NEWS

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May 9, 2006

Ahmadinejad's Mein Kampf

Yesterday I blogged about how it is unlikely that Iranian president Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush would do anything to resolve the tension between the world and Iran. Well now that the letter has been released (UN officials released an Iranian translation of it), it is safe to say that it was not just a stalling tactic, but a lame publicity stunt by Ahmadinejad. The letter is meandering, covering theology, the existence of Israel, the accession of Hamas to power in the Palestinian Authority, US foreign policy, the American media, the war in Iraq, September 11th (including a 9/11 conspiracy theories), the Holocaust, etc. (I was going to give some block quotes, but trust me, it wouldn't be worth your time, this thing is as focused and logical as Mein Kampf, a text I'm sure Ahmadinejad is well aware of). The important thing though, is that this letter absolutely nothing new. We have heard Ahmadinejad say all these things before, though perhaps in this letter he has toned the rhetoric down, but just a little.Apparently the State Department views the letter as:

...an interesting window into the mentality and thinking of Iran, especially because it seemed to reflect a inclination to dwell on myriad grievances of the past rather than on the problem at hand, namely Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program.
But even that is not new and god I hope the State Department knows that.It is obvious that Ahmadinejad is making a move to garner international support in light of the likely diplomatic battle over Iran's nuclear ambitions. There are clear attempts to court the ideological support of South American and African nations in the letter.So I guess the only reason to blog about this is to concede that I was wrong yesterday, Mearsheimer would have no problem rationalizing this away.