This article flies in the face of:
- The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis
- Legacy of Ashes By Tim Wiener
- Hatred's Kingdom by Dore Gold
- Sleeping with the Devil by Robert Baer
But most importantly
- All the Shah's Men, Overthrow and Reset, all by Stephen Kinzer.
And it fucks up stupid things, like saying the US didn't foment revolution prior to the vote of no confidence against the Shah When the CIA straight up bragged about it. It goes to great lengths to point out what a useless leader Mossadegh was without also noting that Mohammed Reza was a pussilanimous playboy widely acknowledged to lack the iron fist of his father Reza Shah.
Look - the "mythical" stuff outlined in this extremely verbose, extremely confusing article aren't really held as unassailable truths by anyone who pays attention to this sort of thing. And the fundamentals of the events aren't really questioned (aside from that "US had nothing to do with paying rabblerousers to fuck with elections" thing, which is certifiable bullshit). What really happened in Iran was:
- The US offered Saudi Arabia a much better deal for its oil than England was offering Iran for its oil
- Reza Shah, who assed out the Qajars, handed power over to his weak and useless son
- Mossadegh rode a wave of nationalist populism to the prime ministership and nationalized the Anglo Iranian Oil Company (AKA BP)
- The British asked for American help to depose Mossadegh and conveniently failed
- The Americans made another pass a few days later without British help and conveniently succeeded
- The British were assed out of Iran and the Middle East, their claims to The Great Game dashed until their furtive attempt at the Suez crisis in 1967 (at which point the Americans pinned their ears back for once and for all)
- The United States installed a puppet simp that would do anything we told him to do and spent all of his country's money on arms he didn't need, thus providing us with oil and a convenient dumping ground for shiny military hardware (#1 investor in military arms in 1978: Iran. #2: Saudi Arabia).
- England becomes a vassal state of the United States with no oil claims other than f'ing Scotland; US props up a despot in Iran that becomes increasingly dependent on secret police and death squads
- The Ford administration effectively eliminates HUMINT in the CIA, thereby leaving the US blind to an obvious, inevitable Islamic revolution
- The modern Middle East as we know it
This article attempts to say that without the CIA, things would be the same... without also noting that without the CIA, the Iranians would have ended up with their own leader who likely wouldn't have spent all of Iran's money on American fighter planes. He probably wouldn't have sold the oil at whatever price Texaco wanted, either.
And it does so by quibbling over details that can't really be quibbled over.