Conspiracy theories seem to be taking center stage in American politics these days. That being said, the current president seems to find conspiracies believable. Now, why do so many people believe conspiracy theories? When Trump makes an outrageous claim with no evidence to back it up, why are there so many people jumping on the bandwagon?
Maybe it’s because some of the institutions in our country that should be reliable have done things that have damaged their credibility. When agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) lose public trust, then it’s easier to turn to conspiracy theories as reliable information. So how bad have the “good guys” become?
The CIA was created in 1947. It’s job has been to collect and analyze information about foreign nationals, organizations, businesses and government officials on the down-low. No one is supposed to know they are being spied on. However, thanks to whistle-blowers and the viral nature of the worldwide web, many of their nasty, little secrets have been revealed. And now, the CIA may have to suffer the consequences of being damaged goods unworthy of public trust.
Now, the gringa understands that the spy business is a nasty business. No one likes a snoop, a snitch or a turncoat. But, the reality is, if a country wants to know what the enemy is up to, spies are necessary. We may despise a spook, but without them, we would all be much more vulnerable. But what do we do if our spy community takes advantage of secrecy to abuse their broad authority? What if that results in our “good guys” morphing into the “bad guys”? Well, then the whole world is in trouble. For anyone to be truly safe, it has to be clear who, exactly, the good guys are.
Operation Ajax: Many people today may not even think about a serious power struggle in Iran that took place more than half a century ago. In 1951, the current Shah, Reza Pahlavi, survived an attempt on his life. It’s possible this assassination plan was cooked up by none other than his Prime Minister who wanted to reduce the Shah’s power. The CIA took interest because of, what else, oil. Particularly a British oil company, AIOC.
The Shah’s opposition considered this foreign oil company’s presence just one step too close to invasive British imperialism. Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh demanded an audit which AIOC refused. What’s a Prime Minister to do when his authority is insulted? Seize the company and make it a national asset.
The 1950s was the height of the Cold War. Every European nation, including the great island of the UK, kept oil supplies ready and at hand, their military capabilities primed should Russia strike. With British oil supplies in Iran threatened, which, in turn, threatened the readiness of their military, who else does the UK turn to but their powerful cousin across the pond, the US.
The Eisenhower Administration was on board, eager to flex its muscles for all the world to see. Especially Russia. And Mossadegh’s aggressive takeover of a British company was interpreted by Americans in the throes of the Red Scare as one step toward Communism for Iran.
Of course, the US was then “obligated” to save the vulnerable Iranians from Communism and “preserve” democracy”. Yep, the same old recycled story of preserving democracy as a cover for interfering in the sovereignty of a country in order to control their valuable oil.
The funny thing is that Prime Minister Mossadegh was actually an advocate of democracy. He, himself, was a democratically-elected official. His political goal was to diminish the power of the station of Shah who was a hereditary monarch. See the conflict here? In the end, however, the CIA launched Operation Ajax. This is how things went down:
- Iranian officials and mafiosos were bribed.
- Staged protests were bought and paid for in every major Iranian city.
- CIA agents were boots on the ground, using radios to transmit coverage of protests to the US and other media around the world.
- The media covered this news, effectively convincing their respective populations that Tehran was about to be overwhelmed by a populist army of rebels. (Is this beginning to sound familiar, you know, like Syria?)
- Mossadegh saw the writing on the wall and resigned.
- The new Prime Minister was a British/US puppet who restored oil monies to the British and the power of the throne to the Shah.
- The Shah responded with a security crackdown: secret police, traitors prisons for suspects without hearing or trial, and a major propaganda campaign to practically deify the Shah in the eyes of all Iranians.
Considering the outcome of the operation, it’s pretty easy to see that the “preserve democracy” justification was a sham. The West’s only interest was to get rid of Mossadegh because the only goal was to preserve British control of oil interests. So long as the Shah followed the program, the CIA was more than happy for this bloody tyrant to stay in power.
As it turns out, the CIA, British and Americans were no real friend to the Shah. They stood idly by while Communists and radical Islamists oranized secretly right under his watchful nose. It took more than a quarter of a century but, eventually, these rebels rioted and drove the Shah right off his throne. This was followed up with massacres of those who supported the Shah and any foreigners in Iran exploiting oil interests. Children were not spared.
What happened next is the installation of the Shah most of us are more familiar with, Ayatollah Khomeni. And he was incredibly ruthless, loyal to none. Once in power he turned right around and slaughtered the leftists who had led the rebellion that ousted his predecessor. What a reward for loyalty! Tens of thousands were imprisoned. This is when the famous hostage crisis at the American Embassy occurred during the Carter administration.
Neighboring Iraq took full advantage of the chaos. They invaded Iran on their western border. It is this key invasion event that created a ripple effect of events that are still unfolding today in all that is going on in the Middle East. Because, if not for the original interference of the CIA in 1953 that resulted in a political and monarchal coup in Iran, the de-stabilization and continued conflict for superior power present today would not have resulted. Iran had been, up until that time, a stabilizing seat of power in the Middle East.
By organizing a revolution the CIA set the stage for Islamic radicals and political rebels to flourish. Nw these rebels and radicals knew that there were powerful nations willing to arm and supply them if profit and oil interests would be in their favor by doing so. The precedence was set for the US and UK to exploit mercenary Middle Eastern rebels and radicals as a means to maintain Western control of Middle East oil reserves. They would use these assets to threaten a leader who stepped out of line or replace a leader who dared to go rogue.
The gringa knows that lots of people like to blame the war on terror on George W. or other contemporary political actors. The reality is that the seeds were planted much, much earlier in history for this poisonous tree that is bearing toxic fruit today.
Video Credits: AICBroadcast