Is this 1979?

posted at 8:41 am on September 12, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. — George Santayana

I’m having the strangest sense of deja vu over the last eighteen months or so, and the attacks on two diplomatic missions in the Middle East over the last 24 hours has only intensified it.  Once again we have an American government that either tacitly or actively undermined an ally in the region in favor of supposedly democratic Islamist radicals, and once again we have an American government that gets taken by surprise when the government that results either fails to protect our embassies and consulates or arguably participated in an attack on them. Once again, the response to those attacks have been more mea culpa than mighty, and once again the weakness of the response puts our other diplomatic missions at risk.

It’s looking a lot like 1979 all over again.

In that year, President Jimmy Carter abandoned a key regional ally, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran, who was no one’s idea of a nice guy.  But we didn’t need Pahlavi to be a nice guy; we needed him to stand up against the Soviet Union.  The CIA had squelched an earlier democratization movement in the late 1950s to maintain the monarchy and its influence in Iran, and apparently some in the US government thought Ruhollah Khomeini would bring that democratization to fruition in 1979.  The Shah had to flee after his American allies withdrew their support, and Khomeini imposed a theocracy with a 12th-century mindset on what had formerly been one of the most liberalized Muslim nations in the region.  When Pahlavi came to the US for medical treatment a few months later, a demonstration of “students” overran the American embassy in Tehran and took dozens of diplomatic personnel hostage, holding them for 444 days.

Eighteen months ago, we abandoned a key ally in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak, who likewise was no one’s idea of a nice guy.  But he had kept the Pax Americana in the Middle East for three decades, even when his predecessor Anwar Sadat got assassinated by Islamist radicals for doing so.  Once again, we had an American government encourage the “democracy” movement run by radical Islamists in chasing our ally out of power.  Once again, we seem surprised when the radical Islamists put radical Islamists in power.  And once again we have “students” assaulting our embassy in the capital, this time Cairo, without so much as an apology from the radical Islamist government now running the nation.

The trend is even worse in Libya.  Not only did our consulate get attacked, but four of our diplomatic personnel were murdered, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, who went to the consulate to rescue his staff:

The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three American members of his staff were killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, Libyan officials said Wednesday.

They said Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed Tuesday night when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob guns and rocket propelled grenades.

The three Libyan officials who confirmed the deaths were deputy interior minister for eastern Libya Wanis al-Sharaf; Benghazi security chief Abdel-Basit Haroun; and Benghazi city council and security official Ahmed Bousinia.

Mubarak looked like a saint next to Moammar Qaddafi, and few mourned his fall from power.  The outcome is still more in doubt in Libya than in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood have seized control of everything.  But Qaddafi had at least been somewhat more cooperative since the fall of Saddam Hussein, and the West’s military attack on Qaddafi that caused his fall — led by the US initially — sent a big message on the futility of cooperation with the US and the West to all of the other governments in the region.

This outcome from the so-called “Arab Spring” was obvious almost from the start, and certainly from the moment we tossed Mubarak to the wolves.  We’d lived through it before.  The Obama administration failed to learn from the past, and so we get to repeat it.


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FLASHBACK 1989: Kaddafi klan loyalists murder Bonnie Pugh (wife of US Ambassador to Chad) aboard UTA 772

This is what the Kaddafi klan do.

It is there lifeblood.

Terp Mole on September 12, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I can’t wait to hear from the future Office of the Former President

faraway on September 12, 2012 at 10:29 AM

*applauds*

jangle12 on September 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM

The press doesn’t dare report on the twice-a-week White House celebrity shakers c/w Wagyu beef and Atlantic lobster, but there’s typically one on the weekend and one in the middle of the week. If little Bammie has to cancel one of his parties he’ll be really pist off. He might miss an act by Kanye or Beyonce or whatever.

slickwillie2001 on September 12, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Those are the “traditional” cocktail parties that Mooch decided to “bring back”. This was to give the white house occupants an “air of sophistication” that was missing during the Bush years. LOL

Solaratov on September 12, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Remember McCain said We have nothing to fear from an Obama Presidency…

SoonerFn4Lfe on September 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

This outcome from the so-called “Arab Spring” was obvious almost from the start, and certainly from the moment we tossed Mubarak to the wolves. We’d lived through it before. The Obama administration failed to learn from the past, and so we get to repeat it.

At what point do people stop assuming Obama has benign intentions, truly has the best interests of the US at heart in word and deed?
Obama is no genius, but I don’t think he’s as ignorant as you’d have to be to consistently fail in only one direction.

I am around his age, and Obama was about 18-20 years old during the Iran hostage crisis. It was an enormous national tragedy that went on every single day for well over a year. There was no escaping the impact of this crisis, especially at such a formative age for political awareness.

Romney used a word in his statement last night that I hope becomes part of the national conversation for the remainder of the election season. He said the Obama admin, rather than condemning the attacks and supporting free speech, “sympathized” with those who attacked us.

Obama is a sympathizer.

Mayday on September 12, 2012 at 12:53 PM

It’s time to stand with our ally in Libya, Moammar Kaddhafi.

Now there’s a sentence I never thought I would write.

Of course, any aid should come wth strings cables attached

tom on September 12, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Don’t know if Rush was reading this, but he just mentioned 1979.

stukinIL4now on September 12, 2012 at 12:10 PM

We’ve been saying little Bammie = Carter for years, Rush doesn’t have to read HA to think of 1979. Egypt/Lybia is to little Bammie as Iran was to Carter.

slickwillie2001 on September 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

President Obama, taking a moment before heading out to Las Vegas for a fundraiser, described the attacks on U.S. Embassies and the murder of four Americans as “Outrageous and Shocking.”

Meanwhile, aides were hastily editing White House records to show that the president had not in fact missed intellingence briefings for more than a week prior to the incident Tuesday night.

In related news, Guy Fawkes dressed protesters appeared with the Arab protesters who attacked the embassies, begging the question as to whether the Occupy and Muslim Brotherhood movements are allied.

Glenn Beck in the meantime is reminding listeners that he predicted such an outcome as early as a year ago.

Tenwheeler on September 12, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Is this 1979?

Yes, with one major difference:

Carter was not a muslim

entagor on September 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

The California resident behind an anti-Islamic film that sparked violent protests in Egypt and Libya, which in turn lead to the death of four U.S. diplomats, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, remained defiant on Wednesday and stood behind his work, the Associated Press reports.

Sam Bacile, a 56-year-old Israeli, said he believes that “Islam is a cancer.” He financed the two-hour movie with help from more than 100 Jewish donors, spending roughly $5 million, the AP reported.

“This is a political movie,” Bacile told the AP. “The U.S. lost a lot of money and a lot of people in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we’re fighting with ideas.”

After hearing rumors that the video was a Hollywood blockbuster that would be shown throughout the U.S., protests broke out, leading to the death of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other embassy staff.

President Obama said on Wednesday that, “the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

The film’s almost 14-minute trailer, which is still on YouTube, shows people acting as violent Muslims, taking their aggression out on Christians and women. The actors, who are predominantly white, are covered in dark makeup and use thick accents. The film also depicts the prophet Mohammad, who is subject to several slurs.

Afghanistan banned YouTube on Wednesday, to prevent its citizens from watching the controversial film, Reuters reports.

“We have been told to shut down YouTube to the Afghan public until the video is taken down,” Aimal Marjan, general director of Information Technology, told Reuters.

http://nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/anti-islamic-filmmaker-stands-by-video-despite-protests-and-killings-20120912

Resist We Much on September 12, 2012 at 1:29 PM

1980 is what I’m thinking of.

mikeyboss on September 12, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Me, too. Has the same feel, only now is worse.

Christien on September 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Me, too. Has the same feel, only now is worse.

You’re unfortunately right. In the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, nobody was killed, and one of the Iranian captors was Ahmadinejad who now leads Iran and their pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Mayday on September 12, 2012 at 2:05 PM

None of this is new, nor recently started, and certainly Mr Obama cannot be blamed. This all began several centuries ago, and has continued ever since with occasional lulls.

Egypt was dealing with violent Muslims a century or so ago; it was one of the reasons that the British got involved and ended up controlling Egypt for a while.

Similarly, the reason France conquered bits of North Africa was to suppress the Barbary pirates who were doing slave capture missions at least as far north as the southern coasts of England and Ireland.

YiZhangZhe on September 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM

So let me try to understand what you are saying here. You have a gangrenous foot. One that has been causing issues and you know that you have to deal with it. It’s been like this for quite a while and you’ve been to a number of doctors and they all tell you it’s a problem and you should “do something” about it.

It doesn’t really matter how it happened or how it got there, but you have this gangrenous foot that threatens to spread and eventually kill you.

It’s not like you asked for it (like you campaigned for the job) but there is it and you either deal with it or you eventually die.

Most responsible people would do something irregardless rather than worrying about who to blame and what happened in the past.

But okay. You counsel that patient not to worry because they aren’t at blame and meander on about how at least this isn’t affecting their arms because in the past the patient usually dies before it spreads.

kim roy on September 12, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Muslims riot violently at the suggestion that Muslims are violent and riot when offended.

tom on September 12, 2012 at 2:30 PM

1980 is what I’m thinking of.

mikeyboss on September 12, 2012 at 8:45 AM

Me, too. Has the same feel, only now is worse.

Christien on September 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

If you remember the taking of the hostages in Teheran, it didn’t happen overnight. It escalated slowly day after day, and in the total absence of any response from the merdivorous Carter, it ended in a way that should have been obvious.

slickwillie2001 on September 12, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I would say that Obama is weaker than Carter because he is letting the Syrian government slaughter their citizens. This is probably what gave these animals the courage to do what they did. I don’t get Republicans jumping on Romney for his remarks today. What he said is what most of us with a brain were thinking. He should’ve also said that all aid to Libya and Egypt are zero as soon as he is sworn in.

jrfromdallas on September 12, 2012 at 3:49 PM

The price of military interventionism.

Dante on September 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

All together now in your best strangled-alley-cat voice: “no more foreign waaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrsssss!!”

slickwillie2001 on September 12, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Nope. It’s not 1979.

GOP doesn’t have a Reagan in 2012 to debunk the lies of Carterish O’bamash. We have a Dole for a nominee.

TheAlamos on September 12, 2012 at 4:17 PM

The price of military interventionism.

Dante on September 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Squwak

D-fusit on September 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Squwak

D-fusit on September 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Our interventionism has gotten another American killed and you can’t respond intelligently.

Dante on September 12, 2012 at 4:41 PM

The price of military interventionism.

Dante on September 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

.
Show me, Dante, that the number of non-intervening countries that have experienced murderous anarchy from militant Islamist Nazis is smaller than those that “intervened”.

listens2glenn on September 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

kim roy on September 12, 2012 at 2:07 PM

I was responding to somebody who was blaming Mr Obama, and my point was simply that Mr Obama is not responsible; it is wrong to blame him for this. The perpetrators are solely responsible for their own actions and choices.

YiZhangZhe on September 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM

kim roy on September 12, 2012 at 2:07 PM

.
I was responding to somebody who was blaming Mr Obama, and my point was simply that Mr Obama is not responsible; it is wrong to blame him for this. The perpetrators are solely responsible for their own actions and choices.

YiZhangZhe on September 12, 2012 at 4:51 PM

.
When a U.S. President displays an unwillingness to respond with military force, to any of the “pokes” we have received from Islamist Nazis in the past three years, then I’d say he bears as much blame as the Islamist Nazis.

listens2glenn on September 12, 2012 at 5:02 PM

The price of military interventionism.

Dante on September 12, 2012 at 4:05 PM

Squwak

D-fusit on September 12, 2012 at 4:21 PM

That’s kinda like it’s America’s OWN FAULT. Or, we brought it on ourselves.

Of course, dante would never say such a thing. He told us that yesterday while he was beclowning himself on the 9-11 thread.

Solaratov on September 12, 2012 at 5:41 PM

hahA ..

Romney is going to kick this biblical future into high gear!

Oh?

Want to live in a past where good Christians live in moral high ground?

Yes I do.

Do you want to live in a land where communists professors have brought communism into our schools? No

FIGHT in your local community

amend2 on September 12, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Eighteen months ago, we abandoned a key ally in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak, who likewise was no one’s idea of a nice guy.

Ed, I’m curious what you think we should have done to keep Mubarak in power.

Hal_10000 on September 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM

If the State Department doesn’t hurry up and greatly increase security at our embassy in Egypt we may be literally having Carter II – another hostage crisis.

sherrimae on September 12, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Hal_10000 on September 12, 2012 at 10:46 PM

.
Not sure how Ed would respond, but my response is “nothing”.

We gave the rebels big-time moral support, and that gave them a “morale boost.”
.
I believe all we had to do was “nothing”, and for better (or not) Mubarak would still be in power.

listens2glenn on September 12, 2012 at 11:32 PM

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