Interfering In Other Countries' Domestic Politics-- What Monsters Do That?
One of the excuses many of the Trump-Putin useful idiots give for dismissing Putin’s hacking of the U.S. elections is that governments do it all the time— especially the U.S. Well, they are certainly right about governments doing it all the time, but that doesn’t make Putin’s coup against America any more palatable than, say, the U.S.-British coup against Iran in 1953. Glen Yeadon's book, Nazi Hydra In America includes a chapter about how the CIA recruited a whole lot of Nazis after the World War II to work for it in various capacities, including that of helping overthrow governments that were deemed unfriendly to American corporate power. The CIA was busy all over Europe, of course (as were the Russians) but both countries’ spy agencies were super-involved in Iran as well.
Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of Teddy Roosevelt was the CIA's agent in Iran that installed the Shah and overthrew Mossadegh. The plans issued by Mossadegh for nationalizing the oil fields precipitated his removal. The reader should understand that Mossadegh had been elected to office. Once the Shah was in power he was persuaded to name Fazlollah Zaledi as Prime Minister. During WWII Zaledi was imprisoned for collaborating with the Nazis. Once firmly in control Iran completed a contract with an international consortium of oil companies. One member of that consortium was Standard Oil of New Jersey, a client of Sullivan and Cromwell. Jack Anderson reported that the Rockefeller family had helped arranged the coup that brought the Shah to power. Anderson had listed a number of ways the Shah demonstrated his appreciation. The CIA also provided training for the dreaded Savak or secret police of Iran.
...The result over the next two decades was the Shah enriched himself at the expense of his fellow countrymen using the brutal Savak to maintain control. Of course he remained a loyal ally of the US and corporate America such as Standard Oil of New Jersey got pricing breaks... The reader can now see the pattern, first the legally elected leader purposes reforms or maybe leaning to the left in a move that threatens corporate America. He is then dispelled and replaced with a hard right leader favorable to US [corporate] interests. The new leader enriches himself at the expense of his fellow countrymen and becomes an ally of the US. He maintains power through brutality and outright murder with a police force trained by the US. This then is the model that the US has followed since WWII, often times in the 1950s ex Nazis were employed as agents. The US press should be considered a co-conspirator in that they cover up the bloodshed by ignoring the killing as they did in Nicaragua. It is a model that has been repeated time after time in all corners of the globe from the end of WWII to the present time. Noam Chomsky terms the resulting state as subfascist. The resulting brutality and looting of the country by a group of elitists proceeds as it did in Germany under the Nazis.
The U.S. has interfered in the domestic politics of every country in Latin America, catastrophically in most, such as Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guatemala, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Uruguay, El Salvador, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras… And the U.S. has a long sordid history interfering in the domestic politics of counties like Greece, Italy, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Hungary, Ukraine, Congo, Indonesia, Australia, Angola, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq… Did you know U.S., British, French, Japanese, Canadian, Czech and Greek troops invaded Russia in 1918? American troops occupied Vladivostok and Arkhangelsk. In fact, Russians aren’t completely paranoid to think the West has been interfering in their politics for over a century.
This past summer I visited Russia for the first time and one of my favorite lesser-known attractions was the Museum of Political History in St. Petersburg— great way to go through Russia’s rich history. I spent tike in a room devoted to Rasputin and just this week, the London Times ran a piece which seems pretty definitive about who— one of their agents— assassinated the monk and why. On January 7 Ben Macintyre wrote “Today The Times publishes a world exclusive — exactly a century late. On January 2, 1917, Robert Wilton, The Times correspondent in Petrograd, sent an urgent telegraph to head office with the news that Grigori Rasputin, the infamous ‘mad monk’ who had enraged members of the royal court by his intimacy with the tsarina, had been murdered four days earlier, and his bullet-riddled corpse thrown into the icy Neva River. Wilton’s detailed report did not appear in the newspaper. The Times decided to hold it back for reasons of diplomacy and good taste — and perhaps because the Foreign Office ‘hinted’ that it should do so.”
“Rasputin was shot in a room in the basement of the palace of Prince Yusupov,” wrote Wilton, whose words appear in newsprint here for the first time.
“Prince Yusupov did the shooting. Conjointly with other young Princes of the Blood . . . they had decided some time ago to ‘remove’ Rasputin because they regarded him as the cause of a dangerous scandal affecting the interests of the dynasty.”
But what Wilton did not report (and may not have known) was whether MI6 was involved in the death of Rasputin.
Was Prince Felix Yusupov, an Oxford-educated aristocrat married to the tsar’s niece, aided in the assassination by British intelligence in order to keep Russia fighting in the First World War?
Was the fatal bullet fired by an MI6 officer?
These questions will never be answered, and the mystery of Rasputin’s death will never be completely solved, until and unless MI6 opens up its files. A Siberian mystic, Rasputin insinuated himself into the Russian royal family, exercising particular influence over Tsarina Alexandra, to the fury of other family members — notably the hot-headed, flamboyant, cross-dressing and fabulously wealthy Prince Yusupov, the only member of Oxford’s Bullingdon Club to admit murder.
Alexandra was German by birth, and it was rumoured that she and Rasputin led a faction intent on making peace with Germany and pulling Russia out of the war. Britain, desperate to keep its Russian ally fighting, had the motive to want Rasputin dead.
The authorised history of MI6 is silent on the subject of British involvement in the killing, but there is no doubt that Samuel Hoare, the MI6 station chief in Russia, believed that Rasputin was sabotaging the war effort.
Hoare told the MI6 chief Mansfield Smith-Cumming, the original “C,” that if Rasputin were to be liquidated “the country would be freed from the sinister influence that was . . . endangering the success of its armies.”
A key suspect in the murder is Lieutenant Oswald Rayner, a 28-year-old MI6 officer and close friend of Prince Yusupov from their time at Oxford. Tsar Nicholas II told the British ambassador that he suspected “a young Englishman who had been a college friend of Prince Felix Yusupov, of having been concerned in Rasputin’s murder”. Rayner’s chauffeur later confirmed that the two men had met several times at the Yusupov palace in the weeks leading up to the murder on December 30.
The post-mortem examination carried out by the professor Dmitrii Kosorotov indicated that Rasputin had been shot three times, with different weapons.
The forensic evidence suggests that the final shot to Rasputin’s head could only have come from a revolver firing a lead, non-jacketed bullet at close range, most likely a British .455 Webley — the gun favoured by Rayner.
A letter from a second MI6 officer, Stephen Alley, also points to direct British participation in the murder plot: “Although matters have not gone entirely to plan, our objective has clearly been achieved. Reaction to the demise of Dark Forces [an obvious allusion to Rasputin] has been well received by all, although a few awkward questions have already been asked about wider involvement. Rayner is attending to loose ends . . .”
Back in England, Rayner reportedly confided to family members that he had been present at the murder, and retained a bullet he said he had acquired at the scene. After the war, he helped Yusupov to write a graphic, self-serving and largely fictional account of the assassination, named his son after the prince, and died in 1961 after burning all his papers.
Lies, half-truths and uncertainties have long lingered around the murder of Rasputin, as reluctant to die as the monk himself, who allegedly survived both poisoning and shooting, and may even have been half-alive when he was dumped in the frozen river.
But the mystery surrounding Britain’s role in his death is the most enduring, and the most important factor, since it underpins a century of Russian mistrust of Britain.
If Rayner was involved, he may have been acting in a personal capacity, or as a British agent, or both. He may not have been involved at all, with the allegations against him just being the result of Russian propaganda and anti-British feeling.
I doubt Putin cares about a 28 year old British spy shooting Rasputin in 1917. He’s probably more interested that many Russians believe the CIA somehow persuaded Gorbachev and/or Yeltsin to sell out the Soviet Union. And he’s not thrilled about NATO’s policy of encirclement or about how the West overthrew his ally in Ukraine and replaced him with their own puppet. Does this make it “right” that Putin got even by installing Trump as president of the U.S.? Of course not— but it makes it easier to understand some of the chit-chat about it.