Saturday, May 13, 2006

NY Sun: Iran has already declared War

The New York Sun has a slightly different take on Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush: it's a declaration of war.

[the letter], 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...

That may or may not be the case, but let's recall some recent public statements from Iran's leadership:

We have a strategy drawn up for the destruction of Anglo-Saxon civilization... we must ...strike at this front by means of our suicide operations or by means of our missiles...


We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [the West] and the Islamic world, and this war has been going on for hundreds of years... ...Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism? had best know that this... goal [is] attainable...

Call me slow, but I'd say Iran has been declaring war on the United States for years.

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