Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lies The Iranian Revolutionaries Told You

(Note: This was originally going to be a video for my 'Politically Incorrect Truth About Monarchy' series but the new Windows10 sound recorder is not compatible with the Windows10 movie-making program. Go figure. I only have an outline for those things -because I don't want to sound like I'm just reading things- but I took that and 'fleshed it out' into this piece. Not something I would normally do but since I had already said I was going to do the video, and that is no longer possible, this was the only way to go. -MM)

When it comes to revolutions, many people have an incorrect view of them, an overly romanticized view. However, most manage to get the basic facts across, they simply try to justify the bad points in the name of the greater good of “the revolution”. However, the Islamic Revolution in Iran might just stand alone as being the most dishonest revolution in history. Its story is one of lies from beginning to end. For the sake of convenience I have boiled these down to four big categories of lies that the Iranian revolutionaries have told the world. Unfortunately, as time goes on, more and more people seem to give up and accept their dishonest version of events, though the recent declassification of a great deal of reports and correspondence by the U.S. government has shed new light on some of these lies, even some that were clung to by the Carter administration. So, let’s get started with:

Lie #1: The Shah was forcing western culture on Iran
This is a total lie. The Shah brought more freedom to Iran and rolled back the policies of his father who actually had tried to force Iran to westernize/modernize. It was his father who actually passed laws forcing men to wear bowler hats (no joke) and forbidding women to wear the veil. The last Shah, his son, did away with that and gave people the freedom to adopt western styles if they wanted to. A woman didn’t have to wear a veil, but she could if she wanted to. He also enacted real freedom of religion in Iran, which oddly enough I have even heard some people criticize him for, but remember that the current regime claims to have freedom of religion as well, it is only that everyone knows this is another lie and no one takes it seriously. It should also be remembered that many of the cultural aspects people (especially westerners) associate with Iran is actually not part of Iranian culture at all. Much of it is not really Iranian or Islamic but is simply Arab and dates back to the Arab conquest of the old Sassanid empire.

The Immortals
This is important as, on the cultural front, what really caused the Shah trouble with the radical clerics was NOT that he was making Iran too western but that he was making Iran more Iranian. The Shah worked to revive classical Persian culture in a number of ways, from the military to art and architecture. This was an effort to revive popular awareness of the ancient roots of their country and of the glory days of the Persian Empire when what is now Iran had been the most powerful country in the known world, stretching across three continents. However, the radical clerics despised this effort because it was giving attention to the period in Iranian history before the arrival of Islam and they, like others, preferred to pretend that before Islam there was nothing. They dismissed the Shah’s cultural campaign as praising primitive, pagan fire-worshippers when this early period was the time of the zenith of power and prestige for Iran.

This would be like the Christians trying to stamp out all memory of the Roman Empire because it had been pagan. As we know, Christian Europe achieved its greatest cultural flowering when the classical art and literature of pagan Greece and Rome were rediscovered. The Shah was trying to do the same thing in Iran. As an example, one of things that offended the clerics the most was his adoption of a new calendar. Previously Iran had used the Muslim calendar, imported by the Arabs, which marked time starting from the flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina. The Shah instituted a new calendar that marked time from the Persian conquest of Babylon (modern Iraq) which was obviously a uniquely Iranian model, focused on the greatest victory in Persian history. The clerics, of course, detested this and his other efforts. However, it is also important to note that, because their accusations were lies, a number of the same policies that the Ayatollah and his kind denounced when enacted by the Shah were quietly retained by the Islamic Republic after they took power. Because many of his modernizations worked and the mullahs all knew that they worked.

Lie #2: The Shah was a puppet of the United States of America
Probably the most widely believed and oft-touted of the lies the revolutionaries tell, mostly because it gains traction the more unpopular the U.S.A. becomes, it is nonetheless untrue. I have long found it very amusing the people who hate America have so much in common with those who worship America. One thinks America does nothing good and the other that America does nothing bad but both believe that America is the center of the world and all life revolves around Washington DC. It is utter nonsense. First of all, this accusation tends to come from the episode in which the Shah was briefly overthrown but was restored to the throne with the assistance of the British and American intelligence agencies. The untold truth here is that the British always had far more interest in Iran than the Americans did. The British had interest in Iran going back a very long time, the British had established most of the oil industry in Iran and it was the British, not the Americans, who were the driving force behind the restoration of the Shah. It is only when British power began to decline and American power began to rise up that the U.S.A. became the great bogeyman.

He who sups with the devil must have a long spoon
The Shah was, of course, friendly with the United States and for the very good reason that he was concerned about the threat of the Soviet Union and the spread of communism. It tends to be forgotten, outside of Iran anyway, that the expansion of the Russian Empire (whose territory was taken over by the Soviets) in the region came at the expense of the old Persian Empire. Even today, while Russia goes on arming the Iranian regime, this is something Iranians have not forgotten. The Shah remembered it and Iranians today do as well, which makes all the assistance they receive from Russia absurdly naïve. The Shah, though friendly with the United States, was often critical of America just as American leaders were often critical of him. He took a great deal of criticism from America over oil prices but it largely depended on which political party was in power in Washington DC. Democrats tended to be very critical of the Shah whereas Republicans were focused on the threat of communism and did not really care how the Shah ruled his country as long as he was on side against the communists.

President Jimmy Carter, for example, stopped the sale of weapons to Iran because he disapproved of the Shah. Also, in a broader context, while Iran was friendly with the U.S. and did recognize the State of Israel, Iran had far more and friendlier relations with the rest of the Islamic community than Iran has today. Under the Shah, Iran was on very good terms with Saudi Arabia and with Egypt (the Shah’s first wife was from the Egyptian Royal Family) both of which today are enemies of Iran. When the Shah was in power, American influence was largely absent from the region as he was the ‘policeman’ of the Persian Gulf and worked to assist royalists against communists in neighboring countries. This was not something that the United States would typically do, usually preferring to back a third option that inevitably failed.

Lie #3: The Ayatollah stood up to the evil Americans
Like the previous lie, the mullahs in Iran have gotten a great deal of mileage out of this lie, particularly as America becomes more unpopular. The Ayatollah Khomeini is portrayed as the courageous man of principle who stood up to the big, bad American wolf. In fact, the Ayatollah was a liar from start to finish who lied to everyone and we now know from recently declassified documents that he actively courted the support of the United States and tried his best to tell American leaders everything they wanted to hear. We also now know that, despite the lies the Carter administration has been telling for years, that they made a conscious decision to abandon the Shah and did not think the Ayatollah would be so bad (which shows how incompetent Carter and crew were, if any more evidence were needed on that front).

The Iranian Imperial Family
Again, it depended on which party was in power in Washington as the Ayatollah knew early on which side was most likely to believe him. We now know that in 1963 he sent a letter of support to President John F. Kennedy (Democrat) but knew better than to waste his time on President Richard Nixon (Republican). The Ayatollah lied, lied and lied again to the American government and, unfortunately, some of them believed him. He said that he wanted MORE of an American presence in Iran, not less, so as to offset the influence of the British and Soviets in the country. We now know that President Carter strongly and bluntly “advised” the Shah to leave the country for a “vacation” and that this would likely mean the end of his regime. They naively hoped for a third option (a familiar song, yes?) between the Shah and the Ayatollah, probably a military figure who would have a new, republican regime with the Ayatollah acting as a sort of pope-like spiritual advisor. Again, the incompetence of the Carter administration staggers the imagination.

For his part, the Ayatollah continued with his lies, telling the Americans he was their friend, promising that he would keep his country “un-aligned” in the Cold War, would continue to do business with America, would keep strong the military ties between the United States and Iran and that he would continue to sell America oil. In fact, he promised to sell oil to everyone with only two exceptions: Israel and South Africa, which is rather interesting. He was most concerned about the Iranian army and the royalist generals who he feared would be able to stop any uprising he could instigate if they really came out in force. However, his Democrat friend in Washington helped him out on this front. As well as condoning the return of the Ayatollah to Iran, the Carter administration passed word to the Ayatollah that most of the Iranian military leadership was not so royalist as everyone believed and that they would likely go along with whoever was able to take power. When the Ayatollah was timid, President Carter gave him the confidence he needed to go ahead.

Lie #4: The Islamic Revolution was a counter-revolution.
This is possibly the most absurd but I have heard it repeated too often, invariably by people on the far-right, not to point it out. This is the lie that claims that the Shah was some sort of radical progressive and that the Islamic Revolution brought things back to normal, made Iran a more traditional and conservative country than had previously been the case. It is hard to even think about it without laughing. This may be a good example of a big lie being more readily believed than a small one because this is a very big lie. The Ayatollah and his crew were revolutionaries plain and simple, in both the political and the religious spheres alike.

Plenty of Ayatollah idolatry
On the religious front, the Ayatollah came late in light to a radically different religious point of view than had ever existed in Shia Islam. As his goal of power came closer, he became more and more megalomaniacal and claimed unprecedented powers for himself. He preached a new brand of religion that even seemed to put himself above Mohammed. The Ayatollah essentially said, particularly after returning to Iran, that he spoke for God and that anyone who went against what he said was an enemy of God. Whereas clerics had always been more important in Shia Islam as compared to Sunni Islam, the Ayatollah and his regime took this to absurd lengths, claiming them to be without sin, spiritually superior beings who had to be obeyed like gods themselves. And, on the political front, the Islamic Revolution actually, in some ways, made Iran more westernized than before. In all their thousands of years of history, Persia/Iran had always been a monarchy, under the Ayatollah they became a republic and they claim (though we know it is a lie) to be democratic, so they got rid of the Shah which was a traditional title unique to Iranian history but retained or brought in political ideas from ancient Greece and Rome.

As mentioned before, they also quietly retained some of the same reforms that the Shah had instituted in their own constitution and which they had previously denounced as being the work of the devil when the Shah did it. These people, or more so their supporters, actually embrace the exaltation of the lie by condemning things the Shah did while praising the regime of the mullahs for claiming to be liberal, democratic, religiously tolerant and respecting of human rights because everyone knows they actually do not. What is more, while the Shah was friendly with the rest of the Islamic world and supported traditional governments, the mullah-regime has made enemies of most Islamic countries and tried to export their radicalism abroad. Which, by the way, is another lie as the Ayatollah specifically promised NOT to do this. He followed the typical revolutionary pattern of waiting for the strong monarch to be removed and then jumping on a liberal, moderate regime which is easily defeated to bring radicalism to power. He lied to the Iranians just as he lied to the Americans and everyone else, it has been nothing but lies from beginning to end.

Theocrat & Atheist, what an odd couple
Finally, what is perhaps most ironic given that the most oft-repeated lie about the last Shah is that he “sold out” his country to the United States, is that the Islamic regime has actually done what they had falsely accused the Shah of doing and even to a far greater extent. The cozy Iranian relationship with Christian Russia may seem bizarre but that is actually the least objectionable. So far, that relationship has been all to the benefit of Iran and the detriment of Russia. They get Russian weapons, they get to sell their oil, driving prices down and hurting the Russian economy and so grow stronger while Russia grows weaker in a region where Iran hopes to regain territory previously lost to the Russians. No, the big sell-out has been to Communist China. How is that for an Islamic Republic, selling-out to an officially atheist regime that persecutes Muslims in Xinjiang.

Chinese oil and gas companies today have far more reach in Iran than the British oil companies ever did. China has been granted billions of dollars worth of extensive contracts over Iranian mineral resources and even, going farther than anyone ever has, over Iranian territory itself. In 2011 Iran agreed to give to China exclusive mineral rights over three large oil and gas fields in Iran. China has total control over these areas, exclusive rights to the energy underground and will do the drilling, bring in Chinese workers to handle things and even have Chinese personnel in charge of security in all of these areas. It was also announced, particularly when there was concern over a U.S. or Israeli attack to take out Iranian nuclear facilities, that these three territories in Iran are considered Chinese and any attack on them would be responded to as an attack on China. Those are the facts. The Shah never “sold-out” Iran but the Ayatollahs and their puppet presidents certainly have. They have sold it out completely and quite literally.


  1. I remember growing up hearing the lies about the Iran Monarchy and see all the propaganda on the history channel saying he is a puppet of the USA. I asked a lady who said she worked there during that time and said he was loved by his people and was not what the media said he was. She said he loved his people and was giving the freedom to choose their own life.

  2. Isn't it true that Jimmy Carter undermined the Shah and supported his overthrow? The loss of the Shah was a loss for the region if not the world.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I truly hope Iran wakes up from this horrible nightmare.

    1. I really hope too. Iranian menace frightening the very stability that left of the Middle East. I cannot think of horror that will come if Iran decides to make drastic move, most probably against the Persian gulf principalities and SAU. Something that was possible in my opinion, before 2011, but now not so much.
      The more the world becomes extreme, I can imagine Israel, the USA without Democrats and UK without EU supporting revolution in Iran, maybe causing the return of the Shah, a dream perhaps.

  4. Glad to see you are still fighting the fight for monarchism. Very eye opening article on the Shah.

  5. Articles are always more stimulating for me than videos. Thanks for the content.


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