Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just Say No to Khatami

Kenneth R. Timmerman,
Talk is cheap. At least, that’s what we are taught to believe in a society built not just on action, but on a respect for political minorities. But in a society where political minorities are considered enemies of the state, and where political discourse is tightly controlled, talk carries a far greater weight than it does here.

The disgraced former president of Iran, Hojjat-ol eslam Mohammad Khatami, wants to speak in Washington, D.C., next month, and the State Department has already indicated it will welcome his visit.

This is pure foolishness of the type Lenin described when he famously noted that the capitalists would sell the rope with which the Communists would hang them. READ MORE

Although Khatami has not yet formally applied for a visa, his talk at the Washington National Cathedral next month was approved by the office of Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, according to the Washington Post.

This is the same Nicholas Burns who said last Friday that the United States would push for United Nations sanctions on Iran if Tehran does not accept a U.S.-backed package of incentives aimed at halting its uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.

Okay, so this is Washington, where talking out of both sides of the mouth is taken as a career-enhancing fashion statement. Still, it doesn’t require an exceptionally brilliant mind to understand that the terror masters in Tehran plan to use Khatami’s visit to further their goals, not undermine them.

Former president Khatami is not a private individual, as we understand the term. As a senior member of the ruling clerical elite, he can only get an exit permit if the regime determines that his trip suits their needs. (I personally know other senior members of this regime who have had their foreign travel plans cancelled by the regime for various reasons).

So for starters, we need to understand that Khatami is coming to Washington as a standard-bearer for this regime. He is the smiley-face, the beaming turban so beloved by Christian Amanpour and former Los Angeles Times reporter Robin Wright (now a Washington Postie, but still as wrong as ever).

Indeed, it was Robin Wrong who used these breathless tones to break the news of Khatami’s upcoming visit:

Khatami, a former minister of culture once purged by hard-liners, was a dark-horse presidential candidate in 1997 who led a sweeping upset that began a period of freer press, talk of political reform, cultural openings and encouragement of exchanges with the outside world. American tourists even returned to Iran.

She forgot a few key events of Khatami’s presidency.

Just one year into his term, his intelligence service murdered in horribly brutal fashion Darioush and Parvaneh Forouhar, leaders of the Iran Nation’s Party, then the best-organized opposition in Iran. The following year, Khatami quashed the student rebellion that began at Tehran University among INP members and sympathizers including Marzeporgohar (Iranians for a Secular Republic) and quickly spread to 18 other cities across Iran.

That was just the beginning of a crackdown on domestic dissent that occurred on Khatami’s watch and on his orders.

Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in a putsch on the night of Feb. 11-12, 1979, the State Department has been seeking “reformersand “moderates” in Tehran.

Volumes have been written about these efforts. Some of them were contained in classified cables, shredded when the U.S. embassy was taken over by pro-Khomeini “students” in November 1979, and pieced together later on from the shredder sacks by Persian-carpet weavers.

In the beginning, some “moderates” truly opposed Khomeini’s Islamofascist system. Most of them were executed, wound up in jail, or have spent the rest of lives under house arrest.

But Khatami was never one of them. In 1984, as minister of culture and Islamic propagation, he presided over the creation of Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy army of terrorists in Lebanon and elsewhere. He thought that was exactly what the Islamic Republic of Iran needed to do to expand its influence around the world.

As president, Khatami never opposed Iran’s development of nuclear weapons technology, or long-range ballistic missiles to deliver them. On the contrary, it was on Khatami’s watch that Iran accelerated its once-secret nuclear weapons development, and flouted its success to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Khatami’s top nuclear expert, Hossein Mussavian, explained the ruse in an August 12, 2005, interview with Iranian state television, just days after Ahmadinejad took over as president. Ahmadinejad supporters were arguing that Khatami had made unacceptable concessions by negotiating with the European Union over Iran’s nuclear program. But those critics did “not know that at that stage – that is, in August 2003 – we needed another year to complete the Esfahan (UCF) project so it could be operational,” Musavian reminded his viewers. (The Uranium Conversion Facility in Esfahan is where Iran today has processed more than 120 tons of enrichment feedstock, enough to manufacture between 10 to 20 nuclear weapons.)

[T] thanks to the negotiations with Europe we gained another year, in which we completed (the UCF) in Esfahan,” Mussavian said.

Khatami is being sent to Washington by the regime with a similar purpose: use happy talk to distract the United States from crafting serious international sanctions that would inflict real pain on this regime and possibly help spark a home-grown rebellion.

Would Washington have welcomed Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels to address the German Bund in 1940?

I don’t think so.

All the more reason why George W. Bush should step up to the plate and Just Say No, because Khatami’is purpose is similar to that of Joseph Goebbels in spreading Nazi propaganda.

If the State Department allows Khatami to visit Washington, they will create a new “paradigm,” a thought-shift in the way the Muslim “street” looks at the United States, Israel, and the West.

Peace in our time– that phrase identified with the appeasers of Munich who in 1938 negotiated away the sovereignty of Czechoslovakia and paved the autobahn to Poland. – will from now on be associated in the minds of the Islamofacists with Washington, DC and the State Department of Condoleeza Rice.

What can they possibly be smoking at Foggy Bottom to come up with a decision as contrary to the U.S. national interest as this one clearly is? Or perhaps, they are so cynically short-sighted they figure that during the dog days of August, with Congress in pre-election recess, no one will notice.

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile,” Winston Churchill said famously, “hoping it will eat him last.”

We cannot afford the luxury of appeasement, when this crocodile’s teeth are nuclear.

Kenneth R. Timmerman is the author of Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear
A must read.