Tuesday, 29 December 2015

444 days or ajax and argo

Some thirty-five after their release on the cusp of the Iran-Iraq War, captives of the US-Iranian Hostage Crisis are going to receive compensation for their long ordeal—which was mostly spurned in the ensuing decades over the revolutionary government being granted immunity from prosecution. Passing through this hall on a daily basis, I am keenly aware that the place where I work was the evacuation point for the rescued hostages but at the same time keenly aware of my own ignorance in the incubation and execution of these events.  For me at least, the diplomatic intrigues like the initial coup to secure a bridge in WWII north Africa for the Allies but then descending into greed over oil, the US hosting of the deposed shah for medical treatment, citizens of the “Great Satan” being issued Canadian passports so they could be smuggled out of the country, US spy agencies attempting to broker power despite the fact no operatives spoke Persian, remain overshadowed by the complaint of Ronald Reagan that the release overshadowed his inauguration ceremony—though the timing may have secured his election.
In retaliation, Iraq was given materiel and intelligence support by the US to prosecute the attack on its neighbour, and off we go. Ajax, the Trojan anti-hero, was the code-name for the operation that originally toppled the regime of the shah, and Argo, in reference to the voyage of Jason and the Argonauts, was the cover for the caper that the Canadian embassy carried out that fronted the filming of a sci-fi movie—vis-à-vis shooting Tatoonie on location in Tunisia. Insofar as it’s knowable, this affair seems to figure quite large in the continuum of degrading relations and proxy warfare with unexpected and long-reaching consequences.