From Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President Of Iran, To George Bush
By Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
12 May, 2006
Mr. George Bush, President of
the United States of America,
For sometime 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 amongst university students. Many questions
remain unanswered. These have prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions
and questions, in the hopes that it might bring about an opportunity
to redress them.
Can one be a follower of
Jesus Christ (PBUH), 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 War
and Terror his slogan, and finally, work towards 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 and on the slight chance of the … of a … criminals
in a village city, or convoy for example the entire village, city or
convey set ablaze. Or because of the possibility of the existence of
WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around one hundred thousand 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 fifty years.
At what price? Hundreds of billions of dollars spent from the treasury
of one country and certainly 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 aliments; while some are
killed and their bodies handed off to their families.
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
to begin with.
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 towards 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.
You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how can theses
actions be reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this
letter and duty to the tradition of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the Messenger
of peace and forgiveness.
There are prisoners in Guantanamo
Bay that have not been tried, have no legal representation, cannot be
seen by their families, and are obviously kept in a strange land outside
their own country. There is no international monitoring of their conditions
and fate. No one knows whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused, or
European investigators have
confirmed the existence of secret prisons in Europe too. I could not
correlate the abduction of a person and him or her being kept in secret
prisons with the provisions of any judicial system. For that matter,
I fail to understand how such actions correspond to the values outlined
in the beginning of this letter, i.e. the teachings of Jesus Christ
(PBUH), human rights, and liberal values.
Young people, university
students, and ordinary people have many questions about the phenomenon
of Israel. I am sure you are familiar with some of them.
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
sixty years ago such a country did not exist. They show old documents
and globes and say try as we have, we have not been able to find a country
I tell them to study the
history of WWI and II. One of my students told me that during WWII,
which more than tens of millions of people perished in, news about the
war was quickly disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their
victories and the most recent battlefront defeat of the other party.
After the war, they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six
million people that were surely related to at least two 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?
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.
Hundred of thousands of hectares
of farmland, olive plantations, towns, and villages were destroyed.
This tragedy is not exclusive
to the time of establishment; unfortunately it has been ongoing for
sixty 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 is this regime being supported? Is support for this
regime in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH) or Moses (PBUH)
or liberal values? Or are we to understand that allowing the original
inhabitants of these lands – inside and outside Palestine –
whether they are Christian, Muslim, or Jew, to determine their fate,
runs contrary to principles of democracy, human rights, and the teachings
of prophets? If not, why is there so much opposition to a referendum?
The newly elected Palestinian
administration recently took office. All independent observes have confirmed
that this government represents the electorate. Unbelievingly, they
have put the elected government under pressure and have advised it to
recognise 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? Again, can such position taken in opposition to the
Palestinian government be reconciled with the values outlined earlier?
The people are also saying why are all UNSC resolutions in condemnation
of Israel vetoed?
As you are well aware, I live amongst the people and am in constant
contact with them --many people from around the Middle East manage to
contact me as well. They dot not have faith in these dubious policies
either. There is evidence that the people of the region are becoming
increasingly angry with such policies.
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 translated
into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific
R&D one of the basic rights of nations?
You are familiar with history.
Aside from the Middle Ages, at what other point in history has scientific
and technical 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.
Lies were told in the Iraqi
matter. What was the result? I have no doubt that telling lies is reprehensible
in any culture, and you do not like to be lied to.
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
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 corroborates
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.
September Eleventh was a horrendous incident. The killing of innocents
is deplorable and appalling in any part of the world. Our government
immediately declared its disgust with the perpetrators and offered its
condolences to the bereaved and expressed its sympathies.
All governments have a duty
to protect the lives, property, and good standing of their citizens.
Reportedly your government employs extensive security, protection, and
intelligence systems – and even hunts its opponents abroad. September
Eleventh was not a simple operation. Could it be planned and executed
without coordination with intelligence and security services –
or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated
guess. Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret?
Why are we not told who botched their responsibilities? And, why aren't
those responsible and the guilty parties identified and put on trial?
All governments have a duty
to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens. For some years
now, the people of your country and neighbors of world trouble spots
do not have peace of mind. After 9/11, instead of healing and tending
to the emotional wounds of the survivors and the American people –
who had been immensely traumatized by the attacks – some Western
media only intensified the climates of fear and insecurity, constantly
talking about the possibility of new terror attacks and keeping the
people in fear. Is that service to the American people? Is it possible
to calculate the damages incurred from fear and panic?
American citizens lived in
constant fear of fresh attacks that could come at any moment and in
any place. They felt insecure in the streets, in their place of work,
and at home. Who would be happy with this situation? 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 hype
paved the way – and was the justification – for an attack
on Afghanistan. Again I need to refer to the role of media. In media
charters, 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
the ground set for an attack on Iraq.
Will the truth not be lost
in a contrived and deceptive climate? Again, if the truth is allowed
to be lost, how can that be reconciled with the earlier mentioned values?
Is the truth known to the Almighty lost as well?
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
has the hundreds of billions of dollars, spent every year to pay for
the Iraqi campaign, produced for your 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. Of course 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 – which I am hoping you
will agree to some of it – is: those in power have 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
The people will scrutinize
Did we manage to bring peace,
security, and prosperity for the people, or insecurity and unemployment?
Did we intend to establish justice, or just support special interest
groups, and by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship,
make a few people rich and powerful – thus trading the approval
of the people and the Almighty with theirs? Did we defend the rights
of the underprivileged or ignore them? Did we defend the rights of all
people around the world or impose wars on them, interfere illegally
in their affairs, establish hellish prisons and incarcerate some of
them? Did we bring the world peace and security or raise the specter
of intimidation and threats? Did we tell the truth to our nation and
others around the world or present an inverted version of it? Were we
on the side of the people or the occupiers and oppressors? Did our administration
set out to promote rational behavior, logic, ethics, peace, fulfilling
obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress, and
respect for human dignity, or the force of guns. Intimidation, insecurity,
disregard for the people, delaying the progress, and excellence of other
nations, and trample on people's rights? And finally, they will judge
us on whether we remained true to our oath of office – to serve
the people, which is our main task, and the traditions of the prophets
– or not?
How much longer can the world tolerate this situation? Where will this
trend lead the world to? 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 – hunt the people of the world? How much longer will
the blood of the 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
If the 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 distinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic, and other conflicts,
were would the world be today? Would not your government and people
be justifiably proud? Would not your administration's political and
economic standing have been stronger? And I am most sorry to say, would
there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the American governments?
Mr. President, it is not
my intention to distress anyone.
If the prophets Abraham,
Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph, or Jesus Christ (PBUH) were with us today,
how would they have judged such behavior? Will we be given a role to
play in the promised world, where justice will become universal and
Jesus Christ (PBUH) will be present? Will they even accept us?
My basic question is this
: Is there no better way to interact with the rest of the world? Today
there are hundreds of millions of Christians, hundreds of millions of
Moslems and millions of people who follow the teachings of Moses (PBUH).
All divine religions share and respect on word and that is monotheism
or belief in a single God and no other in the world.
The holy Koran stresses this
common word and calls on an followers of divine religions and says:
"[3.64] Say : O followers of the Book! Come to an equitable proposition
between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that)
we shall not associate aught. With Him and (that) some of us shall not
take others for lords besides Allah, but if they turn back, then say
: Bear witness that we are Muslims. (The Family of Imran)."
According to divine verses, we have all been called upon to worship
one God and follow the teachings of divine prophets. To worship a God
which is above all powers in the world and can do all He pleases. The
Lord which knows that which is hidden and visible, the past and the
future, knows what goes on in the Hearts of His servants and records
their deeds. The Lord who is the possessor of the heavens and the earth
and all universe is His court; planning for the universe is done by
His hands, and gives His servants the glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness
of sins. He is the companion of the oppressed and the enemy of oppressors.
He is the Compassionate, the Merciful. He is the recourse of the faithful
and guides them towards the light from darkness. He is witness to the
actions of His servants, He calls on servants to be faithful and do
good deeds, and asks them to stay on the path of righteousness and remain
steadfast. He calls on servants to heed His prophets and He is a witness
to their deeds. A bad ending belongs only to those who have chosen the
life of this world and disobey Him and oppress His servants. And a good
and eternal paradise belongs to those servants who fear His majesty
and do not follow their lascivious selves.
We believe a return to the
teachings of the divine prophets is the only road leading to salvations.
I have been told that Your Excellency follows the teachings of Jesus
(PBUH), and believes in the divine promise of the rule of the righteous
We also believe that Jesus
Christ (PBUH) was one of the great prophets of the Almighty. He has
been repeatedly praised in the Koran. Jesus (PBUH) has been quoted in
Koran as well; "[19,36] And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord,
therefore serves Him; this is the right path, Marium."
Service to and obedience
of the Almighty is the credo of all divine messengers.
The God of all people in
Europe, Asia, Africa, America, the Pacific, and the rest of the world
is one. He is the Almighty who wants to guide and give dignity to all
His servants. He has given greatness to Humans.
We again read in the Holy
Book: the Almighty God sent His prophets with miracles and clear signs
to guide the people and show them divine signs and purity them from
sins and pollutions. And He sent the Book and the balance so that the
people display justice and avoid the rebellious.
All of the above verses can
be seen, one way or the other, in the Good Book as well.
Divine prophets have promised:
the day will come when all humans will congregate before the court of
the Almighty, so that their deeds are examined. The good will be directed
towards Heaven and evildoers will meet divine retribution. I trust both
of us believe in such a day, but it will not be easy to calculate the
actions of rulers, because we must be answerable to our nations and
all others whose lives have been directly or indirectly effected by
All prophets, speak of peace
and tranquillity 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,
and belief in the Last Day, 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 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? Is this situation of the world today comparable
to that of ten years ago? Changes happen fast and come at a furious
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 wolrd 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 towards a main focal point –
that is the 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?
Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in
the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.
Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al
Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad, President
of the Islamic Republic of Iran
© 2006 LeMonde.fr