Conservative Political Commentary

Anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-globalist, pro-Constitution,
and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Friday, August 19, 2016

Yes, It Was Ransom


Iran hostage crisis, 1979 -- 52 American hostages from the U.S. embassy were held for 444 days
By Eddie Howell
Obama promised “hope and change,” and he's brought about quite a bit of change and left many of us hoping for an end to his changes. The change promised by Donald Trump is essentially designed to return our country to a normal condition, rather than let it be destroyed by Hillary Clinton. She would double down on Obama's misguided policies and leave America greatly weaker, poorer, less safe. And less free than we've been since the days of King George III.

Obama's changes have brought about a “new normal” of amazingly large and unwise actions that do not in any way benefit America. In this latest ransom payment (“contingent on release of American detainees”), serious weaknesses in America's dealing with the terrorist nation of Iran are highlighted.

Our 1979 hostages were released when Ronald Reagan took office. To get the hostages freed, the Carter Administration agreed to return frozen Iranian assets of $7.9 billion, and made several other concessions. That looked a bit like a ransom. Iran apparently didn't want to negotiate with Reagan. Carter's Secretary of State Warren Christopher negotiated the deal, but Reagan signed the agreement. Carter was detemined to get the crisis ended before his term expired. Possibly Reagan thought the only alternative would be war, and, anyway, he chose to honor his predecessor's agreement. 

Subsequent events events should have been sufficient to void the agreement before now. Serious sanctions have been placed against Iran in the years since the hostage crisis. The sending of an airplane loaded with $400 million in cash to Iran was, in my view, extremely unwise and arguably treasonous. Oh, and coinciding with the release of prisoners makes it even more foolish and shameful. Yes, Iran says it was a ransom. They got $400 million to speed up their nuclear project, and increase their terrorist activities. This is supposed to have partly settled a deal from 35 years ago, when America sold Iran weapons, that were never delivered because of the hostage situation. Why should that money ever be paid back? And the $400 million is just the first installment of $1.7 billion to be refunded to Iran. The deal was made before the jihadists came to power. It's not properly the current government's money anyway.

If any other president, particularly if he were a Republican, had a plane loaded with $400 million in cash sent to Iran, whatever the reason given, he would have been endlessly criticized and probably impeached. But the Obama Administration's lame explanations are supposed to satisfy everyone that this was not ransom. If it looks like ransom, sounds like ransom, and smells like ransom, chances are it's ransom. 

As has been observed, the U.S. is now the world's greatest financier of terrorism around the world. The bad behavior of Iran should long ago have caused them to forfeit any agreement to end sanctions or have anything returned to them beyond what the U.S. Congress thought necessary. And this wasn't necessary. It puts Americans everywhere is more danger than they were in previously. Iran has killed lots of Americans. We shouldn't be facilitating our own victimization by terrorists. What next? Getting Iran's “Supreme Leader” to address a joint session of Congress?

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