Friday, March 23, 2007

WHILE THE HOUSE APPROVES A TIMETABLE OF FALL 2008 FOR IRAQ WITHDRAWL, BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOSTERS IMAGE OF NEW TONKIN INCIDENT IN SHATT AL-ARAB RIVER

Washington D.C.--You've probably heard it--15 British sailors and marines have been "taken" by the Iranians. I wonder what they were up to? I think we know: violating Iranian-territory as they have done so since at least early-2004. The charge is that it occurred within the territorial-waters of Iraq. Do not believe this story's provenance on the Western side, and ignore the importance being attached to it, it is a minor-event. We can safely-assume that this was a timed-event authorized by the Blair and Bush governments.

Iran is in the middle of its New Year holiday when almost all government offices close. The U.S. Navy said the incident occurred just outside a long-disputed waterway called the Shatt al-Arab dividing Iraq and Iran. It came as the U.N. Security Council debates further sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program, and amid U.S. allegations that Iran is arming Shiite militias in Iraq. U.S. officials had expressed concern that with so much military hardware concentrated in the Persian Gulf, just such a small incident could spiral out of control and trigger a major armed confrontation. (AP, 03.23.2007)

And:

In June 2004, six British marines and two sailors were seized by Iran in the Shatt al-Arab. They were presented blindfolded on Iranian television and admitted entering Iranian waters illegally, then released unharmed after three days. (ibid)

Interesting--there wasn't nearly as much uproar as this in 2004. Perhaps it just didn't "take" as a psyops program embedded within the Western media. This is going to be used as a pretext to attack Iran, you can bank on it. But, whether it is successful-or-not is to be seen. The Senate can still vote down the timetable, as well, but I think this particular incident will be inflated as part of a counterattack on Congress's moves to curtail the powers of the Executive, namely the Bush administration.

Yes, the same brow-beating in the Western press is going to chime-in...why, they already are: They say, "This is coming at a time when relations between the British/American/Western governments are tense," just as they said during the June 21, 2004 incident where eight crew-members (all British,a couple marines) were popped by the Iranian navy for violating Iranian territory illegally. This is what Iran is likely to say, and the timing of the event is interesting considering the government is in-recess for a national holiday. If you look at a map of exactly where Shatt al-Arab is, you can see that it is a route to slip commando units into Iran by heading-down towards the Persian Gulf.

A spokesman at the UK defence ministry said British forces in Iraq were using boats to train the Iraqi river patrol service, and the craft may have strayed across the maritime border by mistake. "The waterway runs over a mile wide. The border runs pretty much down the middle of it," he said. (BBC, 06.21.2004)

This is likely going to be the excuse they will trot-out again, just as coalition-forces did in 2004. Watch the excuses change. This is a test: how-many times can you be fooled? Will you pass? We know 35% of America won't. Since Lebanon didn't work, and since all the other potential pretexts didn't work, they're just running up-and-down list of other potential-sites and incidents that could spark a desired war with Iran. To their credit, Iranians appear to want to avoid this.

AP, Minutes ago: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/4655993.html

BBC 06.21.2004: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3826179.stm