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17 Cards in this Set

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1. in Washington, the hawks and vultures are beginning to gaze at Iran with greed-filled eyes. The British attack dog is barking and straining at the leash. And the Israeli ambassador to the United States has helpfully suggested that the onward march of the American Empire should not be brought to a premature halt in Baghdad.
2. But Iran has not forgotten that it was the United States and Britain that utilized king and cleric to bring about the regime change fifty years ago that destroyed Iran's fledgling democracy.
3. When Ahmad Shamlu--the most gifted of modern Iranian poets--died in 2000, more than 100,000 people, young and old, marched in dignified columns behind his funeral cortege while crowds lined the pavements to sing his poetry and emphasize that hope was still alive.
4. A parliament (Majlis) came into existence. It was accompanied in some regions by a peasant revolt against tax collectors and landlords, the only indigenous mainstay of the monarchy.
5. Not everything remained the same, however. In 1910, a young mullah named Ahmad Kasravi observed Halley's comet from the roof of his house in Tabriz. He was seduced by the "star with a tail."
6. In 1921 the Soviet government denounced the "tyrannical policy" of the czars, canceled the Persian debt and renounced all concessions and extraterritorial privileges that had been accorded to the ancien régime. These unilateral renunciations highlighted the imperial depredations of the British and encouraged nationalism even inside the old Cossack regiment. That same year Reza Khan marched his troops to Teheran and took control. He was appointed minister of war. Four years later, he ordered the Majlis to abolish the Qajar dynasty.
7. Reza had been inspired by the example of Kemal Atatürk in Turkey, who had foiled imperial designs and created a modern, independent state. But whereas Atatürk had abolished the Caliphate and declared Turkey a republic, his Persian impersonator, prone to flattery and corruption, had himself crowned king, with the hearty approval of the British.
8. Inside Iran only the doors of the mosque remained open. Gradually the mosque became the only arena where opposition to the Shah could be discussed and organized. US backing for the Shah's dictatorship was complete, and even moderate oppositionists now became extremely hostile to Washington.
1. At 9:34 PM EST on March 19, 2003 (5:34 AM local time in Baghdad on March 20), United States and United Kingdom forces consisting of 40 cruise missiles and strikes led by 2 F-117s from the 8th Fighter Squadron (supported by Navy EA-6B Prowlers) and other aircraft began conducting military operations against the state of Iraq designed to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction and to remove the Iraqi Regime from power.
2. The military objectives of Operation Iraqi Freedom consist of first, ending the regime of Saddam Hussein. Second, to identify, isolate and eliminate, Iraq's weapons of mass destruciton. Third, to search for, to capture and to drive out terrorists from the country. Fourth, to collect intelligence related to terrorist networks.
3. Operation Iraqi Freedom consisted of the largest special operations force since the Vietnam War. While the vast majority of special operations forces were American, the United Kingdom and the Australian militaries also provided forces. In northern Iraq there was a significant special operations presence.
4. Unfortunately, information regarding the number of Coalition sorties seems to differ depending on the sources consulted. No two figures for the same day are the similar, and can differ by as much as 700 sorties. References to the numbers of Tomahawks fired suffer from the same lack of accuracy.
Teheran beckons, and then there is always Damascus. The only argument summoned by the blood-mottled "doves" is that the occupation of Iraq should be sufficient to bring the Iranian mullahs to heel.
Neither party appears to be aware of all the recent traumas suffered by Iran or the fact that this is a nation and a people with a historical memory, something its poets have helped to preserve.
At various times Shamlu, whose life mirrored the ups and downs of Iranian politics, had described his country as "a land where no birds sing, where spring never comes...a prison so huge that the soul weeps tears of shame at its own impotence."
It was not always thus. There were short periods in the history of twentieth-century Iran when breakthroughs appeared possible. On each occasion the mass movements for change were either usurped or defeated. The Constitutional Revolution of 1906-11 shook the corrupt and degenerate Qajar dynasty, whose kings had virtually sold the country to the tobacco and oil interests of the British Empire.
His curious mind did not rest till he had understood the mysteries of the universe and embraced "godless science." Kasravi decided to enter the citadel of reason. His celebrated books and essays were carefully constructed polemics against ignorance and the Shiite orthodoxy that encouraged it.
The Shah and his British advisers had crushed the Constitutional Revolution, but the death agony of the dynasty could not be long postponed.
His halfhearted reforms were at best partial solutions that did little to alter the basically oppressive system. Reza antagonized the mullahs--who were sometimes publicly flogged--as well as the modernists. Like many dictators, he could read a subversive, antigovernment message in the most innocent of texts. Democratization was actively discouraged
Mossadegh's argument in his own defense before the Shah's kangaroo court (quoted approvingly by Kinzer) invalidates any other justification: "My only crime is that I nationalized the Iranian oil industry and removed from this land the network of colonialism and the political and economic influence of the greatest empire on earth."
Pro-democracy newspapers appeared, and Iranian intellectuals began to relish the modernist breezes blowing from Paris and Petrograd. Their relations with the clerics, some of whom had supported the constitutional upheaval, became increasingly tense.
The court exploited these divisions and after a few years monarchist landlords, courtiers and state bureaucrats effectively sidelined the revolutionary democrats in the Majlis.
Less than two hours after a deadline expired for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq, the sound of air raid sirens were heard in Baghdad. A short time later, President Bush addressed the American public stating that coalition forces were in the "early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger."
The name of this Operation for British troops is Operation Telic. For Australian Troops involved, it is Operation Falconer.
Coalition personnel worked with Kurdish fighters against the regime. SOF helped bring in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and marked and called in coalition air power on regime targets.
Special operations forces were also responsible for attacking a number of specific targets such as airfields, weapons of mass destruction sites, and command and control headquarters. In the south, special operations personnel gave aid to conventional forces and did some of the work in the cities to help the Shi'ia elements
His plea for wide-ranging reforms (including rights for women) angered the clerics. The mullahs accused him of heresy and apostasy, and in 1946 he was brought to trial for "slandering Islam," but his detractors did not wait for the verdict. He was shot dead in open court, an early martyr in the struggle against obscurantism.
The last Shah of the Qajar dynasty was soon removed by a military coup led by Reza Khan, a semiliterate officer of an old Cossack regiment, which had been created by czarist Russia and officered by Russians to protect the Qajar ruler and Russian interests. Following the 1917 revolution, the regiment lost its officers, who were replaced by locals
That is why the 1953 CIA coup put the Shah (who had fled to Rome) back on the throne. After his return he began a policy of systematic persecution of liberals, nationalists and Communists.
His secret police, SAVAK, devised new forms of torture, and opposition politics was criminalized. A mass migration of sad and depressed intellectuals fled the country to organize resistance from Europe and North America.
Fifth, to collect such intelligence as is related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction. Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian support to the displaced and to many needed citizens.
Seventh, to secure Iraq's oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people. Finally, to help the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative self-government.
Naturally, this latter view does not satisfy the would-be Shah or his followers in Los Angeles.
The Young Pretender is appearing regularly on the BBC and CNN these days, desperate to please and a bit too eager to mimic his father and grandfather. Might the empire put him back on the Peacock Throne? And, if so, how long would he last?