February 06, 2005

Condoleezza Rice: Defender of Freedom

"I don't think anybody thinks that the unelected mullahs who run that regime are a good thing, for either the Iranian people or for the region. The region is going in a quite different direction," she told reporters on her flight to London. "I think our European allies agree that the Iranian regime's human rights behavior, and its behavior towards its own population, is something to be loathed."

Check out that Condi! What a diplomat. Madeline Albright eat your heart out. It makes me feel good just knowing "Dr" Rice is out there showing the world how wonderful Americans can be.

Just out of idle curiosity, lets see how those "unelected mullahs" got to be in charge.

In 1953, Iran's prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq, who had been elected to parliament in 1923 and again in 1944, and who had been prime minister since 1951, was removed from power in a complex plot orchestrated by British and US intelligence agencies ("Operation Ajax"). Many scholars suspect that this ouster was motivated by British-US opposition to Mossadeq's attempt to nationalize Iran's oil. Following Mossadeq's fall, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Iran's monarch) grew increasingly dictatorial. With strong support from the USA and the UK, the Shah further modernized Iranian industry but crushed civil liberties. His autocratic rule, including systematic torture and other human rights violations, led to the Iranian revolution and overthrow of his regime in 1979. After over a year of political struggle between a variety of different groups, an Islamic republic was established under the Ayatollah Khomeini by popular vote.

I think that means we backed an oppressive dictator to secure our oil supply, then the Iranians decided on a policy of regime change. I'm not sure how they arranged to have a popular vote without US support, but they did.

However, in more recent years, the democratic political structure has led to the election of many reformist politicians, including the president, Mohammad Khatami. During the first decade of the 21st century, the struggle between reformists and conservatives over the future of the country continues through electoral politics.

That sounds pretty democratic to me, but what do I know. So now we're back to toppling legitimately elected governments. The War on Terror could learn a few lessons from the Cold War.

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