Romney to (“Terrorist”) Khatami: Drop Dead

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It’s true that Mohammed Khatami, as President of Iran, failed to live up to his early promise as a reformer. (And let’s face it, that was always going to be a tough gig.) But to call him a “terrorist,” as Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney is noisily doing, seems a touch histrionic.

Governor Mitt Romney declared yesterday he would not allow any state resources to be used to protect a former Iranian president during his visit to the Boston area this weekend, and he sharply criticized Harvard University for inviting Mohammed Khatami to speak on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“There are people in this state who have suffered from terrorism, and taking even a dollar of their money to support a terrorist is unacceptable,” Romney, a potential candidate for the Republican Party’s 2008 presidential nomination, said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Khatami will give a lecture titled “Ethics of Tolerance in the Age of Violence,” which, yes, is ironic given his country’s unimpressive record on the former and prolific contributions to the latter. But of course Romney wants to be president, so we should get used this kind of winking demagoguery, and not only from him. (Sigh.) Meanwhile, how the anti-terrorist cause will be served by Khatami’s getting popped in Harvard Yard remains unclear.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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