Tehran Embassy: Like 1979 All Over Again
by JAMES DELINGPOLE
November 30, 2011
Students (probably linked to the Bassij militia) occupying the British embassy in Tehran, Iran yesterday, while police stood by and did nothing. Sound familiar?
One of the news stories I remember most vividly as a teenager was President Carter's botched rescue attempt of the hostages taken by Iran's Revolutionary Guard from the Tehran embassy. What stuck in my mind were the photographs of the charred corpses of the rescue crews in their burned-out helicopters. These photographs had, of course, been eagerly sanctioned by the Iranian regime as part of its gloating propaganda message to the US and its allies: "Suck on this, Great Satan!"
Those were not happy times for those us who believed, in proper Andrew Roberts fashion, that the world has never been a better place than when run according to the enlightened values of the two great Anglosphere Empires – first Britain's, then America's. Here was that bulwark of freedom and Western civilisation America being utterly humiliated by the vicious zealots of an Islamofascist theocracy. Rather sooner than most of us had expected, the US was already experiencing its Suez moment.
And now it's happening all over again. OK, so this time the Embassy in question is Britain's not America's. But the similarities are more significant than the differences. What is happening now is happening for a very particular reason: because the West has lost its authority in the Middle East. By attempting to appease it it has shown the weakness which the Islamic world despises and which it is now exploiting with vicious glee.
The rot set in, of course, with President Obama's infamous Cairo Surrender Monkey speech, in which, inter alia, he apologised for the crusades, pandered to the Islamist notion of the Ummah, referred to the 9/11 killers not as "terrorists" but "violent extremists", and gave the strong impression that it really wasn't any of America's business which crazed Islamist theocracies run by ravening lunatics hell bent on destroying the State of Israel had nuclear weapons and which ones didn't. Gee, thanks for that one, Barack. I'm sure the terrified British embassy staff, whatever has become of them, will sleep much more easily in their beds tonight remembering just how caring and healing your Muslim outreach programme is.
But let's not pretend that David Cameron is much better. In the Spectator this week I've written about the terrible damage he and his party have done to the cause of conservatism by jettisoning all the real conservatives with real conservative values from their party:
‘If we throw a few of our own off the back of the sledge to feed the ravening wolves, maybe they won’t come after us quite so hard.’ But of course those wolves will. It’s what wolves do.
This is exactly what has happened as a result of Cameron's craven attempts to distance himself from the only functioning democracy (and loyal Western ally) in the Middle East, Israel. It has earned Britain not more respect in the eyes of Israel's enemies, but less, for it shows very clearly that there are moral principles which Britain no longer considers inviolate.
Let's not forget how the Iranian hostage siege finally ended: within moments of Ronald Reagan taking office the Iranians caved in. Was this because Reagan had promised Iran special concessions to sweeten the deal? Nope. Was it because Reagan promised – just as Obama's chief administrator at NASA more less confessed the other day – that the purpose of America's space administration would be from henceforward to spread peace and lurve throughout the Ummah? Nope.
Was it because the Iranians sensed in the Gipper the kind of "strong horse" leader with whom it would be foolish to mess? You bet. There's a lesson in there somewhere, Obama and Cameron.