Crime and Punishment
Spartan Daily — November 30, 1979

The Mossadegh Project | April 25, 2017                               


This is one of three letters to the editor on Iran published simultaneously in Spartan Daily, the student newspaper of San Jose State University (SJSU). The writer, an undeclared sophomore, later majored in Political Science and ran for office in the student body.

United States backed coup; now in trouble


This is in response to Bill Shivell’s letter in Wednesday’s Daily. He invites Cheryl Hamlin to “wake up and take a good look at what is happening in the world.” Mr. Shivell, did you see what happened in 1952? [Aug. 1953]

When the CIA backed a coup to reinstate the shah after he had been thrown out of power? When the United States did that, they asked for trouble and now they’ve got it. When the United States backed that coup they signed the death certificates of those 49 hostages. [Fortunately all Americans were returned safely]

And remember, no one forced those 49 to go to Iran. [52 hostages] They aren’t innocent, they knew how the United States had supported the shah while he killed thousands of Iranians. Yet they still went. How did they expect the Iranian people to treat them when the CIA had trained the shah’s Savak? [security forces]

I certainly hope no one reading this will use the childish cliche “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” There is a difference between crime and punishment. Supporting the shah was the crime and now we see the punishment.

We are all guilty of the United States supporting the shah because we did not force the U.S. government to stop supporting him. Silence is consent.

Some people say we’re seeing the decline of American influence around the world. I say we’re seeing a decline in American imperialism. Let’s not forget that the Iranian people want the same thing we Americans think we have, freedom.

Miguel Delgadillo
Undeclared, sophomore


Related links:

U.S. must make amends with Iran | Letter to the Editor (Jan. 7, 1980)

Deport the criminal Shah | Spartan Daily (1979 letters)

White Liberal Guilt, Iranians and U.S. Hostages (1979 letters)

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

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