So has there been any release of this letter our dear friend the President of Iran has written the American people?
Message of Dr. Daniel Drezner to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Got your letter today, thanks. It's much more coherent than that letter you sent about six months ago. I like that you stress the commonalities between what Americans and Iranians want. The repeated references to the notion that, "We are all inclined towards the good, and towards extending a helping hand to one another, particularly to those in need" -- very Carter-esque of you.
You sum up as follows:
It is possible to govern based on an approach that is distinctly different from one of coercion, force and injustice.It's good you got that out in the open.
It is possible to sincerely serve and promote common human values, and honesty and compassion.
It is possible to provide welfare and prosperity without tension, threats, imposition or war.
It is possible to lead the world towards the aspired perfection by adhering to unity, monotheism, morality and spirituality and drawing upon the teachings of the Divine Prophets.
Then, the American people, who are God-fearing and followers of Divine religions, will overcome every difficulty.
What I stated represents some of my anxieties and concerns.
Here are some of my anxieties and concerns -- which I'm willing to bet many Americans share:
1) You say in your letter that, "Hundreds of thousands of my Iranian compatriots are living amongst you in friendship and peace, and are contributing positively to your society." Do you remember why so many Iranians live in the United States? Do you believe that these Iranians could live peacefully under your regime in Iran?You probably notice a theme to these questions -- in all of your letters and interactions with Americans, you seem almost as obsessed with the United States as Lars von Trier. You have not, however, done anything to assuage the fears of Americans and others about the intentions and capabilities of your country. Why are you so mute about your own nation?
2) You say in your letter that, "The US administration has undermined the credibility of international organizations, particularly the United Nations and its Security Council." The thing is, Mahmoud, your country is the one willfully ignoring Security Council resolutions. How could these actions do anything but erode the trust of Americans in the UN?
3) When you say that, "our nation has always extended its hand of friendship to all other nations of the world," does this include acts like the Khobar towers bombing or not?
4) You have repeatedly stated that you want a dialogue with the United States. Why, then, have you rebuffed U.S. initiatives to start face-to-face negotiations with your government?
5) You take great pains in your letter to highlight, "the ever-worsening pain and misery of the Palestinian people" and "Persistent aggressions by the Zionists are making life more and more difficult for the rightful owners of the land of Palestine." A two-part question here, Mahmoud -- a) why do you never condemn acts of Palestinian terrorism; and b) in what way would the forced migration of all Israeli Jews not constitute "the trampling of peoples rights and the intimidation and humiliation of human beings" that you claim all Iranians abhor?
6) Gideon Rachman has a blog at the Financial Times. Let's excerpt something from a post of his:
My [non-American] interviewee has a longstanding and continuing involvement in the Middle East peace process and personal knowledge of all the major protagonists....
My interlocutor has met President Ahmadi-Nejad and describes him as truly scary. He adds that he is used to dealing with populist Arab leaders, but when you talk to them in private, they are usually quite reasonable and rational. Ahmadi-Nejad is not like that. His impression is that Ahmadi-Nejad is now calling the shots in Iran, and has intimidated the moderates into silence: They are all scared of him.
He believes that Iran is currently stirring up trouble in many different areas including Lebanon, the Israeli occupied territories and Iraq. Iraq he believes is becoming the arena for a regional power struggle, pitting Sunnis against Shia.
Interestingly, this appears to be the reaction you provoke among Americans as well. What can you do to dissuade me and mine that you're not a little... er... touched in the head?
Write back as soon as you can!!
posted by Dan on 11.29.06 at 03:24 PM
Iran's Ahmadinejad: America's New Pen Pal
Kenneth R. Timmerman
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006
WASHINGTON - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has followed up his 18-page letter to President George W. Bush earlier this year with a five-page missive to the American people.
In the earlier letter, which left the Bush White House shaking their heads with wonderment, the Iranian leader invited Bush to embrace Islam. That is a well-established Islamic tradition when dealing with an enemy just prior to war. If they refuse, then the Muslims are "justified" in destroying them.
The letter released today follows a similar pattern. In it, Ahmadinejad lays out his case for America's "injustice," using the term no fewer than 12 times in the five pages.
The concept of Justice lies at the very center of the Islamic faith. Justice is considered the backbone of all creation, handed down by the Almighty. The faithful should strive to achieve justice, to "secure justice," as Ahmadinejad puts it. Those who pursue injustice, on the contrary, are spitting in the face of Allah.
Ahmadinejad claims that America, under Bush, is pursuing injustice.
In making his case, he does not position himself as president of Iran, but attempts to set himself up as a spokesman for all Muslims. Thus, Iran itself barely figures in his letter.
Instead, Ahmadinejad focuses on America's support for Israel, the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and the Bush administration's "moral corruption," or as he puts it, the administration's pursuit of "darkness, deceit, lies, and distortion."
Students of recent Iranian history will recall that the "crime" most often used to justify a death sentence by Islamic Republic revolutionary courts during the early years of the revolution was "corruption on earth." This was how the regime simply eliminated its opponents or those who rejected absolute clerical rule.
Media commentators in the U.S. are likely to pick up on the "public relations" side of the letter. Ahmadinejad calls on the U.S. to bring the troops home from Iraq, to cut off support for Israel, and to stop "kidnapping presumed opponents from across the globe" and holding them in secret prisons.
He even has some advice for the new Democrat majority in Congress: Bend to the Muslim agenda, or you will be tossed out of power.
Ahmadinejad repeatedly tries to appeal to Americans as people of faith, who share Islamic values. "We, like you, are aggrieved by the ever-worsening pain and misery of the Palestinian people," he drones. "Persistent aggressions by the Zionists are making life more and more difficult for the rightful owners of the land of Palestine."
And he trots out his old anti-Semitic saw, claiming that "the Zionists" control America "because they have imposed themselves on a substantial portion of the banking, financial, cultural, and media sectors."
But to focus on these parts of his letter, however silly and objectionable they may be, would be to miss the main point. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not the Hugo Chavez of the Persian Gulf. He knows that soon he will have his finger on the nuclear trigger.
Citing from the Quran at the close of his letter, he says that if Americans "repent" of their "injustice," they will be blessed with many gifts. "We should all heed the divine Word of the Holy Qur'an," he says.
The context of this particular verse (28:67-28, Sura "Al-Qasas," or The Narration), is very clear. It follows a graphic description of destruction and devastation that will befall those who fail to repent of their injustice.
It also sets out the terms of the tradition Muslim warning to the enemies of Allah. "And never will your Lord destroy the towns until He sends to their mother town a Messenger reciting to them Our Verses." This is is precisely what Ahmadinejad is doing in his letter.
Dump Bush, allow the Muslims to destroy Israel, and adopt Islam or else you will be destroyed. This is Ahmadinejad's message.
Kenneth R. Timmerman is president of the Middle East Data Project, author of "Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran," and a contributing editor to NewsMax.com.