Thursday, September 07, 2006

Former Iranian President in US

Wow. Remember, this guy - the most moderate President Iran has ever had, who won two terms in office - was the guy ol' Dubya called out when he uttered the words 'Axis of Evil.' The Beard wasn't elected until after that particular speech.

I think it is a shame that he is facing such a cold reception, and it speaks volumes of the affect of bellicose discourse in this country, and the misunderstanding of history I was speaking of earlier. I especially think so since his message is one of dialouge and reasonability over saber rattling (and has been for some time). I remember reading plenty in the late 90's regarding Iran's thawing attitudes towards the West, all coinciding with this guy's Presidency. He had many reforms blocked by the Mullahs during his time in office and rolled back by the Beard in the last few years.

Was he a saint, leading Iran to a perfect diplomatic place with the West? No. But you don't have to look very far to see the striking comparison between Khatami and 'the Beard.'

Who would you feel safer with, leading Iran?


Fishplate said...

Who would you feel safer with, leading Iran?

Does this mean they've adopted Western-style democracy, with a choice of the lesser of two evils?

Patrick Armstrong said...

Keep in mind that Iran's version of Democracy is one of wild differences in power. Over there they have a Parliament (that has very little power) a Presidency (that has a little bit more) and a Supreme Islamic Council (a lot of power).

It would kind of be like the US Supreme Court controlling the Departments of Defense, Justice & Homeland Security, with Chief Justice Roberts as 'Supreme Leader.'

Frightening thought, that.

But Khatami was not the 'lesser of two evils' IMHO. Rather, he was the culmination of the first real reform movement in Iran.

Though tunnel vision boneheads like Mitt Romney may call him a 'terrorist,' Khatami represents the kind of leadership we should like to see in the Middle East.

The hard line Iranian right wingers (who the Beard represent) are wildly unhappy with Khatami's visit and his opinions.

The lesser of two evils? Not so much. More like "you don't know what you've got till its gone."