Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Iranian Strait Of Hormuz Tanker "Attack" - Can We Say 'Gulf Of Tonkin' Redux?

"Yeah, it'd be a great idea to blame Iran for the oil tanker attacks and start another bogus war!"

"Right now, the U.S. and the Saudis are pointing fingers at the Iranians. Perhaps — but it begs the question, why? Tensions in the region, thanks to the highly inflammatory rhetoric coming out of the Trump administration, are already dangerously high.

National Security Adviser and longtime proponent of war with Iran John Bolton is predictably pushing Donald Trump to, for lack of a better phrase, make war on Iran.

The Saudis, who view Iran as a bitter regional rival, are pushing for the same thing. They would love for the U.S. to use its military against its enemy."  - Marc Ash,  'Were The Gulf Tanker  Strikes A Saudi-Run Operation?',

"Why of course the people don’t want war...But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they’re being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.” --  Hermann Goering.  Nuremberg, 1946

Hours ago,  Trump -corrupted Washington claimed Iran was behind a succession of recent shipping attacks in the Gulf. The Trumpie liars, criminals and reprobates asserted that  grainy video published on the U.S. Central Command’s website provided "evidence"  of Iran’s involvement in Thursday’s attacks. The footage purportedly shows crew from an Iranian boat removing an unexploded mine from one of the vessels.   (Note: It did not show them placing the mine ON the vessel. Hence, alert to how rabid the Amerikkan warmongers are for a new regime change, it made sense to remove what Saudi operatives likely planted, in order to provoke a conflict with Iran.)

Outlandish!? Not any more than Trump and Pompeo's nest of propaganda and BS when we know that John Bolton is itching for a new Mideast war. Do I believe any of the crap spewed out by this administration? Well, no more than I could hurl them all into the Potomac!  

As the Trump cabal and its allies beat the drums for war with Iran, pardon me while I don't buy the huff and puff from pundits, or the alleged "evidence' or the ancillary claims.  In fact it's all too much of a perfect setup, a big pretext for an unnecessary conflict  - like Vietnam or Iraq.  As blogger Marc Ash put it:

"Iran stands to gain little by damaging or destroying Japanese or Norwegian ships. There is no economic or military logic to support that. To the contrary, with U.S. sanctions constraining the Iranian economy, it would be in Iran’s interest to maintain good relations with Japan, Norway, and any other country willing to maintain trade."

Truth be told what's unfolded in the Strait of Hormuz  reminds me more of the bogus Gulf of Tonkin incident that triggered the Vietnam War.  At the time  (summer of 1964)  LBJ ordered two destroyers,  the Turner Joy and Maddox, to stage daylight runs into North Vietnamese waters to test the 12 nautical mile limit.

 Not long after invading the water, the two vessels were allegedly "attacked without provocation".  The claim of  LBJ  - much like Trump today with the oil tanker attacks alleged to be the work of Iran - is the attacks on  Turner Joy and Maddox were initiated by the North Vietnamese.

But in 2005, an internal National Security Agency historical study was declassified; it concluded that the Maddox had engaged the North Vietnamese Navy on August 2, but that there were no North Vietnamese Naval vessels present during the incident of August 4. The report stated regarding August 2:

“At 1505G, Captain Herrick ordered Ogier's gun crews to open fire if the boats approached within ten thousand yards. At about 1505G, the Maddox fired three rounds to warn off the communist boats. This initial action was never reported by the Johnson administration, which insisted that the Vietnamese boats fired first”

And regarding August 4:

“It is not simply that there is a different story as to what happened; it is that no attack happened that night. [...] In truth, Hanoi's navy was engaged in nothing that night but the salvage of two of the boats damaged on August 2”

In other words, the U.S. aggressors used it as a pretext to demand the "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution"  and launch a war that killed nearly 58,000. Like other pretext wars (e.g. Iraq, see the excellent MSNBC special ‘Hubris’) Vietnam never should have occurred. It was once again a case of congress abdicating responsibility as opposed to actually declaring a war.

In the same vein, what's happening now near the Strait of Hormuz is all bogus, a setup, a pretext to start a war.   Fortunately, António Guterres, the UN secretary general, called for an independent investigation, affirming:

"It’s very important to know the truth and it’s very important that responsibilities are clarified. Obviously that can only be done if there is an independent entity that verifies those facts,"

Well, yes, because a war with Iran would be calamitous, far more than the Iraq conflict and we saw how that has turned out - what with ISIS being spawned and massive instability throughout the region.

Unfortunately, the UK appears to have sided with the U.S.  warmongers.   The Foreign Office issued a statement saying: “It is almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military – the Islamic Revolutionary Guard – attacked the two tankers on 13 June. No other state or non-state actor could plausibly have been responsible.

This, of course, is baseless codswallop.  There are at least two other actors with the means, motives, and opportunity - including Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Both detest Iran to the core, and each would like nothing better than a war fought against Iran but on their behalf.   As smirkingchimp blogger Marc Ash put it in regard to each:

"Israel gets thrown in only because they do have the military technology, they are in the region, and they do share the Saudis’ fear and contempt of Iran."

Ash does add, however, that the Israelis likely didn't mount the tanker attacks given that "striking Japanese and Norwegian vessels is not the type of thing Israel would engage in".   Yeah, but if they wanted a U.S. war with Iran bad enough, they could.  

So why is the UK siding with the Trump vermin?   Well, maybe their Foreign Secretary happened to watch Trump's bloviating performance on FOX and Friends yesterday a.m. and bought it.  Trump is a great con man you know. Particularly where Dotard yapped:

Iran did do it. You know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it … You saw the boat at night, successfully trying to take the mine off – and that was exposed.”

And we're supposed to believe this drivel from a walking maggot.  This now after he blabbed three days ago he'd willingly accept the help of a foreign power in the 2020 election - then retracted it the next day? Excuse me while I laugh.  So I am far more inclined  (especially after the fake Iraq WMD B.S. too) to accept the take of Iranian ambassador to the UK, Hamid Baeidinejad.  He said the western intelligence claims were similar to :

“false fabrications during World War I, the Vietnam war and Iraq war that were designed to instigate military interventions and armed conflicts in different parts of world.”

Bingo, Mr.  Baeidinejad, you nailed it!    Besides, in Tokyo yesterday the owner of the Kokuka Courageous   affirmed the Japanese tanker's sailors saw “flying objects” (drones?) before the attack, suggesting it was not damaged by mines. The claim of the  company’s president, Yutaka Katada, totally  contradicted the U.S. military account.

Bottom line, claims of monstrous terror and shameless attacks on innocents (in oil tankers)  cannot be accepted from a monstrous administration that prides itself on flouting the rule of law, and shameless attacks on innocents. (Like locking migrant kids and families up in cages and glorified NM "dog pounds".)

Amidst this background and the further  lying drumbeat for war in the coming days, we should be mindful of the words of former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes (on 'All In' last night):

"I step back and I worry about the two most disastrous wars in this country's history, Vietnam and the Iraq war. The second thing is that Donald Trump has lied repeatedly about Iran....There's been this pyramid of lies built up about Iran, so he has little credibility now.  The American people if they're being asked to go to war need to be able to trust the people who are leading...

It feels like we are trying to provoke  the Iranians to do something to serve as a pretext to have a war, which is what John Bolton wants.  Do the American people really want to go to war over the fact that two tankers blew up in the Gulf of Oman?  Do the American people want to go to war on behalf of Saudi Arabia, a murderous country that butchers journalists and provokes famines in Yemen?"

Amen, Mr. Rhodes!  I for one certainly don't  trust the deranged renegades now in power, whether Bolton, Trump or Pompeo. They comprise a Liar's Triumvirate. As I  said before, after Trump's 4,500th lie, I would not believe this turd if he claimed the missiles were flying from North Korea.  

If I would not believe him in that context there's no way in hell I'm believing him now with the manufactured "Iran threat".

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