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America held hostage … again

By D. Paul Thomas
web posted December 21, 2020

Over forty years ago, on November 4, 1979, militant, Iranian college students seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and captured 66 diplomats and citizens*, holding 52 of them hostage for a total of 444 days. The international incident finally ended on January 20, 1981, the day Ronald Reagan took office as the 40th President of the United States, mercifully ending the inept presidency of Jimmy Carter with its empty rhetoric and bungling rescue attempts to free the hostages.

Those militant college students were supporters of the Iranian/Islamic Revolution and members of the “Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line.” Emboldened in February of 1979 by the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Shah (the king of Iran since 1941), and provoked by the U.S. granting sanctuary to the deposed Shah for his cancer treatment, a revolutionary cleric, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and his theocratic surrogates led the militarized students in demonstrations vilifying America as “the Great Satan,” with the streets of Tehran echoing that now ominous rallying cry—“Marg bar Āmrik?”—death to America!

To this day, the Iranian government “commemorates” the Nov. 4 takeover with a demonstration in front of the former embassy (now an anti-American/anti-Jewish museum), simulating its occupation with blindfolded and handcuffed hostages and the burning of the American flag. Does all this sound a bit familiar?

Then flash forward with me (or is it a nasty flashback) to the late spring and endless summer of 2020, when a similar revolution is precipitated by the senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, on May 25, 2020. The dramatis personae remain the same—young, angry, college students seeking “social justice” for their cause. As in the Islamic revolution, thousands of students take to the streets, sympathizing with and encouraging their Black Lives Matter and Antifa cohorts—all unified by the anarchistic swagger of this new, American/socialist revolution. Their poisonous mantras are basically interchangeable with their counterparts in Tehran: “America—The Great Satan” is now “America—Systemic Racists,” condemning millions of Americans en masse. “Death to America” morphs into “Defund the Police,” or can you think of a quicker, more efficient way to destabilize an entire nation and create massive, civil unrest.

True, unlike the US embassy in Tehran, the White House is not seized and occupied by the screaming mob who pushes back its barricades and spits in the faces of the police. All that happens is the toppling of a statue or two, the burning of an historic church, the looting of a few nearby businesses, and dozens of officers injured. But nationally, the protests spark ruinous riots, with thousands of businesses vandalized, burned and destroyed (approximately 1,500 were damaged or destroyed in Minneapolis alone), the destruction culminating in the death of several police officers who are indiscriminately labelled as racist and targeted as another Derek Chauvin. Well, you know, one cop looks like another cop, no?

As of this writing, many urban businesses remain boarded up. If they do reopen, they will be forced to close again at a moment’s notice, held hostage by the caprice of another radicalized mob. Under the guise of “antiracism,” we have entered into an age of sanctioned lawlessness, fully justified by the revolution’s relentless trope, “No justice, no peace!” There is a ring of truth to that logic, but as noted by the martyred German theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “There is a truth which is of Satan…it judges men out of envy and hatred.” That “envy and hatred” were on full display throughout the riotous, seemingly endless summer of 2020.  

Long after the dying embers of our cities have cooled, long after the obscene graffiti has been sandblasted clean, long after the plywood of shuttered shops has been removed, and long after our slain officers are laid to rest, our urban centers will continue to lose billions in revenue, with thousands of small businesses and large retailers fleeing to safer, suburban venues. Tragically, it will be the minorities of our inner cities that will suffer the most, with concern for these communities given scant attention by the militant mob. The dewy-eyed revolutionary seldom takes into account his or her collateral damage, consenting to the proverbial “the ends justify the means.”

Not unlike America’s revolution of 2020, the Iranian/Islamic Revolution was disastrous and remains, more than ever, a lethal threat to Israel and the U.S. If you were to tour the old embassy turned museum today, you would find hateful, anti-American epithets written on its walls, spiteful caricatures of long-nosed Jews, the Statue of Liberty reduced to a flag-draped skeleton, and a celebratory painting of a plane flying into tall buildings. Room after room, the hatred goes on and on. And hateful thoughts breed hateful acts.

Sadly, many of America’s radical socialists and wannabe revolutionaries find more in common with Iran’s “Museum of Hatred” than with New York City’s American Museum of Natural History, with its soon-to-be-removed statue of Teddy Roosevelt, whose representation has been tried, in absentia, and convicted of racism. Of this we can be certain: it will not be Iran’s hatred but a revolution of “envy and hatred” within our country that will destroy our country.

So where are the poets, the prophets, and the politicians who will speak the power of truth to the sanctioned lawlessness of our age and act decisively to end it, empowering our legislatures, municipalities, our police, and our courts to defend the life, limb, and livelihood of its citizens.

When Ronald Reagan took office on that temperate January day in 1981 (it was 55° by noon), the Ayatollah Khomeini and his theocratic thugs knew that the jig was up. They had more than met their match in the indominable will and spirit of the new president and were duly informed that he would not hesitate to unleash the necessary force to put a quick end to the hostage crisis. Within minutes after President Reagan’s inauguration, the hostages were released. Might doesn’t make right, but it can do right.

Unless America finds that indominable will and spirit again, this second American revolution will continue its tortuous path of destruction, making the endless summer of 2020 a mere warmup for the inferno to come. In the process, it will be more than monuments that are toppled. People’s lives, their freedoms, and the greatest country ever to grace the globe will topple.

So, yes, let the resistance of truth begin! And, by our efforts and God’s grace, may America never be held hostage … again. ESR

*Three were captured at the Foreign Affairs office.

This is D. Paul Thomas’ first contribution to Enter Stage Right. © 2020 D. Paul Thomas

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