The present state of Iran – calamitous, full of barking imams and led by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who recently, at the invitation of President of Columbia University Lee Bollinger, entertained the assembled students with his fictions – is former President Jimmy Carter’s present to the world.
Carter facilitated the fall of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, once friendly to the United States, now become the Great Satan among Middle Eastern men who like their women wrapped in burkas, like human hotdogs in wool buns.
Oriana Fallaci is the first and only woman journalist to pull off her chador while interviewing the Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, Iran’s answer to the Shah, throw it to the ground and declaim, “I will not be imprisoned.”
Jimmy Carter is no Oriana Fallaci.
After the fall of the Shah, Khomeini, the Lenin of the Iranian revolution, returned to Iran from France, where he had been in exile, and quickly took over. In this he was assisted by then President Carter’s yen for diplomatic solutions. Carter had hoped to strike an anti-communist alliance with the new incoming government. But shortly after the return of Khomeini, the moderate government of Mehdi Bazargan and his cabinet resigned under pressure just days after Iranian students stormed the American embassy and took 63 embassy personnel prisoner. Fifty two of the hostages remained captive for 444 interminable days, while American diplomats, taking a page from Sen. Chris Dodd’s current playbook, negotiated and dithered. Khomeini had already given his sanction to the hostage taking under the slogan “America can’t do a damned thing!” How was Carter to know that Khomeini was using the hostage crisis to consolidate his power at home and overthrow the last vestiges of a tolerant monarchical regime that Carter had helped to undermine?
Given his past record on Iran, everything Carter says about the country should be taken with a ton of salt.
At Quinnipiac college, where Carter received the school's Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award, the former president said the United States should open diplomatic relations with Iran and reassure the country’s leaders that Iran is not America’s next military target. "Diplomacy,” Carter said, “is the best way to deal with it.”
He should know.