Monday, May 15, 2006

I Ran From Iran

So two days ago I read the letter that the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, recently sent to the president of America, George W Bush. It is interesting to read the communications that occur at those levels, just to try and get a grip on what world leaders might be thinking.

The thing that really impressed me was the sensibility and rationality of the letter. It covered both recent events in the middle east as well as the regions history of the last 60 years or so, as well as America's actions with things such as Guantanamo, the secret prisons in Europe, and the whole War on Terror.

None of what Ahmadinejad says is new or a revelation, it's things most people have been aware of for some time. However, he presents it in a non confrontational way, and points out how Bush's actions contradict his statements that he is for freedom, democracy, liberalism, peace, etc. He appeals to Bush to consider the things they have in common, rather than trying to foment further conflict.

The only part of the letter I disagree with is the last few paragraphs, where Ahmadinejad claims that the world is heading towards a more theocratic society. This I think is not the case, and should not be the case. Religion has an important part to play in society, but religion and government should be separate. No government should either promote or disparage any religion or it's practitioners. If people wish to embrace spirituality, they should do so, but it should not be mandated by law.

The letter is quite well put and respectful, and if the situations were reversed, I cannot see Bush being able to write such a letter, or even being willing to put his name to it. Given all the antagonizing things America has done, it's impressive that the leader of Iran can be so well mannered about things.

Bush has seized upon the uranium issue in Iran and used it to build up tension with Iran. The nuclear non proliferation treaty allows countries to develop nuclear technology for civilian purposes. This really shouldn't be an issue. Except for some statements regarding Israel, Iran's leader seems to be a reasonable leader.

I've seen a number of people predicting Bush will invade sometime before November, when the mid term elections occur, and given his actions in the past, I doubt I'll be surprised if it happens. I just hope Australia will have the sense to stay out of it this time. Another invasion is not a good idea. Iraq is nowhere near stable, America has already used up whatever goodwill they have with most of the world, as well as having run up a massive debt in process.

End Post
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