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When the going gets tough, take some hostages

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Hey, it worked well enough the first time (just ask Jimmy Carter), so the Iranians have started taking Americans hostage again:
Rarely have so many journalists, politicians and commentators so totally missed a headline. There are now five American hostages in Iran. Each case has been largely treated by itself, almost as if it were an oddity, something requiring a special explanation, instead of another piece in a luminously clear pattern whose meaning should be intuitively obvious to us all.
Of course, the first time around was an act of war rather than the current petty thuggery, but unfortunately we had history's worst American President in office at the time.