Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Digging up the roots of Iranian resentment as tensions rise

I love my country and am grateful to my grandparents, all of whom came here as Russian Jewish immigrants and got this glorious American chapter in the family history started. Thanks. I’m having a great life and hope my own descendants will keep the lucky streak going.

But as a student of U.S. history, I don’t avert my eyes from the many dark chapters that interfere with the fairy story that America loves democracy and goes around the world spreading it. In fact, the United States has overthrown several nascent democracies around the world, and replaced elected leaders with U.S.-friendly dictatorships for utterly self-serving reasons. One of those cases was in Iran in the 1950s, which I’m inspired to dig up because of recent events. I’ll do that below, but first a few thoughts on last week’s near-attack on Iran:

We are told that Donald Trump authorized (or almost authorized, they’re fudging on that bit) an air strike on Iran last week to retaliate for Iran shooting down a U.S. drone. Then Trump changed his mind and called it off because the drone shoot-down didn’t kill any Americans, while the air strike would kill quite a few Iranians, and because Trump has occasionally told Americans that he didn’t want to get into a stupid war in Mideast. Maybe he means that sincerely.

With all due respect for the statements coming out of this White House – and I seriously mean “all due” respect, which in the case of this administration is not that much respect – color me skeptical. We are somehow supposed to balance the idea of Trump, a man who, as a candidate asked why we have all these nuclear weapons if we can never use them — with a man who was reluctant to kill an estimated 150 Iranians.

It’s true that Trump has also said occasionally that getting into a war in the Mideast would be a bad idea. On the third hand, or whichever number hand I’m up to by now, in the run-up to the last big U.S. war in the Mideast, Trump, as a private citizens, half-assedly endorsed the U.S. war in Iraq. When it turned out badly, Trump claimed he had always opposed it. Here’s the backup for that:

When asked by his buddy Howard Stern, live on the radio at the time of the run-up to the Iraq war, whether he favored going to war, Trump bravely replied: “Yeah, I guess so.” That’s on the record and verifiable.

The other pre-presidential public expression of his highly principled aversion to Mideast wars occurred on Fox news, when, asked whether George W. Bush should invade Iraq, Trump lucidly explained:

“Well, he [President Bush] has either got to do something or not do something, perhaps, because perhaps [we] shouldn’t be doing it yet and perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations, you know. He’s under a lot of pressure. He’s — I think he’s doing a very good job. But, of course, if you look at the polls, a lot of people are getting a little tired. I think the Iraqi situation is a problem.”

Note the reference to the polls. It’s hard to be overly cynical about this guy. And I have no inside knowledge. But my view/fear/suspicion is that as Trump views the current situation, it would be foolish to start a glorious war against an evil regime too far ahead of the next election, in case it goes badly. On the other hand, if it looks like he needs to rally the electorate a little closer to Election Day 2020, he could always do it then. Forgive me for my cynicism. It shocks even me. Henry Clay, who lost several bids for the presidency once famously said, “I’d rather be right than be president.” I believe Trump would rather be president than be right, and has trouble with the concept of a decision that would be “right” that wouldn’t be good for him.

But we sort of elected this guy. And, under the new, improved (but unamended) Constitution, a president can apparently start a war without prior approval from Congress. So take all of the above into account when you hear about Trump’s current stated reluctance to bomb Iran. And, of course, Iran is a deeply anti-American nation where it’s easy to get the crowd chanting things like “Death to America” at rallies.

I don’t claim to know whether, when they chant that, they are thinking of the other historical tale that I also set out to review here, but it is the case that the United States, for its own selfish, greedy and oily reasons, overthrew the most promising moment of democracy in Iran’s history.

I suspect most Iranians know a version of the tale, as most Americans do not. I’ve told it before, but not for many years, so I’ll give it a recap here today, on a day when I am starting to worry that Trump may be playing the Iran card to prop up his declining chances to win a second term. Here goes:

The high point of real democracy in Iranian history occurred in the 1950s, back when the Shahs were still the royal family with ultimate power, but at a time when the Shahs permitted real elections for a parliament that had actual and growing power. It’s possible to look at this period and see the potential that Iran was on a path to become much more of a real constitutional democracy with a more ceremonial royal family — like, you know, the U.K.

This was also a period when Iranian oil was produced and marketed almost exclusively by the British, who ran the industry mostly for their own benefit under the auspices of something called the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. This exploitation was a large and growing political issue among Iranians, who thought more of their most valuable natural resource should benefit them rather than the Brits.

Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh
Wikimedia Commons
Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh
A populist and reform-oriented member of the Iranian parliament named Mohammad Mossadegh became prime minister. He was unable to pressure the Brits to allow more of the oil wealth to benefit the Iranian people. So the Mossadegh-led parliament nationalized the oil.

This was wildly popular with Iranians, but not (as you might guess) with the British. In that adorable way of imperial powers, the Brits decided to overthrow Mossadegh and tamp down the rising Iranian democracy. In 1953 they recruited their best buddies and allies, the Americans, to help.

Washington gladly did so. As a result, U.S. oil companies became much bigger players in the future exploitation of Iranian oil. That lasted until the 1979 Iranian revolution that overthrew the Shah (whom the rebels accurately portrayed as something of an American puppet).

That revolution created the Islamic Republic that exists still, which was and remains hostile to America. And the feeling is mutual. Iran has an elected somewhat secular government, but the top power was vested in and remains with a top Muslim cleric, to whom we refer as the “ayatollah.”

Resentment of the United States, and resistance to its domination of the Mideast, was and remains a fundamental of Iranian foreign policy. “Death to America” is still an available chant, although it’s obnoxious, and not really smart.

But, as a matter of real history (which occasionally conflicts with Americans’ desire to see ourselves as a force for democracy) Iran’s four decades of anti-Americanism are at least somewhat (quite a bit, I think) rooted in the history above of America’s role in overthrowing the Mossadegh government, which represented the high point of liberal democracy in Iranian history.

I don’t believe Donald Trump knows this history, or cares to learn it. I do believe he understands that Iran is mostly unpopular in U.S. public opinion. Many Americans dislike their country being referred to as the “Great Satan,” and perhaps are insufficiently interested in thinking about why anyone might feel that way.

So if the president needs to gin up a war or the prospect of one to energize his base for political reasons, perhaps closer to the election, I don’t doubt he might decide to do some saber-rattling at Iran. And I don’t doubt it will have quite an effect on those who don’t know the tale I just reviewed.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (35)

  1. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/24/2019 - 10:25 am.

    If Trumps starts a war (that’s what dictators do) with Iran, he will time it so that the initial glory will be just before the election, and the inevitable mess will occur after it.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/24/2019 - 10:27 am.

    Iran shot down a US drone and Trump was going to bomb a site or two in Iran in response but says he didn’t because it would not have been a proportional response. It all sounds good, but my brain has been conditioned, by Trump, and it now gives Trump zero credibility. Every time Trump speaks, I find my brain thinking, that’s a lie. Apparently, he can fool the GOP all the time and the rest of the country none of the time. This was Trump on full display of look how good I am, and did you see how much respect the generals gave me. They called me “sir”. I’ve told you I know more than all the generals combined and now you should believe it too. I might believe Trump if his credibility wasn’t at ZERO. Narcissism causes Trump to do unpresidential things like lying to fill up his ego. Those who are not fooled by Trump, the conman, never believe Trump’s claptrap. My standards for being Presidential are much higher than the low bar of acceptability the GOP has.
    Trump might be giving up on “Makings America Great Again”. He does need to fix what he has broken, but I have little hope of that. His new slogan is” Make Iran Great”. My warning to Iran, Trump breaks things, brings them back to where they were before he broke them, then claims how great he is. Trump will go down as great, but it isn’t going to be the great he thinks it is. Trump’s place in history will be as a great CONMAN.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 06/24/2019 - 10:47 am.

    Gosh, if “Death to America” is considered “…not very smart,” perhaps “Lock her up” is also “…not very smart.”

    Foreign policy seems to be one of several black holes in the Trump administration’s playbook, an area where ideas go to die on the altar of neofascist ideology. Bullying seems to be among the favorite responses to almost anything that happens outside our borders that the President’s acolytes / advisors happen to dislike. If ever there was an administration that should not be allowed to play with grown-up toys like bombs and missiles, this is the one.

  4. Submitted by Matt Haas on 06/24/2019 - 11:23 am.

    A further irony, Mossadegh was brought down in the end when he lost the support of the clerics, over fears of creeping Communist influence. Rent seekers all…

  5. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 06/24/2019 - 01:05 pm.

    There isn’t much to dispute about the author’s recollection of the 1950’s. However, that is almost 70 years ago, and not many that lived through that regime change are still around. Given that, the author IS RATHER FORGIVING ABOUT iRAN’S BEHAVIOR SINCE goes ratHER

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 06/24/2019 - 01:19 pm.

      Mossadegh is an Iranian folk hero, TODAY. Everything is history and history informs everything. Iran’s behavior today is completely in line with what has befell it in its long history. They detest invaders, and are proudly nationalistic. Would our nation and others have paid heed to those realities 70 years ago, perhaps the situation of today might have been averted. Moving forward, perhaps taking such into regard, as opposed to continuing to insist on forcing regime change at the point of a sword, (or by crippling economic sanction), we might do better than continually beating our heads against the proverbial brick wall.

  6. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 06/24/2019 - 01:08 pm.

    There isn’t much to dispute about the author’s recollection of the 1950’s. However, that is almost 70 years ago, and not many that lived through that regime change are still around. Given that, the author is rather forgiving of Iran’s behavior since that time. I seem to recall a large group of Americans that got an extended stay there in the 1970’s. Mr. Black chose to skip over that incident.

    • Submitted by Marc Post on 06/24/2019 - 04:14 pm.

      So 70 years is the arbitrary “history doesn’t matter after that long” time frame is it?

      So, in 62 years, we can forget about 9/11? I keep hearing “never forget”.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 06/24/2019 - 05:28 pm.

      The Bolshevik Revolution happened 102 years ago, yet conservatives are convinced its repeat will be occurring any day now.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/25/2019 - 08:58 am.

      What the heck do you think MAGA is, but a harkening back to the “golden” 50’s (1950’s or 1850’s, even).

      OK for US, no good for Iran.

  7. Submitted by David Markle on 06/24/2019 - 01:54 pm.

    I feel that Eisenhower was a pretty good president, but taking a major roll in overthrowing Mossadegh is a huge black mark on his record. Of course the Dulles brothers played big parts in the story, as did Cold War thinking..

  8. Submitted by mary mcleod on 06/24/2019 - 01:59 pm.

    Thank you, Eric Black, for that recap. No wonder Iran calls us the Great Satan. I have feared for quite awhile that Trump would start a war in order to win an election. He has no empathy, and no care for anyone he hurts, from detainees to people harmed by his changes to the ACA, to actions by his EPA appointees. He’s ruthless, selfish, and rather stupid, but in a cunning way. I hope we can label him a “LOSER” in 2020.

    As for the bombing of Iran that he cancelled, it was awfully late in the game when he allegedly asked how many people would be killed, because that information is very important, and part of an initial briefing when his options are laid out. I believe he was told much sooner, but disregarded it until he needed an excuse for stopping our planes from taking off.

  9. Submitted by Darryl Carter on 06/24/2019 - 02:46 pm.

    Lives there ONE Presidential candidate who embraces the essence of the Declaration of Independence – SELF governance – as the ultimate guiding standard for U.S. foreign policy going forward ?

  10. Submitted by John Webster on 06/24/2019 - 03:19 pm.

    This essay is a perfect example of why most moderates and conservatives believe that liberalism has long had a deep strain of blame America first, last, and always for every ill in the world. 1953 was 2+ generations ago, and most people in Iran very likely aren’t all that concerned about that time considering what they live under now. Iran is governed by a harsh theocracy that forces women under veils and worse, that persecutes and often executes gay people, is deeply anti-Semitic, and much else that few Americans would tolerate. Any Iranian who genuinely favors democracy has a much more favorable view of the United States than of the Iranian government, indeed a more favorable view of the United States than is the typical sentiment of American journalists and academics. Trump is deeply flawed, but he made the right decision to not attack Iran at this time.

    • Submitted by Jeremy Iggers on 06/24/2019 - 04:29 pm.

      Don’t believe everything you read about Iran. I have searched all over for evidence to back up the oft-repeated claim that Iran frequently executes gay people. Most of the allegations date back to the 1980s. I can find only one case in the last 10 years of anyone actually being executed solely for the offense of sodomy — a 2011 report on three men who were also charged with kidnapping and robbery. According to the Guardian, “It is believed that the execution of the three men is the first time for many years that any Iranians have been given death sentences on the basis of their sexuality. In the past, Iran has executed convicts for homosexuality but they were typically simultaneously convicted of other charges that carried the death sentence, such as male rape.”) If you have evidence to the contrary, I would like to see it.
      The same applies to the claim that Iran is deeply anti-Semitic. The current government is vociferously anti-Israel, but it is not anti-Semitic. (Ahmedinejad was a different story.) In recent years, the Rouhani administration has dedicated a monument to Jewish soldiers who died in the Iran-Iraq war, and made highly publicized donations to Tehran’s Jewish hospital.
      I have visited Iran several times in recent years, and spoken to Iranian Jews, (ordinary people in private conversations), with no government minders present. What they told me is similar to what is summarized by this recent headline from USA Today: “Iran’s Jewish community is the largest in the Mideast outside Israel – and feels safe and respected.” Reporters from The Forward, PBS, NPR and the Washington Post have come back with similar reports. You can look it up.

    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 06/24/2019 - 05:16 pm.

      Every item you state is ALSO true of Saudi Arabia, yet from conservative circles all that is heard regarding THAT oppressive regime is how great and beneficial an ally they are. Why would that be, I wonder?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/24/2019 - 05:44 pm.

      What’s the limitations period for historical resentment? It’s been nearly 40 years since the Iranian embassy takeover. When will Americans declare it was all in the past.

      Trump deserves no credit for not attacking Iran. It would be like a shoplifter expecting praise because he put the stolen items back.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 06/24/2019 - 07:43 pm.

      Are D Day observances appropriate? I mean, it was more than 2 generations ago..,

  11. Submitted by John Evans on 06/24/2019 - 03:38 pm.

    Before the Iranian revolution in 1979, the Carter administration and those of Ford, Nixon, Johnson and Kennedy refused to help Iran become the modern liberal democracy the many Iranians wanted it to be.

    In the late ’50s the freshly installed Pahlavi regime, with lots of help from the CIA and MOSSAD, created their huge domestic intelligence and security agency, SAVAK, that was well known for torturing and executing anyone perceived to be an enemy of the regime. Their victims numbered in the thousands, and the deliberately cast a general paranoid pall over the country.

    SAVAK even went so far as to kidnap (and probably in some cases to murder) Iranians here in the US. SAVAK agents were a constant presence in the lives of Iranian students studying here. This was done with the complicity of our federal government.

    The revolution in 1979 was generally a revolt against this brutal, US sponsored repression. One reason Iran became a theocratic nightmare regime was that the liberal democratic opposition had all been destroyed, which was thought to be the successful culmination of US policy in Iran.

    So it wasn’t just our overthrow on Mossadegh, it was also what we did in the next 26 years that helped cause and shape the character of the Iranian revolution and the resulting clerical regime.

    • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 06/24/2019 - 05:17 pm.

      Yes, if you know anything about world history, you know that revolutions do not occur in countries where most people think their lives are mostly OK.

  12. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 06/24/2019 - 04:25 pm.

    “So the Mossadegh-led parliament nationalized the oil.”

    Only a dedicated leftist would equate nationalizing private companies with democracy. The fact is, William D’Arcy negotiated and paid for the rights to prospect for oil in Iran. After failing to find oil after 7 years and a considerable sum of money, D’Arcy sold a majority of his concession to Burmah Oil Company. Together they found it in 1908.

    They then spend millions building the largest refinery in the world at the time, employing many Iranians.

    Would the Iranians have found and exploited their resource? Probably. But not in 1908; not in 1918, ’28, ’38 or ’48. They had neither the financial resources nor the technical expertise.

    But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here’s 2 thousand worth that tell the story succinctly:

    Tehran circa 1975

    Tehran circa 2019

    In hind sight, it would have been a much better idea to re-negotiate the 16% of Anglo-Persian Oil Company profits that went to the Iranians (they could also have re-invested in the company which was publicly traded), but what they did and continue to do can in no way be excused.

    • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 06/25/2019 - 08:29 am.

      The American Imperium does not negotiate. You either open your markets to American-style corporations and banks, or you will be crushed, regime change style – extortion on the geo-political scale, cooperate or we will turn your country to rubble, or starve you into submission.

      That cannot be excused any more than Iranian behavior in response to American/Saudi aggression.

      Meanwhile in America/Minnesota I’m feeling a bit like an Iranian pre-Shah, what with my government basically saying, you will let these foreign corporations mine copper/nickel in sulfides in northern Minnesota, or else….

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/25/2019 - 09:43 am.

      At the time the D’Arcy Concession was granted, Persia was largely under the control of Britain and Russia. It was hardly an agreement by an independent sovereign.

  13. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 06/24/2019 - 05:13 pm.

    In the early 1990s, when I was living in Oregon, I heard a talk by the man who had been resident director of the U.S. Peace Corps program in Iran back in the 1960s.

    In the midst of amusing anecdotes about the cultural misunderstandings between Peace Corps volunteers and Iranian nationals, he said that in Iranian folklore, Satan is not only evil but also not very bright and a bumbler who is often his own worst enemy.

    So when Iranians call America “the Great Satan,” they are not saying that America is a thoroughly evil entity of immense power. They are saying that our country is mean and dumb.

  14. Submitted by Joe Musich on 06/24/2019 - 10:22 pm.

    a needed recap that is falling on a few clogged ears. It astounds me again that some self labeled rational Americans cannot accept that when someone is done wrong they can carry anger and mistrust. This country engaged in an imperialistic act in Iran. Wether benign, benevolent or aggressive the results will be the same on the acted upon party. We need to be looking inside for the harm we have done.

  15. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 06/25/2019 - 08:27 am.

    Trump’s address to the UN, Sept 2018


    “Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth,” he said.

    “That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination,” Trump said. “I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

    “We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy,” Trump said later in his speech.

    “Around the world, responsible nations must defend against threats to sovereignty not just from global governance, but also from other, new forms of coercion and domination.”

    (end quote)

    Are there still any questions as to why we wound up where we are when the absolute independence from restraint is granted to each state?

  16. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 06/25/2019 - 08:35 am.

    It is still all about the oil…

    If you look at the four countries the American Imperium is most focused on right now – Iran, Venezuela, Russia, China – the first three control about 30-35% of the remaining accessible oil, and the fourth is working behind the scenes to be a primary buyer of that oil.

    Those who lead America want to control that oil by any means necessary. But you will NEVER here them say that, because empires conquer, and democracies lead by example. America is far more empire than democracy.

    • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 06/25/2019 - 06:09 pm.

      If any nation has vast natural resources, wants to use a currency other than the dollar in international trade, and has a socialist government, it is certain the USA will try to topple their government to restore “democracy.”

  17. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 06/25/2019 - 08:39 am.

    “But we sort of elected this guy.” E.B. I think once in this article you referred to him as “President.”

    History – common sense – our constitution – and those who have a firm grip on reality, recognize him as President.

    • Submitted by Laura Summers on 06/25/2019 - 10:05 am.

      The President seems to be a chancer, a person who acts on impulse or opportunistically without a firm plan or objective (beyond re-election). That he also tells lots of lies is probably less worrying than his appearance of being out of touch with reality, truth and history. There is also genuine public concern about the possibility of “an accidental” war. Some analysts suggest, as does the President himself on occasion, that he is pressuring Iran in order to negotiate a “better” deal than the one painstakingly secured by President Obama and the EU. Meanwhile, some in his administration appear to be pursuing or fantasizing once again about regime change. The President does not appear sufficiently aware of the dangerous dynamics in play, be they emanating from within his own Administration or from the Middle East region.

    • Submitted by Brian Gandt on 06/26/2019 - 12:37 pm.

      Understood, big deal. Some of us feel that the current POTUS has demeaned the office to the point of deserving no respect. We are free to feel that way. You are free to feel the way you do.

  18. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/29/2019 - 08:01 am.

    I’m not sure the true nature of anti-American Iranian grievances emerging from this conversation. Some comments try to dismiss current Iranian hostility on the basis of the historical distance between now and the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953. Some other commenters have addressed that but I think it’s critical to understand that this isn’t just about something that happened in 1953. The Iranian revolution of 1979 wasn’t about something that happened in the 50’s, it was about the ongoing repression of the murderous regime that the Shaw brought with him when he came to power, it was about what was happening in Iran in 1979.

    The Shaw’s regime was inextricably tied to the US because we provided almost all of the Shaw’s military equipment, and training, and this was no secret. Iranian secret service agents and counterintelligence officers were trained at the US Army School of the Americas in Panama.

    You will recall that it was the US decisions to provide sanctuary for the deposed Shaw that actually triggered the protests that led to the hostage crises.

    The US hasn’t been “great” to Iran since the hostages were released. During the first Gulf War we shot down an Iranian passenger plane killing 130 civilians. Of course we supported the Iraqi invasion. Every now and then US covert operations inside Iran breach the surface. The Iranian suspicion’s regarding hikers that choose to explore war zone mountain ranges aren’t without basis. And of course we know that the US has been launching cyber attacks inside Iran.

    The nuclear deal Obama signed dialed down some of the ongoing hostility, but it’s almost certain that Trump’s abandonment of that treaty restarted covert programs and incursions. The drone was almost certainly part of a stepped-up incursion regime.

    So yes, history informs current attitudes and policy, but much of the hostility Iranians feel towards the US has little to do with something that happened 70 years ago… it’s much more immediate.

  19. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/29/2019 - 08:38 am.

    I’m afraid I don’t believe anything this president or his cabinet tell us unless there is incontrovertible evidence. Everyone involved in the current Iran crises is a documented liar, from Trump to Bolton.

    I don’t believe for a moment that the drone was in international air space, and I don’t believe claims that the Iranians are for some reason suddenly attacking oil tankers, why would the do that, and why now? So far the US has presented ZERO evidence that could actually confirm these accusations. And you’ll notice the rest of the world isn’t reacting with outrage against Iran over this, despite the potential disruption of oil supplies.

    I honestly would not be surprised to find that the attacks on the tankers were actually a US black op designed to trigger an international reaction to Iran. No one was hurt, and the tankers were not crippled. Don’t you think the Iranians know how to cripple an oil tanker if they want to? But that’s just me.

    Trumps claim that he suddenly called off the attack for humanitarian reasons is only plausible if you know absolutely nothing about Donald Trump. More likely someone with a couple functioning brain cells managed to explain that US and it’s assets and allies in the region are actually quite vulnerable, and would be targets of Iranian reprisals that could range from attacks on naval vessels to missile attacks on Israel. This scenario spins out of control rather quickly and catastrophically once you actually start bombing Iran. My guess would be that Trump realized that killing Iranians would get American’s killed as well.

    Like all bullies Trump will only throw a punch when there’s no danger, Iran is extremely dangerous.

    The US military does not and never has liked the Middle East as a battlefield. The Persian Gulf is a nightmare for a Navy like ours, it’s like putting a task force in Lake Superior. No square foot of the Persian Gulf is out of range of modern anti-ship missiles that we know Iran and other have acquired. Things don’t go well for deep water navies in the Persian Gulf. You’ll recall that the Iraqi’s shot a US destroyer with an Exocet missile in 1987.

    I seriously doubt that Trump really understands ANY of this, but his admirals and generals are quite cognizant the military realities and perils of the region.

  20. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/29/2019 - 08:54 am.

    I will also say that it’s quite dismaying to see the US media snapping to attention yet again when a president beats a war drum. It looks to me like the media by-and-large are accepting Trump et al claims at face value. PBS News Hour managed to find a couple “experts” that couldn’t imagine anyone BUT the Iranians attacking the tankers… although they could provide absolutely no evidence or even rationale for such attacks. Apparently Iranians do these things just because they’re nasty people.

    One could be forgiven for thinking that the media might have learned a lesson from the pre-war misinformation campaign they were duped into broadcasting prior to the last Iraq War… but alas they’re critical intellects and memories must reside on someone’s Etch-A-Sketch.

Leave a Reply