Open Letter From Tehran To George W. Bush

In this era of 24 hour news one would think that the American public had full access to any and all news occurring around the globe. Unfortunately what most of us realize now is that this is most certainly not the case. Obsessed with ratings and selling advertising the cable news networks have found a way to stretch five minutes worth of news over 24 hours, effectively leaving us to seek out information from alternative sources if we wish to be informed.

One bit of information that has not found it’s way into the mainstream media in the three days since it’s release is the following open letter to George W. Bush written on behalf of the Iranian government by Iranian Journalist Hassan Hanizadeh. In the letter Hanizadeh attempts to give our President a little lesson in History as it relates to US/Iranian relations as well as what he feels is the root of Islamic terrorism. The letter opens like this:

Hello Mr. Bush. As an Iranian journalist who has been following international developments for over thirty years, I would first of all like to inform you of some facts which might help you adopt correct political stances in regard to the Middle East.

The global events over the past decade which led to the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by the U.S. Army are most likely the result of a series of historical events rooted in religious inclinations.

Unfortunately, when studying the reasons behind events, Western political analysts most often fail to consider the historical dimensions and the less obvious factors that give rise to the ominous terrorism that threatens your nation and the world.

Most likely, due to political and economic factors such as the critical need for oil in your country, U.S. political analysts fail to unbiasely analyze the root causes of terrorism.

But more specifically, when formulating political decisions and strategies for the Middle East, Washington has traditionally ignored historical events. Rather, its decision-making has always been driven the flawed advice of certain countries that most often provide false information.

After a short reminder of the role Iran played, via The Shah, in the Cold War Hanizadeh goes on to talk about the roots of Islamic terrorism – Saudi nurtured Wahhabi ideology – and defends what he calls “humanitarian” Shia Islam. In a not-so-veiled attempt to shift US attention toward our Saudi “friends” Hanizadeh drops this little nugget on the President:

So allow me to draw your attention to some important points. First of all, a comprehensive investigation must be conducted to determine the identity and nationality of all the terrorists currently detained by the United States and its Western allies in places like Guantanamo; and second, that there be an probe into the question of whether any Shia armed forces have ever videotaped the beheading of a foreigner for broadcast on TV.

I therefore advise you to avoid being influenced by Arab leaders who pretend to be friends of you and your country, but actually wish to annihilate the West and the civilized world through the promotion of the Wahhabi ideology.[emphasis is mine]

So what does this letter mean? I could speculate all day but it looks to me like an attempt shift our attention away from Iran and toward that nation which has thus far avoided any serious scrutiny in the war on terror, Saudi Arabia. With that I will leave the full interpretation of this letter to people like Professor Juan Cole and others with the knowledge to put it into the proper perspective. I hope they will pick it up and do it due diligence.

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