Reprinted from
Iran'sAhmadinejad: America's New Pen Pal

Kenneth R. Timmerman

Thursday, Nov. 30,2006

 WASHINGTON –- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hasfollowed up his 18-page letter to President George W. Bush earlierthis year with a five-page missive to the American people.

 In the earlier letter, which left the Bush White House shakingtheir heads with wonderment, the Iranian leader invited Bush toembrace Islam. That is a well-established Islamic tradition whendealing with an enemy just prior to war. If they refuse, then theMuslims are "justified" in destroying them.

 The letter released today follows a similar pattern. In it,Ahmadinejad lays out his case for America's "injustice," using theterm no fewer than 12 times in the five pages.

 The concept of Justice lies at the very center of the Islamicfaith. Justice is considered the backbone of all creation, handeddown by the Almighty. The faithful should strive to achieve justice,to "secure justice," as Ahmadinejad puts it. Those who pursueinjustice, on the contrary, are spitting in the face of Allah.

Ahmadinejad claims that America, under Bush, is pursuinginjustice.

 In making his case, he does not position himself as presidentof Iran, but attempts to set himself up as a spokesman for allMuslims. Thus, Iran itself barely figures in his letter.

 Instead, Ahmadinejad focuses on America's support for Israel,the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and the Bush administration's "moralcorruption," or as he puts it, the administration's pursuit of"darkness, deceit, lies, and distortion."

 Students of recent Iranian history will recall that the "crime"most often used to justify a death sentence by Islamic Republicrevolutionary courts during the early years of the revolution was"corruption on earth." This was how the regime simply eliminated itsopponents or those who rejected absolute clerical rule.

 Media commentators in the U.S. are likely to pick up on the"public relations" side of the letter. Ahmadinejad calls on the bring the troops home from Iraq, to cut off support for Israel,and to stop "kidnapping presumed opponents from across the globe" andholding them in secret prisons.

 He even has some advice for the new Democrat majority inCongress: Bend to the Muslim agenda, or you will be tossed out ofpower.

 Ahmadinejad repeatedly tries to appeal to Americans as peopleof faith, who share Islamic values. "We, like you, are aggrieved bythe ever-worsening pain and misery of the Palestinian people," hedrones. "Persistent aggressions by the Zionists are making life moreand more difficult for the rightful owners of the land ofPalestine."

 And he trots out his old anti-Semitic saw, claiming that "theZionists" control America "because they have imposed themselves on asubstantial portion of the banking, financial, cultural, and mediasectors."

But to focus on these parts of his letter, however silly andobjectionable they may be, would be to miss the main point. MahmoudAhmadinejad is not the Hugo Chavez of the Persian Gulf. He knows thatsoon he will have his finger on the nuclear trigger.

 Citing from the Quran at the close of his letter, he says thatif Americans "repent" of their "injustice," they will be blessed withmany gifts. "We should all heed the divine Word of the Holy Qur'an,"he says.

 The context of this particular verse (28:67-28, Sura"Al-Qasas," or The Narration), is very clear. It follows a graphicdescription of destruction and devastation that will befall those whofail to repent of their injustice.

 It also sets out the terms of the tradition Muslim warning tothe enemies of Allah. "And never will your Lord destroy the townsuntil He sends to their mother town a Messenger reciting to them OurVerses." This is is precisely what Ahmadinejad is doing in hisletter.

 Dump Bush, allow the Muslims to destroy Israel, and adopt Islam— or else you will be destroyed. This is Ahmadinejad'smessage.

Kenneth R. Timmerman is president of the Middle East Data Project,author of "Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown withIran," and a contributing editor to