Vanishing moderates, vanishing hopeMohammad Khatami was a moderate who served eight years as Iran's head of state. His reformist efforts were consistently undermined by the conservative theocratic clergy and judiciary which really controls the country. He eschewed the anti-American vitriol favored by some of his predecessors and his successor. In short, he's exactly the kind of leader we should want more of in the Middle East (since in most other countries, the president has power).
Khatami recently stated the obvious: the policies of the Bush administration have only served to create a greater terrorist threat. It has only fanned the flames of Islamic extremism, something that benefits neither Khatami and other moderates in the Middle East nor Americans and other westerners.
"The policies of the neo-conservatives have created a war that creates more extremists and radicals," he told the UK Independent in Chicago. "The events of 9/11 gave them this ability to create fear and anxiety ... and to create new policies of their own and now events are creating an expansion of extremists on both sides. A struggle is under way to dominate this world multilaterally ... We are a witness to war - with suppression from one side and extremist reaction in the form of terror from the other."