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Carter sold out Iran

By Chuck Morse
web posted January 1, 2007

Former President Jimmy Carter’s new book Palestine: Peace not Apartheid is another contribution on his part toward destabilizing the Middle East as he makes the case for the radical Islamic Jihad against Israel. The timing is most inopportune as the United States and the western powers grapple with terrorism in Iraq and around the globe. Carter has poked his nose once again into Middle East affairs. The trend goes back to his presidency and his role in the Iranian revolution.

The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlevi, was no saint when it came to human rights but by Middle Eastern standards he was a moderate. The Shah presided over a government that was, for over twenty years, pro-American, pro-Israel, and western in its outlook. Certainly the Shah could have been encouraged, quietly, carefully, and behind the scenes, by the United States in the direction of implementing human rights reforms. This could have been done within the context of the neighborhood in which he operated and of the circumstances he confronted.

Instead, Jimmy Carter, upon becoming President in 1977, turned on the Shah by launching a deliberate and inexplicable public campaign to undermine his regime. The Carter policy of undermining our ally, the Shah, seemed to work in tandem with that of the Soviet Union. The end result was the establishment of a revolutionary Jihadist regime headed up by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Iranian revolution, besides enthroning one of the world's most oppressive regimes, helped to build the terror network that challenges the free world today.

At the time, a senior Iranian diplomat in Washington observed, "President Carter betrayed the Shah and helped create the vacuum that will soon be filled by Soviet-trained agents and religious fanatics who hate America." Under the guise of promoting" human rights," Carter immediately started making demands on the Shah while blackmailing him with the threat that if the demands were not immediately met, vital military aid and training would be withheld.

Carter pressured the Shah to release "political prisoners" including known terrorists and to put an end to military tribunals. The newly released terrorists would then be tried under civil as opposed to military jurisdiction, which meant that the trials could be used as platforms for propaganda against the government. This is one of the reasons why civil trials would be unwise today for many of the Guantanamo detainees. Liberal leaning media commentators at the time seemed to work hand in glove with Carter as the Shah, previously portrayed as a forward thinking and fashionable leader, suddenly was transformed by the pundits into a monster.

  Carter pressured Iran to allow for "free assembly" which, under the circumstances, set the stage for anti-government rallies. Constitutional rights are the norm in the United States but no so in the Middle East as the introduction of rights ought to have been approached with caution and an eye toward consequences. The predictable results were an escalation of opposition to the Shah as Islamic fundamentalists, egged on by the Soviets, used the opportunity to foment revolution.

By the fall of 1977, Carter’s first year in office, Iranian university students, working in tandem with a Shi'ite clergy that had long opposed the Shah's modernizing policies, began a well coordinated and financed series of street demonstrations which found support in the international liberal press. The Shah was soon overwhelmed by the wave of violent street protests that rocked his country. Rumors circulated amongst Iranians at the time that Carter’s CIA had played a role in organizing the simultaneous protests.

In November 1977, during the height of the protests, the Shah and his Empress, Farah Diba, visited the White House where the Carter’s met them with hostility. They were greeted by nearly 4,000 Iranian students, many wearing masks, waving clubs, and carrying banners festooned with the names of Iranian terrorist organizations. The rioters were allowed within 100 feet of the White House where they violently attacked the many Iranians and Americans who gathered to welcome the Shah. Only fifteen protesters were arrested and quickly released. Meanwhile, inside the White House, and with the sound and clamor of the protesters bouncing off the walls, Carter pressured the Shah to implement even more radical changes. During this time, the Soviets were mobilizing a campaign of propaganda, espionage, sabotage, and terror inside Iran. The Shah found himself being squeezed on two sides.

In April 1978, Moscow backed a bloody coup in Afghanistan which installed the puppet regime of Nur Mohammad Taraki who proceed to call for a "jihad" against the "Ikhwanu Shayateen" which translates into "brothers of devils," a label he applied to the Shah’s government. Soviet-trained agents proceeded to cross the long border from Afghanistan into Iran to infiltrate Shi'ite mosques and other Iranian institutions. By November 1978, there was an estimated half a million Soviet backed Afghan operatives in Iran where, among other activities, they set up training camps for terrorists.

The Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was poised to return from exile. The 78-year-old Shi'ite cleric, whose brother had been imprisoned for activities relating to his Iranian Communist party affiliations, had spent 15 years living first in Iraq and later in a suburb of Paris. In exile, Khomeini spoke of the creation of a revolutionary Islamic republic, one that would be anti-Western, socialist, and with total power in the hands of an ayatollah. Khomeini received the full support of the Soviet Union.

Nureddin Klanuri, head of the Iranian Communist Tudeh Party, in exile in East Berlin at the time, stated, "The Tudeh Party approves Ayatollah Khomeini's initiative in creating the Islamic Revolutionary Council. The ayatollah's program coincides with that of the Tudeh Party." Khomeini's closest advisor, Sadegh Ghothzadeh, was well known as a revolutionary with close links to Soviet intelligence. In January 1998, Pravda, the official Soviet organ, officially endorsed the Khomeini revolution.

Liberal American leaders also supported the radical cleric. After the Pravda endorsement, Ramsey Clark, having served as Attorney General under President Lyndon B. Johnson, held a press conference where he reported on a trip to Iran and a Paris visit with Khomeini. Clark urged the US government to take no action to help the Shah so that Iran "could determine it's own fate." Clark played a behind the scenes role in influencing members of Congress to keep the United States out of the growing crisis. Carter’s United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young expressed the thinking of many liberals at the time when he stated that, if successful, Khomeini would "eventually be hailed as a saint."

The rest, as they say, is history. The ayatollah went on to seize power in Iran and this was quickly followed by the seizure of the American Embassy and the hostage crisis. Carter responded to that internationally recognized act of war by doing nothing of substance. The Iranian jihadists, now in control of a very rich country, were emboldened by the victory and the free world is now reaping the harvest. Mahmud Ahmadinijad, Khomeini’s protégé, is now building a nuclear bomb. The Islamic jihad has been unleashed around the world with suicide bombers and hijackers. And Jimmy Carter is busy touring the country, selling a book, and pushing a new cause. ESR

Chuck Morse's web site can be found at www.chuckmorse.com.


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