The 1953 Coup in Iran Was An Act of War
That’s the Newfound Wisdom of the #TrumpRussia Epoch

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | August 19, 2018                      

The 1953 Coup in Iran Was An Act of War: That’s the Newfound Wisdom of the #TrumpRussia Epoch | by Arash Norouzi

August 19, 1953: On this day 65 years ago, the United States and Britain culminated its deliberate act of war against a vulnerable allied nation — Iran.

This, according to the sober assessment of an unlikely group of newly enlightened patriots. You see, Russia’s interference in the 2016 Presidential election has compelled much of the American political establishment to wholly acknowledge that intervening in the political affairs of another country — something the U.S. has done repeatedly all over the world for generations — constitutes warfare. Some have gone as far as likening the Russian attacks to Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

This is intriguing, because for years members of the interventionist camp have either downplayed the Iranian grievance, or dismissed it as some sort of left-wing farce. Some of these hucksters have even resorted to claiming that despite Anglo-American efforts, the coup was purely a domestic affair (as if this would justify their predatory shenanigans). Now, some of these same folks have been forced to unwittingly make the case against their own indefensible policies.

It Can Happen Here

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter, Congresswoman Liz Cheney, are chafed by the mere mention of the CIA’s “alleged” role in the 1953 coup (that’s right, they call it “alleged”). When Pres. Obama briefly acknowledged the U.S. role in his 2009 Cairo speech, Liz read him the riot act on TV and in print. They assert that the 444-day 1979 hostage crisis — a long-term consequence of the coup — was a crime of far more gravity than the U.S. decision to crush a popular, elected government in Iran, replace it with an oppressive, torturing military dictatorship, and help sustain it for over 26 years.1

But now Dick Cheney, channeling Paul Revere, sounds the alarm bells about Putin and Russia’s campaign to undermine U.S. democracy. “In some quarters”, Cheney tells us, “that would be considered an act of war”.2

Veteran Senator John McCain, no isolationist, agrees. “When you attack a country, it’s an act of war,” said McCain in reference to Russian cyber warfare and election hacking, adding that in response the U.S. must punish Russia and stop these “attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy.”3

The same week, Senator Lindsey Graham, complaining that his own campaign e-mails were hacked, released a joint statement with McCain condemning Russia’s “brazen attack on American democracy”.4

Remember the days when Congressman Ron Paul was derided by his fellow Republicans for regularly citing blowback from Operation Ajax and making statements like “To me, if you overthrow a regime, it’s an act of war...”?

Likewise, former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, feeling robbed, has condemned Russia’s actions as “a direct attack on our democracy”, and warns of a repeat of this meddling in the 2018 midterm elections as well.5 Yet she previously supported armed intervention and regime change in Libya, endorsed a U.S.-backed military coup in Honduras, voted to invade Iraq, and even wanted to manipulate Palestinian parliamentary elections to benefit the U.S. and Israel.

Hillary’s friend Henry Kissinger is far more reserved, calling Russia’s meddling “not acceptable”.6 Yet the veteran statesman believes the 1953 coup and U.S. support for the Shah was quite acceptable. Do we really need a recitation of his résumé to appreciate the irony?

John Bolton, whose thirst for war and foreign intervention seems limitless, thinks overthrowing Mossadegh was justified and that no apology is in order. In response to Russian meddling, however, he declares that when it comes to the United States, “no foreign intervention in our constitutional process is acceptable”, and that “attempting to undermine America’s constitution is far more than just a quotidian covert operation. It is in fact a casus belli, a true act of war, and one Washington will never tolerate.”7

In his recent post as Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser, Bolton joins an administration that is openly pursuing “regime change” in Iran. And whom should replace the Islamic Republic? Bolton and Trump’s lawyer/toady Rudy Giuliani, among other U.S. politicians, personally endorse a hated hijab-clad Iranian exile terrorist cult in its place, one which rhetorically worships at the altar of . . . Mossadegh.

Another senior Trump official, Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, is also mad at Russia. “When a country can come interfere in another country’s elections”, she says, “that is warfare. It really is, because you’re making sure that the democracy shifts from what the people want to giving out that misinformation. And we didn’t just see it here....they are doing this everywhere. This is their new weapon of choice.”8

Covert action has been a weapon of choice for the United States since the early days of the Cold War, but to be on the receiving end for a change feels strange, doesn’t it? Though it’s long been assumed that American institutions were immune from such foreign molestation, that was before the age of cyber warfare and the untamed internet came into being.

None Dare Call It Treason?

If meddling in another country’s political affairs is an “act of war”, then it logically follows that those who collude or side with the enemy nation are guilty of an act of treason.

Just as Iranian traitors (royalists, Islamists, and various opportunists) made the demise of democracy and rise of tyranny in Iran possible, the Trump crime family, his coterie of sycophants, the Republican party, and the fanatical #MAGA cultists have actively or passively allowed untold damage to their own norms and institutions — the Constitution, Freedom of Speech, civil discourse, even the notion of objective reality.

If Trump — authoritarian // demagogue // pathological liar // white supremacist // megalomaniac // bully — is indeed guilty of collusion, as one former CIA Director9 alleges, then he is not only a traitor to his country, but the central figure in an historic American coup.

Thereafter, like the 1953 Coup, the 2016 Coup will be obsessed over for generations, become the source of endless division and doubt, and may permanently undermine public confidence in the stability of America’s democratic institutions.

It’s all fun and games until it happens to you.


1 Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America (2015) by Dick Cheney and Liz Cheney
2 Dick Cheney, speech at the Economic Times Global Business Summit in New Delhi, India — March 27, 2017 [link]
3 John McCain in a Ukrainian TV interview, December 31, 2016 [link]
4 Senators John McCain (Rep.-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (Rep.-SC) joint statement: December 29, 2016 [link]
5 Hillary Clinton at the Ozy Festival, NYC — July 21, 2018 [link]
6 Henry Kissinger on The Charlie Rose Show — August 17, 2017 [link]
7 Putin looked Trump in the eye and lied. Negotiate with Russia at our peril — John Bolton in The Daily Telegraph, July 10, 2017 [link]
8 Nikki Haley at the George W. Bush Institute in NYC — October 19, 2017 [link]
9 John Brennan: President Trump’s Claims Of No Collusion Are Hogwash – Op-Ed in The New York Times, August 16 , 2018 [link]

2021: The Year of the American Coup | by Arash Norouzi
Heartless: Donald J. Trump | Brainless: Shaban Jafari


Related links:

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

LOST IN IRAQ: The Shah’s Baghdad Sojourn | Aug. 16-17, 1953

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

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