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Why wasn't Iran colonized by any country?

Why wasn't Iran colonized by any country?



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Why wasn't Iran colonized by any country, especially by British empire?


Persia / Iran was sovereign for most of its history.

Actually, Persia / Iran had colonies, mostly in the Caucasus region, before they were lost to Russia in the early 1800's.

At times Russia and / or Britain held some Iranian territory occupied, but Iran was not "defeated" wholesale prior to the Anglo-Soviet invasion in 1941… by which time "colonization" was no longer on the British agenda, and Soviet forces withdrew in 1946.


Iran was defeated in his history before the age of colonization:

  • By Muslims, in 633 A.D. It lasted more than two centuries and even led to the change of the countries religion. The Persian Empire's official religion was Zoroastrianism. [Source]
  • By Mongols, in 1219 A.D.[Source]

According to the definition, "colonization is a process by which a central system of power dominates the surrounding land and its components."

So we come to the conclusion that Iran was colonized and that's why more than half of the Persian words are from Arabic origin. There are also many words of Turkish origin entered into Persian by Mongol invasion(whose language belongs to the Turkish family of languages). So I do not agree with you, Iran was for many years colonized.


Let me address the issue of colonization in 19th century, "especially by British" and Russian empires.

A short answer is because the Great Game was essentially a draw, with the two sides (British and Russian empires) settling on having spheres of influence (in Iran). The story (British-Russian competition over Iran and the eventual settlement) is discussed at the end of Chapter 1 in

Elena Andreeva,"Russia and Iran in the Great Game: Travelogues and Orientalism."Routledge, Abington, England. 2007.

To quote her book:

Formally, Iran was never a colony, mainly because of the rivalry between Russia and Britain - the balance of power between Russia and Britain was of particular importance in preserving the integrity of Iran. However, with the passage of time, Iran's sovereignty was growing more and more limited…

Britain was mainly concerned with preserving the formal independence and integrity of Persia in order to defend the Indian empire. Russia, as mentioned above, deprived Iran of her Transcaucasian territories in the first half of the nineteenth century and of territory in the northeast in the second half of the century, and she had further expansionist designs on northern and northeastern Iran. Both Britain and Russia were striving to exercise as much influence as possible on the Qajar rulers in order to gain support for their actions in Iran and to repel their rivals. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the political, diplomatic and military activities of Russia and Britain in Iran came to be combined with their competition for concessions and loans

The tug-of-war between Russia and Britain for concessions led to the increasing economic encroachment of the two empires on Iran, hampering a balanced development of its economy. One striking example was the blocking of railroad construction in Iran at the end of the nineteenth century due to the attempts by Russia and Britain to prevent each other from receiving the railroad concession. The Shah's pledge not to allow foreign companies to build railroads without consulting Russia lasted until the early twentieth century…

The most extraordinary and humiliating event in Iran's relations with Russia and Britain took place on 31 August 1907. That was the date of the signing of the Anglo-Russian Convention, which divided Iran into spheres of influence and reconciled the differences between the governments of Russia and Britain. Though the preamble to the agreement mentioned the integrity and independence of Persia, the Iranian Government was not even informed about the Convention. According to the terms of the Convention, the northern and central areas of Iran were reserved for Russia, with Britain promising “not to seek for herself, and not to support in favor of British subjects, or in favor of the subjects of third Powers, any concession of a political or commercial nature.” Britain also promised “not to oppose directly or indirectly, demands for similar Concessions in this region which are supported by the Russian Government.” Southeastern Iran came under the British sphere of influence, where Russia undertook similar obligations. The area between the Russian and British spheres was made neutral territory…

I refer to the book for further details.


10 Countries that never been Colonized

Colonization happens when one country takes over the lands and people of another country and creates its own government. This action would have a lot of (mostly) negative impacts on the locals of the colonized country.

Modern colonization refers mostly to Western European countries’ colonization of lands mainly in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The main European countries active in this form of colonization included Spain, Portugal, France, the Kingdom of England (later Great Britain), the Netherlands, and the Kingdom of Prussia (now Germany).

However, some countries in the world managed to resist getting entirely colonized by the world powers, which is what we’ll discuss in this post.


Iran: The Uncertain Nation

Kaveh Mousavi is an Iranian ex-Muslim blogger. Any day now his blog On the Margin of Error will move to the Atheist Channel on Patheos. In the meantime he will be guest posting here on Camels With Hammers while he gets set up. Below is Kaveh&rsquos answer to my request that he introduce the distinctives of Iranian life to a Western audience.

If I want to describe Iran in a useful way, I can only describe it as the nation of uncertainty, of paradoxes that are impossible to solve. At heart this is what makes Iranian culture and politics almost impossible to understand. And if you do have some basic underlying understanding, it&rsquos almost impossible to articulate, except in contradictory terms. As far as our recent history goes back, it has always been like this.

We were never really colonized, yet you could not exclude Iran from the history of colonialism. Unlike India or Algeria Iran was never conquered by a colonizing country, but colonizers nevertheless infiltrated domestic regimes and made business deals with them and were completely against Iran&rsquos interest and received rights to Iran&rsquos resources in return of things like luxurious gifts to the monarchs. At one point in Iranian history Russia and the United Kingdom actually agreed to divide Iran between themselves, with Russia controlling the North and the UK controlling the South. Before the Islamic Republic, the foreign powers had changed power in Iran three times in three different coups (removing the last Qajar monarch to bring Reza Pahlavi to power, then removing him to bring his son, and finally against Iran&rsquos democratically elected Prime Minister to reinstall the same king). So was Iran colonized or not? It was and it wasn&rsquot, it was in a weird situation between being colonized and being independent. Its history cannot be written like a colonized country and not like an independent one.

The same is true about all regimes which came to power in the recent history. We had our first democratic revolution more than a hundred years ago. It wasn&rsquot really a revolution though, it was actually a reformist movement. The revolutionaries didn&rsquot plan to overthrow the Qajar king (and they didn&rsquot). They wanted a judiciary, a constitution, and an elected parliament. This is why we call it the Constitutional Revolution. Since then, Iran has always been a weird hybrid between a democracy and an autocracy/theocracy. Although the autocracy/theocracy part has always been more powerful, the democracy has always been there to an extent as well.

Notice that I do not say that Iran was a flawed democracy. It has never been a democracy. Turkey is a flawed democracy. Even Pakistan is a flawed democracy. None of those countries meet the standards of a western democracy, but their elections are real. Iran has always been a tyranny with some democratic aspects. It&rsquos not Saudi Arabia or Sudan, or not Egypt under Mubarak with entirely fake elections. The candidates are pre-approved, and the elected person (either the Prime Minister or the president) is not the head of state (either the monarch or the Supreme Leader) but all the pre-approved candidates are not the same, and there will be real change if the reformists are elected, but the change won&rsquot be fundamental, but it will totally change our lives. The elections are because the reformist candidates are really fundamentally different from the conservative ones (and moderate conservatives also from radical conservatives), with radically different ideologies, and yet none of them want to overthrow the regime. The regime allows moderates to run and occasionally get power because of the public opinion.

A president, under Iran&rsquos current regime, has some control over the economy. Under Ahmadinejad&rsquos Iran&rsquos economy was completely wrecked, but it has already recovered under Rouhani (the inflation is halved and the growth is more than 0 again), yet the president is unable to fundamentally transform the economy because most of it is in the control of the military and the Office of the Supreme Leader. They look at Iran&rsquos resources as a way to control power and manage it like a mafia, so while a president cannot transform the economy or heal its main illness, his influence can still mean the difference between prosperity and poverty for Iranian people.

And while the president doesn&rsquot have the absolute power over political arena &ndash he can&rsquot free prisoners, he can&rsquot stop newspapers and websites from being shut down, but he can still create some spaces for the human right activists to function more easily. Under Rouhani, the academic freedoms have radically changed he has let some banned books to be published, and although overall the atmosphere is completely strict, it is not comparable to the horror years of Ahmadinejad.

So do we have elections or not? We do and do not, and they are not real but not fake either.

And whenever the regime tries to move and take this little space away, people revolt. The Shah did that and a revolution brought him down, the Islamic Republic did that too and the protests broke out and caused the regime to walk back and let the next election be fair.

Are we an open society or a closed one? Well, maybe more open and more closed than what you think at the same time. Yes, everyone drinks, and yes, drinking alcohol can get you in huge trouble. That is true. No one can say it is false. Also many people drink it and don&rsquot face a repercussion and that is also true. So what is true? Both, the truth is that even when we drink and face no repercussion we still feel the threat and the threat is real, not imaginary. So we are not this stereotypical image of an Islamic theocratic dystopia but we are living with lies, with fear, doing the most innocent things like criminals. I do five things that can be punished by death on average everyday and I&rsquom alive and have never been in prison. But I don&rsquot feel safe as if there is a de facto liberty, because there isn&rsquot. An Iranian lives life feeling as if someone has raised their hand to slap them, and they really might slap them, but right now they&rsquore just holding their hands mid-air and not bringing it down.

I can go on, and explain every aspect of Iranian society the same way. But the point is that everything is uncertain, and that defines Iranian society more than anything.

I believe these the complexity of the Iranian society and the complexity of our political system make Iran so hard to predict and hard to understand. But uncertainty is always present, and therefore I think if you want to understand the Iranian society, imagine that you are uncertain about where you are and where you are heading towards.

For more on the intricacies that are hard for outsiders to understand, I have tried to simplify the complexities of Iranian politics before.

This is a guest post by Kaveh Mousavi. For more of his views regularly follow his On the Margin of Error blog. Below are links to his guest posts here at Camels With Hammers, each responding to a question I had for him:


Why Are Academics Ignoring Iran’s Colonialism?

Iranian armed forces members march during the National Army Day parade in Tehran, Iran, September 22, 2019. (Official Iranian President website/Handout via Reuters)

A cademics today are obsessed with colonization, empire, and cultural hegemony, along with postcolonialism, ethnic studies, and intersectionality. Scholarship in many fields has come to be dominated by hegemony-fighting, indigenous-supporting anti-imperialists who attack anyone who disagrees with them. When a journal called Third World Quarterly published an article in 2017 about the benefits of colonialism, the uproar from the social-justice professors led to the article’s being withdrawn and 15 members of the editorial board resigning amid threats.

So if the profession is so adamant about the evils of colonialism, why is it ignoring Iran?

When strong countries exert their (unfair) advantages over weaker ones, imposing their values and cultures and manipulating indigenous economies, academics are among the loudest and most creative critics. Even the most benign influence of a powerful country over a weaker one is excoriated — hence the long obsession with something called “cocacolonization.” Legions of scholar-activists are busy enlisting history to shed light on the present, drawing parallels between a benighted European era of colonization and an ongoing American or Israeli one, looking under rocks for signs of Western, American, and Trumpian oppression and proclaiming a new American empire. Fair enough — but why ignore the Iranian attempts to do exactly to others what they accuse others of having done to Iran?

Journalists and analysts, such as Jonathan Spyer and Seth Frantzman, have been documenting Iran’s colonial expansion for many years. But most academics have been reluctant to turn their skills on Iran. Many prefer softer targets, such as Israel and the U.S. Earlier this month, the United Nations’ Decolonization Committee pushed eight anti-Israel measures through the General Assembly, showing where its priorities lie.

Even without its violations of other countries’ sovereignty, Iran itself is an empire, with ethnic Persians dominating the Arabs, Kurds, Balochis, Azeris, Turkmen, Lur, Gilakis, and Mazandaranis. Only a few, notably Daniel Pipes, Ilan Berman, and Shoshana Bryen, are interested in this fact.

Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution was an imperialist project from the beginning, as one of his first moves after taking power (even before the collapse of the post-shah provisional government in November 1979) was to establish the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to spread his ideas. Shortly thereafter he made moves in Lebanon, dispatching “1,500 IRGC advisers [to] set up a base in the Bekaa Valley as part of [his] goal to export the Islamic Revolution to the Arab world,” as Matthew Levitt put it. Those advisers were instrumental in creating Hezbollah, which has served to spread Iran’s influence throughout the world.

In 1998, the al-Quds Force, the IRGC’s unconventional-warfare unit, got a new leader when Qassem Soleimani was appointed commander. Soleimani has ramped up Iran’s colonial enterprise, capitalizing on the U.S. toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003 to take over Iraq in a way Iran could never have accomplished on its own. The so-called Arab Spring offered Soleimani the opportunity to stake out territory in Syria using Hezbollah and in Yemen using the Shia Houthi rebels, completing the goal of a “Shia Crescent” stretching from the Gulf to the Mediterranean.

Books on British and American empire building in Iran and the greater Middle East (real and imagined) come out every year. The topic has earned tenure for many willing to genuflect at the altar of Edward Said by exposing alleged evils of European and American “Orientalism.” Yet almost no academics are writing about one of the world’s most obvious and bloodiest colonizing projects even as it plays out right under their noses.

There are exceptions, of course. Efraim Karsh’s Islamic Imperialism (2006) reminded everyone that the Middle East is “where the institution of empire not only originated . . . but where its spirit has also outlived its European counterpart.”

Another exception is Tallha Abdulrazak, a researcher at the University of Exeter’s Strategy and Security Institute, but his interests in Iranian colonialism seem to end at Iraq, and the anti-American and anti-Israel tendencies in his writing at Al Jazeera and the Middle East Eye suggest a lack of interest in the totality of Iranian empire-building. These tendencies were doubtless instrumental in his being awarded the Al Jazeera Young Researcher Award in 2015.

Think-tank scholars have not shied away from Iran’s interference in other countries. Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute notes that “aside from Russia, Iran is the world’s most imperialistic country today . . . little different in its quest for political and economic domination of poorer states as its tormentors were in the nineteenth century.”

Israeli scholars too seem more interested in today’s Iran than in yesterday’s. Hillel Frisch, professor of political studies and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, calls Iran “the only country whose focus is on political, military, and terrorist intervention and involvement in areas beyond its contiguous borders against states that have not struck the homeland.”

But where are the clarion calls from the ivory towers? Are all the anti-Orientalists busy stigmatizing the West, privileging victimhood over achievement and finding new ways to use “other” as a verb (perhaps at UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute)? Where are the conferences, symposia, and special-issue journals on Iranian imperialism? The Council on Foreign Relations hosted an event dedicated to Iran’s imperial foreign policy in February, but if any similar event occurred at an American university in 2019, it wasn’t advertised and remains well hidden.

The 21st century began with a frenetic deluge of articles and books decrying a new American “imperialism” in the Middle East that had begun after 9/11. But books decrying the rise of Iranian imperialism have not even come in a trickle.

So what exactly are the Middle East specialists up to?

On the fringes of the profession, where the activists lurk, a counteroffensive is under way. Iran apologist Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University wrote and published a “Letter Against US Imperialism” on December 7 objecting to “the current U.S. imperial project,” aided by the IMF, that “seek[s] a return to neocolonial governance in the form of a U.S.-backed regime.” Dabashi somehow persuaded 38 academics (12 from colleges in California) to join with an odd assortment of artists, activists, lawyers, and podcasters to sign the desperate and bizarre letter that completely misunderstands the protests in Iran in November.

Even the socialists at New Politics find fault with Dabashi’s letter for its “dismissal of the Iranian regime’s oppressive and violent influence in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq” and its shallow “conceptualization of imperialism [which] does not include and condemn the sub-imperialisms of Iran.”

Mainstream Middle East specialists prefer to pretend that there is no Iranian imperialism, “sub” or otherwise. When hundreds, perhaps thousands, of them assembled in New Orleans at the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) last month, the topic seems to have escaped them. Over the course of four days they convened 20 academic sessions, each comprising between 18 and 24 topics, for a total of 304 events: panels, round tables, thematic conversations, conference papers, and special current-issue sessions. In each of these events at least a half dozen experts presented, chaired, or refereed. And not a single event was devoted to Iran’s colonial influence in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, or Yemen. There was nothing about the ascendant Iranian empire. The Qajar Empire, on the other hand, was covered in multiple sessions. Also popular were events about someplace called either “Palestine/Israel” or “Israel/Palestine,” depending apparently on the whims of the moderator.

The Iranian colonial project is among the most significant events in modern history, and its contours coincide with the interests and deeply held beliefs of the professoriate. But most academics are remarkably uncurious about Iran’s colonialism. Talk about wasting the moment.


This is how much it costs to rent Air Force planes

Posted On April 29, 2020 15:48:13

The Air Force has planes for every mission, but those planes aren’t always doing missions for the Air Force.

In October 2018, the Defense Department comptroller released the latest reimbursement rates for each service branch’s planes and helicopters.

These costs are generally calculated based on fuel use, wear and tear, and personnel needs — the branch providing the aircraft also typically provides a pilot and crew, an Air Force spokeswoman told Business Insider.

The document lists four categories for reimbursement: other Defense Department components, other federal agencies, foreign-military sales, and “all other.”

“When determining the hourly rate, agencies should utilize the appropriate rate category,” the document said. “The ‘all other’ annual billable rate will be used to obtain reimbursement for services provided to organizations outside the Federal government.”

Below, you can see Air Force aircraft reimbursement rates for users that fall into the “all other” category — that’s you.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Betty R. Chevalier)

A-10C Thunderbolt — ,454

The A-10C Thunderbolt, also known as the Warthog, is the US Air Force’s premier ground-attack aircraft and perhaps the best in the world, renowned by foot soldiers for its ability to absorb punishment and dish out even more with its 30 mm cannon.

The Air Force has a total of 281 A-10s in its inventory. As of mid-2018, 173 of them had gotten or were in the process of getting new wings.

The future of the roughly 100 that still need wings has been the subject of debate between Air Force officials, many of whom want to retire the Thunderbolt and move on to other platforms, and members of Congress, who want to see the fearsome gunship continue flying.

AC-130J Ghostrider — ,541

The AC-130J is the latest variant of the AC-130 gunship, upgraded with enhanced avionics, as well as integrated navigation systems, defensive systems, and radar. It is also modified with the Precision Strike Package, which has a mission-management system that puts sensors, communications, and order-of-battle and threat information into a common picture.

The Ghostrider — a name officially designated in May 2012 — is still relatively new, having completed developmental tests and evaluation in June 2015. As of 2016, the Air Force planned to have 32 Ghostriders in the active-duty force by fiscal year 2021.

The aircraft has struggled, particularly with its 30 mm and 105 mm guns. But the commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing said last year the gunship would probably be “the most requested weapons system from ground forces in the history of warfare.”

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brian Ferguson)

B-1B Lancer — ,475

Of Air Force aircraft, the B-1B Lancer packs the largest payload — 75,000 pounds — of both guided and unguided weapons and is the “backbone” of the US long-range-bomber force.

It has a ceiling of 30,000 feet, which isn’t the highest of the Air Force’s bombers, but it is the fastest, capable of topping 900 mph, or a little over the speed of sound at sea level.

In order to comply with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, signed by the US and the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the Lancer was modified to make it incapable of carrying nuclear weapons, a conversion process completed in 2011.

As of late 2016, the Air Force had 64 Lancers — two for testing — all of which were in the active force.

B-2A Spirit — ,012

The B-2A stealth bomber arrived at the Air Force in 1993, six years after the first Lancer was delivered.

Unlike the Lancer, which is designed for high-speed, low-altitude strikes, the Spirit flies higher — up to 50,000 feet — and slower. It’s also capable of hauling nuclear weapons.

As of the end of 2015, there were 20 Spirits in the Air Force active-duty fleet, one of which was for testing. The only operational base for the B-2 is Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, so add that flying time into your budget.

B-52H Stratofortress — ,919

Pricewise, the B-52 is a bargain compared with its bomber counterparts, but the Stratofortress is well over a half-century old, reaching initial operating capacity in spring 1952.

Flying at 650 mph and up to 50,000 feet with a payload of 70,000 pounds of both conventional and nuclear weapons, it can conduct strategic strikes, close air support, and maritime operations.

Its unfueled range is more than 8,800 miles. With aerial refueling, its range is limited only by its crew’s endurance.

At the end of 2015, there were 58 B-52s in use by the Air Force’s active-duty force and another 18 being used by the Air Force Reserve. They’re all H models and are assigned to the 5th Bomb Wing at North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base and to the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.

(US Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Thomas Grimes)

C-130J Super Hercules — ,651

The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130J family, replacing older C-130Es and some C-130Hs with more flying hours.

Technology on the C-130J reduces manpower needs and operational and maintenance costs. The J model also climbs higher and faster and can fly farther with a higher cruising speed, in addition to taking off and landing in a shorter distance.

As of June 2018, the Air Force had 145 C-130Js in active duty, with anther 181 being used by the Air National Guard and 102 by the reserve component.

C-17A Globemaster III — ,236

The C-17 is the most flexible member of the Air Force airlift fleet, able to deliver troops and cargo to main operating hubs or to forward bases.

“The C-17 was designed for multi-role functions,” Maj. Steve Hahn, an instructor pilot with the Air Force Reserve’s 301st Airlift Squadron, said in 2010. “Its strategic and tactical abilities join the missions of the C-5 (Galaxy) and C-130 (Hercules) into one aircraft. It does everything, and not many aircraft can do that.”

As of mid-2018, there were 157 C-17s in active service, 47 in use by the Air National Guard, and 18 being used by the Air Force reserve.

C-5M Super Galaxy — ,742

The C-5M Super Galaxy — the modernized version of the legacy C-5 aircraft — is the largest aircraft in the Air Force inventory, tasked with transporting troops and cargo.

It can carry oversize cargo, including 50-foot-long submarines, over intercontinental distances, and doors at the front and back allow for it to be loaded and offloaded at the same time.

Its maximum cargo is 281,000 pounds, and the longest distance it can fly without refueling is just over 5,500 miles — the distance from its base at Dover Air Force Base to the Incirlik air base in Turkey.

In August 2018, Lockheed Martin delivered the last of 52 upgraded C-5s, bringing 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs, and one C-5A up to the M variant and wrapping up a 17-year overhaul effort. The work extends the C-5 fleet’s service life into the 2040s.

(US Air Force by Louis Briscese)

E-4B — ,123

The E-4B is an expensive aircraft with an invaluable mission.

It serves as the National Airborne Operations Center, providing a highly survivable command, control and communications center where the president, defense secretary, and joint chiefs of staff can direct US forces, execute emergency war orders, and coordinate actions by civil authorities if ground command centers are destroyed.

The Air Force has four E-4Bs in its active force, and at least one is on 24-hour alert. In addition to an advanced satellite-communications system and an electrical system to support it, the E4-B is hardened against electromagnetic pulses, if that’s something you’re worried about.

(US Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

F-15E Strike Eagle — ,936

The F-15 is an all-weather, highly maneuverable tactical fighterdesigned to gain and maintain air superiority. It became operational in 1975 and has been the Air Force’s primary fighter jet and interceptor for decades.

The F-15E is two-seat integrated fighter for all-weather, air-to-air, and deep-interdiction missions. The Air Force has 219 F-15Es in total.

The first F-15E was delivered in 1989, about a decade after the F-15C, a single-seat fighter, and the F-15D, another two-seater. The latter two are also available, but they’ll cost you a little be more — ,233 for the C model and ,045 for the D model.

F-16C and F-16D — ,000 and ,696, respectively

Despite the low price, the F-16 is considered one of the most capable fighter aircraft out there.

It arrived in 1979, built in partnership between the US, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway.

The F-16C/D started arriving in 1981 and are the single- and two-seat counterparts to the F-16A/B, bringing improved cockpit control and display technology.

As of late 2015, the Air Force had 1,017 F-16s across its active, reserve, and guard components.

F-22A — ,005

Reaching initial operating capability in December 2005, the single-seat F-22 is considered the Air Force’s first fifth-generation fighter, incorporating low-observable technology that gives it an edge over air-to-air and surface-to-air threats.

Caught between low-intensity wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a crushing global recession in 2008, and the Pentagon’s move toward the F-35 in the late 2000s, the F-22 program was shut down in 2009. As of September 2015, there were 183 F-22s in use by the Air Force.

(US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer)

F-35A — ,501

The F-35A Lightning II is the Air Force’s second and newest fifth-generation fighter, reaching initial operational capability in August 2016.

The US, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark, Norway, and Australia were involved in the F-35’s development.

The F-35A is meant carry out air-to-air combat and ground-attack missions, replacing the F-16 and the A-10, while bringing next-generation stealth technology, enhanced awareness, and reduced vulnerability to the US and allies, several of whom have already received their versions of the fighter.

There is also a carrier variant — meant to replace the Navy’s F/A-18s — and a short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing variant, which is meant to replace the US Marine Corps’ AV-8B Harriers and F/A-18s, as well as the UK’s Harriers and Sea Harriers.

The F-35 has also become the most expensive weapons program in history, and hiccups during its development process have not improved its perception.

KC-46A Pegasus — ,740

The KC-46A aerial-refueling tanker is the newest addition to the Air Force, with officials accepting the first one from Boeing on January 10.

The program was delayed for years by technical problems, and Boeing has eaten more than .5 billion on the program, as the firm is responsible for any costs beyond the Air Force’s .9 billion fixed-price contract.

Six tankers have been accepted by the Air Force, but Boeing is not out of the woods. Deliveries were suspended earlier this month by the Air Force because of problems with foreign objects, tools and other debris, left aboard the aircraft.

Will Roper, the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics, said it would likely be “some time” before the Air Force began accepting tankers again.

(US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Trevor T. McBride)

HC-130J Combat King II — ,001

The HC-130J — an extended-range version of the C-130J — replaces HC-130P/Ns as the only dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform in the Air Force inventory. It’s tasked with rapidly deploying to recover downed aviators in enemy territory and with all-weather expeditionary personnel-recovery operations.

An MC-130H Combat Talon II.

(US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Micaiah Anthony)

MC-130H Combat Talon II — ,166

The MC-130H Combat Talon II provides infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory. Secondary missions include psychological operations and helicopter and vertical lift air refueling.

The Combat Talon II is based on the C-130, with structural changes that include a stronger tail to allow high-speed and low-signature airdrops. It also has terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radars that allow it to fly as low as 250 feet in poor weather.

The MC-130 first flew in 1966 and has operated around the world — an MC-130E landed in the Iranian desert in April 1980 to support Operation Eagle Claw, a failed attempt to rescue Americans being held by Iran.

MC-130Hs were also used to seize an airfield in southern Afghanistan for ground operations there in 2001, and in 2003, an MC-130H was the first US aircraft to land at Baghdad International Airport. As of the beginning of 2016, the Air Force has 18 MC-130Hs.

LC-130H — ,774

The Air Force has a lot of cargo planes, so you have a lot of options. But what if you need to go to Antarctica? Well then you’ll need the LC-130H, the polar version of the C-130.

The US is the only operator of ski-equipped LC-130s, which the 109th Air Wing describes as the “backbone” of US transport within Antarctica, where it supports an array of scientific endeavors, and as a provider of transportation between McMurdo Station and New Zealand.

(US Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

OC-135B — ,435

Night or day, austere or hospitable, ice or solid ground, the Air Force’s airlift fleet can do it all.

But what if you need to conduct an unarmed observation flight over territory belonging to one of the signatories of the 1992 Open Skies Treaty? That’s where the OC-135B comes in.

A modified version of the WC-135B, its main mission is to take pictures, and it’s outfitted with equipment and systems to support its cameras and camera operators.

That includes one vertical and two oblique KS-87E framing cameras, which are used for low-altitude photography — about 3,000 feet above ground — and one KA-91C panoramic camera, which scans from side to side to give each photo a wide sweep. It’s used for high-altitude photography — roughly 35,000 feet.

As of spring 2014, there were two OC-135Bs in the Air Force inventory.

T-38C Talon and T-6A Texan — ,156 and 7, respectively

The T-38 Talon is a high-altitude supersonic jet trainer, used for a variety of operations because of its design, ease of maintenance, high performance, and safety record. Air Education and Training Command is its primary user of the T-38, employing it for specialized undergraduate pilot training, preparing pilots to fly F-15s, F-16s, F-22s, A-10s, and B-1Bs.

The T-38 first flew in 1959, and 1,000 of them were delivered between 1961 and 1972. The planes and their components have been modified and upgraded since then, and the Air Force had 546 in usewith the active force as of January 2014.

The T-6A Texan II is also a jet trainer, though it only has one engine and is also used by the Navy.

The first operational T-6A was delivered in May 2000. Joint Primary Pilot Training, the Texan’s main mission, began in October 2001. Production of the aircraft ended in 2010, and the Air Force has 446 of them in use by its active force.

(Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kristin High)

U-2S Dragon Lady — ,496

Along with the B-52, the U-2 is one of the only Air Force aircraft introduced early in the Cold War that’s still in use.

Despite its age, its prowess is unquestioned. At 70,000 feet, the curvature of the earth gives it a field of vision of about 500 miles. In one mission, it can map all of Iraq.

Built in complete secrecy, the U-2A first flew in August 1955. The spy plane’s early history is marked with two high-profile blemishes — a 1960 shootdown over the USSR, which led to the capture of pilot Gary Francis Powers, and a 1962 shootdown over Cuba, which killed pilot Rudolf Anderson Jr. But it remains in use as one of the US’s premier surveillance aircraft.

All U-2s have been upgraded, adding a new engine that resulted in it being designated the U-2S. Pilots train on one of five two-seat aircraft designated as TU-2S. (The Air Force announced recently that it would change the training process.)

The U-2 is based at Beale Air Force Base in California, but it rotates worldwide. As of September 2015, there were 33 U-2s in use by the active force, including the five trainers and 2 ER-2s in use by NASA.

(US Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ryan Labadens)

WC-130J — ,472

Not every Air Force aircraft is for combat or transport. The WC-130 Hercules is used by the Air Force Reserve for weather missions, flying into tropical storms, hurricanes, and winter storms to gather data.

The WC-130J is a C-130J reconfigured with palletized weather instruments. At its optimum cruising speed of 300 mph it can stay aloft for almost 18 hours. A typical weather mission can last 11 hours and cover 3,500 miles.

As of mid-2014, only 10 WC-130Js were in use, all of them belonging to the Air Force Reserve. They operate out of Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi, flown by the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron — the Hurricane Hunters.

A US Air Force WC-135 Constant Phoenix.

WC-135C/WC-135W Constant Phoenix — ,173

Getting ahold of the Constant Phoenix may be tough. The Air Force has only two of them, and they have a highly specialized mission: collecting particles, gas, and debris in order to detect any nuclear or radioactive events.

Then-Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower commissioned the Constant Phoenix program in September 1947. Two years later, one of the program’s aircraft picked up evidence of the first Soviet nuclear test while flying between Alaska and Japan. Forty years later, the WC-135W helped track radioactive debris from the meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in the USSR.

The WC-135s are the only planes in the Air Force inventory conducting air-sampling operations, which are now done in support of the 1963 Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The treaty prohibits countries from testing nuclear weapons above ground.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

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MIGHTY CULTURE

Iran and the Shah: What Really Happened

In September 2007, US News & World Report stated: “Amid deepening frustration with Iran, calls for shifting Bush administration policy toward military strikes or other stronger actions are intensifying.” And in June 2008, President-to-be Barack Obama declared: “The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.”

However, suppose a progressive, pro-Western regime ruled Iran, representing no threat? War discussions would be unnecessary. Yet many forget that, until 30 years ago, exactly such a regime led Iran, until it was toppled with the help of the same U.S. foreign policy establishment recently beating war drums.

From 1941 until 1979, Iran was ruled by a constitutional monarchy under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s Shah (king).

Although Iran, also called Persia, was the world’s oldest empire, dating back 2,500 years, by 1900 it was floundering. Bandits dominated the land literacy was one percent and women, under archaic Islamic dictates, had no rights.

The Shah changed all this. Primarily by using oil-generated wealth, he modernized the nation. He built rural roads, postal services, libraries, and electrical installations. He constructed dams to irrigate Iran’s arid land, making the country 90-percent self-sufficient in food production. He established colleges and universities, and at his own expense, set up an educational foundation to train students for Iran’s future.

To encourage independent cultivation, the Shah donated 500,000 Crown acres to 25,000 farmers. In 1978, his last full year in power, the average Iranian earned $2,540, compared to $160 25 years earlier. Iran had full employment, requiring foreign workers. The national currency was stable for 15 years, inspiring French economist André Piettre to call Iran a country of “growth without inflation.” Although Iran was the world’s second largest oil exporter, the Shah planned construction of 18 nuclear power plants. He built an Olympic sports complex and applied to host the 1988 Olympics (an honor eventually assigned Seoul), an achievement unthinkable for other Middle East nations.

Long regarded as a U.S. ally, the Shah was pro-Western and anti-communist, and he was aware that he posed the main barrier to Soviet ambitions in the Middle East. As distinguished foreign-affairs analyst Hilaire du Berrier noted: “He determined to make Iran &hellip capable of blocking a Russian advance until the West should realize to what extent her own interests were threatened and come to his aid…. It necessitated an army of 250,000 men.” The Shah’s air force ranked among the world’s five best. A voice for stability within the Middle East itself, he favored peace with Israel and supplied the beleaguered state with oil.

On the home front, the Shah protected minorities and permitted non-Muslims to practice their faiths. “All faith,” he wrote, “imposes respect upon the beholder.” The Shah also brought Iran into the 20th century by granting women equal rights. This was not to accommodate feminism, but to end archaic brutalization.

Yet, at the height of Iran’s prosperity, the Shah suddenly became the target of an ignoble campaign led by U.S. and British foreign policy makers. Bolstered by slander in the Western press, these forces, along with Soviet-inspired communist insurgents, and mullahs opposing the Shah’s progressiveness, combined to face him with overwhelming opposition. In three years he went from vibrant monarch to exile (on January 16, 1979), and ultimately death, while Iran fell to Ayatollah Khomeini’s terror.

Houchang Nahavandi, one of the Shah’s ministers and closest advisers, reveals in his book The Last Shah of Iran: “We now know that the idea of deposing the Shah was broached continually, from the mid-seventies on, in the National Security Council in Washington, by Henry Kissinger, whom the Shah thought of as a firm friend.”

Kissinger virtually epitomized the American establishment: before acting as Secretary of State under Republicans Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, he had been chief foreign-affairs adviser to Nelson Rockefeller, whom he called “the single most influential person in my life.” Jimmy Carter defeated Ford in the 1976 presidential election, but the switch to a Democratic administration did not change the new foreign policy tilt against the Shah. Every presidential administration since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s has been dominated by members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the most visible manifestation of the establishment that dictates U.S. foreign policy along internationalist lines. The Carter administration was no exception.

The alternation of parties does not change the diplomatic orientation of the United States that much. The process of toppling the Shah had been envisaged and initiated in 1974, under a certain Republican administration…. Numerous, published documents and studies bear witness to the fact, even if it was not until the beginning of the Carter administration that the decision was made to take concerted action by evoking problems related to human rights.

The Shah’s destruction required assembling a team of diplomatic “hit men.” Du Berrier commented:

When the situation was deemed ripe, U.S. Ambassador William Sullivan &mdash the man reputed to have toppled the pro-American government of General Phoumi Nosavan in Laos &mdash was sent to urge the Shah to get out. In December Mr. George Ball, an instant “authority on Iran,” was sent as a follow-up with the same message.

Sullivan (CFR), a career diplomat with no Middle East experience, became our ambassador to Iran in 1977. The Shah recalled:

Whenever I met Sullivan and asked him to confirm these official statements [of American support], he promised he would. But a day or two later he would return, gravely shake his head, and say that he had received “no instructions” and therefore could not comment…. His answer was always the same: I have received no instructions…. This rote answer had been given me since early September [1978] and I would continue to hear it until the day I left the country.

The other key player du Berrier named, George Ball, was a quintessential establishment man: CFR member, Bilderberger, and banker with Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb. The Shah commented: “What was I to make, for example, of the Administration’s sudden decision to call former Under Secretary of State George Ball to the White House as an advisor on Iran? I knew that Ball was no friend.”

George Ball &mdash that guru of American diplomacy and prominento of certain think-tanks and pressure groups &mdash once paid a long visit to Teheran, where, interestingly, the National Broadcasting Authority placed an office at his disposal. Once installed there, he played host to all the best-known dissidents and gave them encouragement. After he returned to Washington, he made public statements, hostile and insulting to the Sovereign.

Joining the smear was U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, whose role Nahavandi recalled in a 1981 interview:

But we must not forget the venom with which Teddy Kennedy ranted against the Shah, nor that on December 7, 1977, the Kennedy family financed a so-called committee for the defense of liberties and rights of man in Teheran, which was nothing but a headquarters for revolution.

Suddenly, the Shah noted, the U.S. media found him “a despot, an oppressor, a tyrant.” Kennedy denounced him for running “one of the most violent regimes in the history of mankind.”

At the center of the “human rights” complaints was the Shah’s security force, SAVAK. Comparable in its mission to America’s FBI, SAVAK was engaged in a deadly struggle against terrorism, most of which was fueled by the bordering USSR, which linked to Iran’s internal communist party, the Tudeh. SAVAK, which had only 4,000 employees in 1978, saved many lives by averting several bombing attempts. Its prisons were open for Red Cross inspections, and though unsuccessful attempts were made on the Shah’s life, he always pardoned the would-be assassins. Nevertheless, a massive campaign was deployed against him. Within Iran, Islamic fundamentalists, who resented the Shah’s progressive pro-Western views, combined with Soviet-sponsored communists to overthrow the Shah. This tandem was “odd” because communism is committed to destroying all religion, which Marx called “the opiate of the masses.” The Shah understood that “Islamic Marxism” was an oxymoron, commenting: “Of course the two concepts are irreconcilable &mdash unless those who profess Islam do not understand their own religion or pervert it for their own political ends.”

For Western TV cameras, protestors in Teheran carried empty coffins, or coffins seized from genuine funerals, proclaiming these were “victims of SAVAK.” This deception &mdash later admitted by the revolutionaries &mdash was necessary because they had no actual martyrs to parade. Another tactic: demonstrators splashed themselves with mercurochrome, claiming SAVAK had bloodied them.

The Western media cooperated. When Carter visited Iran at the end of 1977, the press reported that his departure to Teheran International Airport had been through empty streets, because the city was “all locked up and emptied of people, by order of the SAVAK.” What the media didn’t mention: Carter chose to depart at 6 a.m., when the streets were naturally empty.

An equally vicious campaign occurred when the Shah and his wife, Empress Farah, came for a state visit to America in November 1977. While touring Williamsburg, Virginia, about 500 Iranian students showed up, enthusiastically applauding. However, about 50 protestors waved hammer-and-sickle red flags. These unlikely Iranians were masked, unable to speak Persian, and some were blonde. The U.S. media focused exclusively on the protesters. Wrote the Shah: “Imagine my amazement the next day when I saw the press had reversed the numbers and wrote that the fifty Shah supporters were lost in a hostile crowd.”

On November 16, the Shah and Empress were due to visit Carter. Several thousand Iranian patriots surrounded the White House bearing a huge banner saying “Welcome Shah.” However, as Nahavandi reports:

The police kept them as far away as possible, but allowed a small number of opponents [again, masked] to approach the railings &hellip close to where the Sovereign’s helicopter was going to land for the official welcome. At the exact moment, when courtesies were being exchanged on the White House lawn, these people produced sticks and bicycle chains and set upon the others…. Thus, the whole world was allowed to see riotous scenes, on television, as an accompaniment to the arrival of the Imperial Couple.

Two major events propelled the revolution in Iran. On the afternoon of August 19, 1978, a deliberate fire gutted the Rex Cinema in Abadan, killing 477 people, including many children with their mothers. Blocked exits prevented escape. The police learned that the fire was caused by Ruhollah Khomeini supporters, who fled to Iraq, where the ayatollah was in exile. But the international press blamed the fire on the Shah and his “dreaded SAVAK.” Furthermore, the mass murder had been timed to coincide with the Shah’s planned celebration of his mother’s birthday it could thus be reported that the royal family danced while Iran wept. Communist-inspired rioting swept Iran.

Foreigners, including Palestinians, appeared in the crowds. Although the media depicted demonstrations as “spontaneous uprisings,” professional revolutionaries organized them. Some Iranian students were caught up in it. Here the Shah’s generosity backfired. As du Berrier pointed out:

In his desperate need of men capable of handling the sophisticated equipment he was bringing in, the Shah had sent over a hundred thousand students abroad…. Those educated in France and America return indoctrinated by leftist professors and eager to serve as links between comrades abroad and the Communist Party at home.

When the demonstrations turned violent, the government reluctantly invoked martial law. The second dark day was September 8. Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Teheran were ordered to disperse by an army unit. Gunmen &mdash many on rooftops &mdash fired on the soldiers. The Shah&rsquos army fired back. The rooftop snipers then sprayed the crowd. When the tragedy was over, 121 demonstrators and 70 soldiers and police lay dead. Autopsies revealed that most in the crowd had been killed by ammo non-regulation for the army. Nevertheless, the Western press claimed the Shah had massacred his own people.

The Shah, extremely grieved by this incident, and wanting no further bloodshed, gave orders tightly restricting the military. This proved a mistake. Until now, the sight of his elite troops had quieted mobs. The new restraints emboldened revolutionaries, who brazenly insulted soldiers, knowing they could fire only as a last resort.

Khomeini and the Media Cabal

Meanwhile, internationalist forces rallied around a new figure they had chosen to lead Iran: Ruhollah Khomeini. A minor cleric of Indian extraction, Khomeini had denounced the Shah’s reforms during the 1960s &mdash especially women’s rights and land reform for Muslim clerics, many of whom were large landholders. Because his incendiary remarks had contributed to violence and rioting then, he was exiled, living mostly in Iraq, where Iranians largely forgot him until 1978.

A shadowy past followed Khomeini. The 1960s rioting linked to him was financed, in part, by Eastern Bloc intelligence services. He was in the circle of the cleric Kachani Sayed Abolghassem, who had ties to East German intelligence. Furthermore, in 1960, Colonel Michael Goliniewski, second-in-command of Soviet counter-intelligence in Poland, defected to the West. His debriefings exposed so many communist agents that he was honored by a resolution of the U.S. House of Representatives. One report, declassified in 2000, revealed, “Ayatollah Khomeini was one of Moscow’s five sources of intelligence at the heart of the Shiite hierarchy.”

Nevertheless, as French journalist Dominique Lorenz reported, the Americans, “having picked Khomeini to overthrow the Shah, had to get him out of Iraq, clothe him with respectability and set him up in Paris, a succession of events, which could not have occurred, if the leadership in France had been against it.”

In 1978, Khomeini, in Iraq since 1965, was permitted to reside at Neauphle-le-Château in France. Two French police squads, along with Algerians and Palestinians, protected him. Nahavandi notes:

Around the small villa occupied by Khomeini, the agents of many of the world’s secret services were gathered as thickly as the autumn leaves. The CIA, the MI6, the KGB and the SDECE were all there. The CIA had even rented the house next door. According to most of the published witness-statements, the East Germans were in charge of most of the radio-transmissions and, on at least one occasion, eight thousand cassettes of the Ayatollah’s speeches were sent, directly to Teheran, by diplomatic bag.

Foreign-affairs analyst du Berrier reported:

French services quickly verified that Libya, Iraq and Russia were providing money. Young Iranians, members of the Tudeh (communist) Party, made up Khomeini’s secretariat in France. Working in cooperation with the French Communist Party they provided couriers to pass his orders and tapes into Iran. Their sympathizers in Britain turned the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) into a propaganda organ.

Journalists descended in droves on Neauphle-le-Château Khomeini gave 132 interviews in 112 days, receiving easy questions as their media organs became his sounding board. Nahavandi affirms that, within Iran “the Voice of America, the Voice of Israel and, especially, the BBC virtually became the voice of the revolution, moving from criticism, to overt incitement of revolt, and from biased reporting, to outright disinformation.”

Khomeini’s inflammatory speeches were broadcast revolutionary songs aired on Iranian radio. One journalist, however, stunned Khomeini by bucking the trend: intelligence expert Pierre de Villemarest, hero of the French Resistance in World War II, anti-communist, and critic of the CFR. Interviewing Khomeini, de Villemarest asked:

How are you going to solve the economic crisis into which you have plunged the country through your agitation of these past few weeks?… And aren&rsquot you afraid that when the present regime is destroyed you will be outpaced by a party as tightly-knit and well organized as the [communist] Tudeh?

Khomeini didn’t reply. The interpreter stood, saying, “The Ayatollah is tired.” De Villemarest registered his concern with the French Ministry of the Interior, but reported, “They told me to occupy myself with something else.”

Ending the Shah’s Rule

Iran’s situation deteriorated. As Western media spurred revolutionaries, riots and strikes paralyzed Iran. The Shah wrote:

At about this time, a new CIA chief was stationed in Teheran. He had been transferred to Iran from a post in Tokyo with no previous experience in Iranian affairs. Why did the U.S. install a man totally ignorant of my country in the midst of such a crisis? I was astonished by the insignificance of the reports he gave me. At one point we spoke of liberalization and I saw a smile spread across his face.

The Carter administration’s continuous demand upon the Shah: liberalize. On October 26, 1978, he freed 1,500 prisoners, but increased rioting followed. The Shah commented that “the more I liberalized, the worse the situation in Iran became. Every initiative I took was seen as proof of my own weakness and that of my government.” Revolutionaries equated liberalization with appeasement. “My greatest mistake,” the Shah recalled, “was in listening to the Americans on matters concerning the internal affairs of my kingdom.”

Iran’s last hope: its well-trained military could still restore order. The Carter administration realized this. Du Berrier noted: “Air Force General Robert Huyser, deputy commander of U.S. forces in Europe, was sent to pressure Iran’s generals into giving in without a fight.” “Huyser directly threatened the military with a break in diplomatic relations and a cutoff of arms if they moved to support their monarch.”

“It was therefore necessary,” the Shah wrote, “to neutralize the Iranian army. It was clearly for this reason that General Huyser had come to Teheran.”

Huyser only paid the Shah a cursory visit, but had three meetings with Iran’s revolutionary leaders &mdash one lasting 10 hours. Huyser, of course, had no authority to interfere with a foreign nation’s sovereign affairs.

Prior to execution later by Khomeini, General Amir Hossein Rabbi, commander-in-chief of the Iranian Air Force, stated: “General Huyser threw the Shah out of the country like a dead mouse.”

U.S. officials pressed the Shah to leave Iran. He reflected:

You cannot imagine the pressure the Americans were putting on me, and in the end it became an order…. How could I stay when the Americans had sent a general, Huyser, to force me out? How could I stand alone against Henry Precht [the State Department Director for Iran] and the entire State Department?

He finally accepted exile, clinging to the belief that America was still Iran’s ally, and that leaving would avert greater bloodshed. These hopes proved illusions.

A factor in the Shah’s decision to depart was that &mdash unknown to most people &mdash he had cancer. U.S. Ambassador William Sullivan (CFR) assured the Shah that, if he exited Iran, America would welcome him. Despite the pleadings of myriad Iranians to stay, he reluctantly left. However, shortly after reaching Cairo, the U.S. ambassador to Egypt effectively informed him that “the government of the United States regrets that it cannot welcome the Shah to American territory.”

The betrayed ruler now became “a man without a country.”

Iran’s Chaotic Descent

On February 1, 1979, with U.S. officials joining the welcoming committee, Ayatollah Khomeini arrived in Iran amid media fanfare. Although counter-demonstrations, some numbering up to 300,000 people, erupted in Iran, the Western press barely mentioned them.

Khomeini had taken power, not by a constitutional process, but violent revolution that ultimately claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Numerous of his opponents were executed, usually without due process, and often after brutal torture. Teheran&rsquos police officers &mdash loyal to the Shah &mdash were slaughtered. At least 1,200 Imperial Army officers, who had been instructed by General Huyser not to resist the revolution, were put to death. Before dying, many exclaimed, “God save the King!” “On February 17,” reported du Berrier, “General Huyser faced the first photos of the murdered leaders whose hands he had tied and read the descriptions of their mutilations.” At the year’s end, the military emasculated and no longer a threat, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. More Iranians were killed during Khomeini’s first month in power than in the Shah’s 37-year reign. Yet Carter, Ted Kennedy, and the Western media, who had brayed so long about the Shah’s alleged “human rights” violations, said nothing. Mass executions and torture elicited no protests. Seeing his country thus destroyed, the exiled Shah raged to an adviser: “Where are the defenders of human rights and democracy now?” Later, the Shah wrote that there was

not a word of protest from American human rights advocates who had been so vocal in denouncing my “tyrannical” regime! It was a sad commentary, I reflected, that the United States, and indeed most Western countries, had adopted a double standard for international morality: anything Marxist, no matter how bloody and base, is acceptable.

The Shah’s personal tragedy wasn’t over. He stayed briefly in Egypt and Morocco, but did not wish to impose risks on his hosts from Muslim extremists. Eventually he welcomed Mexican President Lopes Portillo’s hospitality.

However, in Mexico the Shah received an invitation from CFR Chairman David Rockefeller, who used influence to secure permission for the Shah to come to America for medical treatment. Rockefeller sent a trendy Park Avenue MD to examine the Shah, who agreed &mdash against his better judgment &mdash to abandon his personal physicians and fly to New York for treatment. In October 1979, he was received at the Rockefeller-founded Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital for cancer treatment. Here the Shah experienced a fateful delay in spleen surgery that some believe accelerated his death.

The Shah’s admission to the United States had another outcome. Partly in retribution, on November 4, 1979, Iranians took 52 hostages from the U.S. embassy in Teheran. (According to Nahavandi, Soviet special services assisted them.) This embarrassed Jimmy Carter, who had done so much to destroy the Shah and support Khomeini. The seizure made the Shah a pawn.

While in New York, Mexico inexplicably reversed its welcome, informing the Shah that his return would contravene Mexico&rsquos &ldquovital interests.&rdquo One can only guess at the hidden hands possibly influencing this decision.

Carter faced a dilemma. Iran wanted the Shah’s return &mdash for a degrading execution &mdash in exchange for the American hostages. However, a direct trade might humiliate the United States.

Therefore, Panama was selected as intermediary. Following treatment in New York, the Shah was informed he could no longer remain in America, but Panama would welcome him. In Panama, however, the Shah and Empress were under virtual house arrest it was apparent that it would only be a matter of time before the Shah would be sent to Iran in exchange for the hostages. A special cage was erected in Teheran. Khomeini’s followers envisioned parading him in the streets before final torture and bloody execution.

However, Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian president and the Shah&rsquos friend, discerned the scheme, and sent a jet to Panama, which escorted the Shah and Empress safely to Egypt.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi died on July 27, 1980. His last words: “I wait upon Fate, never ceasing to pray for Iran, and for my people. I think only of their suffering.” In Cairo, a grand funeral honored him. Three million Egyptians followed the procession.

Anwar Sadat who, like the Shah, advocated a peaceful Middle East, and defied the American establishment by saving the Shah from infamous death, did not survive much longer himself. The following year, Muslim extremists assassinated him under circumstances remaining controversial.

Why did the American establishment, defying logic and morality, betray our ally the Shah? Only the perpetrators can answer the question, but a few possibilities should be considered.

Iran ranks second in the world in oil and natural-gas reserves. Energy is critical to world domination, and major oil companies, such as Exxon and British Petroleum, have long exerted behind-the-scenes influence on national policies.

The major oil companies had for years dictated Iranian oil commerce, but the Shah explained:

In 1973 we succeeded in putting a stop, irrevocably, to sixty years of foreign exploitation of Iranian oil-resources…. In 1974, Iran at last took over the management of the entire oil-industry, including the refineries at Abadan and so on…. I am quite convinced that it was from this moment that some very powerful, international interests identified, within Iran, the collusive elements, which they could use to encompass my downfall.

Does this explain the sudden attitude change toward Iran expressed by Henry Kissinger, beginning in the mid-seventies? Kissinger’s links to the Rockefellers, whose fortune derived primarily from oil, bolsters the Shah’s view on the situation. However, other factors should be considered.

Although the Shah maintained a neutral stance toward Israel, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he allowed critical supplies to reach Egypt, enabling it to achieve a balance of success, and earning Sadat’s undying gratitude, but wrath from influential Zionists. Did this impact the West’s attitude change in the mid-seventies?

We should not overlook that the Shah opposed the powerful opium trade, now flourishing in the Middle East.

Finally, the Shah was a nationalist who brought his country to the brink of greatness and encouraged Middle East peace. These qualities are anathema to those seeking global governance, for strong nations resist membership in world bodies, and war has long been a destabilizing catalyst essential to what globalists call “the new world order.”

What is the solution to modern Iran? Before listening to war drums, let us remember:

It was the CFR clique &mdash the same establishment entrenched in the Bush and Obama administrations &mdash that ousted the Shah, resulting in today’s Iran. That establishment also chanted for the six-year-old Iraq War over alleged weapons of mass destruction never found. Therefore, instead of contemplating war with Iran, a nation four times Iraq’s size, let us demand that America shed its CFR hierarchy and their interventionist policy that has wrought decades of misery, and adopt a policy of avoiding foreign entanglements, and of minding our own business in international affairs.


Why the U.S. Owed Iran That $400 Million

I t does look fishy as all get out: $400 million in assorted denominations, stacked on wooden pallets and flown to Tehran in the dead of night by the government of the United States. Hours later, five imprisoned Americans are released and board planes to freedom. If that situation&mdashwhich took place in January&mdashdoesn’t look like a hostage deal, what does?

Answer: The actual hostage deal that in fact accounts for the cash payment, which President Obama said on Thursday was not a ransom.

The currency shipped to Iran in the dead of night drew attention from presidential candidate Donald Trump this week, who on Friday appeared to walk back an earlier assertion that he had seen a payment being delivered. But that money was owed to the Islamic Republic since 1979, the year the U.S. froze all the Iranian funds in American banks as retribution for seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, as revolution swept that nation.

What was universally known as the Iran hostage crisis went on for more than a year, and finally ended with a bargain: In exchange for the release of 52 American diplomats and citizens, both sides agreed to resolve the question of money through international arbitration. The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal has trudged along for almost four decades now, and the money has flowed both ways. By 1983, Iran had returned $896 million to U.S. banks, which in turn had returned hundreds of millions in frozen funds to Iran. Today, private claims from the U.S. side have been resolved to the tune of $2.1 billion.

But still at issue as Obama began his second term was $400 million that Iran in the late 1970s had paid for U.S. fighter jets, while Tehran was still a U.S. ally. After it turned into an enemy in 1979, Washington was not about to deliver the jets. But, all these years later, Iran wanted its money back&mdashand with interest.

All told, Tehran was asking The Hague arbitrators (comprising equal numbers of U.S., Iranian and neutral judges) for $10 billion. Fearing they might actually be awarded that much, or something like it, the Obama administration negotiated privately with Tehran, which agreed to settle for $1.7 billion. The $400 million stacked on pallets was the first installment.

The day it arrived, however, a great deal else was going on. January 17 was the day the international compact rolling back Iran’s nuclear program was set to take formal effect. It was also the day that Iran had, privately, agreed to release five Americans it had imprisoned on spurious charges. At the same time, the Obama administration would release seven Iranians the U.S. had held for violating sanctions&mdashthe same sanctions that had brought Iran to the negotiating table, and indeed had necessitated doing business in cash, Iran’s banks having been cut off from the international banking system.

There were a lot of moving parts and fraying nerves at the time&mdashand the whole teetering contraption nearly came crashing down when a couple of U.S. Navy river boats strayed into Iranian waters, and were taken by the Revolutionary Guards five days before the big day. To those who follow U.S.-Iranian relations, the swiftness of the sailors’ release&mdashthe very next day&mdashwas the most impressive indication of how badly both sides wanted January 17 to come off as planned.

The pallets of Euros and Swiss francs are even more vivid a symbol. To Iran-watchers, they show how badly Obama’s team wanted to bolster Iran’s moderate leaders, who had promised their public that the nuclear deal would produce immediate economic improvements. It also helps to bear in mind that Iran’s theocratic government works on a patronage system. When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was president, it was his loyalists who got the contracts to smuggle Iran’s oil past the sanctions President Hassan Rouhani is now grappling with the fallout from paying his own people tens of thousands a month. In short, cash and a show of good will were much in demand.

Were the prisoners a factor? Even on Jan. 17, when the apparent quid pro quo was Obama’s grant of clemency to the seven Iranians, the concept of hostage-taking haunts every transaction with Iran.


The True Story Behind Operation “Argo” to Rescue Americans From Iran

The true story behind the new movie Argo about how CIA operatives posing as a Hollywood production team rescued six Americans hiding in Iran during the 1979 embassy crisis. An excerpt from Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio’s new book, Argo.

Antonio Mendez

Matt Baglio

Claire Folger / Courtesy of Warner Bros.

On Nov. 4, 1979, thousands of Iranians stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 66 Americans hostage, including three CIA officers. The crisis lasted 444 days—a drawn-out drama dubbed “America Held Hostage” on television. But during the tumult, six American consular officials managed to slip by the Iranian mob.

As they hid out in the homes of two Canadian diplomats, the Secret Six dreamed up escape plans worthy of Robert Ludlum, and perhaps just as outlandish.

That is, until the CIA appeared with a plan even crazier than anything they had imagined: a scheme to have them pose as a crew of politically clueless filmmakers from Tinseltown scouting locations for a sci-fi film.

Revolutionary Iran was dangerously chaotic, but the bureaucracy of surveillance and repression hadn’t hardened yet. This was before Google, which meant cover stories were checked by phone, in person, or by fax. It seemed crazy, but it might just work.

So began one of the more outlandish stories in American espionage. And Hollywood, which was part of the intrigue in real life, has now adapted the story. The action thriller Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, chronicles the daring escape.

In the movie, which premiered recently to great acclaim at the Telluride Film Festival, Affleck plays Antonio Mendez, the CIA chief of technical services, master of disguise and fake IDs, whose job it was to get the Americans out of Tehran undiscovered. Here Mendez remembers what happened.

Of all the groups heading into Iran, it wasn’t implausible to imagine a group of self-absorbed Hollywood eccentrics traveling there in the middle of a revolution to find the perfect locations for their movie.

Beyond that, it had the one quality that I felt the other potential cover stories lacked. It was fun, which I knew would help the six “houseguests.” We were going to walk them out through Tehran airport and right onto a commercial plane. They might be stopped they might be questioned about what they did. And they needed to be comfortable with their new identities. We figured anyone knows enough about Hollywood to fake a little movie-making patter.

Now I needed to convince everyone else at the CIA—and the Canadians—that this crazy idea was our best shot. And we had to work on the back story. We needed a Hollywood office, so if the Iranians’ people called our people, they’d hear something on the phone that confirmed we were legit. We would need to set up our own production company, which I had decided to call “Studio Six Productions,” after the six houseguests trapped in Iran. And we needed to plant ads and articles in the trade press about our new project.

Our first priority was to get office space [in L.A.]. Film companies often are created and disbanded overnight, so the film business caters to short-term leases. It only took us about an hour of calling around to find what we needed. Apparently, Michael Douglas had just finished producing The China Syndrome and we could have his offices on the Columbia Pictures lot.

I had brought a list of the houseguests in Tehran and their various ages and names. Any credible person in the film business would need a long string of previous credits. The trick was finding those kinds of jobs that give a person clout— art director, cinematographer, transportation coordinator—without the kind of marquis billing that a director or producer might get, which would be easier for the Iranians to check.

I had already decided that I would take on the role of the production manager, which would give me a logical reason to keep track of everyone on the trip. My partner, “Julio,” meanwhile, would play an associate producer, representing our production company’s ostensible South American backers. The six hidden consular officials would fill out the other roles.

Now that we had our production company, we needed a script. It was then that my Hollywood friend and collaborator on this project, a famous makeup artist, told me about a script pitched to him several months before. The project, based on Roger Zelazny’s science-fiction novel Lord of Light, had fallen through when a member of the production team was arrested for embezzlement, but not before initial preproduction had begun. Even better, the producers had hired Jack Kirby, a famous comic-book artist, to do concept drawings. “What’s it about?” I asked as I looked over the sketches. “Who knows!” said Calloway. “Some space opera set on a colonized planet.”

“This is perfect,” I said. “The Iranians won’t be able to understand this stuff.” I was thinking that, for operational purposes, the more confusing the better. If someone were to stop us, then it would be easy for us to overwhelm them with confusing conceptual jargon.

“What are we going to call it?” I asked.

“Let’s call it Argo,” Calloway said with a wry smile. It was the name of the ship that Jason and the Argonauts sailed in to liberate the Golden Fleece against impossible odds.

“That sounds just like our operation,” I said.

The houseguests had been told by one of the Canadian diplomats that they should expect some visitors. Of course he didn’t tell them we were CIA—just that we were coming to help.

As I entered the residence in Tehran, I found the whole spectacle weirdly, disconcertingly familiar. A fire burned merrily in the hearth, and the houseguests had laid out hors d’oeuvres. The group seemed rested and eager, even fit. One of them had a nice tan. Our Canadian host went into the kitchen to mix us drinks, and it wasn’t long before we were sipping our cocktails and getting acquainted. If not for the roaming bands of murderous Revolutionary Guards and komiteh patrolling the streets outside, it would have felt just like any other dinner party in Washington, D.C.

When I thought we’d broken the ice sufficiently, I started the briefing.

I opened the Studio Six portfolio and took out an issue of Variety that had the Argo ad we’d placed. I then handed one of the Studio Six business cards to houseguest Cora Lijec and pointed to the part of the ad that said the film was “from a story by Teresa Harris.”

“That’s you,” I said. I showed her the Canadian alias passport with her picture. Cora studied her photo and forged signature with obvious wonderment. Next I picked up the sketch pad and handed it to Kathy Stafford, another of the houseguests. “Here,” I said. “We saw that you have a little art in your background and decided to make you the art director.” I passed out the remaining business cards, which indicated the various roles the others would be playing: Joe Stafford was an associate producer Mark Lijek was “Joseph Earl Harris,” the transportation coordinator Lee Schatz was “Henry W. Collins,” the cameraman and Bob Anders was “Robert Baker,” the locations manager.

Before leaving, I sat down with the houseguests once again to go over their cover stories. I handed each of them the personal résumé we had created for them and told them to memorize it backward and forward.

“If anyone stops you or hassles you in any way, just act confident and look them in the eye. Think about how someone from Hollywood would react. Remember, Julio and I will be right beside you, so if anything goes wrong let us do the talking.”

“Each of you is going to need to make yourself look a little flashier, a little more Hollywood,” I said. I handed Schatz his viewfinder and gave Cora the script.

“Julio and I will be back here on Sunday night to go through a little dress rehearsal,” I told them. “But in the meantime, learn your parts.

On Jan. 28, the six departed Iran, right under the noses of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Their escape remained unknown for months, and the CIA’s involvement was hidden for 17 years.

Reprinted by arrangement with Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., from ARGO by Antonio J. Mendez and Matt Baglio. Copyright © 2012 by Antonio J. Mendez and Matt Baglio


Tisdel's Tirades


When I was watching the Parade of Nations last night, it occurred to me that around 1/4 of the 206 nations represented in the Parade were once British colonies. (For the record, I did think of this before that picture of Queen Elizabeth went viral.)

That made me wonder, how many of these countries were able to escape colonization entirely? How many of them were never under the sovereign rule of any European power?

So I did a lot of research. The rules are these:
-The country is not on the continent of Europe.
-The country was never ruled by an European country, including Russia and Turkey, from 1400 to the present day (although I'll mess with this rule if I so choose).
-Some of this stuff is subjective. I'm subjecting.
-The country is currently a sovereign, independent state.
-All research comes from Wikipedia if I write down any historical fact, assume it's from the relevant Wikipedia article.

The undisputed winners: Liberia, Japan, Thailand, Bhutan and Iran. The area that became Liberia had British, Dutch and Portuguese trading posts, but after the U.S. started sending free blacks and former slaves to Liberia in 1820, the area was never snapped up by any European power. It officially became a country in 1847. Meanwhile, Japan, Thailand and Iran were powerful enough/had strong rulers/didn't enter into "sucker" treaties/and/or played Western powers off against each other to such a degree that they've been able to maintain independence all the way to the present day. Bhutan fought a war or two against the British, lost some territory and political influence, but kept itself autonomous throughout the colonial period.


The rather disputed winners: Nepal, Tonga, China and Ethiopia. Tonga was apparently under the British aegis as a "protected state", had a British consul for seventy years and was part of the "British Western Pacific Territories" for fifty, but it was able to maintain its own indigenous monarchy all the way up to the present day in other words, it never gave up its right to self-government. Nepal was never a British colony, and in fact fought a war to ensure autonomy from the British Empire however, they had to cede a third of their country to do it, which is why they're in the "dubious" category.
Ethiopia was one of only two countries (along with Liberia) to survive the Scramble for Africa more or less intact, but finally fell to Italy in 1936 when Mussolini decided to create his 'New Roman Empire'. The British ejected the Italians in 1941, and the country regained full independence again in 1944. (Eight years isn't so bad consider the Philippines, for example, who were under Spanish, American and Japanese rule from 1571-1945.) Finally, China was technically never a colony (except for Hong Kong and Macao), but got screwed in so many other different ways by various Western powers (plus the U.S.) that it's hard to label them as a perennially free country with a straight face.

The (maybe) ineligibles: North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia. Back in the day when Korea was one country, it apparently did a decent job resisting the West, but a lousy job resisting Japan, which ruled them for 35 years. Meanwhile, Mongolia was essentially ruled by China throughout the colonial era, and like Korea, was geographically remote from other Western territories or centers of power. Both the Koreas and Mongolia were able to escape rule by the West, but only because they were totally (Mongolia) or partially (Korea) ruled by other powers during that time. I'm not sure if they should get credit for resisting imperialism, given that.

24 comments:

Awesome post! Did the same thing once and totally agree. I also always wonder these kind of things.

(Same guy from previous post [email protected]) I would also add Afghanistan, probably in the Rather Dispute Winners category, they defended themselves from the british and then got invaded by the Soviets, but I would consider them to have been an actual colony. What do you think?

Hi, and thanks for reading! Rather Disputed seems about right. I just did some very extensive research* and while it seems they ceded control over their foreign policy to the British and had to deal with a ton of British influence, they were never actually a colony and managed to retain some independent control over domestic affairs throughout the colonial period. Good call!

Please correct your information. Italy was forced to withdraw from Ethiopia by 1941 not 1944. Also it was a continuous fight from 1936 to 1941 for 5 years and it is difficult to say Ethiopia was occupied by Italy during this time.

Ethiopia was indeed colonised by Fascist Italy. It was incorporated into Italian East Africa. Furthermore, Ethiopia was also subdued and conquered by the brave warriors of the Adal Sultanate lead by Imam Ahmed Gragn.

"In the 1880s Italy failed to take Abyssinia (as Ethiopia was then known) as a colony. On 3 October 1935 Mussolini ordered a new invasion and on 9 May the following year Abyssinia was annexed by Italy. On 1 June the country was merged with Eritrea and Italian Somalia to form Africa Orientale Italiana (AOI - Italian East Africa).

Emperor Haile Selassie made an impassioned appeal to the League of Nations on 30 June 1936, gaining support from the US and Russia. But many League of Nations members, including Britain and France, recognized Italian colonization.

It was not until 5 May 1941, when Selassie was restored to the Ethiopian throne, that independence was regained."

Here is an important history book entitled Futuh al-Habasha (The Conquest of Abyssinia/Ethiopia):
http://www.amazon.com/Futuh-Al-Habasha-Conquest-Abyssinia-Al-Habasa/dp/0972317252

Contrary to popular opinion, the truth is Liberia was also a colony. It was an artificial nation/colonial project conceived and established by the American Colonization Society.

Here are some quotes regarding this:

"The Republic of Liberia, formerly a colony of the American Colonization Society, declares its independence. Under pressure from Britain, the United States hesitantly accepted Liberian sovereignty, making the West African nation the first democratic republic in African history. A constitution modeled after the U.S. Constitution was approved, and in 1848 Joseph Jenkins Roberts was elected Liberia's first president.

The American Colonization Society was founded in 1816 by American Robert Finley to return freed African American slaves to Africa. In 1820, the first former U.S. slaves arrived at the British colony of Sierra Leone from the United States, and in 1821 the American Colonization Society founded the colony of Liberia south of Sierra Leone as a homeland for former slaves outside British jurisdiction."

"Liberia was a colony for just over 17 years before partial independence was achieved through the declaration of a commonwealth (4 April 1839). True independence was declared eight years later on 26 July 1847.

The American Society for Colonization of Free People of Color of the United States (known simply as the American Colonization Society, ACS) created the Cape Mesurado Colony on the Grain Coast on 15 December 1821. This was further expanded into the Colony of Liberia on 15 August 1824. The ACS was a society initially run by white Americans who believed there was no place for Free Blacks in the US. Its administration was later taken over by Free Blacks."

In conclusion, all of the Dark Continent (including Ethiopia and Liberia) was conquered and colonised.

what about saudi arabia? was never colonized

re saudi arabia - Ottoman Empire

If Italy colonized Ethiopia, then Germany colonized France. Please, note the difference between occupation and true colonization.

Can someone tell me who funds colonization? Seriously, I spent so many years of my life trying to control anger towards a particular group of people but I found it increasingly difficult the more I studied my history in America. But as I began to look outside of America and see such a strong pattern on how Europeans methodically turn people against one another, use propaganda and lies, set up a "government" to help push their agenda, and snatch power/money/wealth from indigenous people then say shame on you for asking for handouts. I am slowly moving away from anger. to confusion. What is the purpose of trying to take over the world. Like it's still being done today but the word colonization is not used. It's more like, "they are terrorist and they are harming THEIR people, so we have to go and TAKE THEIR LAND. AND RESOURCES. AND CONTROL THEIR PEOPLE." All this time, I've been getting mad at the everyday European that I come in contact with in America for believing the lies and propaganda that they are fed to try and uphold a level of superiority. But I realize, they are just as ignorant as people of color that don't have knowledge or understand history of what is going on. But I go back to my question. who funds these takeovers. I'm not really asking what country. because that doesn't say a particular group. But who. and why?

To the cowards above me, stop being sissies and grow a pair you crybabies. The majority of governments of the world today are controlled by a sinister group of satanists who have bear allegiance to no nation, they are the so-called "Illuminati". Do some research and see for yourself. Ethiopia was indeed colonised by Italy and so was all of the Dark Continent. If anything, colonialism and slavery are divine punishment for the black man's sins. All of this "White guilt" is a smokescreen to lay the blame and responsibility on others. So blacks need to stop playing the race card and blame game and take responsibility for your own actions. The truth is the Europeans are innocent people who have contributed so much to civilisation and humanity: philosophy, literature, art, music, etc. Without them, there would be no world as we know it today.

Here are some excellent articles on this topic:

Can Arabs And Whites Be Real Africans?
http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/articles/farooq-a-kperogi/can-arabs-and-whites-be-real-africans.html

Colonialism Was Good For Africa
http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/newsflash/colonialism-was-good-for-africa.html

Jamaicans Nostalgic For Colonialism
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/06/jamaicans-nostalgic-for-colonialism.php

Poll: Most Jamaicans believe UK rule better
http://news.yahoo.com/poll-most-jamaicans-believe-uk-rule-better-182520029.html

Finally, here is a letter from two black tribal leaders who requested the British to colonise and govern their country:

A letter that King Bell and King Acqua of the Cameroons River, West Africa, wrote on November 6, 1881, to William Gladstone the Liberal Prime Minister of the UK:

We both your servants have met this afternoon to write you these few lines of writing trusting it may find you in a good state of life as it leaves us at present. As we heard here that you are the chief man in the House of Commons, so we write to tell you that we want to be under Her Majesty's control. We want our country to be governed by British Government. We are tired of governing this country ourselves, every dispute leads to war, and often to great loss of lives, so we think it is best thing to give up the country to you British men who no doubt will bring peace, civilization, and Christianity in the country. Do for mercy sake please lay our request before the Queen and to the rulers of the British Government. Do, Sir, for mercy sake, please to assist us in this important undertaking. We heard that you are a good Christian man, so we hope that you will do all you can in your power to see that our request is granted. We are quite willing to abolish all our heathen customs. No doubt God will bless you for putting a light in our country. Please to send us an answer as quick as you can.

King Bell and King Acqua
of the Cameroons River, West Africa
6 November 1881

In conclusion, the politically correct version of history that we are taught in school is based on emotions rather than facts. We are only taught the negative aspects of colonialism, but the truth is colonialism brought a lot of benefit to the world. It transformed tribal societies into nations and nations into cosmopolitan empires. The reality is the Dark Continent was far better off under Western rule. Now it is a mess filled with HIV/AIDs, rape, genocide, and all kinds of other horrors. Without the immense contributions the great European peoples have contributed to humanity, we would not have all of this modern technology we take for granted like automobiles and computers. We would not even be using e-mail or writing on this blog right now. So it is very unfair to blame the "White man" for all your problems, when in reality as adults you are fully responsible for your own actions. One should not play the blame game or point fingers, but rather man up and accept the truth even if it hurts. It is because of these great brave European heroes both famous and nameless who pioneered and explored the world that we have now this endless ocean of knowledge and wisdom at our fingertips by the Grace of God Almighty.

PS - and even Bhutan - or the area that is now Bhutan was occupied by Tibetans and Chinese.

Europeans innocent? They taught and contributed? There were drainage systems, pottery, in fact everything needed for a developed society in Harappa civilization, what did they learn from the Europeans? Why was India colonized by the Brits? Ask a Brit.

Italy was under constant attack by Ethiopian patriots, and only managed to gain partial control in only the cities from 1936 to 1941. Imam Ahmed Grang was also an Ethiopian i don't know who told you he wasn't, but he was a Muslim that is why he was thought of as illegitimate ruler, at the time, in a country that had only christian rulers for centuries. He is was a strong and smart Ethiopian Muslim ruler. Get your facts straight @ Anonymous said.

Every country was named by a colonist. We never separated ourselves by geographical locations. We look at the earth as whole. Countries are a strictly for political purposes. Be honest and tell the truth. Who came up with the idea of countries? Who actually decided that a certain part of land was gonna be called this?

It seems to me hard to define "colony". Great sections of China were conquered by other Asiatic peoples that today we would all think of as Chinese, but when the people being conquered by these peoples (the conquerors like the Manchus, etc., were mainly groups from the north of China conquering groups in the south) certainly did not feel themselves to be Chinese prior to being conquered.

Also, can Russia be considered a never-colonized country? I don't know. It certainly fought lots of wars (with China, Japan, Sweden, Germany, not to mention the Cold War and current ethnic wars and its interference in other former Soviet republics) to remain a nation, and it also colonized many, many non-Russian areas (Catherine the Great took Crimea and many other areas for Russia) and others extended Russia far east into Siberia and subjugated the Tatars, Cossacks, Kazaks, Uzbeks, Turkmen, and so many others.

Could one count the former country of Sikkim as never having been colonized, since it succeeded in wars against Nepal, India, the British in remaining an independent state (although for a period the British came to the rescue militarily during the Gurkha War in 1814. In 1975 or so Sikkim voted (there is some dispute about what was being voted for) by overwhelming 97% to abolish its monarchy and became a state of India. Does voluntarily joining another nation count as colonization?

Also, the answer depends on how far back one goes. Iran was conquered by various groups, although not called Iran - the Assyrian, Medes, Acaemenid empires all took turns controlling part of present-day Iran, and let's not forget the conquering of parts of Persia by Alexander the Great - Persia also certainly fell victim to Islamic invaders which pushed out or forcibly converted older (Zorastorian, etc.) religions and peoples practicing them.

Buena Parker: Sikkim did not remain an independent state from 1853 to 1890 they were ruled by a British governor in all but name.

Who do you consider Turkey colonized by?

Hey Andy! Can you share your material collected while doing such extensive research? Have you also collected legal documents for making dependent and granting independence ?

By your definition, I believe Iran is not an undisputed winner, as it falls under the same category with Ethiopia. During WW2, the country was under invasion of Soviet and British.
Great article by the way !

The HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA June 1992 when considering a native title claim [Mabo v Queensland (No 2) HCA 23 175 CLR 1] made the pronouncement that”… the manner in which a sovereign state might acquire new territory is a matter for international law, …”

International law recognized
• conquest,
• cession, and
• occupation of territory that was 'terra nullius '
as (the only) three effective ways of acquiring sovereignty of territory.
If the full bench of the High Court of Australia understands what is talking about then ‘Colonization’ is the “occupation” option only.
Conquest (the outcome of war) is NOT ‘Colonization’ nor is ‘cession’
So territory acquired by war or by signed treaty - can be removed from you list.
If you didn’t do that, given the last 100,000 years activity by humans, all territory, at some stage or other would have been 'colonized' and not just once but on multiple occasions


Why Are Academics Ignoring Iran’s Colonialism?

A cademics today are obsessed with colonization, empire, and cultural hegemony, along with postcolonialism, ethnic studies, and intersectionality. Scholarship in many fields has come to be dominated by hegemony-fighting, indigenous-supporting anti-imperialists who attack anyone who disagrees with them. When a journal called Third World Quarterly published an article in 2017 about the benefits of colonialism, the uproar from the social-justice professors led to the article’s being withdrawn and 15 members of the editorial board resigning amid threats.

So if the profession is so adamant about the evils of colonialism, why is it ignoring Iran?

When strong countries exert their (unfair) advantages over weaker ones, imposing their values and cultures and manipulating indigenous economies, academics are among the loudest and most creative critics. Even the most benign influence of a powerful country over a weaker one is excoriated — hence the long obsession with something called “cocacolonization.” Legions of scholar-activists are busy enlisting history to shed light on the present, drawing parallels between a benighted European era of colonization and an ongoing American or Israeli one, looking under rocks for signs of Western, American, and Trumpian oppression and proclaiming a new American empire. Fair enough — but why ignore the Iranian attempts to do exactly to others what they accuse others of having done to Iran?

Journalists and analysts, such as Jonathan Spyer and Seth Frantzman, have been documenting Iran’s colonial expansion for many years. But most academics have been reluctant to turn their skills on Iran. Many prefer softer targets, such as Israel and the U.S. Earlier this month, the United Nations’ Decolonization Committee pushed eight anti-Israel measures through the General Assembly, showing where its priorities lie.

Even without its violations of other countries’ sovereignty, Iran itself is an empire, with ethnic Persians dominating the Arabs, Kurds, Balochis, Azeris, Turkmen, Lur, Gilakis, and Mazandaranis. Only a few, notably Daniel Pipes, Ilan Berman, and Shoshana Bryen, are interested in this fact.

Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution was an imperialist project from the beginning, as one of his first moves after taking power (even before the collapse of the post-shah provisional government in November 1979) was to establish the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to spread his ideas. Shortly thereafter he made moves in Lebanon, dispatching “1,500 IRGC advisers [to] set up a base in the Bekaa Valley as part of [his] goal to export the Islamic Revolution to the Arab world,” as Matthew Levitt put it. Those advisers were instrumental in creating Hezbollah, which has served to spread Iran’s influence throughout the world.

In 1998, the al-Quds Force, the IRGC’s unconventional-warfare unit, got a new leader when Qassem Soleimani was appointed commander. Soleimani has ramped up Iran’s colonial enterprise, capitalizing on the U.S. toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003 to take over Iraq in a way Iran could never have accomplished on its own. The so-called Arab Spring offered Soleimani the opportunity to stake out territory in Syria using Hezbollah and in Yemen using the Shia Houthi rebels, completing the goal of a “Shia Crescent” stretching from the Gulf to the Mediterranean.

Books on British and American empire building in Iran and the greater Middle East (real and imagined) come out every year. The topic has earned tenure for many willing to genuflect at the altar of Edward Said by exposing alleged evils of European and American “Orientalism.” Yet almost no academics are writing about one of the world’s most obvious and bloodiest colonizing projects even as it plays out right under their noses.

There are exceptions, of course. Efraim Karsh’s Islamic Imperialism (2006) reminded everyone that the Middle East is “where the institution of empire not only originated . . . but where its spirit has also outlived its European counterpart.”

Another exception is Tallha Abdulrazak, a researcher at the University of Exeter’s Strategy and Security Institute, but his interests in Iranian colonialism seem to end at Iraq, and the anti-American and anti-Israel tendencies in his writing at Al Jazeera and the Middle East Eye suggest a lack of interest in the totality of Iranian empire-building. These tendencies were doubtless instrumental in his being awarded the Al Jazeera Young Researcher Award in 2015.

Think-tank scholars have not shied away from Iran’s interference in other countries. Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute notes that “aside from Russia, Iran is the world’s most imperialistic country today . . . little different in its quest for political and economic domination of poorer states as its tormentors were in the nineteenth century.”

Israeli scholars too seem more interested in today’s Iran than in yesterday’s. Hillel Frisch, professor of political studies and Middle East studies at Bar-Ilan University and a senior research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, calls Iran “the only country whose focus is on political, military, and terrorist intervention and involvement in areas beyond its contiguous borders against states that have not struck the homeland.”

But where are the clarion calls from the ivory towers? Are all the anti-Orientalists busy stigmatizing the West, privileging victimhood over achievement and finding new ways to use “other” as a verb (perhaps at UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute)? Where are the conferences, symposia, and special-issue journals on Iranian imperialism? The Council on Foreign Relations hosted an event dedicated to Iran’s imperial foreign policy in February, but if any similar event occurred at an American university in 2019, it wasn’t advertised and remains well hidden.

The 21st century began with a frenetic deluge of articles and books decrying a new American “imperialism” in the Middle East that had begun after 9/11. But books decrying the rise of Iranian imperialism have not even come in a trickle.

So what exactly are the Middle East specialists up to?

On the fringes of the profession, where the activists lurk, a counteroffensive is under way. Iran apologist Hamid Dabashi of Columbia University wrote and published a “Letter Against US Imperialism” on December 7 objecting to “the current U.S. imperial project,” aided by the IMF, that “seek[s] a return to neocolonial governance in the form of a U.S.-backed regime.” Dabashi somehow persuaded 38 academics (12 from colleges in California) to join with an odd assortment of artists, activists, lawyers, and podcasters to sign the desperate and bizarre letter that completely misunderstands the protests in Iran in November.

Even the socialists at New Politics find fault with Dabashi’s letter for its “dismissal of the Iranian regime’s oppressive and violent influence in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq” and its shallow “conceptualization of imperialism [which] does not include and condemn the sub-imperialisms of Iran.”

Mainstream Middle East specialists prefer to pretend that there is no Iranian imperialism, “sub” or otherwise. When hundreds, perhaps thousands, of them assembled in New Orleans at the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) last month, the topic seems to have escaped them. Over the course of four days they convened 20 academic sessions, each comprising between 18 and 24 topics, for a total of 304 events: panels, round tables, thematic conversations, conference papers, and special current-issue sessions. In each of these events at least a half dozen experts presented, chaired, or refereed. And not a single event was devoted to Iran’s colonial influence in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, or Yemen. There was nothing about the ascendant Iranian empire. The Qajar Empire, on the other hand, was covered in multiple sessions. Also popular were events about someplace called either “Palestine/Israel” or “Israel/Palestine,” depending apparently on the whims of the moderator.

The Iranian colonial project is among the most significant events in modern history, and its contours coincide with the interests and deeply held beliefs of the professoriate. But most academics are remarkably uncurious about Iran’s colonialism. Talk about wasting the moment.