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Romancing the Mullahs By: Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, August 20, 2007

In the alternative universe inhabited by the radical Left, Iran’s mad mullahs want nothing more than peaceful co-existence with the United States and Israel. Vice President Cheney and Senator Lieberman are the war-mongers, we are told - egged on by the Zionists and the Jewish lobbyists who control the key power centers in Washington, D.C.

You can read an example of this kind of pro-Iranian propaganda in a blog, featured on the August 17th edition of the Left-wing Huffington Post, entitled Cheney, Lieberman and Iran War ConspiracyThe author, Dr. Gareth Porter, is described on his blog as an investigative historian, journalist on U.S. national security policy and frequent writer on Iran and Iraq.

Porter is one of the radical Left’s most prolific commentators who lash out against the Bush Administration’s policy toward the Islamic fanatics running Iran today. His articles appear regularly on Left-wing sites like Huffington Post, American Prospect, Antiwar.com, and TomPaine.com.

Gareth Porter, along with Noam Chomsky, are heroes of the radical Left movement for their long record of denouncing American policies in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, which they say are built on lies and reflect our country’s imperialistic designs to dominate the world with military force. Consistently on the wrong side of history as millions have been liberated from the yoke of oppressive regimes by the sacrifices of the American people, these Leftist idols plow on with their defense of the indefensible. Giving the benefit of the doubt to their own democratically elected leaders rather than some of the world’s worst tyrants is simply not part of their DNA.

Porter’s writings on Iran provide clues to this boneheaded ‘thinking’. For example, in one recent article, Porter claimed that “[D]espite the administration’s complaints that Iran is supporting the Shiite militias who are causing sectarian violence, the United States itself is the quartermaster of the forces of sectarian civil war.”

Our tireless attempts to foster a viable ruling coalition representing the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, operating in a constitutional framework within which they can settle their differences peacefully, floats completely over this radical apologist’s head.

In another article, Porter blamed American reporters for trumping up a story about Iranians killing Americans in Iraq, even though we know that some sophisticated Improvised Explosive Devices used by Iraq’s Shia militants to kill and maim our troops have been traced to Iran.

Porter has also charged that the Bush Administration covered up a major peace overture that Iran made back in 2003, a charge which has seeped into the mainstream press as well. Porter’s charge is based on a copy of an unsigned faxed letter which he recently received. The letter purportedly had been originally relayed from the Iranian government via the Swiss Ambassador to Iran.

Porter and other Bush-bashers claim that the war-mongers in the Bush Administration spurned the Iranian government’s supposed offer of broad concessions to the United States, including cessation of terror and adoption of the Arab peace initiative recognizing Israel under certain conditions, in return for a softening of the US attitude toward Iran. Ever since they first received the letter in 2003, Administration officials have denied the letter’s existence because, Porter says, it would undercut their claims “that Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel and the sponsorship of terrorism in the region.” As far as Porter is concerned the letter proves the Iranians’ peaceful intentions, and contrariwise its rejection by the United States proves our government’s aggressive, militaristic intentions.

Whether this letter is authentic or not is still a mystery. Secretary of State Rice claims that she never saw the letter. The Swiss embassy has reportedly acknowledged privately that Tim Guldimann, the Swiss ambassador who served as the intermediary, was freelancing.

Four Presidents before George Bush have tried the negotiation route with Iran, which ended in failure and humiliation. Negotiations between Iran and the Europeans have also proven fruitless for years. The Iranians simply used these negotiations as a cover to buy time for their uranium enrichment program. So there was no reason to expect an even more ambitious negotiation of a comprehensive peace to have any chance of success – in 2003 or today. In any case, the purported offer contained in the 2003 letter was made by the reformist regime that was subsequently swept out of the government by the arch-conservative mullahs and their hand-picked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has vowed to wipe Israel off the face of the map. That is not a starting point for real negotiations to any rational person.

Nevertheless, let us assume for the moment that Porter is right and the letter is legitimate. If so, the Iranians effectively conceded their influence and involvement with the terrorist groups Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad by offering for negotiation the following:

“1) stop of any material support to Palestinian opposition groups (Hamas, Jihad etc.) from Iranian territory, pressure on these organizations to stop violent action against civilians within borders of 1967.

2) action on Hizbollah to become a mere political organization within Lebanon”

The letter also pledged “Iranian commitment for enhanced action against Al Qaida members in Iran” which can be taken as an admission that Osama bin Laden’s gang was finding refuge there.

Of course, we do not need the letter to substantiate the Iranian regime’s funding, training and harboring of terrorists who serve as their proxies to kill innocent civilians in the name of their fanatical Islamic theology. The proof of their complicity in terrorist acts around the world and in the killing of Americans since the mullahs came to power in 1979 is overwhelming. At long last, the Bush Administration has decided to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, which will allow our government to put more economic pressure on international companies that continue to do business with these thugs and to strike them wherever we find them.

Years before Porter decided to attack his own country for questioning the Iranian theocracy’s good intentions, he had defended one of the worst genocidal regimes in modern times next to Nazi Germany – the Khmer Rouge, which had slaughtered more than a million of their own people in Cambodia after the United States pulled its troops out of the region. He praised the “new revolutionary government” for its food policy and denied that a systematic slaughter of this scale ever took place. In testimony before a Congressional committee as a so-called expert on Southeast Asia at the time, he called reports of such mass slaughter nothing more than a “myth” perpetrated by the authors of a Reader’s Digest book and publicized by Time Magazine. This caused Democratic Congressman Solarz to compare Porter’s denial of the Cambodian genocide to the rants one would expect from a Nazi Holocaust denier.

Perhaps the statement in Porter’s Congressional testimony that reveals the most about the radical Left mindset is the following:

“There has been and will be a price paid in human lives, in hardship and suffering, and in the loss of certain values, in the revolutionary transformation of any society. Cambodia is no exception to that principle.”

Flash forward to today. The Iranian Islamic regime is killing its own people in the largest wave of executions in Iran since 1984 when Ayatollah Khomeini ordered the shooting of thousands of political prisoners. Over the past two months alone, at least 118 people have been executed, including four who were stoned to death. It has been reported that one hundred fifty more people, including five women, are scheduled to be hanged or stoned to death in the near future.

We do not hear a peep from the radical Left about such human rights atrocities committed in the name of Islamic ideology. After all, there is “a price paid in human lives…in the revolutionary transformation of any society.” Indeed, the Iranian regime born in revolution against Western influence is one that Porter and his fellow Leftists appear to trust more than they trust their own government. In their worldview, if it were not for Bush’s refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the Islamic theocracy ruling Iran and his “administration's drive for greater dominance in the Middle East”, everything would be coming up roses in our relationship with Iran.

Denying the realities of mass slaughters committed by Communist totalitarian states and Islamic jihadists, radical Leftists have long been accustomed to believing the best about our enemies and the worst about our democratically elected leaders. To them, revolutionary transformation of societies to some utopian notion of perfection can excuse the blood that must be spilt to achieve the revolutionary goals. They would do well to pay heed to these telling words of Prophet Isaiah, but alas they never will: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; they put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Woe

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