Iran: Outrage and Ineptitude

United States Congress — February 15, 1979

The Mossadegh Project | May 3, 2021                       

Congressional Record of the United States of America

1979: Republican Congressmen blast President Jimmy Carter for his handling of the revolution in Iran and the imperiled American hostages held there, and the ramifications for U.S. national security.

February 15, 1979


(Mr. MICHEL asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.) [Robert H. Michel (R-IL), House Minority Whip]

Illinois Republican Senator Robert H. Michel (1923 – 2017) Mr. MICHEL. Mr. Speaker, on the last day of 1977, President Carter toasted the Shah of Iran at a New Year’s Eve celebration. The President praised the Shah’s “great leadership,” called Iran “an island of stability,” and referred to the “respect and admiration and love which our people give to you.”

Little more than 13 months have passed since the President spoke those words. The Shah has fled from Iran and a new, anti-American government is now in power. Everywhere I go the questions come fast and furiously. What gives—where is this administration taking us?

The administration’s handling of foreign affairs is so inept, so incompetent, so totally lacking in consistency or direction that it has now become dangerous to our national security.


(Mr. SCHULZE asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.) [Richard T. Schulze (R-PA)]

Pennsylvania Republican Senator Richard T. Schulze (1929 - ) Mr. SCHULZE. Mr. Speaker, I feel a deep sense of outrage at the events which took place at the American Embassy in Iran yesterday. The inept handling of this situation from the first rumblings of revolution to the sacking of our Embassy is a severe, personal blow to the American people.

Congress and the American people are experiencing a combination of consternation and outrage over this latest indignity. We have every right to know why this situation has been permitted to deteriorate, and why our Government failed to prepare itself for these contingencies. I ask Mr. Speaker:

Why was our Embassy in Iran not more heavily guarded in view of the threat which has obviously existed for several months?

Where were our Marine reinforcements?

What was happened to our expensive intelligence-gathering apparatus?

This “Valentines Day Massacre” touches me, personally, with the cold-blooded wounding of Sergeant Kraus of Lansdale, Pa., after being ordered to surrender by the Ambassador. [Kenneth Kraus, U.S. Marine guarding the Embassy] Sergeant Kraus was disarmed, knocked to the ground, and shot at point-blank range with his own weapon.

How can we ask young Americans, like Sergeant Kraus, to serve our country without support and with indecisive leadership? How many more young men, like Sergeant Kraus, will be sacrificed on the altar of the administration’s inept foreign policy?

IRAN PROTESTS 2022: Woman, Life, Freedom
IRAN PROTESTS 2022: Woman, Life, Freedom


Related links:

Crisis In Iran Boost For Carter | The Post-Star, Dec. 12, 1979

Crying For Blood | The Afro American on Iran (Dec. 8, 1979)

House Panel Spreads Blame For Spook Goof | Jan. 25, 1979 (UPI)

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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