Who's running our Iran policy?

John Limbert, Obama's new man who occupies the Iran chair at the State Department, is now subject to some controversy because of his ties to the National Iranian American Council -- which appears to be illegally serving as a lobby for Iran. Trita Parsi, who heads the NIAC, ridicules claims that Limbert might be amenable to the goals of Iran's regime by pointing out that Limbert was a hostage during the Iranian Embassy crisis and wonders how anyone could think that a hostage would show deference to the very regime that imprisoned him. (and many others).  

Michael Goldfarb 
and others have speculated that Stockholm Syndrome may be in play -- that a hostage may come to respect his captors. This video clip, unwittingly provided to Andrew Sullivan by the NIAC, certainly lends some credence to those views.

This clip shows Limbert -- while he was being held "hostage" -- welcoming ( in a deferential and considerate manner) Ali Khamenei, then Iran's president and now its Supreme Leader.

Now some might consider this the appropriate and diplomatic approach; others might wonder otherwise. Andrew Sullivan writes of the clip:

It shows Amb. John Limbert, at the time a hostage in the US Embassy, speaking with Ali Khamenei, then Iran's president (and currently the Supreme Leader).  [...] For non-Farsi speakers, the exchange between Limbert and Khamenei here is incredibly interesting. To paraphrase: Limbert politely welcomed Khamenei, who was being treated as a guest since he was visiting the hostages at their "residence" where they were being held.  Limbert remarked about the Iranian cultural quirk known as "taarof," which characterizes the uniquely Iranian version of hospitality, saying: Iranians are too hospitable to guests in their country, when we insist that we must be going, you all tell us "no, no, you must stay."

I read the superb book Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam a couple of years ago. The book provides an insider's view of what happened to the hostages during their 444 day captivity. Most resisted their captors; most had a defiant attitude. The few who did not were the exception, not the rule. Limbert seems to have been one of the exceptions -- and not in a good way.
John Limbert, Obama's new man who occupies the Iran chair at the State Department, is now subject to some controversy because of his ties to the National Iranian American Council -- which appears to be illegally serving as a lobby for Iran. Trita Parsi, who heads the NIAC, ridicules claims that Limbert might be amenable to the goals of Iran's regime by pointing out that Limbert was a hostage during the Iranian Embassy crisis and wonders how anyone could think that a hostage would show deference to the very regime that imprisoned him. (and many others).  

Michael Goldfarb 
and others have speculated that Stockholm Syndrome may be in play -- that a hostage may come to respect his captors. This video clip, unwittingly provided to Andrew Sullivan by the NIAC, certainly lends some credence to those views.

This clip shows Limbert -- while he was being held "hostage" -- welcoming ( in a deferential and considerate manner) Ali Khamenei, then Iran's president and now its Supreme Leader.

Now some might consider this the appropriate and diplomatic approach; others might wonder otherwise. Andrew Sullivan writes of the clip:

It shows Amb. John Limbert, at the time a hostage in the US Embassy, speaking with Ali Khamenei, then Iran's president (and currently the Supreme Leader).  [...] For non-Farsi speakers, the exchange between Limbert and Khamenei here is incredibly interesting. To paraphrase: Limbert politely welcomed Khamenei, who was being treated as a guest since he was visiting the hostages at their "residence" where they were being held.  Limbert remarked about the Iranian cultural quirk known as "taarof," which characterizes the uniquely Iranian version of hospitality, saying: Iranians are too hospitable to guests in their country, when we insist that we must be going, you all tell us "no, no, you must stay."

I read the superb book Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam a couple of years ago. The book provides an insider's view of what happened to the hostages during their 444 day captivity. Most resisted their captors; most had a defiant attitude. The few who did not were the exception, not the rule. Limbert seems to have been one of the exceptions -- and not in a good way.