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Georgia editorial roundup
Question of the Day
Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:
Savannah (Ga.) Morning News on an Iranian radical’s request for a U.S. visa:
In 1979, Hamid Abutalebi was among the Iranian radicals who illegally seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans for 444 days.
Today, he wants a U.S. visa so he can enter this country and serve as Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations.
This request is an insult to America.
President Obama shouldn’t just deny it. He should send back Abutalebi’s application form in tiny little pieces.
Many younger Americans weren’t alive when Iranian demonstrators burst through the doors at the American embassy and took everyone inside hostage. President Jimmy Carter correctly called these captives “victims of terrorism and anarchy.” Some were beaten and tortured. Others were forced to undergo mock executions or play Russian roulette.
Not surprisingly, Abutalebi argues he was an interpreter and negotiator. Not someone who had a pistol or rifle in his hand.
But there’s no difference between these roles. He was a terrorist who was part of this criminal mob. He has no business in this country.
This week, a bipartisan group of 29 U.S. senators sent Obama a letter, urging that the State Department reject Abutalebi’s request. It includes liberals like Chuck Schumer of New York and conservatives like Ted Cruz of Texas. Georgia senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss have signed it as well. …
Isakson has called on the Senate to approve a bill that would compensate the hostages, who were released shortly after President Reagan took office. Each have received $50 per day, or about $22,000 each, from the U.S. government for their days in captivity. Isakson wants to boost that amount, using a surcharge added to penalties assessed against companies that do business with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.
His bill deserves support. In the meantime, older Americans haven’t forgotten the misery of the hostage crisis and the daily updates on “Nightline.” Iran’s radicalized leaders haven’t done much to change their ways since then either.
None of the hostage-takers are welcome on American soil. They are goons, not diplomats.
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