What's in the letter?

I can accept funny in the head in, say, comptrollers from Illinois. But not from genocidal leaders of nations desperately working to acquire nuclear weapons. So, no thanks. And the declaration of war was issued a long, long time ago, when the Ayatollah’s thugs seized the US embassy and took hostages. That was an act of war, just like innumerable Iranian “foreign policy” initiatives since, like the Argentinian massacres, just to name one.

We just somehow didn’t get it. And, unfortunately, I’m afraid a lot of us won’t get it until Tel Aviv or Washington or both are incinerated. You certainly don’t, if you think this was an “appeal” in any way, shape, or form. Seriously, you don’t read the threats in this letter? To me, they’re obvious in almost every single sentence.

It’s not really a threatening letter.

Here is a pdf of the whole thing.

Just because they are mean to us sometimes doesn’t make everything a threat. This reads like moral posturing, it’s politics, not war. He makes many of the same comments you see made in the country every day about Bush’s policies.

Oh I don’t doubt that at all. I suspect you see lots of things about Islam that everyone else mysteriously misses.

Reading that letter turned me into an effeminate hippie. Can’t we all just get along?

So, a hypothetical: if the President of the United States sent a “screw you” letter to Saddam before we invaded, would it be taken as a sign of his aggressive intentions? Or just playing domestic politics, writing the whole thing towards the people back home?

Yeah, I guess I’m hallucinating the…

Continuing Holocaust denials.

Continuing threats about making Israel disappear from the map by questioning its very legitimacy.

Continuing threats over how Western democracy is dying and will be soon replaced by Islam (so covert now! avoid the jizyah! one-time offer!)

Closing rant about how America needs to accept the prophets and disavow Christianity for Islam.

Nick, you’re the one who’s missing things. Actually try reading the Koran, the hadiths, etc. Learn about how the violent, later Meccan verses are universally deemed to supersede the more peaceful Medinan ones (written when Mo was still trying to convert the local Jews) that the “moderate” imams trot out whenever they ignore the latest atrocity in the name of Islam and lecture us on how tolerant they really, really are.

Please, stop throwing around the insults and show me how I’m wrong about Mahmoud, and about how he really just wants to live in peace with Christians. Hell, just show me some examples of Mahmoud’s ideas of tolerance as expressed in Iranian society. Show me why we should take anything this guy says at face value. I’ll be checking back in here later for evidence that Jews and Christians and Bahai adherenets are getting along just great in Mahmoud’s “I Love Everybody” Iran.

ABC News is reporting that the letter was not written by Mahmoud but is actually a speech Al Gore gave a few weeks ago.

And they say republicans have no sense of humor!

That’s the trap, the game that Mahmoud is playing. It’s the some old song and dance we’ve been getting from Iran since 1979. Sorry, but buying into this and thinking that the letter is anything but a demand for surrender is simply crazy.

Come on – the whole thing is ludicrous at face value. Mahmoud spends paragraphs complaining about the US and Guantanamo Bay, when his vaunted Islamic republic has religious police accosting women on the street for showing too much hair or leg, and flat-out beats dissidents to death on a regular basis. He bitches about poverty in Africa (where is Iran’s oil money?), sticks up for Hugo Chavez (a dictator now planning to take power for 25 years, in violation of the Venezuelan constitution), says that Western liberal democracy is doomed (when young people in Iran have wanted more liberal democracy at home for well over a decade now), hints really broadly that some intelligence agency planned 9/11 (hello, Mossad/CIA conspiracy kooks), and of course concludes with the not-exactly-veiled notification that Muslims are growing in number and will bring down the corrupt, godless West before too long (check out the apocalyptic hints in those final pages, too).

Also, the Holocaust stuff is disgusting and outrageous. Mahmoud spends paragraphs denying it yet again, calling Israel a “phenomenon.” How can you characterize this letter as not being threatening when it once again repeats the crazy Islamic/Arab crap about evil Jews that has been powering the ideology behind everything from suicide attacks on delis to 9/11?

Give your head a shake. This letter is the most hypocritical piece of garbage I’ve read in quite some time. That anyone is conned by it is simply sad.

Me, too, but I don’t think it’s very threatening.

Iran is a threat, but that doesn’t make every letter they write a threat, too.

I agree with you that this letter is a ploy. It proposes a sort of brotherhood of theocratic intent that I don’t think is sincere for a second. It tries to suggest that we can talk about this like adults rather than engagic in barbaric nuclear games. But it can’t be both a ploy and a threat, that makes no sense.

The Ze Frank Show
has this covered in today’s video blog!

Well, I get your point. But why not? Different people will read that letter different ways. Some will see it as sincere. Some as a threat. Others as yet another Iranian negotiating ploy. There is a lot here, calculated to lull the anti-Bushies and peaceniks, to rally the Iranian and ME youth, and confuse average Christians.

It’s actually a pretty brilliant move on Iran’s part, as it will at the very least obfuscate the situation and cause more delays with the UN and possible sanctions. Nobody can flat-out deny everything that Mahmoud says here, either, because a lot of people have made the same criticisms of Bush and the war in Iraq. A lot of people will give it a glance, think “Hey, Iran wants peace!” Others will see it as a tactic, yet still assume that there is some sincerity behind it and push for more dialogue.

So, it’s really win-win for Mahmoud and the Mahdi (coming Fall 2007, only on FOX!). The White House really needs to respond to this letter, point by point. An erudite man could make Mahmoud look like an absolute fool. Surely Bush must have one on staff somewhere.

Like Tony Snow?

For anyone who still thinks Mad Man Mahmoud isn’t a big deal – the UN’s IAEA has now found traces of highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium in Iran. It could prove to come from outside the country, but still, you’ve gotta think smoke=fire, quacks like a duck, etc. Also, the sample apparently came from Iranian centrifuge equipment that could have been used at a former facility long suspected of being used to refine uranium for weapon use.

Gotta wonder about the timing of Mahmoud’s letter now, too. The note was essentially a demand for the US to embrace Islam, which seems awfully bold and risky if Iran didn’t either already have a nuke or two, or wasn’t very close to it.


The U.N. atomic agency found traces of highly enriched uranium at an Iranian site linked to the country’s defense ministry, diplomats said Friday, adding to concerns that Tehran was hiding activities aimed at making nuclear arms.

The diplomats, who demanded anonymity in exchange for revealing the confidential information, said the findings were preliminary and still had to be confirmed through other lab tests. But they said the density of enrichment appeared to be close to or above the level used to make nuclear warheads.

Relying on leaks of unconfirmed intelligence information from anonymous sources has certainly served US foreign policy well in the last few years.

This comes from the UN, Jason, not the CIA or any other body directly linked to the Bush administration. So I don’t think the “This is the same as Iraq” crap is applicable here.

Oh, excuse me - “unconfirmed intelligence information from anonymous sources” is ok if it’s from the UN. You’re right, that’s totally different for some reason.

The value of that information is dubious, at best. It doesn’t come from the UN, as you claim, nor the IAEA. It comes from “anonymous diplomats”. Those diplomats could be from anywhere, including Israel, America or Iraq, and could be involved in anything, including black propaganda.

Iran has plenty of enemies, so there’s probably good reason for those diplomats to request not only anonymity of their names, but their role and nationality. Exposing that information might well undermine the value of the information they are supposedly leaking.

Jason, if Iran did enrich this uranium, would you be surprised?

Bear in mind that diplomats are trained to sense highly enriched uranium even without lab confirmation, so the info is legit. U235 and U238 look, taste, and smell the same to any of us, and they even react identically and give the same spectral lines, but hey… that’s why we aren’t diplomats. They have different diplomatic signatures!

It’s cute, though, how the Iranians leave traces of enriched uranium in places they let people tour. “Hey, Jimbob, there’s an IEAE tour today. Make sure you wipe the traces of enriched uranium off the toilet rims when you’re cleaning today - don’t want to leave a ‘surprise’! Heh, heh, heh.”