No Nutritional Value
Columnist Erich Brandeis — May 3, 1954

The Mossadegh Project | July 10, 2021                    

Mossadegh Still Formidable Political Threat In Iran Despite Indictment On Treason Charge | INS, Oct. 7, 1953

Here’s some rhetorical junk food by King Features Syndicate columnist Erich Brandeis in 1954. It contains no informational or nutritional value, but perhaps a little historical value in exposing the willful ignorance of the time. Of course, a year earlier Brandeis was actually complimentary toward Dr. Mossadegh, but that was then.

Looking At Life . . . by Erich Brandeis

A lot of people got a good laugh out of Mohammed Mossadegh’s recent hunger strike in Teheran’s prison, where he is lodged pending his appeal from a three-year treason sentence.

Prison officials say that while he was pretending to be on a “hunger fast unto death,” he was in reality fudging by eating cookies, chocolates and vitamin pills after dark. Mossadegh also refused to attend his trial because there were not enough spectators in the courtroom, and because the newspapers did not give him enough space in their columns.

Mossadegh, once Premier of Iran, was already known to the world as a colossal faker and ham. But this latest exploit of his made him the laughing stock of all the world. It is not so comical, however, when you take into consideration the fact that a whole country with enormous oil resources was entrusted to his keeping, and that he brought it close to the brink of ruin with his insane shenanigans.

While ordinarily this man would be only a symbol of how far dictators will go to perpetuate their follies, nevertheless he also is a symbol of human folly in general. It just goes to show what can befall a country when a completely irresponsible satrap sets himself up as a “leader” and makes his people believe that he is acting for their good, when in reality he is trying only to aggrandize himself and replenish his own fortunes.

[Mossadegh not only shunned self-aggrandizement, he also took no salary and paid his own expenses, a financial loss!]

By the way, I am somewhat of a Mossadegh myself, and I suppose many of you are, too. My doctor has told me that I’m getting too fat. He ordered me to take off at least 10 pounds by cutting down on my food intake. Of late my pants have had to he let out an inch, my belt had to be loosened a couple notches, and my breath was getting short when I was coming back up hill from the mailbox.

So I asked the wife to cut down on my food. For breakfast I had nothing but a little orange juice, two cups of coffee with very little cream and sugar and a couple of slices of zwieback without any butter. For a while it was wonderful. After a bit more than a week I had lost two pounds, and I was well on the way to losing some more.

Then I started to Mossadegh. When the wife was out shopping I sneaked to her candy box and swiped a few pieces of chocolate-covered fruits or nuts. Or I’d go to the refrigerator and cut me a slice of bread, spread a half inch of butter on it, cover the whole business with a slab of ham and have myself a feast. Pretty soon my weight went up again.

My wife told me that she couldn’t understand how, on such a rigid diet as mine, I could gain weight. How, on a dinner of lamb chops, spinach and a bit of fruit for dessert, could I have put on four pounds in one week?

Then my conscience started to bother me. I quit the snacks and now my weight is almost back to normal again. Isn’t there an old proverb that the way to hell is paved with good intentions? And the surest way to get there is by not translating good intentions into deeds.

Iranian Transgender Teen: Farideh > Farhad Najafi (1953)
Iranian Transgender Teen: Farideh > Farhad Najafi (1953)


Related links:

A Cookie Nibbler Cannot Be A Hero | The Progress-Index, April 15, 1954

Mossy Chickens Out | The Oregonian, May 1954 editorial

IRAN SNIPPETS | More Rim Shots From the Mossadegh Era (1951-53)

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

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