Posts Tagged ‘CIA’

Shall We Dance?

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

I’m taking time out from my usual narrative re: my book Lost and Found in London to tell a short tale.  In its own way, it’s highly relevant when examining the links between the personal and the political! 

A couple of days ago, I was at a party with friends, dancing with Freddie, 84, the husband of my pal Naomi, 78.  Because we were always the only couple on the dance floor, we were hard to miss.  At one point, a tall man approached our table, crouched beside me, and told me a little about himself.  He was an American with property in both California and Montana, and he spent two months a year somewhere south and hot.  (Music to any Canadian’s ears in the winter.)  Would I like to dance sometime?

I’ve met this type of moneyed man before – who conveys the magnitude of his wealth within five minutes!

He then introduced himself, noting that his first name was Kermit, like Kermit the Frog.  I smiled sweetly and told him I’d heard of another American Kermit – Kermit Roosevelt, grandson of President Teddy.  That Kermit masterminded the first successful CIA overthrow of a democratically-elected government – in Iran, 1953.  (All the Shah’s Men:  An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer).

I didn’t mention this to the poor fellow, but Kermit Roosevelt’s work in Iran was so effective the U.S. government asked him if he would do the same thing in another country the following year!  Although Kermit turned down the job, the equally-legitimate government of Guatemala was toppled in 1954.

 I never did get that dance!  Any idea why, dear Readers?