Date: 2007-05-28 22:48:00
blood for oil
If there was ever any doubt... US blackmails Iraq over its oil.

This offends me on so many levels. Do countries accumulate karma?
"Do countries accumulate karma?" That's as good an explanation as any for why every empire dies sooner or later!

Coincidentally I am reading "Imperial Ambitions" (9 interviews with Noam Chomsky) now, which I highly recommend. Chapter 3 talks about how Britain and the US helped overthrow the Iranian parliament and bring back the shah in 1953:
The issue in Iran was that a conservative nationalist parliamentary government was attepting to take back its own oil resources. These had been under the control of a British company ... which had entered into contracts with the rulers of Iran that were pure extortion and robbery. The contracts gave the Iranians nothing, and the British were laughing all the way to the bank.

Mossadegh was a long-standing critic of this subordination to imperial policy. Popular outbursts compelled the shah to appoint him as prime minister, and he moved to nationalize the industry, which made perfect sense. The British went completely berserk. They refused to make any compromises like the ones American oil companies had just agreed to in Saudi Arabia. They wanted to continue robbing the Iranians blind. And that led to a tremendous popular uprising in support of nationalization.

Iran had a long democratic tradition, including a majlis, a parliament. And the shah couldn't suppress it. Finally a joint British-American coup succeeded in overthrowing Mossadegh and restoring the shah to power, ushering in twenty-five years of terror, atrocities, and violence, which led finally to the revolution in 1979 and the expulsion of the shah.
The New York Times ran an editorial praising the coup, in which it said, "Underdeveloped countries with rich resources now have an object lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid by one of their number which goes berserk with fanatical nationalism." Other Mossadeghs elsewhere in the world should be careful before trying to do something like gaining control of their own resources - which, of course, are ours, not theirs.

Imperialism and puppet vassal governments... There is nothing new under the sun... I'd been meaning to read a Chomsky book for a long time, and I'm glad I finally am. He's quite readable and knowledgable and interesting. (Which is good, since I volunteered to help translate this book into Esperanto. :)
Greg Hewgill <>