Jeffrey LewisAhmadinejad Letter

I’ve read the full text of the letter (as posted by the Wall Street Journal) and let me say that it is much, much odder than a mix tape.

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?

Stone crazy.


  1. Ali

    Have you watched Loose Change, the movie? Do a search on google videos for it. AN has probably seen it, and is making the comments based on that and other material on sites like

  2. John Field (History)

    We’re doomed.

  3. mark gubrud (History)

    Crazy compared with whom?

    “What has been said, are some of the grievances of the people around the world, in our region and in your country.”

    And Ahmadinejad voices them eloquently, intelligently, and correctly, if you overlook a few distortions, such as implicitly questioning the Shoah and recounting a one-sided version of Israeli/Palestinian history. Such common distortions of the Iranian, Mideast and Third World perspective are hardly worse than the distortions endemic to our own political culture.

    As for the passage you quote, us more sophisticated Americans may know that US government involvement in 9/11 is unlikely, but Ahmadinejad asks reasonable questions, especially about the failure to hold accountable those who “botched their responsibilities” or to put top al Qaeda conspirators that the US holds in captivity on public trial.

    I could’t agree more with the sentiment of Ahmadinejad, president of a country facing an explicit threat of unprovoked US aggression, as he addresses Bush:

    “Those in power have a specific time in office and do not rule indefinitely, but their names will be recorded in history and will be constantly judged…

    “The people will scrutinize our presidencies.

    “Did we manage to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and unemployment?

    “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….?

    “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….?”

  4. Jeffrey Lewis

    Um, apart from denying the holocaust and suggesting 9/11 was staged by the USG?

  5. Ali

    First of all I think he makes his points in an intelligent fashion.

    Secondly, you have to understand the culture before jumping into conclusions. Iran has a culture of arts and letters – Even Mossadegh wrote to Eisenhower before the 1953 coup. It is not important what the letter says; it is important that it was written, and that it may represent an opening, a willingness to sit down and talk.

  6. mark gubrud (History)

    Yes, Jeffrey, as I wrote, and as you know,

    “Such common distortions of the Iranian, Mideast and Third World perspective are hardly worse than the distortions endemic to our own political culture.”

    Much of Ahmadinejad’s letter is deeply impressive and moving. Thank you for calling our attention to it.

  7. Another Ali (History)

    I’d infer from that passage that he thinks the “infiltrators” that staged 9-11 are more likely from Mossad than anywhere else, not an uncommon assumption in the ME.

    The letter looks naive rather than mad.

  8. Max (History)

    I think that the US should have the decency to respond to the considered letter by Ahmadinejad. Moreover, I think they have a diplomatic obligation to respond.

    Ahmadinejad asks pertinent questions regarding 9/11, which should not be dismissed out of hand. Any sophisticated American who partakes a study of all the available evidence would surely ask the same questions re US government complicity in 9/11.

    Best Regards for an excellent Blog.

  9. Max Postman (History)

    I really don’t wanna get in to a discussion of 9-11 conspiracy theories or the “cultural reasons” why an Iranian would deny the holocaust, so lets take this to a different level.

    I think almost everyone who visits this site would agree that the Iranian-US situation has gotten way out of hand at least partially because of explosive, absurd rhetoric from both sides. At that point, the question of whether there really are “a lot of unanswered questions” about 9-11 becomes irrelevant, becaues this was not the time or place for Ahmadinejad to address these issues. This was the time and place for Iran to try to lower the heat, and his statement did the exact opposite. Therefore, its a failure in my book. He should’ve sent the mix tape.

  10. Ali

    I have read this letter in Farsi. The intent of the letter is clearly to insult the US president, to insult the US people, and to portray Ahmadinejad as a wise religious and political counselor to the puny and foolish United States. There are so many jabs and insults that apparently Americans miss and think this guy is sincere. I assure, you he is not. Any official response to this letter would be seen in Iran and the Arab world as the US bowing down to the Islamic Republic. The 9-11 questions, for example, are meant to be insulting with the tone of “you think you are so powerful but you don’t even know who caused 9-11.” Earlier he announced that he has tens of thousands of suicide bombers ready to attack if anyone dares try to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Whether you agree with some of the views expressed in the letter is not the point. All Americans should be offended at this letter and wary of the country behind it.

  11. Wajahat Abbas (History)

    Dear All,

    Good to see you in debating about the letter. As the letter was for the same cause, to have dialouge, and to have a room for enemy even.
    About the letter i am sure that this is for all over the World and especially for the US citizen’s. The points he raised is debatable. At least his words are truly convey to the US citizen’s unlikey the CNN news & reviews.

    The war at IRAQ, the uneven, double standards in the World, where at one side of the World in US .. the high tech, luxrious life, and at the other side, people are hngry to get just 1 bread a day in Africa. Where the top 20 Millionares have the 86% of the World resources.

    With this so much uneven, the World is facing we have to raise our voice, and i think what Ahemdinijad does.