Iranian students loyal to the new radically fundamentalist Islamic government headed by Ayatollah Khomeini storm the American Embassy in Tehran. It’s Nov. 4, 1979, a date in American history most have forgotten. Fifty-two Americans were kidnapped and remained captive in the Iranian Embassy until Jan. 21, 1981 — 444 days.
Tensions with Iran had escalated after the pro-Western Shah was deposed in July 1979, and replaced with Khomeini’s militant terrorist government. President Jimmy Carter allowing the shah to come to New York for medical treatment sparked the uprising.
The hostages were subjected to a wide variety of demeaning treatments and chants of “Death to America” became commonplace in the streets across Iran. Often included in those chants were “Death to Israel,” as the Iranian government refused to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. A feckless President Carter failed to negotiate their release and included a badly failed rescue mission. The day of President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, the hostages were released.
In many respects, the story faded quickly. I doubt few school children of today are even aware of atrocities spewing out of Iranian regimes the past 40 years. Not sure why, I would think it critically important for our next generation to know what nations are friendly and which have been continually hostile to Americans. According to the U.S. State Department, Iran is one of just four nations — Syria, Sudan, and North Korea are the others — considered State Sponsors of Terrorism. They’ve been on the list for 35 years.
It’s easy to find videos of Iranian children chanting “Death to America” and an Associated Press story on Nov. 3, 1987, covered Iran declaring Nov. 4 a national holiday called Death to America Day. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was known for vicious anti-Semitic and anti-homosexual remarks. They’ve attacked our ships and harassed oil tankers for years. Iran has very clearly been an enemy of the United States for the past 40 years.
It is with that backdrop we discuss the U.S. airstrike on Baghdad on Jan. 3 that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, leader of the elite Quds Force. Widely reported, including a Jan. 3 CNBC story, the airstrike was in retaliation for the New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the American Embassy in Baghdad. It is abundantly clear Soleimani was one of the world’s worst terrorists.
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According to counterextremism.com, “U.S. Central Command documents declassified in 2015 reveal that Iraqi Shiite militants under Soleimani’s command killed more than 500 U.S. service members in Iraq between 2005 and 2011,” further stating “Soleimani was banned from international travel because of his 2007 U.N. designation for his role in Iran’s nuclear program.” If banned from international travel, why was he in Baghdad?
This is to set up a stark contrast in reaction to the death of Osama Bin Laden in May 2011. President Barack Obama became a hero to all Americans, including many on the left when Bin Laden was taken out. President Obama was lauded by Democrats for showing the will and fortitude needed. None expressed fear it would lead to further conflict.
Obama used Bin Laden’s death as a talking point throughout the 2012 presidential race.
Here we stand with another evil terrorist dead, taken out before more harm was inflicted on American soldiers and allies. Rather than applaud Trump as they did Obama, the left has largely sided themselves with the repugnant regime sitting in Teheran. Social media was abuzz with sympathy for Iran.
A Jan. 3 Washington Examiner story covered reaction of presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, stating “Warren thought she was striking a careful balance by acknowledging that he was a “murderer” while also attacking the decision to kill him as reckless. But even acknowledging that the man responsible for hundreds of American deaths and for orchestrating the Iranian strategy in the Middle East was a bad guy was too much for the Left to handle. Liberals quickly jumped on Warren’s comments, attacking her for employing the language used by hawks to justify war.”
I don’t believe fears of another protracted conflict are warranted. Trump has shown no interest in regime changes, and actions in Syria lead many to believe he’d rather reduce the number of troops in the region and seek remedies in other ways.
The main reason for the criticism of Trump is simply because he is Trump. Even if Soleimani’s death signaled the end of worldwide terrorism, which it won’t, Trump would still be vilified by the left. Hatred for Trump is so strong it pervades even the elimination of a known vile terrorist. We should instead be thanking the president for swift and decisive action needed.
Scott Frostman lives in Baraboo and has roots throughout Wisconsin. He believes anyone can make a difference and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.