Why Worry about Ahmadinejad’s Apopcalyptic Vision?

If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed or subscribe via email. Thanks for reading!We are in the “end times” or so goes the thinking of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  It’s important to understand this because this thinking influences his foreign policy, and this is what the U.S. is dealing with and [...]

Collapse of the Shah’s Regime: White Revolution and Nixon Doctrine

To understand the situation in Iran today and the difficulties of U.S. relations with Iran, it helps to look at the role the U.S. played during the Shah’s regime and why the regime, which appeared strong, collapsed like a house of cards. The Shah’s “White Revolution” and the Nixon Doctrine are important to the story. [...]

U.S. Overthrow of Mossadeq Government of Iran

In 1953, the U.S. along with the British engineered the overthrow of the democratically-elected Mossadeq government. Almost every Iranian remembers this, but very few Americans do.
In my last post, I described the positive role of Americans in the development of modern Iran. This video picks up the story with a look at international relations under [...]

American Roots of Persian Nationalism and Modern Iran

At the time of  the Kajar dynasty, the U.S. had  very positive relations with Iran, and individual Americans played important roles in the development of Persian nationalism and modern Iran. For example, American land grant colleges were the model for Iranian education.  Americans like Dr. Samuel Martin Jordan and Jane Doolittle created a very positive [...]

Ayatollah Khamenei is not Mr.Gorbachev

A critic of President Obama recently stated that he wishes that Obama would stand up to Ayatollah Khamenei as President Reagan did when he made the famous statement: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”.  One can certainly understand this person’s wish, especially as it is a very American trait to tell someone off.  We are [...]

The History Behind Honduras: Gunboat Diplomacy Is Over

 The recent coup in Honduras begs the question: What will the U.S. do?  There is a long history of American intervention in Central America–will this history repeat?  In a word–no.

Thanks for watching.
Dr. Art Pitz
The Professor’s House
Know the History–Understand the Choices

Is Hungary a Cautionary Lesson for Iran?

President Obama is being criticized for not issuing strong statements in support of the pro-democracy forces in Iran.  Certainly, one can understand the appeal of this criticism as it would affirm our values and arguably could encourage those pro-democracy forces in Iran.
However, I am mindful of what happened when we did just that in Hungary [...]

Cold War Left Overs: North Korea Today

North Korea is the one remaining hot spot left over from the Cold War, and the chance of the regime changing anytime soon are almost nonexistent. To understand North Korea today, it helps to take a look at its past.  Korea was long under Chinese control and/or influence until Japan took it over in the aftermath [...]

The History Behind Guantanamo

With all of the current controversy over the use of waterboarding and other questionable interrogation techniques at Guantanamo, I am reminded of how we acquired the base in the first place.  The U.S. coerced ownership of this place from newly quasi-independent Cuba in the aftermath of the Spanish American War.
“Quasi-independent”?
 Indeed.  Without reviewing here the background [...]

Remember Communism and the Cold War?

I recently returned from a 10-day tour of Holocaust sites in Poland with Suzanne and a group of St. Ambrose University students. For most of the students on the trip, communism and the Cold War are ancient history, but not to the Polish people.
For them, even World War II is a fresh and poignant memory. The [...]