The Acts of the Democracies
Year : 1953
12 Items Selected
The UK and Egypt decide the future of Sudan without reference to the people there.
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Shah (king) of Iran takes power in a coup planned and supported by the USA and UK secret services (Operation Ajax). He topples the flourishing and popular democracy of Mohammed Mossadeq.
Mossadeq had stated that the mineral wealth of the country should benefit its citizens. This did not please the Western oil companies. The parliament had nationalised UK oil concessions that were reaping 88% of the profits from the country's oil industry. Iran had offered the UK 25% of the profits. The UK responded by imposing a blockade on Iran and freezing Iranian assets.
After the coup, oil concessions are given to USA and UK companies - Anglo-Iranian Oil is renamed British Petroleum.
Internal dissent is crushed by the secret police. This brutal regime terrorises the country for 25 years and is eventually displaced by Ayatollah Khomeini's equally brutal regime in 1979.
The new regime is described by the USA newspaper, the New York Times (6 August) as "good news indeed" and sends out a chilling warning:
"Underdeveloped countries with rich resources now have an object lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid by one of their number which goes berserk with fanatical nationalism. It is perhaps too much to hope that Iran's experience will prevent the rise of Mossadeqs in other countries, but that experience may at least strengthen the hands of more reasonable and more far-seeing leaders."
In the above quote, fanatical nationalism means being independent economically of the USA while reasonable and far-seeing mean compliant.
The American CIA first uses the term Blowback. It is a metaphor for the unintended consequences of the USA government's international activities that have been kept secret from the American people. The term is coined during the Iranian coup. In Iran, a flourishing democracy is converted to a brutal dictatorship which becomes and anti-West theocracy (rule by religion).
The USA had laid the ground for the coup by paying for stories against Mohammed Mossadeq to be placed in friendly newspapers. According to Richard Cottam, one of the CIA operatives: "Any article I would write - it gave you something of a sense of power - would appear about instantly. They were designed to show Mossadegh as a Communist collaborator and a fanatic." He estimates that 80% of the leading newspapers in the capital, Tehran, were under CIA influence.
In Israel 75 Palestinians are killed in Kibya, an Arab village near the Jordanian border. The attack involves 700 Israeli soldiers using mortars, machine guns, rifles and explosives against civilians. 42 houses are blown up as well as the school and mosque. A United Nations report states that "the inhabitants had been forced by heavy fire to stay inside, until their homes were blown up over them".
The attack was authorised by Israeli Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion and planned by Ariel Sharon (who would later be Prime Minister), leader of Unit 101.
Father Ralph Gorman, editor of the Sign, National Catholic Magazine of the USA writes:
"Terror was a political weapon of the Nazis. But the Nazis never used terror in a more cold-blooded and wanton manner than the Israelis in the massacre of Kibya. Women and children as well as men were murdered deliberately, systematically, and in cold blood."
Israel attacks the Gaza Strip, in Egypt.
Laos fights against French rule. Many countries are beginning to demand the freedoms enjoyed by the West. The freedom fighters are labelled as rebels and terrorists in Western media.
The UK exiles King Kabaka Mutesa II of Uganda from his homeland. Sultan Muhammad V is exiled from Morocco by France.
Western countries are unwilling to let go of their colonies, removing leaders and monarchs in order to keep the population leaderless.
The UK (with help from the USA) overthrows the democratically elected government of Cheddi Jagan in British Guyana. Jagan would win 3 elections in 11 years and each time the two powers would prevent him from taking office using techniques like strikes, terrorism, legal challenges and disinformation.
The new regime ensured the flow of cheap sugar and bauxite (an ore of aluminium) continued to the UK.
The USA army disperses the toxic chemical zinc cadmium sulphide through the city of Winnipeg in Canada as part of chemical and biological tests.
Between 1949 and 1953, the USA and UK attempt to overthrow the government of Albania.
The USA CIA creates a secret civilian army in West Germany and draws up a list of over 200 Social Democrats, Communists and others who are to be "put out of the way" in the event of an invasion by the USSR.
The USA CIA sets up an organisation called the National Movement for Free Elections in the Philippines to influence political life. The organisation finances favoured candidates, plants news stories about opponents and writes speeches.
The base would become home to 10,000 military personnel. In 1968 a B-52 bomber would crash in the area, scattering four nuclear warheads over the ice. Officially, Greenland was nuclear-free at the time.
In the UK, a 20 year old soldier, Ronald Maddison, dies in a military experiment involving sarin nerve gas.
The story was covered up until 2004.