Friday, March 30, 2007

(Banff & Buchan Constituency)

Dear Mr Salmond,


Many thanks for your latest replies of 28 and 29 March. I do very much appreciate the time you have taken as I have no doubt you have a very busy agenda, especially at times like these.

Anne Begg's insulting politicking is indeed disgraceful. I sympathise with you, as well, on having to face the lumpen tribalism of the Commons on issues where British pride has been dented as is currently the case.

I have no doubt that the RN personnel will come to no harm whatever and that they are being well-treated. On the other hand, the aggressive, threatening manner in which the US with the support of Blair is treating Iran is deliberately meant to isolate and intimidate.

The Iranians complain that the RN is constantly straying into their territorial waters. If that is the case, it is perfectly understandable that they react to constant provocations. This latest incident has taken place in disputed waters.

I, like many, simply do not believe Foreign Secretary Beckett's claims that the incident took place in Iraqi waters. Amongst others, ex-UK Ambassador Craig Murray believes the Foreign Office claim is a fake.

When the SNP spokesman, Pete Wishart, questioned Beckett the other day he was given the same old spin. All this only adds to the suspicions that Blair is deliberately using the incident to up the ante in anti-Iranian propaganda in order to manipulate public opinion prior to a first strike attack on Iran.

Craig Murray was just interviewed on BBC 24 Hours. He states that the British must get off their high horse and accept that the incident occurred in disputed waters.

If the UK Government is really interested in dealing with the issue in a legal manner, rather than using the incident to stoke-up anti-Iranian propaganda at the expense of the 15 detainees, it could invoke the 1899 Hague Convention for the Pacific Issue of International Disputes (see below). Perhaps the Foreign Office should be reminded of that?

Whether a US aerial attack on Iran takes place on 6 April, as the Russians believe, or sometime later it is quite clear that the Bush cabal, supported by his quisling in 10 Downing St., intend such an attack. This is something on which the UK media keeps very quiet.

Sometime ago you received a letter from Kim Howells in which he states that at that time the UK Government had received no requests from the US for the use of Diego Garcia as an attack base. As Diego Garcia is on lease to the US I'm not sure that such a request is to be expected or given. What is more to the point is that we should have a reassurance that, under no circumstances, would Diego Garcia or any other British territory be used as a base for attacks on Iran.

I know that the UK Government would not be prepared to give such an assurance. Nevertheless, an assurance should be demanded in the Commons if for no other reason as to embarrass and expose the Government and its complicity in US aggression. Few MPs would have the courage to challenge either the US or its quisling Blair and if they did they should expect to be shouted down by the Common's lumpen tribe. Few MPs, that is, other than the SNP or Plaid Cymru. That is the kind of action I had hoped you might take in a House full of cowards.

When I was a regional councillor in the Highlands I was always given a hard time in the Council Chamber. That concerned me not in the least because it was the people's interest that concerned me, not the prejudices of 51 'Highland gentlemen.' When we are so close to a nuclear war it is deplorable that not one of our MPs in the Commons would dare spell out that danger. That is the kind of action I had hoped you might be prepared to take. The people of the UK have no idea what they are being prepared for.

Yours etc.

CC Pete Wishart, SNP/Plaid Cymru Defence Spokesman
Professor Abbas Edalat, Campaign Iran.

Invoke 1899 Hague Convention for Pacific Settlement of International Disputes!
Both Iran and the United Kingdom are contracting parties to the 1899 Hague Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes.Title III of the 1899 Convention created a procedure for the formation of international commissions of inquiry to investigate, ascertain and report on international differences involving neither honor nor vital interests, and arising from disputed points of fact that could not be settled by means of diplomacy (article 9). An International Commission of Inquiry is precisely what is called for here to resolve their dispute over the Sailors. Hence I would encourage everyone to pressure the Governments of both Iran and the United Kingdom to publicly invoke the 1899 Convention and request the immediate organization of such a Commission to de-escalate this crisis that could readily precipitate World War III. For more details on these Commissions with further references, see my book Foundations of World Order (Duke University Press:1999).
Professor Francis A. Boyle

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