The shah's "at least temporary control of the country" lasted just a bit more than half of these 50 years. The fact that his control crumbled in 1979 under the assault of Islamic fundamentalists responsive to the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini does not mean the coup was misguided or unavailing....First, anybody who knows about the revolution knows that the fundamentalists took over only after the revolution had already happened... they were merely opportunists who filled the power vacuum left behind by the removal of a dictator. (Sound familiar to anybody?) Why is Will commenting on an event that he appears so grossly ignorant about?
...The fact that the coup in some sense set in train events that led to today's highly unsatisfactory situation in Iran does not mean that the coup was not successful.
Second, that "Second World War" bit in just insane. The entire point of the backing of the Shah was to place a U.S. friendly despot in the region, and that lasted, what, 30 years before he was swept away? The goal of the Second World war, on the other hand, was to defeat the Axis, and that was actually accomplished. it's not like the Nazis took Germany back in 1965. In what Bizarro world are these remotely similar? Saying "everything is temporary", as Will does, is absolutely no answer... that very attitude is what tends to lead to the ham-handedness of U.S. foreign policy and the irritation, annoyance, and hatred that said foreign policy tends to engender. Just because "to Americans, a hundred years is a long time" (as the saying goes) doesn't mean one should make policy for the short term.
Then again, it's not supposed to make sense. It's just supposed to create enough talking points to confound people long enough to get Bush re-elected and try to keep his dwindling popularity up. Rolling re-election squad stuff, nothing more.