By Caroline Glick, JPost—
For the past 40-odd years, two narratives have guided American Middle East policy. Both were invented by the Carter administration. One relates to Iran. One relates to Israel.
Both narratives reject reality as the basis for foreign policy decision-making in favor of delusion. Over the past two months, President Donald Trump has rejected and disavowed them both. His opponents are apoplectic.
As far as Iran is concerned, as journalist Lee Smith explained in Tablet online magazine this week, when Iranian “students” seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, they placed the Carter administration in a dilemma: If President Jimmy Carter acknowledged that the “students” weren’t students, but soldiers of Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Khomeini, the US would be compelled to fight back. And Carter and his advisers didn’t want to do that.
So rather than admit the truth, Carter accepted the absurd fiction spun by the regime that Khomeini was an innocent bystander who, try as he might, couldn’t get a bunch of “students” in central Tehran to free the hostages.
At the base of their decision to prefer fantasy to reality in regards to Iran was the hope that Khomeini and his “students” would be satisfied with a pound or two of American flesh and wouldn’t cause Washington too many other problems.
So too, as Smith noted, the Carter administration was propelled by guilt. The worldviews of many members of the administration had been shaped on radical university campuses in the 1960s. They agreed with the Iranian revolutionaries who cursed Americans as imperialists. They perceived Khomeini and his followers as “authentic” Third World actors who were giving the Americans their comeuppance.
Khomeini and his “Death to America” shouting followers got the message. They understood that Washington had given them a green light to attack Americans in moderate and, as Smith put it, “plausibly deniable” doses. it. For the next 40 years, Iran maintained its aggression against America. And from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, every president since Carter accepted and kept faith with Carter’s decision not to hold the Iranian regime responsible for the acts of aggression and war it carried out against America through proxies.
During the Iraq War from 2003-2011, Iran’s aggression reached new heights. Iran organized the Shiite militias that waged war against the US forces in Iraq. It also supported Al-Qaida in Iraq which organized in Iran and used Iran as its logistical base for operations. Continue Reading….