In yesterday’s Washington Post, Condoleeza Rice, the President’s National Security Advisor, writes the following:
“Our task is to work with those in the
Now, if we only had a nickel for every time Bush, or Rice, or Colin Powell, or Paul Wolfowitz or Dick Cheney or Richard Perle or Donald Rumsfeld talked about bringing democracy to the
Talk, talk, talk.
Here’s something you can bet on: Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz will not hold a press conference this month to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-led coup of the democratically elected leader of
Rice and Powell won’t hold a press conference to celebrate Operation Ajax, the CIA plot that overthrew the Mossadegh.
That was 50 years ago this month, in August 1953.
That’s when Mossadegh was fed up with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company — now BP — pumping
And Mossadegh said — hey, this is our oil, I think we’ll keep it.
And Winston Churchill said — no you won’t.
Mossadegh nationalized the company — the way the British were nationalizing their own vital industries at the time.
But what’s good for the
If you fly out of
It stands for the Dulles family — Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, the CIA director, Allen Dulles.
They were responsible for the overthrow of the democratically elected leader of
As was President Theodore Roosevelt’s grandson, Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA agent who traveled to
Now why should we be concerned about a coup that happened so far away almost 50 years ago this month?
New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer puts it this way:
“It is not far-fetched to draw a line from Operation Ajax through the Shah’s repressive regime and the Islamic revolution to the fireballs that engulfed the
Kinzer has written a remarkable new book, All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror (Wiley, 2003).
In it, he documents step by step, how Roosevelt, the Dulles boys and Norman Schwarzkopf Sr., among a host of others, took down a democratically elected regime in
They had freedom of the press. We shut it down.
They had democracy. And we crushed it.
Mossadegh was the beacon of hope for the
If democracy were allowed to take hold in
We asked Kinzer â€“ what does the overthrow of Mossadegh say about the
“Imagine today what it must sound like to Iranians to hear American leaders tell them — â€˜We want you to have a democracy in
After ousting Mossadegh, the
And the Shah begat the Islamic revolution.
During that Islamic revolution in 1979, Iranians held up Mossadegh’s picture, telling the world â€“ we want a democratic regime that resists foreign influence and respects the will of the Iranian people as expressed through democratic institutions.
“They were never able to achieve that. And this has led many Iranians to react very poignantly to my book,” Kaizer told us. “One woman sent me an e-mail that said â€“ â€˜I was in tears when I finished your book because it made me think of all we lost and all we could have had.’”
Of course, the overthrow of Mossadegh was only one of the first
Kinzer’s previous books include Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in
He’s thinking of putting together a boxed set of his books on American coups.
Get copies of Bitter Fruit and All The Shah’s Men.
And the next time a politician talks about spreading democracy around the globe, ask them about Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran, Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, and Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.
Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter, http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, http://www.multinationalmonitor.org. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (