Mohammad Reza Pahlavi: No One's Stooge


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Anonymous Observer
by Anonymous Observer
08-Sep-2010
 

I try not to be conspiratorial.  I always think that simple logic provides the best explanation for any given event.  But I got to tell you, I have recently been watching a lot of Shah’s last interviews—the ones from 1975 on—and I cannot escape the nagging conclusion that this man was removed from power by the Westerns powers who saw him as an emerging threat.  From his comments about the “blue eyed people being sleep” to his criticism of the Jewish Lobby in the United States to asserting his independence and refusing to be America’s ”stooge” when he was labeled in a CIA study as being too “unreliable” and “dangerous”, to his criticism of Britain and claiming that in ten years Iran would be where Britain was at that time and in twenty five years surpassing the UK, all the signs point to an ambitious man who saw his country’s economic and military power rising and who was intent on asserting his independence.  And they didn’t like it.

Let’s face it.  Iran was on its way to becoming a major power with great resources and a lot of disposable cash.  It was debt free.  It was becoming a nuclear country with the Bushehr plants on their way to a speedy completion, with one reactor at 85% completion and the other at 50% completion at the time of the 1979 devolution.  It is not difficult to imagine that has the Shah remained in power Iran would probably have built a nuclear bomb at some point, probably in the mid to late 1980’s. 

And watch this video where he remains uncompromising in the price of oil, and essentially threatens the United States with maintaining high oil prices in exchange for the price of spare parts and commodities being too high.  Another notable point in this video, as well as in the one where he refuses to be “America’s stooge” is the sense of fear that the United States has of Iran’s growing power and possible “expansionist” goals.

This guy was no stooge of the West.  He was a threat to the West.  The West had probably surmised that if he remained in power for another decade, Iran would have been unstoppable.  We would have become a rich and modern version of India: an independent Eastern nation that would have been a thorn in the side of, and a competitor of the U.S., in the Middle East, and specifically the Persian Gulf--and they could not have that.  They had their hands full with the USSR.  They didn’t need another headache. 

Sure, he was a dictator.  But given the nature of the democracy movement in Iran, and his inevitable death, I am sure that the monarch’s absolute rule would have ended at some point and Iran would have morphed into some form of a democracy.  That was just inevitable.

We really could have been somebody.  We could have been a truly independent, powerful country.  Instead, they pushed upon us the most backward, reactionary, theocratic system since the Middle Ages and set us back decades in development and independence, to the point that re-packaging 60 year old aircraft and re-assembling 60 year old North Korean missiles became our measure of “progress” for us, and giving away the Caspian Sea to the Russians so that they stop sanctions and sell us cheap junk became our measure of “independence.” 

Truly, kudos to that great Iranian, the Shah, for being a visionary and a lover of Iran and the Iranian people.  He was not perfect by any stretch of imagination, but watching these old interviews leaves one with one inescapable conclusion: he was no one’s stooge.


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more from Anonymous Observer
 
Q

Vildemose, thank you too for the laugh!

by Q on

pissing off the sel-hating narcissists.

Point 1. when you are angry, you get blinded, and and number of mental faculties suffer in that condition. I can sense at least 3 in your case, the constitution of the others being unknown.

Point 2. It's "self" hating.

Point 3. A narcissist is not a self hater but the opposite: a self-lover. Look it up in the dictionary before you grace us with your next "smart" token of wisdom, OK?

PS. Note the quotation marks around "smart", this is a punctuation device that in this case denotes irony. Just wanted to be sure you understand what you are reading. :)


Q

MW, I guess by "perception" you mean "anything" made up

by Q on

in that case, there's nothing I can say, it is your opinion, it doesn't need to make sense to me or have any scientific/historic merrit whatsoever. So, fine, it's your "perspective". But whatever it is, it literally made me laugh outloud just reading it!

It's not consistent with reality, becaue I tend to rely on facts not fantasies, to talk about it. If you are truly interested, you can read as I will explain below, but I get the point that you have your little world view and you would rather it not be disturbed. I can oblige.

Your perception: * The Allies deposed his father by force, during an occuption, and elevated a young inexperienced man to the throne.

This is Fact. You want to argue "experience" for a 22 year old boy who had never worked a day in his life? Literally any other politician, even mayor of a town, would have had more experience the Mr. Pahlavi. And of course, the point that makes him a stooge is that he owes his crown and career to foreigners, and that includes even his "training" as a swiss soldier (LOL).

Good, so in your opinion, being "trained as a swiss soldier" is enough to rule Iran? So you're saying David Petraus, or General Eisenhower would be a good leader for Iran? Thanks for the laugh!

I wrote:
The British and the Americans specifically destroyed Mossadegh so that Shah would protect their oil investments in Iran. While he was abroad in Italy, thinking he could not return he had reportedly asked them for a "job".

Your reply (seriously?) is:
If that's true why he didn't revert back the nationalization after he reined power?

The americans took over 40%. It didn't "revert" back because there was now a new superpower in the mix. Mossadegh was proposing a 50/50 split with the British. Instead it became a 40/40/20 split on the revenues immediately after the Coup. 40% went to a conglomerate of 5 American oil companies. This was the "payment" for the coup. Read your history!!!

What American? Shah's republican buddies that were barely selling him arms (the story of purchasing F-14 fighters) or his Democrat friends who were publicly criticizing his human rights records?

LOL! The SAVAK was formed and trained and advised by the CIA. This is what I claimed. Do you enjoy making knowingly false statements, or are you just wasting our time? The Shah had the best airforce in the middle east, and some of the US Arms went to Shah before any other country. Please.... don't even attempt to say, 'they barely sold arms'. Only Carter started "criticizing" any human rights in Iran, and that was only in the context of his broader HR initiatives all over the world. Until 1977, Shah had total immunity from western (governmental) criticism. This point has been noted over and over again by AI, and other human rights acitivsts in the 70s.

That's true, so were the Vietcong who were trained by the Soviet but that didn't make them a stooge.

No my friend! The Vietcong was the south Vietnamese Guerilla movement, it was not "trained" by the Soviets. The USSR, China, and many other communist countries were the ally of the North Vietnamese before and after the Vietnam war, during which time both USA repeatedly called NVA a Soviet stooge. So, you're wrong on "Viet Cong", and you're also wrong on the bigger point which is: this struggle was established before any chinese or soviet involvement. Sure, they sent aid to an ally nation in war for their own purposes, but they did not create that nation or put it in power.

In fact China (who was the main nation "training" North Vietnam) even went to war with Vietnam with tacit approval of the US.

In case you are confused: "helping" does not equal "stooge". Putting a client in power + controling that clients policies (literally a puppet) + receiving benefits are the main ingredients of being a "stooge". Shah had all three for his benefactors.

with every trade comes its regulation. You can't come empty handed to the table but you must make sure that you gradually change the balance to your benefit.

I guess you really don't this one at all. Let me break it down for you. Capitulation by definition means special treatment, so a country like Germany makes a "deal" with Iran. Iran gets something, Germany gets something. But with capitulation, the controlling country gets special treamtment, i.e. something above and beyond fair trade value, somethign which that country itself would never ever give up but expects the client (puppet) state to do.

The capitulation here was diplomatic immunity for advisors and military personnel in Iran. The only other kinds of capitulations like this were colonial ones like the kind from the Qajar era. The British soldiers could for example rape or murder anybody and the local court system couldn't do anything about it. The US asked and recieved this from the Shah. No other country had it. It was not an "economic deal", no contracts were signed saying Iran gets "something in return". It was rightfully seen as offensive and unfair to Iran, and of course the Shah figured this out when he denounced it later, but by than he was too late. So much for his 'leadership training' not to mention 'intelligence!'

Had a dog catcher of Ghazvin been made King in the 1940's knowing how people felt about the Ghajars he would never have been stupid enough to agree to these demands, but Shah was "trained" in switzerland, so apparently he didn't figure it out.

We didn't want to be blackmailed by only a superpower back then but now we are blackmailed by many little countries. I guess that's ok with you.

What the hall are you talking about? How are we being "blackmailed" by manhy little countries? US has much bigger trade with China than Iran does and owes it serious money, so is the US being "blackmailed" too? Don't confuse "trade" with "capitulation". Ask yourself how you would feel if a hundred thousand chinese military adivsors were living in Iran, and they had immunity from local laws so whatever they did couldn't be prosecuted in Iran. That was the situation with the US. As I already explained, no leader would be stupid enough to do something like that again.

I said:
The Americans provided detailed and regular input into even the most
minute internal decision by the Shah as proven by the Embassay papers
for 30 years.

You reply:
Mine: if that's true it means the Americans were on top of things and shouldn't been surprised by the 79 revolution.

Perhaps you need to read what I wrote more carefully, I said they had INPUT, i.e. they told the Shah what to do on even small internaal issues.. That's what makes it a stooge relationship.

This implies that they intrinsically guided the revolution by not preventing it.

No it doesn't imply that at all. They just wanted their policies to be followed by their stooge, they either didn't care, or were more likely just terrible at intellignece gathering. But intelligence is completely different than reviewing policy. You are the one implying they "knew" something (why just because they were American?) That's now what I said.

If you don't know, let me spill it for you: CIA sucks at intelligence gathering. It's been an open secret for decades. US is good at buying people with money, it's good at technological ingelligence (SIGINT), but it absolutely sucks at human intelligence (HUMINT).

The details for the reasons why is a different discussion. It's partly because the agency is politicized as part of the executive and Presidents and political parties have abused it for their own purposes rather than using it objectively. There were agents (one officer's name was "Hart" if I recall correctly) who warned about the revolution in detail and contradicted the official CIA assessment, but they were shoved aside by political appointees. Meanwhile the soviet agents were already ahead of the curve and making deals with leftists who might be in positions of power in the future.

The Americans missed the rvolution, just like they missed 9/11 and the collapse of the USSR many other fiascos. However, US continued to control client states and stooges like the Shah, Saddam and others. The two things are seperate.

As I don't see IRI as a unified body of power, I see the American foreign policy the same.
That's exactly right. The Shah served multiple successive masters throughout his long stooge career!

They are many different center of powers in this country, some like dictators and are not ashamed to shed blood even the American blood for their own benefit and some don't and they are on the more humanitarian edge.

Sure, US politicians may "feel" ashamed or "feel" anything they want, but when it comes to actually changing policies, only some things are on the table. Some things are constant, because they politically too costly to change and they are too beneficial and convinient to change. This can be proven by taking a good look at US relationship with Israel and Saudi Arabia. Sure there have been 12 Presidents in the 20th century. Obviously as you say, they are all different administrations and have different 'feelings' etc. But they have all agreed to act exactly the same way on Israel and Saudi Arabia. Iran was exactly the same. So while US Government is not a "monolith", successive administrations find it too convinient to continue the same policies.

All in all, the US power is one of the greatest in the history of mankind but unlike other empires they have been much more harmless in relative terms.

Yes, there is the "perspective" of the people who this "empire" benefits and the perspective of those who it does not benefit. If you are truly interested in an objective comparison, all you have to do is count the dead bodies of innocent civilians in all the places US has invaded or sponsored a coup, then we can have an objective discussion. Here's a small list of countries just since World War II. If you are serioulsy (as opposed to just BS'ing or sloganeering), you will see that it is not so "benign" after all, even compared to other "empires". It has just figured out a better way to sell it's own image, not that historically the beneficiaries of empires ever considered them anything but "benign" anyway.

Bottom line, things are not as black and white as they seems.

It never "seemed" black and white to me. Of course it is not. As I said, it would be stupid to see it as such. But equally stupid in my opinion is to make everything relative to a point where nothing has any meaning.

The "questions" that you raise, thinking they constitute some kind of logical negation in this post can be raised about anybody in history. If we take you seriously for a moment, it would immediately imply that no one else has ever been a stooge in history.

* Saddam wasn't a stooge. Just like your questions about the Shah, there are millions of Iraqi Sunnis who see Saddam as a patriot who did the best for his country, even when serving other masters.

* The Qajars Kings weren't stooges. Why should ew call them that? If we talked to a Qajari, he will sound just like you and say "with every trade comes its regulation"!!! Right?

So please... let's set aside the excuses and "bache bazi" and see the truth for what it really is.

Just because we don't want to be "black and white", we can't be moral relativists either. If you take a long comprehensive look at what a stooge is, as I have, you will see that on the balance the shah squrely falls into that category. There are undiputed stooges who went further than he did, and undisputed stooges who didn't even go as far as he did.


vildemose

AO: In Sum, If you are

by vildemose on

AO: In Sum, If you are chomagh bedast chaleh meydooni, you're independent. If you're civilized, which by the way it means you're "Westoxified", then you're a stooge...Excellent blog, Ao jan.

Keep on pissing off the sel-hating narcissists.

 


seannewyork

Midwesty very nice opinion piece

by seannewyork on

i thought your analysis was excellent.  sounds like someone who has taken time to read/study and form an opinion.


Anonymous Observer

You're correct Vildemose

by Anonymous Observer on

Midwesty has written a good response to Q's propaganda.  The bottom line is that the Shah, just like any other good politician, tried to take the maximum advantage from his relationship with the U.S.  Again, he was not perfect, but he was no puppet or a stooge.  Q and others misrepresent being an "ally" --which is a two way relationship-- with being a puppet. Essentially, in their minds, if you have a relationship with a larger power, wherein you are aware of your limitations and do not yell and scream at the larger power, and at the same time, your nation benefits from that relationship, you are some sort of a puppet.  

On the other hand, if you are a belligerent wannabe regime who take your nation to the brink of war with a superpower everyday, and in return are constantly under sanctions and are reduced to the status of a pariah nation, you are the ultimate representation of independence and freedom. 


vildemose

Midwesty: Wow, I'm

by vildemose on

Midwesty: Wow, I'm impressed.. One of the best breakdowns  of the Shah's reign. Thanks.


Midwesty

Your perception versus mine

by Midwesty on

Your perception: * The Allies deposed his father by force, during an occuption, and elevated a young inexperienced man to the throne.

Now mine:

Inexperience eh? Shah was trained like an ordinary soldier in the Swiss army. His father specially asked his trainers to treat him like an ordinary person. Shah was worth the title of commander in chief since he achieved his rank on his own and put in test when kicked Iraq's ass in three days. We all know about his other achievements, in economy and culture. I guess you don't count his numerous years of on job-training.

Your perception: * The British and the Americans specifically destroyed Mossadegh so that
Shah would protect their oil investments in Iran. While he was abroad
in Italy, thinking he could not return he had reportedly asked them for a
"job".

Now mine:

If that's true why he didn't revert back the nationalization after he reined power? 


Your perception: * The Americans and Israelis created, trained and maintained SAVAK specifically to keep Pahlavis in power.

Mine:

What American?  Shah's republican buddies that were barely selling him arms (the story of purchasing F-14 fighters) or his Democrat friends who were publicly criticizing his human rights records? 

Your perception:* The Americans armed and maintained Shah's army, police and intelligence.

Mine:

That's true, so were the Vietcong who were trained by the Soviet but that didn't make them a stooge. 

yours: * The Americans and their allies regularly asked and received special
privileges for their goods and services in Iranian markets, or the legal
status of their citizens in Iran (capitulation).

mine: with every trade comes its regulation. You can't come empty handed to the table but you must make sure that you gradually change the balance to your benefit. We didn't want to be blackmailed by only a superpower back then but now we are blackmailed by many little countries. I guess that's ok with you.  

yours:* The Americans provided detailed and regular input into even the most
minute internal decision by the Shah as proven by the Embassay papers
for 30 years.

Mine: if that's true it means the Americans were on top of things and shouldn't been surprised by the 79 revolution. This implies that they intrinsically guided the revolution by not preventing it. So does this mean that the previous stooge was kicked out by a new stooge? 

As I don't see IRI as a unified body of power, I see the American foreign policy the same. They are many different center of powers in this country, some like dictators and are not ashamed to shed blood even the American blood for their own benefit and some don't and they are on the more humanitarian edge. Some like to colonized other countries and keep them in the dark poverty but some like to reach out and spread their wealth.

All in all, the US power is one of the greatest in the history of mankind but unlike other empires they have been much more harmless in relative terms. Put things in perspective.

Bottom line, things are not as black and white as they seems. Please have some reservation when you are drawing bold lines. I didn't get to see shah and nor I am historian but a lot of things that I learned since he left the country showed me that it is very difficult to clearly say he was a stooge. That's my perception!

Cheers! 


Q

No, not really, midwesty,

by Q on

The stooge question is a perceptive question is not even in part a question of facts.

Not at ALL, my friend! Stooge question is very much fact based, it is not a matter of perception, just like it has been in all of history, including all the examples I provided. It's a power relationship that is well established.

I already outlined this below, but I will repeat again the reasons why Shah was a stooge:

* The Allies deposed his father by force, during an occuption, and elevated a young inexperienced man to the throne.
* The British and the Americans specifically destroyed Mossadegh so that Shah would protect their oil investments in Iran. While he was abroad in Italy, thinking he could not return he had reportedly asked them for a "job".
* The Americans and Israelis created, trained and maintained SAVAK specifically to keep Pahlavis in power.
* The Americans armed and maintained Shah's army, police and intelligence.
* The Americans and their allies regularly asked and received special privileges for their goods and services in Iranian markets, or the legal status of their citizens in Iran (capitulation).
* The Americans provided detailed and regular input into even the most minute internal decision by the Shah as proven by the Embassay papers for 30 years.

In other words, his entire career and power was courtesy of constant support of his foreign backers.

That is a stooge, factually. EVEN if he was defiant in every other way, even if he flipped off the British in TV inteviews, the above facts make him a stooge plain and simple. Don't be fooled by nostalgia or the well-crafted image he presented himself as (also worked on by CIA/Western media experts). The facts speak for themselves.

Show me one other leader in history in the same situation that we would not call a stooge today. It's exactly the same story with the other stooges that I mentioned. This is the way it has been for centuries. Strong nation hand picks leader of weak nation who becomes a puppet in advancing the policies and interests of the strong nation. It is all over history and it happened in numerous nations after WWII and during the cold war. Iran was one of them.

If Shah was not a stooge, the word has no meaning.

That's the stooge question.
You are consistently talking about another unrelated question, that of his leadership. The fact that he had some positive policies. I agree, he did. But this is a) unrelated to being a stooge and b) not enough to make one a good leader.

I made the points about Hitler and Stalin to show that just becaues there is industrialization, doesn't mean the leader is good or preferable to someone else. I didn't say they were a stooge, but that's not the point. There have been plenty of stooges as well who have also modernized their countries. I already mentioned the Saudis but many Eastern European communist stooges and African leaders can also say the same thing. Even the puppet dictatorships in Egypt and Jordan can draw numerous positive differences between themselves and their predecessors.


Midwesty

Q

by Midwesty on

The stooge question is a perceptive question is not even in part a question of facts. we bring facts to support our perception about levels of his dependence on foreign powers. I agree he was dependent but not to the extend to sell his country to them. I got the impression that you also agree that there were positives about him. But when it came to industrialization question your pool of dictators suddenly changed from the stooges like Pinochet to Hitler. See what I am saying? If we agree his positiveness he is more of a brutal dictator than a stooge but if we lien towards his stoogyness then we must deny his positiveness. Much similar to what happened in our discussion here. Pinochet was a stooge because Chile is no where close what Iran is now. So what does this tell you? That shah wasn't a stooge but he was like hitler a brutal dictator. If he was a stooge he would not industrialize Iran because there is no stooge that does industrialization if he does he won't be a stooge. Hitler wasn't a stooge he was a brutal dictator. ( I am not trying to compare shah to hitler but just for the sake of sticking to your analogy)Ghajar wasn't ruling at the time so mossadegh was a middle class by definition, educated with an income lower than royals but more than the ordinary people. Compare to Chinese revolution that the royal family ended up in the work camps. If he ended up like that then he would be called a lower class citizen.


Q

still a stooge Midwesty!

by Q on

You're mixing up two different concepts, I'm not sure why, I explained the difference.

One concept is a stooge. Second is, whether Shah had some good policies. They are completely seperate.

"Industrialization" is not a moral character. It has of course been carried by some of the most bloody dictators in history. Hitler, Stalin, Mao/Deng and Kim Il Song did far more to industrialize and technologically advance their respective nations in shorter periods of time. Saddam Hussein also enormously improved living conditions in Iraq which became the most educated Arab nation. Today the Saudi Monarchy is kept in power by the US to keep the oil flowing. The standard of living for Saudis is the envy even of the first world, much better "roads" and public facilities than the Shah could have dreamed of. Does that in any way negate the fact that they are stooges?

What does this have to do with anything? What's your point?

You seem to completely disregard all the reasons why Shah was a stooge and then point to some accomplishment that in your view makes him a good leader. That's debatable, but it is not an answer to the stooge question.

So don't you think shah might be just pretending to be a stooge?
No, because he never pretended he was a stooge. He pretended he wasn't.

PS. Mossadegh was not "middle class", he was Qajar royalty. If there was a real middle class during his era (50's), it was very small. Again, I'm not sure why this is relevant to the stooge question.


Midwesty

Q jan

by Midwesty on

The wide spread industrialization of Iran was possible by grand policies of shah and executed by the middle class Iranians. If it wasn't his vision of nuclear energy, building basic infrastructure (roads, power plants, dams, airports, and so on) , political presence in four corners of the world (i.e. Building embassies all over the world) and military preparation, the IRI had no direction nor a chance to survive a day much similar to Taliban after US invasion.

Shah can't even come close in brutality to the dictators you mentioned. Let's also remember that if shah in his heart wasn't ok with the oil nationalization mossaddegh could not go too far with his plans. Let's remember that mossadegh was also from the middle class family where it did not exist or was very small before pahlavi's era.

So don't you think shah might be just pretending to be a stooge?


Q

Midwesty,

by Q on

The discussion here is on being a stooge. Shah meets the definition, which I have layed out. I have never said there was "nothing" positive about the Pahlavi rule. To make an absolutist claim like that, is just stupid, I admit.

how you could justify the massive Iranian oil revenue in late 70's that caused the "sane world" a massive headache?

Shah was against and opposed to the embargo that ended up enormously benefiting Iran financially. Even after the embargo, he kept selling oil to Israel, in effect saving the West money and lowering prices. If the Arabs had listened to him, there would be no such thing as "massive Iranian oil revenue", itself only possible because of Mossadegh, whom the shah opposed vehimently. After it already happened, Shah, of course had no problem taking credit for it and pretending like he was some kind of third world populist spokesman to the laughter of real anti-imperialists everywhere.

So, that's how I justify it.

You are on the other end of spectrum of conspiracy theorists who thought ordinary middle class Iranians were nothing and the superpowers were doing everything.

I don't quite understand. I never discounted the power of ordinary Iranians. I'm saying they pulled down the Shah, as opposed to some of our crazier friends who think Jimmy Carter did it working for the BBC. Or with absolutely no proof try to claim that Khomeini was working for the French or the Chinese. That's some crazy conspiracy theory for you.

The same crazies now claim that Iranians are just not capable of changing their own destiny and achieving their own democracy, which is why they need Western help, to fight for their own freedom. That is the attitude that says Iranians are nothing and superpowers are everything.


Q

Thanks AO, but you're not helping your case at all!

by Q on

LOL!

Stooges have no immunity. Once they have outlived their usefulness, there is no guarantee they would even live, let alone be "welcomed" anywhere. They usually know too many embarrassing things about the puppet master so, they are dropped like a rock. That's the life of a stooge, like the Shah.

In fact that Shah was lucky he died early, and the Soviet threat kept the West in check. Other stooges were not so lucky. Saddam was hunted like a Rat, the puppet in South Vietnam was assasinated by CIA, Noriega was captured and jailed, Pinochet, for years supported by NATO was arrested in Europe.

The fact that the French didn't kill Khomeini or didn't shoot down Khomeini's plane (where there was a real fear that they would), is of course, no proof of anything and hardly makes him a "stooge". That's like saying Lenin and Marx were stooges of the British because they lived in London (that's what Hitler was claiming). Of course people who primarily live in self-congratulatory fantasies could still say anything.

You can compare this to the verifiable facts that Shah was hand picked and placed and protected and advised and armed by British and Americans for over 30 years. Some facts, even you can't deny, AO!


Anonymous Observer

Thanks everyone

by Anonymous Observer on

Bavafa, Midwsesty, afshinzad, COP, kharmagas, IG, Q (yes, even you Q) and others for your contributions.  This is an important subject.  In my opinion, the Shah was a patriot and his ambitions, military and economic power were becoming serious threats to the superpowers, who saw him as a potential competitor to their influence in the region.  That is why he was quickly abandoned and betrayed by the U.S. and others, who even refused to allow him to land in their countries.

How sad was it that the plane carrying the Shah of Iran--the man who was supposedly a "tool of the West"-- was not even allowed to land in a European or American airport when he left Iran, when at the same time, Khomeini was flown in with much fanfare on an Air France 747?!!!!  What does that tell you?  Who was being propped up and supported by the "West" then?!!!

Kharmagas: I watched the video by Dr. Etemad.  He says many good things.  He points out many flaws in our society, the most important of which (that I always point out to my friends) is our collective lack of sense of ownership and responsibility for our society.  We never feels like we "own" our country.  We pass the buck.  Our culture needs to change, not just our government.     

 


marhoum Kharmagas

Dr. Akbar Etemad,.., Indeed AO

by marhoum Kharmagas on

Indeed AO. Good collection of videos. I suggest you incorporate this to your article too:

http://iranian.com/main/2009/feb/akbar-etemad


Bavafa

Q,

by Bavafa on

I am curious, are you talking about the current regime (i.e AN) or the Shah. The description fits both so closely, I wasn't sure who you were writing about?

Mehrdad


Immortal Guard

Paper Tiger!

by Immortal Guard on

Pahlevoon Panbeh. 

He used to be unabashedly teasing towards the British reporters. It seemed that he was openly thumbing his nose at them, giving them the finger and even stiffening them. This must have upset the British very much. His statements felt more like lectures to the British and must have occasionally made their blood boil inside! 

But at the same time the British reporters also used to ask him hostile questions which they do not ask any Arab leaders past or present!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imil1iIpIYA&feature...

In the above interview (fast forward to 3:56) he tells the British that they don't work enough! His answers are also deliberately double-entendre!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgLJ8m62HuU&feature...

Again in the above interview the Shah repeats the same line of reasoning with respect to work. He actually tells the British reporter (fast forward to 2:49) "you know how to work ... but you do not work ..."

He should have been more careful, diplomatic and nuanced in his interviews with the British and should have pondered the longer-term consequences for the Iranian people and the hardships that might be visited on them!

Last but not least you should pay attention that there is a difference in both tone and substance between the interviews with American reporters and the British reporters.

But the Shah was quite shaken when he arrived in Egypt amidst the revolution. Good thing that Lord Mountbatten was still his friend:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Mountbatten,_1s...

And last but not least enjoy some nice ventriloquist clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Zn3M-WMzM&feature...


Midwesty

Q

by Midwesty on

I wonder how you could justify the massive Iranian oil revenue in late 70's that caused the "sane world" a massive headache?
You are on the other end of spectrum of conspiracy theorists who thought ordinary middle class Iranians were nothing and the superpowers were doing everything.
Can we deny the advancements that the middle class contributed to the Iranian society? Weren't ordinary Iranians part of it?
Insulting shah is a tof-e sar bala!


Q

AO, stooges can be a liability,

by Q on

and they often are dangerous, part of what makes them good stooges. Examples: Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden, Manuel Noriega, Augusto Pinochet.

So... the fact that he was occasionally a "loudmouth" and meglomaniacally barked at the master, is not at all inconsistent.

Unlike the picture you paint with your wishful fantasies, what determines a stooge is not what someone says or doesn't say in public. Any given 2 bit dictator shoots off his mouth as a way of compensating for his inadequacies and shortcomings, personal and national.

When someone is hand picked as a leader by occupying powers and owes his career and entire existence to Americans who put him by force not once but twice!, who are supplying his army, and make him ask for permission for every single domestic and foreign policy (as the embassy papers showed), and have thousands of their "advisors" running around in the country immune from local laws, That's a stooge.


Cost-of-Progress

Thanks AO

by Cost-of-Progress on

Some people's version of the "truth", specially the satirical AN-tellectual prick, Q, only consider the period after the installation of the anti nationalist and anti Iranian regime of the mullahs and their thug supporters as the begining of time. Everything else is just fiction to them. 

Great blog.

____________

IRAN FIRST

____________


afshinazad

WE WERE STUPID

by afshinazad on

We the Iranian nation had no clue what was going on in bloody world but also we were not aware of facts and so called freedom of western countries and our neighbouring countries and we were so blind to see the reality and facts of how the world shaped.

Shah was a person who created the social freedom and security and safety for public beyond imagination in our country and only if one could imagine importance of social security and social freedom and could understand and compared it with other countries, only then could understand the foundation of free society and formula for political freedom.

There are a lot of documents available that our so called revolution 1979 was nothing but sham and our majority of people did not go to streets and did not support the fascist current regime from day one. This was nothing but power hungry cleric who supported by British, Khomeini was stooge of British Who was moved to Iraq and move to Paris and supported and was companied by CIA agent GOTBZADEH to Iran and other British and CIA agents who came along with them and became a presidents and others.

After all the facts is shah was weak before his people and didn’t kill like current Regime to stay in power and his shortcoming was his vision of his legacy in history and that was his biggest mistake. I wonder why our people don’t want to get armed like 1978-79 and fight the army and security and question is why not? And the answer is because there is no one to support them, like soviets and Saudi Arabia or British and CIA or the Iraq.

 


Bavafa

Thanks AO for the great blog and posted videos

by Bavafa on

As an adamant anti-monarchy, I admit I have been very impressed with his interviews and how articulated he was in his responses and interviews. He speaks like a true states man, intelligent and a patriot. He defends Iran's position vis a vie the West and tries to deal with them keeping Iran's best interest. For that he deserves every Iranians' respect.

Then in darn on me, this is what AN interviews are in relation to foreign policy and protecting Iran's interest. Also as an adamant anti-IRI and AN, I admit his interviews like the one just recently with a Dutch reporter, he was defending Iran's right to enrichment or other matters in the international arena.

It is certainly too bad that both regime had/have such awful records towards their own citizens and on its democratic polices and obviously IRI being far more brutal then the Shah ever was. One hopes that one day we will have a regime that defends Iran's interest with such ferocity and practice a democratic and secular governance internally.

Mehrdad


mahmoudg

well written and so true

by mahmoudg on

Good job


Anonymous Observer

I agree OnlyIran

by Anonymous Observer on

strange coincidence indeed.  


Onlyiran

Nice blog AO

by Onlyiran on

I have thought about this for a while too.  True independence would have come to Iran if Shah was given a chance.  It just seems as a very strange coincidence that Khomeini surfaced all of a sudden right when Shah was starting to throw his weight around.  :-)


Anonymous Observer

Midwesty

by Anonymous Observer on

Thanks for the thought provoking comment.  I agree with you that perhaps Shah wanted to create a record for future generations.  At the same time, I guess we can tell what world leaders think from their interviews and speeches.  They tend to give us a glimpse of what is happening behind the scenes, which in this case, I am sure there was a hell of a lot more that we see here.  But I tend to think that we will never know.    


Anonymous Observer

Mark Merat a/k/a "Sargord"

by Anonymous Observer on

get off my blog and go trolling somewhere else.  If I need a terrorist supporting white American guy to tell me what's good for my country or its people, I would write a letter to John Walker Lindh and ask for his opinion.  


Anonymous Observer

Q

by Anonymous Observer on

Q: notwithstanding your comedic talent, facts are facts.  Read my comment to Arthimis below.  The people of Iran were the ones who did the act.  Yes, there was support for Khomeini.  But at the same time, there is no denying that Shah was becoming a huge problem for the U.S.  He wanted independence.  He had the money and he thought that he had (and probably did have) the military power to support his aspirations, or at least was on his way to approach that military power.

Another thing was worrying the West was Shah's burgeoning relationship with the USSR.  Right before his fall, Shah had began to purchase arms from the Soviet Union in what could only be characterized as a big "F you" to the U.S.  

Now, I would have assumed that for a conspiratorial minded person such as yourself who sees something "behind the scenes" all the time, the fact that the CIA called him a "dangerous" person would be enough to figures out what the Big Daddy U.S. of A was up to and had in mind. But if that's not enough, the following quotes from George Ball, Carter's appointed diplomat (to do a report on Iran) and his adviser, James Bill should shed light on what was really going on:

Ball's quote:

 "We urgently need to open a disavowable channel of communication with [Khomeini] or his entourage."

Bill' Quote:

 [Khomeini is a man of] "impeccable integrity and honesty."

This is at the same time that they were calling Shah a "dangerous megalomaniac".  

 

 


Roozbeh_Gilani

" By 1975 Shah was even more powerful than the United States"

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Is this an Islamist cyber propagandist "reaching out" to the worst elements of monarchism and savakis or sheer ignorance of the facts or loss of memory due to old age?

Rhetorical question BTW!


Anonymous Observer

Arthimis, Azarin & Maryam

by Anonymous Observer on

Arthimis;  of course, we shouldn't take responsibility away from ourselves.  Iranians are religious, there's no doubt.  Moreover, the Shia religious hierarchy and the concept of "marjaa" are the perfect recipe for blind following of religious figures by the masses.  While no one is claiming that the CIA or the British knocked on doors and brought millions to the streets, there is no denying that there were many factors in play to get rid of the Shah, who was being increasingly seen as more of a threat than an ally of the West. And to that end, they either tacitly, or overtly, supported Khomeini.  Think about this: the guy flew in on Air France for God's sake.  Can you imagine if an opposition figure arrives in Iran today on Air France or British Airways or Delta Airlines and announces himself the leader of the country?  All of our cyber Islamists here will have a collective heart attack. 

Azarin:  I'm glad to see that you have thought about thid issue as well.  Thanks for the comment.

Maryam: Thanks for the comment. 


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