|A Battle Scene from the Shanameh by Ferdowsi|
One of the revelations was that the CIA was responsible for the coup in Iran that overthrew the democratically elected Prime Minister Mosaddegh and replaced him with the Shah. The motivation for this intervention was to prevent the nationalization of primarily British owned oil companies. Here is a news source:
As anyone who has followed international events knows, this American intervention precipitated a series of events in Iran that eventually led it from being a relatively enlightened, secular western-leaning power to becoming a dark theocracy with very few civil rights. These developments worked not only to the detriment of the average Iranian citizen. They also created a fierce enemy of the United States in Iran. Most of the consequences were negative in every possible way.
If you know nothing whatever about it, a brief look at this clip from Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi will get you up to speed.
Now, there are people who believe that the government should be involved in literature and espionage, but that perhaps these particular choices by the CIA are unfortunate. I am not one of them. There are people who think that we should beat all our swords into plowshares, and I am not one of those, either. I think that we need people who make war in the same way that we need people who make love and write great, epic works of literature. But the government must stay out of it. The government should step aside and let the warriors make war, the lovers make love, and the writers make heroic poetry. Theodosia and the Pirates is a novel -- a big, unflattened novel of ideas -- that makes this point.
Jean Laffite and not Commodore Patterson was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans. The United States Navy was more in league with the British than with the privateers who saved it from destruction. The taxes that smugglers refused to pay saved the American consumer money and also financed the gunpowder that was needed to beat the British. The real pirates were in the government that confiscated goods and sold them for a profit.
Who should pay for waging war? I wrote about that here:
Read Theodosia and the Pirates. No spy agency paid me to write it. You might learn a thing or two about why taxing citizens to pay for war is not a good idea. But we don't need to give up on the desire for someone to stand up to international bullies wherever they are found. Real heroes don't require government support. They just need to be left alone to do what comes naturally.