“The United States has been at war with radical Islamist terrorism for at least 35 years,” writes the former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich in a column printed in today’s Wall Street Journal, “starting with the November 1979 Iranian seizure of the US Embassy in Tehran and taking 52 hostages. Of course, he fails to mention that it was the action of the US government in 1953 that gave birth to and incubated the hatred for the West.
In 1953, the CIA removed a democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran and instated the Shah, effectively taking the entire Iranian citizenry hostage. The Shah was so brutal to his people that he became known as “the Bloody Shah,’ and the US came to be known as “The Great Satan” for installing him. Somehow we always seem to forget that little detail when we paint the Islamists as terrorists – as if they simply hate Christians so much that they target the West.
Our leaders like to pretend this enmity sprung from a vacuum instead of our meddling in the affairs of the Middle East.
And what led us to to depose a democratically elected leader (Mohammad_Mosaddegh ) and present the Iranians with a violent tyrant? The British had assured us that the Shah would be sympathetic to our oil interests in Iran.
Gingrich is worried that we are losing the war on terrorism, and outlines 7 points of inquiry in which we must study our enemy, that we must come to understand “the deep roots of Islamist beliefs.” But he never suggests that we recall our own role in its creation.
Heaven forbid we should ever take responsibility for our own role in the war Gingrich says we are losing.