Blogs: Paul Pillar

What Breakdown of the U.S.-Russian Agreement on Syria Does Not Mean

Relations with Saudi Arabia are Risky as Well as Confused

Paul Pillar

A specific risk for the United States is that, if revolution does come to Saudi Arabia, the United States will become that much more of a target of resentment and opposition under the new regime because of its association with the old. A lesson in that regard is available by looking to the other side of the Persian Gulf. A further irony is how much those in the United States who are eager to get in bed with anyone, including the Saudi regime, who is opposed to Iran seem to be ignoring the lesson that the experience with Iran provides in the hazards of such bedding down. The close association of the United States with the shah became a prime motivator of subsequent Iranian—public as well as governmental—opposition to the United States. The resentment was keyed not only to a specific political act such as the overthrow of Mosaddeq, important though that was, but also to overall U.S. support for the shah. Toward the end of the shah's life, even as seemingly innocuous and humane an act as admitting the ailing exiled monarch into the United States for medical treatment became a cause célèbre in Iran.

That's what happened with one of what were supposed to be twin pillars of stability in the Persian Gulf. Americans need to think about that in calibrating their relationship with the other one.

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The Difficult Domestic Politics of Climate Change

Paul Pillar

A specific risk for the United States is that, if revolution does come to Saudi Arabia, the United States will become that much more of a target of resentment and opposition under the new regime because of its association with the old. A lesson in that regard is available by looking to the other side of the Persian Gulf. A further irony is how much those in the United States who are eager to get in bed with anyone, including the Saudi regime, who is opposed to Iran seem to be ignoring the lesson that the experience with Iran provides in the hazards of such bedding down. The close association of the United States with the shah became a prime motivator of subsequent Iranian—public as well as governmental—opposition to the United States. The resentment was keyed not only to a specific political act such as the overthrow of Mosaddeq, important though that was, but also to overall U.S. support for the shah. Toward the end of the shah's life, even as seemingly innocuous and humane an act as admitting the ailing exiled monarch into the United States for medical treatment became a cause célèbre in Iran.

That's what happened with one of what were supposed to be twin pillars of stability in the Persian Gulf. Americans need to think about that in calibrating their relationship with the other one.

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Fantasy and Treason in the Post-Truth Era

Paul Pillar

A specific risk for the United States is that, if revolution does come to Saudi Arabia, the United States will become that much more of a target of resentment and opposition under the new regime because of its association with the old. A lesson in that regard is available by looking to the other side of the Persian Gulf. A further irony is how much those in the United States who are eager to get in bed with anyone, including the Saudi regime, who is opposed to Iran seem to be ignoring the lesson that the experience with Iran provides in the hazards of such bedding down. The close association of the United States with the shah became a prime motivator of subsequent Iranian—public as well as governmental—opposition to the United States. The resentment was keyed not only to a specific political act such as the overthrow of Mosaddeq, important though that was, but also to overall U.S. support for the shah. Toward the end of the shah's life, even as seemingly innocuous and humane an act as admitting the ailing exiled monarch into the United States for medical treatment became a cause célèbre in Iran.

That's what happened with one of what were supposed to be twin pillars of stability in the Persian Gulf. Americans need to think about that in calibrating their relationship with the other one.

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Don't Try to Imitate the Russians in Syria

Paul Pillar

A specific risk for the United States is that, if revolution does come to Saudi Arabia, the United States will become that much more of a target of resentment and opposition under the new regime because of its association with the old. A lesson in that regard is available by looking to the other side of the Persian Gulf. A further irony is how much those in the United States who are eager to get in bed with anyone, including the Saudi regime, who is opposed to Iran seem to be ignoring the lesson that the experience with Iran provides in the hazards of such bedding down. The close association of the United States with the shah became a prime motivator of subsequent Iranian—public as well as governmental—opposition to the United States. The resentment was keyed not only to a specific political act such as the overthrow of Mosaddeq, important though that was, but also to overall U.S. support for the shah. Toward the end of the shah's life, even as seemingly innocuous and humane an act as admitting the ailing exiled monarch into the United States for medical treatment became a cause célèbre in Iran.

That's what happened with one of what were supposed to be twin pillars of stability in the Persian Gulf. Americans need to think about that in calibrating their relationship with the other one.

Pages

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