Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project
| December 29, 2006      

Gerald Ford A common ruse among Mossadegh detractors and 1953 coup apologists is to call into question the democratic credentials of the popular Iranian Prime Minister. Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh was elected by Iran's parliament in 1951. By 1953, his government was overthrown largely by a covert CIA plot administered by the Eisenhower administration. Over the years, some have tried to defend the coup by arguing that because the Premier was elected by Parliament and not by popular vote, and that subsequently, the Shah ceremoniously appointed him, that somehow renders him a non-democratic leader. Even if these claims were accurate, it's a pretty feeble argument for interfering in the affairs of another country. By that logic, a given nation would be justified in overthrowing any foreign government — at its pleasure — which wasn't democratically elected.

A case in point would be Gerald Ford (1913-2006), a man who succeeded in becoming Vice President, and later, President of the United States without ever having been elected. Not a single American cast their vote for the appointed President Ford, Commander in Chief and leader of the free world, in 1974.

In his only legitimate race for the Presidency in 1976, he was defeated by Jimmy Carter, and soon withdrew to a long retirement of golf and leisure. The lavish Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, operated by the federal government with funds paid by U.S. taxpayers who never elected him, sits in his boyhood hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. As Ford admitted in a nationwide address immediately following his taking the oath of office on August 9, 1974:

Gerald Ford being sworn in as President "I am acutely aware that you have not elected me as your President by your ballots, and so I ask you to confirm me as your President with your prayers. ...I have not campaigned either for the Presidency or the Vice Presidency. I have not subscribed to any partisan platform. I am indebted to no man, and only to one woman—my dear wife—as I begin this very difficult job.

I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it."

What was Gerald Ford's view of the coup against the elected leader of Iran, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh? Here are his words during a speech at Missouri University on February 23, 1968:

"Look at the Democratic record and compare it with the previous Republican record.

The Eisenhower Administration prevented half a dozen threats from developing into wars. There was Trieste, the Mossadegh uprising in Iran, Guatemala, Formosa, Suez, Lebanon, Quemoy, and West Berlin. All these international crises resolved without war."

Note the choice of words: the "uprising" in Iran — that very word connotes resistance of oppression and injustice. In the imperial mindset, popular nationalist movements represent a "threat" to its interests, tempting that power to resort to coercion or violence to maintain its dominant position.

70th Anniversary of TIME’s Man of the Year Article


Related links:

Gerald Ford Toasting the Shah of Iran - May 15, 1975

President Jimmy Carter: 1953 Coup is "Ancient History"

President Barack Obama on U.S. Role in 1953 Coup

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

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Tumblr   Instagram