Why Does Iran Hate Us?
If you’ve seen all the mainstream “media” headlines, you know that Iran is our latest threat. It doesn’t matter how quagmired we are in Iraq, or how understaffed and ill-equipped our military is. We’re getting ready to invade, and we’ll go to war with the army we have and not the army we wish we had.
Whatever the solution is, hopefully it’ll be provided by the United States, Europe and the United Nations working together, and not another ::smirk:: “coalition of the willing.”
Our “media” doesn’t pay much attention to cause and effect, history repeating itself, etc. In 1979, Iran was all over the news when the Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah of Iran and the new government seized American hostages. And again, Iran is in the headlines — Axis of Evil, they might develop nukes, etc.
In both of these cases, our press coverage had made it sound like millions of Iranians just got up one morning and decided, for no reason at all — “hey, you wanna pick a fight with the world’s greatest superpower? Economic sanctions, invading armies, our wives and children getting killed and maimed — come on, whaddya say?!”
Iran has a deep-seated mistrust of America, and the West in general. This goes back more than 50 years. In the early 1950s the CIA started its long-running habit of staging coups in Third World countries, to pave the way for Western businesses. The CIA’s first coup was in Iran in 1953.
The 1953 coup in Iran was planned by both the British and American governments. In 1951 the Iranian government nationalized Iran’s oil industry. This mostly affected England, who controlled the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. England responded with threats and sanctions.
Anti-Communist paranoia was reaching a fever pitch in America, and our government was afraid any unrest in Iran would play into Russia’s hands. Iran had a small Communist party which was becoming more active.
The coup — an Iranian general was working with the British and American governments — would re-install the Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi. He had inherited the crown from his father in 1941, but he was a weak ineffective leader. He was overthrown in 1951; and re-installed three years later by the Powers That Be.
During the 1960s he pushed for land reform and increased education. But he continued becoming more brutal and more power-crazed and megalomaniac. Iranians lived in terror of SAVAAK, the Iranian secret police. SAVAAK made the CIA and KBG look like a few boy scouts playing with walkie-talkies. It was widely believed that one out of every five Iranians was a SAVAAK informer. This meant that anyplace where people gather — park benches, street corners, buses or taxis — you were taking your life in your hands if you said anything slightly negative about the government.
By the mid-1970s, Iran and Chile were rated by Amnesty International as the world’s worst human rights violators. Hmmm, and both of those countries had their leaders installed by the CIA (Chile in 1973).
When the Shah finally fled Iran in 1979, Iranians had spent 26 years under the iron fist of a CIA-installed dictator. Most Iranians wanted him out; not just Moslem leaders. Liberal college students and devout Moslems were the two biggest groups pushing for the Shah’s overthrow.
As terrible as the Iranian hostage situation was, it was the result of 26 years of unexpressed, repressed rage. The hostage crisis didn’t just spring out of a vacuum.
The Western media poured fuel on the fire by being shocked that Iran was now a dictatorship. It was, of course, but things were at least as bad if not worse under the Shah. To paraphrase one of our former presidents — Khomeini was a son of a bitch but he was their son of a bitch.
As the saying goes, “those who don’t learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” What are we laying the groundwork for when we attack other countries “pre-emptively”? When we bomb thousands of civilians in our search for that elusive terrorist leader, what are we sowing? How many other countries will be joining the “Axis of Evil”?
With most Americans’ ignorance about the rest of the world, we’ll probably be just as dumbfounded when the next tragedy occurs.
cross-posted at Bring It On!