by Peter Huessy
Memorial Day is a time of honoring our fallen heroes. Just as we should remember all who serve America in harm’s way.
At this we are not doing a very good job.
We are cutting hundreds of billions from our defense budget.
And we are not caring for our wounded soldiers as we promised.
And is has become fashionable once again to blame the terrorism we face not just on American foreign policy failures but on our very soldiers we send to defend our country.
One CATO analyst wrote recently that American soldiers in the Republic of Korea need only be withdrawn and North Korea would give up its nuclear weapons.
Similarly former Congressman Ron Paul claimed it was American soldiers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that was the cause of the attacks of 9/11.
Even more bizarre is the belief that the US role in a 1953 “coup” in Iran led to the 1979 rise of the Mullahs and also to 9-11. This false narrative served as the very basis for “All the Shah’s Men” by former New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer.
Many Americans are dumbfounded that anyone would dispute the characterization of the Shah’s return to power in Iran in 1953 as a “coup”.
President Reagan once said the problem with liberals is all the things they believe that are not true. This is one of them.
The left believes in lots of fairy tales.
That the US cooked the books on the threat from Iraq. Not true.
That American military forces killed tens of thousands in a brutal invasion of Iraq. Not true.
That the US military spends in purchasing power more than the rest of the world combined. Not true.
That there are very few threats facing America that are amenable to “military solutions”. Not true.
The left has filled their heads with such nonsense throughout political history. It is hard for them to tell fact from fiction. But the fictions are necessary to undergird their policy proposals that otherwise would make no sense.
If you believe Roosevelt ended the Great Depression, then of course you support all the crack pot ideas of his administration—and as Amity Shlaes recounts in her “The Forgotten Man” Roosevelt prolonged the Depression.
If you believe the US is the cause of the rise of Islamic terrorism and totalitarianism–such as the Mullahs in Iran and the Taliban in Afghanistan—then of course you can oppose doing anything about either.
Retreat then makes sense.
And you can write serial news stories and speeches blaming the US for most terrorism. Glenn Greenwald of the Guardian who released Edward Snowden’s material and Noam Chomsky of MIT who denied the Cambodian killing fields happened both come to mind.
The late television newsman Peter Jennings was asked whether America won the Gulf War in 1991. He replied “Only if we in the media say you did”.
The ability to establish and hold narratives is indeed where the power of the drive-by media comes from. And it supports leftist fairy tales.
That is especially true on Iran and American security policy.
Where we face a potentially nuclear-armed Iran dedicated to destroying us. The Supreme Leader said again this week jihad continues until the US is destroyed.
Kinzer’s says he wrote the book “All the Shah’s Men” to stop any military attack against Iran.
Suffice to say the 1906 Iranian constitution gave exclusive power to the Shah to appoint the Prime Minister and also to dismiss whomever held that office. The monarchy in Iran at that point was 2500 years old, starting with Cyrus the Great. It was embedded in the constitution.
The Iranian Prime Minister at the time, Mohammad Mosaddegh, had suspended that constitution and was ruling by decree; he had illegally expropriated the oil property of British and American companies. In short, he was ruling against the very constitution his supporters now say he was defending.
Has the end of Mosaddegh’s rule this been described as a coup by the left? Of course it has. Such a charge fits wonderfully into the template of those who are quick to “always blame America first” as the former UN Ambassador Kirkpatrick often explained. And it has all the ghosts of liberal nightmares–an evil CIA, oil companies, and a Marxist “popular leader” [to the left, all Marxists are popular.]
At the time, there was an assassination attempt on the Shah’s life (one of the reasons he fled) and the Prime Minister was busy making nice-nice with the Soviet Union, allowing it and its Iranian political party, the Tudeh, to establish Stalin’s permanent influence in Iran and thus the Gulf region.
The Shah in 1947 had just repelled a Soviet incursion into Northern Iran. Soviet designs on Iranian oil were spoiled when the Majlis refused to ratify a proposed Soviet oil agreement on October 22, 1947; the vote was 102 to 2. Just think of all Mideast oil not controlled largely by OPEC but the kind fellows in the Kremlin. Think perhaps the entire post- WW II prosperity might have been in jeopardy?
To the left, the events of 1953 gave them a chance to make-up their own history. Evil American CIA puts in power brutal dictator, kicking out the popular ruler who was taking down the evil oil companies. What a great story—let’s run with it. As for the Prime Minister’s flirtation with communism, well, let’s just ignore that because don’t we know the US started the Cold War and it is after all, “always America’s fault”?
Remember when those on the left say they support the troops, “but just not the mission”. Now you will understand. On this Memorial Day, 2014.
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Peter Huessy is the President of Geostrategic Analysis located in Potomac, Maryland outside of Washington, D.C.