At least listen to what the guy has to say

If I were the president, I would befriend men who earn Ph.Ds from prestigious universities, men who rank 132nd out of 400,000 participants in an entrance exam, and men whose abilities to rally the masses and charm the United Nations far outweigh my own. And if these folks were actually one individual, I would hop to the task of having Cheney craft a letter to this person.

I would befriend this person because he prays five times a day, believes in the same God as I do, and heads a country that has stayed out of war for nearly two decades. The last war, actually, was in the same country I have 140,000 troops in currently.

On Wednesday, this man, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sent a letter to the U.S. government, appealing to American citizens and President Bush. His message: worry about your own country. His proposition: use the billions of dollars dedicated to warfare in other countries to welfare at home. The U.S. government's response: balk at this man and call his attempt at communication a "public relations stunt."

Such a simple concept - of using money where it's needed - seems beyond Ph.D-less Bush, a former alcoholic and cocaine user who, at Yale University, received "average grades" by his own standards. (By my standards, adding the Ivy League inflation factor, a C-minus average is well below what I'm comfortable with for the U.S. president.) Perhaps bong resin still clouds his ability to think clearly about national priorities.

Ironically, the U.S.'s brush-off of the letter comes as our president is visiting Jordan and talking about opening up dialogue with "longtime rivals" Syria and Iran. The visit to Jordan comes as bloodshed continues to spoil any chance of calm in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestinian territories. Last month was the deadliest for Iraqis - 3,709 deaths - according to The New York Times; it was the fourth deadliest of the war for military personnel, at 106.

The problem here is the same thing that happened with North Korea. Bush and his cronies have spent too much time campaigning and urging China and Russia to join our "coalition" when they should have been meeting with these countries' leaders. North Korea recently defied our orders by testing a nuke, and Iran hasn't thought twice about the U.S.'s attempts to thwart its nuclear energy program. Why? Because we aren't engaged in diplomacy with either one of them. How much sense does that make given the continual claims that North Korea and Iran are two of the most threatening countries to U.S. security?

The Los Angeles Times was quick to point out the insanity of the Iranian president, who has denied the Holocaust and called for the elimination of Israel.

But let's not forget media literacy. It's worth noting that it wasn't until the 14th paragraph, second from the bottom, that the Times reporter notes Ahmadinejad's criticisms of Bush's handling of Abu Graib and Guantanamo prisoners and the curtailing of Americans' civil liberties in the name of the war on terrorism. These are issues Americans have been complaining about since Sept. 11, 2001. If Ahmadinejad is crazy, so are the majority of voters who recently ousted the conservative agenda from both houses of Congress.

We've all been told about his psychotic dreams of a nuclear enrichment program, which our government continues to claim - without having met with Iranian leaders for 18 years - that the enrichment is for weapons. Why else would a Muslim nation beat America in the race toward energy alternatives to depleting oil reserves? Golly gee, that can't be possible.

But let us not forget - before we justify invading Iran or dismissing a president with a much cleaner record and personal history than our own - that the U.S. is the only country in the world to ever use a nuclear weapon to kill people. Why should we be responsible for the rest of the world's welfare when we can't even provide for our own? Where's the health care for children back home? Where's the food for our children? Where are the veterans' benefits for those who've fought for the freedoms of this country rather than run away from such responsibility, Mr. Bush?

With $500 billion, I don't care how crazy the Iranian president is, we could do a lot for the people who should come first.

If security is the issue, activate the space stations, turn on the nuke detectors and build a 60-mile-high wall around the U.S. If world domination is the issue, perhaps a look at history, the Romans for example, will serve as a lesson for what happens when an army is spread too thin.

We're surrounded by powerless Mexico and pacifist Canada. Beef up security here, and don't fight a concept (terrorism) with a tank.