Mahmoud’s Missive

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Investors Business Daily takes a look at the letter our pal Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent to all us "noble Americans". They aren't real impressed with the rhetoric, especially in light of a video that is circulating at the moment, as well as election news from Iran.

Try as he might, he can't quite get the tone right. From the "Noble Americans" salutation onward, the prose suggests Borat's evil twin. If he were harmless, he would be pleasantly ridiculous.

But he's far from harmless, and his rule is far from benign. His open letter could be seen as an attempt to paper over some embarrassing and ominous news that has come out of Iraq lately.

The embarrassing part is exemplified in a video being shown in the West by Iranian dissidents. As the London Observer notes, "the film shows the public hanging of Alireza Gorji, 23, and his friend Hossein Makesh, 22, in July in Broudjerd, Iran."

According to officials, the two were put to death for behaving "immorally." Opposition activists say they were political activists executed on trumped-up charges. As one human-rights observer noted to the British newspaper, "Both these men had been involved in anti-government protests in their hometown, and everyone who watched the hanging knew this."

The Iranian record on human rights is abysmal, and the U.S. is far from alone in pointing this out. The Observer noted that the United Nations has condemned the Tehran regime more than 50 times "for severe human rights violations," most recently in a General Assembly vote before Thanksgiving. Iran is an efficient police state and a "democracy" carefully purged of genuine dissent.

That Iran has been able to hoodwink some people in the West into thinking they can be reasoned with is obvious. That the regime in Tehran cannot be trusted is also obvious. And the person campaigning to take over as lead mullah proves that in spades:

And it seems likely to get worse. Another significant piece of news — the ominous one — surfaced earlier this month in media reports on the rise of Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi.

Mesbah-Yazdi, an ideological mentor to Ahmadinejad, is an extremist cleric who endorses the use of suicide bombers against Israel and for confrontation with the West.

He is also campaigning to succeed Grand Ayatollah Ali Khameini as head of the Iranian Islamic state, and his ties to fellow fundamentalist Ahmadinejad give him a leg up. If he wins, as appears all too probable, Iran will be taking another step away from democracy and toward war.

Iran has been running a clandestine low-level war against the US since 1979. Mahmoud's ambition is to replace missives with missiles. It would be a good idea to keep that in mind.

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