Understanding the roots of the War on Terror

A co-worker encouraged me to read All the Shah's Men, Stephen Kinzer's exposé of the CIA's complicity in the downfall of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh (محمد مصدق) of Iran, Time Magazine's 1951 Man of the Year. From the Foreword, where an innocent question to a female Iranian writer results in a tirade against America: "Why did you do that to us? We believed you were on our side and then you betrayed us. We never understood then why America would co-operate with the British imperialists against our people."

Apparently that outburst pushed Kinzer to go back 50 years to understand how one month in 1953 affected 1979 so deeply; how it could still be echoing down the corridors of international relations between the US and the Middle East in 2004. The result is chilling. An honest assessment of all parties doesn't leave Mossadegh looking entirely like a saint but it's far more damning to the British, the Americans, and the various royal families of Iran from the 17th century forward.

Peace to Iran! and a government that takes its people's aspirations seriously!

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