Dear Charlie Wolf,

I read your opinion piece, What’s alarming is that they believe what they say, on with great interest being a close follower (like yourself) of the standoff between Iran and the West, and having a number of Iranians friends; they are Western-oriented (there’s an oxymoron) and no slavish cheer-leaders of their government I can assure you. I too am sometimes surprised at how critical they can be of Israel, even on the left.

However, I am equally astonished at how imprisoned we are in our own narratives. Contrary to the standard dogma I am highly critical of the West for being an extremely bad friend of Israel in pursuit of our own greedy agenda and see the deep divisions in the region as a product of our own deep-rooted folly.

One of the problems we have in the West is that we draw a fence round our nation states, pat our own backs about how liberal we are and then righteously bomb the rest of the world to blazes to suit our own ends. This is a somewhat colourful summary but I am sure you will get my drift, which is to say that I think you might be just as imprisoned in your own narrative as the Iranians you were debating with on Press TV.

You must be aware of the writings of Uri Avnery. Without expecting you to agree with him, you will at least accept that his views don’t come about through being pickled in 30 years of propaganda. If you read his history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict you will see that his perspective is not a million miles from that of the Iranians you were debating. See: Truth against Truth: A Completely Different Look at the Israeli Palestinian Conflict.

Believe me, I am not trying to claim anyone has any monopoly on Truth. The people I most respect are the dissidents challenging their own myths, in our case, people like Ron Paul and Uri Avnery.

I wish you and your countrymen a peaceful and prosperous 2008.

Chris Dornan