Knowing the Signposts does change one’s perspectives in many ways.
So former President Jimmy Carter recently announced his cancer has spread. Of course it is a serious and sad time when anyone has a diagnosis like this, and we all hope that a person knows the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Savior, especially when in this situation.
But seeing this story reminds me that President Carter was not just the 39th President of the United States. The United States, that one country founded by its people who were based in Biblical Christianity, is the one country most involved in supporting the Four Signposts.
It was Carter who was the authorizer of the Persian ram; the man who listened to his counsel and allowed the Persian ram to come into existence, the ram with the one long horn.
I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. (Daniel 8:3, NIV)
The following is from the Wikipedia article titled “Iranian Revolution”:
The Carter Administration increasingly became locked in a debate about continued support for the monarchy. As early as November, ambassador William Sullivan sent a telegram to Carter (the “Thinking the Unthinkable” telegram). The telegram effectively declared his belief that the Shah would not survive the protests, and that the US should consider withdrawing its support for his government and persuading the monarch to abdicate. The United States would then help assemble a coalition of pro-Western military officers, middle class professionals, and moderate clergy, with Khomeini installed as a Gandhi-like spiritual leader.
The telegram touched off a vigorous debate in the American cabinet, with some (such as National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski rejecting it outright. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance rejected a military crackdown; he and his supporters believed in the “moderate and progressive” intentions of Khomeini and his circle.
Increasing contact was established with the pro-Khomeini camp. Based on the revolutionaries’ responses, some American officials (especially Ambassador Sullivan) felt that Khomeini was genuinely intent on creating a democracy. According to historian Abbas Milani, this resulted in the United States effectively helping to facilitate Khomeini’s rise to power.
It is interesting to me how two left-leaning, bumbling Democrat Presidents were elected to power following the perceived disasters of two Republican presidencies. The first, Carter, was elected after Nixon and the Watergate scandal permanently scarred the office of the President. The second, Obama, was elected following what was perceived the mistakes of George W. Bush.
The first set up the Persian ram due to its ‘wisdom’ that Khomeini was a moderate. The second may very well be the one to allow the Persian ram to run its course due to its ‘wisdom’ that Iran can be trusted. The years between the two presidents simply allowed the second horn – the IRGC – to grow up longer than the first horn.