Vladimir Putin met with President of Iran Hassan Rouhani -- Uncle Sam's Regime Change Targets
(Image by The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia) Permission Details DMCA
'It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune which loves the brave.' US Secretary of State John Hay, referencing the Spanish-American War of 1898, in a letter to Teddy Roosevelt, July 27 of that year, the war ushering in America's Imperial epoch and unambiguously heralding its hegemonic ambitions.
'I've seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate [people]. We've gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should be our pleasure and duty to make people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. [I] am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.' Comments by Mark Twain, anti-imperialist, reflecting on the real objectives of America's war with Spain.
'Politics is the continuation of war by other means.' Michel Foucault, French philosopher, social theorist.
'And the circle goes round and round'. Anon
-- When You're on a Good Thing (Stick to the Knitting) --
Notwithstanding the blowback from the 1953 Iran coup and the later blowback from the removal of the Shah over a quarter century later, little has changed in the realm of regime renovation in the history of United States.
The disastrous Bay of Pigs operation in 1961 and the subsequent, near catastrophic Cuban Missile Crisis the following year deriving from the failure of even that monumentally inept regime change maneuver evidently provided few lessons for the Renovators then or their political progeny since. At the same time it underscored in effect what had become the bedrock principle of American foreign policy and Great Power Projection. Which is to say, for its part the U.S. still engages in this tried and true, one-size-fits-all foreign policy gambit, bringing to mind that old adage 'when you're on a good thing, stick to it!'
Whilst the motivations for the Iranian coup were nominally economic (the government of the time were making noises about nationalizing the Iranian oil industry), there was also the strategic geopolitical considerations in the U.S. that Iran might come within the sphere of Soviet influence. This would've severely limiting the West's hegemony in the region, such an outcome one imagines delivering an unacceptable blow to America's incipient imperial id. There was also a certain amount of fear that Iranian Communists might gain control of the political situation, or even that the Soviets might overtake the country, either the stuff of American and British nightmares or over-egged paranoia.
Certainly, the Americans were never too keen on the Soviets crashing their party anywhere, especially so in this region. Like the British before them, the U.S. has always been quite territorial about other people's territory, especially when said "territory" involved oil, or any other strategic commodity or geopolitical consideration. Whether this fear was rational given the reality at the time and the available intelligence is a subject many still debate.
As we've seen with this and so many others, the reasons for the coup were fuelled less by the ostensibly lofty ideological concerns related to the Cold War (freedom versus tyranny anyone?) than they were to less lofty considerations such as greed, self-preservation and national pride and one or three other Deadly Imperial Sins.
To be sure it seems reasonable to assume that the Soviets -- cunning devils that they were -- were 'geeing' the Iranians up to nationalize their oil industry in order to 'put the wind up' the British and the Americans in turn. It's clear now that the CIA and the British, along with their fellow travelers in the then (Harry) Truman administration in the years leading up the coup, were leveraging the Cold War sentiment of the time in order to camouflage the real reasons for seeking regime change in Iran...'shades of things to come'.
At all events, then president Truman evidently saw the Iranian plot coming from the bottom of the 'too-risky' basket and didn't 'drag the chain' on rejecting it. Whatever his achievements, for his part the former Missouri haberdasher was always going to be known as the man who nodded the dropping of the Big Ones on Japan, even though the decision was effectively taken for him beforehand, and he rarely demurred in claiming the bragging rights. Whether he was right or wrong in doing this is a 'what-if' moment for another time.