The warmongers in the United States are hard at work once again. On 20 June the world learned the US was on the verge of unleashing its air, sea and military might against Iran for the shooting down of a US drone in the Persian Gulf.
To his eternal credit, at the last moment, US President Donald Trump called a halt to the madness US National Security Advisor John Bolten, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other like-minded cranks among the US President’s inner circle, who have filled a lust for war. According to reports, US fighter jets were already airborne and its warships steaming to the Persian Gulf.
With the US being around 10,799.1 km or 6,710 miles away from Iran, a question which boggles the mind is, what a US drone was doing 11,681 km away from the US and so close to Iranian territory? Especially in light of the fact that the US continues to have a bitter relationship with Iran ever since the Shah of Iran -a US puppet- was overthrown and a new independent regime installed.
While Iran claimed the drone -a spy flight- was overflying its territory, and was therefore well within its rights to shoot it down, the US claimed its drone was overflying international airspace and its downing amounted to an act of war. A week earlier the US announced it was sending 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East in response to an alleged Iranian attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The US pinned the blame for the attack on Iran and the only proof it provided came in the form of a grainy video that proved nothing.
Since then the US Secretary of State Pompeo has been visiting all manner of capitals around the world trying to convince world leaders that Tehran did indeed attack the two tankers but has been challenged on the veracity of the ‘evidence’ presented.
The Japanese shipping company owning one of the attacked vessels has already challenged the US version of events which unfolded. The German Foreign Minister said that Washington’s footage was “not enough” to prove Iranian culpability, and as Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition in Britain said, ‘the Trump administration’s pronouncement of Iranian guilt over the tanker attacks needed to be scrutinised...’, and that “Britain should act to ease tensions in the Gulf,”
In fact, the world has gone through a similar scenario earlier, and the world has not forgotten the then American Secretary of State Colin Powell going to the UN and brazenly lying about possession of proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to the US-British invasion of that country.
No Weapons of Mass Destruction were ever found, but hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed, several thousand more were injured and Iraq’s infrastructure was bombed into the stone age. In addition, thousands of American troops too lost their lives and many more were seriously damaged. A leading advocate of that war was John Bolton who served in the administration of then President Bush. Even today as US Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders says, Bolton is one of the few people in the world who still believed the war with Iraq was good.
The US invasion of Iraq also gave birth to the Islamic State (IS) and destabilisation across the world. Sri Lanka, perhaps because of its more recent strengthening of ties with the US, became an innocent victim of the ISIS generated destabilisation of countries across the globe last Easter Sunday.
Though Trump campaigned on getting the US out of “endless wars”, his administration’s actions seem to be taking the US down the slippery path to war with Iran via its thinly veiled regime change policies. Bizarrely, after unilaterally withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, Trump is now warning Iran, not to violate the deal he himself abrogated.
Iran does follow policies of oppressing its people, but that does not give the US the right to meddle in Iran’s internal policies, especially in view of the fact that the US supports, and is a very close ally to a regime that is even more brutal in suppressing its people -Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, Trump himself appears less enthusiastic about rushing into war with Iran. It can only be hoped that claims the US president is unhappy with Bolton’s attempts to drag him into a war will lead to Bolton’s dismissal.