NY Sun: Iran Declares War
Both the Sun and I view this letter as a conditional declaration of war against the United States.
I have little doubt that the Muslim world (even in the United States) understands this clearly (if not it will be explained to them by their Imam's). I hope and pray that the President and the Congress also understand this.
I also hope that the US press will follow the Sun's lead in carefully explaining the full implications of this letter to the American public. We are not children. We will not panic. We will become prepared to steel ourselves to whatever the future weeks or months may bring.
There is absolutely no good reason for keeping Americans in the dark, especially when a billion people around the world know what has been done.
Here is the key quote from the NY Sun's article:
President Ahmadinejad’s letter to President Bush, 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.”Anyone who reads this letter as anything else is either uninformed, in denial or both.
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.