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Boston Globe finds another terrorist to whitewash

Earlier this week, it was announced that former Iranian president Mohammed Khatami would be speaking at Harvard this Sunday evening -- just a few hours before the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Somehow, he wrangled a US visa to come into this country.

When he heard about it, Massachusetts' Republican governor (and erstwhile 2008 presidential candidate) Mitt Romney was not pleased. His innate Mormon sense of decorum kept him from expressing his unhappiness in traditional language, but he made his feelings quite clear: Mr. Khatami was not a welcome guest of the state. To properly punctuate this, he said that the Massachusetts State Police would not be providing Khatami with an honor guard during his visit. (His security is being handled by the State Department and the Secret Service.)

This garnered Romney quite a bit of praise from some quarters, criticism from others. Some said he was grandstanding, making a play for publicity over the whole mess. And Boston's mayor, The Honorable Thomas M. "Mumbles" Menino, said that the Boston police would step up and take the troopers' place. (Or at least that's what was reported he said. As he's not the clearest of public speakers, Menino might have been announcing a new pooper-scooper law or saying something nice about his mother.)

This morning, the Boston Globe (never a fan of Romney's) lambasted him for his move. They mentioned Khatami's attempts to reform and liberalize Iran (which failed miserably) and how he was among the first to offer his sympathies (I think "crocodile tears" applies here) after the 9/11 attacks, in rather chiding and condescending tones.

In that spirit, I find I must wonder if the Boston Globe really remembers much about Khatami's time in power. During that time, and since:

  • Iran continued forward on its nuclear weapons program, with Khatami pronouncing it Iran's right to develop and possess nuclear weapons
  • Iran continued and expanded its support for Hezbollah and its proxy war with Israel, with Khatami announcing "we love Hezbollah"
  • Khatami praised an Iranian judo fighter who refused a match with an Israeli athlete at the Olympics
  • Iran continued its brutal "justice," including killing teenage girls for being "willful" and executing women who claimed to have been raped, but could not provide the four witnesses that Iranian law requires (a false accusation of rape is considered a confession of adultery or fornication, capital offenses)

To the Boston Globe (owned by the New York Times, remember), those matters are trumped by Khatami's most important credential: he doesn't like President Bush. That single shining virtue trumps a whole host of other sins.


Comments (20)

Jay Tea,The assump... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea,

The assumptions you make of Iran- what are they based on? Have you ever been there?
Or it's just one of those things- where a few supremisits look down on a certain race?
I have experienced such supremisits and racists in real life also. Who say- oh that country- you must be roaming on camels - oh that country do you still have elephants- oh that country how big is your cave.
You don't have a monopoly on science- so we will not and should not give a damn of what you or anybody else thinks about us not having Nuclear power.
Japan produces electricity from what? It is Nuclear. I feel even now we are bending our knees to the wrong force of America- why should we bend down when we are doing everything legally? (unlike Israel and even America who has so many nuclear bombs- why the hell does it need so many? )
Afraid Aliens will eat up Bush? Tell your ex-druggie president to start thinking with his feet on the ground.

Too much is too much. Killing children and then speaking of justice and freedom. It is not how most Americans are thankfully. Most of them hate him thankfully. Most Americans care about life.

MU, got take a hike, the co... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

MU, got take a hike, the color of the sky in your world ain't matching what everyone else is seeing.

Iran started the islamofachist movement when Kohmaini came back from Fwance in the 70's.
Iran held Americans hostage for 444 days and only released tham when Ronald Reagan becam president.
Iran is using Hesbolah as a proxy to attack Isreal.

Spouting democrat party talking points that were discredited two elections ago ain't gonna work here bubba.

Romney was right to reject spending taxpayer money providing protection to a thug like him.
The mayor of Boston is a tool that has BDS and is willing to toss cash at anything that will get him mentioned in the press.

I see the pieceful muslims ... (Below threshold)
mikem:

I see the pieceful muslims have beheaded a reporter. And threatening more, of course, for dissing the religion of tolerance.
How are those gunpoint recruiting drives going?
What a lovely people, these Iranians and their brothers in blood. We should definitely respect them more, now that we understand the price to be paid.
Romney has class and courage. I just might vote him into the White House.

Shame on the Globe, but it ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Shame on the Globe, but it is perfectly acceptable for Condi to grant Khatami a visa. It is not like the administration is appeasing a known terrorist supporter or something?

"...(and erstwhile 2008 pre... (Below threshold)
dinaui:

"...(and erstwhile 2008 presidential candidate) Mitt Romney..."

Romney's dropped out of the presidential race? When did this happen?

MU,Seriously, do y... (Below threshold)
Big D:

MU,

Seriously, do you do any of your own thinking, or do you merely regurgitate what you see on Al Jeezera?

Let's see. Assumptions about Iran. Well they support terrorists. Right up front about it. But you know, they focus in their support on terrorists that kill Jews, so I guess that is all right. And they want nuclear weapons. Hmmm. They probably just have some public works projects in mind. Oh, and they like missiles. But we shouldn't be too concerned. If they launch a missile at us, well, I'm sure they will just fill it with candy and gifts. And they believe in the coming apocalypse, were the west will be destroyed. Could that have something to do with the nukes and the missiles?...nah.

"You don't have a monopoly on science." Yep. Sure don't. So what has Iran invented lately? hmmm... Nothing. Not a thing. How odd.

I seem to remember that the world said it was fine for Iran to build a nuclear power plant and do research, just not enrichment which could be used to build a nuclear weapon. Offered lots on incentives. Iran said no. But I'm sure they have some big peaceful science project planned around enrichment.

"Killing children and then speaking of justice and freedom." That would be Iran you are referring to? No? Are they not supplying rockets to Hezbollah to fire indiscriminately into civilian areas? Right, those are Jewish civilians they are killing, so that doesn't count. But are they not supplying explosives to Shia militias to plant in Sunni areas, killing innocent civilians? Bit hard to explain that one.

Come to think of it, there was that whole thing about using children to clear minefields during the Iran/Iraq war...In a campaign called "Sacrifice a Child for the Imam," every family that lost a child on the battlefield was offered interest-free credit and other generous benefits. So they love their children...so much they would send them to heaven for an interest -free loan.

Can't really comment on Kha... (Below threshold)
barefoot:

Can't really comment on Khatami, don't know enough about him. However, Gmac, you are a government shill, and here's why:

1. Islamo-fascism is a self-contradictory term, and if you don't understand that, you don't know what fascism means. Islamic theocracies intend to set up fundamentalist governments "ruled by god's will". Fascist goverments are completely secular oligarchies that are typified by the consolidation of state and corporate power (e.g., 1940s Germany and Italy). The US goverment is closer to fascism, by definition, than Iran. Saying Islamo-fascism makes a person sound like an idiot, because it makes no sense. So it's no suprise to hear it come out of Bush's mouth on a regular basis.

2. Iran didn't release the hostages because Reagan became president; it released them because it felt like it, it was coincidental, and any historian will tell you that. Reagan had nothing to do with it (how could he, he wasn't president yet?).

3. Sure, Hezbollah acts as a proxy for Iran. And Israel acts as aproxy for the US--they certainly killed a lot of Lebanese civilians with US-made cluster bombs, didn't they?

If people would actually start thinking instead of just parroting anything they hear on 24-hour news, this country would be a much better place. Here's a newsflash for anyone reading: the US government is lying to you. Daily. And it uses the media to do it.

I remember a joke going aro... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

I remember a joke going around in January before Reagan took office:

What's flat, black and smoking?

Iran after January 22nd.

Your number 2 point is wrong.

I'm sorry, but the sight of... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

I'm sorry, but the sight of the neoconservative shitheads who -- as a block, as a movement, as a unit, in my view -- broke the law in order to sell weapons to Iran (to fund torture and terrorism in Nicaragua; this leopard will never change its spots!) are now whining because Khatami, the guy who tried to modernize and democritize that country, is speaking in Boston.

You people supported Saddam, and you know you did, just as you supported bin Laden (and protected his family members from the most casual interrogation after 9/11) -- a "freedom fighter," in Reagan's words -- and now you're telling us that there's something wrong with this moderate Muslim politician.

Shit. Go stuff yourselves, and git the fuck out of politics while we still have a country.

mikem,Right. Only... (Below threshold)
Robert:

mikem,

Right. Only Muslims are bad people.

Re: the guy in Maine who allegedly killed and butchered 4 people this weekend, what religion/ culture is in his background?

Just curious, because I know how important that is when discussing bad people's motives.

MU, You keep saying ... (Below threshold)

MU,
You keep saying "we" in your statement and from that I gather you are Iranian? Or maybe "were Iranian" if your suckling from the teat of plenty in the USA. Interestingly enough your site lists a dozen or so contributors, which one are you?

My wife is of Persian descent and my inlaws (stuanch Republicans who fled Iran during the "Islamic Revolution") think the current Iranian regime is insane and will only bring additional pain and suffering to the people there.

You do not speak for all Persians.

You really crack me up trolling for traffic off wizbang too, take your da'wah elsewhere.

Don't forget the fact that ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Don't forget the fact that arguably the biggest supporters of terrorism directed at the US (as opposed to Israel, though they support that too) are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, who we support.

The outrage over Khatami's visit on the right reveals their total lack of interest in reform or Democracy in the Muslim world. They simply hate Iran and Iranians, whether they are liberal reformers or apocalyptic demagogues. Or they just love a good war.

But let's look at Jay's "analysis":

* Iran continued forward on its nuclear weapons program, with Khatami pronouncing it Iran's right to develop and possess nuclear weapons

Khatami has said Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy, not weapons. He has explicitly said they don't need nuclear weapons. Believe him or not, you are lying when you claim he said that.

* Iran continued and expanded its support for Hezbollah and its proxy war with Israel, with Khatami announcing "we love Hezbollah"

Could you back this up with something? From what I've read, financial support from the Iranian government decreased after Khatami took office. And did you not notice that during Khatami's presidency the attacks on Israel from Hezbollah decreased significantly from previous years, and were for the most part directed at Israeli military and not civilians?

* Khatami praised an Iranian judo fighter who refused a match with an Israeli athlete at the Olympics

Eh. So what?

* Iran continued its brutal "justice," including killing teenage girls for being "willful" and executing women who claimed to have been raped, but could not provide the four witnesses that Iranian law requires (a false accusation of rape is considered a confession of adultery or fornication, capital offenses)

It's clear here and in previous posts that you know next to nothing about the structure of Iran's government. The President has zero influence on the judiciary and could not possibly have stopped these kinds of rulings.

It's also interesting to note that Khatami and his cabinet were frequently attacked by Islamists in Iran during his presidency. His interior minister was impeached for insulting Islamic values, the same people tried to impeach his culture minister for the same offense, his reformist adviser Saeed Hajjarian was almost assassinated for advocating reform, his election and governmental reforms were shot down by the Guardian Council (who really run Iran, not the President), and reformist newspapers which supported Khatami were shuttered by the judiciary (run by the Guardian Council).

Khatami rejected the idea of a clash of civilization, favored detente and diplomacy in international conflicts and affairs, recognizes the holocaust unlike his successor. And does it not register with you that the ideologues who support terrorism, the hardliners who resist democratic reform in Iran all opposed Khatami? That he had popular support amongst those who desire freedom and democracy? Isn't that what we want for the region? Or do we only want war?

Khatami, while flawed, was the best hope for reform in Iran in decades and the actions of Guardian Council against his reforms and reelection were a tragedy for Persians, for the Middle East, and for us. We should welcome this man, engage him in dialogue, and publicly shun Ahmadinejad if he really visits, showing that we value reformers in the Middle East over hardliners. Kudos to the Bush Administration for allowing his visit, and shame on Romney for not having any diplomatic sense. He would make an awful president.

Some of you talk about Khat... (Below threshold)

Some of you talk about Khatami like he was Iran's biggest hope for normalizing relations with the west and bringing Iran into the new millenium when he was no such thing.

Wow, so women didn't get put in jail as often if they let a lock of hair slip from under the hijab. More than two years into his presidency unemployment was at 30% - unchanged from when he was first elected. Public executions, torture, stoning and arbitrary arrests remained unchanged. Support of terror groups remained unchanged. Nothing changed but slight goodwill gestures and brave talk about "reform".

If you want to judge the man and find him to be moderate, then you're judging from his rhetoric - not his actions. Don't forget that his father was a dear friend and supporter of Khomeini.

What is "moderate" anyway? When the rule of law is unthinkably harsh then a little sweet talk seems heaven sent, huh? Only problem is - that and $15.95 will get you a large coffee at Starbucks.

He's coming here to reinforce the guilt ridden leftists with talk about the evils of the US and how he would have done so much more if only we too would hate Israel and blah, blah, blah and the leftists will lap it up and talk about what a "moderate" he is.

Denying that is just willful ignorance.

"For every complex and diff... (Below threshold)
NavyHelo:

"For every complex and difficult problem, there is a simple solution, which is usually wrong".

To those contributors to this thread, who have clarified the challenge of dealing with Iran by supplying thoughtful facts, thank you!

For those of you who just want to hurl insults, I say, the future for us and our kids is too important to be left to knee-jerk solutions by uninformed "citizens".

The Iran that I am familiar with, is going to respond to US threats with every tool at their disposal. Their people are well-educated and sophisticated. There are many threads of opinion in their society, as to how to deal with the US and the powerful theocracy in Iran.

They also have a strong sense of their thousands of years of cultural heritage and bitter memories of the US-lead coup in the 1950s that replaced a democratically-elected leader with the Shah.

Do the readers here think that Khatemi is of the same ilk as the current president of Iran? Should we not see if he can be useful in our dealings with this powerhouse of the Middle-east?

Cheers

Gee Robert, I don't know. I... (Below threshold)
mikem:

Gee Robert, I don't know. I don't know because the murderers you want to damn other religions with don't cite their religion as an excuse, indeed a reason, to behead people and brag about in videos.
But hey, keep putting guns to people's heads and your bound to get some sincere followers. Talk about having a lousy product to sell. Even drug dealers have a more honorable approach to recruitment.
But hey, keep the faith, 007!

mikem,How's that l... (Below threshold)
Robert:

mikem,

How's that literacy program treating you?

Go back on this site and look at the accusations against the mentally ill guy in SF last week who ran down people in his SUV.
Where did he say he ran them down because he's a Muslim?

Ridiculous.
A bunch of morons who have been trained to fear anyone who isn't named "Smith".

But don't worry Mikey. You just keep siding with the scaredy cat racists.

007 (Shantytown)


While there were those that... (Below threshold)
epador:

While there were those that warned about things to come when the big K came back from France to Iran, I remember a lot of folks talking him up with arguements eerily similar to the ones supporting little K above.

Those of you that want to live the pipe dream that happy elves and fuzzy bunnies can win the GWOT through appeasement and accomodation may or may not wake up to the series of unfortunate events that are destined to continue until some time after we meet this menace head on.

Too many Mr. Poes still out there...

Shame on the Globe, but ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Shame on the Globe, but it is perfectly acceptable for Condi to grant Khatami a visa. It is not like the administration is appeasing a known terrorist supporter or something?

Nobody is defending the State Dept for this screw-up.

1. Islamo-fascism is a self-contradictory term, and if you don't understand that, you don't know what fascism means. Islamic theocracies intend to set up fundamentalist governments "ruled by god's will". Fascist goverments are completely secular oligarchies that are typified by the consolidation of state and corporate power (e.g., 1940s Germany and Italy). The US goverment is closer to fascism, by definition, than Iran. Saying Islamo-fascism makes a person sound like an idiot, because it makes no sense. So it's no suprise to hear it come out of Bush's mouth on a regular basis.

From dictionary.com:

Fascism: 1) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Wow, it's SO unlike the ME despots.

2. Iran didn't release the hostages because Reagan became president; it released them because it felt like it, it was coincidental, and any historian will tell you that. Reagan had nothing to do with it (how could he, he wasn't president yet?).

Well, they released them when Carter left because they hated Carter and were afraid of an attack. They figured Carter wouldn't do anything but didn't know about Reagan.

3. Sure, Hezbollah acts as a proxy for Iran. And Israel acts as aproxy for the US--they certainly killed a lot of Lebanese civilians with US-made cluster bombs, didn't they?

Since Hezbollah terrorists don't wear uniforms, how are you able to tell the difference between "civilian" and "fighter"?

I'm sorry, but the sight of the neoconservative shitheads who -- as a block, as a movement, as a unit, in my view -- broke the law in order to sell weapons to Iran (to fund torture and terrorism in Nicaragua; this leopard will never change its spots!) are now whining because Khatami, the guy who tried to modernize and democritize that country, is speaking in Boston.

Jesus, is there any despot the left won't cozy up to if he doesn't like Bush.

Khatami tried to modernize Iran? Jesus, get a clue. He was President BECAUSE THE MULLAHS ALLOWED IT. He CLEARLY was no threat to the order because he was allowed to run at all.

As for Nicaragua, you might want to re-visit history a little bit there, Sparky.

(1)You people supported Saddam, and you know you did, (2) just as you supported bin Laden (and protected his family members from the most casual interrogation after 9/11) -- (3) a "freedom fighter," in Reagan's words -- and now you're telling us that there's something wrong with this moderate Muslim politician.

1) He was better than the alternative. Our goal was for both sides to wipe one another out.

2) Which is, of course, an outright and sheer lie. The 9/11 Commission shot that one down. And who made the call for them to fly away?

Why, Richard Clarke.

3) Well, you clearly don't know a thing about the Afghan/Russian war.

To make it simple, there were 2 groups of fighters against Russian. One group were Afghan nationals.

We supported them.

The other group were Islamists funded by Saudi Arabia.

OBL was in that group.

OBL has said more than a few times he didn't and would have never taken a dime from us. No evidence exists that a dime was given to OBL.

I know this won't stop you from repeating the lie. But this is 100% factual reality and you will ignore it to remain in your fantasy world.

The outrage over Khatami's visit on the right reveals their total lack of interest in reform or Democracy in the Muslim world. They simply hate Iran and Iranians, whether they are liberal reformers or apocalyptic demagogues.

Khatami was just a big a tool as Pres. Bob of Iran is right now.

The mullahs decide who runs. Several hundred candidates were disqualified when Khatamio won.

They were disqualified for a REASON. Because they might have ACTUALLY tried to change anything.

What we are now seeing is that if you mouth liberal platitudes, your actions become irrelevant. As long as you "sound" like a liberal, no leftie is going to give a damn if you actually do anything they support.

Could you back this up with something? From what I've read, financial support from the Iranian government decreased after Khatami took office.

They were the world's largest financial supporter of terrorism during his entire tenure.

It's also interesting to note that Khatami and his cabinet were frequently attacked by Islamists in Iran during his presidency. His interior minister was impeached for insulting Islamic values, the same people tried to impeach his culture minister for the same offense, his reformist adviser Saeed Hajjarian was almost assassinated for advocating reform, his election and governmental reforms were shot down by the Guardian Council (who really run Iran, not the President), and reformist newspapers which supported Khatami were shuttered by the judiciary (run by the Guardian Council).

...yet nothing was done to Khatami.

Weird.

Khatami rejected the idea of a clash of civilization, favored detente and diplomacy in international conflicts and affairs, recognizes the holocaust unlike his successor. And does it not register with you that the ideologues who support terrorism, the hardliners who resist democratic reform in Iran all opposed Khatami? That he had popular support amongst those who desire freedom and democracy? Isn't that what we want for the region? Or do we only want war?

Except that is an outright lie.

The mullahs have total power to say who can run.

They said he can run.

BECAUSE HE WAS THEIR LAP DOG.

He just conned the moronic press and the lefties who just can't wait to find another loathesome form of humanity to cuddle up to after Communism fell.

Do the readers here think that Khatemi is of the same ilk as the current president of Iran?

Yes. He is the same damned person. The only difference is that he mouthed liberal platitudes --- a trick Pres. Bob of Iran has finally learned to do.
-=Mike

Praise the prophet. He was ... (Below threshold)
mikem:

Praise the prophet. He was such a holy man, he waited until his wife turned 11 years old before he "blessed" the little child with his sagging flesh.
Surely the founder of Islam was a wise and holy man.

The hostages were released ... (Below threshold)
Robert:

The hostages were released on Reagan's inaugural day because Reagan cut a deal with them.

Reagan cutting deals with terrorists?
Big shocker!!




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