Libetarian blog “Cut DC” reports Infowars arguing that the US are provoking Iran to act against American interests, like a big bully who keeps pushing and taunting a small kid until the diminutive target is filled with rage. Just one weak act of defiance and the bully smashes the little boy with his seemingly justified fists. Then, he takes the victim’s lunch. US weapons of aggression are indeed in Iran’s backyard, as if China were to provoke the US with an incident off the Virginia Beach Coast.
Is the US bullying Iran into a war?
US Sends Aircraft Carrier Through Strait Of Hormuz During Iranian Wargames
US debated “false flag” attack on American assets
Paul Joseph Watson
Thursday, December 29th, 2011
The US has provocatively sent one of its biggest warships through the Strait of Hormuz amidst Iranian wargames taking place in the region shortly after warning Iran that any closure of the key oil choke point would not be tolerated.
“A US aircraft carrier entered a zone near the Strait of Hormuz being used by the Iranian navy for wargames, an Iranian official said Thursday amid rising tensions over the key oil-transit channel,” reports YNet News.
“US officials announced Wednesday that the ship and its accompanying battle group moved through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow stretch at the entrance to the Gulf that is the world’s most important choke point for oil shipments.”
The appearance of the warship, named as the USS John C. Stennis, half-way through Iran’s 10 day wargame exercise in the region, arrives following a warning that the US would not tolerate Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz, a threat Iran has repeatedly made over the last few weeks.
As we previously reported, aside from the Stennis and its fleet of smaller battleships, the the USS Abraham Lincoln is also on its way to the US 5th fleet, as well as the USS Carl Vinson.
The presence of US warships in the region amidst escalating tensions serves as a reminder that the Bush administration once debated staging a false flag wherein fake Iranian patrol boats would be used to attack a US ship as a means of creating a pretext for war.
In January 2008, the US government announced that it had been “moments” away from opening fire on a group of Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz after the boats allegedly broadcast a warning that they were about to attack a US vessel.
The US claimed the Iranian boats had broadcast the message, “I am coming at you. You will explode in a couple of minutes,” and that the order to fire was aborted only at the last minute as the patrol boats pulled back.
Iran later produced a video proving that the patrol boats never displayed any kind of threatening behavior. The New York Times subsequently reported that the alleged tape containing the attack threat had no background ambient noise and did not come from an Iranian ship, but from another unnamed ship in the region.
According to Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh, the incident led to a discussion in Vice-President Dick Cheney’s office about how to start a war with Iran by launching a “false flag” attack at sea.
(A false flag attack is when you pretend to be someone you dislike, and attack yourself, using that as a pretext for war. Hitler did it with Poland. Various conspiracy theorists argue that certain terrorist attacks on the West have fallen into this category, and that these will increase in frequency in 2012.)
The January Strait of Hormuz incident taught Cheney and other administration insiders that, “If you get the right incident, the American public will support it”. Hersh said: “There were a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build, we in ‘our shipyard’, – build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives”.
The plan was rejected because it would have cost American lives, but the potential for a similar scenario to arise in the Strait of Hormuz, whether real or manufactured, remains a very real threat, especially given the amount of US warships that are either already in the region or on their way to the Strait.
A confrontation in the Strait of Hormuz would send oil prices skyrocketing and create global economic instability. Any closure of the Strait would make the current financial crisis look like a walk in the park.
Of course, the US is not alone in its belligerance. As Ynet News also reports:
“So far, Iran and the United States have limited themselves to rhetoric and naval maneuvers. But analysts and the oil market are watching the situation carefully, fearing a spark that could ignite open confrontation between the longtime foes.
The United States had proposed a military hotline between Tehran and Washington to defuse any “miscalculations” that could occur as their navies brush against each other. But Iran in September rejected that offer.”
One has to ask why Iran would reject such an eminently sensible idea, and this is, in itself, an indication of how toxic the relationship has become. And as we have previously commented, the ongoing chaos in Syria also threatens to embroil the entire region in a massive and complex conflict, dragging in Iran and Lebanon as a minimum, that would make the current mess in Afghanistan look like a sideshow.
We should remember that, until the populist Islamic revolution, Iran was a secular, West-leaning country – albeit run by a fascist bunch of thugs. American and British inability to persaude the Shah to liberalise his regime duly translated into the extremism that has characterised Iranian politics ever since – and yet, the green shoots of democracy and secular society still thrive there despite current Iranian Government persecution of intellectuals, dissidents and minorities such as homsexuals. And as I have argued before, if we cannot persaude the Assad regime in Syria to move aside peacefully, the incoming forces there will be similarly intransigent despite the essentially secular nature of that society.
It is something akin to watching a train wreck in slow motion, but the frame speed may well be about to increase.
Is it not sad that there seems to be such an inevitability surrounding the coming conflict? The people of the world can reasonably ask, why are our leaders, on all sides, so fearfully incompetent and incapable of preventing these nightmare scenarios from eventuating?
What use is the United Nations?
And where are the men and women of vision who can cut through the Gordian knot, and prevent a disaster that has the potential to cost millions of lives, and destabilise the world economy for a generation?
Is the only thing preventing all-out conflict now a cold calculation by Obama that, so soon after Iraq and with Afghanistan bleeding the US, stumbling into open war would cruel his chances for re-election? Then again, could that be a reason for the military-industrial complex in America to provoke a war, delivering the White House to some Republican puppet? Who is actually in charge in Washington?
I hope and pray I am wrong, but I fear I am not. Nothing would make me happier than to look back twelve months from now and laugh at my foolish worries.
Happy New Year, everyone?