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November 19, 2007

Sheep, Abroad And At Home

Miles Copeland was a longtime CIA operative who participated in the 1953 coup in Iran. (He was also the father of Stewart Copeland, drummer for the Police.)

Here he is being interviewed by Robert Parry in 1990:

"Most of the things that were done [by the United States] about Iran had been on a basis of stark realism, with possibly the exception of letting the Shah down," Copeland said. "There are plenty of forces in the country we could have marshaled . ... We could have sabotaged [the revolution]. I think in the long run we'd have had a hard time to do it because Islam is the march of the future. But, yes, we could have done something about it. But we had to do it early. We had to establish what the Quakers call 'the spirit of the meeting' in the country, where everybody was thinking just one way. The Iranians were really like sheep, as they are now."

I wonder why the Iranian government finds it useful to refer to us as "the Global Arrogance"? Perhaps we will never be able to understand the Mysterious East.

In any case, it's been my experience that when someone looks upon people in another country as "sheep," they also see the people in their own country the same way. I doubt Miles Copeland was any different.

(The Copeland passage appears in Parry's book Secrecy and Privilege.)

Posted at November 19, 2007 04:15 PM | TrackBack

All of Parry'sbooks are good.

Posted by: cemmcs at November 19, 2007 04:56 PM

THE TROUBLE is those Iraqi Sheep gots the RABIES.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 19, 2007 07:12 PM

might be seeing a little of this lupine shepherding in pakistan -- certain part of the population always happier with a "moderate revolution"

Posted by: hapa at November 19, 2007 07:17 PM

In the sense that many people can be led by effective propaganda to think a certain way, as Goebbels described, then there are people everywhere who are sheep.

Posted by: Don Bacon at November 19, 2007 07:18 PM
Perhaps we will never been able to understand the Mysterious East.

Those inscrutable Orientals. Was that a reference to Edward Said?

I miss that guy; he could have had much interesting stuff to say in the last four years.

Posted by: Ted at November 19, 2007 07:23 PM

"In any case, it's been my experience that when someone looks upon people in another country as "sheep," they also see the people in their own the country the same way. I doubt Miles Copeland was any different."

Care to explain this? I think this is a matter of where that person's station in life is. Let's say, if that person is a frustrated idealist finding that everyone around him is too stuck to the status quo to join him, wouldn't he call them "sheep" too?

Posted by: En Ming Hee at November 19, 2007 07:23 PM

"The shepherds change, the sheep remain."

Friedrich Nietzsche

Here, there, and everywhere.

Posted by: donescobar at November 19, 2007 07:45 PM

Here's another Quaker saying:
"May we look upon our treasures...and try whether the seeds of war have any nourishment in these our possessions or not."
A Plea for the Poor, Part X by John Woolman (1720-1772)
That Woolman, what an inscrutable Occidental.

Posted by: Pvt. Keepout at November 20, 2007 10:01 AM