Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Ahmadinejad’s Hypocrisy

Kash Kheirkhah

As an Iranian, the first thought that crosses my mind when I read Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s letter to the American people is "what a hypocrit". In his five-page letter, the Iranian President, whose government’s blatant violations of human rights, from brutally oppressing freedom of speech to denying equal rights to woman and religious minorities to name a few, is no secret to anyone, preaches Americans about human values, dignity, respect and integrity as if they didn’t know his regime’s history and couldn’t see his intent.

In the letter, Mr. Ahmadinejad argues that “millions of Palestinians have been driven out of their homes in the past 60 years. Many of them have died in the Diaspora and that many of their children are aging while still in the hope of returning to homeland.” Unfortunately, The same argument can be made about millions of the inhabitants of Iran who have been driven out of Iran in the past 28 years by the Islamic Regime, either aging while still in the hope of returning to their homeland or dying in Diaspora. These are the same Iranians Mr.Ahmadinejad refers to in his letter as his “compatriots”, otherwise labeled as “treacherous anti-revolutionaries” by his regime, who have been humiliated, intimidated and eventually forced to exile for the fear of their lives.

Mr. Ahmadinejad then questions the Bush administration handling of Iraq hurricane Katrina: “ a substantial number of American soldiers have been killed or wounded… I consider it extremely unlikely that you, the American people, consent to the billions of dollars of annual expenditure from your treasury for this military misadventure…would it not be more beneficial… to spend the astronomical US military expenditures in Iraq for the welfare and prosperity of the American people? As you know very well, many victims of Katrina continue to suffer, and countless Americans continue to live in poverty and homelessness. "

Of course, the American public also knows that many American soldiers have been killed in Iraq , by the weapons and roadside bombs that US commanders in Iraq believe to be manufactured and shipped to Iraq by the Iranian regime. ABC News reported just a few days ago on coalition forces, seizing Iranian-made weapons, going directly from Iranian factories to Shia militia. The American people will also consider it extremely unlikely that the Iranian people, suffering from a wide array of backbreaking economic problems, have ever consented their government funneling billions of dollars of Iran 's annual expenditure from Iran 's treasury to Iraqi shia militias or the likes of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. Shedding crocodile tears for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, Mr. Ahmadinejad forgets to tell the American people how in his own country, the survivors of catastrophic 2003 Bam earthquake are still living in tents, under the most appalling conditions. Would it not be more beneficial to spend Iran ’s astronomical expenditures in Iraq , Lebanon and the Palestinian territories for the welfare and prosperity of the Iranian people?

Continuing with his long list of Bush administration’s crimes and misdemeanors, Mr. Ahmadinejad speaks of Guantanamo and Abu-Ghraib prisons and refers to the result of the midterm elections in the US as “a message the administration should heed.” Of course, with his holier-than-thou attitude, he doesn’t see it necessary to explain why he doesn’t open “his” prisons to the world media to prove the freedom, human dignity and integrity he speaks of and how the Iranian people can show “their” discontent with their government in a country in which “free elections” are more myth than reality.

Finally he goes back to the Palestinian issue, claiming that “the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland should be recognized and the future of all of Palestine and its form of government be determined in a referendum."

I believe upon hearing this, a lot of Americans would be tempted enough to ask the Iranian president, " Sir, why don’t you practice what you preach for once? As the Iranian President, why don’t you demand that, the right of the Iranians to live in their own homeland be recognized so that millions of Iranians can return to their homeland and the future of all of Iran and its form of government be determined in a referendum? As for the Palestinians, on what grounds do you take it upon yourself to speak on their behalf when they have leaders who can speak for them?"

If nothing else, Mr. Ahmadinejad’s letter--the latest in a series of his hypocritical, populist publicity stunts—may gain him fans among the oppressed, impoverished masses of the Middle East, but won’t certainly be able to fool a nation who judges politicians by their deeds rather than words and--in the words of Abraham Lincoln-- is conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.