Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A letter from Mahmoud

Our pal, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has seen fit to send an open letter to the American people. The multi-page missive was distributed through Iran's delegation to the UN. You can read the translated text here.

I have slogged through the whole thing, and am rather unimpressed with it. You'd think he'd at least give us an update on the Iranian national soccer team's progress, or some other local news, but, no, there's nothing like that.

Instead, Ahmadinejad's letter is a an intellectually lazy semi-diatribe, filled with all sorts of generalizations and, as far as I can tell, not one single concrete offer or suggestion for reducing tensions between the US and Iran. Ahmadinejad engages in some poorly veiled Jew-baiting, a great deal of disingenuous attempted separation of the US populace from its government, and a whole lot of lamenting the plight of the poor Palestinians. He positively gushes about the admirable qualities of the American people, while hammering away at our elected officials and "Zionists" in both Israel and Washington.

No doubt this offering will find at least a small audience of sympathizers in the US, and probably moreso in Europe. However, it certainly seems to me to be so unspecific, so generic, and so meandering that I just can't see it having any major impact at all. The anti-Semitism expressed by Ahmadinejad pales in comparison to that portrayed in Borat, and Americans have already voiced their displeasure with their elected officials.

I would like to know what Ahmadinejad is really up to here. Galvanizing the American people, or even triggering discussion or deep thought, seems unlikely. And if it was just pub he was looking for, he should have recorded a rap album.

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