Just Say No to Khatami
KennethR. Timmerman

FrontPageMagazine.com| August 24, 2006
Talk is cheap. At least, that’s what we are taught to believein a society built not just on action, but on a respect for politicalminorities. But in a society where political minorities areconsidered enemies of the state, and where political discourse istightly controlled, talk carries a far greater weight than it doeshere.
The disgraced former president of Iran, Hojjat-ol eslam MohammadKhatami, wants to speak in Washington, D.C., next month, and theState Department has already indicated it will welcome his visit.
This is pure foolishness of the type Lenin described when he famouslynoted that the capitalists would sell the rope with which theCommunists would hang them.
Although Khatami has not yet formally applied for a visa, his talk atthe Washington National Cathedral next month was approved by theoffice of Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns, according to theWashington Post.
This is the same Nicholas Burns who said last Friday that the UnitedStates would push for United Nations sanctions on Iran if Tehran doesnot accept a U.S.-backed package of incentives aimed at halting itsuranium enrichment and reprocessing activities.
Okay, so this is Washington, where talking out of both sides of themouth is taken as a career-enhancing fashion statement. Still, itdoesn’t require an exceptionally brilliant mind to understandthat the terror masters in Tehran plan to use Khatami’s visitto further their goals, not undermine them.
Former president Khatami is not a private individual, as weunderstand the term. As a senior member of the ruling clerical elite,he can only get an exit permit if the regime determines that his tripsuits their needs. (I personally know other senior members of thisregime who have had their foreign travel plans cancelled by theregime for various reasons).
So for starters, we need to understand that Khatami is coming toWashington as a standard-bearer for this regime. He is thesmiley-face, the beaming turban so beloved by Christian Amanpour andformer Los Angeles Times reporter Robin Wright (now aWashington Postie, but still as wrong as ever).
Indeed, it was Robin Wrong who used these breathless tones to breakthe news of Khatami’s upcoming visit:

Khatami, a former minister of culture once purged by hard-liners, wasa dark-horse presidential candidate in 1997 who led a sweeping upsetthat began a period of freer press, talk of political reform,cultural openings and encouragement of exchanges with the outsideworld. 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 inhorribly brutal fashion Darioush and Parvaneh Forouhar, leaders ofthe Iran Nation’s Party, then the best-organized opposition inIran. The following year, Khatami quashed the student rebellion thatbegan at Tehran University among INP members and sympathizersincluding Marzeporgohar (Iranians for a Secular Republic) and quicklyspread to 18 other cities across Iran.
That was just the beginning of a crackdown on domestic dissent thatoccurred on Khatami’s watch and on his orders.
Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini seized power in a putsch on the nightof Feb. 11-12, 1979, the State Department has been seeking “reformers”and “moderates” in Tehran.
Volumes have been written about these efforts. Some of them werecontained in classified cables, shredded when the U.S. embassy wastaken over by pro-Khomeini “students” in November 1979,and pieced together later on from the shredder sacks byPersian-carpet weavers.
In the beginning, some “moderates” truly opposed Khomeini’sIslamofascist system. Most of them were executed, ¬Ýwoundup in jail, or have spent the rest of lives under house arrest.
But Khatami was never one of them. In 1984, as minister of cultureand Islamic propagation, he presided over the creation of Hezbollah,Iran’s proxy army of terrorists in Lebanon and elsewhere. Hethought that was exactly what the Islamic Republic of Iran needed todo to expand its influence around the world.
As president, Khatami never opposed Iran’s development ofnuclear weapons technology, or long-range ballistic missiles todeliver them. On the contrary, it was on Khatami’s watch thatIran accelerated its once-secret nuclear weapons development, andflouted its success to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Khatami’s top nuclear expert, Hossein Mussavian, explained theruse in an August 12, 2005, interview with Iranian state television,just days after Ahmadinejad took over as president. Ahmadinejadsupporters were arguing that Khatami had made unacceptableconcessions by negotiating with the European Union over Iran’snuclear program. But those critics did “not know that at thatstage – that is, in August 2003 – we needed another yearto complete the Esfahan (UCF) project so it could be operational,”Musavian reminded his viewers. (The Uranium Conversion Facility inEsfahan is where Iran today has processed more than 120 tons ofenrichment feedstock, enough to manufacture between 10 to 20 nuclearweapons.)
“[T] thanks to the negotiations with Europe we gainedanother year, in which we completed (the UCF) in Esfahan,”Mussavian said.
Khatami is being sent to Washington by the regime with a similarpurpose: use happy talk to distract the United States from craftingserious international sanctions that would inflict real pain on thisregime and possibly help spark a home-grown rebellion.
Would Washington have welcomed Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels toaddress the German Bund in 1940?
I don’t think so.
All the more reason why George W. Bush should step up to the plateand Just Say No, because Khatami’is purpose is similar to thatof Joseph Goebbels in spreading Nazi propaganda.
If the State Department allows Khatami to visit Washington, they willcreate a new “paradigm,” a thought-shift in the way theMuslim “street” looks at the United States, Israel, andthe West.
“Peace in our time” – that phrase identified withthe appeasers of Munich who in 1938 negotiated away the sovereigntyof Czechoslovakia and paved the autobahn to Poland. – will fromnow on be associated in the minds of the Islamofacists withWashington, DC and the State Department of Condoleeza Rice.
What can they possibly be smoking at Foggy Bottom to come up with adecision as contrary to the U.S. national interest as this oneclearly is? Or perhaps, they are so cynically short-sighted theyfigure that during the dog days of August, with Congress inpre-election recess, no one will notice.
“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile,” WinstonChurchill said famously, “hoping it will eat him last.”
We cannot afford the luxury of appeasement, when this crocodile’steeth are nuclear.