Terrorists "Saved or Created"

Every time it seems he's said much, much more than enough, Jimmy Carter is back in the news -- this time defending his handling 30 years ago of the Iran hostage crisis. Speaking while on a visit to Thailand, Carter told reporters that when the hostage crisis began in 1979, "My main advisers insisted that I should attack Iran." Carter says he decided not to risk the loss of life (there's no reference in this latest story to the American lives lost in the botched rescue attempt he authorized and then aborted).

The result was the gross humilation of the U.S., as the hostage crisis dragged on for 444 days -- until Ronald Reagan took office. And from those beginnings on Carter's watch came an emboldened Islamic Republic of Iran, a terror-based regime which for 30 years has been brutalizing its own people, setting up global networks of terrorist finance, weaponry and murder, and is now closing on the nuclear bomb. How many lives has this cost already? How many more will this cost in times ahead? There may be no way to assign a precise number, but the answer is definitely "many"  -- including Iranians themselves, among them the five now sentenced to death for their roles in the June pro-democracy demonstrations. As Iran continues to export its message and tactics of terror, possibly soon to be turbo-charged with a nuclear arsenal, the odds keep climbing of devastating tolls to come.  

All of which puts me in mind of what might sound like a non sequitur: The weird formulation put forward by the Obama administration about jobs "saved or created" by the titanic stimulus plan. For the U.S. job market, this has proved a bizarre label. Not only has the U.S. economy on balance been shedding jobs since the $787 billion "stimulus" was zapped into being, but news keeps bubbling up that some of the jobs "saved or created" are listed by the administration as located in congressional districts that don't exist.