Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tom Jefferson and the Tyrant

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

— Thomas Jefferson               


Khatami’s entourageThomas Jefferson must be rolling over in his grave. Last Thursday the Mohammed Khatami Traveling Dog and Pony Show came to the University of Virginia. Today, even as I write, the retired tyrant is visiting Jefferson’s home, Monticello. The management there has very kindly closed the establishment for the whole morning so that Mr. Khatami can have the place all to himself (well, all to himself, his retinue, the press, his bodyguards, and the State Department dogsbodies who accompany him wherever he goes).

The tree of liberty planted on the lawn at Monticello must be thirsty indeed.

Charlottesville is just a ways up the road from us, but Mr. Khatami’s speech at UVA was by invitation only, and under tight security, so I could not report on it in person. I picked up the news of his activities from our local paper, The Daily Progress. Fortunately, they have an online edition, so I can present excerpts from the article without having to transcribe it.

Mr. Khatami surprised his audience by not opposing the American presence in Iraq:

Mohammed Khatami “If you ask if tomorrow America should leave Iraq, I would say no, don’t do it,” Khatami said in response to a question.

Rather, Khatami — who clearly indicated his displeasure with the way the Iraq war has been conducted — said he wanted to see the United States work with other governments to solve the problem. An unstable Iraq would not benefit his country, he said.

“On the one hand, I believe the occupation must end,” said Khatami, Iran’s president from 1997 to 2005. “At the same time, we can’t leave the present Iraqi government in the hands of insurgents and terrorists.”

Now, mind you, Mr. Khatami was speaking in Farsi, and his words were being translated into English. Here’s an alternative translation: We need the great Satan to stay in Iraq until all those Sunni scum have been slaughtered, so that our boy al-Sadr can have the run of the place when the American dunderheads depart.

Here’s another snip:

“Perpetrators of acts of violence would even attempt to alter the message of love and peace asserted by the religions and cultures of the world in order to justify their devastating goals,” he said. “They consider resorting to violence and terror a godly undertaking.”

Do you think he was describing the Iranian regime?

But when later questioned about Iran’s support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, Khatami would not condemn the militia’s violent acts against civilians, and in fact praised the group for “protecting the country” against Israel and other outside armies.

“Hezbollah has great support within Lebanese society,” Khatami said, disputing that Iran — which is widely seen as the group’s patron in the region — was directing its efforts.

“Hezbollah loves Iran, and Iran loves Hezbollah,” he said. “But Iran doesn’t play a dominant role in Hezbollah’s affairs.”

Uh-huh. Now pull the other one.

Khatami’s securityThere were a lot of fellows like this around the Grounds at UVA.

Khatami’s UVa appearance was marked by little advance publicity and heavy security, including a black-clad sniper and lookout posted atop the Rotunda’s dome. Many students who watched Khatami’s caravan of six black Suburbans and state police escorts had no idea who was visiting.

The U.S. Department of State wasn’t taking any chances Thursday when it came to Khatami’s visit. Security personnel surrounded the Rotunda beginning before 10:30 a.m., and those entering were subject to multiple identity checks, followed by searches of all bags by security agents as well as explosives-sniffing dogs.

Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has had the guts to deny Khatami any Massachusetts-based security for his trip to Harvard. Virginia governor Tim Kaine doesn’t have the requisite manly equipment (and is also in the wrong party) to act likewise; Charlottesville police and the state cops were abundant at UVA on Thursday.

But even without state and local protection, Mr. Khatami has plenty of State Department goons to augment his own bodyguards.

It’s a disgrace that our government let this man into the country. He and his successors are up to their clavicles in the blood of innocent people in Israel, Lebanon, and Iraq.

We are in an information war, and we just handed our enemy a major tactical victory. Whenever this tyrant shows up on Iranian TV and Al Jazeerah with a huge escort of American law enforcement in riot gear; whenever our TV anchors report breathlessly on his words as if he were Mahatma Gandhi or Matt Damon; whenever he walks the sovereign soil of the United States of America without being clapped in irons and moved to new accommodations in Gitmo — then our enemy knows we are not to be taken seriously, and that we don’t know who it is that we are fighting.

Mr. Khatami’s visit, however, did not go entirely unprotested:

A small group of students affiliated with conservative groups handed out anti-Khatami leaflets outside the speech. One read: “Khatami can speak freely in the Rotunda … but Iranian students weren’t that lucky when he was president.”

Remember, this is being reported by The Daily Progress (known locally as “The Regress”), a lightweight paper that reports some local news, recycles wire stories, and generally acts as the local hick version of The New York Times.

I don’t know how big the demonstration really was, but we have first-hand evidence that conservative students weren’t the only folks there demonstrating. Yesterday Dymphna ran into an Iranian acquaintance of ours, an expatriate businessman (and American citizen) named Hasan. Hasan is no student, and he’s not particularly conservative — I have heard him rant bitterly against George W. Bush

But Hasan told Dymphna that he had been at the demonstration along with other Iranian-Americans, and was one of the people shouting slogans against Khatami.

“I hate that guy,” he said. “Those people, the mullahs, have ruined the country. They’re like ignorant people from the sticks; they’re from the little villages in the country and they don’t know nothing about anything.”

Hasan went back to Iran recently for a visit, and was appalled by the conditions in his country. He said it was not the kind of place he wanted to take his children to see.

Dymphna asked him what conclusions he had drawn from his visit home.

“It makes me realize the value of freedom,” he said.


Update: Commenter Consul-at-Arms has taken me to task, and rightfully so, for casting aspersions on the State Department employees assigned to Mr. Khatami’s security detail.

My response was as follows:

My frustration and disgust over the policy and politics of the people in the top layers at State led me to defame those people at the lower levels who are just doing their job.

I retract the slur, and pass it on to Armitage and maybe even to Dr. Rice herself, if she approved this farrago
.

21 comments:

Beach Girl said...

Baron, I was recently at Monticello. Took the tour of course and walked the grounds with my little Maltese. It is a sacrilege to have that scum-terrorist-supporter even allowed into the country. But to desecrate Jefferson's home by his presense - the man who towered in his fight for freedom of religion - is outrageous. Several of us are working on a blog, "Screw the UN." Perhaps, first we need to get clear-headed folks in the State Department. Did Condi go with him?

I hope the folks of the Jefferson Foundation wash the place down. Polish the floors. Fumigate it. Outrageous. But then our "leaders" are the same nitwits who let
Chinese Admirals tour Norfolk Navy Base and see our nuclear sub. fleet.

It's like our leaders/elected officials want to get maudlin about 9/11 (instead of kicking b--t) and then rub our faces in "it" by letting this flak in on the 9/11 weekend. And what would one expect from little Timmy Kaine? body-guards and a view of the mountains too.

I am a Virginian too and consider Jefferson's home just about as sacred as we can get.

Starling David Hunter said...

Baron said "It’s a disgrace that our government let this man into the country. He and his successors are up to their clavicles in the blood of innocent people in Israel, Lebanon, and Iraq."

I would add Iran to that list, as well.

Russet Shadows said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Russet Shadows said...

Although Clinton's presence in the Oval office required fumigation when he left, this is worse, for this man waged war against his own people and the U.S. while he was in office. Now someone has the temerity to bring him here? Is this part of the State department's relentess search for the imaginary Moderate Muslim? Methinks so. Condi needs to get out of the State Department before their brainwashing becomes permanent.

Consul-At-Arms said...

"State Department goons"?

Hyperbole notwithstanding, that's a pretty harsh and unfair mis-characterization of the selfless service of Diplomatic Security special agents. For a different perspective on DS folks, see either this (http://www.blackfive.net/main/2005/09/godspeed_steve_.html) or this (http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2005/09/bad-news-travels-fast.html).

Baron Bodissey said...

Consul --

Point taken.

My frustration and disgust over the policy and politics of the people in the top layers at State led me to defame those people at the lower levels who are just doing their job.

I retract the slur, and pass it on to Armitage and maybe even to Dr. Rice herself, if she approved this farrago.

Consul-At-Arms said...

Baron,
Thanks, that was very gracious of you.

A quibble: the Honorable Richard Armitage is no longer with the Department. See here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2006/09/re-tom-jefferson-and-tyrant-and-state.html

Yorkshireminer said...

I in fact would have taken him to a military base and have shown him one of those friendly ugly little wart hogs destroying a mocked up Iranian tank and exposed him to the noise of a squadron of F16s coming out of nowhere and screaming past at supersonic speed just over his head, and explained to him that everyone of they can carry an atomic bomb and as a nice desert I would have taken him to watch the departure of one of the twelve naval battle groups that the American Navy has and tell him that it has more destructive power than all of the bombs dropped in the second world war. I would also mention the fact that it was off to do a bit of patrolling off Iran's coast but of cause its intentions were only peaceful. I am certain that it would make no difference to his lunatic mind set but it might give him pause for thought.

Baron Bodissey said...

Consul --

Well, I'm running about 0-for-2 now, aren't I? I'd better go to bed...

freecyprus said...

Gee. did Trotsky get to speak at University of Virginia? He was a "reform" communist forced out by Stalin wasn't he? Imagine fighting the cold war the same way we're fighting this one..."communism is an ideology of peace, the enemy is stalinism, not communism". We'd all be speaking Russian by now.

Consul-At-Arms said...

Granted, the decision to grant an entry visa to the former Iranian president seems inexplicable. The was not a decision that some low-ranking vice consul undertook on his or her own, but had to get clearance at a very high (highest?) level. The rationale is not known to me, but presumably those with the lawful authority to make the decision did so for reasons which were not capricious and with some larger benefit in mind.

Profitsbeard said...

What was the point of the "sniper" if he couldn't do his job and take out this visiting terrorist member of the "axis of evil"?

We deserve massive casualties for this kind of feckless idiocy, and goddamned if we won't get them.

Courtesy of the same jihadist mentality that Khatami incarnates.

Madness.

From the State Department -which allowed this despotic, vicious clown to enter and pollute our land with his useless specious taqqiya parade- on down to the political and academic morons who played the docile rats to his pied piping.

Stark madness.

As Jefferson said:

"I have sworn, on the altar of God, eternal hostility against all forms of tyranny over the mind of Man."

His damned, dumb descendants in power in D.C. and in Virginia have clearly never read Jefferson's words. Which is why he must be posthumously puking at every footstep that this Iranian despot trods on the hallowed grounds of his beloved home.

(The State Department appears to be morphing into a State Mental Institute.)

Baron Bodissey said...

Consul --

The rationale is not known to me, but presumably those with the lawful authority to make the decision did so for reasons which were not capricious and with some larger benefit in mind.

Consider another possibility.

As has been made evident by the selective leaks that have damaged America's security and our ability to wage this war effectively, there are elements in the permanent bureacracy in the CIA and the State Department that are willing to do harm to their country in order to bring down the current Administration.

I submit that this is what happened in the Khatami case. Someone in the second tier at State could well have issued the invitation (or co-operated with the provate groups that initiated the process), and then left the White House the Hobson's choice of embarrassing itself by withdrawing the invitation, or acceding to it.

It seems to have chosen the latter.

Dan M said...

And Profit, that quote of Jefferson's was carved into the inside of the rotunda, at his Memorial.

And that Memorial was completed during World War II, and I don't think it coincedental that the particular quote selected, spoke to the gravity of the times.

But I was going to call people's attention to that particular quote.

"[E]ternal hostility against ALL forms of tyranny over the mind of man." Just imagine that depth of gravity, and high seriousness. And now, his university, overrun by a plague of lefties, the ciccadias I believe is what Oriana Fallici calls them, and they INVITE a representitive of one of the most dark tyrannies ever to darken the pages of history.

And a tyranny that has sworn, on their blackened altar, "eternal hostility" against this experiment in ordered liberty.

Amazing. It's surreal. Absolutely surreal. And on the 5th anniversary of the greatest act of terror ever.

Starling David Hunter said...

Speculation alert. Hypothetical question coming....Could Khatami have been turned? If so, how valuable might he be?

Profitsbeard said...

dan m.-

Truly.

We are "through the looking glass" ...darkly.

Nothing but Mad Hatters, from Foggy Bottom to UVA, State to Oval Office.

"Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities most monstrous, and, like a ship without a rudder, is the sport of every wind."
-T.J. 1822.

The Age of the Rudderless.

(Except our enemies, who are monomaniacally focused. "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." as the poet put it.)

Conservative Mutant said...

I'll be the contrarian, and say a few words to the good of Khatami. The man is essentially an academic -- he was head of the National Library before his election -- and was pretty severely constrained, both officially by the Majlis and Council of Guardians, and unofficially by intimidation. Remember that two of his ministers were beaten by thugs; both were later impeached, one convicted and the other not; and one of his principal allies was shot in the head by a gunman who was only briefly imprisoned.

I'm sure that Khatami's "dialogue of civilizations" is at best half a loaf, and that if he possessed a genuine executive power over the country, there would still be significant tensions between Iran and the US. But I think it's overreaching to tar him with the actions of the Iranian Government in general, only a small part of which he controlled, and factions of which have menaced him just as they have the rest of the civilized world.

To flip things around a bit, I think the difference between Iran granting Jimmy Carter a visa to come speak there and giving one to George W. Bush would be profound, and we ought to consider this in the same light.

Profitsbeard said...

c. mutant-

Piffle.

Khatami's "loaf" is the moldy bread of a pedophile warlord named Mohammad, maybe with a few dried raisins scattered on top to make it look more palatable, but the meal is poisonous.

He ran a terrorist state.

If he didn't want the condemnation for capitulating to the insane ayatollahs, he should have gone into exile instead of into office.

He failed at whatever mythical "reforms" he may have promised to the continually-delusional people of the prison camp called Iran.

He should have been denied entry into a country that he wishes to see wiped off the face of the earth and converted to a Sharia submission zone.

The hell with that and him.

(Ah, if only Jimmy Caryter would go to Iran, and stay!)

enuff said...

Baron,

I thought this might brighten-up everyone's day: Envoy protests against attack on (Iranian)embassy building in Pretoria

--------Iran's ambassador to South Africa expressed deep sorrow over attack on the embassy building in Pretoria and stressed that the South African government was responsible for safety of foreign diplomats in that country.

Mohammad-Ali Qanezadeh speaking to IRNA on Saturday said according to Vienna Convention all governments have the duty of protection of all foreign diplomats in their territory.

He added the Vienna Convention also stresses on compensation for the damage to the political representatives and foreign diplomats by the host country.

The ambassador said Iran's embassy submitted an official letter of protest to the South African foreign ministry....------

They were robbed of cash.

kidbuck said...

Be as hard as you want on lower level State Department employees. Sucking up to evil is no virtue. As one who has ruined three careers because I refused to employ the "good German" defense, I say they share the guilt fully.
This begs the question: When do we sheep who fail to fully engage this evil become ourselves guilty?

Profitsbeard said...

Khatami, in his speech at the Cathedral in D.C. (as noted over on Little Green Footballs) criticized the West's valuation of "reason" -as the worst 'flaw' promulgated by the Renaissance.

As I quoted Jefferson above:

"Man, once surrending his reason, has no guard against absurdities...".

I guess "Khatami" is the Iranian word for absurd.

(He visits Monticello, first, then condemns "reason"? WTF????)

And soon they will have nukes.

Irrationally, yours...