Read the Ahmadenijad letter today...it sounded pretty reasonable to me--not the ravings of a madman. Is it an accurate translation? I would guess that it is, because it does make him sound so reasonable.
He explained Iran's grievances against the West and America in particular:
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.
Now of course, Paula Zahn and Bill O'Reilly and their clones will never mention these facts to their audiences. Nor will "real newsmen"--the Brian Williams of the world. It's as though these things either didn't happen, don't matter, aren't worth talking about, or some combination of all those things.
For some reason, putting Iran's desire for nuclear power and yes, nuclear weapons in the context of their history makes no sense to the popular media--that shit doesn't get ratings, I guess. Meanwhile, they are more than happy to put everything Bush (or anyone else) does in the context of this being a "post-9/11 world." You know, because no history matters except ours and no one should be expected to remember anything about our history except 9/11, because that was just a horrible day.
And Ahmadinejad sounded like he watched "Loose Change" or something:
Reportedly your government employs extensive security, protection and intelligence systems – and even hunts its opponents abroad. September eleven 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?But my favorite stuff is on page 5 (in the pdf file linked above). My favorite stuff is page 5. Here's a sample:
The question here is “what has the hundreds of billions of dollars, spent every year to pay for the Iraqi campaign, produced for the citizens?”And then he asks a series of rhetorical questions which can all be answered "No" as far as the Bush administration is concerned.
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.
Did we manage to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and unemployment?Say What You Will...
Did we intend to establish justice, or just supported especial interest groups, and by forcing many people to live in poverty and hardship, made 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 imposed wars on them, interfered illegally in their affairs, established hellish prisons and incarcerated some of them?
Did we bring the world peace and security or raised the specter of intimidation and threats?
Did we tell the truth to our nation and others around the world or presented an inverted version of it?
Were we on the side of people or the occupiers and oppressors?
Did our administration set out to promote rational behaviour, logic, ethics, peace, fulfilling obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress and respect for human dignity or the force of guns.
...about Ahmadinejad's motives for the letter--call it Machiavellian realpolitik or whatever. I'm just saying that all that aside, most of what the letter says is reasonable and rational and is perfectly consistent with the philosophy of our culture and our nation. I know you can't really divorce it from its timing (considering the fact that the Security Council is considering sanctions--but it's also the first state letter from Iran in 27 years) and other political considerations, but I guess I'm thinking what the letter will sound like 15 years from now after the invasion of Iran went horribly awry and we're just coming out of a worldwide depression caused by Iran's manipulation of oil prices and what not. I think that then, as now, the letter sounds perfectly agreeable and deserving of a swiftly courteous and considered reply from our Dear Leader.
What of the oil bourse?
It's hard to find info on the coming Iran oil bourse, but I think it's closer than ever to starting up, and (eventually) threatening dollar hegemony in the process.
Here's some links to info about it:
Oil the reason behind latest tension with Iran
Oil Into Euros?
Iran sets up euro-based oil bourse
And here's finally something from the reputable, reliable Reuters:
Iran sees oil bourse in two months