's step-sister`s neighbour was doing this for four months and made over $5937 in there spare time from their laptop. the instructions available here... http://WWW.FLY38.COM

  • Stilgar||

    You have mischaracterized this a bit. The Shah was already in power in Iran prior to the coup - the objective was to replace the prime minister with one more agreeable to the Brits and not having communist leanings (imagined or not). The initial coup in fact revolved around orders from the Shah to dismiss Mossadeegh and replace him with another (who had facist ties).

    As to the agencies - while the CIA does not look good, MI6 look even worse. In fact, just about anything which ended in disaster (immediately or later on) can be traced to MI6 inolvement and incompetence.

  • Gladstone||

    You have mischaracterized this a bit.
    No shit. I suppose it must complicate the narrative to explain that the coup replaced a Constitutional Monarchy with a more authoritarian one both still under the same monarch. Much easier to suggest that it was a simple regime change as supposed to a more complex one.

  • Vernon||

    just as Edward said I'm in shock that anyone can make $9973 in a few weeks on the computer. did you read this page http://www.fb26.com

  • Garth55||

    my best friend's step-sister makes $74/hour on the computer. She has been without work for eight months but last month her paycheck was $19194 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here's the site to read more http://WWW.FLY38.COM

  • Garth55||

    up to I saw the receipt for $9203, I accept that my brother woz realie making money in there spare time on their laptop.. there uncle has done this for only about fourteen months and a short time ago paid for the loans on their home and bourt a great Jaguar XJ. I went here, http://WWW.FLY38.COM

  • ygsrf||

    Kickoff to you with the online store 2013

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