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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Where's Jimmy? A past president goes silent on his Iran legacy

By Sheda Vasseghi

"Where is Jimmy?" Has anyone seen or heard from Jimmy Carter while the Islamic Republic regime in Iran and its thugs brutally beat, torture, and murder civilians on a daily basis? After all it was Carter carrying his human rights banner who turned his back on the late Shah when the country was suddenly overrun by Islamic militants in cahoots with the leftists.


A 2004 issue of The New Yorker magazine that ran photographs of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, left, and then Sen. Barack Obama at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on July 8, in San Francisco.     AP/Jeff Chiu
During an interview, Carter said, "…when the Shah came here to visit in November of 1977, my first year in office, I knew that he had been an intimate friend of six presidents before me and a staunch ally that provided stability in that region of the world. But I knew also that SAVAK, his secret military service, had attacked some student demonstrators…."

So in 1979, without understanding the dynamics of a complex and ancient country such as Iran in a volatile region, Iran's unprecedented social and political achievements in just a few short decades despite overwhelming internal and external obstacles, and the fundamentals of Islamic political philosophy, Carter rejoiced at the coming of "His Holiness" the Ayatollah Khomeini and his Islamic Revolution because he believed the Islamists would bring instant democracy.

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The past few weeks taped live on the streets of Iran have left no question in anyone's mind that the naïve and misguided human rights claims by the Carter Administration against the former Shah's regime are in no way, shape or form comparable to the terror unleashed by the agents of the Islamic Republic. Yet, there is no word from Jimmy. And those in privileged media and political classes who hold past presidents accountable for their past sins are silent as well.

Internet search, e-mail and verbal inquiries, and The Carter Center website revealed nothing. It seems there has been no public outcry by the self-proclaimed humanitarian Jimmy Carter against the brutality of the illegitimate government in Tehran. The Carter Center website, however, offered a recent article by Jimmy preaching that God does "not justify cruelty to women." According to Carter, "[i]n some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job." Presumably one of the Islamic nations to which Carter refers is the Islamic Republic of Iran since thirty years ago Khomeini annulled all civil rights granted to women by the late Shah.

Carter's concerns about women's mistreatments in Islamic nations are indeed baffling since he supported the creation of at least one Islamic regime - the one in Iran. During Carter's presidency, Andrew Young, Carter's ambassador to UN, said "Khomeini will eventually be hailed as a saint"; William Sullivan, Carter's Ambassador to Iran, said "Khomeini is a Gandhi-like figure"; and James Bill, an advisor to Carter, said Khomeini was a man of "impeccable integrity and honesty." Jimmy Carter believed a reactionary fanatic Islamist such as Khomeini would be better for Iran than a pro-Western secular monarch to whom Iranians owe any and all traces of modernity.

Carter confirms he is not trained in religion or theology yet continues to make dangerous conclusions about the very topic in which he admits and has proven himself incompetent. Thirty years has passed since the terror unleashed on Iranians by the clerics, and their most recent indisputably vicious acts against civilians have been recorded live on thousands of cameras for the world to see, and yet Carter still makes statements about what he thinks certain religious founders had in mind with respect to equality and human rights. Carter is responsible for Iran's derailment from its path to greatness and the conditions in which Iranians are living as they are kept hostage by a bunch of backwards mullahs. Carter is responsible for Iranian women losing their civil rights under the same Islamic regime he promoted while he now laments poor treatment of women in Islamic countries. Carter's dangerous foreign policies contributed to the 9/11 tragedy becoming a part of American history. In short, Jimmy's "some student demonstrators" became tens of thousands of Nedas at the hands of Khomeini and his mullahs and millions of displaced Iranians across the globe.

In the midst of the fraudulent elections this past June and military coup, following the footsteps of Jimmy Carter, the Obama Administration first acknowledged Ahmadinejad as the "elected" president and then realizing the political implications lowered his legitimacy to a "fact." President Obama gave Iran until next month to show signs for open dialogue since he seems eager to work with the theocratic dictators rather than the Iranian people, who want a secular democracy. In view of the current butchery in Iran and Obama's plans on improving relations with a rogue and dangerous regime, one may wonder why U.S. policymakers have not learned from the disastrous consequences of Jimmy's human rights policies for Iran.

Sheda Vasseghi obtained a Master's degree in Ancient History with an emphasis on Persia from American Military University.


Thank you for the unspoken truth. Obama is the protector of Carter's legacy and the mass mess of 1979 in Iran. 8 years of needless war with Iraq with over 2 million dead & many more injured, several hundred thousands tortured & imprisoned by the merciless Mullahs. 7 million became stateless refugee. Iran's wealth looted & generations wasted and now we know the oil was the motive & not human rights. Jimmy Carter by overthrowing the late Shah of Iran is single handedly responsible for spreading the virus of radical Islam for which he should be imprisoned. The overthrow of the progressive & peaceloving Iranian Shah might be a taboo subject in the West but not their best kept secret amongst the long suffering Iranians. The very same people who accused the Shah for mistreatments have committed the worst atrocities once in power. Under the Shah, people were going to Iran & not leaving it. We lived 57 years under the Pahlavis not knowing what war, sanction, exile and real poverty was. In the case of some leftist liberals, shame & decency was not something they could associate themselves with. The overthrow of the late Shah of Iran in 1979 by Jimmy Carter & Britain was one of the great mistakes of the 20th century. Iranians will not forget nor forgive.

Reza Pardisan, London      6:16 a.m. / Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A moving article written by a woman who sees things as they are. We can only hope in the future that someone has the courage to step up to the plate and right the wrong that has been done.

Colleen Hall      9:01 a.m. / Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sheda should be the new ambassador to Iran when the thugocracy is finally eradicated.

Vincent DeLuca      11:29 a.m. / Monday, August 10, 2009

A moving article written by a wonderful person. I hope you reach the stars........

Lisa Locke      6:01 a.m. / Sunday, August 9, 2009

Well written. Thank you.

Nancy Darian      6:01 a.m. / Saturday, August 8, 2009

I witnessed the revolution of 1979 and was taken hostage btw...if you had been a victim of SAVAK torture perhaps it would have made sense...if there had been a more equal distribution of wealth and education in the country with the second largest reserves of petroleum in the world then perhaps this thugocracy could not have taken advantage of the ignorance...cuz there wouldn't have been so much...

Brian H Appleton      3:05 a.m. / Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mr. Carter, can you sleep at night? Do you see Neda's face in your dreams?

Mitra      1:34 a.m. / Saturday, August 8, 2009

Thanks for a most excellent assessment.

Jeff Hall      11:29 p.m. / Friday, August 7, 2009

I spent the last 30 years thinking that Carter chose the religious fanatics over the Shah's Government because of his Born Again deep religious beliefs. Now, I think it was because of his Pro Arab, Anti Jewish, feelings.

Norm      7:51 p.m. / Friday, August 7, 2009

As a Georgian, I must admit, I am sort of glad that he has been absent from the conversation of late. It saves me the humiliation of having the world know where he comes from and the pain of listening to his still useless rhetoric that has enslaved so many people.

Tim Higgins      7:01 p.m. / Friday, August 7, 2009

Well said. I'm surprised the subject of Jimmy hasn't come up sooner. I hope he sees this.

Eva Gorman      6:31 a.m. / Friday, August 7, 2009

Well done. Bravo!

massy paul      10:02 p.m. / Thursday, August 6, 2009

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