Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Battle of the Bilge

Details of Ahmadinejad's letter to the President are fascinating. Says the chief Persian Nutwad:

--The promotion of democracy has failed.

--It is too bad America is more hated in the world.

--Questioning the wisdom of our response to 9/11.

--Bemoaning that spending in Iraq could have been spent on poverty.

--Lamenting our support of Israel (but without saying "neo-con").

--Regretting that there is less faith in international institutions.

--Wondering what we are hiding about 9/11.

--Suggesting our government is repressive and cruel.

--Blaming us for needless bloodshed.

--Charging our policies have made the world worse.

By the end I thought I was reading a Howard Dean press release. I mean, except for the references to God, what's the difference?

Seriously, though, this letter seems nothing less than a call for our surrender to the jihad. Check out the last paragraphs of this gem:

Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and the thoughts of the Liberal democratic systems.

We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards the main focal point -- that is the Almighty God. Undoubdetly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: "Do you not want to join them?"

Mr. President,

Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.

So how do you say "Nuts!" in Farsi?

And more importantly, why is Ahmadinejad so confident that he can call on the President of the United States to essentially surrender to the jihad?

UPDATE: A couple articles that take Ahmadinejad's words as essentially a declaration of war rather than simply the loony ravings of a madman that should be mocked. This guy is deadly serious.

Amir Taheri says:

It would be wrong to dismiss Ahmadinejad's letter to Bush as just another of the Islamic leader's many weird habits. It would be more prudent, and better politics, to take Ahmadinejad seriously and try and understand him in his own terms.

His letter contains a crucial message: The present regime in Iran is the enemy of the current international system and is determined to undermine and, if possible, destroy it.

It would be wrong to dismiss that message as the product of a 50-year-old teenager's folie de grandeur. Ahmadinejad believes that the "Hidden Imam" is about to return and that it is the duty of the Islamic Republic to provoke a "clash of civilizations" to hasten that return.

As he asserts in his letter, Ahmadinejad also believes that the liberal-democratic model of market-based capitalist societies has failed and is rejected even in its traditional homeland. He has been impressed by the recent riots in France, where the extreme left provided the leadership but the Muslim sub-proletariat much of the muscle in the streets.

Rather than ignoring Ahmadinejad's letter, President Bush should reply to him by inviting him to abandon Khomeinism and convert to liberal democracy. For, when all is said and done, the fight over Iran today is not about real or imagined nuclear weapons; it is about the kind of Iran with which the Middle East, indeed the whole world, can feel comfortable.

Ahmadinejad's letter shows that a majority of Iranians, let alone the world as a whole, cannot feel comfortable with the kind of Iran he represents.

And this:

President Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush, widely interpreted as a peaceful overture, is in fact a declaration of war. The key sentence in the letter is the closing salutation. In an eight-page text of the letter being circulated by the Council on Foreign Relations, it is left untranslated and rendered as "Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda." What this means is "Peace only unto those who follow the true path."

It is a phrase with historical significance in Islam, for, according to Islamic tradition, in year six of the Hejira - the late 620s - the prophet Mohammad sent letters to the Byzantine emperor and the Sassanid emperor telling them to convert to the true faith of Islam or be conquered. The letters included the same phrase that President Ahmadinejad used to conclude his letter to Mr. Bush. For Mohammad, the letters were a prelude to a Muslim offensive, a war launched for the purpose of imposing Islamic rule over infidels.

A couple hours after I first posted this entry, it occurred to me that the letter really seemed more like an ultimatum. It lays out Iran's grievances against us and states what we need to do to make amends for those grievances. Left unstated is just what Iran will do since we have refused the kind offer to surrender to Iran's mullahs. But I thought, I'm reading way too much into the letter. Now I'm not so sure I was correct to ignore my gut feeling.

As I wrote, just why is Ahmadinejad so confident he can issue such a call to surrender? And when is their deadline for compliance?

I hope we are locked and loaded. If Iran hits us, we need to be ready to escalate in response all the way to regime destruction.