I am quite delighted that Ahmedinejad wrote a letter to Bush. "Å¸Ã–Ã¿Ã˜Ã¿â„¢â‚¬Ã¥ Ã¿Ã˜Ã¿Â± Ã¿ÃŸâ‚¬Ã¥Å¸Ãœ Ã¿ÃŸÅ¸ÃœÃ¿Ã˜â‚¬Ã¥Ã¿Â¥Å¸Ã¡ Ã¿Â®Å¸Ã Ã¿Ã˜Å¸Ã–", he writes, poetically. Apparently, this teacher and his students have been counting the ways in which the Chosen One is not a nice Christian. The letter is a bizarre paean to monotheism - with some zingers on Iraq/Gitmo/Katrina and the usual puzzlement about Israel's existence that is becoming the hallmark of this guy.
I don't really know how the MSM will spin this letter. The line from the WH appears to be that since the letter says nothing about the nukes, we got nothing to say. But the letter is worth their attention. It is, for one, such an obvious attempt to start a conversation. I guess what occurs to Ahmedinejad [or The Teacher, as I will call him] for a conversation is the type of thing that will occur only to a first year exchange student from Tehran to Greeley, CO [ok. lowblow]. It is a pedantic, monocausal and deterministic reading of the world we live in. So, maybe, the Chosen One could write an equally inspired response: "Dear President. A woman in Kansas asked me, "Why do they hate us? Why is it that their religion is peace and yet they intend on wiping Israel off the map of the earth?" How would I answer to that woman? The Holy Prophet [pbuh] surely meant us all to get along. But as long as ..." Or something.
All kidding aside, I ask this of our President. Write the man a letter. Add him to your AOL buddy list. Put him on the MySpace friend bar. Throw open your Friendster profile. Obviously both of you have this in common: you believe in the Supreme God. [Yes, I know that it never did Mossadegh any good]
As much as I like the idea of Presidential Pen Pals, I think this letter is both more and less than it seems. Sure, it's a public relations ploy; others have noted it. It's also a very clever appeal to the most anti-democratic, paternalistic impulses of the Administration...
How very untrendy..maybe used paltalk instead? or better yet can you imagine Dubyas on Orkut..whats next A-jad on naseeb.com?
I guess you are correct in your analysis that the questions put up by the Iranian president could only come from a college freshmen, but then thats exactly what he wrote in his letter that his students ask him......and muslim world is full of frustated, poor, semi- educated and unemployed young men....who in case of further violent attacks from the west are potential suicide bombers and so called muslim terrorists.....if the west is sincere in its aim for peace for everyone, then its about time they answer such juvenile queries of the muslim world or else the lady in kansas will keep asking the same questions for another 400 years.
It may be a ploy and I agree with you it is an attempt to reach out (the 7th grade nature of this whole thing does lend credence to the MySpace call :), but the opening paragraphs are rather beautiful in their simplicity. Basically, he asks, "How can you say you believe these things and then do these other things?" It's not fit for intellectual analysis and the motives of the person writing it are suspect, but somebody--perhaps everybody--needs to keep posing these questions until we get an answer. And, as a friend suggested when I told her to try to ignore the holocaust-denying and 9/11 conspiracy theory parts in it, someone needs to give middle eastern leaders a class on speech writing :)