Aug. 9, 2015
Surrounded by radical “Iran experts” assuring him that Khomeini was practically a saint — a wise old religious leader, lacking in political ambitions, whose clout was solely spiritual —Carter was able to sleep soundly at night, even when his embassy staff in Tehran were taken hostage the first time. Yes, there was a “first time,” in February 1979, two weeks after Khomeini’s return to Iran, and nine months before the famous, full-blown hostage crisis that lasted 444 days.
At the time, renowned Orientalist Bernard Lewis, now professor emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton, wanted to find out who Khomeini actually was.
“So I did what one normally does in my profession: I went to the university library and looked him up,” he told me in an interview for my book, “To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the Arab Spring.”
What Lewis came upon was a bound collection of Khomeini’s speeches, called “Islamic Government.” He read it in one sitting and was shocked.
What it revealed was a philosophy of Islamic statehood that used the harshest possible rhetoric to denounce non-Muslims and called for the spread of Shariah law across the world.
Deciding that something had to be done to expose the ayatollah and his intentions, Lewis contacted the op-ed editor of The New York Times, Charlotte Curtis, and offered to write a piece on the book.
Curtis rejected his proposal.
“I don’t think our readers would be interested in the work of some Persian author,” she said.
This is but one example of the many and varied ways in which the White House and the media colluded to create facts on the ground based on fantasy. Sound familiar?
It certainly came to mind while reading Amir Taheri’s piece in the New York Post on Saturday, in which the Iranian-born intellectual describes a new book he obtained, penned by Khomeini’s successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader of Iran.
Called Palestine, the 416-page tome is devoted to the issue of Israel’s inevitable demise, with a blurb on its back cover calling the author the “flag-bearer of jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”