Fair-Minded Diplomacy

January 26, 1952 — Detroit Free Press (Letter)

Arash Norouzi

The Mossadegh Project | September 6, 2021                   

This Letter to the Editor of a Michigan newspaper took the country to task for toeing the British line in its foreign policy, and nominated a highly ambitious U.S. industrialist to work his magic on the Iranian oil sector.

January 26, 1952
We Lead in All but Leadership Says
U.S. Foreign Policy Critic

WE AMERICANS are prone to take our friends for granted and cater to our enemies, as exemplified by our foreign policy.

Following the foreign policy of the crumbling British Empire spells disaster for us. We admire Winston Churchill for his outspoken patriotism, then proceed to become associate British subjects, except that we have reintroduced “taxation without representation” after fighting a war to throw it out, in our negotiations with England.

Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh (1882-1967) The Iranian oil problem is a specific case, with Egypt’s fight against English domination sharing the world spotlight. Iran, a poor but proud country, through its patriotic Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, ejected Britain primarily because it wanted to retain some measure of self-respect. The tragic part is that our Country is standing by, in obedience to Britain’s wish, in its attempt to starve them into negotiating.

The Iranians, Lebanese, Syrians, Arabians, Iraqui, Egyptians and others of the Middle East have proven beyond a doubt that they held our country in high regard and esteem, but thanks to our “British” foreign policy, we have alienated them from our fold.

If England needs dollars to rally her economy, let her sit down and offer to relinquish her holdings in Iran as collateral or sell them to us outright. For once, in our dealings with her, let us get something for our money, besides the privilege to have her come back for more. This gives Britain a chance to save “face.”

Henry J. Kaiser (1882-1967) Bring in the man who symbolizes American industrial initiative, energy, enterprise and fairness, Henry J. Kaiser. His reputation for breaking bottlenecks in production without breaking people is world-famous. His methods in industrial and labor relations would re-create friendship and trust.

[Kaiser (1882-1967) was a visionary U.S. industrialist known for shipbuilding, construction, steel, aluminum, gravel, cement, cars, dams (including the Hoover Dam), roads, schools, hospitals, the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort and Hawaii Kai residential community, as well as the Kaiser Permanente health system]

Wherever he sets up his organizations, indirectly acting as an American good will ambassador, Henry J. Kaiser would train the Iranians to become self-sufficient in the shortest time, and operate the refinery in Abadan at a profit, to repay the United States for the money loaned to Iran to pay Britain. Iran, on the other hand, could then truly enjoy the pleasure of real independence, paying its way, learning, progressing and taking its place among the nations of the world with its head held high. Pride then would not be an empty phrase.

The people of the Middle East are people of honor, principle and tradition, dying or starving for that which they believe is right. In conclusion, let’s give ourselves a chance to be patriots, too, by thinking of our own welfare when we sit across the conference tables in foreign negotiations.

Let’s allow the world to see that we conduct our foreign policy in the same fair-minded manner we conduct our individual business, in which everyone concerned is benefited. America is a leader in everything except leadership as a world leader, she should lead, not follow!


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Related links:

In Defense Of Mossadegh | Letter to the Editor, Detroit Free Press, Dec. 11, 1953

Underwriting Colonialism | Hamilton Butler on Iran, Jan. 6, 1952

Nationalism | The Herald and Review (Decatur), Oct. 26, 1951

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

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