Thursday, June 13, 2019

Gulf of Oman Incident?

I don't trust the Trump maladministration, and I especially don't trust neocon loon John Bolton and theocon loon Mike Pompeo, thus I am more than a little skeptical about the recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, which Pompeo insists were perpetrated by the Iranian armed forces. While I find the Shiite fundamentalist regime of Iran repulsive (though I think the Saudis are worse, despite our purported alliance with them), I've been suspicious of Republican claims of Iranian malfeasance ever since George W. Bush lumped them in with Iraq and North Korea as part of the 'Axis of Evil'. In light of Trump facing increased scrutiny for his failures and felonies, I am concerned that he might pull a 'wag the dog' maneuver if he thinks it'll save his badly bronzed hide (I've never bought that 'Donald the Dove, Hillary the Hawk' narrative). I can see Pompeo and Bolton egging him on towards this end, I just hope that Congress would act to stop any sort of foreign policy blunder.

I really don't want to sound paranoid, but it's not like trumped-up naval incidents in the gulfs of the world are that far-fetched.


Infidel753 said...

Not paranoid at all. After not only the Gulf of Tonkin incident but all the bullshit they put out to whip people up for the Iraq invasion in 2003, nobody should ever take a story like this at face value. Only an independent investigation by some third party free of any US or Saudi (or Iranian) influence can determine what really happened.

Ali Redford said...

Agreed as to all.

mikey said...

Once again, Occam's Razor is your friend.

Iran has been under a brutal regime of economic and covert warfare led by the US/Saudi/Israeli governments for decades. In the last year they have played by the rules only to face unrelenting economic warfare and daily threats of military attack.

Tehran has two points of leverage - attacks on American troops and interests in Iraq and the greater gulf region - a policy that would lead directly to a shooting war Iran can't win; and the ability to hold the economic security of the entire world at risk by controlling tanker traffic in the Strait of Hormuz.

Why would you assume that Iran would sit back and suffer the brutal attacks on her sovereignty and economy without pushing back? Some small-bore, deniable attacks on oil transiting the Strait will raise insurance costs and increase global pressure to avoid a war where Iran WOULD shut down maritime traffic out of the Gulf and destroy the worlds economy.

Anyway, if you believe the US/Saudi/Israel anti-Iran coalition is responsible for a so-called false-flag attack in order to generate a causus belli, then we'll be at war by Sunday night. There's no point in using that tactic and then NOT launching your attacks. Remember that the Tonkin Gulf incident happened on August 2 and the US ordered retaliatory air strikes on the fourth. And congress voted out the joint resolution authorizing military action on the 7th.

You use a false attack to start a war. If we don't start a war, then what we saw in the gulf this week is exactly what it looks like - a desperate Iran pushed to the brink and trying to show its population that it has the wherewithal to defend itself...

Infidel753 said...

The Japanese Prime Mini8ster is in Iran negotiating a trade deal which would be of great benefit to Iran. Even if Iran wanted to attack a ship -- which makes no sense with Bolton chomping at the bit for any pretext to start a war -- it makes less than no sense that they would attack a Japanese ship right at this moment, and risk wrecking the deal.

It's more likely that whoever actually did do this meant it partly as a warning to Japan not to deal with Iran.

I think it's more likely, by the way, that the attack was done by anti-Iranian Sunni extremists (or perhaps the Saudi regime) rather than by the US directly. But the timing is devilishly convenient for Trump. We know there are illicit channels of communication between the Trump gang and the Saudi regime that US intelligence cannot monitor, and the Saudi regime has links with a lot of radical Sunni groups. It wouldn't have been hard to pass along the word that an "incident" like this wouldn't be unwelcome to Trump.

But Occam's razor pretty much excludes Iran having done it. Absolutely nothing about that claim makes any sense.

Unknown said...

Personally, my prime suspects here would be the Saudis, and I'm afraid the US would go to war again to serve their interests, and the interests of petrochemical oligarchs.

mikey said...

First of all, Japan CAN'T trade with Iran due to US sanctions. This is precisely the reason the sanctions are so crushing - lots of nations would like to ignore them, but none can afford to.

Second of all, your belief that Iran has no agency here - that a nation and a people 8000 years old would just sit idly back and allow itself to be repeatedly attacked and threatened and NEVER strike back is clearly false. And don't forget the domestic political issues - there are a LOT of people in Iran who are watching to see what their leadership will do about the economic depredation they are suffering.

And you also seem to ignore the leverage Iran has. This isn't Afghanistan - they are perfectly situated to shut down the gulf maritime traffic which would crash the global economy in less than two weeks. If the US starts a war with Iran the consequences are extreme, especially for an idiot like Trump who only thinks in dollars.

These attacks are carefully calibrated and executed deniably. There's every reason that this response has been in the planning stages for months.

And ultimately, for any student of history (that isn't Alex Jones) to assume a false-flag attack is more likely than a retaliatory strike isn't really much of a student of history.

And once again, if the US or a proxy staged this attack to start a war, why are we NOT at war yet? In the case of the Gulf of Tonkin, airstrikes took place less than two days after the incident....