Sunday, May 26, 2019

The "threat" from Iran

How do you win a war without actually fighting one?  You don't.  You can, however, create the appearance of war: engage in a lot of bloviating and sabre-rattling, and then declare victory.  You don't need a real war to "wag the dog."

When I saw the first photographs of the damage done to those oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, I was, to say the least, incredulous — describing the damage as "minimal" is an overstatement.  No oil was spilled; no flames; no casualties.  Compared to the attack on the USS Cole in 2000 or the attack on the Limburg tanker in 2002, the recent acts of sabotage were flea bites.

All four tankers were able to proceed under their own power: there was no disruption of traffic in or around the port of Abu Dhabi, to the great "relief" of the Emiratis. If the Iranians truly were responsible, it's evidence that they're too incompetent to present a credible threat to anybody. Just the same, the "attacks" helped to justify the accelerated buildup of US military force in the region and the sale of $8 billion worth of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In the absence of any evidence implicating Iran, the obvious question is qui bono? — and the obvious answer is Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Tr*mp Administration.

Then there is the "intelligence" indicating Iran presents a "credible threat" to US forces in the region.  Such intelligence always exists: what changes is its interpretation, depending on what those who control it want it to say.

Those who want evidence of Tr*mpian "collusion" with a foreign government will do better examining the Saudis than the Russians.  Everybody expects Saudi support for Jared's "peace plan" for Israel and the Palestinians (and nobody will be surprised if the plan seeks to institutionalize apartheid in the name of "economic development.")

One final note: Erik Prince runs Academi, the successor to Blackwater, out of Abu Dhabi — and he employs a substantial number of former Navy Seals.

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