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[personal profile] mistersandman

One of the most important events in the United States' history went unnoticed and uncelebrated last week. I of course speak of the CIA's coup that ousted Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh on August 19, 1953. Last year, Sam Sasan Shoamanesh of MIT wrote a fantastic in-depth look at the event and the implications it had on these two great countries. I recommend that everyone read it, but since it is rather long, I will post choice excerpts beneath the cut.  It's still going to be a really long post, just so you've been warned.

Read more... )

I really hope you take the time to read the entire article.  And then, if you're feeling adventurous, you may want to take a look at Stephen Kinzer's All the Shah's Men, which documents the event from a more personal perspective.  Anyway, I hope you think of this story the next time you turn on the news and someone is talking about the evil, repressive nation of Iran.
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[personal profile] treesahquiche

US Vice-President Joe Biden has been cracking jokes about the Russian spy scandal on a TV chat show.

Referring to one of 10 agents sent back to Russia, comedian Jay Leno on The Tonight Show asked Mr Biden: "Do we have any spies that hot?"

Mr Biden said: "It wasn't my idea to send her back." He also defended only getting four spies released by Moscow for the 10 that they returned.

The US and Russia made a spy swap on Friday on airport tarmac in Vienna.

It was Mr Biden's first appearance on the show since taking office in 2009, although he has taken part several times before being elected.

Mr Leno showed the vice-president a photo of 28-year old Anna Chapman, one of the alleged spies.

In response to Mr Leno's questioning, Mr Biden, in a mock-serious tone, told him: "Let me be clear. It wasn't my idea to send her back."

Mr Leno also asked him why the US was only getting four people in return for the 10 accused spies they were letting go, saying it did not "seem fair".

Mr Biden responded by saying: "We got back four really good ones".

"And the 10, they'd been here a long time, but they hadn't done much," he added.


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[personal profile] treesahquiche
By Scott Atran and Robert Axelrod

NOT all groups that the United States government classifies as terrorist organizations are equally bad or dangerous, and not all information conveyed to them that is based on political, academic or scientific expertise risks harming our national security. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court, which last week upheld a law banning the provision of "material support" to foreign terrorist groups, doesn't seem to consider those facts relevant.

Many groups that were once widely considered terrorist organizations, including some that were on the State Department's official list, have become our partners in pursuing peace and furthering democracy.

Click for the full story. )

Scott Atran, an anthropologist at France's National Center for Scientific Research, the University of Michigan and John Jay College, is the author of the forthcoming "Talking to the Enemy." Robert Axelrod is a professor of political science and public policy at the University of Michigan, and the author of "The Evolution of Cooperation."


I'm all for communication, but this "We must be involved" attitude is discomfiting. Yes, sometimes American interference may be the most expedient solution, but American interference caused many of those problems, and may cause yet more.


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