Saturday, January 07, 2012

Video: The History of U.S.-Iranian Relations Since 1953
And A Thought-Experiment

I've written about this history before--many have, of course. But here's a nice, 10-minute video beginning with the history of U.S.-Iranian relations since 1953. As we know--but most Americans don't--if you look at all the relevant information, and not just what happened since 1979, it becomes clear that the fault, historically speaking, lies primarily with us, not with the Iranians. That does not, of course, mean that the Iranian government isn't currently loony... But things would likely be a lot different if not for Operation Ajax.

The simple thought-experiment at the end of the video is great. It's the kind of thing that you and I do basically automatically--that is, imagine what judgment we would make if the situation were reversed. But our friends across the aisle these days seem to think that any measure of objectivity in such matters means that you "blame America first." The quasi-conclusion is very good, too: we started it, and we have the power to stop it. (Again: none of this means that Ahmadinejad and his ilk aren't terrible people.) But it's hard to deny the facts when you see them presented in a cartoon that is, in fact, like a little graph of the terrible things we've done to/caused to happen to Iran.

Something I learned from the video: Truman rebuffed Churchill's efforts to get the U.S. to help with the coup against Mosaddegh. Eisenhower, of course, went along with it. I have a high opinion of Eisenhower, but it's funny what a microcosm of recent American foreign policy this is: the Dem doing the right thing, minimally right though it might have been, and Republicans f*cking everything up.

I've often wondered why Carter helped the Shah. That was a Democratic error. Obviously he could not return him to Iran, if for no other reason than that the GOP would scream "cowardice!" and "appeasement!"...  But he shouldn't have helped the sonofabitch. The Shah deserved to rot in hell.


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