Let me put the Persian nutjob's remarks in Rick Moran's excellent article today in a different light. Ahmadinejad said:
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?
Mad Mahmoud was obviously referring to US intelligence services in order to slam President Bush. But the notion of 9—11 by its complexity perhaps being carried out by an experienced intelligence service is correct. We have been so attacked.
Laurie Mylroie has ably shown how the first World Trade Center attacks were linked to Saddam's intelligence service, and how the 9—11 attacks required the same coordination and operational skill that only resides in agencies of established nation—states. I also have shown how a force of former Baathists, Saddam's intelligence service, and Iranian mercenaries among others are the actual core of the enemy we face in the field, and not some loose network of jihadists or an insurgent "people's army."
Ahmadinejad just spilled the beans, and he didn't even realize it.
Doug Hanson 5 11 06
Clarice Feldman adds:
The NY Sun contends that the letter from Iran is actually a declaration of war:
President Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush, widely interpreted as a peaceful overture, is in fact a declaration of war. The key sentence in the letter is the closing salutation. In an eight—page text of the letter being circulated by the Council on Foreign Relations, it is left untranslated and rendered as "Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda." What this means is "Peace only unto those who follow the true path."
It is a phrase with historical significance in Islam, for, according to Islamic tradition, in year six of the Hejira — the late 620s — the prophet Mohammad sent letters to the Byzantine emperor and the Sassanid emperor telling them to convert to the true faith of Islam or be conquered. The letters included the same phrase that President Ahmadinejad used to conclude his letter to Mr. Bush. For Mohammad, the letters were a prelude to a Muslim offensive, a war launched for the purpose of imposing Islamic rule over infidels.
James Lewis adds:
Amir Taheri has an important report on Iran's Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush. According to Taheri, an exiled journalist and expert on Islam,
Ahmadinejad's move fits into a 14—century—long Muslim tradition, initiated by the Prophet Muhammad himself, of writing letters to "the rulers of the world." ... It would be wrong to dismiss Ahmadinejad's letter to Bush as just another of the Islamic leader's many weird habits....
His letter contains a crucial message: The present regime in Iran is the enemy of the current international system and is determined to undermine and, if possible, destroy it. ... Ahmadinejad believes that the "Hidden Imam" is about to return and that it is the duty of the Islamic Republic to provoke a "clash of civilizations" to hasten that return.
... Rather than ignoring Ahmadinejad's letter, President Bush should reply to him by inviting him to abandon Khomeinism and convert to liberal democracy."
This is guerilla theater — Iran's letter was released to the media before the White House received it. Maybe Taheri is right, and President Bush should consider a little political theater in response. Tony Snow, where are you?