'Fight Smart' - 7 March 2008

Don't Take the Bait - Fight Smart
ANIMATED 911 SUMMARY - CLICK HERE
Who is the enemy?


From 'Operation Ajax' To 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'
How 1953 CIA Iranian Coup Cost The US Taxpayer $3 Trillion And Rising
Iran, Iraq,
And The Law Of Unintended Consequences

www.nlpwessex.org/docs/watunintended.htm
Half A Century After Britain And America
Destroyed Democracy In Iran


"During his state visit to Iraq on Sunday and Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke of fraternal ties between the two countries, announced a billion-dollar reconstruction loan that will be used for contracts with Iranian firms, and said foreign forces should withdraw from Iraq immediately. The irony was hardly lost on Iraqis and their neighbors. The virulently anti-American Ahmadinejad could only be received with pomp and ceremony by Iraq's president, prime minister and foreign minister because President George W. Bush's bungling has given Iran predominant influence in Iraq."
George Bush's gift to Ahmadinejad
International Herald Tribune, 5 March 2008

What American Taxpayers Got In Return For
Their Government's $3 Trillion Iraq Campaign

“The truth is that Iran is emerging as one of the big winners of the US and Britain's disaster in Iraq...”
The Iran Crisis Is Blair’s True Legacy
Mail On Sunday, 30 March 2007

iraqarmedinejad.jpg (22101 bytes)

Cartoon
London Times, 5 March 2008

"Nobel economics laureate Joseph Stiglitz, author of a new book that claims the Iraq war will cost the U.S. more than $3 trillion, said the final tally is likely to climb much higher than that. 'It's much more like five trillion,' Stiglitz said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Radio. 'We were trying to make Americans understand how expensive this war was so we didn't want to quibble about a dime here or a dime there.' His analysis comes as the Senate debates a Democratic plan to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq.... 'This war is the first war ever that's been totally financed by borrowing, by deficits,' said Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University in New York....Bills from the Iraq war will pile up for decades to come as the government spends hundreds of billions of dollars providing medical care and disability benefits to about 70,000 soldiers injured in the conflict, he said.... Stiglitz and co-author Linda Bilmes release their new book, called the 'The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict,' starting this month."
Economist Stiglitz Says Iraq War Costs May Reach $5 Trillion
Bloomberg, 1 March 2008

"Ahmadinejad didn't get just one 'kiss for luck'; he got four, when he was welcomed by U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who threw in a symbolic hug by standing impassive while the Iranian leader told a joint press conference: 'The Americans have to understand the facts of the region. Iraqi people do not like America.' Many of them, notably the Sunni minority, don't care all that much for Iran either. But, even they were impressed by the fact that Ahmadinejad flagged his trip well in advance, made a ceremonial arrival in full view of Iraqi media, traveled by road and did not stay in the fortified Green Zone. The show was in stark contrast to President Bush and other American VIPs who, if they deign to venture off secure U.S. military bases after they arrive here unannounced and in secret, do so by helicopter."
Iran Winning Iraqi Hearts And Minds
CBS News, 4 March 2008

In This Bulletin

American Unintended Consequences
'As You Sow, So Shall You Reap'
The Fifty Year Sequence

Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003
Mission Failure

Operation Ajax 1953
'Blowback'
1953 - 2003
Yes, It Was The Oil Stupid
'Value For Money'
How To Spend $3 Trillion Of Other People's Money
And Still Be Worse Off Than When You Started

From 1953 Coup To 9/11

"Fifty years ago this week, the CIA and the British SIS [MI6] orchestrated a coup d'etat that toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The prime minister and his nationalist supporters in parliament roused Britain's ire when they nationalised the oil industry in 1951, which had previously been exclusively controlled by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Mossadegh argued that Iran should begin profiting from its vast oil reserves....A new book about the coup, All the Shah's Men, which is based on recently released CIA documents, describes how the CIA - with British assistance - undermined Mossadegh's government by bribing influential figures, planting false reports in newspapers and provoking street violence. Led by an agent named Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, the CIA leaned on a young, insecure Shah to issue a decree dismissing Mossadegh as prime minister. By the end of Operation Ajax, some 300 people had died in firefights in the streets of Tehran. The crushing of Iran's first democratic government ushered in more than two decades of dictatorship under the Shah, who relied heavily on US aid and arms. The anti-American backlash that toppled the Shah in 1979 shook the whole region and helped spread Islamic militancy, with Iran's new hardline theocracy declaring undying hostility to the US....The author of All the Shah's Men, New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer, argues that the coup planted the seeds of resentment against the US in the Middle East, ultimately leading to the events of September 11."
The spectre of Operation Ajax
Guardian, 20 August 2003

Ready For Some More Unintended Negative Consequences?

"2008 presidential hopeful John McCain said Sunday that the consequences of a military conflict with Iran over that country's nuclear program could be so serious they could lead to 'Armageddon.'....McCain said that if sanctions fail, the U.S. must be prepared to resort to the use of military force."
John McCain Warns of Iran 'Armageddon'
Newsmax, 2 April 2006

Or Would You Like To Try Something Different For A Change?

"Conservative Arab elites now seem to have concluded that the way to control Shia Iran's popularity among their Sunni-majority masses is to befriend rather than confront Tehran....In back-to-back, unprecedented friendly moves blessed by Egypt in December, the Saudi monarch played host to Iran's president Ahmadinejad at the Haj pilgrimage. And the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), established in 1981 to blunt Iran's revolution, invited him to its summit."
Nervously and Rapidly, Iran Courts Egypt
Foreign Policy In Focus, 14 February 2008

"Many Americans are familiar with only one episode in the history of  US-Iranian relations: the hostage crisis of 1979-80.   Few realize that the miltants who seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran have stated that they were primarily motivated by fears that the events of 1953 were about to be replayed.  In that year, the Shah fled his country but was placed back on his throne after a coup organized by CIA agents working in the basement of the U.S. embassy. The 1953 coup brought an end to democratic rule in Iran.  That makes it difficult for Iranians to take the American leaders seriously when they demand that Iran democratize itself.  Iranians naturally react by thinking, 'We had a democracy until Americans took it away from us.'.... [So what would happen now if the US attacked Iran?] Some of the effects are easy to predict. The Iranian population, which is now strongly pro-American, would naturally erupt in outrage.  There would be an instant and perhaps devastating spike in violence against U.S. forces in Iraq. Violence would also likely erupt in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Muslim countries. Iran might retaliate by firing missiles at Israel and U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf.  The cause of democracy in Iran would be set back by a generation. Iranians would rally around their government, as all people do when their country is under attack, thereby giving a new boost to a regime that is now highly unpopular.  Iranian nuclear scientists whose homes are bombed and whose children are killed would have a special motivation to use their knowledge in ways that could be devastating to the U.S. If the events of 1953 and the history of other U.S. interventions are a guide, though, the most devastating effects of such an attack would be ones we cannot now predict.  No one in 1953 could have foreseen that the CIA coup in Iran would have produced the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which in turn set off the Iran-Iraq war that brought the U.S. into its death-embrace of Saddam Hussein, and that also led the Soviet Union to invade Afghanistan, thereby setting in motion the U.S. war there that led to the rise of the Taliban and al Qaeda.  The lesson is that when a big power violently intervenes in the political development of another country, it sets off consequences no one can imagine.... Iran is a bitter enemy of radical movements like the Taliban and al Qaeda, and was fighting them at early stages when the U.S. had not yet begun to consider them serious threats.   Iran, like the U.S., is eager to prevent the spread of Russian influence in the Middle East.  Iran's oil industry is in a parlous state, and American companies have the capital and expertise to rebuild it. No other Muslim country in the Middle East offers such tantalizing possibilities as a potential partner of the United States.  The path of negotiation is practically cost-free. Not to pursue it is to pass up the greatest opportunity the U.S. has in the world today to rearrange the global strategic balance in ways that could decisively strengthen American national security."
Stephen Kinzer - Iran is an opportunity, not a target
Ask This, 27 February 2008


American Unintended Consequences
'As You Sow, So Shall You Reap'
The Fifty Year Sequence

“In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran's popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Mossadegh. The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs.”
Madeline Albright, US Secretary of State
Speech before the American-Iranian Council, March 2000

How A $1 Million US Covert Operations 'Success' In 1953
Spiralled Into A $ Multi-Trillion Foreign Policy Disaster Fifty Years Later
Date Cause Effect
1953 In a joint conspiracy with Britain's MI6, and armed with a covert budget for the purpose of $1million, the CIA topples Iran's democratically elected government in a coup d'etat code named 'Operation Ajax' aimed at protecting western oil interests in Iran The dictatorship of the Shah is established and is seen as a puppet instrument of the west, eventually leading to the backlash of the fundamentalist Islamic Revolution in 1979 led by Ayatollah Khomeini
1979 Iranian Islamic Revolution Iran-Iraq war as Saddam Hussein invades Iran in an effort to capitalise on regional instability following the Iranian revolution
1980 Iran-Iraq War War continues until 1988. United States provides Saddam Hussein, under the authorisation of George Bush Senior as US Vice President, technology for weapons of mass destruction in an effort to ensure that Iran does not win the war and overrun Gulf oil fields
1990 Still holding an arsenal of WMDs Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait which he accuses of slant drilling into Iraqi oil fields Britain's Margaret Thatcher fears Saddam will overrun Saudi oil fields after taking Kuwait, and persuades George Bush Senior (now as President) to fight Saddam leading to 'Operation Dessert Storm'
1991 United States expels Saddam from Kuwait after gaining permission from the Saudi government to station hundreds of thousands of US troops in Saudi Arabia, on the understanding that the troops will leave the Kingdom once the war is over Despite the initial understanding, thousands of US troops remain in Saudi Arabia after the war to the intense anger of Saudi Islamic militant leader Osama Bin Laden
1996 Bin Laden issues a fatwa against the United States and launches his struggle to remove 'infidel' US foreign troops from the 'Land of the Two Holy' places (the Muslim shrines of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia) The fatwa is preceded by bombings on US military facilities in Saudi Arabia, (1995 and 1996). Bin Laden expands the campaign overseas, including bomb attacks on American embassies in Africa (1998) and on USS Cole in Yemen (2000). Many Bin Laden supporters are Arabs whom the United States encouraged (through Saudi Arabia) to fight the Soviets in Russia during the previous decade, and in its more recent covert war against Serbia in the Balkans
1998 Donald Rumsfeld and others write to President Clinton urging military action against Saddam Hussein because they claim his potential to deploy WMDs is a threat to Gulf oil supplies The 1998 letter provides the bedrock for later US foreign policy in the Persian Gulf when Rumsfeld and others enter government in 2001 under the Bush administration, which begins planning war against Iraq within ten days of the President's inauguration
2001 Four commercial airliners are simultaneously hijacked in the United States on 11 September. Three of the planes fly into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, killing thousands. The fourth plane crashes in Pennsylvania. Later the hijackers are identified by the US government as being mostly from Saudi Arabia. Ensuing anthrax attacks are traced to a US military facility as President George Bush Jnr uses the post 9/11 atmosphere of fear to begin a WMD propaganda campaign against Saddam as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though the US government holds evidence that Iraq had decommissioned its WMDs following the Gulf War of 1991
2003 America invades Iraq under 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' Immediately following the invasion of Iraq US begins pulling combat troops out of Saudi Arabia, with the last units leaving in August 2003, thereby conceding to Bin Laden's principle political demand. The troops are moved into Iraq where America intends to maintain permanent military bases in order to enable it to continue policing Gulf oil supplies. Al Qaeda begins galvanising to drive US troops out of Iraq, another Arab country, to where it recenters its jihad.
2005

With democratic reformists on the rise in Tehran the US carries out covert operations in Iran aimed at destabilising the country, including radio broadcasts into Iran and bombings executed by the US sponsored MEK. These clumsy actions backfire causing a sudden swing away from the reformists towards religious hard-liners, in a wave of nationalist defiance against US interference in the country's internal affairs of a type still well remembered from 1953

US covert actions once again cause a set-back for democracy in Iran and the hard-line Mahmoud Ahmadinejad becomes Prime Minister. Further west the occupation of Iraq fails to bring stability, and Iran becomes the dominant foreign influence in the country

2008

In March President Armedinejad becomes the first Iranian leader to visit Iraq since the 1979 Iranian revolution in a mutual show of solidarity with the now Shia dominated Iraqi government. He is able to do so openly, whereas the US President has previously been forced to visit the country in secret for fear of attack. There is broad acknowledgement that Iran, not the US, has been the principle beneficiary of 'Operation Iraqi Freedom'. This result is despite the lengthy US military campaign which is estimated to eventually cost American taxpayers at least $3 Trillion

Also in March, Iraq and China are reported to be close to re-signing a $1.2 billion oil deal that was called off after the 2003 U.S. invasion - a further sign of weakening US influence. Meanwhile Iran and China’s biggest refiner, Sinopec, sign a $2 billion agreement on developing the Yadavaran oil field in Iran

"It could take some time for authorities to make an official determination of the motives behind Tuesday's bombing in Saudi Arabia. But some are already speculating that this attack was inspired, as others have been, by anti-Western sentiments. Saudi resentment towards the West breaks down into two main groups of thought. The first believes the West is propping up Saudi Arabia's monarchy, while the other feels that the presence of Westerners is corrupting the area's strong Islamic beliefs....The anti-Western theme began in 1991, when hundreds of thousands of Western troops poured into Saudi Arabia for the 1991 war against Iraq. The troops touched a sensitive nerve with many Saudis, some of whom considered the semi-occupation a violation of Islamic religious sites. Others felt the troops were infringing on the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia. 'What you're really seeing in Saudi Arabia is this great influx of the outside world on a people who just haven't been ready for it,' said Gulf analyst Sandra Mackey. The sensitivity to a large military presence persists today. As U.S. President Bill Clinton has said, 'We've tried not to be an obtrusive presence' in Saudi Arabia, and both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia minimize the number of U.S. troops on Saudi soil. In public, their officials say there are only 5,000 U.S. troops within the Saudi borders. But diplomatic sources tell CNN the actual number is three or four times greater -- as many as 20,000. And Saudi military and political ties to the West are stronger than ever since the Gulf War, as the country seeks to protect itself against Saddam Hussein's Iraq and against radical, political Islamists. Analysts say those close ties to the West anger ardent Muslims, many of whom fought in defense of Islam against the Soviets in Afghanistan, against the Serbs in Bosnia, and helped the radical government of Sudan. 'They came back trained, somewhat equipped and still inspired by the idea that the Lord called upon them with a special mission,' said former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy. For some, that mission has evolved into undermining the centuries-long rule of Saudi royalty, its oil sales, and its military dependency on the United States. Will terrorist tactics drive the West out of Saudi Arabia, and lend to the eventual collapse of King Fahd's government?"
Anti-U.S. sentiments growing in Saudi Arabia
CNN, 26 June 1996

It's The Oil Stupid

"U.S. concerns about safeguarding Western oil supplies were uppermost when the allied coalition went to war against Saddam in 1991.... After attacking his unpopular neigbor and adversary Iran in 1980, which was then considered a greater threat to Western interests than Iraq, Saddam apparently believed that he had the hidden support of the Rea-gan and Bush administrations — until in the spring of 1990 he threatened Israel openly with attack by chemical weapons. The United States gave Saddam critical military intelligence on Iran, generous loan guarantees, and sales of dual-use equipment such as helicopters. It encouraged or turned a blind eye to assistance from American private industry and Europe to Iraq's conventional and nuclear armament efforts, such as France's rental to Iraq of Super Etendard fighter-bombers to attack Iranian oil targets."
It's Time to Think Straight About Saddam
International Herald Tribune, 23 December 1997

"On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, starting a war that continues  to  devastate  both  countries.  Over one million casualties have been  reported.  The  interest  shown  in  this conventional war had been low due to superpower noninvolvement and restrictions on foreign  press  agents  in  the  war  zone.  Yet, because of oil resources, Southwest Asia has been determined to be of vital interest to the United  States. The  stability  of  the entire region is jeopardized by this war. At the end of the [second world] war, Iran's oil became an important  factor in area politics. The Soviet Union began to  interfere  in  Iran, but by mid-1946, had retreated.  The United States, sensitive  to what was happening, decided to strengthen Iran by selling arms and providing advisors.  This occurred in 1948.... The most important U.S. concern in the Gulf  is  oil,  though this is not the sole concern.  In 1973, Western Europe derived  60 percent of its oil, and Japan 90 percent, from Gulf suppliers.  In 1984, these figures were about 40  and  60  percent  respectively. The U.S. gets only about 3 percent of its  oil  from  the  Persian Gulf.  Because of  this  heavy  supply  of  oil  to  allied countries, keeping the oil flowing has become a vital interest  to the United States. Of primary concern, then, is keeping  the  Strait of  Hormuz open to shipping.  Khomeini threatened closure of the Strait  when Iraq started shooting at tankers, but has not yet  attempted  this drastic step.   Oil  production  seems  to  have  continued  at  a relatively even pace with no serious  degradation  since  the  war began.  Though Iraq has continued to shoot at tankers in the Gulf, driving insurance rates up, there is no shortage  of  vessels  and voluntary crews to transit the Strait. The U.S. has three major policy objectives with  respect  to the current Gulf crisis.  One is  to  prevent  disruption  of  oil shipments that would cause serious hardship for Western economies. Another is to ensure the security of oil-producing governments  in the area that have been friendly to the  West  and  have  resisted Soviet expansionism in the Gulf.  And lastly, the U.S. would  like to ensure that whatever the outcome of the war, the  Soviet  Union would not have a dominant position in either country. The Carter Doctrine of 1980 addressed the stated intention of the U.S. to intervene militarily in the region if the shipment of oil was  halted  or  curtailed.  President  Reagan,  in  a February 22, 1984 press conference, also said  that  the  U.S.  is committed to keeping the Strait of Hormuz  open.   Keeping friends in the area is vitally important for the prosecution of a military campaign.  And, the U.S. is taking steps to defuse Soviet influence in Iraq; diplomatic  relations  were  renewed  with  the opening of embassies in both countries  in  December  1984. Iraq had been removed from  the  'anti-terrorist'  list  in  early 1982, opening the way for renewed relations. ...Iran could emerge as too powerful in the  Gulf  and could coerce  other  Gulf  states.  This  Iranian  victory  would subject other Arab nations to the  prospect  of  exported  Islamic revolutions.... If  Khomeini  wanted  to escalate the war to other Gulf states, he would  probably  attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz, drawing the U.S. into  the  action.... Given the apparently strong position of Iran in  the war,  the  U.S.  must  take  precautions  to  ensure  the  Islamic revolution does not spread.  If it did,  Iran  would  control  the entire Persian Gulf and  oil  prices,  or  embargoes,  could  hurt Western economies....While claiming strict neutrality, the U.S. has taken steps to ensure  a  strong  blocking  position  against  Iran. Diplomatic relations have been reopened  with  Iraq.   Support  for  the  GCC member nations has been ensured. U.S.  arms  sales  continue  to Saudi Arabia as well as participation in the AWACS  program....The  U.S.  Central  Command  is  charged  with  the  military responsibility of Iran and Iraq.  By studying the  Iran-Iraq  war, some lessons can be learned to enhance U.S. forces success  should military intervention ever  be  required.   Before  listing  those lessons, though, the U.S. military should determine where and  how they could intervene.  Iran  is  the  most  likely  target  for   hostile  military intervention, given its control of the Strait of Hormuz, the choke point to Persian Gulf oil....The  U.S.,  and  the Soviet Union, will continue to  remain  neutral,  though  covertly trying to influence events in the  region.   Iran,  the  strategic prize for both superpowers, will not be  touched  by  either  side until Khomeini is removed.  At that time, it  would  seem  prudent for the U.S.  to  attempt  to  bring  Iran  back  into  the  fold.  Something like injecting the Shah's exiled son  into  power  would serve the U.S. well.  Whatever happens, though, the U.S.  must  be ready  to  intervene  militarily  in  the  region  to  ensure  the currently thriving economies of the Western nations continue."
The Iran-Iraq War: Strategy of Stalemate
Major Robert E. Sonnenberg, USMC 1 Apri1 1985
Marine Corps Command and Staff College
Marine Corps Development and Education Command
Quantico, Virginia  22134

Oil On Dick Cheney's Mind - 2007

"Q: And what are the stakes here? The diplomatic effort has been going on for a long time and it has not worked. In fact, Iran has gone in the other direction. So what are the stakes here?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, remember where Iran sits. It's important to backup I think for a minute and set aside the nuclear question, just look at what Iran represents in terms of their physical location. They occupy one whole side of the Persian Gulf, clearly have the capacity to influence the world's supply of oil, about 20 percent of the daily production comes out through the Straits of Hormuz."
Interview of US Vice President Dick Cheney
ABC News (Australia), 23 February 2007

Oil On Dick Cheney's Mind - 1999

"For the world as a whole, oil companies are expected to keep finding and developing enough oil to offset our seventy one million plus barrel a day of oil depletion, but also to meet new demand. By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves. That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from? Governments and the national oil companies are obviously in control of about ninety per cent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow."
Dick Cheney, Chief Executive of Halliburton, now Vice President of the United States
Speech at London Institute of Petroleum, Autumn Lunch 1999

Big Crimes - Iraq

"Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Baghdad to embrace Saddam Hussein on behalf of the Reagan-Bush government in December 1983 was driven by similar motives. In particular they included preserving access to Gulf oil as Iran became a threat to US supplies following Tehran's Islamic revolution of 1979 which ousted the Shah, and led to the ensuing Iran-Iraq war.   One of Rumsfeld's specific goals during his 1983 visit, according to the New York Times 14 April, was to do a deal with Iraq over the building of an oil pipeline from Iraq to the Jordanian Port of Aqaba. The project was to be built by Bechtel, a company previously led by George Shultz who had become Secretary of State by the time of Rumsfeld's courtship of Saddam as special representative of the US government. According to the National Security Archive at George Washington University 'The U.S. promoted the Aqaba pipeline project strenuously for several years during the early to mid 1980s. It would have carried oil from northern Iraq to the Gulf of Aqaba in Jordan, alleviating the disruptive effect on Iraq's oil output that resulted from Iran's attacks on oil transshipment facilities in the Persian Gulf and from Syria's closing of a pipeline that had transported Iraqi oil. The proposed project reflected the U.S.'s extreme nervousness about threats to the world oil supply resulting from the Iran-Iraq war.' In the end Saddam would not play ball with the US on the pipeline, but in the meantime the US offered some 'interesting' assistance to Iraq. In an article entitled 'Who Armed Iraq ' 17 April the highly respected and authoritative Jane's Defence News wrote 'An investigation of US corporate sales to Iraq, headed by Republican Congressman Donald Riegle and published in May 1994, listed some of the biological agents exported by US corporations with George Bush's approval as head of the CIA and later as vice-president under Ronald Reagan. The Iraqis are reported to have acquired stocks of anthrax, brucellosis, gas gangrene, E. coli and salmonella bacteria from US companies.'"
Iraqgate 2003
'Fight Smart', Special Report, October 2003

"ABC News Nightline opened last June 9 with words to make the heart stop. 'It is becoming increasingly clear,' said a grave Ted Koppel, 'that George Bush, operating largely behind the scenes throughout the 1980s, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence, and military help that built Saddam's Iraq into the aggressive power that the United States ultimately had to destroy.'"
Iraqgate - The Big One That (Almost) Got Away - Who Chased it, and Who Didn't
Columbia Journalism Review, March/April 1993

"Back in the 1980's Italy became involved in the Reagan-Bush exercise to illegally arm Saddam Hussein. An important part of the under-reported scandal was the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL) affair, which came to the attention of the authorities and the public during the summer of 1989. This followed the revelation that the small Atlanta branch office of BNL, one of Italy's largest Banks whose shares were almost entirely owned by the Italian government, had provided Iraq with several billion dollars in off-book loans and credits. Amongst other matters the bank had handled a major portion of U.S. agricultural credit guarantees for Iraq. These were used as a back door route for pumping funds into Saddam Hussein's regime and his military programmes. According to the National Security archive at George Washington University 'In addition, the [BNL] managers had signed a series of agreements obligating the bank to provide some $1.155 billion in medium-term loans to Iraq’s Ministry of Industry and Military Production, a government organization that was in charge of Iraq’s efforts to obtain western technology for military research and development programs, including those involving chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons and missiles.' The archive reveals that the bank was also providing loans to Matrix-Churchill Corporation in Ohio, whose sister company was at the heart of the British 'Iraqgate' episode. Three of the company's managers were put on trial in Great Britain in 1992 on charges of illegally exporting machinery with military applications to Iraq. The case was dismissed after documents and testimony showed that British government officials had approved the exports, knowing that they would be used for weapons manufacture. The collapse of the case led to the setting up of the Scott inquiry in 1994 which revealed a situation which was described by the former head of the Iraq Desk in Whitehall as a 'culture of lying' at the British Foreign Office. Banca Nazionale del Lavoro was raided by the FBI on 4 August 1989. The National Security Archive holds 147 documents in relation to the involvement of BNL."
Iraqgate 2003
'Fight Smart', Special Report, October 2003

"BCCI was also involved with the Banco Nationale del Lavoro (BNL), Italy's biggest bank, whose Atlanta office was involved in a scheme to provide as much as $4 billion in fraudulent loans to facilitate illegal arms sales for the government of Iraq.... when BCCI was closed, its Swiss affiliate was almost immediately sold to a Turkish banking group, Cukorova, whose subsidiary, EndTrade, was BNL's partner in the illegal arms sales from the U.S. to Iraq, and part of the federal investigation into BNL.... Beginning in the fall of 1986, and continuing through early 1989, BCCI initiated a series of contacts with perhaps the most politically prominent international and business consulting firm in the United States -- Kissinger Associates. At the time, Kissinger Associates had five partners: former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Assistant and current National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, former Under Secretary and current Acting Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, international economist Alan Stoga, and investment bank T. Jefferson Cunningham III.... the Banco Nationale del Lavaro, [was] an Italian bank from whom Kissinger was a consultant, and which has recently been under investigation by the House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs for its role in the illegal arming of Iraq using U.S. commodity credits."
The BCCI Affair- A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate
by Senator John Kerry and Senator Hank Brown
December 1992, 102d Congress 2d Session Senate Print 102-140

"As the Saudi Ambassador, Prince Bandar, was urging Mr. Bush and Mr. Baker to buy the friendship of the Iraqi dictator in August 1989, the F.B.I. uncovered a huge scam at the Atlanta branch of the Lavoro Bank [BNL] to finance the buildup of Iraq's war machine by diverting U.S.-guaranteed grain loans. Instead of pressing the investigation or curbing the appeasement, the President turned a blind eye to lawbreaking and directed another billion dollars to Iraq. Our State and Agriculture Department's complicity in Iraq's duplicity transformed what could have been dealt with as 'Saddam's Lavoro scandal' into George Bush's Iraqgate ... When House Banking Chairman Henry Gonzalez gathered documents marked 'secret' showing this pattern of corruption, he put them in the Congressional Record. Two months later, as the media awakened, Mr. Bush gave the familiar 'gate' order; stonewall.... Policy blunders are not crimes. But perverting the purpose of appropriated funds is a crime; lying to Congress compounds that crime; and obstructing justice to cover up the original crime is a criminal conspiracy."
THE ADMINISTRATION'S IRAQ GATE SCANDAL
New York Times, 18 May 2004

"Almost every Monday for the past couple of months, Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez (D-Tex.), the feisty chairman of the House Banking Committee, has been setting the Bush administration's teeth on edge with fiery exposes about its courtship of Iraq before the invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. So far, hardly anyone has been listening. Gonzalez's `special orders'--as such uninterrupted speeches are called--are delivered to a virtually empty House floor. But they are full of excruciating detail--much of it classified `'secret' and `confidential'--that could haunt the White House before this election year is over. Gonzalez's charges are simple and direct: Senior Bush administration officials went to great lengths to continue supporting Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and his unreliable regime long after it was prudent to do so. U.S. officials insisted in 1989, for instance, on playing down the importance of a scandal involving an Atlanta-based bank and more than $5 billion in unauthorized loans to Iraq, including $900 million guaranteed by the U.S. government. They even intervened in the case to prevent indictment of the Central Bank of Iraq while the Persian Gulf War was raging..... in the wake of the gulf war when Congress began demanding more information about the prewar conduct of U.S. policy toward Iraq, administration officials tried to hide their embarrassment under a cloak of national security and created what Gonzalez has called a `coverup mechanism' to keep investigators at bay.... The centerpiece of the controversy is the scandal involving the Italian government-owned Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL). It broke open on Aug. 4, 1989, when FBI agents and Federal Reserve officials, tipped off by two bank executives, raided BNL's Atlanta branch and confiscated thousands of documents.... There were also allegations, still unresolved, that food shipments destined for Iraq under the loan program never got there and may have been diverted to other countries in exchange for cash or goods. Investigators say they now believe some food may have been traded for weapons or Soviet bloc military assistance..... [in October 1989] President Bush stepped into the fray, issuing National Security Directive 26 (NSD-26). Gonzalez said the order has been withheld from his committee on grounds of executive privilege, but other documents show that it ordered `pursuit of improved economic and political ties with Iraq.' A report to Baker, dated Oct. 26, 1989, cited the directive in recommending approval `on foreign policy grounds' of a $1 billion CCC program for Iraq, to be paid in two installments in light of the BNL investigation. Baker called then-Secretary of Agriculture Clayton Yeutter and urged him to go forward with the $1 billion program. Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger made similar appeals to Treasury and OMB, explaining in one note that `the CCC program is important to our efforts to improve and expand our relationship with Iraq, as ordered by the President in NSD-26.' The full $1 billion was approved at a high-level interagency council meeting on Nov. 8, 1989. According to a confidential memo, Treasury, the Federal Reserve and OMB still felt that `allegations of Iraqi wrongdoing in the BNL case, though not backed by evidence at this time, could eventually embarrass the administration.' But once again, the State Department representative invoked NSD-26 and said that `to abruptly terminate the [CCC] program would . . . clearly run counter to the president's intention.'  "
Gonzalez's Iraq Expose - Hill Chairman Details U.S. Prewar Courtship
Washington Post, 22 March 1992

"Mr. Speaker, today I will talk about Henry Kissinger, his consulting firm Kissinger Associates, two former Kissinger Associates directors, Lawrence Eagleburger and Brent Scowcroft, and the chief economist at Kissinger Associates, Alan Stoga. I will explore their links to Banca Nazionale del Lavoro [BNL] and Iraq, and the Bush administration's handling of the BNL scandal. But first, I will provide some background information on the BNL scandal...The $4 billion plus in BNL loans to Iraq between 1985 and 1990 were crucial to Iraqi efforts to feed its people and to build weapons of mass destruction. In addition, the BNL loans were crucial to Reagan and Bush administration efforts to assist Saddam Hussein.... In addition, I will reveal that both Mr. Eagleburger and Mr. Scowcroft played a key role in the Bush administration's handling of the BNL scandal, even though BNL was a paying client of Kissinger Associates just months prior to the BNL scandal becoming public..... I will now show that President Bush's top advisers at the White House were directly involved in the handling of the BNL scandal. They intervened in late 1989 to make sure that Iraq received a $1 billion allocation of CCC credits for fiscal year 1990 despite the findings of the BNL investigators in Atlanta. The former Deputy Assistant to the President, and Director of Cabinet Affairs, Mr. Steve Danzansky was one of President Bush's staff assigned responsibility for overseeing the late 1989 decision to provide Iraq with $1 billion in CCC credits. Mr. Danzansky received regular updates on the BNL scandal as well as progress reports on the USDA's efforts to win approval for the CCC program for Iraq..... Given Mr. Danzansky's role in the CCC decision and his job as adviser to President Bush and Director of Cabinet Affairs, it is clear that President Bush was directly involved in the decision to provide Iraq with a $1 billion in CCC credits just months before the invasion of Kuwait."
Henry B. Gonzalez, (TX-20)
Congressional Record, House of Representatives - April 28, 1992

"The overriding and obvious motivation for engaging Saddam Hussein was access to cheap oil. In return, Iraq received the green light to purchase sophisticated United States military technology. National Security Directive-26 clearly states the Bush administration's motivation: Access to Persian Gulf oil and the security of key friendly states in the area are vital to U.S. national security. As a quid pro quo for access to Iraqi oil, the Bush administration made a commitment to facilitate the sale of U.S. goods and services to Iraq..... In return for continued access to technology and credit, Iraq granted United States oil companies favorable deals on purchases of Iraqi oil. The United States bought the bait and purchases of Iraqi oil skyrocketed during the Bush administration. A recently declassified State Department memorandum to Secretary Baker, dated March 23, 1989, sheds light on that policy tradeoff. The memo was crafted to provide background information for the Secretary's meeting with the Iraqi Ambassador Nizar Hamdoon. The memo states: Iraq would also like freer export licensing procedures for high tech. The memorandum also states: As part of its approach to the United States, Iraq has in the last year given favorable deals to U.S. oil companies; oil experts to the U.S. have soared to around 500,000 barrels per day. Giving favorable oil deals to U.S. firms furthered Iraq's ultimate strategy of increasing its importance to the United States. The success of this plan, as measured by oil sales, is illustrated in a recently declassified CIA report dated April 1990 which states: The U.S. purchase of Iraqi oil have jumped from about 80,000 barrels per day in 1985-1987 to 675,000 b/d so far in 1990-- about 24 percent of Baghdad's total oil exports and eight percent of new U.S. oil imports. By the time Iraq invaded Kuwait, United States purchases of Iraqi oil had grown to over 1.1 million barrels per day.... Obviously, Iraq's approach of providing United States oil companies with favorable deals was well received in the Bush administration. During the same period that United States purchases of Iraqi oil skyrocketed, the Bush administration approved nearly 200 export licenses for Iraq. As I have shown in previous reports, many of those licenses were approved despite ample evidence showing the United States equipment was destined for known Iraqi weapons complexes. The Bush administration clearly made the proverbial `deal with the devil' ...So, Mr. Speaker, I suggest to my colleagues, `Don't try to exorcise me. Get your bell, book and candle, and troop all of you over to Langley, and exorcise the Devil out of that CIA.' The Bush administration, as I said, approved the sale of United States technology for Iraq, and, in return, United States oil companies received a discount when purchasing Iraqi oil. Maybe this was natural. The President himself is an oil man and so are his closest advisers who were responsible for setting and implementing the United States policy toward Iraq. Secretary of State James Baker and Commerce Secretary Robert Mosbacher understand the oil business, and they understood the significance of the deal Iraq offered. Our main goal was access to cheap oil; Hussein wanted cash, credit, and military technology. Oil made it all possible, and remember, my colleagues, I placed in the Record the Executive order where President Bush about this time exonerated; that is, took out of the coverage of the conflict of interest proviso, to exempt 11 of his Cabinet and top adviser level. That means all these oil companies. So, he exempted them from any kind of conflict of interest, and I reported that several reports ago. As part of its policy of appeasing Saddam Hussein, the United States Government turned a blind eye to many of the procurement activities of Iraq. In fact, the CIA had information showing that Matrix-Churchill Corp. in Cleveland, OH, was part of Iraq's military technology procurement network, yet Matrix-Churchill was allowed to gather United States technology for Iraq until 2 months after the invasion of Kuwait. I will now provide more background on the operations of Matrix-Churchill.....In previous reports I have indicated that BNL was one of the major sources of funds for Iraq's military industrialization program. Iraq's Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization [MIMI], which was headed by Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Hussein Kamil, eventually utilized over $2 billion in BNL loans for its ambitious military industrialization effort. Where do we come in here? I will tell my colleagues where. The taxpayers had to make up for that one with the 10 U.S. banks that BNL had used to sort to syndicate its exposure, and they have already been paid back, at least a billion. And where do my colleagues think that money came from?... BNL funds were used to procure equipment for weapons projects including the clandestine nuclear weapons program...."
OIL SALES TO IRAQ AND MORE DETAILS ON MATRIX-CHURCHILL CORP.
Henry B. Gonzalez, (TX-20)
Congressional Record, House of Representatives - September 21, 1992

"Mr. Thornburgh's efforts fit perfectly into the pattern of administration efforts aimed at thwarting congressional investigations of Iraqi policy and the preinvasion pattern of obstructing justice insofar as the BNL case is concerned. In fact, the Department of Justice continues to refuse the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs access to thousands of BNL-related documents claiming that they are subject to grand jury secrecy rules. Just as Mr. Thornburgh tried to falsely use national security to thwart the committee's investigation of BNL, I have to wonder if the Justice Department is not abusing the grand jury secrecy rules to spuriously hide embarrassing documents that reveal additional details of the Bush administration's close alliance with Saddam Hussein. It is sad enough that the Departments of State and Agriculture repeatedly lied to Congress and the American public, thereby, about the United States policy toward Iraq. The Justice Department role in obstructing the investigation of the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs of BNL is the ultimate hypocrisy. One would think that the Justice Department has a special obligation to protect the integrity of our Government.... While the administration publicly expressed consternation over the actions of Saddam Hussein, behind closed doors and out of the sight of the Congress and the American people, in secrecy, and that is where all of these things have happened, the S&L scandals, and what will be equally scandalous, the banking scandals; they were all bred out of secrecy in those dark, moist rooms in the subterraneans of the regulators and the White House and other places. They were not in the open.... with the backing of President Bush, the State Department and National Security Council staff conspired in 1989 and 1990 to keep the flow of United States credit, technology, and intelligence information flowing to Iraq despite repeated warnings by several other agencies and the availability of abundant evidence showing that Iraq used BNL loans to pay for United States technology destined for Iraq's missile, nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs. In order to minimize public exposure to the embarrassing failed United States policy toward Iraq, just after the fighting in the gulf ended the White House formed a group of high-level agency attorneys, headed by the National Security Council's General Counsel, to frustrate, evade, and stifle congressional investigations, which I brought out 2 weeks ago in detail. The group of attorneys, which I called then and I call now the Rostow gang, because that is what it amounted to, a gang, it was not a consortium, it was a gang. Just like street gangs are out there for their own purposes of evading this, that, and the other, and mugging, this gang was there for the purpose of mugging the Congress in its attempt to know what was going on and how it was affecting the proper exercise of our legislative judgment in forging the laws we still do not have in order to protect the national interest from the behavior of huge sums, billions of dollars, a trillion almost, that none of our regulatory agencies at this time can adequately, fully, and responsibly oversee and account for. Should we be surprised that instead of less we have infinitely more illicit drug peddling and the laundering of drug money?.... Since we incarcerated Noriega in Florida the amount of drugs out of Panama has doubled. It is not happenstance. It is because of this intimate connection between high finance, business, public officials, and the wrongdoer. So, in order to minimize the possible adverse impact after the war we have the Rostow gang. One of the reasons the Rostow gang was formed was to cover up embarrassing and potentially illegal activities of persons and agencies responsible for the United States-Iraq relationship. For example, persons from the State Department and Agriculture Department repeatedly lied to the Congress and the American public about its policy toward Iraq. Members of the Rostow gang have actively worked to slow down and possibly impede permanently the Banking Committee's investigation of these lies, and they continue to withhold important BNL-related documents from the committee. Now we learn from recent stories in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times that the State Department intervened to stop indictments of BNL in early 1990. Earlier press reports indicated that the State Department worked to delay the indictment of BNL because of the further damage the indictments would have caused to rapidly deteriorating United States-Iraq relations since the BNL case involved the highest levels of the Iraqi Government. Of course, those concerns evaporated with the invasion of Kuwait. The committee has over a dozen documents indicating that the U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta was prepared to bring the BNL indictments in early 1990. Yet, the indictments did not occur until over a year later on February 28, 1991, just hours after the President ordered a cease-fire in the Persian Gulf war or, in other words, after Saddam Hussein was rapidly transformed from friend to foe."
EFFORTS TO THWART INVESTIGATION OF THE BNL SCANDAL
Henry B. Gonzalez, (TX-20)
Congressional Record, House of Representatives - March 30, 1992

Gonzalez 1992 Congressional Documents - Click here

"Unanswered questions include, but are not limited to, the relationship between BCCI and the Banco Nazionale del Lavoro; the alleged relationship between the late CIA director William Casey and BCCI; the extent of BCCI's involvement in Pakistan's nuclear program; BCCI's manipulation of commodities and securities markets in Europe and Canada; BCCI's activities in India, including its relationship with the business empire of the Hinduja family; BCCI's relationships with convicted Iraqi arms dealer Sarkis Sarkenalian, Syrian drug trafficker, terrorist, and arms trafficker Monzer Al-Kassar, and other major arms dealers; the use of BCCI by central figures in the alleged 'October Surprise,' BCCI's activities with the Central Bank of Syria and with the Foreign Trade Mission of the Soviet Union in London; its involvement with foreign intelligence agencies; the financial dealingst of BCCI directors with Charles Keating and several Keating affiliates and front-companies, including the possibility that BCCI related entities may have laundered funds for Keating to move them outside the United States; BCCI's financing of commodities and other business dealings of international criminal financier Marc Rich; the nature, extent and meaning of the ownership of other major U.S. financial institutions by Middle Eastern political figures; the nature, extent, and meaning of real estate and financial investments in the United States by major shareholders of BCCI; the sale of BCCI affiliate Banque de Commerce et Placement in Geneva, to the Cukorova Group of Turkey, which owned an entity involved in the BNL Iraqi arms sales, among others."
The BCCI Affair- A Report to the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate
by Senator John Kerry and Senator Hank Brown
December 1992, 102d Congress 2d Session Senate Print 102-140

British Accomplices

"The 1994 Scott Inquiry into Britain's illegal supply of arms to Saddam Hussein found that deception was widespread among senior British officials and diplomats. One of those commended by Sir Richard Scott for the honesty of his evidence was the former head of the Iraq Desk in Whitehall, Mark Higson, who described 'a culture of lying' in the Foreign Office."
IRAQ: THE LYING GAME
The Mirror, 27 August, 2002

"My company Astra gave rise to much of the circumstances which created the [Arms to Iraq] Scott Inquiry, the Supergun revelations (we reported it first), the Aitken affair, the murder of Gerald Bull in Brussels  in March 1990 and much else..... The story of Astra is too long to recount here but a summary is contained in my book, 'In the Public Interest' published by Little Brown UK hardback 1995, Warner paperback 1996, London. Astra became involved in covert weapons and ammunitions operations organised by MI5 and MI6 and the CIA, the MOD, DOD, FCO and the State Department and the DTI..... In 1989/90, following a reappraisal of Foreign Policy in the light of the demise of the Cold War and changing circumstances in the Middle East, where it became apparent the US, UK and EEC had transferred Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons technology as well as conventional weapons to countries like Iran and Iraq, and the discovery Pakistan had the atomic bomb, the whole covert network was reorganised.... The directors of Astra were to a large extent ignorant of the full range of covert activities carried out in their name but aware of some of these activities and the likely destination of their goods. As however all operations were sanctioned by the DTI, MOD, FCO, and in the US by the DOD and the State Department and in Belgium by the Belgian Government, not too many questions were raised initially. However, in late 1988 and 1989 it became clear to me as Chairmen that the clandestine operations far exceeded anything remotely sanctioned by the full Board and I set out to investigate in depth.  I became aware that certain plants were used to secretly store and ship goods; that monies were being transferred to other operations without book records or board approval in secret commission payments; that our paper work and parallel bank accounts were being used to process arms shipments from major UK defence companies like British Aerospace, Royal Ordnance, GEC Marconi, Thorn EMI etc.... [It] also became clear that all our main operations were involved in covert operations in the USA Belgium and the UK, and that Astra, when it acquired these companies, had inherited a hard core of MI6, MI5, DIA agents who operated behind the back of the original directors and who treated them as 'useful idiots'. All our main companies were involved with Space Research Corporation ('SRC') and the late Dr Gerald Bull who was behind the Supergun and other secret projects which Astra companies were also involved in. In 1989 I realised we had a hugely dangerous individual on our main Board and the BMARC Board who was an MI6 agent.  This individual, Stepahnus Adolphus Kock had high level political connections to Thatcher, Hesletine, Younger, Hanley, etc as well as MI5 and MI6 connections.  It is now clear to me that he was involved in the murder of Gerald Bull in Brussels on 22nd march 1990 and Jonathan Moyle in Santiago, Chile on 31st March 1990.... Kock had a cover as a consultant in Midland Bank’s secret arms department, Midland and Industrial Trade Services   ('MITS'). This was staffed by ex service officers, MI5, MI6, agents and intelligence affiliated bankers. Midland with the Bank of Boston were Astra’s main bankers and dominated by MI6 CIA agents. Kock was also said to be head of Group 13, the Government’s assassination and dirty tricks squad according to Richard John Rainey Unwin, a close associate of Knock himself who was a contract MI6 agent and Consultant to Astra.  Kock and Unwin, with Martin Laing Construction, negotiated the 2bn Malaysian defence deal before George Younger, the Defence Secretary even knew of it..... All these cases and others and the Astra case involved the gross abuse of power by Government and its agencies and servants, concealment of key evidence, intimidation, threats, false and selective prosecutions, manipulation of evidence, perversion of the course of justice..... As Douglas Hurd told a Commons Select Committee regarding nuclear proliferation they are but two tributaries of the main stream of intelligence..... Each regularly circumvents domestic laws for the benefit of the others under programmes like 'echelon' and agreements between UK and USA. Politicians and civil servants and other leading figures who get out of line can be surveyed or bugged and then threatened, blackmailed, framed up or worse."
My Experiences, the Scott Inquiry, the British Legal System
Gerald Reaveley James, former Astra Holdings PLC Chairman from 1980-90
Extract From Speech Given At The Environmental Law Centre, UK, 2000

(includes typographical transcript errors)

"A British defence journalist whose body was found hanging in a wardrobe in a hotel room in Chile eight years ago was unlawfully killed, an inquest found yesterday. Jonathan Moyle, 28, a former RAF pilot from Branscombe, Devon, was investigating links between the Chilean arms industry and the Iraqi regime at the time that he died. According to a new book on the case, he was supplying information to MI6 about Saddam Hussein's international arms procurement network as part of an espionage operation codenamed Valkyrie. Mr Moyle, editor of Defence Helicopter World, was working on a story about plans by Chilean manufacturers to turn civilian helicopters into gunships for the Iraqis. He was found dead hanging in room 1406 of the Hotel Carrera, Santiago, on March 31 1990, four months before Iraq invaded Kuwait. A shirt was tied around his neck and he was naked from the waist up. Chilean police said at the time that they were investigating a suspected suicide. Richard van Oppen, the East Devon coroner, opened the inquest in 1990 but has had to wait until now to resume it because of lengthy delays in receiving documents from Chile. Mr Moyle's death has been investigated by two Chilean judges who concluded that he was murdered but were unable to discover who the murderer was. They discovered that Mr Moyle had been sedated at least two hours before he died."
Arms trade journalist 'was killed'
Daily Telegraph, 28 February 1998

"And speculation still surrounds the 'suicide' of Jonathan Moyle, the 28-year-old editor of the British trade journal Defence Helicopter World in March 1990—he was found hanging in a closet in a hotel room in Santiago, Chile. Intelligence sources have long suggested that there was a, so far unproven, SIS [MI6] involvement in Moyle's death as his 'Iraqgate' investigations were believed to be uncovering highly embarrassing facts for the senior management at Century House, then the headquarters for M16 and the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher....."
Assassination And The License To Kill
Asia Times, 13 June 2003

Big Crimes - Iran

"The Islamic Republic of Iran was born out of a power struggle over the extent of foreign influence inside Iran. The conflict began in the early 1950s, when Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq, who intended to nationalize the country's oil wealth, momentarily seized control from Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the constitutional monarch representing Anglo-American oil interests. The CIA intervened in 1953, engineering a coup that ousted Mossadeq and reinstated Shah Pahlavi's pro-Western regime. Iranians came to perceive the shah's state, characterized by despotic repression and economic upheaval, as the betrayal of their nation for the benefit of Western powers, particularly the United States. Growing opposition to the shah found a leader in the influential cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. His calls for a new religious government, to be based on the strict fundamentalist principles of Shi'iah Islam, represented a complete rejection of Western influence and values. Khomeini's message, readily accepted by a population angry at foreign intervention, ignited the Islamic Revolution that toppled the shah in 1979. "
The Modern Past - The Islamic Republic of Iran is born out of revolution
PBS Frontline, January 2004

"The Pentagon is considering a massive covert action program to overthrow Iran's ruling ayatollahs... The proposal, sources say, includes ... backing armed Iranian dissidents and employing the services of the Mujahedeen e Khalq [People’s Mujahidin], a group currently branded as terrorist by the United States..."
The Iran Debate
ABC News, 29 May 2003

"The People’s Mujahidin is seen by Washington as a possible instrument for 'regime change' in Tehran....The Marxist movement, which initially supported the Islamic revolution and then broke with the fundamentalist regime, was formally designated last year as 'terrorist' by the State Department and the EU but it is known to have links with the CIA and other US agencies."
France rounds up US-linked Iranian exiles
London Times, 16 June 2003

"Iranians reacted with anger and fear on Monday to a rare string of bomb attacks that killed nine people and wounded more than 70 ahead of presidential elections. Officials have blamed Sunday's attacks on exiled opposition groups, such as the [US Sponsored] People's Mujahideen Organization [which is listed by the US State Department as a terrorist group], and foreign agents seeking to deter Iranians from voting... The bombings in Ahvaz and Tehran jolted a country where such attacks have become a rarity in the past decade..."
Bombs scare Iran voters ahead of presidential vote
Reuters, 13 June 2005

"Six bombs have exploded in Iran, killing at least 10 people, days before the presidential election. Four blasts targeted public buildings in the south-western city of Ahwaz, killing at least eight people and wounding more than 70 others. Hours later, a bomb exploded in the capital Tehran, killing two people. Three other bombs were defused. Bombings have been rare in Iran since the war with Iraq ended in 1988. No group has claimed responsibility.... A spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council, Iran's top security decision-making body, blamed the attacks on separatist Arabs aided by members of the armed Iraq-based opposition group, the People's Mujahideen, and remnants of the Baath Party. The spokesman, Agha Mohammadi, told the BBC he was sure the Americans were behind the attacks and also suggested that Britain might be involved"
Iran rocked by series of blasts
BBC Online, 13 June 2005

".... It is bitter irony that the CIA is using a group still labelled as a terrorist organisation, a group trained in the art of explosive assassination by the same intelligence units of the former regime of Saddam Hussein, who are slaughtering American soldiers in Iraq today, to carry out remote bombings in Iran of the sort that the Bush administration condemns on a daily basis inside Iraq. ... [these actions are] exposing as utter hypocrisy the entire underlying notions governing the ongoing global war on terror... history will show that the US-led war with Iran will not have begun once a similar formal statement is offered by the Bush administration, but, rather, had already been under way since June 2005, when the CIA began its programme of MEK-executed terror bombings in Iran."
'The US War With Iran Has Already Begun'
Scott Ritter, 19 June 2005

"Iran's spy chief used just two words to respond to White House ridicule of last week's presidential election: 'Thank you.' His sarcasm was barely hidden. The backfire on Washington was more evident. The sharp barbs from President Bush were widely seen in Iran as damaging to pro-reform groups because the comments appeared to have boosted turnout among hard-liners in Friday's election — with the result being that an ultraconservative now is in a two-way showdown for the presidency. 'I say to Bush: 'Thank you,' ' quipped Intelligence Minister Ali Yunesi. 'He motivated people to vote in retaliation.' Bush's comments — blasting the ruling clerics for blocking 'basic requirements of democracy' — became a lively sideshow in Iran's closest election since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. And they highlighted again the United States' often crossed-wire efforts to isolate Iran... the harder the United States has pushes, even with the best of intentions, the more ground it has seems to lose among mainstream Iranians, who represent possible key allies against the Islamic establishment, say some analysts of Iranian politics. 'Unknowingly, (Bush) pushed Iranians to vote so that they can prove their loyalty to the regime — even if they are in disagreement with it,' said Hamed al-Abdullah, a political science professor at Kuwait University. In 2002, most Iranians were indignant when Bush placed their nation in an 'axis of evil' with North Korea and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Since then, U.S.-led pressure over Iran's nuclear program has put even liberal Iranians on the defensive. Bush's pre-election denunciations seemed to do the same. Iranian authorities claim Bush energized undecided voters to go to the polls and undercut a boycott drive led by liberal dissidents opposed to the Islamic system. The unexpectedly strong turnout — nearly 63 percent — produced a true surprise in the No. 2 finish of hard-line Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, He will face the top finisher, moderate statesman Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, in a Friday runoff. Rafsanjani, Iran's president in 1989-1997, has said he is open to greater dialogue with the United States. But Ahmadinejad offered no such opening after the vote was tallied Saturday, and he could take a harsher stance toward the United States and its concerns — especially accusations that Iran is secretly seeking nuclear arms. Iran denies the charges and puts them down to U.S. anger with the clerical regime. 'You only have to look at the comments' by Bush to understand that he 'seeks hostility' against Iran, Ahmadinejad said. The conservative hard-line Iranian newspaper Kayhan wrote: 'People crushed the U.S. comments and wishes under their feet.' But even many opponents of the Islamic establishment objected to Bush's tone and timing. The president's words sounded too much like the prewar rhetoric against Saddam, and many on-the-fence voters were shocked into action, said Abdollah Momeni, a political affairs expert at Tehran University.'People faced a dilemma,' Momeni said. 'In people's minds it became a choice between voting or giving Bush an excuse to attack.'... The Bush comments are an example of 'the kind of American intervention' that often boomerangs in the region, said Egyptian political analyst Salama Ahmed Salama. 'Bush meant to discourage the hard-liners,' he said, 'but instead he mobilized their supporters.'"
Bush criticism of Iran vote backfires
Associated Press, 19 June 2005

Bush, Cheney And Rumsfeld
Foul Up Big Time In Persian Gulf

US Covert And Overt Operations
Precipitate Victory For Mullahs In Iran
www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/WATIran2005.htm
Scott Ritter Provides 'Heads Up' Analysis Of US Covert War In Iran
As Bungling White House Plays Into Hands Of Rivals In Tehran And Beijing

Iran Comes Out On Top

".... most serious analysts feel that Iran has already been the biggest beneficiary of the US invasion. It destroyed a serious opponent of Iran, Saddam Hussein. It has placed Shia and Kurdish groups in considerable power in Iraq, groups that have had close links with Iran and will probably continue to maintain and strengthen these links. There is no indication that the US presence is weakening Iran's position. Quite the contrary. ... withdrawal [from Iraq] would hurt US access to the oil supplies of the Middle East. However, the US presence has led to a decrease, not an increase, in Iraqi production, which will not resume seriously as long as the war is going on. Furthermore, the decline in US power resulting from the failed invasion has led Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other producers to begin to expand their role as a supplier of oil to China, India, and other countries, at the long-run expense of US access....What then would be the plus in 'walking away'? First let us clarify what this means. It means a statement by the US government that it will withdraw all troops without exception and shut down all bases in Iraq within say six months of the date of announcement. Is this better than being evicted (that is, asked formally to leave) by a new government, resulting from a new nationalist alliance within Iraq? Yes, of course. US withdrawal would mark the first step on the long and difficult path to healing the United States of the sicknesses brought on by its imperial addiction, the first step in a painful effort to restore the good name of the United States in the world community. Walking away will indeed be difficult and painful. But it is just as necessary for the United States to withdraw as it is for an alcoholic to withdraw, taking the first step on the path to total renunciation of the addiction."
Immanuel Wallerstein, Senior Research Scholar at Yale University,and author of The Decline of American Power: The US in a Chaotic World (New Press)
Walking Away: The Least Bad Option
Middle East Online, 15 February 2008

The White House Knows That After 50 Years Of Fighting For Its Oil America Is Losing The Middle East
And So Far Iran And China Have Been Winning Without Firing A Shot

"... we've been in the Middle East more than 50 years. We've been in the Middle East ever since the -- however you would like to call the dependency upon oil has developed. And our forces have been there either as naval, air or land forces in one way or another for an awful long time. And once the British pulled out the Arabian gulf, it became more and more necessary for us to provide more and more force in the region..... And ultimately, it comes down to the free flow of goods and resources on which the prosperity of our own nation and everybody else's depends upon.... We need to maintain a presence that protects the small nations and ensures the continued stability of the region and the flow of those resources that are essential to our well-being."
General John Abizaid, Commander of the United States Central Command overseeing US operations in Iraq, confirming to a US Congressional Committee that the United States needs permanent military bases in Iraq in order to maintain access to Gulf oil

"President Bush says the United States has to change its habits and 'get off oil' to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign suppliers. Bush made his comments in a speech in Washington after OPEC said it would not put more oil on the global market. During a trip to the Middle East in January, Bush had urged OPEC to increase production in order to ease soaring gasoline prices. While calling for energy conservation, Bush joked on Wednesday that it probably did not help that he rode to his speech in a 20-car motorcade."
Bush: US Must 'Get Off Oil'
Associated Press, 5 March 2008

"Iraq and China are close to re-signing a $1.2 billion oil deal that was called off after the 2003 U.S. invasion, an Iraqi Oil Ministry official said Thursday. Iraq sits on more than 115 billion barrels of oil, the world's third-largest reserves, but violence and sabotage have crippled efforts to use the resource to fund the country's reconstruction. As security improves, Iraq is trying to bring in foreign companies to help increase crude output from the current 2.5 million barrels a day to 3 million barrels a day by the end of 2008, and 4.5 million barrels a day by the end of 2013. Saddam Hussein's government signed a deal with the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. to develop the billion-barrel al-Ahdab oil field, despite U.N. sanctions that barred direct dealings with Iraq's oil industry. Beijing was waiting for the sanctions to end when the U.S. invasion overthrew Saddam. The two countries restarted talks in October 2006. 'We are expecting that the next round of discussions, due to be held in April, will finish the negotiations,' the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information. The field could produce an estimated 115,000 barrels a day, the Iraqi official said. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it had no information about the talks. Officials with CNPC and China's Commerce Ministry could not be reached for comment. The two sides met last week in Amman, Jordan, and the governor of Wasit province, where the al-Ahbad field lies, assured the Chinese that their workers and facilities would be protected by Iraqi security forces, the official said."
Official: Iraq, China Nearing Oil Deal
Associated Press, 6 March 2008

"China’s biggest refiner, Sinopec, and Iran have signed a $2 billion agreement on developing the Yadavaran oil field, on Tuesday, firming Beijing’s business links with Tehran despite global sanctions over Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. The long-awaited agreement signed in Tehran completes a 2004 memorandum of understanding for state-owned Sinopec Group to help develop the huge oilfield. Iran’s oil minister, Gholam Hossein Nozari, praised the deal as a vindication of his country’s efforts to counter pressures to isolate the country over its nuclear program. 'Various companies are continuing to invest in Iran and that we are witnessing the full presence of foreign investments in the country,' the Iranian radio network Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, quoted Nozari as saying. 'The other message this contract has is that if other countries intend to invest in our major oil and gas fields, they should not waste time, otherwise they will surely lose investment opportunities in Iran,' he said. Nozari estimated the cost of the project at $2 billion, the official Xinhua news agency reported."
China’s Sinopec, Iran sign agreement on developing Yadavaran oilfield
Tehran Times, 5 March 2008


Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003
Mission Failure

"The 2003 invasion of Iraq, which began on March 20 to May 1, 2003, was led by the United States, backed by British forces and smaller contingents from Australia, Poland and Denmark. Some other countries were involved in its aftermath. The invasion launched the Iraq War, which is ongoing.....United States military operations were conducted under the codename Operation Iraqi Liberation.[79] The codename was later changed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, possibly to avoid the acronym 'OIL.'"
2003 Invasion Of Iraq
Wikipedia Entry, 5 March 2008

iraniraqpressconf.jpg (11032 bytes)

Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iraq's Nuri al-Maliki hold a joint press conference in Iraq March 2008

"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was right to look smug at the end of his two-day state visit to Iraq. Not only did he become the first Iranian president to visit Baghdad, but he also took a big step towards achieving the victory that had eluded Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Iranian revolution. Twenty years ago the Ayatollah conceded defeat after his country was fought to a standstill in the bloody trenches of the Iran-Iraq battlefield. After the deaths of one million people over eight years of combat, he compared giving up the struggle to drinking 'poison', and died the following year. As Mr Ahmadinejad discovered when he was greeted by 'Uncle Jalal' (President Jalal Talabani of Iraq) in Baghdad, Iraq today is now ripe for Iranian domination. While the US-led invasion of Iraq ['Operation Iraqi Freedom'] has been criticised widely across the Middle East and around the world, Iran has emerged as the main beneficiary from the conflict.... Without the need to fire a shot, Iran is becoming Iraq’s indispensable political ally and trading partner."
Iraq ripe for Iranian domination
London Times, 4 March 2008

"Ahmadinejad didn't get just one 'kiss for luck'; he got four, when he was welcomed by U.S.-backed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who threw in a symbolic hug by standing impassive while the Iranian leader told a joint press conference: 'The Americans have to understand the facts of the region. Iraqi people do not like America.' Many of them, notably the Sunni minority, don't care all that much for Iran either. But, even they were impressed by the fact that Ahmadinejad flagged his trip well in advance, made a ceremonial arrival in full view of Iraqi media, traveled by road and did not stay in the fortified Green Zone. The show was in stark contrast to President Bush and other American VIPs who, if they deign to venture off secure U.S. military bases after they arrive here unannounced and in secret, do so by helicopter."
Iran Winning Iraqi Hearts And Minds
CBS News, 4 March 2008

"Bush's trip to the Middle East this January failed to rally Washington's Arab allies against Tehran, as did vice president Dick Cheney's and defense secretary Robert Gates' visits previously. This is a sharp reversal. Only a year ago, the ascendance of Iran's allies in Iraqi politics and Hezbollah's steadfastness in Lebanon gave rhetorical ammunition to Egyptian and other Arab leaders, who warned of a renewed Iranian plan to export revolution. Since then, the White House's failure to make its accusations about Iranian nuclear mischief stick or impose effective UN sanctions on Iran has changed the region's geopolitical calculus. Conservative Arab elites now seem to have concluded that the way to control Shia Iran's popularity among their Sunni-majority masses is to befriend rather than confront Tehran....In back-to-back, unprecedented friendly moves blessed by Egypt in December, the Saudi monarch played host to Iran's president Ahmadinejad at the Haj pilgrimage. And the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), established in 1981 to blunt Iran's revolution, invited him to its summit."
Nervously and Rapidly, Iran Courts Egypt
Foreign Policy In Focus, 14 February 2008

"When the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq two years ago, it envisioned a quick handover to handpicked allies in a secular government that would be the antithesis of Iran's theocracy -- potentially even a foil to Tehran's regional ambitions. But, in one of the greatest ironies of the U.S. intervention, Iraqis instead went to the polls and elected a government with a strong religious base -- and very close ties to the Islamic republic next door. It is the last thing the administration expected from its costly Iraq policy -- $300 billion and counting, U.S. and regional analysts say..... the top two winning parties -- which together won more than 70 percent of the vote and are expected to name Iraq's new prime minister and president -- are Iran's closest allies in Iraq. Thousands of members of the United Iraqi Alliance, a Shiite-dominated slate that won almost half of the 8.5 million votes and will name the prime minister, spent decades in exile in Iran. Most of the militia members in its largest faction were trained in Shiite-dominated Iran. And the winning Kurdish alliance, whose co-leader Jalal Talabani is the top nominee for president, has roots in a province abutting Iran, which long served as its economic and political lifeline. 'This is a government that will have very good relations with Iran. The Kurdish victory reinforces this conclusion. Talabani is very close to Tehran,' said Juan Cole, a University of Michigan expert on Iraq.' 'In terms of regional geopolitics, this is not the outcome that the United States was hoping for.'... For decades, both Republican and Democratic administrations played Baghdad and Tehran off each other to ensure neither became a regional giant threatening or dominant over U.S. allies, notably Saudi Arabia and the oil-rich Gulf sheikdoms. But now, Cole said, Iraq and Iran are likely to take similar positions on many issues, from oil prices to U.S. policy on Iran.... the Iraqi secular democrats backed most strongly by the Bush administration lost big. During his State of the Union address last year, Bush invited Adnan Pachachi, a longtime Sunni politician and then-president of the Iraqi Governing Council, to sit with first lady Laura Bush. Pachachi's party fared so poorly in the election that it won no seats in the national assembly.And current Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, backed by the CIA during his years in exile and handpicked by U.S. and U.N. officials to lead the interim government, came in third. He addressed a joint session of Congress in September, a rare honor reserved for heads of state of the closest U.S. allies. But now, U.S. hopes that Allawi will tally enough votes to vie as a compromise candidate and continue his leadership are unrealistic, analysts say."
Iraq Winners Allied With Iran Are the Opposite of U.S. Vision
Washington Post, 14 February 2005


Operation Ajax 1953
'Blowback'

"Fifty years ago this week, the CIA and the British SIS orchestrated a coup d'etat that toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The prime minister and his nationalist supporters in parliament roused Britain's ire when they nationalised the oil industry in 1951, which had previously been exclusively controlled by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Mossadegh argued that Iran should begin profiting from its vast oil reserves....A new book about the coup, All the Shah's Men, which is based on recently released CIA documents, describes how the CIA - with British assistance - undermined Mossadegh's government by bribing influential figures, planting false reports in newspapers and provoking street violence. Led by an agent named Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, the CIA leaned on a young, insecure Shah to issue a decree dismissing Mossadegh as prime minister. By the end of Operation Ajax, some 300 people had died in firefights in the streets of Tehran. The crushing of Iran's first democratic government ushered in more than two decades of dictatorship under the Shah, who relied heavily on US aid and arms. The anti-American backlash that toppled the Shah in 1979 shook the whole region and helped spread Islamic militancy, with Iran's new hardline theocracy declaring undying hostility to the US....The author of All the Shah's Men, New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer, argues that the coup planted the seeds of resentment against the US in the Middle East, ultimately leading to the events of September 11."
The spectre of Operation Ajax
Guardian, 20 August 2003

Comment

The spectre of Operation Ajax

Britain and the US crushed Iran's first democratic government. They didn't learn from that mistake

  • The Guardian,
  • Wednesday August 20 2003

Ignoring international law, Britain and the US opted for the high-risk strategy of regime change in order to pre-empt a volatile enemy in the Middle East. It was not Iraq, however, that was in the firing line but Iran, and the aftershocks are still being felt.

Fifty years ago this week, the CIA and the British SIS orchestrated a coup d'etat that toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The prime minister and his nationalist supporters in parliament roused Britain's ire when they nationalised the oil industry in 1951, which had previously been exclusively controlled by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Mossadegh argued that Iran should begin profiting from its vast oil reserves.

Britain accused him of violating the company's legal rights and orchestrated a worldwide boycott of Iran's oil that plunged the country into financial crisis. The British government tried to enlist the Americans in planning a coup, an idea originally rebuffed by President Truman. But when Dwight Eisenhower took over the White House, cold war ideologues - determined to prevent the possibility of a Soviet takeover - ordered the CIA to embark on its first covert operation against a foreign government.

A new book about the coup, All the Shah's Men, which is based on recently released CIA documents, describes how the CIA - with British assistance - undermined Mossadegh's government by bribing influential figures, planting false reports in newspapers and provoking street violence. Led by an agent named Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, the CIA leaned on a young, insecure Shah to issue a decree dismissing Mossadegh as prime minister. By the end of Operation Ajax, some 300 people had died in firefights in the streets of Tehran.

The crushing of Iran's first democratic government ushered in more than two decades of dictatorship under the Shah, who relied heavily on US aid and arms. The anti-American backlash that toppled the Shah in 1979 shook the whole region and helped spread Islamic militancy, with Iran's new hardline theocracy declaring undying hostility to the US.

The author of All the Shah's Men, New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer, argues that the coup planted the seeds of resentment against the US in the Middle East, ultimately leading to the events of September 11.

While it may be reaching too far to link Mossadegh's overthrow with al-Qaida's terrorism, it certainly helped unleash a wave of Islamic extremism and assisted to power the anti-American clerical leadership that still rules Iran. It is difficult to imagine a worse outcome to an expedient action.

The coup and the culture of covert interference it created forever changed how the world viewed the US, especially in poor, oppressive countries. For many Iranians, the coup was a tragedy from which their country has never recovered. Perhaps because Mossadegh represents a future denied, his memory has approached myth.

On yesterday's anniversary, there was no official government ceremony honouring Mossadegh's legacy. Deemed too secular for the Islamic Republic, the conservative clergy never mention him. But at a time when the Bush administration expresses impatience with diplomacy and promotes "regime change" as a means of reshaping the Middle East, the anniversary recalls some unwelcome parallels.

The mindset that produced the coup is not so different from the premises that underpin the current doctrine of "pre-emption" or the belief that the war on terror can justify ignoring the Geneva convention, diplomacy and the sentiments of a country's population.

Veterans of the cold war in President Bush's administration are cultivating relations with Iranian monarchists in exile while Congressmen are calling for a campaign to undermine Iran's clerical leadership. Washington's tough rhetoric and flirtation with the Shah's son are a kind of nightmarish deja vu for the embattled reformists and students struggling to push for democratic change in Iran.

"Now it seems that the Americans are pushing towards the same direction again," says Ibrahim Yazdi, who served briefly as foreign minister after the Shah fell. "That shows they have not learned anything from history."

The reformists allied with President Khatami believe their country now faces another choice between despotism and democracy, and they worry that the combination of outside interference and internal squabbling within their own ranks could once again defer their dream. The more neo-conservatives attempt to pile pressure on Iran, the more ammunition they provide for the most hardline elements of the regime.

Beyond Iran, America remains deeply resented for siding with authoritarian rule in the region. It would be comforting to think "reshaping the Middle East" means promoting democratic rule. But if it merely allows for the ends to justify the means, then the spectre of Operation Ajax will continue to haunt the region.

Dan De Luce is the Guardian's correspondent in Tehran

dandeluce@yahoo.com

'The Secret CIA History Of The Coup In Iran, 1953'
View Operation Ajax Documents At
George Washington Univeristy National Security Archive
Click Here

"The Central Intelligence Agency's secret history of its covert operation to overthrow Iran's government in 1953 offers an inside look at how the agency stumbled into success, despite a series of mishaps that derailed its original plans. Written in 1954 by one of the coup's chief planners, the history details how United States and British officials plotted the military coup that returned the shah of Iran to power and toppled Iran's elected prime minister, an ardent nationalist. The document shows that:

Britain, fearful of Iran's plans to nationalize its oil industry, came up with the idea for the coup in 1952 and pressed the United States to mount a joint operation to remove the prime minister.

1953

Tehranviolence53.jpg (32135 bytes)

Violence in Tehran, 19 August 1953
Associated Press, 1953

"The Director, on April 4, 1953, approved a budget of $1,000,000 which could be be used by the Tehran Station in any way that would bring about the fall of Mossadegh." — C.I.A. Document, Part I, page 3

"The purpose will be to create, extend, and enhance public hostility and distrust and fear of Mossadegh and his government." — C.I.A. Document, Appendix B, page 15

Click Here To Read 1953 Coup Details Published On New York Times Web Site

"For nearly five decades, America's role in the military coup that ousted Iran's elected prime minister and returned the shah to power has been lost to history, the subject of fierce debate in Iran and stony silence in the United States. One by one, participants have retired or died without revealing key details, and the Central Intelligence Agency said a number of records of the operation — its first successful overthrow of a foreign government — had been destroyed. But a copy of the agency's secret history of the coup has surfaced, revealing the inner workings of a plot that set the stage for the Islamic revolution in 1979, and for a generation of anti-American hatred in one of the Middle East's most powerful countries. The document, which remains classified, discloses the pivotal role British intelligence officials played in initiating and planning the coup, and it shows that Washington and London shared an interest in maintaining the West's control over Iranian oil. The secret history, written by the C.I.A.'s chief coup planner and obtained by The New York Times, says the operation's success was mostly a matter of chance. The document shows that the agency had almost complete contempt for the man it was empowering, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, whom it derided as a vacillating coward. And it recounts, for the first time, the agency's tortured efforts to seduce and cajole the shah into taking part in his own coup. The operation, code-named TP-Ajax, was the blueprint for a succession of C.I.A. plots to foment coups and destabilize governments during the cold war — including the agency's successful coup in Guatemala in 1954 and the disastrous Cuban intervention known as the Bay of Pigs in 1961. In more than one instance, such operations led to the same kind of long-term animosity toward the United States that occurred in Iran."
How a Plot Convulsed Iran in '53 (and in '79)
New York Times On The Web, 2000

1953 US COUP IN IRAN
More Details From The New York Times

INTRODUCTION
I: THE ROOTS
II: THE PRESSURE
III: THE COUP
IV: THE SUCCESS
V: THE PREMIER
VI: THE MEDIA
VII: THE SPY
TIMELINES
THE U.S & IRAN
THE COUP PERIOD
TIMES ARCHIVES
ARTICLES
PAGE ONES
PHOTOS
documentgrey.gif (6778 bytes)
Click Here

'Democracy Now' Interviews Stephen Kinzer On The 1953 Coup - 25 August 2003 - Click Here


1953-2003
Yes, It Was The Oil Stupid

“I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge
what
everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

Alan Greenspan, Chairman Of The US Federal Reserve 1987 - 2006
Sunday Times, 16 September 2007

"... we've been in the Middle East more than 50 years. We've been in the Middle East ever since the -- however you would like to call the dependency upon oil has developed. And our forces have been there either as naval, air or land forces in one way or another for an awful long time. And once the British pulled out the Arabian gulf, it became more and more necessary for us to provide more and more force in the region..... And ultimately, it comes down to the free flow of goods and resources on which the prosperity of our own nation and everybody else's depends upon.... We need to maintain a presence that protects the small nations and ensures the continued stability of the region and the flow of those resources that are essential to our well-being."
General John Abizaid, Commander of the United States Central Command overseeing US operations in Iraq, confirming to a US Congressional Committee that the United States needs permanent military bases in Iraq in order to maintain access to Gulf oil

The Perennial Battle For Iraq's Oil
(And That Of Its Neighbours)
www.nlpwessex.org/docs/iraqoil.htm

Why They Really Hate Us
Anglo-American Access To Middle East Oil
Is What It Has Always Been About Since At Least 1913

'Democratic' Britain, Not Saddam Hussein, Was The First To Gas The Kurds
As Favoured By Winston Churchill
Click Here

"It is hardly surprising that the crisis is proving fertile ground for Iranian conspiracy theorists.....Historically, Iranians have some ammunition for viewing Britain as perfidious. It was a British-inspired coup, engineered by MI6 with the CIA, that in 1953 toppled Mohammad Mossadegh, the popular Prime Minister, two years after he nationalised Iran’s oil industry, which had been controlled by Britain."
Conspiracy theories bubbling under
London Times, 3 April 2007

"If the 15 British sailors currently held by Iran's revolutionary guards are shocked by the hostility to Britain shown by their captors, it will be less surprising to British diplomats engaged in the delicate process of securing their release. Hostility to all things British is, as every foreign office mandarin knows, the default mode of Iran's staunchly anti-western political leadership. From its perspective, Britain - along with America - is in the vanguard of 'global arrogance', Iranian political shorthand for the contemporary western interventionism whose alleged goal is to dominate and control the resources of developing nations such as Iran.... But this is not just President Ahmadinejad. The antipathy goes back to colonial times, and the long and tortured history of British intervention in Iran. This anti-British sentiment is shared by ordinary Iranians. Its resonance defies boundaries of age, education, social class or political affiliation. In the eyes of a broad cross-section of the population, Britain - as much, or even more than, the US - is the real enemy. Four decades after the sun set on its imperial might, the Machiavellian instincts of the 'old coloniser' are believed to be alive, well and still acting against the interests of Iran. For every mishap - whether a bombing, rising living costs or simply the advent of an unpopular government - a hidden British hand is often thought to be at work..... In 1901, William Knox D'Arcy, a London-based lawyer and businessman, was granted exploration rights in most of Iran's oil fields for the princely sum of 20,000. It took several years for D'Arcy's investment to bear fruit but when it did - after he struck oil in Masjid-e Suleiman in 1908 - its effect was enduring and fateful. It turned out to be the world's largest oil field to date and a year later, D'Arcy's concession was merged into the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (APOC). In 1913, with war clouds gathering in Europe, the British admiralty - under Winston Churchill - discarded coal in favour of oil to power its battleships. To safeguard the decision, the government bought a 51% stake in APOC. The importance of oil - and Iran - in British imperial expansion was now explicit. It was a priority of which Churchill, for one, would never lose sight.... anger over the arrogant behaviour of the now-renamed Anglo-Iranian Oil Company - it later became BP - was leading inevitably to a fateful confrontation between Britain and Iran. Resentment over Iran's paltry share of company profits had festered for years. In 1947, out of an annual profit of 40m, Iran received just 7m. Iranian anger was further fuelled by the treatment of oil-company workers who were restricted to low-paid menial jobs and kept in squalid living conditions, in contrast to the luxury in which their British masters lived. Attempts at persuading the oil company to give Iran a bigger share of the profits and its workers a fairer deal proved fruitless. The result was a standoff that created conditions ripe for a nationalist revolt. Into this ferment walked Mohammad Mossadegh, a lawyer and leftwing secular nationalist politician fated to go down as perhaps Iranian history's biggest martyr before British perfidy. Mossadegh was elected prime minister in 1951 advocating a straightforward solution to the oil question - nationalisation. It was a goal he carried out with single-minded zeal while lambasting the British imperialists in tones redolent of a later Iranian leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Within months, he had ordered the Iranian state to take over the oil company and expelled its British management and workers. The company and the British government reacted furiously. The Labour government of Clement Attlee imposed a naval blockade in the Gulf and asked the UN security council to condemn Iran. Instead, the council embarrassingly came out in Iran's favour. Meanwhile, Mossadegh - who often did business in his pyjamas - embarked on an American tour in the naive belief that the US would back him against the British 'colonisers'. It was a serious misjudgment. The oil company's executives were clamouring for a coup to overthrow Mossadegh. Attlee rebuffed the idea but when a Conservative government took office in October 1951, led by Churchill, it fell on more sympathetic ears. With British power in decline, however, Churchill was unable to mount such a venture alone. American help would be needed. The result was Operation Ajax, a CIA-MI6 putsch that co-opted a loose coalition of monarchists, nationalist generals, conservative mullahs and street thugs to overthrow Mossadegh. With the economy teetering in the face of the British blockade, Mossadegh was ousted after several days of violent street clashes. The shah, at that time a weak figure, had fled to Rome fearing the coup would fail. When he heard the news of Mossadegh's demise, he responded: 'I knew they loved me.' He subsequently returned to install a brutally repressive regime - maintained in power by the notorious Savak secret police -backed to the hilt by both America and Britain for the next 25 years.... After the revolution, the Islamic authorities continued to draw on national resentment at more than a century of British interference, damning Britain as the 'little Satan' (the US was the 'Great Satan'). Such feelings were further fed by London's support for Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, despite Baghdad having started the war and subsequently resorting to chemical weapons. London and Tehran were at loggerheads again in 1989 after the revolution's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa (religious edict) sentencing the British author, Salman Rushdie, to death for blasphemy over his novel, The Satanic Verses. The antipathy resurfaced most recently in June 2004 in an incident with uncanny parallels to the current stand-off. Then, eight British sailors were seized and paraded blindfold on state TV after allegedly straying into Iranian waters in the Shatt al-Arab waterway, where the 15 currently in detention were intercepted and arrested last Friday. On the previous occasion, the Britons were released following an apology from the foreign secretary at the time, Jack Straw.... The British RAF personnel and marines in Iran's captivity may well be oblivious to the long-accumulated resentments that have provided the backdrop to their detentions. Perhaps they are learning something of this tortured history from their captors."
A bitter legacy
Guardian, 30 March 2007

"Ever since oil was discovered there in 1908, Iran had attracted great interest from the West. The British played a dominant role there until World War II, when the Soviet Union joined them in fighting to keep the Germans out. Until 1953, the United States mostly stayed on the sidelines, advocating for an independent Iran under the leadership of the young king, Reza Shah Pahlavi. But that year, fearing that charismatic prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh might be moving Iran closer to Moscow, the CIA directed an operation to oust him and consolidate power under the Shah. "
People & Events: The Iranian Hostage Crisis, November 1979 - January 1981
Public Broadcasting Service, USA (Undated)

"The Islamic Republic of Iran was born out of a power struggle over the extent of foreign influence inside Iran. The conflict began in the early 1950s, when Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq, who intended to nationalize the country's oil wealth, momentarily seized control from Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the constitutional monarch representing Anglo-American oil interests. The CIA intervened in 1953, engineering a coup that ousted Mossadeq and reinstated Shah Pahlavi's pro-Western regime. Iranians came to perceive the shah's state, characterized by despotic repression and economic upheaval, as the betrayal of their nation for the benefit of Western powers, particularly the United States. Growing opposition to the shah found a leader in the influential cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. His calls for a new religious government, to be based on the strict fundamentalist principles of Shi'iah Islam, represented a complete rejection of Western influence and values. Khomeini's message, readily accepted by a population angry at foreign intervention, ignited the Islamic Revolution that toppled the shah in 1979. "
The Modern Past - The Islamic Republic of Iran is born out of revolution
PBS Frontline, January 2004


'Value For Money'
How To Spend $3 Trillion Of Other People's Money

And Still Be Worse Off Than When You Started

“The truth is that Iran is emerging as one of the big winners of the US and Britain's disaster in Iraq….”
The Iran Crisis Is Blair’s True Legacy
Mail On Sunday, 30 March 2007

"The war in Iraq will ultimately cost U.S. taxpayers not hundreds of billions of dollars, but an astonishing $2 trillion, and perhaps more. There has been very little in the way of public conversation, even in the presidential campaigns, about the consequences of these costs, which are like a cancer inside the American economy. On Thursday, the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Senator Chuck Schumer, conducted a public examination of the costs of the war. The witnesses included the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz (who believes the overall costs of the war — not just the cost to taxpayers — will reach $3 trillion), and Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International. Both men talked about large opportunities lost because of the money poured into the war. 'For a fraction of the cost of this war,' said Mr. Stiglitz, 'we could have put Social Security on a sound footing for the next half-century or more.' Mr. Hormats mentioned Social Security and Medicare, saying that both could have been put “on a more sustainable basis.” And he cited the committee’s own calculations from last fall that showed that the money spent on the war each day is enough to enroll an additional 58,000 children in Head Start for a year, or make a year of college affordable for 160,000 low-income students through Pell Grants, or pay the annual salaries of nearly 11,000 additional border patrol agents or 14,000 more police officers. What we’re getting instead is the stuff of nightmares.”
The $2 Trillion Nightmare
New York Times, 4 March 2008

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article3419840.ece

From

February 23, 2008

The three trillion dollar war

The cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have grown to staggering proportions

The Bush Administration was wrong about the benefits of the war and it was wrong about the costs of the war. The president and his advisers expected a quick, inexpensive conflict. Instead, we have a war that is costing more than anyone could have imagined.

The cost of direct US military operations - not even including long-term costs such as taking care of wounded veterans - already exceeds the cost of the 12-year war in Vietnam and is more than double the cost of the Korean War.

And, even in the best case scenario, these costs are projected to be almost ten times the cost of the first Gulf War, almost a third more than the cost of the Vietnam War, and twice that of the First World War. The only war in our history which cost more was the Second World War, when 16.3 million U.S. troops fought in a campaign lasting four years, at a total cost (in 2007 dollars, after adjusting for inflation) of about $5 trillion (that's $5 million million, or 2.5 million million). With virtually the entire armed forces committed to fighting the Germans and Japanese, the cost per troop (in today's dollars) was less than $100,000 in 2007 dollars. By contrast, the Iraq war is costing upward of $400,000 per troop.

Most Americans have yet to feel these costs. The price in blood has been paid by our voluntary military and by hired contractors. The price in treasure has, in a sense, been financed entirely by borrowing. Taxes have not been raised to pay for it - in fact, taxes on the rich have actually fallen. Deficit spending gives the illusion that the laws of economics can be repealed, that we can have both guns and butter. But of course the laws are not repealed. The costs of the war are real even if they have been deferred, possibly to another generation.

On the eve of war, there were discussions of the likely costs. Larry Lindsey, President Bush's economic adviser and head of the National Economic Council, suggested that they might reach $200 billion. But this estimate was dismissed as “baloney” by the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld. His deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, suggested that postwar reconstruction could pay for itself through increased oil revenues. Mitch Daniels, the Office of Management and Budget director, and Secretary Rumsfeld estimated the costs in the range of $50 to $60 billion, a portion of which they believed would be financed by other countries. (Adjusting for inflation, in 2007 dollars, they were projecting costs of between $57 and $69 billion.) The tone of the entire administration was cavalier, as if the sums involved were minimal.

Even Lindsey, after noting that the war could cost $200 billion, went on to say: “The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy.” In retrospect, Lindsey grossly underestimated both the costs of the war itself and the costs to the economy. Assuming that Congress approves the rest of the $200 billion war supplemental requested for fiscal year 2008, as this book goes to press Congress will have appropriated a total of over $845 billion for military operations, reconstruction, embassy costs, enhanced security at US bases, and foreign aid programmes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As the fifth year of the war draws to a close, operating costs (spending on the war itself, what you might call “running expenses”) for 2008 are projected to exceed $12.5 billion a month for Iraq alone, up from $4.4 billion in 2003, and with Afghanistan the total is $16 billion a month. Sixteen billion dollars is equal to the annual budget of the United Nations, or of all but 13 of the US states. Even so, it does not include the $500 billion we already spend per year on the regular expenses of the Defence Department. Nor does it include other hidden expenditures, such as intelligence gathering, or funds mixed in with the budgets of other departments.

Because there are so many costs that the Administration does not count, the total cost of the war is higher than the official number. For example, government officials frequently talk about the lives of our soldiers as priceless. But from a cost perspective, these “priceless” lives show up on the Pentagon ledger simply as $500,000 - the amount paid out to survivors in death benefits and life insurance. After the war began, these were increased from $12,240 to $100,000 (death benefit) and from $250,000 to $400,000 (life insurance). Even these increased amounts are a fraction of what the survivors might have received had these individuals lost their lives in a senseless automobile accident. In areas such as health and safety regulation, the US Government values a life of a young man at the peak of his future earnings capacity in excess of

$7 million - far greater than the amount that the military pays in death benefits. Using this figure, the cost of the nearly 4,000 American troops killed in Iraq adds up to some $28 billion.

The costs to society are obviously far larger than the numbers that show up on the government's budget. Another example of hidden costs is the understating of US military casualties. The Defence Department's casualty statistics focus on casualties that result from hostile (combat) action - as determined by the military. Yet if a soldier is injured or dies in a night-time vehicle accident, this is officially dubbed “non combat related” - even though it may be too unsafe for soldiers to travel during daytime.

In fact, the Pentagon keeps two sets of books. The first is the official casualty list posted on the DOD website. The second, hard-to-find, set of data is available only on a different website and can be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. This data shows that the total number of soldiers who have been wounded, injured, or suffered from disease is double the number wounded in combat. Some will argue that a percentage of these non-combat injuries might have happened even if the soldiers were not in Iraq. Our new research shows that the majority of these injuries and illnesses can be tied directly to service in the war.

From the unhealthy brew of emergency funding, multiple sets of books, and chronic underestimates of the resources required to prosecute the war, we have attempted to identify how much we have been spending - and how much we will, in the end, likely have to spend. The figure we arrive at is more than $3 trillion. Our calculations are based on conservative assumptions. They are conceptually simple, even if occasionally technically complicated. A $3 trillion figure for the total cost strikes us as judicious, and probably errs on the low side. Needless to say, this number represents the cost only to the United States. It does not reflect the enormous cost to the rest of the world, or to Iraq.

From the beginning, the United Kingdom has played a pivotal role - strategic, military, and political - in the Iraq conflict. Militarily, the UK contributed 46,000 troops, 10 per cent of the total. Unsurprisingly, then, the British experience in Iraq has paralleled that of America: rising casualties, increasing operating costs, poor transparency over where the money is going, overstretched military resources, and scandals over the squalid conditions and inadequate medical care for some severely wounded veterans.

Before the war, Gordon Brown set aside 1 billion for war spending. As of late 2007, the UK had spent an estimated 7 billion in direct operating expenditures in Iraq and Afghanistan (76 per cent of it in Iraq). This includes money from a supplemental “special reserve”, plus additional spending from the Ministry of Defence.

The special reserve comes on top of the UK's regular defence budget. The British system is particularly opaque: funds from the special reserve are “drawn down” by the Ministry of Defence when required, without specific approval by Parliament. As a result, British citizens have little clarity about how much is actually being spent.

In addition, the social costs in the UK are similar to those in the US - families who leave jobs to care for wounded soldiers, and diminished quality of life for those thousands left with disabilities.

By the same token, there are macroeconomic costs to the UK as there have been to America, though the long-term costs may be less, for two reasons. First, Britain did not have the same policy of fiscal profligacy; and second, until 2005, the United Kingdom was a net oil exporter.

We have assumed that British forces in Iraq are reduced to 2,500 this year and remain at that level until 2010. We expect that British forces in Afghanistan will increase slightly, from 7,000 to 8,000 in 2008, and remain stable for three years. The House of Commons Defence Committee has recently found that despite the cut in troop levels, Iraq war costs will increase by 2 per cent this year and personnel costs will decrease by only 5 per cent. Meanwhile, the cost of military operations in Afghanistan is due to rise by 39 per cent. The estimates in our model may be significantly too low if these patterns continue.

Based on assumptions set out in our book, the budgetary cost to the UK of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through 2010 will total more than 18 billion. If we include the social costs, the total impact on the UK will exceed 20 billion.

Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes, 2008. Extracted from The Three Trillion Dollar War, to be published by Allen Lane on February 28 (20). Copies can be ordered for 18 with free delivery from The Times BooksFirst 0870 1608080.

Joseph Stiglitz was chief economist at the World Bank and won the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics in 2001. Linda Bilmes is a lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University


Hot The Incredible Story So Far - Click Here For Full 'Fight Smart' Archives Hot


'We Need A New Way Of Thinking' - Consciousness-Based Education


NLPWESSEX, natural law publishing
nlpwessex.org