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Walker Catoe

POLS 109
Dr. Williams
Legacy of Ashes: Part II
When Eisenhower came to the White House, he wanted to use the CIA as a force for
keeping the Russians at bay. This meant using all means available (psychological, political,
economic, and paramilitary) to advance the agenda of the United States. While this may be a
generally good idea, the CIA was still too confused about its mission to be able to be much help
to the former Supreme commander.
One of the biggest problems facing the president at the time was the issue of the Soviet
Union gaining their own stockpile of nuclear weapons and using them. Because Ike felt that this
was a very likely thing to happen, he kept asking Allen Dulles, the DCI, what the Soviet
intentions were. This again falls under the umbrella of this agency has only been around for six
years, so we really havent been able to cultivate any sort of source inside the Kremlin. So how
would we know what their intentions are? The issue of intentions really raised its ugly head
when Joseph Stalin died. Many in Ikes inner circle (mostly the Joint Chiefs) were convinced that
his death meant that the Soviet Union was about to launch a first strike against the United States.
That first strike never happened of course, but the United States remained paranoid throughout
the Cold War because the CIA never could figure out the Soviets intentions.
As previously stated, Eisenhower wanted to use the CIA mainly for covert action in order
to turn the world into a more pro-America shape. This meant that the CIA had to fight against the
idea of communism wherever it cropped up, including Iran.

Iran had just nationalized their oil so that they, not the British, could make money from it.
This meant that the British would do anything to overthrow the Prime Minister, Mossadeq, in
order to get the money back. Iranian intelligence caught the British trying to insight a coup and
expelled the entire British embassy from Tehran. The British then convinced the CIA to do what
they were not able to: overthrow Mossadeq and reinstall the Shah. Unfortunately, the entire
operation was doomed from the start. Ike had stated in a speech that any nations right to form a
government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable,and any nations
attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible. Why did
Eisenhower say these things and then give the OK for a coup that was doing exactly what he said
was indefensible? Another problem the CIA had was that everything they planned on trying to
carry out the day of the coup was already known by Mossadeq. This meant the only way to
overthrow him would be through overwhelming force. That idea seems to fly completely in the
face of what the CIA calls COVERT action. Regardless, the CIA overthrew Mossadeq, installed
the Shah, and provided the atmosphere in which the Ayatollah Khomeini could eventually lead
his Islamic revolution. I am convinced that Khomeini came to power because of the action the
CIA took to overthrow the Iranian government.