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Doomed to Fail : A Century of Oil, Incompetence, and Ignorance in the Middle East -Part III The Shah

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posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 07:52 PM
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Iran Part III The Shah and The White Revolution

 

a brilliant but dangerous megalomaniac who is likely to pursue his own aims in disregard of U.S. interests." - CIA Psychological Briefing paper on the Shah of Iran
 


The Rise of the Shah and The White Revolution

The returning Shah quickly consolidate his power and refused to undertake the changes needed to return Iran to parliamentarily government or even that of a constitutional monarchy. When asked why he was not preparing for a constitutional monarchy the Shah responded ‘When the Iranians learn to behave like Swedes, I will behave like the King of Sweden. (1) During these initial years the United States provided large scale assistance covering as much as 60% of the Iranian budget.(1) The Shah used much of this money to build up his army as well as his secret police the SAVAK. The combination of money, military control, and American backing had made his rule absolute.

As early as 1949 during the Shah’s first visit to Washington DC (In which he was seeking military aid) . The US put enormous pressure on the monarch to reform aspects of Iranian society. Secretary of State Dean Acheson “emphasized the fundamental necessity of giving priority to economic and social development” he also pointed out that U.S. military aid had not helped Chiang Kai-shek (2) This pressure would continue from every U.S. President that followed. From Eisenhower to Carter, each would continue to put pressure on the Shah to make fundamental reforms. Under mounting pressure from his biggest supporter in terms of money and world influence the Shah would have to make significant social reforms.

The Eisenhower administration decided to take a fresh look at Iran. Much of the pressure to reform was driven by this look. The document known as NSC-6010 was very foretelling as to what would come decades later:

‘Without internal reform, the monarchy is likely to be overthrown. Current dissatisfaction is based in part on awakening popular expectation and for reform of Iran’s archaic social, economic, and political structure and concomitant disillusionment with the Shah’s limited efforts to date to move in this direction with resolution and speed.”

However, despite the bleak assessment of the Shah and his long term prospects in Iran, the study concluded that “Despite the weakness fo the Shah’s regime, the absence of any constructive, pro-Western alternative at present makes U.S. support of the regime the best hope of furthering U.S. interests in Iran”. (2) With that assessment the U.S. would continue to provide support to the Shah and strengthen his internal security in hopes reforms would be forthcoming and work.

The incoming Kennedy administration had ideas of its own. Less than 4 months after he assumed the office, Kennedy had already set up a task force to deal with the Iranian issue. At the heart of the issue was once again that desire to minimize Soviet / Communist influence in the area. The Task Forces recommendation was to redouble efforts to foster economic development and social reform in Iran.(2) To that end, the administration convinced the Shah to appoint Pro Western Ali Amini as Prime Minister despite his scepticism. Amini (with help from the US) drafted a blueprint of reform for Iran. (2) Issues like land reform were a tricky subject for the Shah. Because the reforms would require the seizure of large tracts of land of which many were supporters of his regime, the Shah was understandably reluctant anger supporters, however such reforms he fled to ally the peasant class to him. In addition such reforms were expensive and was effecting the military budget. Pressure continued to be applied to the Shah by the Kennedy administration. During a meeting in April of 1992, Kennedy remarked that the economic situation in Iran was the most important and its military was secondary. An Angry Shah pointed to a recent US military aid package to Turkey and stated that “America treats Turkey like a wife and Iran like a concubine (2) Upon his return to Iran, the Shah eventually forced Amini to resign. Tired of the back and forth, the White House decided to lay down the law to the Shah. The Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, traveled to Iran where he informed the Shah that if he wished further ‘moral and material” assistance he would have to go along with Washingtons reform agenda (2)

Several months after the visit by the U.S. Vice President, the Shah in January of 1963 announced a series of broad based reforms that would be tightly controlled from the top on down, rather than the bottom on up as the Amini plan would have (2) Dubbed the ‘White Revolution” the proposal was put up for a symbolic referendum by the people. It passed in a record, however there were widespread claims of vote tampering and the like. The reforms while clearly well intended would suffer from poor planning, implementation, and a total disregard to the enormous social upheaval they would create. en.wikipedia.org...

The Kennedy administration, please to have forced the Shah to capitulate to their plans, continued to provide support and aid to the Shah. Secretary of State Dean Rusk outlined a ‘Two prong” approach to Iran. The first was to continue to pressure the Shah to carry out the reforms of the White Revolution, but making sure that while a fast pace was needed, care must be given to avoid social and economic collapse. The second part was to provide advisors to help the Shah strengthen his counter insurgency efforts of both the police and military.

In effect the United States had forced changes and it would also strenghten the Shahs position by providing him the means to squash any internal dissent. This in turn would allow a previously little know cleric to set off a tide of fundementalism that would change the course of the world foreever.

(1) America's Mission, Tony Smith, 1995
(2) American Orientalism: The United States and the Middle East Since 1945, Douglas Little, 2002 pg. 215


other references
The Prize, The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, Daniel Yergin, 1992
The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations, James Bill
Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War, Robert Jervins
Crisis and Crossfire: The United States and the Middle East Since 1945, Peter Hahn
A Cubic Mile of Oil: Realities and Options for Averting the Looming Global Energy Crisis, Edwin Kinderman et al.

edit on 1/30/11 by FredT because: (no reason given)

edit on 1/30/11 by FredT because: (no reason given)

edit on 1/30/11 by FredT because: (no reason given)

edit on 1/30/11 by FredT because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by FredT
 


I can't clearly see what you are trying to demonstrate here, but the Iranian "Revolution" that put the Shah into power was the result of Allen Dulles's (among a few other US State officials) policy for stopping the spread of communism in the Middle-East. Mossadeq, the elected social-democrat leader of Iran, made a lot of efforts to modernize and secularise the country, including nationalizing the oil industry, something that BP and its partners in the US government really didn't like....

He was assassinated by a bloody CIA coup ordered by Dulles. To Dulles, that kind of State terrorism and political murder was Ok in the name of anti-communist containment policy, even if Mossadeq was a totally legitimate, democratically elected government. So he was replaced by a feudal dictator who would allow foreign oil corporations to resume their activities in the country.

Quick link

The Shah was a very controversial figure in Iran, since his legitimacy as monarch had been somewhat made-up by foreign powers. The CIA seemed to have cloned this method under the operation Gladio in the '60s-'70s in Europe, by attempting to bring back monarchy in some places, especially in Greece, but that's more speculation than historical facts.

So, just an addition... not sure how it contradicts or goes in line with what you are bringing here,.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 08:25 PM
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Sorry, I forgot the links to the previous two threads. The topic is lengthy and it was nesessary to break it up into multiple parts.

Part I
abovetopsecret.com...

Part II
abovetopsecret.com...

Im curious as to who you are refering to when you speak of assasination? Neither the Shah nor Mosaddegh.

The intent of this series is to show that the events in Egypt are the end result of failed polices etc and they have been tried before in multiple places.

Cheers



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
Sorry, I forgot the links to the previous two threads. The topic is lengthy and it was nesessary to break it up into multiple parts.

Part I
abovetopsecret.com...

Part II
abovetopsecret.com...

Im curious as to who you are refering to when you speak of assasination? Neither the Shah nor Mosaddegh.

The intent of this series is to show that the events in Egypt are the end result of failed polices etc and they have been tried before in multiple places.

Cheers


Okay.

I was referring to Mossadegh's assassination.

Also, the elusive Muslim Brotherhood is a very good case to cover if I may suggest... potential tools of foreign powers. Especially for the mysterious Mohammed Abdel-Rhaman and its ties with the CIA.

These people were tied to the assassination of Sadat in 1981, which lead to Mubarak taking office. The reasons why they hated Sadat is unclear, but he did shook the hands of Reagan, a bit before being killed...



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 06:47 PM
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KUDOS!

So the U.S was trying to do good in Iran? What were these reforms, and at what point did they fail?



posted on Feb, 1 2011 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by Echtelion
I was referring to Mossadegh's assassination.

Also, the elusive Muslim Brotherhood is a very good case to cover if I may suggest... potential tools of foreign powers. Especially for the mysterious Mohammed Abdel-Rhaman and its ties with the CIA.


Old Mossy died in his home and was not assasinated.

I agree with you 100% about the Muslim brotherhood. It amazes me even today how very few have heard of them and thier history.



posted on Feb, 1 2011 @ 10:50 PM
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Originally posted by Eliad
So the U.S was trying to do good in Iran? What were these reforms, and at what point did they fail?


Not really, they wanted to wall off communism. To do so they needed to keep the Shah in power by any means.



posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 06:58 PM
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Please continue the very informative posts. I love the read, its like an international political thriller novel.

I have no knowledge of this stuff apart from once reading a very broad article on all the different CIA underground operations (lots to do with overthrowing governments).

Keep it up.



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