From Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama: 

A Horror Story

Alan Caruba
Issue CXCVIII - June 27, 2009
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John F. Kennedy, standing in front of the Berlin Wall, said “Ich bin en Berliner” to declare his solidarity with Western Germany, divided from its eastern half by the compromises with the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Ronald Reagan would later demand, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” as well as declare his solidarity with the Polish people seeking to free themselves from Soviet domination.

I have heard two versions of what President Obama has done in response to the Iranian uprising. One says that he was right to keep a low profile so that the United States would not be blamed for the rebellion against the tyrannical ayatollahs. This, it’s said provides “deniability” in the event the regime successfully puts down the rebellion. The other version says he should be more outspoken in his support for the Iranian people.

History will decide whether President Obama has chosen the right course of action, but we know he has already made major efforts to reach out to the “Supreme Leader” and his mullah cronies. Death to the U.S. and Israel has always been the rallying call for the thirty-year-old Islamic revolution. We are the external enemies by which the mullahs assert their right to run Iran. At the same time, by distancing himself from the Israelis, President Obama has let the whole of the Middle East know he has cast his vote for Islam.

In 1979 there were crowds in the streets of Tehran that drove out the Shah. President Jimmy Carter appeared to have been caught off-guard by what happened. So were the U.S. diplomats and the CIA, who apparently had no idea how deep the hatred ran for the Shah. The exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini tapped into that hatred. Soon our diplomats were to be held hostage for 444 days, released only when Ronald Reagan took the oath of office and Jimmy Carter was rendered a powerless and defeated one-term ex-President.

Jimmy Carter was incapable of demonstrating the power and the will of the American people to free our diplomats. He blamed earlier decisions regarding Iran as a buffer state against the Soviet Union and a source of oil to the West. Did the CIA “meddle” in Iran’s affairs, engineering the overthrow of a prime minister in 1953? Yes, along with the British we did and, from what I can determine, it was the right decision.

By the time Carter was elected President in 1977, the memories of the 1973 oil embargo were still fresh in the minds of Americans. The members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries used the embargo to punish the U.S. for supporting Israel, re-supplying its military during the Yom Kippur war.

Despite later negotiating a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, it is safe to conclude Carter was no friend to Israel and that animus has deepened over the years. Israel relinquished the Sinai desert, just as it would later withdraw from the Gaza in a vain hope of peace. There's a museum in Cairo devoted to the "victory" Egypt claims it secured in the war.

As Seldon B. Graham, Jr. points out in his book, “Why Your Gasoline Prices Are High”, “On January 23, 1980, President Carter announced to Congress that the U.S. would defend the Persian Gulf area by military force if necessary. Thus, the official energy policy of the United States abandoned USA oil and gave the supply to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).”

Carter had already called for a “windfall profits tax” on U.S. oil companies and Graham calls it, “a death notice for USA oil”, noting that “Many US oil and gas companies went bankrupt because of the Windfall Profits Tax.” During his campaign, President Obama called for a similar tax.

In the wake of that earlier tax, not one single new refinery has been built by U.S. oil companies because (a) they cost well over a billion to construct and (b) there is no way they can be sure another such tax would not be imposed.

Exploration for America's vast reserves of oil has been meager as well. Virtually the entire continental shelf of the nation was put off-limits to exploration and extraction. An effort by the Bush administration to lift the restriction was swiftly rescinded by the Obama administration. Congress still will not let oil companies drill in Alaska's ANWR.

Carter's actions effectively left the United States dependent to a large degree on Middle East oil, although these days the U.S. now imports much of its oil from Canada, Mexico, and Venezuela.

Denying the U.S. of its own vast energy reserves and attacking its energy producers has been a consistent theme in a straight line between President Carter and President Obama.

President Obama apparently also hates coal, vowing to “bankrupt” any company that attempted to build a coal-fired plant to provide much-need electricity to our growing population. In addition to rescinding the opening of the continental shelf to exploration, one of the first acts of the Obama administration was to cancel leases to explore for oil deposits in states where oil is known to exist in large quantities.

Both the Carter and Obama administrations display the weakness leftists have for despots and despotic regimes of every description. In their hearts they see them as an appropriate way to keep people in bondage.

The leaders of many foreign nations have already taken Barack Obama’s measure.

The North Koreans hold him in such contempt they intend to fire a ballistic missile at Hawaii, probably on Independence Day. If he really wanted to show some character and a clear intent to defend the nation, he would destroy it in flight because we have the capacity to do this. He won’t.

Obama’s Democrat majority in Congress is beginning to back away from his disastrous taxing and spending proposals. It is widely rumored that the proposed “Cap-and-Trade” legislation, based on the bogus global warming hoax, will fail in Congress.

Similarly, the panic in the White House as it attempts to cope with a failing economy can be smelled a few blocks away on Capitol Hill. Obama’s constant drumbeat of one “crisis” after another is beginning to wear thin and it is likely too that his healthcare “reform” will fail as well.

Raising taxes in the midst of the worst recession since the days of the Great Depression is not likely to find much favor either.

On Independence Day, nearly 1,500 or more protest rallies, “Tea parties”, will be held in America from coast to coast. Their message will not be lost on Congress, though you can be sure the slavish mainstream news media will do what they can to mislead the public into believing they were minor events.

Only they will not be minor events, nor will those that will follow. Americans will be in the streets in the weeks and months that follow. They will reflect the same determination of Iranians who want the freedom we too often take for granted.

In October 2010, Americans will have an opportunity to neuter this narcissist, this pretender in the White House. It is time to prepare for the midterm elections. It is time to take America back from those who are ruining it.

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This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA Statement of Policy.

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Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new four-act play, Implied Consent, a futuristic intellectual drama on the sanctity of human life, here.