Friday, May 25, 2007
Iran: Carter's Habitat For Inhumanity
Iran: Carter's Habitat For Inhumanity
By Investor's Business Daily
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Leadership: In the name of human rights, Jimmy Carter gave rise to one of the worst rights violators in history — the Ayatollah Khomeini. And now Khomeini's successor is preparing for nuclear war with Israel and the West.
When President Carter took office in 1977, the Iran of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was a staunch American ally, a bulwark in our standoff with the Soviet Union, thwarting the dream held since the time of the czars of pushing south toward the warm waters of the appropriately named Persian Gulf.
Being an ally of the U.S. in the Cold War, Iran was a target for Soviet subversion and espionage. Like the U.S. in today's war on terror, Iran arrested and incarcerated many who threatened its sovereignty and existence, mainly Soviet agents and their collaborators.
This did not sit well with the former peanut farmer, who, on taking office, declared that advancing "human rights" was among his highest priorities. The shah was one of his first targets. As he's done with our terror-war detainees in Guantanamo, Carter accused the Shah of torturing some 3,000 "political" prisoners. He chastised the shah for his human rights record and engineered the withdrawal of American support.
The irony here is that when Khomeini, a former Muslim exile in Paris, overthrew the shah in February 1979, many of the 3,000 were executed by the ayatollah's firing squads along with 20,000 pro-Western Iranians.
According to "The Real Jimmy Carter," a book by Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute: "Kho-meini's regime executed more people in its first year in power than the Shah's Savak had allegedly killed in the previous 25 years."
The mullahs hated the shah not because he was an oppressive dictator. They hated him because he was a secular, pro-Western leader who, in addition to other initiatives, was expanding the rights and roles of women in Iran society. Under Khomeini, women returned to their second-class role, and citizens were arrested for merely owning satellite dishes that could pick up Western television.
Khomeini established the first modern Islamic regime, a role model for the Taliban and jihadists to follow. And when the U.S. Embassy was stormed that November and 52 Americans taken hostage for 444 days, America's lack of resolve was confirmed in the jihadist mind.
On Nov. 4, 1979, some 400 Khomeini followers broke down the door of the embassy in Tehran, seizing the compound and the Americans inside. The hostage takers posed for the cameras next to a poster with a caricature of Carter and the slogan: "America cannot do a damn thing."
Indeed, America under Carter wouldn't do much. At least not until the 154th day of the crisis, when Carter, finally awakening to the seizure of U.S. diplomats and citizens on what was legally American soil, broke off diplomatic relations and began planning economic sanctions.
When Carter got around to hinting about the use of military force, Khomeini offered this mocking response: "He is beating on an empty drum. Neither does Carter have the guts for military action nor would anyone listen to him."
Carter did actually try a military response of sorts. But like every other major policy action of his, he bungled it. The incompetence of his administration would be seen in the wreckage in the Iranian desert, where a plan to rescue the hostages resulted in the loss of eight aircraft, five airmen and three Marines.
Among the core group of hostage takers and planners of the attack on our embassy was 23-year-old Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who learned firsthand the weakness and incompetence of Carter's foreign policy, one that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid are now attempting to resurrect.
According to then-Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, Ahmadinejad was among the hostage takers and the liaison between them and prominent Tehran preacher Ali Khameini, later to become supreme leader of the Islamic Republic.
The shah was forced into exile and on the run from Morocco to Egypt, the Bahamas, Mexico and finally Panama. In July 1979, Vice President Walter Mondale and National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told Carter they had changed their minds about offering the shah permanent asylum. Carter's response was: "F*** the shah. I'm not going to welcome him here when he has other places to go where he'll be safe."
In October 1979, the shah, gravely ill with cancer, was granted a limited visa for treatment at the Cornell Medical Center in New York. He would die in Cairo in July 1980, an abandoned American friend. Our enemies took notes.
If the shah remained in power, it isn't likely the Iraq-Iran War, with upward of a million casualties on both sides, a war that saw Saddam Hussein first use mass-murder weapons, would have taken place.
Nor is it likely there would have been a Desert Storm, fought after Hussein invaded Kuwait to strengthen his strategic position. That led to bases in Saudi Arabia that fueled Islamofascist resentment, one of the reasons given by Osama bin Laden for striking at America, the Great Satan.
Khomeini introduced the idea of suicide bombers to the Palestine Liberation Organization and paid $35,000 to PLO families who would offer up their children as human bombs to kill as many Israelis as possible.
It was Khomeini who would give the world Hezbollah to make war on Israel and destroy the multicultural democracy that was Lebanon. And perhaps Jimmy has forgotten that Hezbollah, which he helped make possible, killed 241 U.S. troops in their Beirut barracks in 1982.
The Soviet Union, seeing us so willingly abandon a staunch ally, invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, just six months after Carter and Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev embraced after signing a new arms-control treaty.
And it was the resistance to the Soviet invasion that helped give birth to the Taliban. As Hayward observes, the fall of Iran, hastened by Jimmy Carter, "set in motion the advance of radical Islam and the rise of terrorism that culminated in Sept. 11."
Writer Christopher Hitchens recalls a discussion he had with Eugene McCarthy. A Democrat and former candidate for that party's presidential nomination, McCarthy voted for Ronald Reagan instead of Carter in 1980.
The reason? Carter had "quite simply abdicated the whole responsibility of the presidency while in office. He left the nation at the mercy of its enemies at home and abroad. He was quite simply the worst president we ever had."
Quite simply, we concur.
Thanks to Plateau of Iran for bringing this article to my attention.
UPDATE 1: Pound Nails, Not the President