Monday, August 20, 2007

Hello? Mossadegh?

In yesterday's Democratic debate (well, in the TPM Highlights) former Senator Mike Gravel said
[T]he administration is cooking the books, the intelligence on Iran... I would hope the Congress would pass a resolution saying, under no circumstances do you invade Iran. [W]hat about our trying to destabilize their government, which we've been doing for the last 25 years? ... We destroyed their democracy.
And I think that's at least artful, if not flat wrong. I recently had the opportunity to read the book All the Shah's Men -- apparently as I enter middle age I've started reading a lot of non-fiction -- which tells the story of how we took over destabilizing Iran's government from Britain 54 years ago, when Kermit Roosevelt coordinated the effort to "destroy their democracy" and install the Shah.

We propped up a dictator in Iran for (almost) the whole time Senator Gravel was in the Senate. We've been accountable for political instability in Iran from about the time that Mike Gravel started college. When Iranians participated in handing over our Democracy to the tender ministrations of Ronald Reagan, it was really just payback.

clarification: Mike Gravel left the Senate in 1981. There's no reason you'd know that, I looked it up myself. But, when he says 'the last 25 years,' he's saying 'since you ingrates voted me out,' which is why he doesn't date back 28 years to the Islamic Revolution itself, and why he doesn't date our destruction of their democracy at all, preferring to imply it was in our last 25 years of meddling.

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