‘The West Created These Monsters’

Tarek Fatah on Destructive U.S. Foreign Policy

Arash Norouzi
The Mossadegh Project | August 12, 2008                     

“By throwing out Mossadegh in the 1950’s, because the West didn’t like his policies on oil, we lay the seeds of Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamic revolution that has oppressed the Iranian people now for nearly three decades and now poses a threat to all of us.”

Tarek Fatah Tarek Fatah, a Pakistani born Indian Muslim raised in Canada, is known mainly as an advocate for secular Islam and a harsh critic of Islamic extremism. He is a columnist, TV host, author, and founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress.

Here are some of his writings and interviews relevant to Islamic Republic of Iran, the unintended byproduct, he says, of Western intervention during the Cold War.

FrontPage Magazine Interview (August 2008)

In his interview with far right wing web site FrontPage Magazine, Fatah railed against the U.S. role in crushing democracy in the Middle East, helping to bring about the rise of fundamentalist Islam.

“However, whether your readers like to read this or not, the USA played the most significant role in destroying the nascent democratic institutions that were starting to show signs of growth with roots deep into the countryside of these largely poor nations.

The Cold War had begun and the US needed to circle the underbelly of the USSR. Who else but the Muslim world was there to be used in this effort. One by one democratically elected governments were either overthrown by CIA help or were undermined by internal coups to install monarchs or military dictators who were willing to fight the communist Russian bear.

Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh (1882-1967) First the popular elected government of Iran led by Mossadegh was overthrown in a CIA sponsored coup in 1953 and the Shah of Iran was flown in to take over. Next door in Pakistan in 1958 another US backed coup dissolved parliament and installed Field Marshal Ayub Khan.

In Iraq, the CIA spirited Saddam Hussein from Cairo to help overthrow the government in Baghdad. In 1965, in Indonesia a bloodbath took place where Islamists were used by the American backed military coup to hunt down and massacre hundreds of thousands of secular, liberal and left wing Indonesians. Thus, the very people who could have built the democratic institutions in the Muslim world were wiped out. On the other hand the US propped up the medieval kingdom of Saudi Arabia and even today serves as a guarantor to the 5,000 princes and princelings who occupy the Muslim holy lands as surrogates of the Empire.

Today, the people and the institutions that could have introduced democracy, freedom and human rights to the Muslim world, lay in tatters, chased out or killed by regimes that relied on US support. Today the only Iranian group that can provide a challenge to the Iranian Mullahs has been banned by the US and Canada. There are times the West needs to look at itself in the mirror and ask, “Did we create these monsters?” The answer is yes.”

Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State (2008)

Excerpts from Tarek Fatah’s 2008 book:

Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh (1882-1967) “A few years earlier, the CIA had faced a similar situation in next-door Iran where a left-leaning Muhammad Mossadeqh [sic — Mohammad Mossadegh] had won the elections; Mossadeqh was removed in a messy coup. In Pakistan, the pro-US armed forces had learned from the Mossadeqh affair. Of course, domestic politics were also at play. The president of the country, Iskander Mirza, was aware that a new parliament would not have him as the head of state and if elections were held, his days were numbered. The US-backed military and the president acted to pre-empt the victory of the centre-left. On October 7, 1958, a coup took place in Pakistan and the constitution of the country was abrogated, thus cancelling the upcoming election.”

. . . . . . . . . . .

“The role of Khomeini’s mentor, Ayatollah Kashani, during this period illustrates the conniving tactics the men in cloaks and black turbans have employed. At the height of the struggle, Kashani, a leading mullah of that time, openly sided with the monarchists, inciting his followers to oppose Prime Minister Mossadeqh, whom he falsely labelled as a communist and atheist lover, echoing the language of the British Oil companies, Britain’s Mi5, and the US Central Intelligence Agency...”

The Globe and Mail — July 13, 2007

Fatah also argued that the West unleashed radical Islam in this live web chat for the Globe and Mail’s web site, following his column on Musharraf of Pakistan.

Derek Butler from St. John’s Canada writes: Having lived in the Middle East and North Africa conducting democratic development, and now teaching on preconditions of democracy, I like you am more than fan of democratic government. But Algeria and Palestine are just two more recent examples of the ballot box having produced less than ideal results (in one case an election thwarted to avoid Islamic fundamentalists taking control, and the second Hamas taking power). I would be interested in hearing Mr. Fatah give some thought to the insufficiency of elections, even fair ones, in light of his comment ‘The best way to fight Islamist radicalism in Pakistan is to ask the general to step down and organize democratic elections without the aid of fraudulent voter lists that deny exiled politicians a return to the country.’

Tarek Fatah: In both Palestine and Algeria, the West made a bad thing worse. In Algeria the Islamists were the protest party against the near one-party rule of the government. Instead of allowing the Islamists to take power and deal with the reality of governing, the cancellation of the elections allowed the Islamists to grow into a radical terrorist movement that killed nearly 100,000 fellow Muslim Algerians in the bloody civil war.

By denying them power, the West proved their point that democracy is only valid if it elects people who serve Washington, not the electorate.

The election of Hamas was also a direct result of anger against the corruption of the Fatah government. Even then, Hamas won no more than 46% of the vote, while Fatah garnered 43%. So the result was pretty close. The West was right to demand that Hamas recognize Israel’s right to exist, but it failed to give Hamas room to maneuver and the result is a fiasco for all of us to see. The Hamas that could have been tamed, is now a breeding ground for even more Islamic radicals than anyone could have imagined under a Hamas-Fatah national government.

Let me point out Iran. By throwing out Mossadegh in the 1950’s, because the West didn’t like his policies on oil, we lay the seeds of Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamic revolution that has oppressed the Iranian people now for nearly three decades and now poses a threat to all of us.

There is no substitute for democracy and there are no short cuts to eradicate the scourge of Islamic terrorism.

“The ambitious princess who gets involved in everything”
Ashraf Pahlavi: The ambitious princess who gets involved in everything (1954)

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Related links:

Sec. of State John Kerry’s Historic Iran Deal: Smart Diplomacy of Appeasement?

What Motivated the September 11th Terrorist Attacks?

Novelist Ahdaf Soueif: Non-Intervention “Impossible” For the West

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

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