You are viewing an obsolete version of the DU website which is no longer supported by the Administrators. Visit The New DU.
Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Reply #28: About the hostage crisis: I heard Carter speak in the early 1990s, and [View All]

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU
Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-25-08 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
28. About the hostage crisis: I heard Carter speak in the early 1990s, and
someone asked him why he hadn't "done more" about the hostages.

His answer was that his advisors on Iranian culture had warned him that the macho "honor" ethos over there requires a person to defy a direct public threat from an adversary or else lose face. So if Carter had said publicly, "Release the hostages or we'll bomb Tehran," the Iranians would have felt that they had no choice but to kill the hostages.

The culturally appropriate way to deal with an Iranian adversary is to negotiate privately on the side through intermediaries. That's what Carter was doing the whole time. (You'll recall that the hostages were finally handed over to the Algerians to be released.) He sent word through back channels, the diplomatic missions of seven foreign countries, that he would order the bombing of Tehran if any of the hostages were harmed. He said it was extremely frustrating to know that the media pundits and much of the public were blaming him for "not doing anything," but he felt that publicizing what he was doing would endanger the hostages.

He noted that all the hostages came home alive.

Carter didn't mention this, but I recalled that one hostage was released early because he started developing strange neurological symptoms. (He turned out to have multiple sclerosis.) I bet the Iranians looked at his symptoms and thought, "What if he has a brain tumor and dies on us?"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC