Many protesters carried signs stating “You Started It!”
This was the Iranian answer to Trump’s assassination of Soleimani, the Iranian General that has caused such an uproar in that country and brought missiles roaming down upon our bases. The statement is true, but it goes back even further than the protesters themselves seem to remember, or were never taught. Back in the 1950’s the CIA started a coup in that country that ousted democratically elected reform-minded Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and put the notorious Mohammad Reza Pahlav (The Shah, as he became to be known) into power. Pavlav’s SAVAK secret police turned the country into the dictatorship that we Americans supposedly so despise. We did this purging at the behest of the British, supposedly another democracy loving government, who were afraid of losing their oil revenues to Mosaddegh, who was in favor of nationalizing the oil industry within their own lands.
This shows where our countries real loyalties were invested. Our involvement in tinkering with Iran’s governing began then or perhaps earlier. The Shah’s repressions led to the emergence of the Ayatollah Khomeini, a religiously dictatorial Islamic leader living in exile in France. As the protests against his government grew to the point that even his ruthless SAVAK agents couldn’t control it, he fled the country. Khomeini moved in and took over. His anti-American stance led to the the famous invasion of the U.S. Embassy and the taking of 52 Embassy hostages that lasted almost two years.
This America remembers, not the deposing of Mosaddegh and the implantation of the Shah that brought it about. We did start it. Long before the bombing of Soleimani. In fact, along with the British and the French, this began a lot of the trouble that is in the Mideast today. The two allies from World War One were greedy for oil profits and decided to carve up the Middle east to suit their desires in the chaos left after the Great War. It is their reordering of borders that etched the present demarcations of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and created the new state of Kuwait where there were known huge oil deposits and left the oil-poor Kurds with no homeland whatsoever.
And now the man who campaigned on ending the U.S. involvement in the Middle east has kicked a hornet’s nest and brought us right back into the swamp there. Obama, whether you love him or hate him, did try to stabilize relationships with Iran and Cuba and bring them back into world affairs, but Trump in his trying to prove himself better than Obama in all ways, ended up kicking that to death, re-alienating both countries and ultimately, sending us right back a whole 20 years into the same antagonistic relationships we’d had with both countries.
Trump’s method of dealing with Iran is to bully it into submission and poverty with sanctions. Obama had eased those sanctions and returned money that lawfully belonged to Iran back to them. Trump claims this money was just used to finance terrorism and, of course, blames the current situation on the former President. What he overlooks is that Iran responded favorably to Obama’s and Europe’s overtures and started dismantling their nuclear centrifuges and other knick-knacks. Now, instead, they are pulling out all the stops to rebuild them.
So, take your pick as to who had the better solution. England and France used to the same strategy to punish Germany for reparations after WW I, driving them into poverty and making the German Mark a worthless currency. This led to Hitler being their Savior, and we all know how well that went. This whole mess we are in now was totally unnecessary. Had we gone ahead with the actions Obama started to harmonize with both these countries the world would probably have been a better place. We could have eased the tensions between the US and Cuba (where we had also set up a dictator that brought about the Castro revolution) and Iran. But of course, Trump can’t have anything Obama in his Presidency. Now instead we can have another war in the Middle east. What a great New Year’s present!