When we asked readers to respond to Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s open letter to the American public, your responses ranged from outrage ("Drop dead, we don't take advice from an evil dictator and terrorist") to fashion-conscious ("I would tell him to please put some hair color in his beard. The gray is bad").
In a five-page letter delivered to the United Nations by the Iranian Mission, Ahmadinejad accused American leaders of “coercion, force and injustice” and urged the United States to pull out of Iraq. Ahmadinejad also called on Washington to recognize a Palestinian state and cautioned the Democratic Party that, after gaining control of the U.S. Congress, they would be “held to account by the people and by history.”
While most readers told Ahmadinejad to take a long walk off a short dock (if not in so many words), others offered more detailed reflections on the Iranian leader's critique of American foreign policy.
Here are a few of your responses:
. . . We have made mistakes in the past just like your country and many like it have. We however, have learned and continue to learn from ours, again all a part of Freedom which we enjoy. You have in your letter, somewhat skillfully tried to deflect the issues all back to the United States. . .
— Ken Cemer, Houston
Thank you for attempting to dialog with the American people. In my opinion, dialog open and honest between the peoples of the world would go a long way to better understanding, and ultimately improved prospects for peace. Because these issues are very complex, ordinary people feel helpless to do anything constructive. However, we must try.
— Iris Doucette, Durham, N.C.
I would say he's hypocrite. His govt's religous intolerance, opression of women, opression of free press and free speech and HIS many, many statments regarding violence (wipe Israel off the face of the earth, etc) hardly qualfies him or leaves ANY room to talk or to criticize another government!
— Jason Spears, Dallas
Dear President Hmadinejad: If you would drop the superstitious religious nonsense . . . and if you had balanced your criticisms of the United States with a reasoned, secular analysis of the gross injustices your government and the religious leaders in your country inflict on your own citizens, I would take your letter seriously. However, as you are as obsessed with your religion as my own president is with his, I dismiss you as a dangerously delusional religious lunatic.
— John Robinson, Blaine, Minn.
I do not agree with everything that our President does, but I stand behind his decisions. Our President as all Americans are striving for global peace. It is imperative that nuclear powers be limited to the countries already holding this power. We do not back regimes who deny the rights of other countries and their people, we believe that all religions and peoples have the right to exist, not just muslims.
— Cindy Andreucci, Phenix City, Ala.
Leaders like himself are in a position to reign in the Islamic Fundamentlists of that region. All he seems to do is encourage them and fan the fires of hatred. Arabs and Persians seem to have a massive inferiority complex because they contribute nothing to our modern society. But their's was once a vibrant living culture of life and love, not the death and destruction that they seem to espouse in 2006.
— Drake Campbell, Los Angeles
Dear Ahmadinejad, Thanks you for the letter that undoubtedly summarizes the feelings of most Americans. I, for one, hope that your message can help bring peace and stability to a region torn by War since the beginning of time.
— Brian, Chicago
Bravo! What are you doing from 2008 to 2012?
You seem like an intelligent individual, please keep your emotions at bay and honestly do what is best for both our countries. Americans are not what the media portrays us as, we can be honest, moral, level-headed people and I wish we could cooperate with eachother to resolve the many issues our nations are faced with.
— Nic, Ohio
Obviously the war on Terror is having the correct affect on Iran. . . . If they want the Democrats in power then what does that say about the policies of the Democratic Party.
— Brad, Winnie, Texas