All in the Numbers

Going beyond the common functions of mathematics, certain numbers demand attention.  Numbers have an immediate mental and emotional significance such as 3.14 being the value of Pi or 10 for the Ten Commandments, or 1492, or 24 and most significantly 9/11.  Each number has a cultural and historical significance which shouldn't be ignored, but some are, and one that springs to mind is 444.

444 is the number of days Americans were held hostage--prisoner that is--in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran from November 4, 1979 until January 20, 1981.   Most would recognize the fact that entering the embassy grounds of any foreign nation is in essence an act of war. Apparently, President Jimmy Carter was unable to recognize that fact. 

But Jimmy Carter was so very busy that year.  His handling of the domestic side was so adept that inflation at the start of 1979 was 9% and rose to 12% by the end of the year.  And before the end of the Carter Presidency, the Federal Interest Rate would rise to over 20%.   (I've rounded all these figures DOWN).

The Soviets, who Carter thought were reasonable, invaded Afghanistan in December 1979 (and of course the best defense is a good offense and Carter's immediate act was to boycott the 1980 Olympics.  He did set plans in motion to transfer control of the Panama Canal back to Panama, which wasn't to awful bad until Manuel Noriega ends up running that Central American nation, and then had to be removed by Bush the Elder. 

The successful conclusion of the Iranian Revolution in February of 1979 morphed Iran from a secular Monarchy in to an Islamic Republic hostel to the United States as President Carter presided over the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace in Washington, DC, United States, on March 26, 1979.  Being that Israel was no more popular at that time then now, one wonders what Jimmy Carter or anyone in his administration could have been thinking.  The implications of the Israel-Egypt Peace were not even addressed as Jimmy Carter offered the Shah of Iran safe harbor in the American, one month before the storming of the American embassy in Iran.  Simply put every action has a cause and effect, but foresight was not a strong suit with the Carter Administration.

444 days later, the Iran hostage crisis came to a speedy conclusion the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, but the undeclared war begun by Iran's Jihadist government continued and is on going.