Thursday, June 18, 2009

Iran Christmas (1979)

hostages in Iran (1979) Dry Bones cartoon - .
Today's Golden Oldie is from 1979.

I did this cartoon thirty years ago.
The Islamic Revolution had just taken place. Iranian students had taken to the streets to demonstrate ...and then, on November 4, 1979 the "Muslim Student Followers of the Imam's Line", invaded the U.S. embassy compound and seized its staff. 63 American diplomats and three other American citizens had been taken hostage. At the time that I did this cartoon they had been held for almost two months. It was December 1979, the month that the Ayatollah Khomeini became "Supreme Leader" of Iran. Incredibly, then-President Jimmy Carter chose to do nothing. It was Christmas, in the cartoon I mocked Carter's Christmas message to the hostages. Carter's appeasement earned him the disdain of those he sought to appease. The Iranians released the hostages minutes after Ronald Regan took the oath of office (having squashed Carter's try for a second term of office).

* * *

Thirty years have now slipped by. Iranian students are again demonstrating in the streets. Jimmy Carter is here in the region, still preaching appeasement. The leader of the Islamist students who grabbed the American Embassy back in 1979, is today, apparently, Iranian President Ahmadinejad. And I'm still drawing Dry Bones.

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