'A Heartbeat Away' From War With Iran and Pakistan (by Justin Raimondo/Global Research)

The Iranian "provocation" in the Straits of Hormuz has set the stage for a new "crisis" manufactured wholly by the War Party, the rationale for which is uncritically accepted by our passive "mainstream" media. We are expected to believe that five minuscule speedboats "menaced" the USS Hopper, a destroyer armed with missiles; the cruiser USS Port Royal; and the USS Ingraham, a frigate. That’s rather like five gnats "menacing" a trio of elephants. Oh, but that’s not all. In addition to intercepting the American flotilla, CNN reports the Iranians supposedly issued explicit threats:

"In one radio transmission, the Iranians told the U.S. Navy: ‘I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes,’ the U.S. military officials told CNN."

The Iranians, for their part, say nothing untoward occurred that doesn’t happen all the time in the Gulf: they simply asked the ships to identify themselves, and it was all very routine…

In any event, this is a provocation, all right – on the part of the Bush administration. As our president travels to Israel, the fulcrum of our policy of Mideast expansionism, there can be little doubt that this is all part of a carefully stage-managed effort to portray Iran as an aggressor – a scenario made doubly ironic when one considers that the U.S. has sent two aircraft carriers into the Gulf and has massed 150,000 troops in neighboring Iraq, where Washington accuses the Iranians of "interference."

We, of course, are allowed to invade countries with impunity: but Iran, which shares a long border with Iraq, and has close political and economic ties with the Iraqis, has no right to secure its own interests in the region. Israel has the right to defend itself: that’s the mantra we hear without respite whenever the Israelis take it into their heads to launch yet another "incursion" into the Gaza strip or invade Lebanon – but the Iranians have no such reciprocal right, even a few miles from their own shore.

Funny how that works…

More evidence of America’s aggressive intentions comes in the form of news reports of U.S. plans to intervene more directly in Pakistan: Bush is considering "expanded covert operations" using Special Forces, perhaps in a bid to capture Osama bin Laden and/or neutralize al-Qaeda units alleged to be hiding in the tribal areas. Yet we don’t know that bin Laden is in Pakistan, and the prospect of Americans being killed or captured in the course of such operations should certainly cause Washington to hesitate before acting. It isn’t hard to imagine a huge backlash generated by such actions, including the complete destabilization of a country already on the brink…

As Bush travels to the Middle East to gather support for his campaign to isolate Tehran and declares that "Iran was a threat, Iran is a threat, and Iran will continue to be a threat" – in spite of his own National Intelligence Estimate, which says quite the contrary – the Democratic presidential aspirants are strangely silent. Of all the candidates, in both parties, only Rep. Ron Paul, a 10-term Republican congressman from Texas, has warned about the dangers of another Gulf of Tonkin-style incident.

‘A Heartbeat Away’ From War With Iran and Pakistan (by Justin Raimondo/Global Research)

Iran and Pakistan: danger signals (Prof Paul Rogers in openDemocracy)

There is a reason American military officers express grim concern over the tactics used by Iranian sailors last weekend: a classified, $250 million war game in which small, agile speedboats swarmed a naval convoy to inflict devastating damage on more powerful warships.

In the days since the encounter with five Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz, American officers have acknowledged that they have been studying anew the lessons from a startling simulation conducted in August 2002. In that war game, the Blue Team navy, representing the United States, lost 16 major warships — an aircraft carrier, cruisers and amphibious vessels — when they were sunk to the bottom of the Persian Gulf in an attack that included swarming tactics by enemy speedboats…

Iran Encounter Grimly Echoes ’02 War Game (By THOM SHANKER in New York Times)

Commentaar: Het gevaar van een, door Amerikanen of Iraanse Revolutionaire Garde, bewust uitgelokte ‘Golf van Tonkin’ incident, is inderdaad levensgroot. Daarnaast is de US Navy de, voor haar ontstellende, uitkomsten van hun ‘wargame’ in 2002 niet vergeten

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3 thoughts on “'A Heartbeat Away' From War With Iran and Pakistan (by Justin Raimondo/Global Research)

  1. While some Americans may fear limited military action would bring about Iranian escalation or terrorist attacks, in the past, Iran has tended to respond to direct action by modifying its actions and bending to American pressure. Because the American military refrained from attacking the Iranian mainland in 1988, Iran understood the limited nature of the war and acted with similar restraint. In fact, the episode seemed to do us political good within the Islamic regime, as some of the hawks who had initially advocated the military confrontation soon found themselves out of favor.
    A full-scale war with Iran would not be in America’s interests. But there is a world of difference between reacting to provocation by Revolutionary Guard boats and bombing sovereign territory. History shows that a tough but measured military response to Iranian harassment may lessen the odds of a much bigger clash down the road.
    http://select.nytimes.com/mem/tnt.html?tntget=2008/01/20/opinion/20crist.html&tntemail1=y&emc=tnt&pagewanted=print

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