If you haven’t read Ahmadinejad’s letter, you really should. It moved my heart. I was touched and impressed and I’m sure people will start calling him a Rovian Plant in the Middle East.
Why? Well, let’s break down some of the letter.
The first part is platitude. We all think evil things are bad, and good things are good. Except the Bush Administration, of course.
The second part, which I’ll call “Common Pains”:
We, like you, are aggrieved by the ever-worsening pain and misery of the Palestinian people. Persistent aggressions by the Zionists are making life more and more difficult for the rightful owners of the land of Palestine. In broad day-light, in front of cameras and before the eyes of the world, they are bombarding innocent defenseless civilians, bulldozing houses, firing machine guns at students in the streets and alleys, and subjecting their families to endless grief.
Zionists is a red-flag. It would be like saying, “Persistent aggressions by those ‘negroes‘ are making life more difficult.” It’s a word that’s totally loaded with subtext. In addition, Ahmadinejad totally glosses over suicide bombings, car bombings, rocket attacks by Hamas & Hezbollah, and actions such as the dismantling of Israeli settlements, release of prisoners, and the general giving the Zionists have been doing for the past 20 years to achieve a lasting peace in the region.
For 60 years, the Zionist regime has driven millions of the inhabitants of Palestine out of their homes. Many of these refugees have died in the Diaspora and in refugee camps. Their children have spent their youth in these camps and are aging while still in the hope of returning to homeland.
Last I checked, the residents of Palestine were offered a chance to return but instead sided with the armies of Nasser. Egypt, Syria, and Jordan launched wars to conquer Israel and the Zionists, but were turned back at every stage. And if you pick the losers in a war, you live in refugee camps. Or you assimilate in sympathetic countries that offer you citizenship. The question I have– after 60 years, why haven’t the compassionate nations around Palestine absorbed the refugees into their borders? Why do they insist to forcing the Palestinians into lands that most of them have never lived on? Why is it always Israel that must grant the Palestinians the “right of return” when Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and Yemen all have economies which could support displaced peoples?
Let’s take a look at Iraq. Since the commencement of the US military presence in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, maimed or displaced. Terrorism in Iraq has grown exponentially. With the presence of the US military in Iraq, nothing has been done to rebuild the ruins, to restore the infrastructure or to alleviate poverty. The US Government used the pretext of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but later it became clear that that was just a lie and a deception.
Iraq. That’s funny. If Iran was serious about peace in the region, they’d be leaning on Sadr and his goons to straighten up and work with the new government. But they don’t. No words are offered, no admonition. Ahmadinejad says he abhors terrorism, but we don’t hear him condemning suicide bombers in Iraq. You don’t see him calling for Osama Bin Laden’s head.
In Iraq, about one hundred and fifty thousand American soldiers, separated from their families and loved ones, are operating under the command of the current US administration. A substantial number of them have been killed or wounded and their presence in Iraq has tarnished the image of the American people and government.
Ahmadinejad makes it sound like the US Soldiers just walk around, pining for home, getting blown up while occasionally torturing an innocent Iraqi. It’s all one-sided. It’s propaganda. Never does he acknowledge the good that’s being done in Iraq. (Wow, kind of sounds like the AP.)
But, Christmas comes early. It’s Ahmadinejad’s belated Ramadan gift to us.
You have heard that the US administration is kidnapping its presumed opponents from across the globe and arbitrarily holding them without trial or any international supervision in horrendous prisons that it has established in various parts of the world. God knows who these detainees actually are, and what terrible fate awaits them.
You have certainly heard the sad stories of the Guantanamo and Abu–Ghraib prisons. The US administration attempts to justify them through its proclaimed “war on terror.” But every one knows that such behavior, in fact, offends global public opinion, exacerbates resentment and thereby spreads terrorism, and tarnishes the US image and its credibility among nations.
The US administration’s illegal and immoral behavior is not even confined to outside its borders. You are witnessing daily that under the pretext of “the war on terror,” civil liberties in the United States are being increasingly curtailed. Even the privacy of individuals is fast losing its meaning. Judicial due process and fundamental rights are trampled upon. Private phones are tapped, suspects are arbitrarily arrested, sometimes beaten in the streets, or even shot to death.
He’s been reading DailyKos! But wait, there’s more!
Now that Iraq has a Constitution and an independent Assembly and Government, would it not be more beneficial to bring the US officers and soldiers home, and to spend the astronomical US military expenditures in Iraq for the welfare and prosperity of the American people? As you know very well, many victims of Katrina continue to suffer, and countless Americans continue to live in poverty and homelessness.
It’s like reading the PuffingTons Host! And the third part, which I’ll call “Dear Speaker Pelosi“
I’d also like to say a word to the winners of the recent elections in the US:
The United States has had many administrations; some who have left a positive legacy, and others that are neither remembered fondly by the American people nor by other nations.
Now that you control an important branch of the US Government, you will also be held to account by the people and by history.
If the US Government meets the current domestic and external challenges with an approach based on truth and Justice, it can remedy some of the past afflictions and alleviate some of the global resentment and hatred of America. But if the approach remains the same, it would not be unexpected that the American people would similarly reject the new electoral winners, although the recent elections, rather than reflecting a victory, in reality point to the failure of the current administration’s policies. These issues had been extensively dealt with in my letter to President Bush earlier this year.
So, Ahmadinejad wants the US to change its direction, to stop doing what it’s doing. It wants to Democrats to change the direction of US foreign policy. If the Democrats do change policy now, the Right can simply say, “Hey, you’re caving to the demands of that crazy guy who runs Iran!”
So what do the Democrats want to do? Side with Bush, or side with Iran? Which makes them more likable? Hmmmm?