Smoking Gun

October 19, 1951 — U.S. Editorial

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | April 12, 2016                     

Pakistan Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan (1896-1951)

On October 16, 1951, while Premier Mossadegh was in the United States, the first Pakistani Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated. The precise motive remains a mystery to this day.

The tragedy turned into an opportunity to propagandize about the Soviet menace, even though the correlation exactly didn’t apply. An editorial circulating at the time assumed the murder was Russian-inspired, though the recent deaths it cited for comparison generally had no Communist connection (Islamic fanaticism and/or political enmity were the culprits in most cases). It also attempted to equate Communism and nationalism as twin evils in the developing world, a theme gaining traction in media such as TIME magazine.

There is no verifiable author for this nakedly pro-British non-syndicated editorial, which was published in various U.S. newspapers shortly after Khan’s death.

Anarchy in the East

The assassination of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali of Pakistan follows a bloody pattern.

It is the method of anarchists, who destroy whom they cannot control, a method used effectively by Bolsheviks to intimidate constituted authority before they took over power in Russia. It bears all the earmarks of Communist inspiration, if not of actual export.

The wave of assassination in the Moslem World can benefit only one great power, Russia. Insofar as it weakens Britain, it pushes into the Russian sphere some 200,000,000 more people, whose importance transcends their numbers because their lands bridge the East and the West.

A number of lesser personalities have been assassinated in the last two years in Islamic countries—the police chief of Cairo, [Salim Zaki Pasha in Dec. 1948] so-called strong men of Syria and Iraq, the King of Jordan, [King Abdullah] the Premier of Iran, [Gen. Ali Razmara] and now of Pakistan.

These men stood out as friends of Britain who would not bow to fanatical Nationalists. Their deaths have, notably in Iran, impoverished their country, and elsewhere fomented unrest, all fertile soil for Communism.

The conclusion is inescapable, that here is a battlefield which the Soviets are winning by ruse and conspiracy, as they have won their major post-war victories elsewhere.

Newspapers that published this editorial included:

The Oil City Blizzard (Oil City, Pennsylvania) — October 19, 1951
The Janesville Daily Gazette (Janesville, Wisconsin) — Oct. 19 (title: Killing Benefits Only the Soviets)
The Owosso Argus-Press (Owosso, Michigan) — October 20, 1951
The Raleigh Register (Beckley, West Virginia) — October 21, 1951


Related links:

Woes in the Near East | U.S. editorial, October 19, 1951

Terror In Iran | The Knickerbocker News, August 9, 1952

Not An Iranian Problem | The Lethbridge Herald, October 12, 1951

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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