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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Guess Who Is Coming To Dinner ...

Mohammad Khatemi, an Iranian cleric and former Iranian president, has been invited to Harvard to speak,/li> on tolerance in this day and age. But before he leaves, he will have a meeting with none other than Jimmy Carter. Khatami and Iran want to talk, and they set up this meeting with the Carter Center.

Now I seriously doubt I have to remind our readers that Iran is still a recognized enemy of the United states. They have been since 1979. The Asylum now joins a group of growing voices who have a problem with this. People have equated this to FDR allowing Goebbels a chance to spew Nazi propaganda as Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia. That is a good analogy, but it is more like the prelude to the Munich accords, as Hitler continues to spew his hate, right before Neville Chamberlain commits political suicide.

In the case of the past, FDR would not have allowed such a blatant move by an aggressor. And we should not have allowed Khatemi's entrance into the United States, but it has happened. And today, national Review Online conducted a symposium of the sharpest minds regarding Iran. Needless to say, they agree. Here are some "highlights" from that symposium:

Anne Bayefsky
U.S.-Iran policy, spearheaded by Nicholas Burns and Secretary of State Rice, is a train to nowheresville, literally. That’s what the world will look like (starting with the hole in the ground that was once Israel) when Iran has acquired nuclear weapons. Iran has no intention of stopping its nuclear weapons program voluntarily. Only a program of serious consequences, swiftly implemented, in response to its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction will prevent the catastrophe that looms before us.

We know that serious sanctions will not be forthcoming through the U.N. Security Council. China and Russia have made their views on the subject quite clear. But let’s replay the words of Secretary Rice on May 10, 2006. Either Iran can accept a path to a civil nuclear program, she said, or “Iran can defy the international community and face isolation.” And again on May 31, 2006: “It’s a moment of truth for Iran.” Tough talk — but the problem is that nobody takes American huffing and puffing seriously anymore.

Courtesy of the United States, Iranian proxy Hezbollah has just won a U.N. resolution permitting it to regroup and rearm to fight another day. Iran itself has been further emboldened by a resolution that does not even mention Iran, as if the war had nothing to do with it. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has been anointed to administer “peace” between Israel and those who want to annihilate the Jewish state. But Annan thinks those who share that destructive goal — and hail from states having no diplomatic relations with Israel — would make good members of his international “peacekeeping” force. Annan himself is now headed to Iran to further cement U.N. ties with terrorists, after his discussions with Hezbollah ministers in Lebanon. One wonders if he is planning to take in “the Holocaust is a joke” cartoon exhibit now playing in Tehran.

The U.S. visa to former Iranian President Khatami — who wasn’t exactly AWOL during the buildup of Iran’s nuclear program — is not an isolated event. As the pattern of all talk and no action takes hold, this move too will undercut any demand to the international community for immediate, serious sanctions on Iran. If we aren’t prepared to isolate Iran, why should anyone else?

Outstanding points, each one of them. And Ms.Bayefsky is quite correct in the assertion that the world does not buy the "huffing and puffing" of America anymore. Why should they? Everything about this war was tough and nasty when this started. Since then, the president has been caving into his critics more often than not. He is preparing to send aid to Lebanon; aid that will only be used by Hezbollah, be it money or supplies. Anyone remember Somalia and how Aidid "hijacked" UN relief supplies, and doled them out as he saw fit. Anyone think that Hezbollah would do anything less? And money? That will go right back to Iran to purchase more weapons, or be used by Hezbollah to buy arms from the unsavories int he region. Yes, our anger is strong, but evidently it can be overcome by attention deficit disorder; a disease seemingly rampant int he diplomatic community.

Pooya Dayanim
The issuance of a United States visa to Mohammad Khatami, the former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, is an insult to the American people, a slap in the face of Iran’s pro-democracy movement, a mockery of the immigration and antiterrorism laws, and a continuation of the schizophrenic non-policy of the State Department. To see him here, in both New York and Washington, D.C., cities attacked five years ago, will be heartbreaking.

So succinct. Mr. Dayanim hits the nail on the head with one paragraph. He does go on, but this is the literally the money paragraph. It sends precisely the message that is needed to get the diplomat's lack of attention to the danger of Iran. And he is completely correct in his "shaming" of the diplomats for forgetting about not only those people in Iran hoping America will help them, as it did with Afghanistan and Iraq, but also to Americans. Americans' are not stupid people, and the good majority of us know that Iran is a primary sponsor of terrorism in the region. So why on God's green earth would we allow an ally of terrorism into this nation to give any sort of speech? Have we lost our minds?

Michael Ledeen
Giving Khatami prestigious platforms all over America is a dumb move, and it will enormously discourage the Iranian people. For those who believed Bush is serious about regime change, this is a numbing blow. Would FDR have given Goebbels a visa while the Reich was attacking Czechoslovakia?

Whatever the intent, this looks like blatant appeasement and the people in the Middle East will certainly “understand” it that way.

Khatami is very much a member of the clerical fascist regime. He was the empty vessel into which the Iranian people poured their dreams of freedom when they elected him; now he couldn’t win an election for dog catcher. He presided over brutal repression, including the grisly murders of the Forouhars in 1978 and the mass murders and arrests of student demonstrators a year later.

Alas, this confirms my worst fears about this administration. Talk, talk, talk, but when it is time to act, they are still talking. Or rearranging the deck chairs over at the Pentagon in the middle of a war.

There is the famous Geobbels line, and Mr. Ledeen--noted pundit and expert on Middle Eastern affairs--is right to join Ms. Bayefsky in condeming the administration for its "tough talk" stance. However we have seen that the administration is very open to talking. The coming negotiations (if they occur, and Lord knows we hope they do not) are a sign that the president is willing to moderate with an animal equally as dangerous as Hitler ever was. And, in fact, Iran and President Ahmadinejad are more dangerous that the Fuehrer ever was because of the very program in dispute.

Gary Metz
The State Department that calls Hezbollah a terrorist organization granted on Tuesday a visa to the man who presided over the creation of Hezbollah, the former president of the Islamic Republic, Mohammad Khatami.

The smiling Khatami’s so-called “reformist” movement is dead. He promised he would “reform” the government while remaining committed to “the rule of the clerics.” He lost his popular support when his government murdered or jailed its dissidents and proved unable to make even modest reforms. Last year his movement died when Iranians refused to vote any longer for candidates pre-selected by the regime.

Now he is coming to the U.S. for a “dialogue with the West.” But the regime’s very purpose is to replace a world dominated by the U.S. with their version of Islamic justice. He can no more offer an end to Iran’s one sided war with the U.S. than U.S. officials can negotiate away our commitment to freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.

Fortunately, Khatami said Monday that he will not come if he is subjected to the normal fingerprinting of Iranians visiting America. Someone needs to make it clear that the man, who presided over the creation of a terrorist organization that until 9/11 killed more Americans than any other, will at least be fingerprinted. He should be arrested.

The best thing that could happen is for him to be told he will submit to fingerprints, and a 24 hour chaperone. I would prefer he not come to the United States at all. He does not need to come here, and honestly, I would let him know he is not welcome here. If he really wants to communicate with Harvard or Jimmy Carter he can do it via video feed over the Internet. I am offended that the same people connected with Hezbollah--a known and recognized terrorist organization by the nations of the West--is allowed to come here. We are still a sovereign nation, and it is time we start exercising more of that. We are at war, and we need no propagandists from our enemy coming over here to spread it. And on the subject of negotiating things away, that is what this coming election is all about. The Left seems to be more than willing to capitulate, and this issue, along with the negotiations with Iran, show that even our side is willing to do that from time to time. And it is a grave mistake.

Laurent Murawiec
Granting a visa to a prominent representative of an enemy nation while, by its own pronouncements, actions, and its long-standing practice, that nation’s government is at war with us? Whoever issued it clearly assumed that the beneficiary could sway his peers in a direction we desire.

Unfortunately, Khatami was not able to do that even when he nominally was president of Iran. He just gave the impression that he wished to. Our policy cannot be based on impressions gleaned years ago from an ineffectual figurehead. Iran’s nuclear program did not start with Ahmadinejad, but under the “moderate” Rafsanjani, who also called for the nuclear eradication of Israel, just as Khomeini before him. Iran’s nuclear program continued unabated under Khatami. We cannot invent a pseudo-faction of “moderates” amongst the ayatollahs just because some of us would rather look the other way and pretend it is not so. Judgments regarding Iran must be based on the nature of its regime, from Khomeini to today’s Guide Khamenei and Ahmadinejad: the regime of the Islamic Revolution is apocalyptic, millenarian, eschatological. It wishes for the apocalypse that will bring forward the coming of the Mahdi, who will in turn win the great battle with Satan that will extend Allah’s writ to the entire earth. It devoutly believes that the nuclear Holocaust where Israel would perish would hugely advance the timetable of reappearance of the Twelfth Iman, the Mahdi.

This creed overrides reality in the strategic perspective of the regime: Tehran is not an actor rationally working in the national interest of Iran and the Iranians. It is serving its ideological mania. It sacrificed hundreds of thousands of Iran’s children, blown to smithereens as they walked to clear Iraqi minefields, with certificates of good Islamic conduct around their necks — by a regime content to expedite them to Paradise. If they do that to their own kids, what of the rest of the world? The Tehran regime recently gambled with the existence of Lebanon just to test Israel’s defenses.

For years, Tehran has been stringing the diplomats along. With her head on the chopping block, Madame du Barry was begging the executioner to give her one more minute. The diplomats beg. But there are no forces within the Tehran regime with which we can negotiate, and might divert Iran from its course of acquiring nuclear weapons.

And this was a point that we emphasized in the run-up to August 22nd: the apocalyptic day that President Ahmadinejad predicted the Mahdi would return. Nothing happened on that day, but it shows the deep, concerted effort to usher int their own "end times" prophesies. People who govern by such means are unstable and irrational. How are we to negotiate with such people? And Khatemi believes in these things as ferventyl as Ahmadinejad and the mullahs do. He is a believer, and that makes him extremely dangerous. Why? Because he is willing to die for that belief. And ahamdinejad is, as well; his desire goes beyond himself, and goes straight to the people. They will be the one sacrificed in the name of Islam by their insane leaders.

James A. Phillips
It was a major error to issue a visa to former Iranian President Khatami at a time when Iran is defiantly thumbing its nose at the U.S. and the U.N. Security Council regarding its nuclear weapons program. Although Khatami put a softer face on Iran’s blood-soaked revolutionary regime, Iran’s nuclear program flourished during his eight years in power. While calling for a “dialogue of civilizations” Khatami turned a deaf ear to Iranian student reformers who called for long-overdue reforms in Iran but were beaten, imprisoned, and murdered when their peaceful demonstrations were violently crushed in 1999.

Although widely portrayed as a lovable liberal in the Western media, Khatami fully shares the long term goals of Ayatollah Khomeini’s radical revolution. During the recent fighting in Lebanon, he called Hezbollah — the terrorist organization that has killed more Americans than any other group except al Qaeda — “a shining sun that illuminates and warms the hearts of all Muslims and supporters of freedom in the world.”

In addition, while in America, Khatami is slated to attend a fundraising dinner for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a radical Islamist organization that has served as an apologist for Middle Eastern terrorist groups. It is difficult to understand how issuing the visa serves American national interests in confronting Iran’s nuclear program or winning the war on terrorism.

Mr. Phillips wastes no time in reminding readers about Khatemi's culpability in quashing those calling for reform in Iran. In addition, he brings up the fact that Khatemi recently praised Hezbollah. These are hardly the actions of a reformer who was intent on changing how Iran dealt with such things. His reforms--is promises--were as empty as a corrupt politician' promise to change his ways. And there is no doubt in my mind that at the CAIR event his rhetoric will change from someone promoting tolerance and peace to a voice calling for the continued existence of Iran's nuclear program, a call for support for Hezbollah, and a condemnation of the West's--most notably, America's--stance on those supported by Iran. While al-Qaeda did not help in the 9/11 attacks, Kenneth Timmerman's excellent investigative journalism dug up information regarding al-Qaeda's past relations with Iran, and those that presently are continuing. And yet we still saw fit to issue a visa for this man? Again, what was State thinking when they said "yes" to a visa for his visit?

Michael Rubin
By granting a visa to Mohammad Khatami, the Bush administration handed the Islamic Republic a propaganda coup. Journalists will fawn and diplomats celebrate Khatami’s talk of tolerance. They will be complicit in projecting a false image of the regime Khatami still represents.

Khatami’s reality is the inverse of his image. To Western audiences, he speaks of tolerance; in Persian, he urges Iranians to mobilize for war. While he maximized the diplomatic gains by calling for dialogue, he channeled the fruits of engagement to different aims.

He constrains dialogue. While the State Department issued 22,000 visas for Iranians in 1997, the year of the call to dialogue, Khatami reciprocated with only 880 tourist visas for Americans. He showed less tolerance for dialogue among his own constituents. In April 2000, Iranian journalists, speculating on the reason for the government ban on the daily Arya, hinted that the penalty was due to the paper’s mention of a series of hangings of political prisoners in 1988, a time when Khatami was the armed forces’ deputy director of ideological affairs.

Perhaps, the Bush administration felt constrained by international opinion. But why concede? What better time to fight back and remind Europeans that, when dealing with Iran, it is important to focus on deeds rather than words.

Excellent point. That is the crux of this issue, and Europe keeps avoiding that unsavory fact. So do our own diplomats, evidently, otherwise why would the visa had been granted? The talk now is of peace, tolerance, and negotiations. But that is not the talk going on in Iran right now. Iran is on a war-footing right now. They are supplying the native insurgents/terrorists in Iraq with training, munitions, IEDs and other explosives. Their proxy, Hezbollah, just faced down Israel over the course of thirty-four days. They are pursuing the goal of constructing a nuclear weapon. Their actions show anything but peace. The recent actions of the basiji dealing with student dissidents do not translate to tolerance. And the only reason they are willing to negotiate is to buy themselves more time. I thought we learned the lesson of Neville Chamberlain. The more we see right now, it is obvious that we have not, and we are likely to go through another world war before we learn that lesson again.

Rick Santorum
This seems at best foolish and at worst misguided. Mohammed Khatami is one of the chief propagandists of the Islamic Fascist regime. We are offering free speech to a man whose government was called "the greatest predator of free press in the Middle East" by Reporters Without Frontiers. We are welcoming a man who presided over many brutal murders and mass incarceration of people whose only crime was calling for greater freedom.

He has deceived many naïve people into believing that he stands for genuine reform, and that he is a reasonable intellectual with whom productive dialogue is possible. The Iranian people know better. I recently met with a brave student movement leader, Amir Abbas Fakhravar, who had escaped from the Iranian dungeons. His profound wish is that the United States Government be strong, consistent and outspoken about our support of freedom for the Iranian people. Unhappily, this action moves in the opposite direction.

I am opposed to granting a visa to such a man so that he can travel around the United States and mislead the American people. We should insist, at a minimum, that the Iranian people can hear free American voices. Iran is frightened of freedom. They are jamming our radio and television broadcasts, and tearing down television satellite dishes in all the major cities of the country. It seems only fair that we be able to speak to the Iranians suffering under a regime of which Mohammed Khatami is an integral part.

Again, I must agree. Senator Santorum makes a number of good points. The regime over there is indeed afraid of freedom. They know what the outcome of such a concept means. It means they are out of power. The majority of Iranians dislike rule under the mullahs. They are, quite literally, live-in hostages in Iran. Those who tow the line and do not make waves are rewarded; those opposed to such a strict and backwards ideology are punished. And it is not pleasant, especially with Ahmadinejad's own terror squads amidst the basiji. Repressive regime does not even begin to describe Iran. Seventh Century militant theocracy is closer to the point, and reveals the danger of the "republic" to the region, and the world.

And out of all the people who participated, only one person--Amir Taheri--disagreed, and believed he should be allowed to come here. The basis for the idea? It opens him up to public scrutiny. And make no mistake the blogs will be tracking him when he comes to America. The scrutiny he will receive will not be favorable. Every word will be studied. Every sentiment disseminated. As it should be, but it still does not change our opinion that he should not be allowed to come here.

Actions speak louder than words, and the actions of Mohammed Khatemi, and the regime he represents, are those of despots and tyrants; they are the actions of a nation afraid to let even the tiniest speck of Western influence into their land. And it comes from the knowledge that if they do, they will lose face and support amongst their people. The social isolationism of Iran has led them down this path. It has been almost thirty years since the Islamofascists seized power there, and since then nothing has changed. I do not see how anyone in the administration could believe that a couple of kind words and a smile could make people forget his complicity in keeping the Iranian people down.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent blog. A while back I raised concerns about our Secretary of State. What in the world is going on? Rawriter

6:12 AM  

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