Powerful: First Moments With Hostages After Remarkable IDF Op

by Phil Schneider

Israel still has more than 130 hostages. But recently, the Israel Defense Forces pulled off a dangerous and daring rescue to save two of its hostages. More than 2 months ago, they succeeded in freeing one female Israeli soldier who had been taken into captivity. 

There are very few challenges that are more difficult to overcome than kidnapped citizens. Towards the end of 1979, Iran went through an Islamic revolution. The Ayatollahs took over and quickly transformed the country into a radical Muslim country run by clerics. During the turmoil of the revolution, Iran took fifty two American diplomats and citizens hostage. The crisis continued for more than an entire year. 

Often people asked what Americans were doing in Iran. What they often overlook is that Iran was actually a rather moderate Middle Eastern country that was in the midst of a major shift towards modernization and Western lifestyle. The radical Muslim revolution was largely fueled by masses, even if only a minority, who thought that Iran was becoming less religious.

In the end, the crisis consumed most of Jimmy Carter’s last year of his Presidency and clouded his chances at becoming reelected. Ronald Reagan took full advantage of Jimmy Carter’s image of weakness in confronting the Soviet Union and Iran, and was elected rather handily in 1980. Following the election, on the same exact day that Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President, Iran decided to free the hostages. 

Many claim that Iran did not want to deal with Ronald Reagan. Perhaps that is true. But to this day, it is the same basic idea of taking hostages for political blackmail and terror that is being used today by Iranian proxies. Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon are basically similar ideologically. The fight against terror and especially hostage taking is enormously complex, but the key is to never give in at all or else the blackmail simply begets greater blackmail.   

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