June 3, 2016

Ayatollah Khomeini's 1979 love letter to President Jimmy Carter.

Revealed at last, newly declassified:
The ayatollah was determined to return to Iran after 15 years in exile and make the Shah's "vacation" permanent. So he made a personal appeal. In a first-person message, Khomeini told the White House not to panic at the prospect of losing a strategic ally of 37 years and assured them that he, too, would be a friend.

"You will see we are not in any particular animosity with the Americans," said Khomeini, pledging his Islamic Republic will be "a humanitarian one, which will benefit the cause of peace and tranquillity for all mankind"....

In the official Iranian narrative of the revolution, Khomeini bravely defied the United States and defeated "the Great Satan" in its desperate efforts to keep the Shah in power. But the documents reveal that Khomeini was far more engaged with the US than either government has ever admitted. Far from defying America, the ayatollah courted the Carter administration, sending quiet signals that he wanted a dialogue and then portraying a potential Islamic Republic as amenable to US interests.
ADDED: What Ebrahim Yazdi ("Iranian-American physician living in Houston, Texas, who became a spokesman and advisor to Khomeini") wrote to Warren Zimmerman ("a political counsellor with the US embassy in France, used as a messenger for the US to Khomeini"): "The Russian government is atheistic and anti-religion. We will definitely find it more difficult to have a deep understanding with the Russians. You are Christians and believe in God and they don't. We feel it easier to be closer to you than to Russians."

40 comments:

tim maguire said...

Sucker!

damikesc said...

Carter was an idiot and Islam allows lying to further the interests of Islam. You cannot trust a word a Muslim government says on any issue.

Bob said...

Muslims call the practice of deceiving infidels Taqiyya.

David Begley said...

And the Iranians duped Obama!

When will the love letters to Barack and Ben Rhodes be revealed?

I can see them now. "Oh, dear Mr. President. You are the greatest. Since you were elected global temps have been flat. Give us back our money - with the interest PROHIBITED by the Koran - and we promise to buy Boeing jets, IBM computers and GM cars. We will never build nukes. We will use that money for good; wind mills and solar panels."

MadisonMan said...

Tim Maguire said it best.

It's possible that the Ayatollah was being truthful. But he was certainly surrounded by people (handpicked by his Holy Self) who were very willing to use America As Satan thinking to promote their agendas.

@damikesc, I wouldn't say Carter was an idiot. Myopic, yes, and far too trusting.

Give me a cynic as President.

Michael K said...

And then Andrew Young, Carter's rep called Khomeini a "saint."

And Young isn't even Muslim. I think.

I guess we should ask Farrakhan.

maggotdesk said...

Having been very young back then, I do remember that many Americans looked at the Ayatollah with favor because he wasn't going to hold our past transgressions against us and it looked like a good thing. This was all way before we developed any healthy level of distrust and certainly prior to the takeover of our embassy. It's easy to look at these things in hindsight and say "Stupid Carter". On the other hand, Obama's eyes should be wide open now.

MikeR said...

'In the official Iranian narrative of the revolution, Khomeini bravely defied the United States and defeated "the Great Satan" in its desperate efforts to keep the Shah in power. But the documents reveal... Far from defying America...'
Unbelievable article. The author seems to be oblivious to the possibility - the virtual certainty - that Khomeini played Carter for a sucker, getting him to stand aside at a critical moment.

Rick said...

Carter's duplicity has the worst results of any President in American history. In addition to condemning Iranians to repression and many to death (including non-Iranians) he convinced Yasser Arafat he could be successful in appealing to Western liberal elites even without modifying his behavior or support for violence. There's probably no other westerner more responsible for the increase in Islamic violence.

It's no wonder the modern left thinks Carter was great.

Sebastian said...

OK. So we know the Iranians played Carter for a sucker, then did the same with Reagan, then continued with the Cole attack and the nuclear program build-up. But O and Rhodes were not simply suckers who refused to learn. They actively promoted the interests of the enemy.

Hagar said...

And now I think I read that Ayatollah Khomeini's children (or grandchildren?) are on Ayatollah Khamenei's shit list and closely watched by the Iranian secret police.

Owen said...

Carter was a chump. His own moral certainty blinded him and was a flashing neon sign to rug merchants like Khomeni, whose people have been fleecing tourists in the souk for thousands of years.

Darrell said...

When magazines presented a form-type interview with Hollywood stars at this time, most listed the Ayatollah as someone they most admired and would like to meet.

YoungHegelian said...

Very much the same narrative of "Trust us --- we're really on your side" took place between the US government & the newly installed Castro brothers during the Cuban Revolution.

That may be what the Iranians used as their example.

Hagar said...

The Iranians are not running the current rapprochement with the United States.
Obama is.

traditionalguy said...

Surprise, surprise. He lied. Muslims do not believe in God who reveals Himself as the Father , the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They do very much believe in exterminating that God and all of His followers from the face of the earth, ASAP. Hence, he declared War on us and his followers formed ISIL to do the will of allah.

Original Mike said...

The phrase "hook, line, and sinker" comes to mind.

Michael said...

So was Jimmy Carter more naive and credulous than Barack Obama, or vice versa? Tough call.

Owen said...

Michael: "So was Carter more naive and credulous than Barack Obama, or vice versa? Tough call."

IMHO not even close. Carter was a chump and I think his humility was mixed up with a moral vanity (a common problem and why Pride is the first of sins); but I don't think he hated America.

Gahrie said...

I guess we should ask Farrakhan.

Farrakhan is not a Muslim-Muslim, as Malcolm X found out, and was killed for.

The Nation of Islam is a cult...weirder than Scientology even. It involves a mad scientist and an oven.

Fernandinande said...

I had a college roommate from Iran who was afraid to say anything about Iran because the Shah would kill his family.

David Begley said...

Top guy in Iran today said America is still Iran's enemy despite the nuke deal. We wuz tricked!

hamiyam said...

I worked with an Iranian who, a devout but not radical Moslem, was educated in the USA by the Shah and whose family disappeared during the Khomeini revolution. I attended a memorial service at a local Mosque for the family. Needless to say, he was not a fan of the Ayatollah.

SteveR said...

For most Americans, at that time, Iran was important in the Cold War geopolitics, we had no real understanding of the Shah's rule or the whole fanatical Islamic tendency. But we should have hoped our government would have played the hand better, certainly by now, nearly 40 years later. We relied on MAD to reign the Soviets in, for Muslims (and it only takes a very small number) that's a feature, not a bug.

The worst case scenario is not the least possible one, that's for sure.

David Begley said...

SteveR

And Obama handed Iran nukes along with $150b. That will drive Saudi Arabia to get some nukes too. MAD in the eternal Sunni - Shia war is a bad idea.

Birches said...

But they are totally telling the truth this time guys.

William said...

There was an informed opinion back then that the Ayatollah was stern and incorruptible and that the Shah was decadent and cruel. There was a certain amount of truth to it. The Aytollah was not one for dining off gold plates. He was not corrupted by luxury but rather by power and his own religious fanaticism. The Shah made use of torture and the secret police to remain in power, but I thnk it's an open question as to whether or not his use of such tactics exceeded that of the Ayatollah......In any event, the overthrow of the Shah offered what Saddam thought was a fine opportunity to invade Iran. Without a doubt there were hundreds of thousands more corpses during the Ayatollah's rule than that of the Shah. There are advantages to being an ally of the Great Satan. You don't get invaded by Saddam........If you're looking for the fulcrum point in Middle Eastern history, the moment when everything turned to shit, it was probably this moment rather than when Bush invaded Iraq........Liberals are deeply suspicious of our allies. They prefer to make peace with our enemies.

Dan Hossley said...

The best thing to happen to Jimmy Carter's legacy was Barack Obama.

grackle said...

It's possible that the Ayatollah was being truthful.

Anything’s possible when speculating about states of mind but events ultimately dictate reality for all of us. The hapless Carter was played like the fool he was. To future historians, assuming Western culture survives, Carter will be known as the POTUS whose humiliation and blunders originally started the ball rolling for a nuked-up Iran which also became the world’s foremost sponsor of Islamic terrorism and led to the coming Middle East nuclear arms race. Obama will be known as the POTUS who facilitated the process.

Carter has been only one of a host of political actors whose foreign policy concepts boil down to virtue-signaling on an international scale and have only an occasional and accidental relationship to what is really best for American interests overseas.

So far their chief opposition has been the neocons and neocon forerunners who have had their own impractical ideological agenda of foisting Western-style democratic systems on reluctant Islamic populations. It’s a nice theory but their chief problem is that freedom, which is necessary to any democratic system, seems to either frighten, anger or confuse most Muslims – sometimes all three. We cannot keep leading these horses to the water forever with the assumption that they will drink deep from our American dream and somehow turn into us.

I see Trump as relief from both these camps. We need someone who looks at the international situation with a totally different viewpoint from the two extremes.

mikee said...

I survived the Carter years, after surviving the Nixon years, and let me tell you, the Carter years were harder on the country than the Nixon years. Thank the stars Carter was a one term president. A second term for Carter, and Obama might not now be the worst president of my lifetime.

mockturtle said...

We cannot keep leading these horses to the water forever with the assumption that they will drink deep from our American dream and somehow turn into us.

Very well put. None of these states have any desire to adopt an American-style democracy and I think we all know that but the State Department and the Pentagon continue to be disingenuous about our policies. Is it still, really, all about the oil?.

Joe said...

There was an informed opinion back then that the Ayatollah was stern and incorruptible and that the Shah was decadent and cruel

Those who knew history at the time knew that both were awful people.

Carter didn't bother reading history.

(BTW, we can blame MI6/Churchill and the CIA/Eisenhower for all this shit. And, yeah, it really was all about the oil.)

narciso said...

no, read taheri, mossadecq was a boutique candidate, who had aggravated both the merchants, bazaaris and the mullahs, twenty five years later, the shah through land reform and some other social policies, have incurred the same foes, it is notable though the 15 years he was in Iraq, Khomeini could rally few as soon as he went to France, he was in business,

narciso said...

when lenin met the german general staff before he left switzerland, he promised to end the war, and he did with brest livosk, he didn't say anything about the insurrection that luxembourg would attempt,

narciso said...

lbj was as originally foolhardy, he thought he could negotiate with ho,


http://spectator.org/ho-chi-minhs-dupe/

mockturtle said...

Maybe Kipling was right: East is east...

grackle said...

The Shah made use of torture and the secret police to remain in power, but I thnk it's an open question as to whether or not his use of such tactics exceeded that of the Ayatollah.

Yes, a very open question, true as far as it goes but there’s much more to the story.

Readers, in the Middle East of the Shah’s time there was no, repeat, NO regime that did not rule by force of arms – with the exception of Israel, which was the only nation in the region with even a nodding acquaintance with human rights. All the others had secret police and used torture – a situation that remains mostly unchanged. If you wanted an ally in the Middle East you had no choice other than despots - with the Shah being the least offensive of those.

With the USA and Great Britain as his ally the Shah was trying to modernize and reform his nation. Carter betrayed the Shah, an official ally of America, in order to indulge in a bit of unicorn-chasing, still a favorite activity of the Ivy League educated idiot ideologues running foreign policy in today’s Whitehouse.

For his trouble the doomed Carter was humiliated for over a year on the world’s stage by the increasingly elated and openly scornful mullahs in Iran. The Iran hostage crisis should be an object lesson of disgrace and indignity for any POTUS who has an appetite for appeasement and tacit collusion with Islamic regimes.

mockturtle said...

Grackle, I wish you were running our State Department.

JAORE said...

" I wouldn't say Carter was an idiot. Myopic, yes, and far too trusting."

And his behavior in the intervening years?

I'm leaning towards idiot.

damikesc said...

I'll say this, as I say with Obama: If he was just naïve and not openly evil, SOME of his decisions would have been to the benefit of this country.