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BushCo Still Wants to Attack Iran - Weapons Industry Cheers

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This week, two videos were released regarding an alleged incident in the Strait of Hormuz. One video was from the Pentagon (transcript from Newsvine), and the other video was released by Iran.

There is audio on the U.S. tape that was added to the tape separately from the footage. It issues an alleged threat to the U.S. ships - "I am coming to you." followed somewhat later with "You will explode." The Iranian tape clearly shows the captain of one of the Iranian boats in standard communication with one of the U.S. ships (the Hopper). After the release of the Iranian version, the Pentagon stepped back from the claim of threat. According to a report by ABC:

"...Navy is saying that the voice on the tape could have come from the shore or from another ship."


Today, the spokesperson for the U.S. admiral in charge of the Fifth Fleet clarified to ABC News that the threat may have come from the Iranian boats, or it may have come from somewhere else.

We're saying that we cannot make a direct connection to the boats there," said the spokesperson. "It could have come from the shore, from another ship passing by."

However, the most intriguing piece of information from that ABC report was this:
The Navy never said specifically where the voices came from, but many were left with the impression they had come from the speedboats because of the way the Navy footage was edited.

Ah yes, the old impression thing. Like the "impression" that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the events of September 11, 2001. Or perhaps the "impression" that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program which could result in a moments notice with a "mushroom cloud over a U.S. city."

Despite, the lack of confirmation and doubts by the Pentagon regarding the "threat" posed in the Strait of Hormuz that day, Bush is traipsing around the Middle East making statements that Iran threat to world security, and that it was necessary to Confront the Iran danger early (from his speech to the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research -ECSSR- in Abu Dhabi ).

Perhaps it is the threat from Iran that has motivated President Bush to up the arms anti in the Middle East by pushing for a $20 billion smart bomb deal for Saudi Arabia. However, Israel is being guaranteed that the "smart bombs" the U.S. is sending to them will be "smarter" than the Saudi bombs. The weapons sales are part of the Bush administration's "regional defense" policies. Given the rhetoric about the immediacy of the threat posed by Iran, Bush hopes that the Saudis and Israel will put their "smart" and "smarter" bombs together to "strategically strike" Iran's purported nuclear weapons facilities.

Regardless, Boeing will be quite happy with the plan as it produces both the "smart" and "smarter" bombs:
The Post has also learned that Israel's defense establishment has expressed interest in receiving two new, advanced models of the JDAM in order to retain its qualitative edge over the Saudis, who would receive the standard smart bomb kit. One of the models Israel is interested in has a laser-guided system, and the other is protected from electronic-warfare systems and jamming. Both are manufactured by Boeing Co. in the US. (Jerusalem Post)

Hopefully, Boeing's bombs do not come up with the problems faced by Boeing's F-15s. The U.S. has grounded the entire fleet of F15s for what has been referred to as a fatal flaw." The Air Force is "tracing" down who might be "responsible," but refuses to point the finger at Boeing because of the "complex contracting history." The current grounding is due to defective "longerans" which form the spine of the plane. However, an earlier problem with the fuselage of the F15 also grounded the fleet. Given the growing list of problems, it is not too surprising that it looks like many of the F15s will be permanently grounded. The preferred replacement is Lockheed Martin's F-22 which costs $160 million a piece.

But I digress.

The "facts" (or least world as the neo-cons see it) is that it is critical to remove the Iranian "threat," and to arm the Middle East into a regional defense posture - hopefully less well equipped than the United States. Regardless, there is an economic incentive to promulgate conflict in the region (and around the world). The United States is the largest arms dealer in the world, and sales to "Middle Eastern countries account for 76 per cent of its total arms sales."

Compare the videos

U.S. version of events: YouTube link

Iranian version of events:YouTube link

Also of interest are these reports from the BBC
regarding the U.S. version, and the the Iranian version.
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Rowan Wolf is an activist and sociologist living in Oregon. She is the founder and principle author of Uncommon Thought Journal, and Editor in Chief of Cyrano's Journal Today.

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