Hostages then and now

The government of Iran is holding four American citizens as alleged spies. The charges are absurd. They have roughly as much merit as the charges made by the Iranians in connection with the seizure of the American embassy and the taking of American hostages in 1979 by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his friends.
There is a certain continuity between Iranian policy then and now. In his column today, Mark Steyn discusses three of the American hostages being held by Iran and the silence of the American press about the holding of these American prisoners.
Given the Bush administration’s relative silence over the the continuing outrage committed on American citizens by our Iranian enemy, this is one opportunity to embarrass the Bush administration on which the press has taken a pass. To outward appearances, the Bush administration’s approach to the situation is Carter lite.
Why is the press so uninterested in the fate of America’s captives in Iran? The press does not want to do anything that might interfere with the Democrats’ diplo-speak or that might arouse the American people from their slumber regarding Iran.
If there is a cetain continuity between Iranian policy in 1979 and now, there is also a certain continuity between American policy then and now. On Tuesday the State Department expressed its displeasure with the the mistreatment of two prisoners after footage of them was aired on Iranian television to promote a program to be aired later in the week. What accounts for the relative silence of the American government on a serious issue of national honor?
I am afraid that another column — the one by David Ignatius in today’s Washington Post — indirectly supplies the answer. Based on conversations with “senior officials” of the administration, Ignatius reports that the administration is courting Iran for another conference at which we may supplicate ourselves seeking its assistance regarding Iraq.
It’s all part of the administration’s heavily Bakered “diplomatic push” in the Middle East. Unlike Blanche Dubois, the Bush administration hasn’t always depended on the kindness of strangers in achieving its foreign policy objectives. But it appears to be taking a Blanche-like approach to Iran.
It was Blanche Dubois who observed that “a woman’s charm is fifty percent illusion.” It’s an adage that could easily be adapted to the administration’s “diplomatic push” as well, though we might have to substitute “delusion” for “illusion.”
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