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November 9, 2012

U.S. Drones in Persian Gulf Provoking Iran?

By Dave Lefcourt

According to the NY Times "Iran Fired on Military Drone in First Such Attack." Two Iranian planes shot @ the drone in the Persian Gulf reportedly over int'l waters just 16 miles from the Iranian coast. But isn't flying drones perilously close to Iranian territory an unnecessary provocation? Could the drone operator 1000's of miles away have miscalculated & actually flown over Iranian territory?


U.S. drone

According to this morning's New York Times article, "Iran Fired on Military Drone in First Such Attack" by Thom Shanker and Rick Gladstone, two Iranian warplanes shot at but did not hit a U.S. Predator drone flying over international waters in the Persian Gulf last week.

The Predator drone was "reportedly" flying 16 nautical miles from the Iranian coast in international waters, (Iranian territory extends 12 nautical miles from the coast).

The weeklong silence of the incident, according to the Pentagon, was attributed to "restrictions on the discussion of classified surveillance missions".

Meanwhile Shanker and Gladstone imply, "had the Iranian attack been disclosed before Election Day, it is likely to have been viewed in a political context -- interpreted either as a sign of the administration's weakness or, conversely, as an opportunity for President Obama to demonstrate leadership."

An unnamed administration official said, "We view the incident as problematic, but we're wary of the possibility of unintended escalation", (Ah, "problematic"; how about unnecessarily "provocative").

From here, the "possibility of unintended escalation" is an understatement, just the usual administration dissembling.

With the U.S. now patrolling the Persian Gulf with two aircraft carrier groups, stiff economic sanctions placed on Iran, last years cyber warfare attacks on Iranian computers controlling the processing of uranium, the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists and the ongoing bellicosity of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatening an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, it seems highly understandable that the Iranian government views its territorial sovereignty as inviolate and U.S. surveillance drones flying perilously close to Iranian territory as an unacceptable provocation that demanded a response.  

Besides, do we automatically accept the Pentagon's story line of the drones actually being over international waters as an absolute fact? Could the drone operators, thousands of miles away, have miscalculated the exact location and brought them over Iranian territory?

The fact is wars have begun over "incidents" (actual and contrived) between hostile forces being in too close proximity to one another. Let's remember Lyndon Johnson used the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident (which never occurred) as the basis for escalating the Viet Nam war in 1965.

To any reader that has regularly visited this site and has been constantly reminded, a war with Iran over its nuclear development program would be a world wide colossal disaster, making the Iraq war misadventure insignificant in comparison.

So despite U.S. main stream media reports (propaganda?) always slanting the blame on Iran, it's the U.S. and its surrogate Israel's policies and actions that are provoking Iran and will be the perpetrators responsible if war with Iran comes about.

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