am I part of the "axis of evil?"

He was elected (by an overwhelming majority), he's an intellectual, he's savy, shows good leadership abilities, appears to be concerned for the welfare of his nation and of the world, gives good speech, shows charisma, and is an attractive, figure. He's the President of Iran, Mohammed Khatami, and he is just about the exact opposite of George W. Bush, from top to bottom, beginning to end, and there's the rub. Americans can't digest this.

President Mohammad Khatami of Iran struck out at President Bush and other senior American officials at a news conference here today, saying they had "misused" the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States "to create an atmosphere of violence and war" across the world that could sow the seeds for still more destruction.

Mr. Khatami's visit to Afghanistan, Iran's eastern neighbor, was the first in 40 years by an Iranian head of state. He warned that American leaders, in widening their campaign against terrorism, could unleash a chain reaction that would engulf countries other than the intended targets in a new round of violence. He implied, without saying so explicitly, that the United States itself could be among the victims.

"The events of Sept. 11 were horrific, but the American leaders misused them, too," Mr. Khatami told reporters gathered in the old royal palace here in the Afghan capital after talks with President Hamid Karzai. The attackers "did it because they wanted to create an atmosphere of violence and war in the world, but we know with certainty that in today's world all our fates are linked."

"Those who plan to launch this war shouldn't think that the effects will be felt only where they attack," he continued. "To believe that you can make people submit by force is wrong. We know that this approach only brings anger and destruction."

I absolutely agree. Does that mean I'm a part of the "axis of evil?"

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Published on August 14, 2002 10:32 PM.

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