Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Walking Back the Cat

This interview with Stephen Kinzer on Democracy Now is a must read/see. In a nutshell, a Middle East primer from the author of "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq" and "All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terrorism".
"....—they call it in the CIA “walking back the cat.” You can walk back the cat endlessly on this one. And the reason the story is so relevant is that it tells us the main thing you need to know in assessing the current idea of an attack on Iran, which is the worst consequences are ones you can’t even imagine. Not even the wisest analysts, the most prescient specialists, in 1953 could ever have imagined all these consequences. Ah, the Shah’s going to fall; there’s going to be mullahs in power; the Soviets are going to invade Afghanistan; all these other things will happen. It shows you that when you violently interfere in the affairs of another country, you’re like setting off a wheel at the top of a hill. You let it go; you have no idea how it’s going to bounce."
Also, the exchange between hostage Bruce Laingen and one of his hostage taker/jailers is, well, let's just say, NOT part of the perspective widely circulated in the West. But certainly gives one pause given current affairs in Iraq. Not to mention Iran again. When will we ever learn......