Nov. 4 will mark the 30th anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history.
A horde of Iranian militants poured down Taleghani Street in Tehran, crashing through the gates of the U.S. embassy, taking 52 Americans hostage.
Bound and blindfolded, our countrymen were paraded in front of TV cameras and threatened for 444 days. It took more than five months for the emasculated Jimmy Carter presidency to hatch a rescue attempt. It failed. Nine months later, knowing the newly elected Ronald Reagan would not allow this outrage to continue, the mob released the hostages.
During his term, Reagan had many opportunities to speak out on behalf of the millions oppressed by terroristic theocracies and the even larger populations living under the boot of communism.
At no point did he think: “Wait, I’d better not criticize Moammar Gadhafi. I’d better rein in my support of Lech Walesa in Poland. I’d better not speak out in support of the freedom-starved people of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and other Soviet republics smelling liberty after years of oppression.”
The words of the American president made clear that the U.S. sought liberty and self-determination for all who wanted it. If that meant standing up to terrorist thugs and communist dictators, so be it.
People said at the time: What good does this do? America cannot chip away at totalitarianism with mere words!
How wrong they were. An American president’s words helped bring down the Berlin Wall and ultimately the Soviet Union.
And without firing a shot, a fact lost on the historical illiterates among the Obama administration and its amen corner in the predictably soft Democratic Party.
Always glad to scold others who did not come down hard enough on regimes they didn’t like, this paralyzed high-horse brigade insists America is walking the proper line by denying today’s Iranian protesters the support they desperately need.
Terrorism has been harder to bring down than communism. But for decades, through administrations of both parties, America has said it longs for a time when the Iranian people, younger and better educated than most in the Middle East, would rise up to break the chains that have shackled them since authoritarian mullahs took over in 1979.
Now that they have, what do they get from America? A president who says he is “concerned” but unwilling to interfere in Iranian affairs.
That’s hard to hear from an administration that has no problem wagging its finger at Israel for trying to defend itself against surrounding millions who seek its violent eradication. Chief among those tormentors is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was surely thumped mightily in the June 12 Iranian election, only to be propped up by theocratic dictator Ayatollah Ali Khameini.
An Ahmedinejad ouster did not fit Khameini’s narrative, and now countless Iranians are dead or bloodied at his hands.
But there is another leader hesitant to see Ahmedinejad go: Barack Obama. A Mir Hossein Mousavi victory obliterates Obama’s dream of charming the pants off a proven lunatic, affirming that the sheer force of his personality can do more than his predecessor’s nasty war.
George W. Bush haunts and motivates Obama in another way, too. Obama knows full well that Iran sees neighboring Iraq poised to enjoy freedom and democracy, made possible by the war he tried tirelessly to derail.
A successful revolution in Iran would further cement the correctness of Bush’s vision, a nightmare to a narcissistic neophyte like Obama, sworn to prove not only that everything he does is supremely correct but that anyone who differs must be disgraced.
The protesters grow weary of Khameini’s bullets and beatings. They will soon give up. They thought America would help them in their bold attempt to stand up for democracy.
How foolish they were.
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