The Islamists were convinced that America would not respond militarily to their activities. We had not done so in 1973 after the killing of Ambassador Cleo Noel, by the Black September Organization (the same group responsible for the 1972 Olympics terrorism). By 1979, the Islamists felt they could assault an American embassy take all the diplomats hostage with impunity - and they were correct. 1979, a crack in time, that saw the beginning of the end of the Cold War, and the end of the beginning for the war against Islamism."
Michael P. Tremoglie Talks
9/5/06 The Crack In Time Of 1979: The Bridge Between Communism And Islamism
By: MICHAEL P. TREMOGLIE, Special To The Evening Bulletin
The year 1979 was a catalytic year for the people of the United States of America. The events of that year set the table for what would culminate in World War IV, the war against Islamism ( or Islamo-Fascism as some call it), the first global war of the 21st century.
The year began with the formation of an Islamic theocracy. On February 11, 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in Iran. This was the first time an Islamist government took control of a sovereign nation.
Khomeini had been in exile and was an enemy of the American-friendly Iranian government, which was a ruthless dictatorial one. Khomeini promised a more humane rule.
However, as demagogues usually do, the reforms Khomeini promised never occurred. Indeed, quite the opposite happened. Once in power, Khomeini did what all totalitarian dictators such as Lenin, Castro, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Kim Jun Il, the Nicaraguan Sandinistas and others idolized by American and European liberals do, he declared himself Supreme Leader. He implemented policies every bit as brutal, oppressive and ruthless as he replaced. In fact, without the moderating effects of American influence he was more tyrannical.
So treacherous was Khomeini that he had General Hassan Pakravan executed. This was the very same person who had saved Khomeini's life after he had been sentenced to be executed 16 years earlier.
However, the ramifications of the Ayatollah's Iranian revolution would be far more than just the emergence of another dictatorship. He would try to export his Islamic revolution - and this would result in turmoil, death, and destruction for decades to come.
Another important incident of 1979 had a tangential effect on foreign policy - although few realized it at the time. On March 28, the nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island, near Harrisburg, experienced a partial meltdown of its reactor core. This is the most serious kind of malfunction that can occur at a nuclear power plant.
Fortunately, there were no fatalities or injuries to plant workers or members of the nearby community. Yet, environmentalists became hysterical about nuclear power. Despite the fact that more people died in Ted Kennedy's car than at Three Mile Island, the American nuclear power industry, already demeaned by the politically influential anti-nuclear/environmentalist coalition was ruined.
This made us more dependent on foreign oil. This made the political policies of Islamists more important to America.
The third important event of 1979 occurred on June 20. An ABC News correspondent was murdered, on tape, by a Nicaraguan National Guardsman. The whole affair ennobled the communist terrorists known as the Sandinistas. This virtually assured that the communist Sandinistas would take control of Nicaragua because the average American now viewed the Nicaraguan National Guard as villains not the Sandinistas.
This led the way for control of Nicaragua by the communist, pro-Soviet, pro-Cuba, Sandinistas. They promptly began doing what all compassionate "people's liberation" movements do - they exterminated people who did not think like they did. They did so in vast numbers - including the Miskito Indians. So egregious was the holocaust that even one of the founders of the Sandinistas resigned saying that even the ruthless dictator Somoza did not bother the Miskito's.
It is worth noting that liberal Democrats adored the Sandinistas.
The next sea change of 1979 occurred on July 16, 1979. Saddam Hussein became the dictator of Iraq. The outcome of this event was quite apparent during the next quarter century.
The final two cataclysmic events of 1979 had the most direct effect on America.
First was the November 4, 1979 taking of hostages from the US Embassy in Iran by Islamists.
President Jimmy Carter's attempts to resolve this consisted of vapid appeals to morality and religion. These had no effect on the Ayatollah's thugs.
When Carter acted outraged and referred to the Koran as prohibiting such actions in an attempt to shame the Islamists they ignored him. As Senator Zell Miller was to say twenty-five years later at the 2004 Republican convention in New York City, "They (his fellow Democrats) claimed Carter's pacifism would lead to peace. They were wrong."
Carter's pacifism did not lead to peace and his policies encouraged America's enemies. They certainly emboldened the Islamists.
The final calamitous event of 1979 occurred on December 24. It was on this day that the Soviets invaded Afghanistan leading to the rise of the Taliban and a haven for Osama bin laden.
It also - as Senator Rick Santorum has said - emboldened the Islamists because they felt that having handled the Soviets, they could easily handle the Americans. The Islamists felt the Soviets were the more ruthless of the two superpowers and America could be more easily dispatched.
This belief was confirmed after America did nothing to retaliate for the loss of 243 Marines - acting as peacekeepers - in Beirut. It was confirmed after America did nothing after the terrorist attacks against the Khobar Towers and the USS Cole. It was confirmed when President Clinton did not take custody of bin Laden in 1996.
The Islamists were convinced that America would not respond militarily to their activities. We had not done so in 1973 after the killing of Ambassador Cleo Noel, by the Black September Organization (the same group responsible for the 1972 Olympics terrorism). By 1979, the Islamists felt they could assault an American embassy take all the diplomats hostage with impunity - and they were correct. 1979, a crack in time, that saw the beginning of the end of the Cold War, and the end of the beginning for the war against Islamism.
Michael P. Tremoglie is the author of the novel A Sense of Duty, available at http://www.geocities.com/nattybumpo1981/
©The Evening Bulletin 2006
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