Thinking Liberally

The Morning News — April 18, 1951

The Mossadegh Project | October 6, 2021                  

An editorial on Iran in The Morning News newspaper of Wilmington, Delaware.

Iran: Enemies of the People

In the good old days when Americans still believed that wars could be prevented by a neutrality act, there was a good deal of talk about the role of the oil of the Middle East. Another cause of wars, it was said, was the greedy game of the big powers seeking control over these rich oil resources.

Even today, some confused liberals are saying that the dispute over the oil of Iran is so tawdry that the United States should wash its hands of the whole affair. Things are not really that simple, and liberals who think so are more confused than usual.

For it is the hidebound reactionaries of Iran, the men who hate everything liberals believe in, who are the prime movers in trying to drive British oil interests out of the country. The Communists, of course, are now working independently for the same end in a spirit reminiscent of the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939. But they didn’t start the trouble; they just played their old game of stirring up any trouble that happens to break out.

Iran is one of those countries, and there are quite a few of them, where the big landowners and properties classes are an unprincipled and selfish lot of tax-dodgers who would rather see their country wrecked than give up even a little of their special privileges. America’s upper economic strata are full of men who are eager to see the benefits of free enterprise spread throughout the population. Iran, by contrast, is a land where a few have fabulous wealth while the many live in degraded poverty. It is not hard to understand why the poor of Iran feel a burning hatred for the rich.

The reactionaries of Iran hate their Shah as a traitor to his class because he is dividing up his vast land holdings among the tenants and is pushing other reforms. They hate foreign oil companies for providing better wages and working conditions. So they are killing two birds with one stone when they arouse nationalistic feelings against the oil companies. The Communists, acting independently and for their own sinister purposes, are aiding these Iranian reactionaries.

We do not believe that liberals who have thought the matter through will care to be lined up with either group of enemies of the people.

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Related links:

The Desperate Situation In Persia | As the Earth Turns, July 19, 1951

Persian Oil Blaze | Goulburn Evening Post, June 22, 1951

Hard Money Talks | The Morning News (letter), April 18, 1951

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

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