Friday, February 22, 2013

Jimmy Carter sets the record straight on Argo

By Richard K. Barry

Full disclosure is that I'm a dual citizen of Canada and the U.S. I've lived in Toronto for most of the past 30 years but continue to feel a strong allegiance to the country of my birth. Yes, that's right. I am on the political left, don't even live in the U.S. anymore and dearly love America. That must be confusing for some.

We Canadians are getting a bit of a kick out of the new movie Argo which argues that the rescue of American hostages in Iran in 1980 was nearly entirely the work of the CIA - the American CIA. Any school kid in Canada could probably tell you that it was in fact Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador to Iran, and his colleagues who deserve most of the credit.

We've been laughing to ourselves that those crazy Americans will pretty much take credit for any good thing if you give them half a chance.

But don't take our word for it. Jimmy Carter, the U.S. president at the time, has now stated for the record that the movie is a fine bit of fiction.

As he told Piers Morgan on CNN:
Well, let me say first of all, it's a great drama. And I hope it gets the Academy Award for best film because I think it deserves it. The other thing that I would say was that 90 percent of the contributions to the ideas and the consummation of the plan was Canadian. And the movie gives almost full credit to the American CIA. And with that exception, the movie is very good.

Carter then went on to give former Ambassador Taylor much of the credit, as was only right.

On a serious note, the Iranian hostage crisis is fairly recent history and a point of pride for many Canadians, not to mention an example of cooperation between two great allies. Artistic license is one thing, but bullshit is another.

Someone, or some group of people, needs to be ashamed of themselves. But they won't be.

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