The Khatami Visit
Sep 09, 2006
Vacation Report (Personal)
I'm back from my vacation (fishing trip). I hope that in my absense many of you took the opportunity to read some of the past web logs, along with Pastor Rob's articles. I had a restful time fishing with Doug and Dave. For those interested, we caught seven Northern Pike that were 35 inches or better. I caught the largest at 40 inches.
Former Iranian President Khatami Visits the U.S.
What a stir this has caused. The U.S. government issued a two-week visa to Khatami to attend a U.N. function, along with an Episcopal Church invitation to an interfaith religious dialogue in Washington D.C. He will also be speaking at Harvard University on Sunday.
This visit has made evident some serious disagreements within the White House staff as well. It is clear that not everyone in the administration wants a war with Iran. Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld apparently are the real war-mongers in the administration.
The Inter Press Service News Agency ran an article by Jim Lobe entitled, Neo-Cons Denounce Khatami Visit as "Appeasement", writing,
"Neo-conservatives who see in Iran's nuclear programme and its theocratic regime an existential threat to Israel, as well as an increasingly powerful rival to U.S. power in the Middle East/Gulf region, have been at the forefront--both within the administration (particularly in the offices of Vice President Cheney and Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld) and outside it--of efforts to rally the public behind a policy of confrontation and 'regime change' in Tehran.
"While they have insisted that such a policy is best pursued through political and other forms of support for non-violent opposition forces in Iran, they have also called on the administration to prepare to carry out a pre-emptive attack against Tehran's nuclear facilities before Bush leaves office, if not sooner.
"They have also strongly opposed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's efforts to work with the so-called EU-3--Britain, France, and Germany--to engage Tehran in negotiations designed to impose safeguards on Iran's nuclear programme and denounced as 'appeasement' the State Department's offer earlier this year to talk directly with the regime for the first time since 1979 if it froze its uranium-enrichment programme."
I recall this same conflict with the previous Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who also wanted to tone down the war drums and find peaceful solutions. It will be interesting to watch President Bush and see how he is influenced by the two sides of the dispute.
Zionist Jewish groups are, of course, quite upset with the Khatami visit, because their strategy has long included isolating Iran and demonizing them whenever possible. It is the usual kind of propaganda that precedes war, and it is done in order to rally public opinion and make them emotionally angry at the "enemy." That way, administrations can justify war by saying, "the people made me do it."
So it is no surprise that Khatami's visit was viewed as a threat to this propaganda effort. Khatami would actually put a face on Iran and humanize "the enemy." He might actually say something that would make sense and could bring more balance to the American view of Iran. That would run counter to the war plan. Jim Lobe writes further,
"Neo-conservatives expressed particular concern that Khatami, who first proposed a 'dialogue of civilizations' in 2000, will give Iran a major public-relations boost as the 'friendly face' of the Islamic Republic in contrast to his successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose public threats against Israel and questioning of the Nazi Holocaust has fed their efforts to depict the regime as 'fascist'.
"By granting a visa to (Khatami), the Bush administration handed the Islamic Republic a propaganda coup," stressed Rubin, one of Ledeen's AEI colleagues. '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,' he wrote."
It seems to me that if Khatami wants to talk about tolerance, perhaps we should talk to him about it. The problem is that some people do not want tolerance, because tolerance would undermine their war plans.
What is their reason for wanting war? There are a number of reasons, of course, but they boil down to Iran's opposition to the Israeli state. Even the nuclear debate is about Iran's threat to the Israeli state. Everyone assumes "Israel's right to exist." The U.S. government bases this upon the U.N. resolution in 1947, while the evangelical Christians point to Bible prophecy.
But the Israeli state itself has ignored more resolutions than anyone, while condemning anyone else who ignores U.N. resolutions. For example, the resolution calling for them to return to their pre-1967 borders. One has to question their right to exist based upon the U.N. resolutions. As for Bible prophecy, we have already dealt with that in past web logs. Their right to exist is not based upon Israel, but upon Edom's right to receive restitution for Jacob's offense in Genesis 27. That right to exist is temporary, for it will be revoked after Edom has had full opportunity to prove his unworthiness to possess the birthright.
Khatami is scheduled to speak at Harvard tomorrow on the subject: The Ethics of Tolerance in the Age of Violence. Zionists scoff at this, because they are afraid someone might figure out that the Zionists have been the violent ones in their treatment of Palestinians for the past 60 years. Zionists are trying to keep the cameras focused upon Iran as the sponsor of violence. But the news about Zionist violence cannot be suppressed forever. Nor can it be hidden that Iran's threat of violence is merely a response to Zionist violence of the past 60 years.
Even the Iranian pursuit of nuclear technology--assuming its real purpose is to build nuclear weapons--is only a response to the Israeli nuclear weapons.
The Boston Herald ran an article on Sept. 7 entitled, Furor at Harvard: Khatami visit part of anti-Israel tilt? written by Brett Arends. He writes,
"A furious row has broken out at Harvard over the decision to invite Mohammad Khatami, the pro-Hezbollah former president of Iran, to speak on Sunday. And it has revived growing questions about whether the university itself is falling under the sway of anti-Israel sentiment."
(In the past, it has been under the sway of pro-Israel sentiment. Now the Zionists are worried that they are losing the support of the "liberals" who do not like the human rights violations that the Israelis are perpetrating against the Palestinians.)
"It is only five months since a faculty member there co-authored a research paper that said a pro-Israel conspiracy had hijacked American politics and the media for its own ends. Sample quote: 'Other ethnic lobbies can only dream of having the political muscle that pro-Israel organizations possess.' The paper was praised extravagantly by ex-Klan leader David Duke."
Identifying this opinion with David Duke is, of course, a propaganda ploy in itself and shows the opinion of Brett Arends himself. That comment is totally unnecessary and beside the point.
The real unrecognized war in all of this is the battle for American public opinion. Both sides know that America is the power that can easily tip the scales in the Middle East in this ongoing struggle for the control of Palestine. But now the stakes are higher, for U.S. foreign policy has turned it into a broader war between Islamic and Western civilization. This is the factor that has made the Iranian and American presidents agree on this one thing: We are now fighting World War III.