Iranian Hostage Crisis on steroidsby Steve Payne & Michael
says: how would the Republicans have handled the Iranian Hostage Crisis
in 1980? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not
necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
January 21, on this day in
1981, a Air Force VC-137 Stratoliner exploded in a ball of flame shortly
after landing at the Rhein-Main Air Base in West Germany. But "Freedom One"
was no ordinary commercial aircraft; onboard were the fifty-two American
hostages who had been held at the Iranian Embassy for the last 444 days.
Also amongst the long list of fatalities was none other than the
thirty-eighth President of the United States, Gerry Ford. Because incoming
President Edward M. Kennedy had sent him as an emissary in order to
welcome the hostages back into US custody.
Kennedy's predecessor was
also a secondary victim of the crisis, albeit an electoral one. The
right-wing of the Republican Party put Ford under acute pressure to take
action. Protestors in Washington were calling for all Iranians to be
expelled from the United States. And so Ford had unwisely authorised two
ill-fated mission to rescue the hostages,
Eagle Claw and shortly before the election,
The first attempt, launched at the nadir of the crisis, ended in
confusion and embarrassment in the desert due to mechanical problems with
the helicopters. And the for the second, which used C130 Hercules
transport planes modified with ricket assisted take-off and landing was an
unmitigated disaster of the first magnititude. The personal bitterness
caused by that second desperate attempt had been so acute, that the
hostage-takers had decided to draw Ford into crisis at an even more
personal level; in fact, they planned to kill him. Click
to watch documentary.
Back in Washigton, outgoing CIA Director George HW Bush (who sponsored
both operations) was in the business of bringing to justice the criminals
who had booby-trapped "Freedom One". And finding out precisely how the
hostage-takers found out that Kennedy planned to send Ford to meet the
hostages in Germany. High on the list of suspects was an Iranian student
by the name of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
says this post is based on an original idea by Michael Knight.
Other contemporary crises
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
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Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting