The Tar Pit

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Big Bubba Cheese goes to Switzerland

Bill Clinton is Eurowhoring in Davos, Switzerland today, seeking applause by demeaning American foreign policy toward Iran for the last 50 years. Hugh Hewitt blogs this Clintonian transcript from the audio:

"And most of the terrible things that Saddam Hussein did in the 1980s he did with the full, knowing support of the United States government. Because he wasn't Iran, and Iran was what it was because we got rid of their parliamentary democracy back in the '50s. At least that's my belief. I know it is not popular for an American ever to say anything like this, but I think it is true."

Applause from the Davos crowd.

Getting back to reality: the U.S. used Saddam Hussein as a necessary counterweight to the potential spread of Iran's Khomeinist revoution throughout the Persian Gulf. Without Saddam the Iranian jihadists would have swept past the mouth of the Euphrates and down through Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, giving Iran control of all of the oil in the Gulf and a free shot at Israel through hapless Jordan. In Clinton's anti-American ramble he neglected to mention Jimmy Carter's culpability in withdrawing support for the Shah of Iran in 1978 and 1979, instead reaching back to the dark recesses of the Cold War to blame our involvement with Hussein on the CIA's overthrow of the Iranian communist Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 in favor of the Shah. Apparently Bubba would prefer that we had allowed Iran to become a satellite the Soviet Union, with the warm-water ports, Persian Gulf oil, and bases at the Straits of Hormuz that would have entailed.

Clinton needs to realize that the 2004 election is over, and that Hillary doesn't want him sucking the air out of the room while she's running for President.

My question: who drove Clinton into the arms of Kim Jong Il?


An excerpt about the History of Iran in the 20th Century:

World War II (1939-1945)

At the beginning of World War II, Germany, Turkey, Great Britain, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) attempted unsuccessfully to form alliances with Iran. In 1941, however, both Great Britain and the USSR occupied areas of the country to protect the oil fields from possible German seizure. As a result of the Allied invasion, all Axis nationals were expelled, all Axis consulates and legations were closed, the Allies assumed control of all Iranian communication facilities, and Reza Shah Pahlavi, who had been friendly to Axis interests, abdicated.

The shah was succeeded by his son, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, who adopted a pro-Allied policy and granted the parliament's demand for liberal reforms. In January 1942, Iran, Great Britain, and the USSR signed a treaty guaranteeing Anglo-Soviet respect for Iranian territorial integrity and military aid to fulfill this pledge. The Allies also agreed to consult the Iranian government on all economic, political, and military measures affecting the domestic policy of the country, to withdraw the occupation forces as soon as possible, and to provide economic assistance.

By 1943, the USSR and Great Britain, with the assistance of United States military forces and lend-lease funds, had made extensive improvements in Iran's transportation facilities in order to strengthen the country's usefulness in the transfer of military supplies to the Soviet fighting front. Iran complained, however, that the USSR had completely isolated its occupation zone from outside contact. The Soviet government defended its action by explaining that it was protecting itself against possible Anglo-American expansion in Iran. This dispute was resolved in November 1943 at the Tehran Conference attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill of Great Britain, and Premier Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union. The Declaration on Iran, produced by this conference and issued on December 1, stated that the three governments were "at one with the government of Iran in their desire for the maintenance of the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Iran."

In the early part of 1945 it became safe for Allied shipping to use the Bosporus and the Dardanelles to send war matériel to the USSR, which eliminated the need for an overland route through Iran. In May the government of Iran requested that the occupying countries withdraw their troops. The United States agreed, but neither the USSR nor Great Britain would consent. After prolonged negotiations, Great Britain and the USSR agreed to withdraw from Iran by March 2, 1946. The Iranian government nevertheless became increasingly concerned about the Soviet occupation. Iranian officials claimed that they were not permitted to enter the Soviet-occupied provinces of Azerbaijan and Kurdistan to quell anti-Iranian disturbances provoked by pro-Soviet forces. By mid-November, Azerbaijan was the site of an independence movement supported by Soviet authorities.

Battle over Oil

Iran signed the United Nations (UN) charter at San Francisco on June 26, 1945, becoming one of the original members of that organization. In the latter part of 1946, the USSR began to press for immediate action on the part of Iran for the formation of a Soviet-Iranian oil company. Counting on U.S. aid, Iran announced in October 1947 its rejection of the Soviet oil plan and the establishment of a five-year oil program whereby Iran would develop its own oil resources. On July 29, 1948, the United States made a $26-million loan to Iran for the purchase and repair of surplus American army equipment.

In the realm of domestic politics, outstanding developments during 1949 included the outlawing of the pro-Soviet Tudeh (Masses) Party, enactment of legislation making parliament a bicameral body, and growth of widespread resentment over foreign oil concessions. In response to public sentiment on the oil question, the government obtained an agreement in July from the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to double royalty payments on petroleum taken from Iranian fields. Parliament, however, failed to ratify the agreement, which was declared unsatisfactory by various members.

Severe economic difficulties developed during the first half of 1950, causing several political crises. In June General Ali Razmara accepted the premiership. A vigorous executive, he succeeded in improving the economic situation. He strongly opposed nationalization of the oil industry, however, and on March 7, 1951, he was assassinated by a nationalist fanatic.


Within a week of Razmara's assassination the Majlis passed a bill nationalizing the oil industry; however, the new prime minister, Hasain Ala, made no attempt to take over the property of the British company. As a result his government fell on April 27. He was succeeded by Muhammad Mossadegh, a leader of a coalition of nationalist groups called the National Front and a supporter of oil nationalization, and on April 29 a law evicting the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company was approved by parliament. Attempts to settle the ensuing crisis in British-Iranian relations through direct negotiation between the two countries ended in failure. The efforts of the United States to mediate the dispute were without success. On October 3, 1951, Great Britain, deciding against the use of force, acceded to an Iranian ultimatum and withdrew the company's technical staff from the Abadan refinery. Later in the month, when Great Britain brought the dispute before the UN Security Council, Prime Minister Mossadegh flew to New York City to present the case for Iran. The council agreed to postpone debate until the International Court determined whether it had authority to deal with the dispute. On December 26 Iran rejected a proposal made by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) that the oil industry be administered by the bank or by some other international authority pending final settlement. In May 1952 Mossadegh appeared before the International Court at The Hague and argued that it had no jurisdiction in the case.

Elections for the lower house of parliament had been completed during this time, and early in July Mossadegh, having resigned in accordance with constitutional procedure, was requested by the shah to resume his office. Mossadegh's acceptance was contingent on various conditions, notably that he receive control of the army and the right to rule by decree for six months. The shah, constitutional head of the army, rejected the former condition, and on July 16 Mossadegh resigned. Former Prime Minister Ahmad Qavam agreed the next day to form a new government. Mossadegh's supporters responded to this development with riotous demonstrations and a general strike on July 21, which forced Qavam's resignation. On July 22 Mossadegh was designated prime minister; the same day the International Court ruled that it had no jurisdiction in the Anglo-Iranian dispute. The lower house subsequently granted Mossadegh unlimited power for six months.

Mossadegh's Fall

On August 30, 1952, Iran turned down a joint Anglo-American proposal designed to break the oil deadlock. In the proposal Great Britain for the first time accepted the Iranian nationalization law as valid, but still insisted that compensation be based on potential revenue losses as well as on physical assets of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Iran broke off diplomatic relations with Great Britain on October 22.

Early in 1953 the parliament extended Mossadegh's dictatorial powers for another year. The prime minister demanded that the shah be stripped of power.

The dissension between pro- and anti-Mossadegh forces reached a climax during the summer of 1953. The premier dissolved the lower house on the basis of a plebiscite, held from August 3 through 10, in which he suspended the secret ballot. The shah, who opposed many of Mossadegh's policies, including his uncompromising stand on the oil question, dismissed the prime minister on August 13. Mossadegh refused to yield his office, his followers rioted against the royalists, and on August 16 the shah fled to Rome. After three days of bloody riots the royalists, supported by the army and police, won control of Tehran, and Mossadegh and several aides were placed under arrest. On August 22 the shah returned in triumph; the next day General Fazullah Zahedi, who had been previously designated prime minister by the shah, formed a new government. On September 5 the U.S. government granted Iran a $45-million emergency loan. Two months later Iran resumed diplomatic relations with Great Britain. Mossadegh was sentenced on December 2 to three years' solitary confinement for leading a revolt against the shah.