Fessing Up
August 2, 1952 — The Times Record

The Mossadegh Project | November 28, 2014                           

This refreshingly frank Saturday evening piece in The Times Record newspaper of Troy, New York was the first of two editorials dealing with Iran on this date. The second was titled “Mossadegh’s Visit”.


The boiling situation among the nations of the Near East is well nigh incomprehensible to Western peoples. It would be less incomprehensible, perhaps if we could look at the situation of those peoples with their own eyes.

The murderous Iranian mobs shouting “Death to the Americans!” were emphasizing a problem which seems to be increasing rather than diminishing. The Moslem world is seething with discontent and we, however innocent, are handy whipping boys for the nationalist demagogues.

The military coup in Egypt [which overthrew King Farouk] gained its impetus from genuine revulsion over the incompetence and corruption of the monarchy. But the new army bosses will probably take the easiest way of solidifying their control. That is to whip up the populace with anti-Western hatreds.

Despite our money grants and aid to these countries, throughout the Middle East few voices are raised in praise and friendship for the United States. Although colonialism has all but vanished, the power-hungry politicians campaign against it in much the same way that the Democrats at home campaign against the “Hoover depression”. [31st U.S. President Herbert Hoover]

From our own standpoint, in one breath we assert that the aid we’re sending is merely out of the goodness of our hearts, and our humanitarian desire to see all peoples prosperous and happy. But in the next we make it clear that what we are doing is trying to build a wall of strong allies against the Russians.

The inevitable reaction is part of the price of playing power politics. We will be most successful at it if we acknowledge our motives frankly, at least to ourselves.

Truman and Mossadegh’s First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)
President Truman and Premier Mossadegh's First Messages on Iran Oil Dispute (1951)

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Related links:

More Details Wanted | The Times Record, February 15, 1952

The Bystander Is Too Innocent | LIFE magazine, August 11, 1952

Anti-U.S. Feeling In Iran | The Binghamton Press, August 5, 1952

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

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