Help us raise $30,000 to purchase 1000 copies of the Muhammad Asad Translation and Commentary of The Quran. This is an alternative translation of the Quran that will be provided to Western mosques, libraries, Muslim chaplaincies, and student associations. This work resolves many of the errors and oversights of other English translations, one example being women's rights.

Khatami: Holocaust is "Historical Reality"

By Ali Eteraz
Posted on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 08:32:28 AM EST
Tags: iran, holocaust, khatami (all tags)

Clintonian Khatami, former President of Iran, takes the Bushi'ite Ahmedinejad to the toolshed:

TEHRAN - Iran's former reformist president Mohammad Khatami has described the Holocaust as a "historical reality" - a direct attack on his controversial and revisionist successor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"We should speak out if even a single Jew is killed. Don't forget that one of the crimes of Hitler, Nazism and German national socialism was the massacre of innocent people, among them many Jews," the cleric said in comments carried in the Iranian press on Wednesday.

The Holocaust, he asserted, should be recognised "even if this historical reality has been misused and there is enormous pressure on the Palestinian people."

Curious, why is this merely in some minor newspaper?

< Oh Baha'i Where Art Thou | Sunni Traditionalism >


Make a new account


Tags: iran, holocaust, khatami (all tags)
Display: Sort:

planned hatred?(none / 0) (#1)
by cynic librarian on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 09:37:23 AM EST

Ali, Your question is almost rhetorical, if only because the answer seems obvious: there is an effort in the mainstream media to maintain the lie that Iran poses a threat. This follows the neeocon and Xtian-Zionist line, bolstered perhaps by simple ignorance and laziness of the media.

There has been no honest reporting on the non-threat posed by Ahmadinejad. Nothing about his relative place in the power hierarchy of the Iranian ruling class. Little discussion of the warped interpretation put on his comments about Israel and the world map. Nor has there been discussion of Khameinei's fatwa against the use of nuclear weapons and genocide.

All of these issues have been discussed and clarified by Juan Cole at his blog. Khatami is a real hero, though even his name has been dragged through the mud in reference to an attack on jews in South America. I don't know whether these accusations are true, but given the track record of the Zionist propaganda machine in the US, I am inclined to disbelieve them.

Not Laziness - Assault(none / 0) (#3)
by dmz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:08:43 AM EST

There have been attempts by important figures to clarify and bolster US-Iranian talks. Flynt L. Leverett, a former CIA official and advocate for friendly, productive relations with Iran got his OpEd piece to be printed in the New York Times cleared by the CIA but subsequently blocked by the Bush Administration for compromising National security.

Non-sense. I can't believe the puppets that will eat up anything dished out to them about Iran. Makes you wonder. 

Iran wants the US government to formally recognise the legitmacy of Iran as an Islamic Republic. This is something Bush, as a very junior member of the likud party with lots of commitments and constraints, cannot accept. Or his marionettes will not allow it. Not that he has an opinion one way or the other on anything. Bush is afraid of Iran for this reason. 

Sharon tried to soften the likud. Look what it got him.

Good coverage on the slanted politics with Iran here

[ Parent ]

Its always the Zionist...(none / 0) (#17)
by Jordan on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 04:26:35 PM EST

While it is true Ahmadinejad's power in the Iranian government is limited, I think it is absurd to simply dismiss Iranian actions as "Zionists propaganda".

Iran is spending a considerable amount of money arming and training Hezbollah and Hamas, even as tens of millions of Iranians face malnutrition and the rest face crippling inflation.

As far as the Holocaust Denial conference, Nazi Cartoon contest, calls for Israel to be wiped off the map, "Death to America, Death to Israel" mandatory student/army marches, etc... there isn't a secret cabal of Zionists out there forcing Iran to make these statements day after day. They are doing it completely on their own.

Finally, Iran has an insanely large supply of cheap clean natural gas. Everybody knows why Iran is so intent in spending every last resource pursuing Nuclear energy... its not so they can have access to an energy source 10x more expensive than what they use today.

For some reason, it is still easier to believe to there is some type of hidden Zionists conspiracy than to accept the obvious facts on the ground. More fun too.

[ Parent ]
zionist?(none / 0) (#19)
by cynic librarian on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 07:03:06 PM EST

The Tom Koppel special on Iran put to rest that idea that many except the fanatic takes seriously the anti-American jingoism. There's a history there, you remember? The Americans helped overthrow the last truly democratic government Iran had and then installed a puupet who turned dictator and torturer.

I am not one for conspiracies, I must tell you. I have rejected every attempt by others to convince me of this. Yet, seeing the recent lack of discussion of some very basic assumptions about Israel's policies toward the Plaestinians and their actions in Lebanon and with regard to their nuclear weapons, I now believe that there is an innate bias for all things Israeli.

I do believe that this is a combination of intentional propaganda as well as a shared socio-cultural world-view, ir judeo-christian. Still, I think Mearsheimer and Walt have conclusively that the various activities of AIPAC and associated PR arms have restricted policy-making vis a vis Israel. They have created a background of shared understanding that restricts open discussion.

This should not be news to you or others on the list. Israelis themselves have remarked on the fact that issues freely discussed in the Israeli press--which are critical of Israeli policies--are somehow verboten in the US. 

[ Parent ]
Disproportional(none / 0) (#34)
by Jordan on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 04:37:33 PM EST

The Shah was no hero, but the common response I hear from Persians is "hey, at least he was no Ayatollah". Iran made their own choices, its not America's fault Persia turned its back on liberty.

As for America, true Fox News doesn't exactly run Israel through a microscope, but America's diverse and free media routinely put Israel on the front page. And of course, BBC rarely goes a day when they don't run a story showing Israel in an unfavorable light. They cared far more about Palestinians than they did about Bosnia, and that mess was in their own backyard. And did anyone mention Chechnya? That occupation makes the West Bank look like a resort. BBC certainly has a policy that they only care if a Jew or American are involved.

I see it from the exact opposite point of view. I see the world in general obsessing over Israel to the point of absurdity. Its come to the point where "a special session of the UN Human Rights council" should be rephrased "ok, lets for once discuss a country without any Jews in it". 30% of UN's time is spent on Israel condemnation. Lucky Burma!

As for AIPAC, are they any more powerful than the Saudi influence? I don't think there is a presidential library the House of Saudi didn't build.

I am not saying I completely disagree. Yes, America and Israel have a special relationship. But this could be due to a shared value system (capitalism, democracy, security) rather than pressure from AIPAC. (how would AIPAC do that anyways?)

I am not saying Israel is perfect, FAR FROM IT. I am saying that the criticism laid upon them is far from disproportional compared to other hot zones which neither Muslim or Kaffir could care less about. And for Iran, which routinely kicks out and imprisons their own Arab population, to criticize Israel's human rights policy is the definition of irony.

At some point we have to recognize scapegoating for what it is.

[ Parent ]
I don't speak neocon...(none / 0) (#35)
by dmz on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 04:41:36 PM EST

Hi Jordon

Great rhetoric. Can you tell me precisely what this means so I can deconstruct it and send it back to you:

"Iran made their own choices, its not America's fault Persia turned its back on liberty."

[ Parent ]
Their own choice(none / 0) (#38)
by Jordan on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 04:56:45 PM EST

The Islamic revolution was their own choice.

Now they are living with the consequences of a Utopian theocratic regime: opium everywhere, 20% inflation, unemployment, male-supremacy, hopelessness, brain-drain, etc..

Not every problem in this world is due to those evil Zionists and American crusaders. But every problem in this world is nevertheless blamed on them.

[ Parent ]
america and the shah(none / 0) (#43)
by LawrenceofArabia on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 07:48:27 PM EST

to think turning against the shah was turning their back on liberty is simply absurd and shows a pretty vast lack of knowledge concerning the historical conditions leading up to the revolution in '79.  what were they supposed to do turn to liberal democracy?  america as part of its cold war policy had thrown in with the shah, there was no liberal opposition outside of some journalists who seemed to mysteriously find themselves dead or otherwise disappeared under the shah.

the two major opposition groups were secularist/marxists and the islamic revolution.  and the revolution was precisely a turn against the deadly rule of an american backed government.  it was a step towards liberty and self-determination.

talk about sleeping in the bed you made: that is what america is doing right now in the middle east.

Lawrence of Arabia
[ Parent ]

Where's the beef? Ali Eteraz(none / 0) (#2)
by dmz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 09:55:16 AM EST

Ali Eteraz: What is your beef with Iran and Ahmadinejad?

You are often on the offensive about your muslim brothers and sisters in Iran? Is it a Sunni - Shia thing? Or something else?

takfir(none / 0) (#4)
by cynic librarian on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:14:49 AM EST

This Sunni Shiite thing, aka takfir, has been abrogated in recent statements by some major Muslim clerics. According to one source, the only Islamic school of thought that wants to maintain this practice is Saudi Wahhabism.

The signers of this document include:

"In accordance with the fatwas issued by the honourable and respectable Grand Imam Sheikh Al Azhar.

The Grand Ayatollah Al Sayyid Ali Al Sistani, the honourable and respectable grand mufti of Egypt, the honourable and respectable Shiite clerics (both Jaafari and Zaydi), the honourable and respectable grand mufti of the Sultanate of Oman.

The Islamic Fiqh Academy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the grand council for Religious Affairs of Turkey.

The honourable and respectable grand mufti of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the respectable members of its National Fatwa Committee, and the honourable and respectable Sheikh Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi;

And in accordance with what was mentioned in the speech of His Majesty King Abdullah during the opening session of our conference;

 Note Sistani's name. I wonder whether recent moves by Saudi Arabia to head off Iran and support hardline Sunnis in Iraq are not related to this statement in some way. IE the Saudis are scared that any consolidation of ties between Iran and Iraq will undermine their own interpretation of Islam.

[ Parent ]

nah(none / 0) (#5)
by Ali Eteraz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:17:10 AM EST

first of all, i dont operate due to 'beefs' - that imputes a dogmatic position that i do not ever subscribe to

second of all its not a sunni shia thing b/c im quite warm to a lot of shia ideas (you should go into my old blog archives and see my writings about sunni traditionalists and their views towards shia)

start here

(at the risk of starting another debate on my views on sunni traditionalism)(which is unnecessary b/c we've arleady had it)

finally, i think ahmedinejad is a classic muslim cultist - he is not champion of the average man - and if i do have a 'beef' about anything, it is about people who provide absolutely nothing but rhetoric. he is a gas bag and his people are dying (and may die in large numbers).

finally, iran is a dynamic nation b/c it has done what the sunnis haven't done yet -- assign divinity to the State (now you know a part of my forthcoming book) 


[ Parent ]
divinity to the State(none / 0) (#6)
by cynic librarian on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:23:14 AM EST
Ali, Now that's a chapter I'd like to read. If there's one work I'd recommend (if you haven't done so already) is to look at Simone Weil's work, "The Need for Roots," large protions of which deal with exactly this issue. She correlates the rise of the nation state with Ricjilieu's statement that "l'etat c'est moi."

[ Parent ]
thanks(none / 0) (#8)
by Ali Eteraz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:27:00 AM EST
i know of it

[ Parent ]

One nation - under God with liberty and justice 4(none / 0) (#7)
by dmz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:25:05 AM EST

finally, iran is a dynamic nation b/c it has done what the sunnis haven't done yet -- assign divinity to the State

Putting aside the pro-wahhabi stuff, is this "dynamism" something that Iran should be punished and marginalized for? 

 I don't think so. 

Lot's of politicians are windbags. I think it is a job requirement. The Khatamis of the world, post politicians can address real Clinton.

In office, he had to deal with Whitewater, Lewinsky and Gingritch.

That's the way the game is played.

[ Parent ]
ok(none / 0) (#9)
by Ali Eteraz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:29:48 AM EST

and im going after the gas bag b/c i can (as we do with any other politician)

so its not a case of singeling out

it is a cause of diligence and accountability

when you make aspirations of power -- as iran does -- you better be damn sure you're gonna get evaluated

i think in the analyses of ahmedinejad that i've done, he's failed over and over

ask haroon to pull for you the discussion he and i had on nejad when he got elected. haroon was pro nejad (because he gave him the benefit of the doubt that i didn't at the time) and haroon too hates him now.

that's not to say that i was right and haroon wrong; but that even those who thought that perhaps nejad was being misapprehended on purpose by the media, dont really hold that position. 

[ Parent ]
No offense, but don't mistake.(none / 0) (#10)
by dmz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:35:01 AM EST

I am not particularly interested in your evolving opinion. I am interested in a clear and balanced understanding of Iran.

Some people will clarify by their knowledge of facts. Cynic Librarian seems on top of this issue and balanced.

Others react to rhetoric (Axis of Evil, No Holocaust, etc....) as if these were not designed as smokescreens for actual issues and agendas.

 Of course they are. I am not sure everyone here has a handle on that

[ Parent ]
uh(none / 0) (#11)
by Ali Eteraz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:37:57 AM EST

all opinions are evolving

the ones that aren't are dogma

that's a very strange dichotomy you set up

'evolving' vs 'clear and balanced' (sounds like fair and balanced)

i think cynic himself would consider himself on the evolving side

go ahead ask him 

[ Parent ]
I'll Clarify(none / 0) (#12)
by dmz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:53:30 AM EST

You have given me a whole other blog to read plus links plus other people I should contact for your earlier opinions.

 I know this is but I am here to discuss politics in the Middle East, not savor your political ideas. (no offense) 

I would rather trade my take on current news with others such as yourself.

This is what I meant but not interested, in particular, reading your last 6 months of posts on the subject.

I see something about Iranian Shia Nihilism....


[ Parent ]
Further(none / 0) (#13)
by dmz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 11:07:00 AM EST

If Ahmadinejad is not a good representative of his people, let's explore how. Calling him a holocaust denier is hardly news. It is a weird device, I'll admit. I understand why he must attack Israel, but the method is useless.

As far as I can see.

Aside from that, everyone seems to think Ahmadinejad is a crazy devil. 

According to what? 

[ Parent ]
RE: According to what?(none / 0) (#16)
by Harun abd AsSami on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 12:28:09 PM EST

[ Parent ]

Why attack?(none / 0) (#18)
by Anonymous Hero on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 04:39:55 PM EST

Why is it necessary for Ahmadinejad to "attack Israel"? What purpose does it serve besides providing a distraction from Iran's own internal economic mess?

I have rarely met an Persian who particularly cared about the Palestinian cause, and I NEVER met a Persian who cared about the Palestinian people. This is largely reflected in the common Iranian protest sign "Forget Palestine, What about Us!"

Ahmadinejad was elected [sic] on a platform of ending clerical corruption. He has failed to do so and instead made Iran the number one destination resort for David Duke. While I am sure many outside the country appreciate Ahmadinejad's obsessive dedication to relocating the Jews to Alaska, he is not serving the interests of his people. He isn't exactly doing wonders for Lebanon either.

[ Parent ]

hmm(none / 0) (#14)
by Ali Eteraz on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 11:07:33 AM EST

I see something about Iranian Shia Nihilism....


never before has that happened.



[ Parent ]

I have to agree with DMZ here(none / 0) (#15)
by Harun abd AsSami on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 11:20:33 AM EST
How do you figure you have enough knowledge of the agenda Ahmadinejad is putting forward in Iran to consider him a failure?

I have no clue one way or the other as there is almost no reporting coming out of Iran as to what is going on (other than neo-con translated speaches).

You may be completely correct but I don't see how you could have enough information to make the claim.

[ Parent ]

Hmm, let's see(none / 0) (#20)
by TallDave on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 10:52:50 AM EST

Besides the talk of removing Israel from the map, there's the "halo" remarks about the UN, the Holocaust denial conference, and his recent assertion that the U.S. and Britain will vanish like the Pharaohs.

As bad as things are for Jews in Persia, they're living under one of the saner of the area's lunocracies: <i>Mein Kampf</i> still sells well in the Arab capitals.  

Empathy Dude(none / 0) (#21)
by dmz on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 11:32:03 AM EST

The problem with you, Dave, is you haven't walked a mile in Ahmadinejad's mocassins. Try it! Seriously, can you see it from their side?

When America gets bombed, citizens killed, whole countries get invaded. Whether they had anything to do with the Sept 11 attacks or not. Collateral damage piles up, who cares, right?

Israel engages in death denial constantly. Do we care that more than 1000 civilians were killed in S. Lebanon? Rarely mentioned. As an zionist, you can hardly whine about Holocaust denial and then mute your aggression on civilians, deny or justify the attack on innocent peoples property, services and lives. That is primo, grade a hypocrisy.

And Britain and the USA are indeed failing super powers. That is not even an astute observation, that is openning up the papers and reading about the US failing to get it done in the middle east. Blame Bush, not Ahmadinejad.

Sorry, your comments don't make the cut. I'm looking for real criminal actions. Like lying to your people about an unjust war and spending billions or dollars and thousands of lives on a lie. That kind of thing.


[ Parent ]
heh(none / 0) (#22)
by TallDave on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 01:12:37 PM EST

---When America gets bombed, citizens killed, whole countries get invaded. Whether they had anything to do with the Sept 11 attacks or not. Collateral damage piles up, who cares, right?
Have you noticed two heinous regimes are gone and they're holding elections in Afghanistan and Iraq?  Who cares, right?

--And Britain and the USA are indeed failing super powers. That is not even an astute observation, that is openning up the papers and reading about the US failing to get it done in the middle east. Blame Bush, not Ahmadinejad.
LOL Stop and think about that statement for a moment.  America is the world's undisputed pre-eminent military and economic power, but they're "failing" because some Iraqis are causing violence in the country's transition to liberal democracy?  Three years is too long to transform a country of 25 million people?
Heh, I remember hearing about the declining American superpower in the 1980s too.  We were supposed to be a Third World country by now, but instead we have the highest per capita GDP of any major country.

==I'm looking for real criminal actions. Like lying to your people about an unjust war and spending billions or dollars and thousands of lives on a lie.=
Well, let me know when you find something like that.



[ Parent ]
TallDenials(none / 0) (#23)
by dmz on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 01:21:47 PM EST

is the last refuge of the intellectually lazy. Ask Dubya. People know him as proverbially "uncurious."

I think that might be a euphemism. You?

TallDave, while you are saluting the flag and polishing your Bald Eagle statues, you might want to flip on a tape: Learn Hindi or Mandarin in your spare time.

I can't do anything with you except recommend less trips to the pajama half-bakery.

I think you've been stuffed!

[ Parent ]
Ah, insults(none / 0) (#24)
by TallDave on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 01:33:08 PM EST

When you have no intellectual arguments to fall back on, I guess they have to do.  But I'm more interested in facts and logic.

[ Parent ]
Oh, and calling me intellectually lazy?(none / 0) (#25)
by TallDave on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 01:34:10 PM EST
I love the irony!  Thanks for a chuckle.

[ Parent ]
Chuckles? Why didn't you say so?(none / 0) (#26)
by dmz on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 01:43:14 PM EST


Here are some more chuckles as long as you like chuckles of the "Grave and deteriorating" type.

HAHAHAHA. Now we're both laughing!

[ Parent ]
yawn(none / 0) (#29)
by TallDave on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 01:52:27 PM EST

So there's violence in Iraq, and it's gotten worse; not exactly news.  How many platoon-level battles have we lost? (hint: it's a number less than one).

They tell me the violence situation in Chicago is "grave and deteriorating" too.  People getting shot, armed gangs... I think we should withdraw the police.


[ Parent ]
Oh, and the situation under Saddam?(none / 0) (#30)
by TallDave on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 02:02:07 PM EST

Let's see, approx 2 million people killed by his regime over 24 years gives us 83,000 per year.  So the current "grave and deteriorating" situation, while not good, is nevertheless a vast improvement over the status quo.

Oh, and Iraq is now rated one of the politically freest countries in the Mideast.  But who cares, right?  Freedom is slavery! Unjust war!

[ Parent ]
Jinn-imy Cricket(none / 0) (#31)
by dmz on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 02:25:42 PM EST

This message seems appropriate now.

Never heard it in Arabic before.

When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you

If your heart is in your dreams, no request is too <u>extreme</u>
When you wish upon a star as dreamers do

(Fate is kind, she brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing)

Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you thru
When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true

[ Parent ]
This quote seems appropriate now(none / 0) (#32)
by TallDave on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 03:10:29 PM EST

 " The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it. " 


" Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, 'he that is not with me is against me. "

 --George Orwell

[ Parent ]

Ironic, though(none / 0) (#33)
by TallDave on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 03:13:36 PM EST

I present you with a fact, you present me with... wishful thinking.


[ Parent ]

But, hey, since I feel a bit sorry for you(none / 0) (#27)
by TallDave on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 01:44:18 PM EST

I'll go ahead and debunk your silly assertions re Bush's "lies."  But only because it's so easy (and fun!).

Here.  WARNING: Contains actual facts.  May be harmful or fatal to wacky conspiracy theories.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, go to the liar to ask about the lies(none / 0) (#28)
by dmz on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 01:49:12 PM EST

TallDave, you need to come down to earth.

A white house briefing about lies told by the Whitehouse.


More laughs. Keep 'em coming Dave!

[ Parent ]

Not a fair comparison(none / 0) (#37)
by Anonymous Hero on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 04:49:42 PM EST

How is Israel engaged in death denial? Shouldn't Lebanon bare some of the responsibility considering they initiated the conflict and far worse, launched missiles from civilian targets and refused to wear uniforms to protect their families demonstrates how much contempt Hezbollah holds for innocent life. Or as Hezbollah puts it "We will win because we love death more than the Jews love life".

You cannot expect any country, including Israel, to allow missiles (even crude ones) to land on their citizens and not respond. No country on earth would simply "take it". I was not impressed by Israel's actions in the war, specially the use of cluster bombs. But to suggest that Israel is engaged in "death denial" because they fight back against HA is unfair.

Furthermore, to compare a war where 1000 innocent people died in conflict to burning 6 million in gas chambers is moral relativism at its most revolting.

[ Parent ]
News Flash Anonymous Hero: You're doing it.(none / 0) (#40)
by dmz on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 05:04:44 PM EST

You are talking about Hezbollah, I am talking about citizens.

The difference between Osama Bin Laden and Ahmadinejad is that OBL honestly admits that he targets American civilians while Ahmadinejad is using some kind of rhetorical tool to deny that genocide of jews and therefore their right to Israel.

I guess you are more with the Ahmadinejad camp that Israel is targeting Hezbullah and the citizen slipped in front of the cluster bombs at the last minute.

Or you can own up and admit that Israel is punishing civilians for hezbollah's actions.

Either way, there are 1000 civilians dead in less than a month and each individual is worth no less than a jew in germany you incomparable hypocrite.

You are a victim of the same mentality you despise. Surprise! YOU are one of THEM!

Atleast Osama takes responsibility for his actions. Atleast he has the courtesy to be honest about his murders.


[ Parent ]

Because(none / 0) (#36)
by Nonpartisan on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 04:46:03 PM EST

No one's ever given Khatami a fair shake in the West.  He's too bookish, too workmanlike, not sexy enough.  He also made a bit of a political miscalculation by not working to remedy this image, on the grounds that his brother Reza would fill in with the charisma where necessary.  When Reza lost control of the legislature, Mohammed Khatami had no one to speak for him transformationally.

Khatami may not be sexy or exciting, but he will go down in history as one of the great Middle Eastern leaders -- less opportunistic than King Faisal, more pragmatic than Nasser, more successful at peace than Sadat.

ProgressiveHistorians: History and Politics Of, By, and For the People
Khatami(none / 0) (#39)
by Jordan on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 05:03:22 PM EST

True, Khatami was not that bad of a guy, even had a sense of humour. He was unfortunately, fairly powerless. His reforms while meaningful, were fought tooth and nail by the council and many of his supporters wanted him to resign in protest.

That being said, I am sure everyone is missing him now.

[ Parent ]
As usual with me(none / 0) (#41)
by Nonpartisan on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 05:42:24 PM EST
I'm more interested in Khatami as a symbol than as a leader.  Here, again, Reza Khatami would have filled the role better.  Nevertheless, Khatami had the brief chance in history to make himself the focal point of a powerful resistance.  The fact that he created that opportunity is to his everlasting credit; the fact that he failed to fill it is a lost moment in history.
ProgressiveHistorians: History and Politics Of, By, and For the People
[ Parent ]

Good cop, bad cop(none / 0) (#42)
by Irving on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 06:41:47 PM EST
Good cop, bad cop is an old trick, even for Iranian politics, or in this case, nutty little cop and sane elder statesman cop. The question is, who has the power to change things for the better or worse.  

Display: Sort: