Fiddling and Fuddling

June 27, 1951 — The Indianapolis Times

The Mossadegh Project | July 17, 2023                       

This was the lead editorial in The Indianapolis Times of Indiana. Their front page headline was Crusier Drops Hook Off Iran Port — Attlee to Hold Secret Talks With Churchill — Tehran Rushes Troops to Abadan.

Korean War media archive

Korea and Iran

WHILE Russia has assumed the role of peacemaker in Korea — and is getting away with it — the United States has let itself be placed in a provocative light in the hectic Iranian situation — and for no good reason.

The State Department said yesterday it had decided what to do about Russia’s proposal for a cease-fire agreement in Korea, but it refused to disclose the decision. That was no help.

This policy of silence gives the Russians that much more time to flood the air waves with their propaganda. The longer this goes on, the more people will be forgetting that the Russians started this war and could have stopped it anytime they wanted to.

While the State Department fiddles with this situation, it fuddles with the one in Iran. On Monday it was announced in Singapore (a British colony) that four American destroyers had left that port for Iranian waters “a show of the flag’ — which is the British way of saying to “throw our weight around.”

THIS STORY was published all over the world including Iran. The Iranians knew that a British cruiser was en route to the Persian Gulf, so to them it must have seemed that the world’s two great naval powers were joining hands and bearing down upon them. If this isn’t the case — and we do not believe that it is — why doesn’t our government say so? [It wasn’t the case]

Asked about the destroyers yesterday, Secretary of State Acheson said he had heard nothing about such a report, and that he hesitated to accept it. [Dean Acheson] If he doesn’t read the newspapers someone should tell him these things. Then he could pick up his telephone and ask the Navy Department what about it.

The United States would be in an awkward position if Russia should move in, announcing that it intends to defend Iran against American-British aggression. This is exactly what we are asking for by not disassociating ourselves from this situation where our meddling has resulted only in misunderstanding and ill-will.

On the Korean peace proposal — if it is a proposal — Russia should be told that we will stop shooting the moment the Reds do, and Red China and the Soviets should be asked if they are prepared to make suitable reparation for the damage done in South Korean by the Chinese armies and the Russian warplanes.

We have everything it takes to deal with these situations except leadership.

1951 cartoon on Korea and Iran by Reg Manning

The Vietnam War | IRAN | What Lessons Did America Learn? by Arash Norouzi
The Vietnam War | IRAN | What Lessons Did America Learn?


Related links:

An American Policy in Iran | Muncie Star, (Indiana) June 26, 1951

Leaders Needed | The Schenectady Gazette, June 19, 1951

Do We Fight in Iran? | The Kokomo Tribune (Indiana), August 1, 1952

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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