Reports and the analyses filed by members of the American media during the hubbub of the Khomeinist "revolution" have been, for most Iranians, painfully unforgettable.
Remember the holy man called Khomeini?
Today the people of the Middle East who are actively protesting Islamist dictatorships, are effectively being ignored by the American leadership. It is certainly a baffling issue for the Iranian people who continue to ask why.
President Jimmy Carter not only betrayed a friend in the Iranian people, he unleashed the most inhumane and dangerous international terrorist movement that will expand its ad hoc terrorist pools and will continue to surpass its every threat.
Today President Obama is following in Carter's footsteps. The State Department is making deals with the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt without paying attention to the nature and history of these gangs and the dangers they are known to pose their own people, the world at large, in future.
By and large, a noticeable cross-section of the U.S. based media-- who had not done their homework-- immediately bought into the propaganda of the Islamists. The media touted Khomeini as the Second Coming, and lauded him as a holy and righteous man who was committed to upholding humanity and delivering democracy to the people of Iran.
While Khomeini was shunning secularism, his secular-minded supporters fabricated a potpourri of charges against the Shah to bolster their new messiah.
Now however, thirty-odd years down the line and with casualties that are beginning to run in the millions, the results are both international terrorism; a very real nuclear threat that may be hard to stop; absolute oppression and screaming poverty in Iran, and much more.
Who are the perpetrators? The very people who were in the Shah's prison. The ones who have fled Iran are now on the terrorist list of the Department of State.
In the early days of the revolution, then-US President Jimmy Carter hastily sent Ramsey Clark to Paris to sell out the long-time friend of the U.S., who admittedly was not without problems, to a man they knew nothing about.
The CIA, like the media, had also done precious little research on Khomeini. Andrew Young, United States ambassador to the United Nations, repeatedly hailed Khomeini and his Islamist revolution -- without knowing a thing about the Iranian people's history of struggles against the Shi'ia clergy's domination of power.
In October of 1978, in New York on an assignment, I remember hearing the American media reporting that millions of Iranians were out on the streets in support of Khomeini.
The reports were that Iranian people rejected the "modernity" that the Shah was pressing on them -- a clear sign that the media were entirely ignorant to the 1906 Iranian Constitutional Revolution which embraced modernity, meritocracy and the people's sovereignty over Iran.
That October, when I returned to Iran, the ostensible millions were not at all out on the streets. Yes, there were demonstrations, acts of terrorism and assassinations, but the people were mostly making jokes about a clerical leadership which was still thought to be absurd.
Among the reports that some of the people at my office -- who were Marxist, Hezbollah, Islamic- Marxists, and so forth -- were telling me, one was about how they had been handed money by the mosques in order to rent crowds to go march for Khomeini. The going rate, was said to be approximately $14.50 and a coupon for a shish kabob lunch.
Muammar Gaddafy, also not without problems, was a Soviet puppet of the cold war era; his relationship with the United States had always been strained, to put it mildly. In recent years, however, for a variety of reasons, Gaddafi offered a friendly hand toward America in an effort to make peace. When President Obama extended his hand to the Islamists and their defenders, only Gaddafy reciprocated. What happened that caused President Obama to refuse to negotiate with him and choose instead to support the Libyan people?
The policy of appeasement and continuous negotiations with the Islamist dictators who have repeatedly slapped President Obama's extended hand is mind-numbing. Why certain countries' protesters are supported, while others like the Iranian or Syrian people, are ignored is incomprehensible as well as telling.
This is the Question that is posed again and again by people inside Iran and I wish I had an answer for them.
The US-led NATO attack on Libya to remove Gaddhafy, the man who gave up terrorism and his nuclear arsenal and gave the British a large oil contract, taught Islamist dictators a great lesson: "Do not ever extend a hand of friendship to America if you want to stay in power. America punishes friends and caves in to bullies and enemies."