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Lousy Deals and Turning Wheels


In that long ago yesteryear of 1979, before blogging, tweeting, twerking, hacking, posting, ghosting, doxing, and all the other Internet-enabled compulsions of the present day, a gang of inflamed young men, said to be students, invaded the US embassy compound in Teheran and took fifty-two American embassy personnel hostage — crossing an age-old line of geopolitical conduct that kicked off the epic conflict between global Islam and a USA-led West, still on-going as you read.

I followed the Iran Hostage Crisis avidly… the gibbering mullahs, the blindfolded captives, the rotating cast of double-taking prime ministers who lectured Jimmy Carter on the Nightly News, the rescue attempt fiasco that killed eight American soldiers out in the Persian desert. Oddly, what I remember most after all these years was the fact that the hostages ran out of dental floss and had to swap around between them the same recycled last strand for weeks on end — a ticket to periodontal hell, if ever there was one.

And then, as if by magic, Iran released the hostages on Ronald Reagan’s inauguration day and our splendiferous “morning in America” commenced. What really began that day, of course, was the asset-stripping of this land and its people, leading to the political disorders of the moment. Forty years later it’s hard to say which nation is a bigger pain-in-the-ass on the world stage, Iran or the USA. But the net effect of all that mutual antagonism is a vast region from North Africa to Central Asia of failed states, ruined cities, and dead bodies.

I’m rather skeptical that President Trump will manage to get a new-and-improved “deal” with Iran after tearing up the old one put together by Mr. Obama, which may have not been of much value anyway. I don’t believe that anything in it would have really deterred Iranian technicians from developing a serviceable nuclear weapon. It’s just not that hard to do anymore, given the number of physicists trained all over the world since 1945.

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