Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
In his October 16 column in The Washington Examiner, James Carafano claimed that in his private journal, "Reagan expressed what it took to deal with the mullahs of Iran -- and playing nice was not it" before going on to attack President Obama over his record on Iran. This follows Fox guest and former CIA operative Wayne Simmons similarly invoking Reagan on Fox & Friends last week to bash Obama's handling of Iran.
Yet when Reagan was in office, and in the years immediately following, he was implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal, which involved secretly selling weapons to Iran.
From Carafano's column:
"In Tehran, the Iranians arrested an American press man," Ronald Reagan recorded in his presidential diary on Feb. 1, 1987. "Took his passport, accused him of being Zionist spy & threw him in jail. He's a Roman Catholic. I'm ready to kidnap the Khomeini."
In these, his private thoughts, Reagan expressed what it took to deal with the mullahs of Iran -- and playing nice was not it.
Iran has been listed as a state sponsor of terrorism since the mid-1980s. Evidence that Tehran is avidly pursuing nuclear weapons has been piling up since 2002.
And when allied forces brought down Saddam Hussein, the Iranians promptly established a pipeline to funnel powerful improvised explosive devices into Iraq, specifically for killing American soldiers.
Yet, President Obama entered office intent on "engaging" this hateful government. When Green Revolution's cries for freedom echoed in the streets of Tehran, Obama turned a deaf ear. Instead, his administration downplayed Iran's blatant human rights abuses.
The United States needs a new missile defense mantra: comprehensive-and-immediate. Playing nice with Tehran has played out badly for the United States.