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Review

Notable success!
A complete idiot's guide to the CIA

By Moe
September 14, 2003
The Iranian

Of the 336 pages in The Complete Idiot's Guide to the CIA the only thing most Iranians care about -- i.e., the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh -- fits neatly into a few lines replete with a plethora of factual errors, in a section dubiously called "Notable Successes". 

And I quote:

In 1953, the shah [sic], recently overthrown [sic] in Iran, was put back in power [sic] after the CIA [sic] overthrew Dr. Mohammed [sic] Mossadegh, a left-wing [sic] revolutionary [sic].  This successful [sic] joint CIA/United Kingdom op was called Operation Ajax [sic].

And now, a brief explanation of the [sic]s:

(1) "shah" should be written as Shah since it is a proper noun referring to a specific person.
(2) The Shah was not overthrown.  He fled.  As in: "Goodbye, I'm running for my safety. Screw the rest."
(3) The Shah never really wielded any significant "power" (or much of anything) before 1953.
(4) This was a joint CIA/MI-6 operation, with most of the guidance and strategy coming from MI-6.
(5) The good doctor preferred the spelling "Mohammad".
(6) Mossadegh was a nationalist through and through. If the left-wing supported him (which conjecture itself is debatable), it does not make him a left-winger.
(7) It's true that Mossadegh introduced revolutionary ideas (such as kicking the British leeches out of Iran's oil industry, instilling confidence and a certain bravado in a much-maligned populace, and fighting antiquated ideas and dogmas), but he was the popularly elected Prime Minister of the country. I guess one could call him revolutionary in the sense of a Teddy Roosevelt, a Gandhi, or a JFK.
(8) In the myopic limited view of an operation, it might be deemed successful. But in the larger longer-term view, its success is certainly debatable. [see Stephen Kinzer's All the Shah's Men]
(9) It's official CIA operational name is TPAJAX.
 
Did the author's realize this was a book for idiots and not by idiots?! >>> See "Replies in easrnest"

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