Sunday, June 16, 2019
Déjà vu all over again
This time around, the pastiche of "evidence" consists of a grainy black-and-white video and a lot of "trust us" from a pack of known liars.
Apparently the earlier attacks, discussed in my previous post, were not sufficiently impressive. The attackers escalated a bit – enough to create some better visuals and edge up oil prices, but not enough to impede traffic through the Straights of Hormuz. Nobody died.
Most of the rest of the world is extremely skeptical of the claim that the Iranians are going out of their way to provoke a war with the US; a war that would be a lot more damaging to Iran than Tr*mp's punitive sanctions. That leads many of TV's talking heads to opine that the attacks were carried out by "the more radical elements in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps" rather than its central authorities – slightly more plausible, but not by much.
According to Mike Pompeo, intelligence sources have concluded that no non-state actor could have launched the attacks, presumably excluding the Houthis and Hezbollah; but certainly not excluding the Saudis or the Emiratis, who have purchased more than enough high-tech weaponry from the US. As for the skill set, Erik Prince and his Academi mercenaries are conveniently located in Abu Dhabi.
Of course, there is another state actor with very close ties to Erik Prince: the Tr*mp Administration, which may see open conflict with Iran as a means to gin up nationalist sentiment and distract from its leader's increasingly apparent dementia and/or psychotic breakdown.
Yes, this is a conspiracy theory: I have no solid evidence of its validity. It is possible that Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who turned 80 in April, is battier than Tr*mp; or that somebody else's conspiracy theory is closer to the mark. What is certain, though, is that the whole truth remains unavailable.