“On January 16, 1979, the self-styled ‘King of Kings’ (the Shah of Iran) was…forced to seek exile abroad. To understand the reason for this unexpected dénouement, it is necessary to note that the Shah was essentially a western creation. Once before he had been forced into exile, in 1953, when he tried to oppose a popular (democratically elected and anti-Communist) Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq, who had nationalized the oilfields at the expense of (the) Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. A State Department intelligence report prepared in January 1953 by the outgoing Truman administration concluded that Mossadeq’s nationalization measure had ‘almost universal Iranian support.’” - L.S. Stavrianos, Global Rift
Dr. Snyder’s Tip #10 – Believe in truth
“To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.” – Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny
Dr. Snyder’s Tip #11 – Investigate
“Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on the internet is there to harm you. Learn about sites that investigate propaganda campaigns (some of which come from abroad). Take responsibility for what you communicate with others.” – Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny
“When the white man turns tyrant, it is his own freedom that he destroys.” – George Orwell
“Cruelty and wrong are not the greatest forces in the world. There is nothing eternal in them.
Only love is eternal.”- Elisabeth Elliot
Since the discovery of oil in the Middle East just before World War I, the truth about Western interests there has been all about the oil, the whole oil, and nothing but the oil. The people there didn’t matter, except to those, like Laurence of Arabia, Agatha Christie, and countless western humanitarians and other idealists, who saw them as men and women who spoke different languages, but shared a membership with us in the human race. Such folks from the West understood that the modern nation of Iran was descended from a Farsi speaking people tracing their heritage back to the Persian Empire of Biblical times. This proud heritage was constantly disrespected in the 20th Century by British and American foreign policy, vastly underrated by American media, and completely misunderstood by the average American “at the gas pump.” Fortunately for me, as a teacher of world history in Chicago in 1979, when the sh*t hit the fan in Teheran, and the chickens from America’s overthrowing of democracies in Latin America and the Middle East began to come home to roost, I had an answer. I was able to explain why Iranians would turn from a Shah who loved rock n’ roll to religious clerics who were decidedly un-secular, with an analogy that related, ironically enough, to a car’s internal combustion engine.
In the 1980’s my gas guzzling commuter students and I were well aware of a popular TV ad for the Fram Oil Filter. It showed a mechanic just finishing up a very expensive engine overhaul, due to its owner’s neglect to change his oil on a regular basis. The mechanic held up a Fram Oil Filter, costing only a few dollars and said, “pay me now or pay me later!” I told the students that the democratically elected Mossadeq, whom the Truman Administration had deemed popular and anti-Communist, was the oil filter, an inexpensive concession to the engine of Iranian (Persian) nationalism, compared to the greater damage that could occur if it were ignored. Because the Eisenhower Administration lied about its “cheap gasoline” reasons for overthrowing the Mossadeq democratic government and brought back the western oil company friendly, autocratic Shah in 1953, the world ended up with the full engine overhaul job of the Islamic Republic in 1979.
Now, in 2020, we have the Trump Administration, in order to cover up their colossal ignorance about Persian nationalism, and Iran’s ability to back it up, which had been recognized and honestly explained to the American people by the Obama Administration, committing yet another foreign policy f*ck up that will possibly cost a war weary American public more of their sons, daughters, and dollars. I needed my KGB animal friends to make some sense of this.
High Plains Reader: Hello dear friends. Why can’t even Msnbc explain to Americans that we never would have had that much trouble with the likes of Qassem Soleimani in the 21st Century or even the Ayatollahs since 1979, if we had respected Iranian sovereignty in 1953?
Omar Khayyam: Or in 1946, when Western fears were about the Russians, whom Iranians hated, and still don’t like very much. Or in 1942 when the menace was Hitler and Japan. It’s not like honest and intelligent journalists have not been busy. Rachel Maddow has been exposing lies that the New York Times continues to publish about Hillary Clinton. Lawrence O’Donnell almost lost his job relentlessly pursuing Donald Trump’s birther lies about President Obama’s American citizenship. Ari Melber, Chris Matthews, Joy Reid, Chris Hayes, Brian Williams and many others are hosting hundreds of sources that help us get to the truth. They can’t do it all.
Rasputin: Responsible journalism even seems to be infecting some of the gang at FOX who are disrupting President Trump’s daily briefing -- that he gets from them instead of the CIA, FBI, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other sections of American intelligence below the pay grade of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr, and OMB Chief Mick Mulvaney.
Putin: And day to day lies are so much easier to disseminate than an historical context that gives truthful facts a better chance. Hitler’s “big lie;” Joe McCarthy’s “multiple untruths,” Dick Cheney’s “weapons of mass destruction,” still produce short-term success, or they would have been discarded as a tactic long ago.
HPR: But the rest of us live with the consequences of those lies; assassinations of the truth.
Torquemada: Not exactly. The rest of you have to live with the consequences of believing those lies. You supposedly live in a democracy. You have no business accepting the statements of your political, economic, or social leaders, without putting those assassinations of the truth into context with other possible explanations. Your first question should always be, who benefits from your believing their truths, or bullsh*t? You or them?
Omar Khayyam: For example, do you really think that Trump ordered the assassination of Soleimani because he understands anything that is going on in the Middle East?
HPR: No. Trump has been associating with thugs for so long that he can’t tell one from another, at home or abroad.
Putin: And do you really think that Trump feared war in the Middle East with Iran more than Impeachment by Nancy Pelosi and the House of Representatives?
HPR: No, but he does now, because he forgot about that part in his rantings to his base about “stupid wars.” Wait a minute! Are you saying that Trump is at war with Congress?
Putin: Yes, but that’s old news. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney waged war against Congress in 2003, but nobody noticed because they were more successful liars, and Democrats rolled over much easier back then they do now under Nancy Pelosi.
Omar Khayyam: America’s assassination of Soleimani temporarily, but passionately, united democratically inclined Iranians with their autocratic leadership. Iran’s response to the killing of one of their top military has already led to the downing of a Ukrainian airliner with innocent Iranians as well as other world citizens aboard. If Trump and Pompeo continue to seek to divert Americans from the “real war” that consumes him, you could see your President’s phony fantasies turn into real nightmares for all of you, equaling or exceeding the bogus second Iraq war orchestrated by Dick Cheney and the same chicken hawks who paraphrased the Beach Boys with “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.”
HPR: What real war? Where?
Rasputin: Iowa. New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and the rest of the Primary States where the Democratic Party is deciding whom to choose to lead them against a toy tyrant. Trump’s infantile rages threaten us only because of his destructive powers as President of the United States. He is desperate to avoid responsibility for his actions that he has never faced in his pathetic life up to this time. I assume you noticed that Speaker Pelosi chose to schedule the sending over of the Articles of Impeachment after her Party had its Iowa debate, giving the three Presidential candidates, who are also Senators, an even chance to martial their democratic forces on both battlefields.
HPR: Yes. She is not only tough, but also very, very clever. She let the media, and Trump, think that all she cared about was his vacuous State of the Union Message scheduled for February 4, when her real focus was on doing her job as a Democratic leader in the House of Representatives and as a sworn protector of Constitutional Checks and Balances.
Rocinante: Also, billionaires like Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer are lining up to defeat Trump, Moscow Mitch, and supine Republicans right into November. Democratic Party ranks are forming, despite honest differences of opinion, even as dark money and gas-lighting social media seek to divide the American public into violent factions.
HPR: Are you saying that American politics in 2020 is like warfare?
Kim Dog Un: Of course! What else is new? Military hostilities, and excessive police force exerted within and without democracies are essentially an admission of failure in, or ignorance of, the peaceful arts of politics and diplomacy. Dictatorships and Oligarchies depend upon this. The more violence, the less democracy.
Lena: We are reminded of this age old reality every time that Msnbc takes time out from their 24/7 coverage of Trump’s f*ckups in the present, to allow historians Michael Beschloss, Jon Meacham and Timothy Snyder to remind us of f*ckups in the past.
by John Strand
Not long ago, we did not have Coronavirus or Covid-19 in our vocabulary. Now our worlds have been changed. And that change is not stopping anytime soon, it would appear.Most of us are in the same boat. Our businesses are in…
by John Showalter
Fargo obviously loves their classical music. Audiences have still turned out during the 2019-2020 season of the Sanford Masterworks Series performed by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra despite an unrelenting winter. That…
by HPR Contributor
by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…
by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comFar North Spirits, located up in Hallock, MN, is the northernmost distillery in the lower 48. They may be young in the distillery world but the farm and the spirit reach far into the past.…
by HPR Contributor
by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…