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June 30, 2014

It was not just Ike’s dedicated Cold War warriors, the Dulles brothers, who were knee-deep in this infamous coup. It was Ike himself, who then Foreign Secretary of Britain, Anthony Eden, described as “obsessed with communism in Iran.” Per Abrahamian, British M-16 agents “hammed up the communist threat and urged the U.S. government to adopt a coup plan that they themselves were no longer in a position to carry out.” The communist-obsessed American cold warriors needed little encouragement in an era where Senator Joseph McCarthy was finding 11 out of 10 State Department employees to be Reds. Get this quote by John Foster Dulles just months before the coup made to the National Security Council on the question of whether Mossadegh’s government was susceptible to communist takeover:
“Not only would the free world be deprived of the enormous assets represented by Iranian oil production and reserves, but the Russians would secure these assets and . . . the other areas of the Middle East, with some 60% of the world’s oil reserves, would fall into Communist control.”
What a stretch! Implied logic – we can’t let those communists steal that oil – we (and our British friends and fellow colonialists) will steal it. We now know from recovered CIA documents from that time that the CIA was itself of the opinion that there was no communist threat of takeover of Iran at the time, and the Dulles brothers and Ike knew it, but it seems our entire foreign policy of that era can be encapsulated in the phrase “communist threat.” Show me a “communist threat” and I will give you a big appropriations increase, a coup, an alcoholic senator, a war (see Korea and Viet Nam) or a dictator (Chile and Guatemala, among others, where CIA intervention wiped out potential democracies because of the “communist threat”).
If communism had not existed, our diplomats and neocons and defense industry spokespeople would have invented it. It was and still is one of the best covers available for whatever initiative we want to undertake, whether out front or undercover, though just recently it may have been supplanted by “the war on terrorism.” As with the former monomania with Red scares, now the magic word is “terrorism.” Just say the magic word at congressional appropriation hearings and those agencies charged with “fighting terrorism” will be inundated in cash, and worse, cash that cannot be traced – in the name of national security. It seems a strange situation when the taxpayer is subjected to surveillance in the name of “national security” but cannot know where his/her tax money is going, also in the name of “national security.” After all, merely knowing that X amount of dollars went to Agency XYZ does not betray any secrets. The taxpayer just wants to know who got what, not whether the money is to be employed in undermining the governments of South Sudan, France or taking another shot at Iran.
Abrahamian reports that the CIA in the run up to the coup (called Operation Ajax) in August, 1953, “kept up a propaganda campaign against Mossadegh, defaming him in the media, cajoling the shah into giving the operation a constitutional veneer (Mohammad Reza signed a dismissal notice for the prime minister), and bribing mob leaders and mullahs to provide an ‘acoustical side effect,’ for what was in fact, an old-fashioned military coup.”
AFTERTHOUGHT COMMENTARY: The description of the events of the 1953 Iranian coup pulled off and lied about by our CIA sounds vaguely like the current attempt of the superrich in this country with all their money to undermine our democracy via daily defamation of our president and his plans for America and its people. These apostles of greed are opposed to each and every constructive project proposed on behalf of the people, such as relief in the areas of wage inequality, health care, overhanging liabilities due to continuing Wall Street crap shooting with public and leveraged funds, mortgage and credit card atrocities, real reform of the bankruptcy and internal revenue codes etc. The list is long – too long. It not only has to end; it has to be reversed.
We are beginning to fall behind other First World countries in every important measurement of progress. As I have written before, we are being colonized from within. It appears that our revolution against English tyranny only succeeded in exchanging tyrants. Our new tyrants are the superrich.
We can do better, and we must do better. We must either undo this “coup” by the superrich from within or descend into some Dickensian existence in Third World oblivion where democracy is unknown. Let us take a lesson from the odious example of our participation in the Iranian coup and resolve that neither our government nor any slice of our populace is ever going to destroy our democracy and that mistreatment of our people by our own government on behalf of their superrich masters is ending – today. The Constitution begins with the phrase “We the People,” not “We the Bottom Lines.” Let’s put that distinction into practice before our democracy evaporates and it is too late to reverse the corporate 1984 coming into view. Let’s tell the world, as we did to fascist dictators in World War II, that our democracy is not now and will never be for sale at any price or under any circumstances. GERALD E

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