Wednesday, November 29, 2006

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Message of Dr. Daniel Drezner to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Dear Mahmoud,

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 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.

It's good you got that out in the open.

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?

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?
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?

Write back as soon as you can!!

Best wishes,

Daniel Drezner

posted by Dan on 11.29.06 at 03:24 PM


think ahmadinejad knows who lars von trier is? that's the key question.

posted by: jared on 11.29.06 at 03:24 PM [permalink]

I am aware that people from foreign cultures strikes us as stupid and bizarre. But your penpal Ahmed doesnt seem very clever or illustrated. The fact he keeps writing long, confused, unfocused, apologetical letters to ... the American people (300,000,000 individuals) is troubling. I suspect the writer may be seriously disturbed. Scary.

posted by: jaimito on 11.29.06 at 03:24 PM [permalink]

An Azeri Writer has been condemned to death by an Iranian ayatollah, Salman Rushdie-style, for perceived insults to the Prophet Muhammed.

The BBC, in its permissive latitudinarianism, reports the story as matter-of-fact run-of-the-mill news from the Middle East and the fact that Azerbaijan is a place where British Petroleum has a huge stake in oil-investment upstream would never enter into the journalistically-challenged British propaganda network.

Oh, and the Republic of Georgia is where the pipeline from Azerbaijan passes through on its way to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, whence the crude oil is shipped to refineries in the UK. And if Georgia were a person, Vlad the Empoisoner would have already administered Polonium 210, because the Azeri oil competes with Soviet exports to Europe, which the former-Sovs wish to have completely under their control through oil blackmail. Vlad, the Short, almost invaded Georgia last month after it threw out four of his FSB, the successor to the KGB operatives, as they were planning their assassinations of senior Georgian politicians---0ops, maybe got a bit ahead of the curve there! Vlad the Short just signed a big agreement with Iran, concerning the sale of anti-air missiles for an oil and gas agreement.

Every story has its subtext.

Between Vlad's poison-purveyors and Ahmedinejad's nutty basijis, I'd hate to be that poor Azeri journalist.

posted by: daveinboca on 11.29.06 at 03:24 PM [permalink]

To answer your two part question about the Palestinians:

A) Palestinian "terrorism" is a result of the Israeli occupation and stealing of their land. Thus, while they do commit injustice, the greater injustice is being done by Israel. Condemning the Palestinians is like condemning the nerdy kind on the playground for trying to stand up to the bully. Yes, the nerdy kind is probably wrong to hit back (because violence is not justified), but the bully is the problem and needs to be taken care of.

B) No one is calling for "the forced migration of all Israeli Jews" and you are just full of bullsh** to even act like this is a serious issue. For your information, Ahmadinejad calls for a one-state solution to the Israel/Palestine problem and does not call for the Jews to leave Israel. You are just using the typical victim mentality to attribute to everyone the most violent intentions, even though you have no evidence or proof. By doing this, you are just feeding into the same system that makes Israel more violent and cruel, because you objectify all its enemies into Hitlers that need to be destroyed. It is a big problem. YOu are all wrong and delusional in your views of Israel.

posted by: joe m. on 11.29.06 at 03:24 PM [permalink]

Whatever you say Joe.

Daniel, you forgot to mention Mr Ahadinijad's critique of how the zionists have seized control of the financial services and the media. I'm no scientist, but while perusing my bookmarked blogroll I noticed a preponderance of Jewish names (M. Yglesias, E. Klein, M. Sawicky, Yourself) and I don't presume this is completely coincidental. It would appear the zionists have seized the new media as well.

posted by: DRR on 11.29.06 at 03:24 PM [permalink]

No one is calling for "the forced migration of all Israeli Jews"

Really, Joe? Are they all supposed to be killed on the spot?

I'm permanently fed up w/ the Israel gov't, but come now, sir -- you're just making yourself look stupid.

posted by: Anderson on 11.29.06 at 03:24 PM [permalink]

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