By Joseph Kellard
This month marks 30 years since the Iranian hostage crisis began and 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell.
What must Americans understand about these milestones, the rise of Islamic totalitarianism and the collapse of communism, to understand why these forces continue to threaten our lives and freedoms today?
After three decades, the Iranian regime that initiated war against America on Nov.4, 1979, having stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 52 American hostages for 444days, has since emerged as the world’s premier sponsor of terrorism, murdering and maiming thousands of Americans from Beirut in 1983 to Afghanistan today. This has happened because our appeasing, timid leaders, both Democrats and Republicans alike, have all along refused to put even a scratch on Iran’s ruling ayatollahs and mullahs.
And two decades after communism collapsed in Eastern Europe and, soon after, Soviet Russia, we are witnessing the resurgence of socialism -- at home. This phenomenon is due, in large part, to the so-called defenders of capitalism, the Republicans-conservatives, who have resigned themselves to accept the welfare state that brought us our now bankrupt Medicare and Social Security systems, rather than mount a principled, moral defense of capitalism.
How essentially did we get to this point?
Note that with the rise of socialism in the early 20th century, age-old religion took a back seat as communists promised unprecedented material prosperity wherever they brutally spread their ideology. Yet, in reality, communism was no more than a secularization of religion. Communism adopted religion’s altruist ethics that commanded men to sacrifice their lives to God’s will and substituted him with demands to sacrifice to society and the state instead. The Berlin Wall came to represent the communism’s universal slave state, crushing its citizens’ fundamental rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness, and those who tried to escape to freedom were shot dead, treated like common criminals going over a prison wall.
Long before the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989, communism had demonstrated its anti-life impotence and evil, failing miserably to produces any semblance of a “workers paradise” on earth, with widespread poverty and deprivations and mass death -- an estimated 100 million people slaughtered from Stalin’s Russia to Mao’s China to Castro’s Cuba.
When in 1991 Soviet Russia collapsed, some hailed it as “the end of history,” as if capitalism had triumphed and America faced no other enemies. But there stood religion, both at home and abroad, already filling the void with its promises of paradise in a mystical afterworld. As communism-socialism wasted away, Iran’s Islamic revolution emerged in 1979 as the latest enemy of the West and religion was resurrected in America.
Like the communists, the Islamics watched America become an unprecedented superpower, both economically and militarily, based on fundamental premises antithetical to their own: reason, individualism, individual rights and the selfish pursuit of happiness. Like communism, the religionists preach faith and obedience to something allegedly higher than the individual. While communists extolled sacrifice to an all-powerful proletariat state, the religionists demand submission to an all-powerful god. Thus, to Iran’s ruling clerics -- who properly viewed America as an essentially secularist, this-worldly nation – called her “the Great Satan,” and since the hostage crisis have made “death to America” their mantra.
Meanwhile, at home, Ronald Reagan and his supporters ushered in religious revival, declaring America a nation based on Judeo-Christian values. And although Reagan rightfully identified Soviet Russia as an “evil empire,” he nevertheless held arms negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev, who threatened this nation with nuclear annihilation, and Regan did nothing when Iranian-backed terrorists murdered 241 U.S. Marines at barracks in Beirut in 1983.
When the Soviet Union expired, the terrorists lost their main resource. Suddenly, life-long terrorist Yasir Arafat played peaceful with Israel, and the post-Ayatollah Khomeini regime posed as “moderates.” Al Qaeda, however, who proceeded to build on Iran’s Islamic revolution and bombed American embassies in Africa and the USS Cole in Yemen. Next came September 11, 2001.
The born-again Christian George W. Bush responded by downplaying the terrorists as representing “a fringe form of Islamic extremism” who otherwise pervert “a religion of peace.” Thus Bush was unable to identify our enemy as motivated by religion’s essence of faith and force, and so he failed to properly frame the war as Islam vs. Western Civilization. Instead of destroying the enemy, he turned to nation-building campaigns to bring Iraq and Afghanistan “democracy,” that is, mob rule. All the while, Bush allowed those nations to adopt Islam as a cornerstone of their constitutions, and left the Iranian regime still intact to build nuclear weapons. Today the Obama administration, which is holding America’s first open diplomatic talks with the Iranians since the hostage crisis, is pursuing the same appeasing, timid policies.
America is at this point, in part, because conservatives have only offered religion as an answer to communism-socialism and Islamic totalitarianism. Through its support of faith-based welfare programs, expansion of socialized medical programs and bank bailouts, Bush laid the groundwork for the Obama administration to swiftly push for an explicit socialist agenda in finance and automobiles, and now looks to do the same in the medical and energy industries. Meanwhile, Obama makes nice with Palestinian terrorists and socialist like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, as White House communications director Antia Dunn praises communist mass murder Mao Tse-tung.
This week and next, as we watch images of the freedom-lovers who took sledgehammers to the Berlin Wall 20 years ago and the Iranian thugs who blindfolded their American hostages 30 years ago, we must recognize that the forces of communism-socialism and Islamic totalitarianism continue to threatened our freedoms and lives. And to weaken and finally stamp them out, we must uncompromisingly champion and practice not faith but reason, not collectivism but individualism, not the all-powerful state but individual rights, not force but voluntary trade, not self-sacrifice but rational selfishness.
Nothing less will save this great nation.