ON NOVEMBER 4, 1979?
I was in the day room of the dormitory at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia in the evening after class. We were all enjoying watching the network television broadcast of the classic movie Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino when a news alert interrupted our viewing to inform us of a real hostage-taking in Tehran, Iran.
A week later, I graduated from the course and returned home to Hawaii. As an Air Cargo Specialist in the U.S. Air Force Reserve at Hickam Air Force Base, having completed my active-duty time five years previously during the Vietnam era, I fully expected that our Commander-in-Chief, President James Earl Carter, Jr. would have us all called back to active duty to avenge this act of war and rescue the hostages from the Iranian regime.
It didn’t happen.
After a failed rescue attempt went awry, I kept waiting for President Carter’s Plan B. He had no Plan B. He was totally clueless.
Iran released the hostages just as Ronald Reagan was taking the oath of office on January 20, 1981.
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In the early days of this crisis, we watched on the news as certain spokesmen for Ayatollah Khomeini assured us that the hostages would be set free any day soon.
One was Foreign Minister Sadegh Ghotbzadeh. Whether he was uninformed or deliberately misleading is really now a moot point. Ironically, in 1982, he was executed for allegedly plotting the assassination of the Ayatollah.
The other was President Abolhassan Banisadr. Yes, it is interesting how these names stick in my mind nearly 40 years later. This guy was later impeached by the Iranian Parliament on June 20, 1981.
I go into these recollections to counterpose what it was like for those who were witnessing these events from half a world away with the opinions of some who weren’t even born then but who think they understand Iran better than President Trump and National Security Advisor John Bolton.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, who is also a Major in Hawaii National Guard, is basing her campaign for the Democrat nomination for President of the United States upon her anti-war stance.
Ms. Gabbard was born April 12, 1981, several months after Republican Ronald Reagan took office and Iran released the hostages during his inauguration.
ON APRIL 18, 1983?
Toddler Tulsi had just celebrated her second birthday when the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was bombed. Putative perpetrator Hezbollah was and is an Iranian surrogate.
ON OCTOBER 23, 1983?
U.S. Marine Corps Barracks in Lebanon also bombed, attributed again to Iranian surrogate Hezbollah.
JUNE 3, 1985?
U.S. Political Officer and CIA Station Chief William Buckley assassinated in Lebanon under the auspices of Hezbollah with orders from Tehran.
MARCH 17, 1992?
Suicide bombing attack on Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, carried out by Hezbollah for Iran.
JULY 18, 1994?
Attack on Argentine Israelite Mutual Association building by operatives of Hezbollah and Iran.
JUNE 25, 1996?
Bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia which was housing for American and Coalition forces, orchestrated by Hezbollah on behalf of Iran.
Now let’s look at the players within the Iranian regime.
IRGC / QUDS FORCE
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps primarily through its Quds Force has bankrolled and controlled terrorist groups for decades. This includes not only Hezbollah in Lebanon, but also Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. As rockets are rained down from Gaza by surrogates, Iranians in Syria launch drones over the Golan Heights, all with Israel and Jewish civilians as their intended targets.
It is well substantiated that Iran at one time harbored UBL and other 9/11 terrorists. The Islamic Shia/Sunni schism did not prevent cooperation against their perceived mutual enemies. Today Hamas and PIJ in Gaza are Sunni, whereas Hezbollah in Lebanon is Shia. Hatred of the United States and Israel takes precedence over differences in Islamic dogma.
IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was the first Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the revolution in 1979 until his death in 1989. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been Supreme Leader ever since. As an apocalyptic theocracy, all power and all final decisions in Iran are vested in the Supreme Leader alone. Both of these Islamic clerics based their actions upon an ingrained hatred of America and Israel.
RECENT IRANIAN PRESIDENTS
This is an entirely titular position with no real authority. The President of Iran is just a figurehead subservient to the Ayatollah. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was a malignant little troll spewing vitriol in our direction. Current President Hassan Rouhani is far less flamboyant and just serves his role as part of the Iranian regime.
Which brings us to our current situation….
IRAN DOES WHAT IRAN DOES BECAUSE IRAN IS WHAT IRAN IS
The recent attack on vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman plus the apparent shooting down of a U.S. Navy drone need to be considered in historical perspective.
Iran has not always been a reactionary and oppressive Islamic theocracy. I am old enough to remember that Iran during the era of the late Shah was friendly towards the United States and the West. In the 1970’s, I had classmates in college from Iran. I tutored one in English and the other in history and other subjects.
I even had the distinct honor one Thanksgiving with the upcoming school holiday of explaining the significance of this revered American tradition. This was a Christian University and they were very respectful of their fellow students.
NOQ Report Editor-in-Chief JD Rucker has posted an excellent article entitled “Know thy enemy: Iran is driven by belief in Twelver Shia Islam“. This reveals the status of Iran in the world today.
SO WHEN DOES IRAN’S REIGN OF TERROR END?
That is an open-ended question. For 40 years, Iran has been the primary sponsor of terrorism on a global scale.
Let it not be overlooked that Hezbollah has established a significant infrastructure within the United States. This has involved illegal trafficking and sales of North Carolina tobacco in Michigan. It has also included shipping stolen vehicles and commodities to Lebanon for money-laundering purposes.
Iranian government operatives have been accused of killing activists in the United States who oppose the regime in Tehran. Iran undoubtedly has its assassins as well as surrogates here in this country which it could activate if a war against America ensues. It is likely that the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Forces have already identified and monitored the activities and whereabouts of such individuals.
SO, NOW WHAT?
I have purposely not gone into the scandalous JCPOA and the disgraceful actions of Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett and John Kerry. Donald Trump has ended that one sided deal which only facilitated Iranian nuclear weapons development and deployment. Right now let’s focus on the threat at hand.
Appeasement is seen in the Islamic world as an abject sign of weakness. President Trump obviously had his reasons for calling back the retaliation against Iran over the shooting down of our drone at the last minute. But red lines cannot continually be redrawn in the sand as Obama did with Assad in Syria.
This far and not one bit more must mean exactly what it says. Piecemeal or surgical strikes against Iran are what the mad regime in Tehran wants to provoke. They care not one whit about their own civilian casualties as collateral damage. They want to portray the United States as the aggressor and Iran as the defender against the Great Satan.
Someday an American President is going to have to stand before Congress as FDR did on December 8, 1941 and seek a Declaration of War against an avowed enemy who will never surrender short of absolute and total defeat. As a baby boomer, I don’t anticipate being here another 40 years. But is anybody of any age willing to let Iran spread death and destruction around the world for that much longer?
If Jimmy Carter hadn’t been so clueless, we wouldn’t be facing this threat today. Much of Donald Trump’s legacy is going to be based upon how he handles Iran. The Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction does not apply to that apocalyptic regime. That is a very important distinction between Iran and our other adversaries in China, Russia and North Korea.
ADMONITION TO DECISION MAKERS
Playing politics with the Mexican border is detrimental to our national sovereignty but playing politics with Iran would be an absolutely existential error of judgment. When Ayatollah Khamenei and General Soleimani have a nuke ready to deploy, they will do precisely that. For America to allow this to occur would be to hasten Armageddon.
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