Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 20, 2006
BASEBALL/WAR: Lifetime Pass

Great Washington Post story about the lifetime passes to Major League parks given to the hostages on their return from Iran 25 years ago today. It's a great gesture by baseball.

Of course, for contrast, the story juxtaposes horror stories of the hostages' mistreatment with a famous picture of a blindfolded hostage being led by his captors, with a scowling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (now Iran's president) second from right. The picture of Ahmadinejad is a grim reminder of the continuing timeliness of the hostage crisis, which is really where the campaign of radical Islamist terror against the United States began.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:27 AM | Baseball 2006 • | War 2006 | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

The "hostage crisis" was Jimmy Carter's legacy to this country. While we have to place primary blame on the scum who committed the acts, let's remember those events whenever Carter opens his mouth to express an opinion.

Posted by: Attila (Pillage Idiot) at January 20, 2006 10:28 AM

The Iranian hostage crisis had its roots in the CIA's involvement in overthrowing a democratically-elected Iranian government in 1953. We put the Shah in power, a totaliatarian butcher who killed and tortured untold numbers of people. This precipitated a revolution in 1979 which brought the Ayatollah to power. The first thing he did was take as hostages U.S. diplomats, regarded by the Islamic fundamentalists as the enemy after what the Shah had done to the country. This is called blowback. Our government makes horrendous choices and years later they come back to haunt us.

The Ayatollah was a degenerate and his hostage takers were deserved to be shot. But lets not excuse our government's role in this mess.

As for your opinions, Attila, didn't Carter's successor give the Ayatollah arms and weapons?

Posted by: Jack at January 20, 2006 1:04 PM

Its also called rationalization, an activity critics of US foreign policy allow vis-a-vis attacks and aggression against the US, but do not allow regarding US policy choices. That democratically elected Iranian g'vt in 1953 was threatening nationalization of its energy supplies and playing footsie w/ the Soviets. Cold War policy choices have had some unintended consequences and I'm not necessarily going to defend the 1953 CIA backed coup in Iran, but there was a certain logic behind it. So, its as responsible to say that Iranian politicians of the 1950s who decided to get in bed w/ the USSR were culpable for the 1979 mess as it is to say that the CIA was. Its less satisfying to the "we deserve it" crowd, of course, but its no less true.

Posted by: seamus at January 20, 2006 1:18 PM

I never said we deserved the hostage crisis. The right has a real problem with any effort to link our past crimes with current events. We overthrew the Iranian government in 1953 because it was nationalizing its oil resources; that was Iran's right as it was Iran's oil. Mobil and Exxon cannot dictate our foreign policy. There was as much logic to our role in the 1953 coup as there would be logic to Iran's involvment in the overthrow of the U.S. government for, say, heavily regulating the auto industry or some other industry in which Iran has an interest.

Posted by: Jack at January 20, 2006 1:23 PM

I'm having trouble posting for "questionable content." What's this?

Posted by: Mike at January 20, 2006 1:32 PM

Testing to see what terms are questionable:

Allende. Chavez. Ahmadinejad.

Posted by: Mike at January 20, 2006 1:35 PM


I can't post the word "S--ialist"?

Posted by: Mike at January 20, 2006 1:35 PM

Seamus & Jack-

I agree with both of your points. It's a touch-and-go issue when it comes to analyzing geopolitics thru a distant lens.

But this notion that -- in a vacuum -- Mosaddeq deserved to be overthrown because he wanted to nationalize his own nation's oil fields is weak. That's a similar rationale for our coup against Allende. Maybe he was a s--ialist and maybe he was inept. But he was also elected.

There are lessons to be learned here as regards Chavez and Ahmedinejad too, by the way.

Posted by: Mike at January 20, 2006 1:36 PM


re 1953, sort of. The CIA-sponsored coup was as at least as much about Iran's proximity, politically and geographically, to the USSR as it was about nationalization. Energy companies, then as now, have no less an influence on US policy decisions than any other resourceful, interested concern. See Chavez's Venezuela now; Sadat's Egypt then.

As to the conservative notion unironically adopted by 21st century liberals that a government has the absolute right to do as it pleases w/ such national resources as exist w/ in its borders, it shows that the left's judgment in cherry-picking its opposition's ideas is no better than it is in forming its own.

Posted by: seamus at January 20, 2006 1:47 PM

Mike - Apparently not, and I'm not sure why. I got a comment bounced for that once myself, and it's my blog. Must be John Ashcroft's fault.

What's the point of bringing up 1953, if not as an effort to shift blame away from the hostage-takers?

To speak of Chavez and Ahmadenijad as "elected" heads of state is to make a mockery of the term. The Iranians only permit the candidacy of guys who are already on the same page as the mullahs. And Chavez' roving goon squads weren't going to permit him to lose that election (not that that stopped Jimmy Carter from blessing the thing).

On the merits, I agree that while nationalizing industries is a violation of various types of international law, in the end it's just property, and not worth going to war over or overthrowing a government over (though it can be a sign of greater depradations to follow). But I continue to object to the effort to apply post-1989 concepts of proper conduct in foreign policy to the Cold War. There were, in fact, things we had to do, and allies we had to have, to take on the USSR that we would not and should not tolerate if considered today.

Posted by: The Crank at January 20, 2006 2:11 PM

Crank, Seamus-

I loathe Ahmadenijad (I'm American, I'm Jewish, I'm a secularist -- do I need more reasons?). Despise him with not one, but two, capital "D"s. And while I don't hate Chavez as much as some, I'm no fan of Fidel, so I won't cry to see him go.

I also recognize the manner in which Iran's election choices are limited by the Supreme Counsel. It's absurd.

But it's not in America's interests right now to waste lives, resources and money to go to war with either of these nations, nor is it worth it to interfere, engineer a coup, etc.

Whether one thinks Mosaddeq should have been removed or not, to ignore any link between '53 and '79 is to willfully skip some of the causal links. The Ayatollah, the hostage-takers, and the Revolutionary Counsel (or whatever they're called) were, and are, scoundrels. But the Shah and SAVIK were scoundrels too. And we put em there.

That's why I "agreed" with both Seamus and Jack: it's a complicated issue, unlike Afghanistan '01 or Chile '73 where we were clearly right & wrong, respectively.

Posted by: Mike at January 20, 2006 3:32 PM

The Olympic committee throwing out baseball, and making love to Soccer, is all I need to know about this international hatred for red blooded America. Yasir Arafat before he died held a Soccer tournament where each team was named after Suicide Bombers, no one gives a crap. The London subway Bombers were Soccer players, no one gives a crap.

Screw the international melding pot of recess activities. If a Frenchman cannot catch, throw or hit a baseball, it only makes me happier we are not like them. America did not become the most powerful nation on earth, because we wanted to be like them. Drug Test Artists for a change, and watch their ideology fall off the wall in every public school in America. I liked the Cartoons.

Posted by: Apple Pie at February 10, 2006 10:48 AM
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