Last week the Egyptian Government announced that it intends to put 19 Americans on trial for fomenting anti-government protests – a charge they deny. Protests from the Obama administration have so far been futile, met with sneers of contempt.
If you’re of a certain age, this should sound familiar. On Nov. 4, 1979, Iranian thugs stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage. Jimmy Carter’s government wrung its hands in futility for the next 14 months, until finally the Islamic Republic released the hostages Jan. 20, 1981, the day Ronald Reagan took office as President of the United States.
The bitter irony in all that was that Carter had betrayed the Shah of Iran, a longtime U.S. ally, and thereby paved the way for the ascent to power of the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian mullahcracy that has ruled Iran ever since. Rather than feel gratitude toward Carter, however, Khomeini viewed his abandonment of the Shah as a sign of weakness, and pressed forward with his jihad against the Great Satan.
Iran has been hostile toward the United States since then, including gleeful predictions of our nation’s imminent demise. Just days ago, Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, declared to an enthusiastic Tehran crowd that “in light of the realization of the divine promise by almighty God, the Zionists and the Great Satan (America) will soon be defeated….Allah’s promises will be delivered and Islam will be victorious.”
As the Iranian regime inches ever closer toward constructing nuclear weapons, as even Hillary Clinton has acknowledged, these words become more than just empty braggadocio and saber-rattling. The U.S. and Israel have one man to thank for the advent of a genocide-minded regime that considers them both the most implacable of enemies, is not deterred by the prospect of millions of its own people dead, and is racing toward completion of a nuclear weapon.
That man, of course, is Jimmy Carter. And he’s back.
In June 2009, when Barack Obama made his appeal to the Muslim world from Cairo, he stipulated that leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood be allowed to attend – despite the fact that at that time the Brotherhood was still an outlawed group. As the regime fell, Obama exulted: “We’ve borne witness to the beginning of new chapter in the history of a great country and a longtime partner of the United States.” Obama signaled his willingness to open talks with the Muslim Brotherhood, and gave every indication that he would not oppose the establishment of an Islamic state in Egypt. Now, Egypt rushes headlong toward becoming a Sharia state and adopts a posture of increasing hostility toward the United States.
The parallels are so close, they’re eerie. The Shah of Iran was no champion of human rights, and neither was Mubarak. That gave the opposition groups to both an opportunity to appeal to the world’s conscience as the great hope of their people to live at last in dignity – an opportunity that both exploited with great aplomb. Both the Shah and Mubarak were relatively secular rulers who for decades held at bay the pro-Sharia Islamic supremacist forces that despised and longed to topple them. Both had imperfect but workable relationships with the U.S. and helped foster stability in troubled regions.
Both the Shah and Mubarak ran afoul of Leftist Democrat presidents who positioned their betrayal of these allies as a responsibility necessitated by their commitment to human rights. These presidents appeared naïve to many, but may not have been wrongfooted by events: Jimmy Carter praised the Ayatollah Khomeini as a fellow “man of faith,” and Barack Obama’s Muslim upbringing (aside from the rumors about his actual religious affiliation) appear to have given him a warmly positive view of Islam and Sharia. Both may have viewed the demise of the regimes that the U.S. had supported as a positive development, an expression of the self-determination of the people of each country, and the installation of the rule of a religion that was – they believed – truly moderate, peaceful and tolerant at its core.
Carter and Obama got the regimes they wanted. They got the expression of “democracy” that they assured the American people would usher in a new era of peace and freedom. They made their decisions based on politically correct falsehoods. And in both cases, as is increasingly clear in Egypt, innocent Americans have had to pay for their myopia.
Carter is back. And there is no Reagan in the offing.