AP column from Saturday December 8, 1951. On the same day, The Plattsburgh Press-Republican in New York published this syndicated piece as their own lead editorial — without any attribution — with the title "Brewers Get Scalded". On December 10, Wisconsin newsapaper La Crosse Tribune ran it as "Pot Boils In Iran, All May Suffer", yet incorrectly attributed it to a different syndicated column — The World Today by James Marlow!
INTERPRETING THE NEWS
By J.M. ROBERTS JR.
Associated Press News Analyst
The brew concocted by Dr. Mossadegh's extreme Nationalists in Iran is beginning to boil over, as expected, and the brewers stand to get scalded along with the rest of the country. True to their normal two-faced form, the Communists at first supported the Nationalists in order to get the brew boiling.
Riding the crest of ignorance and anti-British feeling, as the demagogues always do, Iran blindly stuck her neck into a noose. In a strange mood which Western peoples find hard to understand, she preferred economic and perhaps political suicide to a straight business deal with Britain over the oil.
Now the government is in desperate straits for money, and the country is running on a currency which has practically no material baking. The wildest sort of inflation appears to be in the offing, with the government seemingly powerless to extract higher taxes from the very rich or to do anything for the very poor, the only two classes of citizens in Iran.
As always in these twisted situations, the Communists have been ready. Where they once led anti-British demonstrations, they now wear the mask of agitators for the poor and attack the government.
Thursday's rioting may be taken as merely a beginning of trouble which, already taking similar form in Egypt. Can be expected to spread among the weakly-governed and economically unstable countries of the Middle East. Already there is word of revulsion in Iraq against that government's 50-50 deal with the British over oil.
American financial aid for Iran would seem to be just about the only hope of preventing a collapse which in all probability would produce a Communist coup, taking the country behind the iron curtain. Yet financial aid would controvert British policy which is based on the belief that in a collapse by the Nationalist government her friends can come back in time to forestall the Communists. It doesn't seem to be a very sound belief, but it is there, lying athwart any prospect of American aid. And there is also the aspect that American aid would in large part represent acquiescence in a peculiarly eastern form of blackmail which might, instead of merely allaying a crisis in one country, start a chain reaction throughout the area, producing never-ending crisis.
The only solution seems to be to convince the Iranians that the moral victory of suicide will hardly be profitable. But they seem to have moved into a rarified atmosphere of unreasoning unreality which makes this difficult if not impossible.