As I debate the topics covered in my new book The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 I find myself arguing with a whole bunch of people on the left who “know” things that aren’t true. I’m both amused and surprised not only at the ignorance out there, but the confidence with which it is bandied about. “D’Souza, has it occurred to you…?” But actually it hasn’t occurred to me, because what you are saying is false. So here are a few myths that I’d like to correct.
They’re furious at us for stopping democracy in Iran. As the left-wing story goes, Mohammed Mossadegh was the elected prime minister of Iran in the early 1950s. The United States didn’t like the fact that he was anti-imperialist, so the CIA engineered a coup and installed the hated Shah of Iran. The people of Iran have still not forgiven us for this, and it is a continuing source of radical Muslim hatred against us.
Actually, Mossadegh was never elected by the Iranian people. He was appointed by the Majlis, the Iranian parliament, and the Shah of Iran, who was already in power, ratified the choice. Mossadegh soon got into a power struggle with the Shah, sought to overthrow the Shah, dissolved parliament, and suspended civil liberties. At this point the CIA orchestrated a coup that got rid of Mossadegh and kept the Shah in power. The radical Muslims were delighted with Mossadegh’s ouster, because they viewed him for what he was, a secular socialist. The Ayatollah Khomeini preached a sermon thanking Allah that Mossadegh was gone.
We provided weapons to both Saddam and Bin Laden. This leftist account says that America should not be too surprised at the weapons possessed by Saddam and Bin Laden, since we provided them to him. We may even have sold those weapons of mass destruction to Saddam. And certainly we provided ammunition and other material support to Bin Laden when he was fighting against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. In fact, the United States diplomatically tilted toward Saddam during the eight years of the Iran-Iran war in the mid-1980s. That was because Saddam was fighting against the regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini, and in that rogue’s contest, the United States government believed Saddam to be the lesser evil. Even so, at no point did the U.S. sell or provide any weapons to Saddam.