Dear Elvis, do we never learn from history?

As the Islamists of 1979 were overthrowing their government, Jimmy Carter opened the door to a terrified Shah, citing ‘legitimate medical reasons’.  There was political pressure from the Right to do so as Iran had been a US client state since our CIA (with the Brits) overthrew the last democratically elected Iranian government in 1953.

It went so well that irate Iranian students stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage, holding them for 444 days.

Now the president of Yemen,  Ali Abdullah Saleh, is being admitted – for ‘legitimate medical reasons’. (The link doesn’t confirm that the decision has been made, but The NY Times says it’s a done deal.)

As Peter, Paul and Mary asked so many years ago, “When will we ever learn, when will we ever learn?”.

10 responses to “Dear Elvis, do we never learn from history?

  1. I will be eager to see what the Middle East looks like after the smoke clears from the many uprisings.


  2. Again! They’d better fortify the Embassy. Begs the question: is there no medical knowledge in the Middle East?


  3. Gingrich is the historian, haven’t heard any comments from him.


  4. We secretly support many bad deeds worldwide. Probably all governments do the same. It’s a crazy world.


  5. Hmmm…So we’re not supposed to stand by our allies if doing so might be a bit uncomfortable? We’re just supposed to cut them loose when they’re no longer of immediate value?


    • When was Yemen our ally?

      Although we do have a glorious list of ‘allies’ from recent years – Batista, Pinochet, Quadaffi, Saddam, Osama (we called him a freedom fighter in the 80’s), Ferdinand Marcos . . . of course Stalin too. Not to meniton the crimnal leaders of Vietnam for whom we fought and died. And, although we’ve never fought them, we have fiercely supported the Saudis, who began the madrassa movement and continue to finance it in other countries, who have used their clout to insiste on Sharia law thorughout the Arab world, who created Osama and provided the 9/11 bombers.

      We have very poor taste in ‘allies’.


  6. Yemen, never; Ali Abdullah Saleh and much of what little government he has, for a while.

    Three points though about your list:

    1 – Qaddafi was an ally of convenience in the fight against Al-Qaeda and then only after Reagan broke him.

    2 – Stalin was never really considered much of an ally during WW2. We were forced by circumstances to work with him but always knew we’d be going against him as soon as Germany was beaten

    3 – As much as it pains me to say it, our involvement in Vietnam was a treaty obligation between us and the French, which is also why there were UK troops on the ground there as well.

    It’s the little understand part of such alliances that how the people treat their own population is not really important. It’s how they interact with American interests that matter. Ally is not friend.


  7. Pingback: Barry, don’t do it again | Whatever Works

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