THE BLOG

If Americans Knew What We Did to Iran, Would We Still Talk About Using Force?

05/25/2011 12:25 pm ET

Hands on buzzers, for 500 points: this democratic leader was overthrown in 1953 by a US-organized coup in retaliation for nationalizing oil resources previously controlled by the British.

Who is Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh?

If you're a little rusty on the history of U.S.-Iran relations, here's a 6-minute video review:

If more Americans knew about this history, could our leaders blather on about supporting freedom and democracy in the Middle East they way they do? Would news media take them seriously if they did so? Would American pundits be so cavalier about the idea of bombing Iran, in flagrant violation of international law? Could people make fun of Senator Barack Obama for supporting real diplomacy with Iran and get away with it?

I don't claim that it would be impossible for U.S. politicians to talk about bombing Iran if "every schoolboy knew" what the United States did in Iran in 1953. But surely it would be more difficult.

Ask Congress to support the Lee bill, which would appoint a high-level U.S. representative to Iran for the purpose of reducing tensions and establishing normal diplomatic relations.