30th October 2007

Tel.: 07857 795985

From: Chris Dornan, Brighton

Dear Sir,

Re: A counter-productive display of international machismo

After your sharp analysis leading up to and through the Iraq hell-disaster you seem to be losing your edge. Your narrative is superficially reasonable but a closer look reveals that it is facilitating the Bush administration’s long drive to war with Iran.

The principle facts of the case are as follows.

  • The USA, UK and the Islamic Republic of Iran are signatories to the NPT which guarantees that nuclear-capable states (the USA and the UK) must assist non-nuclear signatories (Iran) to acquire uranium enrichment technology for peaceful use.
  • Iran has a strong strategic requirement to diversify its means of generating electricity, has always insisted it’s programme is peaceful, has subjected itself to the most stringent inspection regime of any IAEA member, and the IAEA director, Mohamed ElBaradei, reminded us (again) on Sunday “I have not received any information that there is a concrete active nuclear weapons program going on right now”.
  • President Ahmadinejad never said that he would ‘wipe Israel off the map’, Iran has not attacked any nation in modern history and there is no evidence that Iran poses a military threat to anyone now or in the future. Yet the most senior members of the US administration continue to misrepresent President Ahmadinejad’s October 2005 comments suggesting they have no serious interest whatsoever in finding a diplomatic solution.
  • The US government continues to feed a stream of allegations into the public domain that Iran is destabilising Iraq and Afghanistan and assisting the insurgency, yet no objective evidence to support these allegations is forthcoming. The governments of Afghanistan, Iraq and now Turkey continue to praise Iran’s constructive relationship while (especially Iraq and Afghanistan) criticizing US military short-sightedness and brutality, objecting strenuously to the US military supplying arms to paramilitaries in Anbar. (The US military and the Iraqi governments have different objectives of course; when the paramilitaries find a less satisfactory use for their guns the Americans can always blame Iran.)

In 2003 we heard shrieks of a new nuclear-armed terrorist-supporting Hitler is endangering the international community and a million violent deaths and many millions of displaced people later we see them rerunning exactly the same programme, with the Iranians apparently being blamed for the countries on their eastern and western borders having their civil society and infrastructure destroyed, and being bogged down in seemingly endless civil wars.  And it is working a treat!

Everywhere good people seem to be turning the other way and shrugging their shoulders. Those pesky obstinate Iranians eh. Are we the new ‘good Germans’, ground down by an unending stream of propaganda?

There is apparently no consensus on exactly what scuppered the Mayans. Long after Bush and his elected pals leave us to fry while they fly up out of their clothes into the heavens to meet their maker, when future archaeologists and anthropologists are trying to put the pieces together, they too will probably be just as puzzled. Of course they will be trying to rely on logic. Suckers.

Chris Dornan


P.S. Hint if anyone wants to work out what is going before it is too late, try Target Iran: The Truth about the US government’s plans for regime change, Ritter’s articles at Target Iran?, at the Britannica Blog or at truthdig; the letters I have written to various public figures are on my blog are supported with references, especially the Letter to Jimmy Carter.)

P.S. Once the disposition of the parties is understood they look more rational and less obstinate.

For the USA, excluding the (scandalously) irrelevant State Department, the title Ritter’s book (Target Iran: The Truth about the US government’s plans for regime change) says all you need to know about the US government intentions, the only meaningful resistance coming from within the Pentagon (otherwise the rubber surely would have hit the road by now). As for the Iranians, they know perfectly well that the Europeans, like the Democrats and the state department (and almost everyone else in the ‘west’ it seems), for a variety of reasons, seem set to let the neocon crazies take their project to the next stage, and we can get a taster of their thought processes from Arthur Herman’s article at the Britannica Blog:

Is there a military option against Iran that goes beyond bombing but does not require a Iraq-style invasion and occupation – in other words that avoids another “quagmire” in the Middle East? In fact, as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, a realistic war scenario with Iran would involve an extensive air and naval campaign without a single American soldier having to set foot on Iranian soil:

1. The first step would be a United States naval blockade of the Straits of Hormuz backed by anti-missile Aegis class cruisers and destroyers, together with a guarantee of free passage for all non-Iranian oil shipping (thus reassuring the world that energy supplies will continue to flow).

2. At the same time, American Stealth fighters and bombers would target Iran’s air defense and anti-ship missile sites scattered around the Gulf, followed by what military analysts call an “Effects Based Operation,” as Air Force and Navy warplanes took out Iran’s extremely vulnerable military and economic infrastructure, including its electrical grid, transportation links, gasoline refineries, port facilities, as well as suspected nuclear sites.

3. Finally, American Special Ops and airborne forces would seize Iran’s main oil pumping station at Kargh Island and capture or neutralize its offshore oil facilities.

Far fetched?

Although the American public never noticed, the United States Navy managed to accomplish much the same thing during the so-called Tanker War in 1987-8, when Iran tried to widen its war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq by attacking foreign oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Our navy managed both to destroy the Iranian navy and protect shipping through the Hormuz Straits in order to keep the world economy stable, while Navy Seal teams blew up and neutralized key Iranian oil platforms in the Gulf.

Fantastically expensive?

From start to finish, such an operation would probably require no more than one more carrier group than is already in the area, as well as one Airborne Brigade Combat Team and one Marine Expeditionary Brigade, combined with Special Ops units-fewer troops than reinforced General Petraeus’s current surge in Iraq. In a matter of days or weeks, the key components of the Iranian oil industry would be in American hands even as Iran itself ground to a halt. Iranian crude oil would continue to flow to the world’s economy. Foreign investors in Iran’s energy industry like Russia and China would see their investments kept safe, which would help to defuse their predictable outrage over unilateral military action against Iran. [My Emphasis]

With trial balloons like this raising hardly a squawk from the mainstream media it is no wonder they are encouraged. This project has been under way for a long time. Ritter finished his mid 2005 Al Jazeera article 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.” See also The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn’t Want You to Know for a first-hand account of the diplomatic perspective of the Bush government’s treatment of Iran going back to 2001.

Faced with the kind of full-spectrum aggression, with two possible scenarios in which the Bush administration could deploy tactical nuclear weapons (according to the Nuclear Posture Review), the Iranians are well advised to remain firm. No attempts by the Iraqis or the Taliban to reason with the beast was of the slightest benefit. Vladimir Putin is not alone in observing that the Bush administration have lost all sense of boundaries—many Americans, even the likes of Francis Fukuyama, are coming to the same conclusion.