A question that naturally arises but one that the mainstream press never asks is: What is the reason for the deep-seated hatred that the U.S. national-security state has toward Iran?
No, the answer doesn’t begin with the fact that Iranian revolutionaries took American diplomats hostage during the Iranian revolution in 1979, which is what the mainstream press often asserts. The U.S. hatred for Iran stretches back even further than that.
In fact, to understand the hatred that the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA have for Iran, it is actually necessary to go back to the founding of the United States.
When the delegates met at the Constitution Convention, it was for the purpose of modifying the Articles of Confederation, a type of governmental system under which Americans had been operating for 13 years. Under the Articles, the federal government’s powers were so weak that it didn’t even have the power to tax.
That was the way our American ancestors wanted it. The last thing they wanted was a type of governmental system where the federal government wielded the same types of omnipotent powers that had been wielded by the government against which they had revolted in 1776.
A limited-government republic
Rather than simply modify the Articles of Confederation, however, the Constitutional Convention proposed a different type of governmental system, one called a limited-government republic. Under this type of governmental structure, the federal government would wield more powers but they would be limited to those enumerated in the document itself.
Americans were leery of the deal, concerned that federal officials, including democratically elected ones, would begin wielding and exercising despotic powers. They were assured that that couldn’t happen because the powers enumerated in the Constitution were few and limited and didn’t include dictatorial powers. To emphasize their concern, however, Americans demanded the enactment of the Bill of Rights, which expressly restricted the ability of U.S. officials to exercise despotic powers.
Under America’s founding governmental system of a limited-government republic, there was no Pentagon, military-industrial complex, foreign military bases, CIA, NSA, coups, foreign aid, alliances with dictatorial regimes, or regime-change invasions and occupations. In fact, if Americans had been told that the Constitution was going to bring into existence those things, they would have summarily rejected the deal and continue operating under the Articles.
A limited-government republic was the governmental system under which American people operated for more than a century. Yes, there was a basic army whose primary purpose was to wage war against Native Americans but its size was extremely limited.
Why did American oppose “standing armies,” the term they used for big and permanent military-intelligence establishments? Because they were convinced that standing armies inevitably lead to the destruction of the liberty and well-being of the citizenry.
Notwithstanding slavery, the Mexican War, and the Civil War, the American people experienced more than 100 years of relative liberty, peace, and prosperity, in large part because there was no big military-intelligence establishment that was bankrupting the nation through ever-increasing spending, taxes, and monetary debasement.
The conversion to a national-security state
The situation changed after World War II, when America’s federal governmental system was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, a type of governmental system that is inherent to totalitarian regimes. That’s how Americans got the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, the CIA, and the NSA, agencies with vast, omnipotent, dark-side powers that would end up changing the nature of American society.
The rational for the conversion was the threat that Soviet Union and “godless communism” supposedly posed to the United States. U.S. officials maintained that that although the Nazi threat was now over, the American people could not rest because they now faced a danger that was supposedly even bigger than Nazi Germany. Ironically, the Soviet Union had been a partner and ally of the United States in the war against Nazi Germany.
Since the Soviet Union and the communists wielded omnipotent powers and did not have to concern themselves with constitutional restraints, U.S. officials maintained that the only way the United States could prevail in this new “Cold War” was to adopt the same type of governmental structure as the Soviets, one that consisted of a vast military-intelligence establishment with omnipotent, dark-side powers, including the power to conduct state-sponsored assassinations without judicial interference.
The CIA’s coup in Iran
In 1953, the CIA brought some of its new powers to bear. The democratically elected prime minister of Iran, a man named Mohammad Mossadegh, nationalized British oil interests in the country. The British lacked the ability to get their oil fields back and so they enlisted the assistance of the CIA.
To help the British get their oil interests back, the CIA presented its plan for regime change to President Truman, who rejected it. After President Eisenhower assumed office, however, he approved the plan based on the CIA’s rationale that Mossadegh was leaning toward communism and the Soviet Union and, therefore, posed a threat to U.S. “national security,” the principal term in the lexicon of a national-security state form of governmental structure.
Exercising some of its new omnipotent, dark-side powers, the CIA orchestrated a coup that ended up destroying Iran’s experiment with democracy. The coup removed Mossadegh from power and replaced him with the Shah of Iran, one of the most vicious and brutal dictators in the world. To ensure that the unelected Shah would remain in power for the rest of his life, the CIA helped him to establish and train an internal police force called the SAVAK, which specialized in the arts of indefinite detention, torture, oppression, and state-sponsored terror.
None of that tyranny mattered to the Pentagon and the CIA, however. What mattered to them was that the Shah was “a friend” of the United States, one who would do the bidding of the U.S. government in the United Nations and in other international affairs.
The Iranian revolution
In 1979, the Iranian people had had enough of this U.S.-installed, U.S.-trained, and U.S.-supported tyranny, terror, and oppression. That’s when they revolted against the Shah.
Unfortunately, however, the Iranian people were unable to restore the democratically elected system that the CIA had destroyed in 1953. The Iranian people ended up with a theocratic dictatorship that proved to be just as tyrannical as that of the Shah.
The CIA and the Pentagon have never forgiven the Iranian people for what they did. The Shah was “our man in Iran.” As far as the U.S. national-security establishment was concerned, the Iranian people had no legitimate authority to remove him from office.
Thus, ever since the Iranian revolution, the CIA and the Pentagon have been dead-set on regime change, never giving up their hope of reinstalling another Shah into power in Iran, one that would be “a friend” of the U.S. government.
In fact, soon after the Iranian revolution in 1979, U.S. officials began supporting Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in a war that he initiated against Iran. That war ended up lasting several years, killing an untold number of Iranian people, with the full support of the Pentagon and the CIA.
Ironically, the U.S .national-security establishment would ending up turning against their partner and ally Saddam Hussein and targeting him for regime change, which would ultimately lead to perpetual death, destruction, violence, and mayhem in that country.
Today, some 67 years after the CIA’s coup in Iran and some 41 years after the Iranian revolution, the hatred that the CIA and the Pentagon bear for the Iranian people and the obsession for regime change go unabated, as reflected by the recent exercise of one of the dark-side powers that came with the federal government’s conversion to a national-security state — the power to conduct state-sponsored assassinations against people, both foreign and domestic, who ostensibly pose a threat to “national security.”
The worst mistake Americans have ever made was to permit the federal government to be converted into a national-security state. The best thing Americans today could ever do is to restore a limited-government republic to our land. As our American ancestors understood so well, a free, peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious nation cannot exist under a national-security state form of governmental structure, one where government officials wield and exercise totalitarian, sordid, dark-side powers.
Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.