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BRUCE: Confusing an Iranian terrorist with a diplomat
Obama, Kerry may issue a U.N. visa to a Tehran hostage-taker
Question of the Day
As a sign that we have officially entered the Twilight Zone phase of the Obama administration, the State Department is actually finding it difficult to say whether or not it will issue a visa for Iran's newly appointed "envoy" to the United Nations, a man who also happens to be widely recognized as a terrorist.
This new envoy for Iran, Hamid Aboutalebi, has admitted being involved with the terrorist group that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 52 diplomats hostage for 444 days in 1979-1980.
We have a policy barring terrorists from being granted visas, and yet in responding to the outrage engendered by the revelation that Mr. Aboutalebi played a role in that obscene act, the most the State Department could muster was a whimper that the situation "troubled" them and that they "object" to it.
That's sort of like how the Obama administration is troubled by, and objects to, chemical weapons in Syria, Russia's taking of Crimea, the Taliban killing, well, everyone, al Qaeda taking over large swaths of Iraq, and North Korea shooting at South Korea.
At this rate of being unable or unwilling to perform, I'm beginning to think President Obama and the men on Capitol Hill are suffering from a chronic case of Low T.
According to ABC, when asked specifically if it would issue the visa for the Iranian envoy-terrorist to live and work in New York, the State Department refused to say how it would handle the situation, noting the United States was "obligated to admit the chosen representatives of member states to U.N. headquarters in New York."
Really? I'm sure Pakistan is kicking itself right now. They could have saved themselves so much trouble if they simply named Osama bin Laden as their U.N. ambassador.
But this is Iran we're talking about — a nation that is still holding several Americans hostages, including a pastor, Saeed Abedini, an Idaho resident who converted from Islam to Christianity and was in Iran to open an orphanage. He was summarily arrested while on a bus and dragged off to prison for his Christian faith.
When Iran isn't kidnapping Americans and supporting terrorism worldwide, it manages to squeeze in threatening to wipe Israel off the map, as it not-so-clandestinely builds a nuclear bomb program to do just that.
Yet when the American president seems none too interested in capturing and punishing the killers of American diplomats in Benghazi, perhaps the Iranians have understandably assessed this as a favorable time in America for their ilk.
There are a multitude of reasons to ban every single Iranian government official and representative from the soil of the United States. In fact, civilization has a duty to reject and punish states who kill their own citizens in broad daylight simply because they dare to protest.
Mr. Obama did nothing in the summer of 2009 when the Iranian regime was shooting students in the streets of Tehran. (Remember Neda?) To this day, he remains strangely solicitous to that monstrous regime.
Taking a principled stand supporting the American people and our values in the international arena has never been Mr. Obama's strong suit. Instead, his playbook is jammed with bowing to leaders of other nations, complaining about the American people on foreign stages, apologizing to other countries for our nation's history and laughing while shaking the hands of avowed enemies of this country.
Is it possible this Democratic administration will go so far as allowing a hostage-taking terrorist to enter the United States to assume a "diplomatic" position? I think so, unless there's enough pushback from the American people.
With Mr. Obama's history, we certainly can't rely on common sense and decency determining his administration's position on this issue or any other that requires principles rooted in love and respect for our great nation and her people.
After Bloomberg first reported the news of Mr. Aboutalebi's involvement in the Iranian hostage crisis this past weekend, bipartisan opposition quickly mounted in the Senate against allowing Mr. Aboutalebi to enter the United State, and the former Iranian hostages are also speaking up. The Christian Science Monitor reported this comment from Tom Lankford, the hostages' lead attorney:
"At a time when the 52 American hostages and their families remain without reparations and relief, the idea that one of their self-styled kidnappers and torturers would be allowed to receive a visa, enter the United States and then hold himself out at the rank of U.N. ambassador makes a mockery of the horrific acts he and Iran perpetrated.
"It is yet another slap in the face of the brave Americans who were mentally and physically abused for 444 days. The president, the secretary of state and the Congress should not permit this to happen."
Indeed. But don't worry, the State Department seems to be toughening up when it comes to whom we let into the country. As they're struggling with what to do about a visa for a terrorist, we know for sure that British TV chef Nigella Lawson isn't getting anywhere near American soil.
The Daily Mail out of London reports she is now barred from the U.S. because of past drug use, and was recently forbidden to board a flight at London Heathrow Airport to New York.
Too bad. If Ms. Lawson had just taken a bunch of American hostages and threatened to annihilate Israel, she would have had a lovely flight.
Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, New York Times best-selling author and Fox News political contributor.
About the Author
Opinion Columnist — Tammy Bruce, an Independent Conservative, is a radio talk-show host, New York Times’ bestselling author, blogger, Fox News’ on-air political contributor and a columnist at The Washington Times. Ms. Bruce served as president of the Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and worked on several political campaigns as well. Her nationally syndicated talk ...
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