I am not for war, but is it sometimes necessary? Ask Americans why we are at war and you will get different answers.
We provide healthcare for other countries when thousands of Americans can't afford insurance. We put our troops in danger for another country's "freedom". We have alliances that make enemies of other countries. We supply and support Israel. All for what? How exactly does this benefit America?
Should we continue doing what we have been doing or should we just stay over here and mind our own business? I am eager to see how other atheists view this.
Not quite sure about this argument, the US was involved, but it was due to the containment doctrine which led the US to support any government that was non Communist.
Also, I still don't quite agree with your (over)use of pathos. :)
Here are some abstracts of what people should be reading regarding the overthrow:
The New York Times recently leaked a CIA report on the 1953 American-British overthrow of Mossadeq, Iran's Prime Minister. It billed the report as a secret history of the secret coup, and treated it as an invaluable substitute for the U. S. files that remain inaccessible. But a reconstruction of the coup from other sources, especially from die archives of the British Foreign Office, indicates that this report is highly sanitized. It glosses over such sensitive issues as the crucial participation of the U. S. ambassador in the actual overthrow; the role of U. S. military advisers; the harnessing of local Nazis and Muslim terrorists; and the use of assassinations to destabilize the government. What is more, it places the coup in the context the Cold War radier than that of the Anglo-Iranian oil crisis—a classic case of nationalism clashing with imperialism in the Third World."
In 1953, the United States government funded and orchestrated a coup that deposed Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh, the popular, democratically elected leader of Iran. Although Mossadegh’s government never professed Communist allegiance
s, members of the Eisenhower administration accused it of harboring nascent Communist influences imported from Moscow. In the early years of the Cold War, American officials perceived Communism’s spread as a palpable threat. The United States intervened in Iran in 1953 due to a combination of geo-political and ideological interests, in conjunction with a strong sense of fear and paranoia. This was a significant example of "big stick" diplomacy, and proved to be a decisive turning point in Cold War international relations. It set a precedent for many future American interventions and an example for non-aligned nations that would have a far-reaching impact on diplomacy worldwide.
And finally an Iranian stance (can't copy abstract) which is fairly objective. Gotta teach "both sides" as the Christians say. ;)
By Ray Takeyh
Wednesday, August 18, 2010; A15
Thursday marks the anniversary of one of the most mythologized events in history, the 1953 coup in Iran that ousted Prime Minister Muhammad Mossadeq. CIA complicity in that event has long provoked apologies from American politicians and denunciations from the theocratic regime. The problem with the prevailing narrative? The CIA's role in Mossadeq's demise was largely inconsequential. The institution most responsible for aborting Iran's democratic interlude was the clerical estate, and the Islamic Republic should not be able to whitewash the clerics' culpability.
The dramatic tale of malevolent Americans plotting a coup against Mossadeq, the famed Operation Ajax, has been breathlessly told so much that it has become a verity. To be fair, the cast of characters is bewildering: Kermit Roosevelt, the scion of America's foremost political family, paying thugs to agitate against the hapless Mossadeq; American operatives shoring up an indecisive monarch to return from exile and reclaim his throne; Communist firebrands and nationalist agitators participating in demonstrations financed by the United States. As Iran veered from crisis to crisis, the story goes, Roosevelt pressed a reluctant officer corps to end Mossadeq's brief but momentous democratic tenure.
Yet this fable conceals much about the actual course of events. In 1953 Iran was in the midst of an economic crisis. An oil embargo had been imposed after Tehran nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co., and by that summer, the situation had fractured Mossadeq's ruling coalition. Middle-class Iranians concerned about their finances gradually began to abandon Mossadeq. The merchant class was similarly anguished about the financial consequences of Mossadeq's stubborn unwillingness to resolve the stalemate with the British. The intelligentsia and the professional classes were wary of the prime minister's increasingly autocratic tendencies. Rumors of military coups began circulating as members of the armed forces grew vocal in their frustrations with the prime minister and began participating in political intrigues.
Not just the stars but an array of Iranian society was aligning against Mossadeq.
Now, the CIA was indeed actively seeking to topple Mossadeq. It had made contact that spring with the perennially indecisive shah and Iranian officers, including Gen. Fazollah Zahedi, an opportunistic officer who sought the premiership himself. Roosevelt had laid out a plan in which the shah would issue a monarchical decree dismissing Mossadeq; it was to be served to him on Aug. 15. But the commander who was to deliver the message was arrested, and the plot quickly unraveled.
This is where the story takes a twist. As word of the attempted coup spread, the shah fled Iran and Zahedi went into hiding. Amazingly, U.S. records declassified over the past decade indicate, the United States had no backup plan. Washington was largely prepared to concede. State Department and CIA cables acknowledge the collapse of their subversive efforts.
But while crestfallen Americans may have been prepared to forfeit their mission, the Iranian armed forces and the clergy went on to unseat Mossadeq. The senior clerics' reaction to the developing nationalist crisis was always one of suspicion and concern. The clergy had always been averse to the modernizing penchants of secular politicians such as Mossadeq and their quests for republican rule and liberalization. The mullahs much preferred the deference of the conservative, if vacillating, shah to the secular enterprise of Mossadeq. After the attempted coup, the esteemed men of religion in Qom gave their tacit endorsement to the speaker of Parliament, Ayatollah Kashani. Through their connections with the bazaar and their ability to galvanize the populace, they were instrumental in orchestrating the demonstrations that engulfed Tehran. Mossadeq was already isolated. As the street protests tilted toward the shah, the military stepped in and displaced Mossadeq. A few days after the failure of the CIA's putsch, the shah returned to Iran amid national celebration.
Through all of this, Roosevelt and his conspirators were more surprised observers then active instigators. Roosevelt's most significant contribution to Iranian history was to publish an embellished account of his misadventures more than two decades after the coup. This flawed account went on to define the debate and capture the popular imagination -- even though, in reality, Washington was caught flat-footed about how to respond to events in Tehran. President Dwight Eisenhower conceded to his diary after hearing Roosevelt's account, "I listened to his detailed report and it seemed more like a dime novel than historical fact."
American politicians have a penchant for acknowledging guilt and apologizing for past misdeeds. But responsibility for the suffocation of the Iranian peoples' democratic aspirations in the summer of 1953 lies primarily with those who went on to squash another democratic movement in the summer of 2009 -- the mullahs. It is they who should apologize to the Iranian people.
The writer is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Certainly a trustworthy secondary source which knows better than any subsequent source I have used. Impressive wiki on the guy too, though him being Iranian has either made him extremely objective or extremely subjective, the former being the most likely:
Ray Takeyh, PhD is an Iranian-American Middle East scholar, former United States Department of State official, and a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University.
Born in Tehran, Takeyh obtained his doctorate from Oxford University in 1997. Prior to joining the Council, he was a fellow in international security studies at Yale University, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a professor at the National War College, and a professor and director of studies at the Near East and South Asia center at the National Defense University.
Takeyh has written extensively on Iran and on U.S. policy toward the Middle East. He has testified several times before various committees of the US Senate and has appeared as an Iran expert on a variety of television programs, including the PBS Newshour.
In his writings and public appearances, Takeyh has tended to be skeptical about the efficacy of current U.S. efforts to deal with Iran and its nuclear program. He has characterized the regime in Tehran as an opportunistic power that is seeking to expand its influence in the region rather than as an apocalyptic threat to the world.
In 2009 Takeyh served as an aide to Dennis Ross in the Barack Obama Administration focusing on Iran policy. When Ross moved from the State Department to the National Security Council staff Takeyh returned to the Council on Foreign Relations.
This always goes into global generalities and harkens back to the American image of itself during WWII. Last things first. The US fought Germany in WWII because Germany declared war on the US. End of discussion unless you first claim the ability to go back in time and know alternate futures.
While there was a Cold War regardless of who or what caused it there was a reason for global involvement of the US just as the Soviets had a global interest since the founding of the Communist Internationale. The Cold War is over. We won! The discussion is of the post Cold War world.
In this world and beyond the invention of humanitarian bombing for the good of Serbia that interest has been exclusively in the middle east. The US and the world in general has exactly one legitimate interest in the middle east, the free flow of oil at fair market prices. Yet the US has been into Iraq twice, Afghanistan once and is threatening Iran over things that have nothing to do with oil. What should the US have done about 9/11 and Afghanistan? Arrest bin Laden in Pakistan or simply execute and dispose of the body in ocean.
As was observed during the first Gulf war it was the redneck born-agains and the Israelis and their Amen Chorus in Congress that was calling for that war. The former were calling for it on behalf of Israel.They were the same ones who demanded the second Gulf War. The issue was only Kuwait. As long as the oil flows it is no interest of the US who rules Kuwait, secular tyrant or a hereditary tyrant. Three major wars in twenty years to no benefit to the world or anyone. As to the downside, in post war Iraq more people die of political violence every week than Hussein got in an average year. (That is somewhat exaggerated for effect.)
Since the fall of the Shah Israel has declared Iran its major threat because it will have the bomb in five years and in every five years since the fall of the Shah. In five years is an annual prophecy of Israel and its braindead supporters. But the sense of Congress by several resolutions is that should Israel attack, start of war, murdered Iranians the US will defend that country. Why? The last time a country allowed a client state to draw it into war it was 1939 when Poland got Britain and France into war and it came to be called WWII. It is never a good idea to let the tail wag the dog. (Diplomatically speaking one never calls a client state a client state. It bruises their national ego.)
So we have NO credible reason for the US to have become involved in three wars in twenty years as the free flow of oil was never threatened. (Yes, the spice must flow.) The only common reason is rednecked voters in the US supporting the political agenda of pissant Israel.