Often times in global politics, in particular the Middle East, things have a way of happening in concert. It’s almost as if the hand of God, or Allah, is at work. Allow me to illustrate.
Iran was once a nation allied to the West (International Policy DIgest). The chain of events that happened to change that all involved individuals making strange decisions. The first was Shah Pahlavi‘s anti Islamic stance. He was attempting to minimize the influence of the Shia clerics on society. He even wanted to change the calendar from the Islamic one to one based on the Persian empire. He suspended the constitution during a crisis with Islamic belligerents. This prompted other members of society to join the call for his removal.
US President Jimmy Carter and his staff became convinced the Ayatollah Khomeini would be a positive influence on events. They believed his “spiritual” teachings would help diffuse the situation and Iran could go on being a Western ally. They petitioned the Shah and France to allow him to return to Iran from exile.
The Ayatollah Khomeini persuaded US State Department interviewers he would not try to take over the country. He told them he was interested in peace and prosperity for Iran.
In hindsight it’s easy to see this was all bs. The end result was a new Shia Theocracy dominated by the religious dictator Ruhollah Khomeini.
What if the hand of god, or an unreasonable facsimile, was at work. Who would that be? Who influenced the Shah and Carter to screw up while guiding the Ayatollah to victory?
To answer this we must figure out who stood to gain. Who did the Ayatollah Khomeini actually serve? He served the same guys that Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad serve. The same guys who played at being allah to these fellas. They managed to generate a huge a Shi’ite threat in the Middle East that didn’t exist in the 1970’s. They did it from right in the middle of the US. Having your subject rule a nation is better than standing at a podium with a target painted on your head. Having your subject appoint his replacement isn’t a bad idea either.