Taking Hostages: Tehran in 1979 – Cairo in 2012 By Alan Caruba

    American Hostages in Iran 1979

As someone who vividly recalls the Iranian “students” who took our diplomats hostage in 1979 and the 444 days it took to get them back, the repeat of this by the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo, putting 19 pro-democracy, non-government organization (NGO) Americans on trial on trumped up charges has an ugly repetitive feel to it.

The contempt the Iranian revolutionaries, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, had for America and, I might add, international law and practice that goes back centuries, is everything you need to know about dealing with militant Islamists, whether they are in Iran, Egypt, or anywhere else on the face of the Earth.

Just as then-President Jimmy Carter dawdled while looking for a diplomatic response, this same scenario is now being played out by Barack Obama and it won’t work now just as it did not work then. Carter authorized a failed military operation that, by most accounts, was poorly organized and executed.

What is needed now is a Navy SEAL unit or larger force to go in, rescue our American hostages, and extract them from Cairo. We need direct military action, just as we need direct military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities, missile operations, and the barracks of the Revolutionary Guards.

Just as Jimmy Carter was seen as weak, so too is Barack Obama and, for America and the world, that is very bad news. I don’t care if the Iranian leadership and other militant Islamists don’t like America. I want them to fear us.

Apparently they didn’t get the message when the U.S. killed Obama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the home city to its military college. While bin Laden was right up the street and around the corner, we are supposed to believe that no one in Pakistan’s military or intelligence structure had the slightest idea. He was living in a large walled compound. Short of buying his own groceries, you’d think someone might have noticed. And, of course, now they are angry at us for killing the man behind the murder of some 3,000 of our citizens, including an attack on the Pentagon!

When the Iranians went into the streets in June 2009 protesting the bogus election of Mamoud Ahmadinejad, Obama’s response was that the U.S. “shouldn’t meddle” in Iran’s affairs. A plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to America in a Washington, D.C. restaurant was discovered and some people might call that “meddling” in our affairs.

This hostage-taking needs boots-on-the-ground action now. The only upside to this event is that the longer it goes on, the same disenchantment that resulted in the defeat of Jimmy Carter will be Obama’s fate in the November election.

The fact that Obama has imposed the largest debt/credit crisis that the nation has ever incurred, unemployment levels that rival the Great Depression, a housing market that is still in the tank, and is busy hollowing out the nation’s military capabilities at the worst possible time seems to gone unnoticed by the forty percent or more of Americans that think he’s doing a swell job.

Our present problem is that Obama does not like America any better than our enemies do. He does not like our Constitution, recently blaming the Founding Fathers for the limitations they wisely imposed to avoid a government grown too large and a president with powers beyond those granted.

This nation is in peril from the same gross stupidity that gripped it prior to World War Two until Pearl Harbor occurred in 1941. The war in Europe had been going on since 1939 and the Japanese had invaded China in 1937.

We are in a new, dangerous era with the chaotic situations in the Maghreb of northern Africa where U.S. assistance, via NATO, was provided to overthrow Gaddafi and Obama’s swift rejection of Egypt’s Mubarack led to his downfall. There are uprisings in Syria and Yemen. It is the result of massive resentment against dictatorial regimes, but the real problem will be how these revolutions turn out.

That is something we cannot control, but we must do what we can to protect American citizens abroad to protect our national interest and to project real national power.

The Middle East is tribal. With the exception of Israel the “nations” we must deal with are merely armies with a national flag, not modern democratic governments responsive to their citizens. That is why Iraq threatens to break apart. It is why the majority Syrians want to end the minority Alawite tribe’s control. It is why Palestinians are not welcome anywhere.

The President’s top intelligence advisor recently told a Senate committee that sanctions are not working against Iran, but the President wants to pretend they are. The U.S. and the rest of the world are waiting for the Israelis to do to Iran what we and our allies should be doing to end its nuclear threat.

Likewise, if we wait around while the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo makes us look like a bunch of punks it will just get worse for us in Egypt and the Middle East just as it did in 1979.

In Egypt we need to get in, break some furniture, shoot some bad guys, get our people out, and then shut off the billion-plus dollar aid spigot.

No more American tourists, no more American aid, and no more Mr. Nice Guy.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Why Do We Stick With Broken Social Security Model?

Politics: In its latest projection, the Congressional Budget Office found that the Social Security Trust Fund had $1 trillion less than expected. Seems it always happens this way. When will Washington recognize that the problem is the model?

In an A1 story Friday by IBD’s Jed Graham, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said it now expects the supposedly vaunted and unsinkable trust fund to peak in 2018 and then decline to $2.7 trillion by 2022.

That’s a trillion dollars less than what was projected to be in the pot last year.

“The new trajectory suggests that the trust fund’s current depletion date of 2036 may jump ahead several years when Social Security’s trustees release their annual report this spring, making the retirement program more central to the 2012 election,” IBD’s Graham wrote.

That means the trust fund runs dry sooner than its projected 2036 bankruptcy date. When that happens, workers can expect a legally mandated 22% cut in Social Security benefits when they retire.

So, after forking over 12.4% of their earnings — both directly and through their employers — for 35 or 40 years, they can look forward to receiving a less-than-zero-percent return while continuing to spend their working lives paying 100% of the promised benefits to current retirees.

Read more from IBD Editorials

WaPo: 33 Members of Congress Earmarked $300 Million For Projects That Benefited Their Own Private Property by Wynton Hall

Borrowing a page from Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer’s investigation of how elected officials funnel taxpayer dollars to projects that increase the value of properties they own, the Washington Post has conducted a study revealing that 33 members of Congress earmarked more than $300 million for projects within two miles of land they own.

After analyzing the holdings of all 535 members of Congress and comparing them to their earmarks for pet projects since 2008, the Washington Post found numerous eye-opening instances of potential self-enrichment at taxpayers’ expense, including:

Read the list of scoundrels here…

Stream Of Consciousness Observations Regarding The 2012 State Of The Union by Frederick Meekins

Obama insists he doesn’t want our energy needs linked to unstable parts of the world. Then why did he veto the Keystone Oil Pipeline?

Obama remarked his grandparents’ generation triumphed over fascism. Yet fascism is the very economic system that he advocates. Perhaps not yet in terms of wide scale deprivation of human rights but rather in the technical sense of the means of production remaining privately owned but strictly controlled by the government.

If we are all to play by the same set of rules, then why has it taken months for the National Park Service to do anything about the Occupy beatniks laying siege to a number of parks in Washington, DC?

Why should it be portrayed as a greater tragedy when a “single mother” loses her job rather than a man with a wife that stays at home? Seems both domestic arrangements are in similar positions without income.

In calling for a single source for the unemployed to seek information on training opportunities, doesn’t that involve the federal government assuming more control over education?

Obama insists it should be illegal for students to drop out of school before they are 18. Why should this be a matter of federal interference and what will the punishment be for those leaving prior to that age?

If no country is better than any other according to multiculturalist dogma, then why should foreign students be allowed to remain here after graduation?

If women are to earn equal pay for equal work, then make them lug the same weight around the stockroom or warehouse without having to seek masculine assistance to do so.

If lightweight vests are being developed by federal researchers that can stop any bullet, will such protective garments be made available to civilians as well or do we have an obligation to be shot by law enforcement?

Interesting how it was mentioned derisively about a company that at one time only produced yachts.

If it should be impermissible for insurance companies to charge more for women’s health coverage, then why should men have to pay more for motor vehicle policies?

Obama claimed politics is not about clinging to rigid ideologies. So why is it conservatives that must always surrender their basic ideals and ideas?

Obama claimed that government ought to only do what people are unable to do for themselves. Thing of it is, given his Frau’s desire to manipulate and meddle in your dietary intake, the First Couple doesn’t think you are really capable of doing anything for yourself.

Obama wants to grant tax credits to businesses hiring veterans. Why should the military status of a business’s employees be any business of the federal government?

The best way to insure opportunities for veterans, as well as all other Americans, is for the federal government to know the least amount possible regarding the nation’s workforce.

If it doesn’t matter in the military what color or gender you are, as Obama insists, why are certain standards lowered for females seeking advancement and White males held back because of the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. If color has no bearing in the military, why are we often reminded that Colin Powell was the first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as if that is suppose to immunize him against all criticism and scrutiny?

Would Bob Gates have been kept on as Secretary of Defense had he been a solid conservative Republican rather than an ardent establishmentarian compromiser?

Obama admonished the American people to look at what the nation could accomplish if the people were organized along military lines. However, the purpose of the military is to defend democracy, not practice it. In a civilian state, the average person is allowed to question the decrees and decisions of leaders elected, appointed, and bureaucratic. Such bottom up scrutiny is not allowed in the military and is punished severely.

This analyst tabulated approximately 80 rounds of applause in the 2012 State of the Union Address.

Wefare State

Since Obama’s inauguration, the food stamp rolls have increased by 18 million to a total of 46.2 million people. The annual cost in 2011 was $75.3 billion. The rolls increased dramatically under George W. Bush as well, but Obama’s increase is almost four times Bush’s rate. The White House characterized Gingrich’s assertion as “crazy,” but the culture of dependency fostered by this administration is not crazy. It’s despicable. – Newt Gingrich