John Wayne Gacy, Jr. was one of the most prolific child serial killers and rapists in U.S. history. Known as the “Killer Clown,” he used his professional clown talents to lure victims into his home, where they then were asphyxiated or strangled. He claimed 33 victims before being arrested, convicted and, finally, executed in 1994.
Imagine Gacy, before his arrest, writing an opinion piece for a major U.S. newspaper expressing concerns about children being murdered. Anyone knowing Gacy’s propensities would damn him for his hypocrisy.
Yet such hypocrisy was evident earlier this week in a New York Times op-ed penned by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
In that op-ed, Zarif condemned “Wahhabism” — a fundamentalist religious branch of Sunni Islam that took root in the 18th century — as well as Tehran’s Islamic sectarian archrival, Saudi Arabia, for supporting extremist groups such as the former Nusra Front (now Jabhat Fateh al-Sham) in Syria. His condemnation included other extremist Sunni groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS. What he failed to mention were Shiite extremists that Iran has helped mold, like Hezbollah, whose atrocities are every bit as maniacal as the other groups and remains very active in Syria today.
Zarif expressed his outrage that the Saudis were promoting Nusra, a rebel force supported by Riyadh against Syrian President Bashar Assad—as transforming into a force of moderation. Zarif claimed giving Nusra a face-lift would not erase memories of video tapes by such extremist groups beheading a 12-year old boy.
What minister Zarid ignores, of course, is that Iran tops the list of the world’s leading executioners of their own children—with the nature of a child’s transgressions unimportant to the leadership. One Iranian child, for example, was executed simply for cheering a visiting Saudi soccer team.
The mullahs’ Gacy-like childcare program extends to ridding the country of unborn undesirables as well. In one village, every single male was executed for alleged drug crimes. The mullahs’ reasoning was the future children of the executed were “potential drug traffickers… (who) would want to seek revenge and provide money for their families.”
And, as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, Iran is responsible for an untold number of children becoming global victims of the long reach of the mullahs’ terrorist arm.
Ironically, all this comes at a time Iran’s leadership has become quite concerned about the country’s falling birthrate, causing it to limit birth control and pay parents a childbirth bonus. But, obviously, an environment in which a brutal Iranian leadership only seeks more human cannon fodder for implementing its global hegemony is not one conducive to young Iranian couples considering parenthood.
Zarif’s hypocrisy continues. He condemns the Saudis for trying to manipulate American public opinion about extremism while extremist Iran has a well-established amalgam of influencers both inside and outside the media that have been working to provide the appearance, but never the reality, of a kinder, gentler Iran ever since President Barack Obama took office.
Obama’s foreign policy guru, Ben Rhodes, has admitted he created an “echo chamber” to mold public opinion to support a nuclear deal with Iran because most foreign policy decision-makers were “morons.” He unabashedly acknowledges facts were never of importance to him—only getting the deal approved.
The Iranians have mastered this echo chamber. It enabled them to negotiate a one-sided deal in which its influencers were able to get everything the mullahs needed to continue their march to a nuclear arsenal.
While Obama stated he sought to create a regional environment where Iran and Saudi Arabia could “share the neighborhood,” he has instead created a Frankenstein that threatens the entire neighborhood. Any belief the deal would bring a better relationship with Iran was moronic, as evidenced by Tehran’s continuing efforts to create international incidents by threatening U.S. warships in that neighborhood.
Even with the nuclear deal feather in its cap, Iran’s echo chamber has remained hard at work. Having improved Tehran’s interests, it sought to further impair Riyadh’s. This involved promoting the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), recently passed by Congress. Should it become law, JASTA will come back to haunt us. While it seeks to deny nations involved in terrorist acts sovereign nation immunity, that denial potentially can cut both ways.
Iran, obviously, favors any legislation that would not only cause financial burdens for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia but also further drive a wedge into their relationship. While a law seeking to hold nations accountable for illegal acts might appear reasonable on its face, the foreign policy fallout will prove it to have been otherwise.
Iran’s echo chamber members are both active and passive. Among the active members is Obama’s confidante on all things Iranian, Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett; in the passive membership are publications like the New York Times that give a voice to officials representing a government that murders its own children.
Hypocrite Zarif also chastises the Saudis for hatred in targeting “Christians, Jews, Yazdis, Shiites and other ‘heretics.’” Yet he ignores the fact non-Muslims in Iran have suffered dire consequences under the mullahs, including execution simply for converting from Islam.
Finally, Zarif claims Saudi Arabia has changed Islam with its money. He endeavors to paint a picture of Iran’s mullahs being in the same boat with Christians, Jews and other Shiites who are attacked by Saudi Arabia. Incredulously, he suggests all of us in that boat “join hands with the rest of the community of nations to eliminate the scourge of terrorism and violence that threatens us all”—ironic words coming from the leading state sponsor of terrorism.
For almost a decade, Gacy continued his murderous spree, acting gregarious and civic-minded towards his neighbors. Zarif takes a similar approach toward the international community in his op-ed. Gacy fooled his neighbors. We allow Iran to do so at our peril.
Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.