On April 25, 1980, President Jimmy Carter gave a televised address to update the nation on the 52 American hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran. The day before Carterâs speech, U.S. army special forces attempted to rescue them. But the mission failed, and eight U.S. servicemen died in a helicopter crash. President Carter took responsibility and vowed not to give up on the captive Americans.
âThroughout this extraordinarily difficult period, we have pursued and will continue to pursue every possible avenue for the release of the hostages,â Carter said.
The Carter administration faced more opposition than the president knew, though.
The hostage crisis was a key issue in the 1980 presidential election, in which Carter faced a re-election challenge from Republican Ronald Reagan. If the hostages were released before the election, Carter would get a big boost in the polls. (...)
(...) All this is powerful evidence that the Reagan campaign did â as has been alleged for decades â strike a deal with the Iranian government to prevent the hostages from being released. While that has never been proven, whatâs known beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the Reagan campaign was deeply worried that Carter might get the hostages out before November and thereby give a big boost to his prospects.
You might understandably ask: If this actually happened, how could it have been kept secret? Why hasnât anyone with knowledge of it spoken up before? The answer is that it hasnât been kept secret, and many, many people have said it occurred. But most of the people doing so have been foreigners. Barnes is merely the most important American to finally come out and support the story.
The 1980 October Surprise theory has always been plausible on its face. Casey had worked on Richard Nixonâs 1968 presidential campaign (and was later named head of the Securities and Exchange Commission by Nixon). Itâs since been proven that the Nixonâs presidential campaign secretly collaborated with the government of South Vietnam to prevent President Lyndon Johnson from striking a peace deal ending the Vietnam War. The Nixon campaign was concerned that peace would help his opponent in the race, Johnsonâs vice president, Hubert Humphrey. Nixonâs cynicism can be measured by the fact that thanks to his gambit, 20,000 additional American soldiers, plus unknown hundreds of thousands of other people, died as the war continued for many years.
The concept of the October Surprise seems almost benign in comparison. A mere 52 American hostages had been seized by Iranian revolutionaries at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, and all the scheme required was keeping them there for another few months. (...)
Re. the life expectancy charts below, there was also another interesting story this week re. the decline in traditional values - God & country.
pic below didnt copy over correctly - lines are 20%, 40%, 60% and 80% - and relate to patriotism, religion, community involvement, children and money, respectively, from 1998-2023
There was a steep drop off during the pandemic (all are now below 40%, except money), but clearly a downward trend prior to that for the first three. It would appear the âsocial contractâ is coming unsealed. The curtain has been pulled to reveal the wizard as a fraud. We all knew this 30, 40, 50 years ago, but it seems the last decade or so, we are less inclined to be polite about it (manners, another value, were dropped). E.g, 30 or 40 years ago if you were at a party and you overheard a friend or neighbor say something you thought was ridiculous, like humanâs play no role in climate change, you were more apt to ignore for the sake of not creating a fuss (manners), or at the very least engage in a cautious debate. No longer, as people now feel obliged to correct this personâs statementâ¦ignoring manners, increasing discourse, but also disrupting the previously allowed harmony. So when you find yourself not able to even get along with neighbors, friends and family, that leads to questioning values. Unfortunately, I think once moving beyond God, family and country (all challenged by the pandemic, and our politics), most people donât have a grasp of what their values are (other than $). So, they either dig in (conservatives) or look for new, better ways (liberals). Both are fraught with danger and harmful if not done as a group/society. While the pandemic has had a role, this deterioration of values, without implementing a broad, socially acceptable replacement could also be why US life expectancy is falling. We all know how psychology or our mental states play a roll in our physical well being. Anyway, my meandering thoughts...you can ignore as most are apt to.
If thereâs a phrase that (supposedly) defines what U.S. foreign policy is all about these days, itâs âthe need to uphold a rules-based order.â Case in point: a desire to strengthen the current order is one of the main reasons the Biden administration has worked so hard to assemble a set of like-minded nations this week, in the second iteration of its so-called Democracy Summit. One can understand why: Saying the United States is just trying to uphold the rules is politer than saying its goal is to preserve U.S. primacy in perpetuity, weaken China permanently, topple governments it doesnât like, or undermine its other adversaries.
Of course, when U.S. officials say ârules-based order,â they mean the current order, whose rules were mostly made in America. Itâs not the existence of rules per se that they are defending; any order involving modern states must by necessity be rules-based, because the complex interactions of a globalized world cannot be managed without agreed-upon norms and procedures. These norms range from foundational principles (e.g., the idea of sovereign equality) to mundane everyday practices (e.g., the use of English as the standard language for international air traffic control). This raises the question: Which parts of the current order is the United States most eager to defend? Which norms matter most? (...)