2021: The Year of the American Coup
They Want Us To Forget January 6th (We Won’t)

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | August 19, 2021                     

Same energy — Heartless: Donald J. Trump | Brainless: Shaban Jafari

Each year at this time the Mossadegh Project commemorates the 1953 coup in Iran with a new article examining a specific aspect of the event.

This year, however, we’ll be pondering what used to be unthinkable — an ongoing American Coup. From a savage insurrection to the Republican cover-up and relentless voter suppression campaign, it’s a shocking, karmic tale overflowing with irony. Especially for those peoples around the world who’ve been on the receiving end of such tomfoolery.

The signs of moral decay were always there. U.S. society had been increasingly plagued by hyper-partisanship, rampant inequality, anti-intellectualism, and an overall decline in civility and mental health for a long time. Finally, all that dysfunction and toxicity led to the brink of disaster — the near demise of democracy itself.

2021 is the year America hit rock bottom.

For all its faults, the U.S. system of government isn’t prone to the chaos and instability of a Myanmar or a Venezuela. Americans cherish their freedom too much, and there are guardrails to prevent that from ever happening in the first place.

A country born of revolution to liberate itself from tyranny, which led the battle in two world wars, and proclaims itself #1, blessed by God above, is not about to throw it all away so easily — or so we assumed.

Look Into the Crystal Ball...

Imagine a fortune teller years ago predicting the country’s fate: an incumbent U.S. president refuses to accept the election results, declares it “rigged” without basis, and attempts to remain in office by any means. Most people, U.S. citizens or not, would find that pretty hard to fathom. One malcontented loser ending the great American Experiment? No way.

What if the psychic further described the POTUS in question as an obese, orange, self-confessed sexual predator whose most recent gig prior to the White House was on reality TV? And that he’d already been impeached once (only for the third time in US. history), soon to be impeached twice (first and only!).

Oh, and all the while, a deadly pandemic ravaged the country, shutting down much of everyday life and killing over 622,000 Americans — more than the combined fatalities of most U.S. wars. This President, however, is more interested in tweeting, holding superspreader hate rallies and watching TV while Americans suffer. Then, after severely downplaying it for months, he contracts the virus himself, causing him and his staff to fear for his life!

Nevertheless, this crazed despot is deified by millions as some kind of superman. Their cult-like devotion supersedes not only the sanctified institutions, norms and traditions they had grown up with, but even their very survival.

Many also belong to the “QAnon” cult, which believes that a conspiracy of anti-Trump Democrats and Hollywood celebrities such as Tom Hanks are secretly Satan-worshipping child sex traffickers who eat babies and drink the blood of children for strength.

Baby needs a diaper change

A wave of mass hysteria reminiscent of the Jonestown tragedy, magnified millions of times over? Naaah. Can’t happen here. Or so we thought.

But these aren’t normal times, and we aren’t dealing with a normal figure or a rational populace. This is a guy whose every word or gesture reeks of authoritarianism. His petulant, antagonistic, perpetually aggrieved man-baby persona inhabits every pore, every fiber of his being. With his ridiculous hair, fake tan and putrid expressions, anyone with a lick of sense, conservative or not, should have been able to spot this freak of nature a mile away.

The events of the past four years have fully vindicated this view. There’s nothing partisan about it, just a clear-eyed, level headed assessment of the atmosphere and the threat of fascism on the horizon. Donald Trump never really disguised what he was, all you had to do was believe him the first time.

In Feb. 2017, I predicted that Trump would relish a ‘Reichstag fire’ moment to seize or maintain power. Hyperbole? Not according to the nation’s top U.S. general four years later.

Recognizing that Trump was clearly laying the groundwork for a coup, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told aides that Trump’s rhetoric was “the gospel of the Führer”, warning ominously “This is a Reichstag moment”. Milley had two such fears: that Trump would either attempt a military coup, or he would strike Iran, setting off a full-blown war.

Trump, of course, denied everything: “I’m not into coups!”

Obviously, Trump is “into” whatever it takes to maintain his position. He’s an “instinctive fascist”, as his own niece Mary Trump aptly describes him. He’s also a pathological liar and a malignant narcissist beyond comprehension.

Narcissists by nature are masters of the art of projection, accusing others of what they themselves are doing. Trump displayed this trait in 2019 when he described the Mueller investigation into his alleged connection to Russia and their attempts to subvert the 2016 election in his favor as a “coup”. “This was an attempted overthrow of the United States government”, he whined to FOX News’ Sean Hannity at the time.

FOX News: A Coup In America?

The word “coup” entered the political vernacular in 2017, when Republicans accused the FBI of attempting to overthrow Trump. Most unusual, if not unprecedented, in American life.

Yet what Trump was being investigating for was itself an alleged coup attempt — employing illegitimate means to become President. Speaking at the podium while campaigning, he openly beseeched Russia to spy on his opponent. His firing of the FBI Director screamed cover-up and obstruction of justice.

In July 2018 he leveraged the power of the state to try and obtain a quid pro quo from Ukraine to use against his likely challenger in the next election. “I would like you to do us a favor though,” he asked shamelessly. For this he was impeached on two counts: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The extra scrutiny he despised was all brought on by himself.

Crime and No Punishment

When Trump lost the Presidency to Joe Biden, he had already discredited anything less than a victory in advance, attacking the widespread use of mail-in ballots and insisting the whole thing was “rigged” against him.

Desperate and humiliated, Trump then consumed himself not with governing, but with devising ways in which he could overturn the election.

• In December 2020, Trump threatened to fire Justice Department officials if they refused to back up his baseless claims of election fraud.

• Trump also pestered Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen.”

• On January 2, 2021, Trump tried coercing and threatening election officials in Georgia to “find” the exact number of votes (11,780) for him to win the state. “Give me a break”, he whimpered, bewildered that his fellow Republicans would not break the law and violate their oaths for him.

• Then on January 6th, a day that will live in infamy, Trump pressured Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the results in Congress.

• Knowing the unlikelihood of this happening since it’s not even a thing, he hedged his bets by holding a massive rally on the same day, and aimed his rabid followers at the Capitol building, which they violently invaded, temporarily stopping the counting process. Their murderous rampage spared no one — not Capitol police, not even Mike Pence, whom they wanted to lynch right there on the Capitol steps. They even brought the gallows!

These terrorists did not come out of nowhere. They were radicalized by right-wing media, shielded by white privilege, and legitimized by the highest authority in the land.

They came armed with weapons and bear spray, they waved Confederate flags and sported pro-Holocaust attire. They smashed doors and windows, defecated on the floor, invaded the offices of representatives, desecrated the people’s house and took selfies of themselves doing it. They came for “trial by combat”, as Rudy Giuliani instructed them earlier at the so-called “Stop the Steal” rally. The previous evening, two pipe bombs were planted in the area.

Four police officers on the scene have since committed suicide. At least 138 were injured, including brain trauma and the loss of an eye. Yet the Republican Party, which unjustly hoards the pro-police mantle, disparages these heroes and spits on their sacrifice. Some go as far as diminishing the events of January 6th as just another tourist visit.

It’s revisionism in real time, not unlike the arrogant gaslighting we’ve heard for decades from the same political wing which helped finance, plan and orchestrate the tragic events of August 19, 1953, a day in which at least a hundred Iranians died.

Armed and Brainless

Months after that violent coup in Iran, a well known American columnist who approved of Mossadegh’s fall now expressed alarm at the use of a notorious street thug to club regime opponents into submission.

In February 1953, Shaban “Bimokh” had rammed a jeep into Premier Mossadegh’s house, hoping to kill him. Released from jail immediately after the coup, he took to the streets once again and later savagely stabbed the former Foreign Minister, Hossein Fatemi, with impunity. Brandishing a loaded gun in public, he remained a loyal henchman of the Shah for years afterward. Mused Marquis Childs:

Shaban Jafari (“Brainless”) “The New York Times reports that the Zahedi regime is making use of one Shaban Jafari, a former wrestler, who beats up pamphleteers opposing the regime while Zahedi’s police follow up by arresting the victims. Jafari rejoices in the name of Beemokh, which means the brainless one.

Every country has its Beemokhs and lately their number seems to be increasing. In the West these brainless ones mean the death of everything Western civilization has achieved...”

Like January 6th, the siege of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh’s house by mindless mobs in August 1953 was deeply disturbing. One eyewitness remembered the disgusting sight of these “absolutely ignorant people” who looted the residence “in the most ferocious manner…they even took out the windows and doors.”2 That witness was Mossadegh’s grandson, Hedayat Matin Daftari.

The CIA’s Richard Cottam later described them as a “mercenary mob” with “no ideology...paid for by American dollars.”3 Perhaps that explains why even the U.S. Point Four mission next door was not spared from their destructive rampage.

“They did not know what they were doing”, explained Daftari, his voice heavy with emotion. “They did not know that they were in fact hitting at the roots of their own political institutions and democracy.”


1 Marquis Childs, February 6, 1954 syndicated column
2 Witness: Iran Coup — BBC World Service program by Alan Johnston, 2010.
3 End of Empire interview, Granada Televison, 1985

• This piece is practically a sequel to The 1953 Coup in Iran Was An Act of War: That’s the Newfound Wisdom of the #TrumpRussia Epoch (August 19, 2018)

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Related links:

The U.S.-British Alliance To Erase Mossadegh Was Not Inevitable

THE FOLLY OF COUP-DENIAL: Negating History For Political Expediency | by Arash Norouzi

“What the U.S. Has Always Wished For Iran” | CIA Draft Statement To Follow 1953 Coup

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

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