It’s an (English) dog’s life By William Bowles

4 December 2011

”I had to leave my dog in Iran’ – UK ambassador, BBC News, 2 December 2011

If I remember correctly, my mother told me that it was the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 that prompted her to join the British Communist Party. The parallels with Libya today are not lost on me. Spain was the place that Hitler used to perfect aerial bombardment with Guernica as our testament to that particular piece of barbarity, just as today the Empire uses entire countries as target practice and to try out new weapons systems on ‘them’.

The parallels with the destruction of Libya don’t end there. Franco’s insurrection could never have succeeded without the military support of Hitler’s Germany and the alleged ‘neutrality’ of the Western powers that effectively isolated the Republican government. Even the Soviet Union’s role, ostensibly supporting the Republican government, was motivated by a similar nationalist thinking to its vacillation over Libya and with the same, predictable and lamentable results.

People were so incensed by Franco’s attack on the democratically elected (and avowedly socialist) Republican government that from around the world people joined the International Brigade to fight Fascism.
Photo Source: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives
Frankly, I’m still trying to get my head around how our populations can stand by and watch the world go to hell and not lift a finger to stop our barbarian leaders start WWIII.

The parallels with 1936 obviously end here.

Yet in many other respects the Western imperialists are going down precisely the same road as they did in the 1930s and essentially for the same reasons: intra-capitalist rivalries being one of the main factors and not coincidentally it’s still their former socialist rivals, Russia and China that are once more the ‘enemy’, even if it’s presented to us in the West as Iran or Libya. Countries that are mere stepping stones to world conquest as far as the Empire is concerned. The maps tell it all, with both Russia and China once more encircled by the Empire.

To stop Iran, lean on ChinaTODAYonline

So it seems that even if you embrace market capitalism, it doesn’t protect you from the wrath of the Empire, something Russia at last seems to have grasped (relearned?) this particular fundamental of Imperialism. Is it too little, too late?

I’m torn over how to respond to the latest rumours that the Empire is about to bomb/invade Iran, after all we have witnessed the dogs of war howling pretty much every year for the past six years and each time I never believed (correctly) that attack was imminent and wrote as such.

Iran Continuing on Nuclear PathFox News

Yet these ‘rumours of war’ are crucial components in the softening up process, softening up our domestic populations that is, even if it takes years to carry out. Preparing us for yet another ‘humanitarian’ war. Do I believe the Empire will actually lose the will to live and bomb Iran and kick off WWIII as some pundits are averring? If history is to be the judge then yes, imperial hubris being what it is. We have to remember that the West is not dealing with real people, centuries of racist ideology have made sure of that. One might even argue that the ‘us’ and ‘them’ view of the world is so deeply embedded in our culture that it’s impossible to view the world in any other way.

The point about these ever-so predictable howls about ‘the other’ is that they are classic Goebellian diversionary propaganda pieces (the model being the Reichstag Fire), always occurring at ‘convenient’ times eg, economic meltdown, domestic embarrassments or whatever event is currently exposing the political elites and threatening to reveal the underlying relationship between crisis and capitalism. As regular as clockwork, whether it be terrorist bomb plots, or a flu virus, they serve to divert attention away from more pressing events.

Israel to attack Iran by Christmas – reportRT
The British media say Israel may launch an aerial strike on Iranian nuclear facilities in a matter of months. The offensive will receive support from the US, the speculation goes.

Of course as usual, the source of these rumours of impending war are unnamed:

The Daily Mail cites British government sources as saying that the cabinet expects Israel to attack Iran “sooner rather than later.”


“We’re expecting something as early as Christmas, or very early in the New Year,” a Foreign Office source is cited as saying.(ibid)

Is this for real? If it were so, do you really expect me to believe that they would announce it to the world? This is clearly also for Iranian consumption, all part of the psyops war being waged by the Empire.

This is why those of us who live in the so-called developed countries experience an almost complete disconnect from the vast majority of the planet’s peoples. Living within the Empire’s (no longer so seductive embrace), our view of the world is transformed into that of the oppressor’s. Morality, ethics, law, right, wrong, justice, you name it, are no more than words to be manipulated by a complicit media in the service of Empire. In our world they all mean one thing: they justify our centuries-long exploitation of the planet and its peoples.

How to overthrow Iran’s regime without war or sanctionsChristian Science Monitor

Two sets of ‘rules’, one for ‘them’ and one for us. Is it any wonder therefore that we stand idly by while the Empire trashes the planet, over and over again?

More to the point; as a writer and concerned citizen of the planet also living within this mirage, how to break through and communicate the sheer horror of what we, citizens of Empire are complicit in?

The Debate Over A Nuclear Iran – By Mike Brownfield, Heritage Foundation

It’s one thing to unpack the media’s role in the entire sordid affair or to analyse the political economy of capitalism: what’s wrong with it, why capitalism can offer no solution to the economic and environmental crisis that confronts us.

But as OWS and indeed the entire ‘anti-capitalist’ movement are revealing, we offer no concrete alternatives except slogans. It’s all against and nothing for. To be fair, OWS does call for economic justice, an end to wars and so forth (though this is by no means unique to OWS) but not how to achieve it.

But I’ll go as far as to say that the Occupy Movement and especially its implications are the number one reason why Iran became a burning issue once again. As always, timing is crucial. Effectively the Empire is conducting a propaganda war on several fronts simultaneously. And not just a propaganda war as the destruction of Libya demonstrates. But the Libya campaign was preceded by a years-long propaganda war that had prepared our domestic populations well for the eventuality of the ‘evil dictator’s’ downfall. And perhaps it was the infamous Lockerbie bombing, which more than any other fabrication that sealed Gaddafi’s fate (though at the time, Iran was the preferred culprit, accused by yet another defector.[1])

So too with Iran, even if the casualties seem light:

VIDEO: ‘I had to leave my dog in Iran’
Dominick Chilcott, Britain’s Ambassador to Iran, has told the BBC that his dog was left behind when the British embassy in Tehran was attacked. — BBC News 2 December 2011

But in another one the BBC’s sleight-of-hand titles we read:

Iran attack ‘had state support’
Tuesday’s attack on Britain’s embassy in Tehran had the “acquiescence and the support of the state”, says the UK’s former ambassador to Iran. — BBC News 2 December 2011

Though the opening para is somewhat more circumspect:

The ruling regime in Iran are likely to have supported an attack on the UK’s embassy in Tehran, the British ambassador to the country has said.[my emph. WB] (ibid)

In fact, the BBC News’ Website Iran stories (16 in all) since 30 November had, aside from the dog and and two more, two themes: the trashing of the UK embassy in Tehran and the eviction of the Iranian embassy in London.[2] No other explanation is offered to the reader, it’s more ‘received opinion’ presented as fact. The BBC’s treatment of the embassy trashing reeks of the Big Lie; the same headlines repeated over and over again. History is obliterated in the process. Iran is reduced to a convenient simplistic cipher. They are longer people and worse, they hate dogs, or so the BBC’s story implies (and you know how the English feel about dogs).

As with Libya’s ‘humanitarian crisis’, it’s now an a priori assumption by the BBC and the rest of the complicit media that Iran has a bomb or is in the process of making one. The (inconvenient) facts are dumped as being irrelevant as ‘those dog-hating Iranians are not to be trusted’ regardless of the facts.

By further tightening the screws on Iran the occupation of an embassy (or something similar) was pretty much a foregone conclusion. The groundwork has been laid for an attack, if not soon then at some time in the future, triggered perhaps by yet another provocative move by the Empire, maybe in the Persian Gulf. Job done.

The headlines that I’ve sprinkled through this text illustrate precisely what I mean about the filter through which the world is seen. The Christian Science Monitor for example sees nothing wrong with it’s head: “How to overthrow Iran’s regime without war or sanctions”, far from it, it actually thinks it’s being ‘liberal’ and ‘even-handed’ on the issue! Or the Todayonline‘s “To stop Iran, lean on China” head. It’s the presumption inherent in all these stories of our right to judge and to determine the fate of entire nations just as we have done for the past five centuries.


1. “A man claiming to be a senior Iranian intelligence service defector has said that Iran, not Libya, masterminded the Lockerbie bombing.” — ‘Iran blamed for Lockerbie bomb‘, BBC News, 5 June 2000

2. At the risk of sounding conspiratorial, it strikes me that the timing of the trashing of the UK embassy in Tehran is just a little bit too convenient. A provocation? It also came at the same time as a CIA/Mossad/MI5 spy ring was broken in Iran and Lebanon. Coincidence? And yet another bombing at an Iranian nuclear? site. Coincidence? All designed to lead toward creating a pretext for an attack should Iran put a foot wrong in its response to these provocations. Something the Iranians are all too familiar with as the overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadegh in 1953 revealed:

“[In] 1953, the British and American governments initiated a joint Anglo-American plan for the covert overthrow of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, the of Iran. The plan called Operation AJAX with Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA Mideast Agent in charge (a grandson of Theodore Roosevelt and a distant cousin of Franklin Delano Roosevelt). “So this is how we will get rid of the madman Mossadeq in Iran” announced John Foster Dulles to a group of top Washington policy makers in June 1953.”

Conspiracy? You bet! Done in secret, hidden from us and the Iranian people, Operation AJAX is your classic conspiracy, meeting all the legal requirements that the word represents.

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