Will American bombs kill my dream?

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by Tom Engelhardt and Behzad Yaghmaian
by Tom Engelhardt and Behzad Yaghmaian

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Like a giant piece in an intricate, if ugly, jigsaw puzzle, the aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz, and its strike group are now sailing toward the Persian Gulf. On arrival, they will join the strike groups of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (which it is officially replacing) and the USS John C. Stennis patrolling the region, as stunning an example of “gunboat diplomacy” as we’ve seen in our lifetimes. I think it’s a fair guess that, like most Americans, few, if any, of the Nimitz strike group’s 6,000 sailors and Marines, who may become part of a massive Bush administration air assault on Iranian nuclear and other facilities, know much about modern Iranian history. Most may be unaware of the CIA/British coup d’état in Iran, in 1953, that overthrew the government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh (which had just carried out the nationalizing of Iranian oil), reinstalled the Shah, and ushered in a long, contentious relationship between the two countries – with all the “unintended consequences” that may end, whether through miscalculation or cold calculation, in a devastating war.

It was this very “success” to which CIA operatives first applied the term “blowback,” for those unintended consequences of covert Agency operations which, when they finally land on Americans, are not recognized as such. Just this week, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bragged to the world that Iran was on its way to industrial-scale uranium enrichment. But who today knows that the first seeds of the present Iranian “peaceful” nuclear program came from the United States? Under Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program, one of the planet’s first nuclear proliferation engines back in the 1950s and 1960s, the Shah’s Iran gained its initial nuclear technology, including a U.S.-supplied 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor. At the time, it was believed, the Shah was dreaming of something far more ambitious than a peaceful nuclear program.

Ah, but that was then, this, of course, is now; and not making historical connections is a great American talent. As it happens, it’s not an Iranian one. When covert “operations” occur at your expense, you tend to remember – for a long, long time. Fortunately, Behzad Yaghmaian, author of Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West and a Tomdispatch writer, is here with his remarkable memoir of a life lived in and between two worlds, Iranian and American. His is a tale that can both help us remember how it all began and think more clearly about what an attack on Iran might actually mean in human terms. ~ Tom

Bonded at Birth: How a CIA Coup d’État in Iran and My Life Became One

By Behzad Yaghmaian

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2 Responses to “Will American bombs kill my dream?”

  1. laluttefinale Says:

    Nice blog!

  2. Desktopjunk Says:

    Thanks, always good posts on your blog!

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