For all you ignorant folks who are mad at Obama for apologizing to Iran because you don’t think we did anything wrong:
It’s called Operation Ajax. Learn about it. Deal with it.
In 1950′s, Iran had a democratically elected government. At that time, they were also under a colonial relic with the British that gave all (no, really, ALL) of Iran’s oil to Britain, and Britain paid Iran a pittance. And the Iranians decided it was their oil and they should get the money for it.
The British responded by telling the US that Iran was turning communist, which plugged into the cold war fear that gripped America in the 50′s. So, the US sent the CIA over to Iran and they purchased a revolution and installed a puppet dictator, the Shah of Iran.
The Shah ruled Iran for a quarter century. He stayed in power because America made certain that he had money and military equipment to crush any opposition. By the 1970′s, the Shah’s secret police had tens of thousands of Iranians in secret prisons and was torturing them to force their compliance and make the rest of the Iranian population think twice about opposing his rule.
In 1979, the Iranians had had enough and overthrew the Shah’s government while he was out of the country. The Iranian Revolution was supported by many Iranians across the political spectrum. The Iranians demanded that the Shah be returned to Iran to stand trial for his crimes of torture and murder. But the United States offered to host the Shah, which incensed the Iranians and reminded them of who had put the Shah in power in the first place. It was at this time that Iranians stormed the Embassy and took the Americans there hostage.
The Iranian students who stormed the embassy had three demands. The return of the Shah to Iran. That the US apologize for the 1953 overthrow of the democratic government of Iran. That the US release Iranian assets currently frozen in the US.
The US did none of those things.
The US overthrew the democratic government of Iran in 1953 and installed the ruthless dictator the Shah of Iran for 25 years. This dictator radicallized the Iranian people and eventually sparked the Iranian Revolution which overthrew the Shah. The resulting power vacuum was eventually filled by the Ayatollah Khomeini and the radical religious extremists that followed him.
This is what America did. This is the mess that America created. If you don’t think America should apologize for these actions and you don’t think Iran should need an apology, just imagine if our worst enemy came into America in 1953, overthrew our goverment, installed a dictator who tortured tens of thousands of people over 25 years. Just imagine that the Soviet Union somehow sent KGB spies who managed to overthrow Eisenhower and install a puppet government. Do you think Americans might be a little mad after 25 years of oppression? Do you think Americans might be a little mad if some foreign country was taking all our oil and paying us nothing for it?
The founding fathers fought the British back around 1776 because they were taxing our tea. Originally, there was a large portion of “loyalists”, people loyal to Britain, in the colonies. In earlier times, the “revolution” against the British was called “Boston’s fight” by colonialists in other parts of the land who wanted to remain British subjects. The Boston Massacre, an incident in which British troops killed 5 colonialists, radicalized a huge swath of the colonies against Britain.
The difference was that we were luckier than the Iranians after our revolution. The original constitutional convention was mostly a fight between state’s power and federal power. The constitution is mainly a functional document about who has power and how they get it. The Bill of Rights wasn’t added until later when some states refused to sign without it. There were some mention of our first president, George Washington, becoming the next “King George”. And our constitution wasn’t exactly the great document of freedom that we like to think of today: white male land owners had the political power. Women couldn’t vote. Blacks couldn’t vote. The instutition of slavery was codified into the Constitution as “other persons”.
It took America another hundred years to finally face the immorality of slavery, and even then, it took a civil war because half the country didn’t want to give it up. It took another hundred years before blacks had anything resembling true equality. Women didn’t get to vote until 1920.
America had a direct hand in overthrowing the democratic government of Iran in 1953. If you think the Iranian’s were supposed to just roll over and accept that, you don’t even know how our own nation began.