“Fifty years ago this week [on August 19, 1953], the CIA and the British SIS [Secret Intelligence Service] orchestrated a coup d’etat [in Iran] that toppled the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh. The prime minister and his nationalist supporters in parliament roused Britain’s ire when they nationalised the oil industry in 1951, which had previously been exclusively controlled by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Mossadegh argued that Iran should begin profiting from its vast oil reserves. Britain accused him of violating the company’s legal rights and orchestrated a worldwide boycott of Iran’s oil that plunged the country into financial crisis. The British government tried to enlist the Americans in planning a coup, an idea originally rebuffed by President Truman. But when Dwight Eisenhower took over the White House, cold war ideologues–determined to prevent the possibility of a Soviet takeover–ordered the CIA to embark on its first covert operation against a foreign government. …the CIA–with British assistance–undermined Mossadegh’s government by bribing influential figures, planting false reports in newspapers and provoking street violence. Led by an agent named Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, the CIA leaned on a young, insecure Shah to issue a decree dismissing Mossadegh as prime minister. By the end of Operation Ajax, some 300 people had died in firefights in the streets of Tehran.

 – Dan De Luce, “The Spectre of Operation Ajax,” The Guardian, Aug. 20, 2003


President Dwight Eisenhower “said he wanted to promote the idea of an Islamic jihad against godless communism. ‘We should do everything possible to stress the *holy war* aspect,’ he said at a September [7] 1957 White House meeting…”

 – Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes, Page 158


“A joint United States-Canadian command, NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] was established [May 12] 1958, at the height of the Cold War. Its mission, ‘air sovereignty,’ was control of airspace above the domestic United States, as well as surveillance and control of the airspace of Canada and the United States. It was empowered to enforce ‘air sovereignty’ through the use of fighter jets kept on constant alert around the perimeter of the continent.”

 – John Farmer, The Ground Truth, Pages 27-28


On July 14, 1958, “A group of Iraqi army officers have staged a coup in Iraq and overthrown the monarchy. Baghdad Radio announced the Army has liberated the Iraqi people from domination by a corrupt group put in power by ‘imperialism.’ From now on Iraq would be a republic that would ‘maintain ties with other Arab countries.’ …While Iraqis are celebrating on the streets of Baghdad, the news is a cause for concern for western powers worried about their oil interests and instability in the region.”

 – “1958: Coup in Iran Sparks Jitters in Middle East,” BBC News – On This Day segment


” ‘If you go and live with these Arabs,’ President [Dwight] Eisenhower told [Director of Central Intelligence] Allen Dulles and the assembled members of the National Security Council [on June 18, 1959], ‘you will find that they simply cannot understand our ideas of freedom and human dignity. They have lived so long under dictatorships of one kind or another, how can we expect them to run successfully a free government?’ ”

 – Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes, Page 157


“In early September 1960 the Iraqi government hosted officials from Venezuela and three Gulf countries for an obscure five-day conference in Baghdad. Wearing suits rather than robes, and sitting at a plain wooden table, they founded the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).” [The 5th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Basra and Umm Qasr, “Crude Diplomacy,” The Economist, Feb. 18, 2010


-John F. Kennedy – Democratic president elected
-Lyndon B. Johnson – Vice President



-John F. Kennedy – Democratic president inaugurated
-Lyndon B. Johnson – Vice President



“The first instance of American and British military intervention in Iraq, post-independence, goes back to July 1961, when British troops moved in to defend Kuwait against Iraqi troops massing on its border. Iraq claimed Kuwait based on the fact that as a part of the Ottoman Empire it had been subject to Iraqi suzerainty [a sovereign or a state exercising political control over a dependent state]. Kuwait was key to US-UK interests in the region; Gulf Oil (owned jointly by British and American interests) had been extracting oil from the Burgan oilfield there since 1946.” [The 15th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – Abdel Bari Atwan, The Secret History of Al Qaeda, Page 182


“Despite the arguments of some well-known scholars to the contrary, every state has, in the words of onetime Secretary of State Elihu Root [on August 30, 1962], ‘the right…to protect itself by preventing a condition of affairs in which it will be too late to protect itself.’ ”

 – John Yoo, War By Other Means, Page 61