THE IRANIAN LETTER….Well, OK. The complete text of the letter from Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to George Bush is here, and I have to admit there’s not much there to hang any hopes on. It’s basically a long ramble about the shortcomings of the West and the virtues of theocracy, ending with this:

Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the Liberal democratic systems.

We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point ? that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: “Do you not want to join them?”

On the plus side, Ahmadinejad merely questions Israel’s existence rather than calling for its outright destruction, which I suppose is progress. And although he spends a fair amount of time outlining the perfidy of the United States, the tone is actually fairly mild, all things considered.

An opening? Hard to say. But the job of a serious diplomat is to find the nugget of gold amongst the heapings of dross. A closer look might reveal one.

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