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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hollywood Oscar Night - And Spotlight on President Jimmy Carter Shines Bright

President James "Jimmy" Carter, was the 39th leader of our nation, but his legacy is forever linked to his thwarted re-election to the White House in 1980, caused by the Iranian hostage crises.  Many  unfairly portrayed Carter as being ineffective during this crises, but "Argo" the movie helps to set the real history straight.

As the nation's oldest living past president, Carter may have survived long enough to fulfill the proverbial "what goes around comes around" in history.  Tonight's annually anticipated Academy Awards, or the "Oscars", will highlight the film "Argo", and may turn a spotlight to Jimmy Carter's valiant efforts to save the hostages lives - and, indeed, all of them did come home.  "Argo" the movie is a "goes around" proverbial validation of President Carter's challenging times.  Historians can't really blame President Carter for the entire Iranian crises, but he was determined to bring those hostages home, unharmed, regardless of who caused the problems in the first place.  According to events explained in "Argo", the Iranian events leading up the crises resulted from years of a dictator Shah, who received safe haven in the USA during his end of life illness. This humanitarian act led to the turmoil that reigned terror over our nation, causing violence in Iran, while captured American embassy hostages lived in daily threat of execution.

But, 6 Americans who worked in the Tehran embassy immigration managed to escape into the chaotic streets, when the other employees were seized and terrorized

President Carter's popularity during this international crises eroded badly as a result of the precarious state of the hostages. While the focus was justifiably on their fate, the other, less told story, was about 6 who managed, by a miracle, to escape and take refuge in the sympathetic Canadian Ambassador's home, in Tehran.

Now, Ben Affleck's film "Argo", about the historic humanitarian rescue of the 6, finally sheds a realistic spotlight back on Carter's administration, providing a more balanced view of the President's overwhelming challenges during 1979-80, during the 444 day reign of terror.  In a turn around of history for President Carter, during his lifetime, "Argo" might win the Oscar for best film of the year, in spite of fantastic competition from productions like the spectacular Spielberg's "Lincoln" (because of an amazingly accurate, eerily retrospective doppelganger, performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as our 16th martyred President.)

Regardless of what film finally receives the Oscar, "Argo" is, nevertheless, a well deserved and appropriate gift to those who lived through this tumultuous hostage history. For those who felt President Carter deserved more credit for bringing all the Iranian hostages home alive, including the 6 whose stories are portrayed in Ben Affleck's now classic historic film, we appreciate living long enough, with President Carter and his wife Roslyn,  to know the entire Iranian Hostage incident will be available on film for future generations to study and appreciate.

As a result, Carter will be discussed as being a leader during this crises, rather than "labeled" wrongly as a "weakened" President. In fact,  President Carter deserves an Oscar for leading our nation through this terror, with dignity.

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