I think he might be optimistic. Carter never got a second term.
A nuclear deal between the U.S., Iran and other world powers has been described as a trust-building step after decades of animosity that hopefully will lead to a more comprehensive deal down the road.
But for many of the 66 Americans who were held hostage for 444 days at the start of the Iranian revolution, trusting the regime in Tehran feels like a mistake.
“It’s kind of like Jimmy Carter all over again,” said Clair Cortland Barnes, now retired and living in Leland, N.C., after a career at the CIA and elsewhere. He sees the negotiations now as no more effective than they were in 1979 and 1980, when he and others languished, facing mock executions and other torments.
“And what do we get out of it?” asked Barnes. “A lie saying, ‘We’re not going to make plutonium.’ It’s a win-win for them and it’s a lose-lose for us.”
Retired Air Force Col. Thomas E. Schaefer, 83, called the deal “foolishness.”
“My personal view is, I never found an Iranian leader I can trust,” he said. “I don’t think today it’s any different from when I was there. None of them, I think, can be trusted. Why make an agreement with people you can’t trust?”
Schaefer was a military attache in Iran who was among those held hostage. He now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., with his wife of more than 60 years, Anita, who also takes a dim view of the agreement: “We are probably not very Christian-like when it comes to all this,” she said.
Sgt. Rodney “Rocky” Sickmann, 56, of St. Louis, then a Marine sergeant, remembers clearly being told by his captors that their goal was to use the hostages to humiliate the American government, and he suspects this interim deal is in that vein.
“It just hurts. We negotiated for 444 days and not one time did they agree to anything … and here they beg for us to negotiate and we do,” he said. “It’s hard to swallow. We negotiate with our enemies and stab our allies in the back. That doesn’t seem good.”
It’s not good. But it certainly is Carteresque with no Reagan in sight.