Monday, January 08, 2007


I received a patently ridiculous direct mail piece from Human Events today. The envelope features the heroic image of President Reagan and says:
He made Iran cry "Uncle!"
(It took him all of . . . 20 minutes.)

This refers to the way that Iran waited until Reagan took the oath of office to release the hostages taken from the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. If one desires to make President Reagan look tough against Iran that is pretty much the highpoint. Not Surprisingly, the Human Events mail piece ignores most of the other important moments in Reagan's dealings with Iran. Through out most of his adminstration, the president handled Iran by supporting the murderous dictator, Saddam Hussein in his war of agression against Iran -- HE doesn't mention that. Later he would begin a program to secretly sell weapons to the Iranian regime (in return for the release of hostages in Lebanon). This caused a crisis among conservatives when it came out. Michael Kinsley compared it to the dilemma faced by Communists after the Hitler/Stalin pact: "a sudden policy reversal put devoted ideologues to such a severe test of their devotion. A party line of stark moral simplicity -- no dealing with terrorist states -- has suddenly gone all gooey and geopolitical. . . . As in 1939, many are falling off the train as it rounds this sharp bend. But a tenacious few hold on."

It wasn't all appeasement of Iran during the Reagan years. In 1988, an American Cruiser patrolling the Persian Gulf shot down an Iranian jet killing 290 civilians -- another event that Human Events neglects to mention.

It would be a full time job to document all of the ways that rightwingers have constructed a fantasy world for themselves, this Human Events effort to reduce Reagan's record on Iran to his first hour as president is exhibit A.

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