HILL: Deja-vu all over again in Middle East

FILE - Palestinians celebrate by a destroyed Israeli tank at the Gaza Strip fence east of Khan Younis Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. The militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land, and sea and catching the country off-guard on a major holiday. (AP Photo/Hassan Eslaiah, File )

I was contemplating writing a piece this week about the antics of Matt Gaetz in Congress ― until Saturday morning, Oct. 7. 

News broke that Hamas had launched a full-scale attack on Israel by murdering, butchering and raping Jews on their Sabbath day after a week-long observance of the Jewish festival of Sukkot. 

Suddenly, the antics of Matt Gaetz, et.al. didn’t seem very important any more in the grand scope of things. 

These Hamas attacks feel like déjà vu all over again. Hamas had the full support of Iran, which came as no shock to anyone who has been in politics or served in the federal government since 1980 ― except President Joe Biden and his entire national security team including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. 

It must be hard for them and anyone who served in the previous White House under President Barack Obama to believe all of their appeasement of radical terrorists in Iran for the past fifteen years has accomplished nothing. 

Most adults over the age of 60 still have vivid memories of 1979 when Muslim fundamentalist Ayatollah Khomeini led the Iranian revolution to overthrow the monarchy of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and institute strict Islamic rule which has lasted for over four decades. 

Ever since then, Iran has used oil revenue money and over $12 billion in misbegotten aid offered to them from Presidents Barack Obama and now Joe Biden to fund and export terrorism around the globe. There is not a single positive thing which has happened on the world stage in terms of peace, diplomacy and democracy that can be attributed to Iran since 1979. 

The most vivid memory of older Americans are the 52 American hostages who were held hostage in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran for 444 excruciating days from 1979 to 1980. During that time, Iran and OPEC nations destroyed the world economy by restricting oil output; dramatically raising oil prices and generally causing major havoc the world over. 

The “misery index” hit 20% ―it was a combination of inflation which hit 12% plus unemployment which hit 8%. Interest rates spiked at 21% to add more misery to the index. 

America had an incredibly weak Democratic President in 1979, Jimmy Carter, who was incapable of leading any sort of effort to free the hostages. America has a weak, almost-totally-disengaged-from-reality Democratic President Joe Biden today who has proven his incompetence in world affairs with the botched and bloody withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan ― so don’t expect any sort of bold action from him to help defend Israel against further Hamas attacks. 

Is there any wonder why Hamas now feels emboldened to attack Israel and slaughter, rape, maim and kidnap thousands of men, women and children? They know that Biden’s foreign policy team will not recommend any strong action against such terrorism ― the office of Secretary of State Blinken had to delete an initial tweet urging Israel to restrain themselves from retaliation for these heinous acts and to agree to a ceasefire before Israel had even responded to these sneak attacks. Blinken’s office tweeted this Alice-in-Wonderland-ish statement as well: “We urge all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks. Terror and violence solve nothing” which essentially is saying nothing because it did not condemn Hamas and Iran for initiating hostilities. 

Iran has been emboldened by the actions of President Obama and now Biden. They both have supported allowing Iran to become a nuclear state which is totally unjustifiable and careless. Both have supported a normalization of relations with Iran, the largest supporter of terrorism in the world, as if being nice to them will make them stop funding kidnapping, rape and murder now being conducted by Hamas in Israel. Both have paid enormous ransoms for American hostages and released dangerous Islamist terrorists from American prisons to return to Iran and other state supporters of terrorism. 

What terrorists and bullies in China and Russia really understand is brute force. Vladimir Lenin is credited with saying: “Probe with bayonets. If you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw.” 

Iran has found mush in both the Obama and Biden foreign policy; otherwise, why would they have brazenly helped Hamas plan this deadly attack? In contrast, they feared the steel in Ronald Reagan as he was about to walk into the White House on January 20, 1981. 

Approximately thirty minutes before he was sworn in as the nation’s 40th president, Reagan was informed the Ayatollah had released all fifty-two American hostages. No shots fired; no American lives were lost. The Iranians knew they would no longer be appeased. 

The world needs another Reagan in the White House. Whether America finds one is up to us.