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Background music of appeasement gave both Obama and Carter murdered diplomats.
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Who were the Ambassador’s kidnappers?
In the early “fog of war” the State Department first said they were “unidentified.” The next day the New York Times was reporting from Pakistan that the kidnappers were something new: “right-wing Moslem terrorists” or “Moslem ‘religious figures.’”
But were they? Answer: No.
In February of 1979 the Government of Afghanistan was in the hands of pro-Soviet Communists — specifically the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan or PDPA. The PDPA, with an assist from the Afghan army, had taken power in a violent 1978 coup d’état. In fact, the Ambassador’s kidnappers proved eventually to be members of a rival Communist faction to the PDPA — the Maoist “Setami Milli.”
The Setami Milli was insisting the PDPA had arrested and was holding its leader, one Badruddin Bahes. The PDPA government, begged by the U.S. Embassy to negotiate for the life of its Ambassador, refused.
What to do? The President was scheduled to leave for Mexico this very morning at eight. An American Ambassador was suddenly a hostage. Tensions rose inside the White House.
The Soviet Union was already on hand in Kabul with “advisers” and, it turned out, had begun to “advise” the Afghan security forces. The Afghan police. The advice? The Afghans were to mount an assault on the hotel room.
Tensions kept rising.
Suddenly, out of the blue, another call came into the State Department Operations Center. And it wasn’t from Afghanistan.
At 2:15 A.M. a U.S. Marine at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran, called to report that, in the words of the Times, there were “crowds converging on the embassy.” There was the possibility of an attack. U.S. Ambassador William H. Sullivan was inside the embassy — and abruptly the Carter White House had not one but two Ambassadors in very real danger. And in Iran, the entire Embassy was vulnerable.
The Marine was put on speakerphone, the sounds from Tehran booming through the Operations Center’s loud speakers. The sound of machine gun fire was suddenly heard — coming from the swarming crowds outside the Embassy gates. At 3 A.M. the line to the American Embassy in Iran went dead.
In the White House, Jimmy Carter was awakened by a 3:00 A.M. phone call from his Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance. Vance, wrote Carter in his diary, had news “concerning a difficulty with our Iranian embassy.”
Twenty minutes later, at 3:20 A.M. word came in from Kabul. The Afghan police, advised by the Soviets, their pro-Soviet government refusing to negotiate with the competing Maoist Setami Milli, had rushed the hotel.
In the cross fire between pro-Soviet Communists and Maoist Communists, Ambassador Dubs was shot to death.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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