Iran’s Ahmadinejad quizzes George Bush on human rights, Sept. 11 investigation, Christianity, Israel, terrorism, America’s looting of the world and more . . .
Presented here is the abbreviated text of a letter written by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and addressed to President George W. Bush. Although the mass media in America has mentioned the letter in passing, few Americans have actually had the opportunity to read it. It is the first direct communication between the governments since the U.S. embassy was stormed and hostages seized in 1979. American Free Press is pleased to provide this slightly edited version so that readers can draw their own conclusions about the Iranian leader.
MR. GEORGE BUSH,
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:
For some time now I have been thinking how one can justify the undeniable contradictions that exist in the international arena—which are being constantly debated especially in political forums and among students. Many questions remain unanswered. These have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions. . . .
Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ, the great messenger of God, feel obliged to respect human rights, present liberalism as a civilization model, announce one’s opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMDs, make [opposition to] “War and Terror” his slogan, and finally, work toward the establishment of a unified international community—a community which Christ and the virtuous of the Earth will one day govern, but at the same time, have countries attacked; the lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed. . . .
Or because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around 100,000 people killed, its water sources, agriculture and industry destroyed, close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, sanctity of private homes of citizens broken, and the country pushed back perhaps 50 years? At what price?
Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury of one country and certain other countries, and tens of thousands of young men and women—as occupation troops—put in harm’s way, taken away from family and loved ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much psychological pressure that every day some commit suicide and those returning home suffer depression, become sickly and grapple with all sorts of ailments; while some are killed.
On the pretext of the existence of WMDs, this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples of the occupied and the occupying country. Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed.
Of course Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, the announced goal of the war was to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction. He was toppled along the way toward another goal, nevertheless the people of the region are happy about it. I point out that throughout the many years of the war on Iran, Saddam was supported by the West.
Mr. President, I am a teacher. My students ask me how these actions can be reconciled with the tradition of Jesus Christ, the messenger of peace and forgiveness.
There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay who have not received trials, have no legal representation, their families cannot see them and are obviously kept in a strange land outside their own country. There is no international monitoring of their condition and fate. No one knows whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals. Investigators have confirmed the existence of secret prisons in Europe, too.
Young people, university students and ordinary people have many questions about the phenomenon of Israel. Throughout history many countries have been occupied, but I think the establishment of a new country with a new people is a new phenomenon that is exclusive to our times.
Students are saying that 60 years ago such a country did not exist. They show old maps and try, [but] we have not been able to find a country named Israel.
I tell them to study the history of World War I and II. One of my students told me that during World War II, in which tens of millions of people perished, news about the war was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. After the war, they claimed 6 million Jews had been killed. Six million people that were surely related to at least 2 million families. Again let us assume that these events are true.
Does that logically translate into the establishment of the state of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a state? How can this phenomenon be rationalized or explained? Mr. President, I am sure you know how—and at what cost—Israel was established:
• Many thousands were killed in the process;
• Millions of indigenous people were made refugees;
• Hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages were destroyed.
This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of [Israel’s] establishment; unfortunately it has been ongoing for 60 years now.
A regime has been established which does not show mercy even to kids, destroys houses while the occupants are still in them, announces beforehand its list and plans to assassinate Palestinian figures and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison. Such a phenomenon is unique—or at the very least extremely rare—in recent memory.
Another big question asked by people is why this regime is being supported. Is support for this regime in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ or Moses or liberal values? Or are we to understand that allowing the original inhabitants of these lands . . . to determine their fate runs contrary to principles of democracy? . . .
If not, why is there so much opposition to a referendum? The newly elected Palestinian administration recently took office. All independent observers have confirmed that this government represents the electorate. Incredibly, they have put the elected government under pressure and have advised it to recognize the Israeli regime, abandon the struggle and follow the programs of the previous government.
If the current Palestinian government had run on the above platform, would the Palestinian people have voted for it?
It is not my intention to pose too many questions, but I need to refer to other points as well. Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East regions is . . . portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime?
Is not scientific research and development one of the basic rights of nations?
Aside from the Middle Ages, in what other point in history has scientific and technological progress been a crime? Can the possibility of scientific achievements being utilized for military purposes be reason enough to oppose science and technology altogether? If such a supposition is true, then all scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, engineering etc, must be opposed.
Mr. President, don’t Latin Americans have the right to ask why their elected governments are being opposed and coup leaders supported? Or why they must constantly be threatened and live in fear?
The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented. They can play an important and valuable role in providing for the needs of humanity and contribute to its material and spiritual progress. Poverty and hardship in large parts of Africa are preventing this from happening.
Don’t they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth—including minerals—is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others?
Again, do such actions correspond to the teachings of Christ and the tenets of human rights? The brave and faithful people of Iran too have many questions and grievances, including the coup d’etat of 1953 and the subsequent toppling of the legal government of the day, opposition to the Islamic revolution, transformation of an embassy into a headquarters supporting the activities of those opposing the Islamic Republic (many thousands of pages of documents corroborate this claim), support for Saddam in the war waged against Iran, the shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane, freezing the assets of the Iranian nation, increasing threats, anger and displeasure vis-à-vis the scientific and nuclear progress of the Iranian nation (just when all Iranians are jubilant and collaborating their country’s progress), and many other grievances that I will not refer to in this letter.
Mr. Bush: Sept. 11 was a horrendous incident. The killing of innocents is deplorable. . . . Our government immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators and offered its condolences to the bereaved. . . . All governments have a duty to protect the lives, property and good standing of their citizens. Reportedly your government employs extensive security . . . and intelligence systems. . . . Sept. 11 was not a simple operation. Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services—or their extensive infiltration?
Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why aren’t we told who botched their responsibilities? And why aren’t those responsible identified and put on trial? All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens. . . . After 9-11, instead of healing and tending to the emotional wounds of the survivors and the American people . . . some Western media . . . constantly talked about the possibility of new terror attacks and kept the people in fear. Is that a service to the American people? . . .
Why was the media, instead of conveying a feeling of security and providing peace of mind, giving rise to a feeling of insecurity? Some believe that the exaggerations paved the way—and were the justification—for an attack on Afghanistan.
Again I refer to the role of media. . . . Correct dissemination of information and honest reporting of a story are established tenets. I express my deep regret about the disregard shown by certain Western media for these principles. The main pretext for an attack on Iraq was the existence of WMDs.
This was repeated incessantly—for the public to finally believe—and to lay the groundwork for an attack on Iraq. Will the truth not be lost in a contrived climate?
Mr. President, in countries around the world, citizens provide for the expenses of governments so that their governments in turn are able to serve them.
The question here is: What have the hundreds of billions of dollars spent every year to pay for the Iraqi campaign produced for the citizens?
As your excellency is aware, in some states of your country, people are living in poverty. Many thousands are homeless, and unemployment is a huge problem. These problems exist—to a larger or lesser extent—in other countries as well. With these conditions in mind, can the gargantuan expenses of the campaign—paid from the public treasury—be explained and be consistent with the aforementioned principles?
What has been said are some of the grievances of the people around the world in our region and in your country. But my main contention—I am hoping you will agree to some of it—is:
Those in power have a specific time in office and do not rule indefinitely, but their names will be recorded in history and will be constantly judged in the immediate and distant futures. The people will scrutinize our presidencies.
Did we manage to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and unemployment?
How long must the people of the world pay for the incorrect decisions of some rulers? How much longer will the specter of insecurity—raised from the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction—haunt the people of the world? How much longer will the blood of innocent men, women and children be spilled on the streets and people’s houses destroyed over their heads?
Are you pleased with the current condition of the world? Do you think present policies can continue?
If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on investment and assistance for poor countries, promotion of health, combating different diseases, education and improvement of mental and physical fitness, assistance to the victims of natural disasters, creation of employment opportunities and production, development projects and poverty alleviation, establishment of peace, mediation between disputing states and extinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts where would the world be today?
Would not your government and your people be justifiably proud? Would not your administration’s political and economic standing have been stronger? And . . . would there have been an ever-increasing global hatred of the American government?
All prophets speak of peace and tranquility for man—based on monotheism, justice and respect for human dignity. Do you not think that if all of us come to believe in and abide by these principles, that is, monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the dignity of man, belief in the [End Times], we can overcome the present problems of the world—that are the result of disobedience to the Almighty and the teachings of prophets—and improve our performance?
Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace, friendship and justice? Do you not think that the aforementioned written or unwritten principles are universally respected? Will you not accept this invitation?
That is a genuine return to the teachings of prophets to monotheism and justice to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His prophets.
Mr. President, history tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive. God has entrusted the fate of man to them. The Almighty has not left the universe and humanity to their own devices. Many things have happened contrary to the wishes and plans of governments. These things tell us that there is a higher power at work and all events are determined by Him. Can one deny the signs of change in the world today?
The people of the world are not happy with the status quo and pay little heed to the promises and comments made by a number of influential world leaders. Many people around the world feel insecure and oppose the spreading of insecurity and war and do not approve of and accept dubious policies.
The people are protesting the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots and the rich and poor countries. The people are disgusted with increasing corruption. The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion.
The people of the world have no faith in international organizations because their rights are not advocated by these organizations.
Liberalism and Western-style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic systems.
We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking toward a main focal point—that is Almighty God.
Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is, “Do you not want to join them?”
Mr. President, whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating toward faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran