As I age, I find myself often reflecting back to earlier times and events in life. As we live through current events, we sometimes fail to recognize these events as important moments until they are the past and now history. Now you young whipper snappers may not have learned this in history but this was a significant event. We had been removed from Vietnam for a short period of time and many citizens had endured enough pain to last a life time. Now, another global event and more pain would be felt.
In order to go forward we must journey back and travel forward. Hence, the title of this article. Having lived through the Iranian Hostage Crisis forward, it is important to go back and then evaluate where we stand today. I won’t go in to national interest on a global level. Another time for another article. Something we must realize today is the fact we no longer require oil from the Middle East. Get that? We do not need Middle- Eastern oil. We are the Number 1 producing oil and natural gas country in the world. We previously purchased most of our oil from Canada and Venezuela. Europe is the main recipient of Middle Eastern Oil. Russia wants to be a player in the same market.
I was a fairly immature snotty nosed teen at the time of the first crisis with Iran. Long haired, dumber than the cast in the movie “Dumb and Dumber” and believing my future was a star playing music on MTV. College occupied my days most of the time while music and a full time job filled my evenings and weekends. I was more focused on the musical transition in America where things called Disco, Rap, Punk Rock and Techno was hitting the US music circuit. The shiny mirrored ball and the flashing disco lights took over America. But, there was something else happening that outlasted many one hit wonders on the music scene. It was called the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Time, history and current events would become long lasting historical events.
This hostage crisis was a diplomatic standoff between the United States and Iran where 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for 444 days. The crisis started earlier when Islamic Revolutionary Government overthrew Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi and conditions deteriorated from that point. This point in our nation's history is important to note because it’s the first time the US of A was forced to deal with Islamic Extremists. Diplomatic relations between the US of A and Iran has never completely recovered.
I clearly remember the time in life because shortly after the crisis started our national Patriotism was flying high and most of the nation was united. We had ribbons tied around trees and folks crossing their heart while singing “God Bless America.” Ma Bell would have been proud to hear and see all the Baseball and Apple Pie celebrations at local parks. I remember sporting my yellow t-shirt with a black figure depicting Mickey Mouse flipping a finger gesture with the quote “Hey Iran.” At that time in life, I couldn’t have pointed out Iran on a map. But, the shirt was cool, right? You don’t have to answer that question.
I remember that period for another reason more so than my silly t-shirt. There was something about this hostage crisis that caught my attention. It was how it was plastered on every television screen for the evening news on NBC, ABC, or CBS. We had not arrived to the cable news world quiet yet in WV.) It brought back memories of the Vietnam War where the evening news showed Day 1, Day 2, Day 1000…. So now, it was Hostage Crisis Day 1, Hostage Crisis Day 2......Hostage Crisis Day 440, Hostage Crisis Day 443, Hostage Crisis Day 444. President Reagan was elected and during the Inauguration, the the screen read, “Reagan Frees Hostages”. Exactly. Iran freed the hostages during the Inauguration Speech of President Reagan on January 20, 1981.
Now those of you who know me or who have read Hope for Survival understand that President Reagan rates very high on my list of human beings. He is responsible for me joining the military and serving 20 years. He led me to realize my love for country and what it is all about. But, what I never really knew until years later was another part of the story. What I didn’t know was the nation of Algeria brokered an agreement between the US of A and Iran called the Algiers Accord that was signed on January 19, 1981. Part of the deal included releasing the American hostages, under President Carter. Bottom line, the hostages went home.
Many years past the point of the Iranian Hostage Crisis things never really changed. Back in 1980s, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requested the US provide an enhanced air support package shortly after the Iran-Iraq war started. This defense mission was titled “Elf-One” and lasted through 1989. I had the privilege of serving 179 days in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supporting Elf-One. I always viewed this as the US supporting an ally against the possible threat of Iran or the Iran-Iraq war bleeding over inside the Saudi border. But, at that time I didn’t realize or understand two things. For historical purposes and to understand this region better, we should remember; first, Iran is historically a Persian nation. This means they are not Arab, for the most part. Second, and what many often fail to take in to consideration is Iran is about 90% Shi’a Muslim and Saudi Arabia is about 80 to 85% Sunni Muslim. It is believed Sunni is the official form of Islam. Many outsiders to the Middle East believe conflicts between nations would be over oil and other resources. They fail to understand beliefs and positions within the Sunni and Shi’a sects. Think about this. When was the last time you heard news regarding ISIS causing problems in Saudi Arabia? Both are Sunni. Understanding this would make sense to why ISIS has been a thorn to Iraq and Iran, right? Now, then why is ISIS being a thorn to Syria when both are Sunni Muslims?
So, now that you have read this far, and knowing we do NOT require oil from this region, why would we be so interested in protecting this region? If you woke up one morning and looked at this map, what would you believe? Take a look at the picture below and look how distributed and located key US military bases are around Iran’s border. Folks, this didn’t happen overnight. This takes years of key planning and distributing resources, protecting resources, and defending the resources. With so many US forces located in Afghanistan and Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yemen, and Djibouti, with ongoing efforts in Syria and Lebanon, it paints a clear picture of objectives, right? One – keep the Persian Gulf and Red Sea lanes open, and; Two, it is a clear defense of Israel and strategic interest of Europe and NATO, not America.
Yes, back in 1982 we heard the Flock of Seagulls sing “Iran. I ran, I ran so far away.... Looking at this picture would certainly lead one to believe otherwise, huh? Did we blink and all these RW@B flags appear overnight? This alone could be taken as provocation, right?
I do believe the lead singer of the Flock of Seagulls was our current leader before he ventured in to Real Estate. Like me, he realized the money was to be made in some other place. My first clue was the song and then the hair. It all makes sense now. I used to believe it was a winder upper hair style but now believe the sides fold down which pulls the long front up and it folds down. Its like something we used to see on the television show Get Smart or 007. But, I digress and I am just kidding. I needed a non-serious moment. But, I think I may be on to something. You can decide.
Like Sun Tzu stated in the Art of War ““The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” The map would lead one to believe someone at the US War College read the same book. Today, the song would be more like the old Rod Stewart Classic “Every Picture Tells a Story” because the writing is clearly in the open for the world to see. Does anyone honestly believe President Trump created this map in three years? Hardly. It has taken years to make this happen. Yes, probably since the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979.
In reality, the biggest change we have witnessed to this entire subject is the shift in American Patriotism from full red, white, and blue to blaming the President for things other Presidents created, defended, justified, and put Americans on foreign soil to die for. Oh how times changed, huh. Folks, this shows you how much our nation has changed in 40 years. We used to take sides internally but be united as one when it was about America. Today, we take sides and have lost the ability to put our differences aside to stand up for our nation. Why is it so apparent so many elected leaders working for tax payer dollars hate our country and what she stands for. They like what they want her to be, but not what she was founded on and stands for in history.
How does this relate to personal preparedness? Easy. One would think this is another key segment of our political landscape to defend our nation as one. This clearly shows the hard lined division we face globally. We have already witnessed this internally. Is anyone else asking, what does our government stand for and represent as one, a nation? So, I ask you, what does tomorrow hold? You decide.
Thanks for reading,
Bravo Echo Out,