Review: The CIA in Iran–The 1953 Coup and the Origins of the US-Iran Divide

5 Star, Atrocities & Genocide, Country/Regional, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Intelligence (Government/Secret), Misinformation & Propaganda, Power (Pathologies & Utilization)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Account of Unethical Incompetence Triumphant

July 26, 2010

Christopher J. Petherick

I strongly recommend that this book (or my review) be read in conjunction with its counterpart for Guatemala, Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954 (or my review).

I’ve been a clandestine case officer (C/O) with three tours in Latin America, including one in the 1980’s chasing terrorists, and while at the time I thought I was the Cold War equivalent of a Jesuit priest, I now see it all as terribly unethical, largely insane, and totally not worth the money, the risk, or the collateral damage.

Both books provide easy-to-read and still very relevant history on how the arrogance of the US, unconstrained by US ignorance, had led to surprisingly successful regime change operations despite a host of errors.

This particular book is published by a deeply anti-Zionist press, but the tone, while being churlish, is not so over-bearing as to be distracting. The book does achieve its objective: explain in no uncertain terms why Iran today despises the roots of its UK-US relations and the pillaging that was done by those two nations of its oil. See also Web of Deceit: The History of Western Complicity in Iraq, from Churchill to Kennedy to George W. Bush for the other half of the story.

Some of the highlights:

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