The Nitwit Club
March 5, 1953 — The Philadelphia Inquirer
Thus the key question in Iran: “Whose mob is the biggest?”
There were many U.S. editorials reacting to the dramatic event in Tehran known as No’he Esfand metaphorically, but The Philadelphia Inquirer was evidently the only newspaper to invoke Charles Dickens. It turns out that mining Dickens’ very first novel The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836), also known as The Pickwick Papers, did just the trick •
‘Shout With the Biggest’
Mossadegh’s mob is bigger than the Shah’s mob. That seems to be the nearest thing to a conclusion that can be drawn from the recent hectic events in Iran. Those events, incidentally, should remind Americans how remote from our notion of democracy the political realities are in that part of the world.
An uneasy “peace” has settled over Iran. The Shah is still around, even though it was his plan to leave the country that touched off the trouble. The rioting started when the Moslem leader Kashani [Ayatollah Seyed Abolghasem Kashani] and its organized mob came to the Shah’s defense, urged him to stay home, got in the first blows and chased the tear-trickling Mossadegh to seek refuge in the Parliament building.
By methods still unclear at this distance, Mossadegh managed to round up his own boys, swing them into action and drive the Kashani minions into the back alleys. Now many Iranians wonder whether they had better swing over to Mossadegh’s side.
“It’s always best on these occasions to do what the mob do”, said Mr. Pickwick. [Samuel Pickwick]
“But suppose there are two mobs?” suggested Mr. Snodgrass. [Augustus Snodgrass]
“Shout with the largest,” replied Pickwick.
Thus the key question in Iran: “Whose mob is the biggest?” Today it looks like Mossadegh’s. But what of tomorrow?
Mossadegh’s Sitdown — The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 2, 1953
O, Shah! — The Chicago Daily Tribune, March 4, 1953
Iranian Triangle — The Kingsport Times, March 4, 1953
MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”