Anthology – Peoples’ Plan for Life, Now and Forever …
“One day I reminded Claudine that the MAIN team being sent to Java included ten other men. I asked if they all were receiving the same type of training as me. She assured me they were not.
‘They’re engineers,’ she said. ‘They design power plants, transmission and distribution lines, and seaports and roads to bring in the fuel. You’re the one who predicts the future. Your forecasts determine the magnitude of the systems they design – and the size of the loans. You see, you’re the key.’
“Every time I walked away from Claudine’s apartment, I wondered whether I was doing the right thing. Somewhere in my heart, I suspected I was not. But the frustrations of my past haunted me. MAIN seemed to offer everything my life had lacked, and yet I kept asking myself if Tom Paine would have approved. In the end, I convinced myself that by learning more, by experiencing it, I could better expose it later – the old ‘working from the inside’ justification.
“When I shared this idea with Claudine, she gave me a perplexed look. ‘Don’t be ridiculous. Once you’re in, you can never get out. You must decide for yourself, before you get in any deeper.’ I understood her, and what she said frightened me. After I left, I strolled down Commonwealth Avenue, turned onto Dartmouth Street, and assured myself that I was the exception…
“Claudine described how throughout most of history, empires were built largely through military force or the threat of it. But with the end of World War II, the emergence of the Soviet Union, and the specter of nuclear holocaust, the military solution became just too risky.
“The decisive moment occurred in 1951, when Iran rebelled against a British oil company that was exploiting Iranian natural resources and its people. The company was the forerunner of British Petroleum, today’s BP. In response, the highly popular, democratically elected Iranian prime minister (and TIME magazine’s Man of the Year in 1951), Mohammad Mossadegh, nationalized all Iranian petroleum assets. An outraged England sought the help of her World War II ally, the United States. However, both countries feared that military retaliation would provoke the Soviet Union into taking action on behalf of Iran.
“Instead of sending in the Marines, therefore, Washington dispatched CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt (Theodore’s grandson). He performed brilliantly, winning people over through payoffs and threats. He then enlisted them to organize a series of street riots and violent demonstrations, which created the impression that Mossadegh was both unpopular and inept. In the end, Mossadegh went down, and he spent the rest of his life under house arrest. The pro-American Mohammad Reza Shah became the unchallenged dictator. Kermit Roosevelt had set the stage for a new profession, the one whose ranks I was joining…By the year 1968, the year I interviewed with the NSA, it had become clear that if the United States wanted to realize its dream of global empire (as envisioned by men like presidents Johnson and Nixon), it would have to employ strategies modeled on Roosevelt’s Iranian example. This was the only way to beat the Soviets without the threat of nuclear war.”