Friday, September 01, 2006

We Closed Our Eyes Back Then

The New York Sun has republished a 1979 article by Michael Ledeen warning about the Khomeini theocratic fascist vision for Iran (yes, he used the ‘f’ word.) His extensive description was dead on in every detail. But the leftist establishment was in complete denial as they accepted “the remarkable claim of Ayatollah Khomeini, the elderly Iranian Moslem leader living in exile in Paris, that he would be quite willing to see his country maintain good relations with the U.S. American columnists have reported enthusiastically claims by associates of Khomeini that they favor a form of democratic socialism based on the Koran.” He was one of the moderates!

Just a sample of what Ledeen warned at the time:

Khomeini “is in fact a clerical fascist, a violent anti-Semite and an intensely chauvinistic anti-American. This evidence, moreover, is not the sort which is closely guarded in the offices of intelligence agencies; it is published in several books in Arabic and Persian, and is readily available to anyone willing to look at it. … The violations he ascribes to the Shah's government are those that characterize what we would call a secular, pluralistic society. … In the 1970 book he says: … ‘Would the Prophet have imposed more than a hundred lashes on the fornicator not previously chaste? Can the mullah reduce the amount of this punishment, thereby creating a divergence between his practice and that of the Prophet? Most certainly not!’ … [His] attacks on the Shah are not complaints about the harshness of his regime or violations of human rights by Savak, the secret police.”

In light of Khomeini's writings, it is astonishing to find him treated with such sympathy in the West. No matter how strongly one may deplore the Shah's authoritarianism, no matter how revolting one may find the excesses of Savak, there can be little reason for any democratic citizen of the West to sympathize with Ayatollah Khomeini. For if he has a major voice in the government of Iran, all women and all those not in the good graces of the Muslim divines will be second-class citizens, and all Iranians subject to stern punishment for violating the theocratic

As Judith Miller of the New York Times wrote in an important article tucked away on the fourth page of last Saturday's edition, Khomeini's writings demonstrate contempt for all forms of government except theocracy. In the present circumstances, it is not surprising that Khomeni and his followers should have made attempts to disclaim authorship of the books; they make very unpleasant reading for the West.

On a personal note, I remember discussing Iran with the campus leftists shortly before the Iranian revolution. It was immediately after a group of devout Iranian Muslims, outraged that women and children were watching movies, locked the theatre doors and burned the building and all inside. My leftist friends said, "don't worry; after the revolution, they won't be in charge."

In 1978, Edward Said, in his book Orientalism ridiculed those in the West for believing that Islam was a major cultural force in Middle East politics. Said was a worse forecaster of history than Marx. But that didn't stop either from being canonized by the left. Some things never change.

1 comment:

Always On Watch said...

The present Ayatollah is even more radical that the one which led the 1970s revolution.