Blood Soaked Throne
FSU Student Compares Shah To “Rabid Dog” (1978)
“How the hell can you call the majority of the Iranian people — nearly 34 million of them — terrorists?”
In the late 1970’s, Florida State University in Tallahassee became a site of severe unrest over the Shah of Iran’s U.S.-backed dictatorship, with regular demonstrations taking place on campus. Some students feared the possibility of an American military intervention, and the spectre of Vietnam was invoked on more than one occasion.
This letter to the editor of the FSU school newspaper is a sampling of the sentiment among many of its student activists.
Wednesday, November 8, 1978
Communist youth says shah
‘no more than rabid dog’
In recent months we have heard almost daily accounts of mass rebellions against the shah of Iran and his fascist regime. Just recently at least 50 more people were gunned down in the streets by the shah’s troops, who, under martial law, have orders to shoot to kill. Last month millions took to the streets in the most massive demonstrations against the shah’s regime in his 25 years of bloody rule. On Sept. 8, now called “Black Friday,” as many as 10,000 unarmed people were killed in the streets in different cities throughout Iran.
But the most vicious crime committed by this dictator who is no more than a rabid dog, occurred on Saturday, Aug. 19, 25 years to the day after the CIA-engineered coup that placed the shah back on his blood soaked throne in 1953. That night the shah’s police and army burned to death nearly 800 people who were watching a progressive film in the Rex Theater of Abadan. In a closely coordinated media campaign, official Iranian sources and the U.S. press immediately blamed “Moslem fanatics” and “Islamic Marxists” for setting the fire. [forensically speaking, the killer’s identities remain a mystery] This slander was an attempt to discredit the peoples’ movement internationally. By attacking the opposition and creating the impression outside Iran that everyone in the movement, or the majority of its leaders are fanatics and terrorists, the shah aims to justify continued oppression and possible direct U.S. military involvement to stamp out the movement for independence and democracy.
But who are the real terrorists? Anyone who would gun down thousands of unarmed people in the streets, I would call a terrorist! Anyone who would burn to death a theater full of young people, I would call a terrorist! And any system which has sold $18 billion worth of arms to the shah of Iran, I would call that a terrorist system. And that’s just what our ruling class has done and is doing, and that’s what imperialism is all about: using whatever means necessary to maintain its system of exploitation and misery.
And what about President Jimmy “Human Rights” Carter, who phoned the shah at the height of the slaughter last month and gave him his full support and best wishes that the violence would soon be over so they could get back to the business of making profit? How the hell can you call the majority of the Iranian people — nearly 34 million of them — terrorists? This is absurd.
What is more absurd is all the garbage we’re supposed to believe about the shah’s so-called liberal reforms and modernization. These amount to pushing more of the peasantry off their land and building new modern Chase Manhattan Banks to replace the old ones being burned down by the people in their righteous protests against these symbols of U.S. imperialism.
Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade
U.S. Intervention in Iran Feared “Just like in Vietnam” — Florida Flambeau, Dec. 1978
Media smear Iranian people — Univ. of Iowa student letter in The Daily Iowan, Oct. 1978
Revolutionary Student Brigade leader on U.S. support for the Shah’s dictatorship (1977)
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”