The CIA has recently released documents that confirm its role, along with MI6, in supporting a coup against the elected government of Iran in 1953, in order to replace it with the brutal dictatorship of the Shah. Britain and America were unhappy about the Iranian government’s nationalisation of the oil industry, and this trumped their alleged belief in democracy.
It certainly helps explain Iran’s stance towards the west.
According to another recent article, the CIA in 1988 provided information about Iranian troop movements to the Iraqi government, knowing that the Iraqis would use chemical weapons against them. The Daily Mail’s report on this says that some 20,000 Iranians were killed by mustard gas and nerve agents during the Iran-Iraq war.
All this makes me very suspicious about the sudden outbreak of bleeding hearts among the political class in Britain and America about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Concern about democracy and human rights is so often just another tool, to be used when we find it useful, and put back in the box when harder hearts would better suit our purposes. The extent to which this is cynically calculated, and the extent to which it is simply a product of the human capacity for self-deception I’m not sure.
2 thoughts on “Realpolitik”
Chris: Less than one hour ago I got a text message from my Dutch partner. Like you, she is very suspicious about the sudden emotional outbreak. She used the same phrase you did: bleeding hearts. The rest of the message was in Dutch.
Funny too how hearts bleed so much more over children killed by chemicals, than over children ripped to pieces by shrapnel.