we need no axis for our evil

[Yesterday a Middle East intellectual] suggested that there was a double standard in the extraordinary reaction against Mr. Hussein today compared with the world's inaction when he turned chemical weapons against Iran and even against Iraqi civilians.

"If chemical weapons are bad, why when they were used against [Iranian] or Iraqi citizens wasn't Iraq condemned and pressured?" he asked.

The man who posed the question, responding to reporters' questions while on a visit to Spain, was President Mohammad Khatami of Iran, representative of the "Axis of Evil."
Mr. Khatami, a midlevel cleric who studied philosophy, is the first Iranian leader to make an official visit to Spain since Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1965. He is using the occasion to press his campaign for the "dialogue among civilizations" that he introduced at the United Nations four years ago.

At Complutense University in Madrid, he delivered a speech on Cervantes and his relevance in today's world. In the course of the speech, he cited Proust, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Orwell, Kafka and Mann, and criticized modern-day Don Quixotes who lack his "kindhearted, merciful and humanitarian" nature and "ruthlessly assassinate and annihilate people with their huge war machines."

Although Khatami's question about chemical weapons went unanswered in Madrid, we should know the answer. In the past, the weapons were only directed toward brown people, and now they are about to be turned on white ones, or so we are told.

The whole answer is too complex for Americans, and for that reason, as well as for what it tells about our greed and hypocrisy, it won't be put forward by Washington.

More from this notorious evil-doer.

In a sharp criticism of the United States, President Mohammad Khatami of Iran said today that his country opposed a war against neighboring Iraq and charged that Washington's misguided campaign against terrorism had strengthened support for Osama bin Laden in the Muslim world.

"Have the erroneous policies of the United States made bin Laden more popular or more hated than before in various sectors of the Islamic world?" Mr. Khatami asked in a joint news conference with the Spanish prime minister, José María Aznar, during a three-day official visit to Spain. "Have the erroneous policies of the United States weakened Islamic trends that favor wisdom and democracy? The United States with its hegemony has strengthened bin Laden, so we ought to condemn it in some way for supporting terrorism."

And finally.
Mr. Khatami even likened the logic of Mr. bin Laden to that of President Bush.

"I hear a discourse from two poles," Mr. Khatami said in his native Persian. "One is the voice raised from Afghanistan by bin Laden that says, `Whoever is not with us must be destroyed.' The other is the voice from the United States that says, `Whoever is not with us is against us."' He added, "That is a logic which on one side leads to the most atrocious forms of terror and, on the other side, on the pretext of confronting terrorism, creates the worst type of atmosphere for waging war."

Fanatics madly spin the world and reason is made whoozy.

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Published on October 30, 2002 12:04 PM.

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