To the Editors of The Crimson:
"The CIA in Iran" by Trevor Barnes (Feb. 9) usefully recounts a now-familiar story. But in the last sentence of the article, Barnes makes the astonishing observation that "the operation begun with moral fervor to save the Iranians for democracy resulted in a totalitarian regime which crushed the very freedom the coup of 1953 was supposed to create." Can the author seriously intend to suggest that Eisenhower, Dulles and Kermit Roosevelt were moved by "moral fervor" to save "democracy" for Iranians, rather than to preserve control of Iranian oil for American companies? It is important to recall that Mossadegh enjoyed overwhelming popular and parliamentary support, and that the ground "slid from beneath his feet" largely because the United States and Great Britain organized a boycott of nationalized Iranian oil.
The biographical note accompanying the article says that Barnes is currently researching the CIA in Europe, 1945-55. If so, he should consider adopting as his leading principle of interpretation, that the purpose of American foreign policy then (as now), and hence of CIA activity, was to ensure that as much of the world as possible remain open to economic penetration and control by U.S.-based corporations. "Moral fervor" for "democracy" enters in not at all. George Scialabba '69