Category: Middle East
US-hatched Iran coup of 1953 reveals true colors of ‘indispensable nation’

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/394331-mossadeq-us-iranian-coup/

John Wight
John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1
US-hatched Iran coup of 1953 reveals true colors of 'indispensable nation'

The recent release of a tranche of declassified CIA documents, including memos covering the period, are a timely reminder not only of the staggering mendacity of both countries in asserting the right to lecture the world about democracy and human rights, but the extent to which they have wrought so much damage and devastation throughout their respective histories.

Operation Ajax, the name by which the sordid plan to undermine and topple Muhammad Mossadeq’s government is known, was undertaken in response to Mossadeq’s decision to nationalize Iran’s oil resources with a view to husbanding the revenue for the benefit of the Iranian people, rather than allow it to continue to be sucked out of the country by the then British state-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) – forerunner of today’s global oil conglomerate BP.

Britain had been in control of Iran’s oil since 1908 when the country was known as Persia. London set up AIOC specifically with the development and exploitation of this energy bonanza in mind. The UK government taking over a controlling share of the concession that had been granted to English mining entrepreneur William Knox D’Arcy by Persia’s monarchy in 1901. It came at a point when Britain’s large navy was shifting from coal to oil-powered engines, thus making a secure oil supply of critical strategic and military importance for a country whose empire covered almost a quarter of the planet’s land surface.

None other than Britain’s future prime minister Winston Churchill affirmed the importance of control over Persia’s oil, when he wrote, “Fortune brought us a prize from fairyland beyond our wildest dreams. Mastery itself was the prize of the venture.” Note here the colonial grandeur of Churchill’s sentiments – a turgid celebration of the opportunity for enrichment that was so unabashed it would make a low-rent mafia hood blush.

The record shows that throughout the AIOC’s presence and operations in Persia (the country became Iran in 1935), Tehran received a derisory percentage of the huge revenue garnered from the oil extracted from its territory. This triggered a rise in national consciousness over Iran’s independence and dignity vis-à-vis the colonial and imperialist powers, and lifted Mossadeq into the office of prime minister in 1951.

Soon after coming to power, he nationalized Iran’s oil and confiscated the assets of the AIOC. In a speech explaining his motives, Mossadeq said, “Our long years of negotiations with foreign countries…have yielded no results thus far. With the oil revenues, we could meet our entire budget and combat poverty, disease, and backwardness among our people. Another important consideration is that by the elimination of the power of the British company, we would also eliminate corruption and intrigue, by means of which the internal affairs of our country have been influenced. Once this tutelage has ceased, Iran will have achieved its economic and political independence.”

Britain responded by making it impossible for Iran to sell its newly nationalized oil on the world market. However, this wasn’t enough and, having persuaded the Americans that Iran was ‘in danger’ of turning communist – given the popularity of the country’s Tudeh (Communist) Party – a plan to remove Mossadeq was hatched with the CIA playing the lead role.

In London, the plan was signed off by the aforementioned Winston Churchill, now Britain’s prime minister. Meanwhile, in Washington, Dwight D Eisenhower was the man in the White House who authorized the notorious Dulles brothers, Allen and John Foster, to proceed with Operation Ajax.

When Mossadeq got wind of the plan, he closed the British Embassy in Tehran and expelled its staff. He also discovered the country’s monarch, the Shah, was in cahoots with the plan and forced him to flee the country. However, by now the CIA had succeeded in bribing various army and police officers, along with key journalists and clerics, and members of the Iranian parliament, who helped to whip up an anti-Mossadeq atmosphere in the country, accusing him of being a communist, thus playing to the religiosity of a large sector of the Iranian population.

On August 19, 1953, Mossadeq was arrested along with thousands of his supporters. Upon his arrest, the Shah returned from exile to become Washington’s placeman, ruling the country with extreme brutality and corruption until he was ousted in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

It is impossible while contemplating this despicable episode not to be filled with indignation at the hypocrisy and contemptible violation of Iran’s sovereignty and independence.

Compounding the sense of injustice is the knowledge that it is just one of many such crimes committed against governments and countries around the world in a pattern of international banditry, subversion and aggression against sovereign states which has continued all the way up to the present day under successive administrations. It proves that instead of the ‘indispensable nation’ the US arrogantly considers itself, we are dealing with a country that has long evinced the characteristics of a rogue state.

Ultimately, then, no region has suffered more at the hands of US imperialism than the Middle East. Indeed it is still suffering to this day, with Iran currently in the crosshairs of the same Washington establishment for daring to assert its independence, dignity and resistance to hegemony.

As for Muhammad Mossadeq, he goes down in history as a leader with the courage to defy the empire. His legacy lives on in the obdurate refusal of the Iranian people to submit to Washington’s writ in our time.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Israelis Launch Aggression Against Syria as Army Battles IDF-Paid ‘Rebels’
| June 24, 2017 | 7:23 pm | Israel, Middle East, political struggle, Syria | No comments

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Israelis-Launch-Aggression-Against-Syria-as-Army-Battles-IDF-Paid-Rebels-20170624-0020.html

Israelis Launch Aggression Against Syria as Army Battles IDF-Paid ‘Rebels’

  • The attack came as rebel factions, including known Islamist extremists, battled Syria Army forces Saturday in the Quneitra province bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

    The attack came as rebel factions, including known Islamist extremists, battled Syria Army forces Saturday in the Quneitra province bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. | Photo: AFP – Reuters

Syria accuses the Israeli military of hitting a residential building and supporting jihadists who admit to receiving direct financing from Israelis.

In the latest act of aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic, Israeli occupation forces have targeted Syrian military outposts after 10 shells landed in the illegally-occupied Golan Heights. However, military sources in Syria have accused the Israelis of killing civilians and attempting to prop up rebels who recently admitted that they were receiving direct financing from the settler-colonial Israeli state.

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The attack came as rebel factions, including known Islamist extremists, battled Syria Army forces Saturday in the Quneitra province bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, according to Syrian state media and a Western-backed war monitor.

The Israelis launched their attacks on positions held by what it calls the “Syrian regime” after 10 projectiles landed in the illegally-held Syrian region. According to the Israeli military, the alleged position from which the projectiles were fired came under attack, while two army tanks belonging to the Syrian army also were bombed.

Syria’s military described the shellfire into the Israeli-held territory as errant fire and called it an “unacceptable breach” of sovereignty. Stray fire from fighting between the forces of Syria’s legitimate government and rebel factions are not uncommon in the contested Golan Heights.

Syrian military sources also said Israeli rocket fire had hit a residential building, causing a number of deaths and damage. The source did not mention Syrian fire into Israel but did note that the Israeli strike was in support of jihadist rebels.

Israeli seized 500 square miles of the Golan from Syria during its colonialist military campaigns of 1967 and later annexed it. The move was never recognized by the international community, yet it unofficially backed by imperialist powers, first and foremost its financiers within the United States.

Groups like the Quneitra-based 400-strong Fursan al-Joulan, or the Knights of the Golan, recently admitted that they have been receiving payment from the Israeli occupiers, who hope to create a buffer of “friendly forces” between the occupation and the Syrian government, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. The group is not backed by other U.S.-led coalition or Arab countries.

“Israel stood by our side in a heroic way,” group spokesman Moatasem al-Golani told the Journal. “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance.” The cooperation began when the Israelis began assisting Syrian fighters, including alleged “Islamist extremists,” through medical care at Israeli hospitals, in a relationship that soon led to direct funding for fighters for salaries, ammunition and weapons.

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In January 2016, former Israeli military Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon noted his preference for the Islamic State group, telling an audience “if the choice is between Iran and the Islamic State (group), I choose the Islamic State.” The former military official Yaalon last month told reporters that the Islamic State group had also recently apologized to Israeli military forces after unintentionally attacking them along the Syrian border.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, under Yaalon’s tenure as defense minister in 2013, the Golan rebels began receiving direct monetary support.

Western-funded NGO the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebel groups of Quneitra had launched an assault and were storming army positions near Baath City.

The Israelis have launched several unprovoked acts of aggression against Syria throughout the conflict, including assassinations and assaults on targets such as alleged “weapons caches” belonging to Lebanese Hezbollah, who are fighting alongside the Syrian government at the latter’s invitation. The Syrian Arab Republic and the Israelis remain technically at war.

Statement of the CC of the KKE regarding the latest dangerous developments in the Middle East

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Statement of the CC of the KKE regarding the latest dangerous developments in the Middle East

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/06/statement-of-cc-of-kke-regarding-latest.html
Source: 902.gr / Translation: In Defense of Communism.
 
In a statement regarding the latest developments in the Middle East, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) stresses the following:
 
“Yesterday’s US bombings against forces of the Syrian army, combined with the diplomatic crisis in Qatar and today’s attack in Iran’s Parliament, consist a dangerous escalation of the imperialist interventions and competitions in the region of Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.
 
Precisely these interventions of the USA-NATO-EU, in their antagonism with other powers in the broader region, such as Russia, are the ones which led to the dismemberment and destabilization of countries, the support of jihadist groups like ISIS, aiming at the control of the natural resources and energy routes of the region.
The SYRIZA-ANEL government bears huge responsibility for Greece’s involvement in this carnage, under the pretext of the country’s “geostrategic upgrade”, which is in fact related with the participation of the domestic capital in the war’s prey. 
 
For the Greek people and the other peoples of the region, the dangers are immense and for that reason, the disengagement of the country from the imperialist plans must become a popular demand of struggle.”
Mercenaries in Yemen: the US Connection

http://www.globalresearch.ca/mercenaries-in-yemen-the-us-connection/5494661

Latin American mercenaries are leaving the ranks of the national armies of their countries to fight in the deserts of Yemen, wearing the uniform of the United Arab Emirates. They have been contracted by private US companies and in some cases directly by the government of the Arab country, which, thanks to vast oil reserves, has the second largest economy of the region.

An article in the New York Times revealed that 450 Latin American soldiers, among them Colombians, Panamanians, Salvadorans and Chileans, have been deployed to Yemen. The mercenaries receive training in the United Arab Emirates before deployment, in part from U.S. trainers.

The presence of Latin American mercenaries in the Middle East is not new. Colombian news media have interviewed mercenaries returning from the Middle East for years. They tell of being recruited by transnational companies with promises of salaries far beyond what they’d receive at home. However, the conflict in Yemen seems to be the first time that Latin American mercenaries have been sent into combat.

Colombia contributes the largest number. According to the New York Times, the UAE military recruits Colombians because of their experience fighting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the jungles and mountains of their country. But there is another reason.

Since the beginning of Plan Colombia, between 2000 and 2015 the U.S. spent almost $7 billion to train, advise and equip Colombia’s security forces. In the last few years, the U.S. government has carried out a strategy to prepare the Colombians for an emerging industry: the “export of security.”

And apparently, one way to export security is to become a U.S.-trained mercenary for Washington’s wars in other parts of the world.

Colombian troops, drilled in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency techniques, instead of exporting security are exporting the United States’ geopolitical agenda of permanent war. They end up doing the dirty work of their ally to the north, who, as a consequence, avoids exposing its forces to harm or facing accusations of interventionism.

According to analyst William Hartung, the United States government has trained a total of 30,000 soldiers from the four countries that make up the Latin American mercenary force in Yemen. A recent investigative report from El Salvador cites a Ministry of Defense source affirming that there are about 100 Salvadorans operating in Yemen. While the Colombians claim to have contracts directly with the Emirati military, in El Salvador the source states that contracting goes through a national company subcontracted by Northrup Grumman.

Northrup Grumman has a history in the Middle East mercenary business. Forbes reports that it absorbed an obscure company called Vinnelli that holds a $819 million-dollar contract to provide personnel for the Saudi National Guard, dating back to 1975.

The same Salvadoran source affirms that there are also Mexicans in Yemen. Mexico was not included in the New York Times report, but has a close relationship with the United States security complex through the war on drugs.

It cannot be known for sure if the hundreds of Latin American mercenaries were trained in the United States or by the U.S. military in their own countries. The U.S. government does not reveal the names of the soldiers or police that it has trained. Nor is there a public registry of mercenaries. Although the practice is legal in certain contexts, it forms part of the underground world of war, in which shadow powers dictate the conditions in which we live–and often die.

What is certain is that contracting Latin American mercenaries follows the logic of the new style of war designed by the Pentagon. This strategy reduces risks to U.S. troops, increases civilian deaths and feeds war profits. Drones–unmanned airplanes–kill thousands of civilians without risking a single life on the part of the aggressors. They’re shielded from the blood of their victims and the horror of their screams.

While technology makes long-distance war possible, another aspect of proxy war is to get others to fight your battles. A sad reflection of patriarchal violence and economic inequality, the recruitment of foreign mercenaries is central to modern-day warfare.

In the case of Yemen, the populations of the countries that are involved in the conflict or feel threatened by it, such as the United Arab Emirates, have no desire to go to war. In recent months the UAE has suffered increasing casualities on the ground while the U.S. and Saudi members of the coalition keep to the skies.

And the United States has strong interests in the region, but does not want to pay the political price of seeing its soldiers return home in body bags. The solution? Hire mercenaries from impoverished Latin American countries.

Recruiting young men from Latin American countries feeds the U.S. war industry. American companies like Blackwater, which has changed its name but remains Erik Prince’s empire of death, and Northrup Grumman, headquartered in Virginia, squeeze more out of their juicy government contracts by reducing soldiers’ pay. According to Colombian reports, their mercenaries receive less than half what European or U.S. soldiers get. Despite the gouging, they still make on average five times more than what they would earn in their home countries.

The third and often ignored element of the new remote-control war is weapons sales. U.S. arms sales are booming, bringing millions of dollars to the U.S. defense industry–a powerful lobby in Congress. US strategists recognize that arms sales effectively advance the geopolitical agenda by changing the balance of power in strategic conflicts.

The Obama administration has promoted bombings by the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and developed a very close relationship with the UAE, which shares its zeal for eliminating the Islamic State. The administration has now decided to sell another $1.3 billion dollars worth of weapons to these countries to replenish supplies. While military aid to allies (and in not a small number of cases, to both sides of armed conflicts) has always been a tool of hegemony, arms sales are now explicitly a central strategy.


The Pentagon and its promoters in Congress openly talk about the advantages of killing from a distance. Critics cite the many lethal attacks on civilians, including large numbers of women and children that are characteristic of this type of war. The UN calculates that the war in Yemen has already led to the deaths of 2,500 civilians, among them women and children; almost 500 were killed by U.S. drone strikes.

Now how many will die at the hands of Latin American mercenaries?

And how many young men–Colombians, Mexicans, Salvadorans–will take their last breath in a desert half a world away, fighting a war that isn’t theirs?

Laura Carlsen is the director of the Americas Program in Mexico City and advisor to Just Associates (JASS) .