The facts about the incident in the Gulf. Drifting to war

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by Fabius Maximus 

Summary: Here is a summary of the available information about the incident in the Gulf of Oman, the most complete I’ve seen. It’s not much. Certainly not enough to justify the bold statements made by both sides. But in the past 20 years the US has attacked nations with little more basis than this. This is an expansion of yesterday’s original post, since the news media is (again) not well covering this.

She can’t see much, although war approaches. Neither can we.

Women looking into fog - Dreamstime_104054045
ID 104054045 © Tomaszbuttler | Dreamstime.

Hours after the attack, US government officials declared that they knew who did it. This was long before experts would have much of the forensic evidence, let alone time for analysis.


“Iran did do it and you know they did it,”
— Donald Trump on “Fox & Friends”, 14 June.

SecState Pompeo explained the basis for Trump’s verdict, at his June 13 press conference.

“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today this assessment is based on intelligence the weapons used the level of expertise needed to execute the operation recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication. …”

This is the usual pattern. An incident occurs. US officials make bold confident statements, uncritically reported by flag-waving US journalists. Contrary evidence quickly appears.

“‘A mine doesn’t damage a ship above sea level,’ said Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo, the owner and operator of the vessel. ‘We aren’t sure exactly what hit, but it was something flying towards the ship,’ he said.”
— From Bloomberg, June 13.

“The crew is saying it was hit by a flying object. They are saying that something came flying. To put a bomb on the side is something that we are not thinking.”
— Yutaka Kataka, in a video on Bloomberg, June 14.

Photo of Damaged Tanker, M/V Kokuka Courageous

US Central Command released a video which they say shows “Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers targeted near the Strait of Hormuz, suggesting the Islamic Republic sought to remove evidence of its involvement from the scene. ” {From AP.} Should they have left the device, whatever it is, on the ship? Does their removing it mean that they placed it? This is interesting evidence, but requires more investigation.

Bellingcat reviews the evidence

This draws no useful conclusions, but is a good summary: “Was Iran Behind the Oman Tanker Attacks? A Look at the Evidence” by Eliot Higgins (managing director of Bellingcat, an open-source reporting website – see Wikipedia), an op-ed in the NYT – “Internet databases confirm much about the incident, but the Trump administration hasn’t provided convincing evidence of Tehran’s culpability.”

A reminder.

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.
— Latin for “false in one thing, false in everything.” English common law principle (Wikipedia) that “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

When listening to US officials, especially when talking about military and foreign affairs, remember that they lie. They lie often, boldly, confidently, and without suffering any consequences. Remember the definitive evidence that Iraq had nukes. See the big list of lies by US officials.

What might be the goal of this attack?

If this is a false flag attack, the obvious goal is to start a war with Iran. Much as Bush Jr. did with his fake claims of WMDs in Iraq and Afghanistan’s responsibility for 9/11. False flag attacks are frequently used to start wars because they are easy and effective.

America’s Deep State officials have reasons for these wars. But behind them is the insight said best by Randolph Bourne: “War is the health of the state” (1918). Only we can stop them.

My prediction.

During the last bout of war-fever, in 2008 (as the world slid into the Great Recession), I predicted that we would not attack (see my posts). That logic still holds. But the Deep State has grown much stronger, and our military is more “available” now that it has disengaged from Iraq and Afghanistan. I still believe that we will not attack Iran. These episodes serve only to keep the American people distracted from our own affairs – and unsettled.



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