25th-28th October 2007

Dear President Carter,

I read your interview with Guardian America today with interest, your calmness, wisdom, intelligence and integrity all being clearly in evidence, but the discussion of Iran caused me some consternation. In the name of our common humanity I plead with you to read and consider the following as you are well placed to provide badly needed leadership here. I am not trying to convince you that a war with Iran would be wholly unwarranted and entirely counterproductive—that is clear to both of us—but that I believe there is something quite specific that is going wrong with our thinking and leading us into these wars, but we don’t have very much time to fix this problem. I think it was illustrated in your own answers in the above interview, though it is difficult to tell as such interviews are liable to be less precise than a written article or a prepared speech.

If I had to pick one quality above all others for the religious life it would be ‘know thyself’, but wouldn’t you say it is just as important for maintaining the integrity of a nation (or a family of nations). With the military machine possibly being primed to try and pulverise another Middle Eastern country, conceivably with tactical nuclear weapons, and the likely domestic consequences for the weakened constitution (the constitution as practised, not the document) are we hiding from ourselves? In the following I aim at nothing less than inverting our current perspective, to understand the ‘other’, and to understand how they may see us. This is not at all easy in the current situation so the following is much longer than I would have liked.

My Iranian Friend

I am corresponding with a friend in Tehran who emailed me recently, clearly agitated, to report the breaking news that President Bush was threatening Iran with World War Three. I replied to try and soothe him but his reply anticipated Scott Ritter’s latest truthdig article, On the Eve of Destruction. How could I honestly calm my friend: our current public discourse is dominated by the conviction (and there is little exaggeration here) that Iran is trying to get hold of a nuclear weapon to either dominate or destroy Israel and whether the best method of dealing with this situation is to destroy the Islamic Republic of Iran through a strategic bombing campaign or to contain it through the sort of siege warfare we saw with Iraq in the 1990s, and those advocating a military solution seem to be gaining more ground with each passing day. It is widely believed that current US government policy envisages the use of nuclear weapons to either destroy Iranian nuclear infrastructure or to force a resolution in the case of a contingency that posed a substantial threat to the military. Robert McNamara in a 2005 article for Foreign Policy, Apocalypse Soon, said ‘I would characterize current U.S. nuclear weapons policy as immoral, illegal, militarily unnecessary, and dreadfully dangerous’.

The Iranian Nuclear Programme

As you of course know, Iran was encouraged to develop civilian nuclear power in the 1970s by the USA and, like the USA, Iran is a signatory to the NPT. Contrary to common belief, it makes sense that the Iranians should desire to exploit their Uranium deposits to generate electricity and extend the life of their fossil fuel surplus. On current trends, according to some projections, they will become a net importer oil in a decade or so (see, e.g., CASMI fact sheet and Iran’s Energy Vulnerability). Whatever we may think about the coherence of Iran’s energy policy there is plenty of evidence that the Iranian’s perceive a need for nuclear energy (e.g., the reports of a proposed strategic bargain in 2003 included a peaceful nuclear programme; see Iran Proposal to US Offered Peace With Israel), and we should bear in mind that neither the USA nor the USSR needed the ‘space race’ and neither will the Americans and Chinese need the twenty-first century one. Many wars have been fought to acquire prestige or avoid humiliation. Iran has been repeatedly frustrated in developing its civil nuclear programme by other NPT nuclear-capable members breaking their contracts and violating their NPT obligations to assist Iran in developing its uranium enrichment programme for exclusively civilian purposes, forcing Iran onto the black market to acquire and take in house the requisite technology (see the CASMI fact sheet for details and references). Dr ElBaradei said recently ‘I cannot judge their intentions, but supposing that Iran does intend to acquire a nuclear bomb, it would need between another three and eight years to succeed’.

Dr ElBaradei was, for argument’s sake, quoting Western intelligence agencies own estimates of a possible three to eight years worst-case scenario, but many are sceptical that Iran would even be able, in the foreseeable future, unaided, to purify its own Uranium to the high levels of concentration required for nuclear weapons.

Iran will, however, have to solve a difficult technical problem before producing significant amounts of highly enriched uranium. Iranian uranium is reportedly contaminated with large amounts of molybdenum and other heavy metals. These impurities could condense and block pipes and valves in the gas centrifuges. In spite of this problem, the Iranians should be able to enrich uranium to the low enrichment needed for civil nuclear-power reactor fuel. But they would not be able to enrich above about 20 per cent in uranium-235. They would, therefore, not be able to produce uranium enriched enough for use in nuclear weapons. To do so they would first have to remove most of the molybdenum. They would need foreign technical help – from, for example, China or Russia – to solve this problem. (Dr Frank Barnaby, Iran’s Nuclear Activities, Oxford Research Group).

Dr ElBaradei is, of course, responsible for determining whether Iran’s intentions are peaceful or not, and is best placed to objectively judge their intentions. If the Islamic Republic of Iran should try to exploit the NPT to develop a nuclear weapons programme then this would of course be a serious matter, jeopardising as it would the framework of nuclear non-proliferation. Before coming to the remark that disturbed me so much in your interview, I would like to quote from a recently published article on Saeed Jalili by Simon Tisdall in The Guardian, quoting him from earlier in the year (before Mr Jalili was appointed as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator):

Dr Jalili said Iran had already gone much further, in terms of a previous two-year suspension of its enrichment research and additional inspections, than it was obliged to do under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

“Basically, what we are dealing with here is nuclear apartheid: some countries have rights and others are told they do not have similar rights … I also believe our insistence on our position helps maintain the spirit of the NPT.”

Dr Jalili described Mr Ahmadinejad as an “old friend of mine” whose principal offence, in the eyes of the US and Britain, was to speak truth to the world.

The president’s political philosophy began and ended with Islam, he said. He was leading a “big debate” about how to reinsert justice and spirituality into political life.

He defended Mr Ahmadinejad’s controversial threats against Israel. “He is saying that the state of Israel will fade away if the democratic process is observed [a reference to Iran’s official view that all Palestinians, including those living in exile, should be given a vote], and they will only have themselves to blame.”

There were no difficulties over Judaism inside Iran, he claimed, pointing to the presence of a Jewish MP in Iran’s parliament and a 25,000-strong Jewish community nationwide. The problem lay instead with Israel and with a “small group of people imposing their views” on the rest of the world. “It is time the international community did something about this.”

The peddling of conspiracy theories and other intolerant, fundamentalist thinking is nothing unusual in Iran.

I think it is worth studying these kinds of things for, while my friend in Tehran (and I have no reason to believe he is exceptional) makes a point of mastering the subtleties of our political discourse there is a marked and near-universal ignorance of Iranian political discourse and culture in the West, as can be seen from the above dismissive remarks of Simon Tisdall, a respected analyst. (I think your optimistic idealistic American temperament may find it easier to comprehend Saeed Jalili than our cynical British pragmatism.)

Dr Jalili has a point. To build trust in their negotiations with the EU3, the Iranians did compromise their rights to civilian enrichment of Uranium, only to find the attitude of the US government (which the Europeans acquiesced in) preventing any meaningful negotiations. (Scott Ritter details this in his book Target Iran: The truth about the US government’s plans for regime change). This is hardly surprising and is consistent with the policy of the US government of ‘not negotiating with evil’ (see The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn’t Want You to Know). Unlike Simon Tisdall, maybe because I am a religious person (I am a Buddhist), and because I have a growing and heartfelt appreciation of Islam (as well as Christianity), I feel somewhat encouraged by Dr Jalili’s and President Ahmadinejad’s commitment a foreign policy grounded in ethics. It is notable that in President Ahmadinejad’s speech to Columbia University there was a scriptural explanation of why it is important for humanity use science ethically and, as I am sure you are aware, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa declaring nuclear weapons to be un-Islamic. Not only is there no objective evidence that Iran’s intentions are other than peaceful (bearing in mind that they have submitted themselves to one of the most comprehensive weapons inspections regimes ever carried out by the IAEA), but one of the founding fathers of this theocratic state has declared them incompatible with their religion.

Yet you say in your interview that ‘I’m worried about the possibility of Iran continuing to develop nuclear weapons’ (my emphasis).

Is Dr Jalili right about a nuclear apartheid? How can Gordon Brown, another cosignatory of the NPT, standing next to Mr Olmert on the 23rd October, threaten Iran over its ‘ambitions for nuclear weapons’? Mr Olmert is himself in charge of a nuclear weapons stockpile that is beyond all international scrutiny; he is personally responsible for the disastrous 2006 invasion of Lebanon, and is currently working (with the USA) to destabilise and seemingly militarily attack the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the lead up to invasion of Iraq there was at least the pretence of a debate about the existence of a causus belli; after (apparently) over a million violent deaths and many millions more displaced and a seemingly endless civil-war-cum-insurrection in Iraq it seems that there is no longer any need to pay attention to facts—we now ‘make our own reality’. Dr Jalili’s plea for an end to apartheid in international relations may be scoffed at by us in the first world, free to impose our will on the rest of the world with our nuclear weapons, but a great deal of humanity sees things quite differently. Is world peace best served by a Nobel laureate underwriting this double standard? Is it even safe in the short term? Weapons-inspection experts like Scott Ritter, Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei have concluded that there is no objective evidence pointing to a covert Iranian nuclear weapons programme, but increasingly Russia and China are inclined to this view too.

President Ahmadinejad

A critical factor in bringing about the catastrophic invasion of Iraq was the demonising of Saddam Hussein and his regime, in the sense of promoting the idea that all of the ills of the situation lay there, and if righteous force was brought to bear the problem would be fixed. We now see a repeat of this procedure, with leading liberal intellectuals calling him ‘a petty and cruel dictator’, while even a cursory knowledge of the political structure of the Islamic Republic of Iran will reveal that the President of Iran is in a weak position to dictate much. It is alarming to note just how poisoned the public discourse is at the moment. Your interviewer implicitly compared the president of Iran to Hitler in discussing the wisdom of inviting the him to address the students at Columbia University and you replied.

No, I think it was all right to give him the platform. Let him reveal his character and his attitude, which I think proved to be somewhat ludicrous. I don’t think it hurt America’s security to observe our professed commitment to free speech.

Many people will have drawn different conclusions (though how distinctive they will be depends upon how much weight ‘professed’ is given here). President Ahmadinejad is under pressure and is openly criticized at home and has been more than once subjected at home to close-quarters vocal student protests (in contrast to President Bush), and was democratically elected on a popular platform. In his visit to the United Nations he made vigorous efforts to try and open a dialogue with the American people; he may have (from our perspective) some strange ideas, some even repugnant, but he strikes me as committed to dialogue as we can see, for example, in his letter to the American people, his letter to the President Bush, his interview with Charlie Rose and his address to the students at Columbia University.

Most of the animosity towards him comes from his (to us) incendiary rhetoric about Israel, but you yourself have had more than a little experience of how irrational our own discourse on Israel can be (especially in the USA, and increasingly in Britain—even those that disagree with us would have to concede from the very intemperateness of the discussion that irrationality must be present somewhere), and this sensitivity is being exploited to drag us into another war in the Middle East. While many may criticize President Bush for his lack of curiosity, this criticism might also apply to some of his critics. Why does nobody ask why such a religious and clever man could wish to say such apparently ludicrous things? Contrary to the now received wisdom that President Ahmadinejad promised to ‘wipe Israel off the face of the map’ shortly after his election in 2005, as Saeed Jalili tells us, he said no such thing; see “Wiped off the Map” – The Rumor of the Century for an informed analysis of what he did say, a quote of Ayatollah Khomeini, and arguably not wholly different from your own Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid thesis, that a sustainable solution to the Palestinian problem must be just, and therefore cannot be based on force (assuming I have understood your thesis properly—please accept my apologies if I have not). There is much about Iranian rhetoric concerning Israel that we should try and change of course, but that can only happen through dialogue and engagement. Iranians and Americans seem to share a difficulty in accepting the reality of modern Israel but that American officials at the highest level continue to routinely misrepresent these remarks of President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khomeini seriously calls into question their professed commitment to a diplomatic solution.

President Ahmadinejad’s inquiry into the Holocaust is incomprehensible to us, but we should bear in mind that, not being an American or European, he will see twentieth century history very differently from us, and that the inquiry was prompted by the Danish cartoon affair, where almost the whole of Christendom was preening itself on its commitment to free speech and sneering at Islamic sensitivity to our wanton trampling of their sensibilities. As I said, I am a religious person so I understand the value of the sacred and why it should be respected, but having grown up in Europe I also understand that this understanding is confined to a minority. Such behaviour remains inexplicable to the Islamic world in general, but very few responsible people in the West have condemned this irresponsible use of free speech. The Wikipedia articles on the Holocaust and the Danish cartoon affair make for a revealing comparison: the article on the Holocaust doesn’t even mention critiques of the received view, except for a single cross reference to an article on Holocaust denial, buried in the ‘See also’ section, and given over to the discussion of the abhorrent phenomenon, while the Danish cartoon article actually reproduces the offensive images, materially partaking in the outrage. To repeat it seems that there is an absolute prohibition on critiquing a received historical narrative that continues to impact us all (risking imprisonment in many jurisdictions for doing so) but images are to be reproduced that have nothing to contribute other than causing grave offence to one third of the world’s population. Was President’s Ahmadinejad’s inquiry really so inappropriate?

The treatment of the Jews (and others, but especially the Jews) in Europe in the 1930s fills me with horror and it can never be condemned enough—never again must good people allow our leaders to manipulate and frighten us into a hysteria that leads to the unleashing of a terrible violence on our own and others. (And I still don’t understand, as I couldn’t at the time, why the USA and the UK supported the CGDK in keeping control of the United Nations “seat” of Cambodia in the 1980s.) I found the report of what one participant of the Tehran conference had to say and the text of his address revealing, and it is worth considering whether it is really healthy that this kind of inquiry should be suppressed and driven underground rather than critiqued. (If I publish this letter I will remove these links.)

Is European and American guilt over the Holocaust, and maybe guilt over the suffering of the Palestinians, distorting our judgement in the Middle East, to the detriment of all parties? In an article in today’s Guardian David Trimble explains how the lessons of the Northern Irish peace process are being misunderstood. Thanks to the peace process neither community in Northern Ireland is now trying to impose on each other by force, but this could only come about through the penny dropping with far-sighted leaders in both communities, and the facilitators (the UK, Irish and US governments) patiently and impartially working to prepare for such a political reality. My question is this: to what extent is the above-mentioned residual guilt blinding us collectively to this basic insight in the Middle East peace process? It never occurred to me question the central distortions that this guilty taboo may be generating until I was confronted by President Ahmadinejad’s question and our astonishing response to it. (I see from a recent series of brave reports from Gaza suggests ‘pariah’ Hamas, besides having by far the best democratic credentials may at the moment be the most constructive of all the parties.)

Even President Ahmadinejad’s ludicrous remark about Iran not having any homosexuals looks somewhat less foolish once his words are attended to carefully (see Getting Lost In Translation: Ahmadinejad And The Media).

And, everyone should become familiar with Trita Parsi’s masterful scholarly investigation of the foreign policies of Israel and Iran, which despite all the ideological packaging (seemingly so necessary in this age of propaganda) is highly realistic. It makes the current debate over Iran in the West look positively unhinged.

Human Rights

Western public sentiment looks dangerously close to wearily acquiescing in a military campaign against Iran, just as it did against Iraq, because the government is seen as oppressive and therefore illegitimate. Yet Iran was starting to relax under President Khatami, but the Guardian Council ended the liberal experiment for the 2005 elections, and it is worth considering what part we played in this. According to the above-mentioned Leverett-Mann interview, after the attack of September 11th, 2001, the Iranians, like almost everyone else, were horrified at the attacks and were highly supportive in the campaign to prosecute Al Qaeda (being no friends of either Al Qaeda or the Taliban).

But the important thing is that the Iranians agreed to talk unconditionally, Mann says. “They specifically told me time and again that they were doing this because they understood the impact of this attack on the U.S., and they thought that if they helped us unconditionally, that would be the way to change the dynamic for the first time in twenty-five years.” (The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran)

However after the 2002 State of the Union address the Iranian negotiators were understandably horrified at being named as part of the Axis of Evil (my emphasis).

After that, the Iranian diplomats skipped the monthly meeting in Geneva. But they came again in March. And so did Mann. “They said they had put their necks out to talk to us and they were taking big risks with their careers and their families and their lives,” Mann says.

The secret negotiations with Iran continued, every month for another year. (The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran)

Indeed the secret negotiations did continue and there are reports of a remarkable proposal (mentioned above) passed through their Swiss ambassador, as I am sure you are aware. History tells us that it is difficult for nations to undergo social transformation while they are facing existential threats. On their eastern and western borders the Iranians have countries that have been invaded by this Bush administration, their state and civil society destroyed and placed under military occupations and they remain embroiled in endless civil wars. To their south they are menaced by a huge naval task force and moves to isolate them through the imposition of sanctions. Indeed Scott Ritter wrote in an article for Al Jazeera in mid 2005, The US War with Iran has Already Begun: “We now know that the war [with Iraq] had started much earlier. Likewise, history will show that the US-led war with Iran will not have begun once a similar formal statement is offered by the Bush administration, but, rather, had already been under way since June 2005, when the CIA began its programme of MEK-executed terror bombings in Iran.” Is there not a slight air of unreality when even a liberal (Lee Michael Katz in your Guardian America interview) have taken to likening the President of Iran to Hitler, fixating on disputed photographs from a hostage crisis 27 years ago to ‘get a visceral reaction’?

Is Iran being Irresponsible?

It has become a commonplace that Iran is both destabilising Iraq and Afghanistan and organizing or assisting the attacks on US military forces in these countries. If this were so then we would expect some objective evidence to support ‘what everybody knows’, but independent scrutiny of these claims has failed to yield anything. In the first place, both the Iraqi and Afghanistan governments continue to praise Iran’s constructive assistance and condemn US heavy-handedness and shortsightedness. Much has been made of the January attack in Karbala, yet as the Anchorage Daily News report, Death by Treachery, makes clear the local police and even local support workers at the base clearly knew about the attack, declined to warn the Americans, and quietly took themselves out of the way for the attack. This is not the signature of a foreign inspired ‘insurgency’ against the wishes of the local people. Gareth Porter has written an incisive article, Newspeak and the New War in Iran, analysing the way the military reports from Iraq are more than a touch Orwellian. It is also a commonplace that the armour piercing EFPs are indicative of Iranian state support to the resistance, yet Andrew Cockburn reports in the Los Angeles Times:

The truth is that EFPs are simple to make for anyone who knows how to do it. Far from a sophisticated assembly operation that might require state supervision, all that is required is one of those disks, some high-powered explosive (which is easy to procure in Iraq) and a container, such as a piece of pipe. I asked a Pentagon analyst specializing in such devices how much each one would cost to make. “Twenty bucks,” he answered after a brief calculation. “Thirty at most.”

Milan Rai has also looked at the history of EFPs and found an origin much closer to home. History tells us that conventional militaries fighting losing battles to guerrillas tend to blame their woes on external interference. There is more than enough evidence that the military occupation has created the conditions for the insurrection through its incompetence and brutality (including the contractors, answerable as they were to no law). It should be noted that the Iraqi government opposes the American arming of paramilitaries in Anbar on the (understandable) basis that the paramilitaries may at a future stage find an alternative use for their weapons, not so conducive to their arms suppliers and their government, and Robert Fisk has reported recently that Iraq is so awash with materiel that it is starting to flow into and destabilize Lebanon (much of it from the 190,000 rifles and pistols which the US military can’t account for).


Faced with a lack of any care for either binding treaties, facts or for how our actions are effecting the people of the region it is hardly surprising that the Iranians are taking such a principled position over their rights to pursue a civilian nuclear programme under the NPT. History shows that nothing is ever gained by trying to accommodate this kind of full-spectrum violence.

It has become fashionable to discuss Islamo-fascism in the very circles that are calling for military action against Iran, and the envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, in striking echo of his 1999 Chicago speech (which laid down the political blueprint for the invasion of Iraq) has discussed this in a recent speech in New York, where he said that ‘[t]his ideology now has a state, Iran, that is prepared to back and finance terror in the pursuit of destabilising countries whose people wish to have peace.’ However, given the well known controversial religious views of those pushing this idea (giving rise to concern that some may be indifferent to the prospect of, or could even by trying to engineer, a conflagration in the Middle East that could consume the world’s civilizations in an orgy of destruction, and so herald the end times, while, incredibly, seemingly entirely unconcerned about their ever being held to account for such incomprehensible selfishness and cruelty), and the very real concerns in some progressive and conservative circles about the future of American open society (Naomi Wolf’s and Al Gore’s speeches posted at the American Freedom Campaign made my hair stand on end), one is entitled to wonder whether those that find the idea of Islamo-fascism so fascinating and relevant might not be victims of psychological projection.

Projection: Projection is one of the defense mechanisms identified by Freud and still acknowledged today. According to Freud, projection is when someone is threatened by or afraid of their own impulses so they [unknowingly] attribute these impulses to someone else. For example, a person in psychoanalysis may insist to the therapist that he knows the therapist wants to rape some women, when in fact the client has these awful feelings to rape the woman.

The Key Point

It is remarkable the way that the war party has entirely succeeded in setting the terms of the debate for everyone. It started by establishing that Iraq was a corrupt and illegitimate state ruled by a murderous dictator, destabilising the region and bent on acquiring nuclear weapons so that they can be used against us or our allies, either directly or through non-state proxies. For whatever reason, too many people allowed this exploitation of ignorance, fear and hate to poison the discourse and then tried to argue either pragmatically that war was not a practical solution, or idealistically that it is unethical to invade other countries that aren’t posing an imminent threat.

To the exasperation of many observers the very same people have succeeded in running precisely the same programme but substituting Iran for Iraq, with some small presentational adjustments, such as a ‘realistic’ packaging (‘military action or World War Three, which is it to be’) in place of the ideological gloss (‘freedom and democracy for the Middle East’).

I was struck in a recent radio discussion between Scott Horton and Gareth Porter (right at the end) by their conviction that some senior members of the current administration know how catastrophic a military intervention will be but have allowed themselves to be strategically outflanked by the war party, but I am not so sure. By allowing the national and international debate to become so progressively poisoned by ignorance, fear and hate it seems that we have all facilitated a climate in which diplomacy becomes all but impossible. By failing to challenge the ignorance/fear/hate agenda, by allowing the Mesopotamian holocaust to proceed without any meaningful opposition, Frank Rich in a New York Times suggested recently that we may be repeating the mistakes of the ‘good Germans’ in the 1930s. However, Frank Rich himself, one of the sharpest critics (at least after the fact) of the way public opinion was prepared for the Iraq war, has remained deadly silent about the how the same campaign is being used to prepare us for this next war, and one could say that this is a fair reflection of the nation’s leading liberal news paper, as it is of the Democratic general party (see Who Wants to Bomb Iran? Dems, not the GOP, says Seymour Hersh).

Is Dr Jalili’s comments (quoted at the start my letter) about the importance of integrity and justice, and the seeming monopoly of the concerns of a single party, really so deranged and unreal (as most commentators seem to think)?

I would like to suggest two examples that we could learn from: the calmness and firmness of the Iranians themselves in their dealings with us (however incomprehensible their thought processes may sometimes be to us, especially as it manifests in their domestic political rhetoric). The second example is a very American one (although a Republican) in the person of Scott Ritter. His courage, intelligence, loyalty, energy, patriotism and integrity are individually unusual enough, but united, rare indeed. With a prescience that borders on the prophetic, he saw the Iraqi and the now unfolding Iranian catastrophes years ahead, and in his latest book Waging Peace he is anticipating an important development in joining progressives and conservatives to focus on the current insane approach to foreign policy while raising awareness of the constitution and the UN charter (and I see Francis Fukuyama has finally caught up in America’s self-defeating hegemony).

Scott Ritter is also an excellent example, because, unlike people like me, he is no mushy-headed liberal peacenik, but a veteran of the Marine Corps with a martial approach to life, and a conservative at heart. Military people have probably done much more than anyone else so far to avert war with Iran, but they can hardly be relied upon to hold the line for very much longer. In Ritter’s Target Iran, the chapter titled The Great Appeasers is devoted to the Europeans (especially the French and British, of course), but maybe it is just as appropriate for those of us who know something is very wrong but are allowing the situation to drift.

There are other inspiring examples that we can learn from, like the Jewish community, although living disproportionately closer to the September 11th 2001 outrage were collectively much, much more sceptical than the general population of the wisdom of invading Iraq, or Ron Paul’s inspiring, principled, clear-headed and brave position on the WTC attacks (underlined by his bipartisan appeal), or your own contribution to the American debate of the Palestinian tragedy; there are many. As Queen Rania of Jordon invites us to do, we can exploit the reverse domino effect, light the lamp of wisdom and compassion and dispel the darkness that is threatening to engulf us.

May God help us all.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Dornan