September 07, 2006

Charm Offensive


From The Boston Herald: Furor at Harvard: Khatami visit part of anti-Israel tilt? by Brett Arends.

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.

"I've been getting e-mails and calls from alumni and students from all parts of the world," university rabbi Hirschy Zrachi said yesterday. "People are shocked and offended. This man has no place speaking at a place like Harvard."

He added: "It is unfortunate that some people don't have the moral compass to condemn evil."

Students within the university are organizing a demonstration against Khatami for when he arrives.

Ruth Wisse, Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature, noted: "The most preposterous part of the invitation is the subject on which he is allowed to speak." That subject: "The Ethics of Tolerance in the Age of Violence."

From The Boston Globe: Harvard dean stands by Khatami invitation. (via Little Green Footballs)

The dean of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government yesterday defended the decision to invite Mohammad Khatami to speak on the eve of Sept. 11, saying the United States needs dialogue with its enemies.

From Front Page Magazine: Khatami's Academic Enablers by Joseph Puder.

Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government welcomed former Iranian President Muhammad Khatami last week. The current Iranian government led by its anti-Semitic, Holocaust-denying president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has sent Khatami on a “charm offensive” to neutralize America’s resolve to seek sanctions against Iran. ...

Cognizant of the deceptive “charm offensive” by Iran’s theocrats, U.S. Representative Brad Sherman, D-CA, appealed to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to deny Khatami a visa to the U.S. In his letter to rice Sherman pointed out, “ A visit by the so-called reformist president would no doubt be utilized for maximum propaganda benefit by the Iranian government in the current standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.” Sherman added:

Khatami was president of a country labeled the number one state sponsor of terrorism by the State Department every year during his presidency…Khatami showed no interest in curtailing his country’s support for terrorism during his tenure as president, and certainly has not shown any now. He was and is a strong proponent of Iranian government material support for such terrorist organizations as Hezbollah, HAMAS, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Terrorist activity, including providing material support for terrorist organizations, is grounds for denying a visa.

From The American Thinker: Welcome to the Land of the Great Satan, Smiling Mullah by Amil Imani. (via Iran Press News)

1. Thousands of dissident students, intellectuals and journalists were systematically arrested, imprisoned and tortured for the sole crime of speaking up against the repressive rule of the mullahs. Many are still languishing in prisons, some have died, and some have simply vanished with no records of what happened to them.

2. During this turbaned fascist’s watch, many students’ lives were extinguished for daring to express their opposition to the stone-age regime. Shamelessly, during the 9 July of 1999 students demonstration, for instance, this man called the Tehran university students “A bunch of hooligans,” while his storm-trooper hooligans, with police support, brutally attacked students in their dormitories throwing some students out of the windows of the dorm’s third floor. Now, he is welcomed at Harvard University to lecture its “hooligans” and faculty on practicing tolerance.

3. Arrested dissidents were denied the due process of law. Those who were granted perfunctory hearings before receiving the guilty verdict were not allowed legal counsel. The few who were granted legal counsel saw even their attorneys imprisoned for defending them.

4. Prisoners of conscience were routinely tortured to extract confessions about the crimes they did not commit. Some of the victims were permanently incapacitated while others died under the brutal torture.

Meanwhile, what has Khatami had to say so far? From AP via The Register-Guard: Khatami uses visit to bash Bush.

Regime Change Iran has more. Also see our Khatami post from Monday.

UPDATE I -- Sept. 8: From NewsMax: Torture Victims Blast Khatami Visit by Kenneth Timmerman. (via Iran Press News)

As a backdrop to the new Brownback bill, former Iranian political prisoners and their relatives gave grisly testimony Thursday of torture under the regime of former president Mohammad Khatami, who is currently visiting the United States.

They were introduced by Reza Pahlavi, son of the former shah of Iran, who called the meeting "an unprecedented gathering" and applauded his compatriots for setting aside partisan political differences to work together to "liberate" their country from clerical rule.

He blasted Khatami "who for eight years personally forwarded the agenda of the regime that has inspired, funded, directed, and sponsored militancy internationally and suppression at home."

UPDATE II: Satire on Khatami vist The People's Cube: "If he's good enough for Chavez, he's good enough for Harvard!"

UPDATE III -- Sept. 9: From the Ayn Rand Institute: Khatami's Harvard Visit Is a Disgrace by Yaron Brook.

For [Kkhatami] to lecture Americans on ethics and non-violence is as obscene as a child molester instructing his victims on the importance of respecting individual rights.

Harvard defended Khatami’s visit, claiming we must have an “open dialogue” with Iran and allow for a “free exchange of ideas.” But there can be no “free exchange of ideas” between a killer and those he seeks to kill--or between a brutal dictatorship and the free nation it seeks to annihilate.

Let’s stop appeasing Iran and make it clear that those who threaten the United States will not receive an “open dialogue,” but swift destruction.

UPDATE IV: The Boston Globe prints letters to the editor where one can see the "let's have a dialouge with those who want to kill us" mentality. Fortunately you'll also see a letter from Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, who says in part:

ROMNEY'S COMMENTS about Khatami's visit to Massachusetts were entirely apt. It was outrageously offensive of the US State Department to extend an invitation to such a criminal against humanity. Apparently Foggy Bottom's appeasement of archaic religious zealots, while wronging a distinct majority of Iranians fighting for a secular and peaceful Iran, is its trendy version of democracy.

UPDATE V -- Sept. 10: On the occassion of Khatami's visit today to Boston, from The Boston Herald: Time to send message to Iran by Jules Crittenden.

UPDATE VI: From The Boston Herald: Former Iranian President denies all on feel-good tour by Jessica Fargen. (Hat tip Jules Crittenden)

Posted by Forkum at September 7, 2006 03:19 PM