Shocking Pro-Iranian Op-Ed in the Times

A shockingly dishonest Op-Ed in today's New York Times by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

The Leveretts state that President Bush deserves criticism for hyping the nuclear threat-a danger the authors consider phantom given the recently released National Intelligence Estimate. This ignores the criticism that the NIE has gotten from across the political spectrum; from the IAEA to our allies in Europe. The authors have a strange perspective on Iran's goodwill to America: 
Why should any Iranian leader take such rhetoric as a legitimate invitation to the table? Iran has tried tactical cooperation with the United States several times over the past two decades — including helping to secure the release of hostages from Lebanon in the late 1980s and sending shipments of arms to Bosnian Muslims when the United States was forbidden to do so.

Yet each time, Tehran’s expectations of reciprocal good will have been dashed by American condemnation of perceived provocations in other arenas, as when Iranian support for objectives in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks was rewarded by President Bush’s inclusion of Iran in the “axis of evil

Iran took the actions it did in Afghanistan not to help the Unites States but to benefit from the downfall of the Taliban-a regime that had kidnapped and killed Iranians and that, as a fundamentalist Sunni regime, was a foe of the Shiite Iranian regime. The hostages released in Lebanon were TAKEN by the Iranian supported terrorist groups  Hezbollah and the Party of God and were released when Iran engaged in extortion-demanding weapons in exchange for the lives of these innocent people (do the foreign policy experts-the Leveretts-recall.the "arms for hostage" scandal?)

Iran shipped arms to Bosnian Muslims to further its own reach with Muslims in South east Europe-a radicalization of that part of the population that currently bedevils that area. 

The Leveretts fault America for not reciprocating this goodwill?
The authors again distort history when they drag out this bit of myth regarding previous Iranian efforts to reach a diplomatic deal with America:

Iran, in fact, proposed these steps as part of its offer for comprehensive talks that was passed to the Bush administration through Swiss diplomats in 2003
Noted Middle Eastern expert  Michael Rubin, and others, have proven the falsity of this story  which the New York Times columnist (and AIPAC critic) Nicholas Kristoff also peddles. In fact, this outreach by the Iranian government was no such thing.

The memo that broached the idea of restoring ties with America was the handiwork of a free-lance and disgruntled Swiss diplomat on his way out of his
diplomatic posting in Tehran.  and , after his efforts came to light, he left the foreign service.  The Leveretts contend this offer (unsigned, and not on official Iranian letterhead-as is customary in diplomacy) was genuine.  Michael Rubin pointedly mentions Flynt Leverett, coincidentally enough, as one of the people promoting this propaganda: 
  
  The facts notwithstanding, a coterie of former officials and lobbyists have seized upon the Guldimann memo. Flynt Leverett, a Condoleezza Rice appointee who left the National Security Council to campaign for John Kerry in 2004, has compared it to Mao Zedong's 1972 opening of China. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff, affirmed the Iranian offer to credulous journalists. Iran lobbyist Trita Parsi, a former aide to disgraced congressman Bob Ney, insists he alerted White House political strategist Karl Rove to the Iranian proposal. But Parsi, who trades on his close ties to the Tehran regime, was also unaware that the United States was already in talks with the Islamic Republic.

In the concluding paragraph, the authors advocate that the release of the National Intelligence Estimate now provides an opportunity for a "comprehensive overhaul of American policy toward Iran".

Of course, this ignores a wide array of actions by the Iranians that have led to the deaths of Americans (Embassy and Marina Barracks bombings in Lebanon, the Khobar Tower bombings in Saudi Arabia that have been linked to the Iranians, the provision of fighters and weapons to terrorists in Iraq that have been used to kill Americans (and Iraqis), the funding of terror groups aorund the world, the support for Hezbollah in attacking our ally Israel and destroying Lebanon and a range of other actions that are detrimental to world peace but that further Iranian power-a goal that the Leveretts seem to share.


A shockingly dishonest Op-Ed in today's New York Times by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.

The Leveretts state that President Bush deserves criticism for hyping the nuclear threat-a danger the authors consider phantom given the recently released National Intelligence Estimate. This ignores the criticism that the NIE has gotten from across the political spectrum; from the IAEA to our allies in Europe. The authors have a strange perspective on Iran's goodwill to America: 
Why should any Iranian leader take such rhetoric as a legitimate invitation to the table? Iran has tried tactical cooperation with the United States several times over the past two decades — including helping to secure the release of hostages from Lebanon in the late 1980s and sending shipments of arms to Bosnian Muslims when the United States was forbidden to do so.

Yet each time, Tehran’s expectations of reciprocal good will have been dashed by American condemnation of perceived provocations in other arenas, as when Iranian support for objectives in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks was rewarded by President Bush’s inclusion of Iran in the “axis of evil

Iran took the actions it did in Afghanistan not to help the Unites States but to benefit from the downfall of the Taliban-a regime that had kidnapped and killed Iranians and that, as a fundamentalist Sunni regime, was a foe of the Shiite Iranian regime. The hostages released in Lebanon were TAKEN by the Iranian supported terrorist groups  Hezbollah and the Party of God and were released when Iran engaged in extortion-demanding weapons in exchange for the lives of these innocent people (do the foreign policy experts-the Leveretts-recall.the "arms for hostage" scandal?)

Iran shipped arms to Bosnian Muslims to further its own reach with Muslims in South east Europe-a radicalization of that part of the population that currently bedevils that area. 

The Leveretts fault America for not reciprocating this goodwill?
The authors again distort history when they drag out this bit of myth regarding previous Iranian efforts to reach a diplomatic deal with America:

Iran, in fact, proposed these steps as part of its offer for comprehensive talks that was passed to the Bush administration through Swiss diplomats in 2003
Noted Middle Eastern expert  Michael Rubin, and others, have proven the falsity of this story  which the New York Times columnist (and AIPAC critic) Nicholas Kristoff also peddles. In fact, this outreach by the Iranian government was no such thing.

The memo that broached the idea of restoring ties with America was the handiwork of a free-lance and disgruntled Swiss diplomat on his way out of his
diplomatic posting in Tehran.  and , after his efforts came to light, he left the foreign service.  The Leveretts contend this offer (unsigned, and not on official Iranian letterhead-as is customary in diplomacy) was genuine.  Michael Rubin pointedly mentions Flynt Leverett, coincidentally enough, as one of the people promoting this propaganda: 
  
  The facts notwithstanding, a coterie of former officials and lobbyists have seized upon the Guldimann memo. Flynt Leverett, a Condoleezza Rice appointee who left the National Security Council to campaign for John Kerry in 2004, has compared it to Mao Zedong's 1972 opening of China. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff, affirmed the Iranian offer to credulous journalists. Iran lobbyist Trita Parsi, a former aide to disgraced congressman Bob Ney, insists he alerted White House political strategist Karl Rove to the Iranian proposal. But Parsi, who trades on his close ties to the Tehran regime, was also unaware that the United States was already in talks with the Islamic Republic.

In the concluding paragraph, the authors advocate that the release of the National Intelligence Estimate now provides an opportunity for a "comprehensive overhaul of American policy toward Iran".

Of course, this ignores a wide array of actions by the Iranians that have led to the deaths of Americans (Embassy and Marina Barracks bombings in Lebanon, the Khobar Tower bombings in Saudi Arabia that have been linked to the Iranians, the provision of fighters and weapons to terrorists in Iraq that have been used to kill Americans (and Iraqis), the funding of terror groups aorund the world, the support for Hezbollah in attacking our ally Israel and destroying Lebanon and a range of other actions that are detrimental to world peace but that further Iranian power-a goal that the Leveretts seem to share.