Monday, March 26, 2007

The UK/Iran Stand-Off - False Flag, Iranian Aggression Or Simple Dispute?

The war drums have been beating slowly but steadily ever since the second US carrier task force arrived in the Gulf earlier in the year. The American force required for a massive air attack on Iran appear to be in place. Keeping them there, on a high state of readiness, can only be sustained for a short period of time, so an attack must happen soon. The arguments for a pre-emptive strike against the Iranian (yet to be developed) nuclear threat are being made but after the lies and deceptions of Iraq WMD, terrorist sponsorship, etc. the Bush administration needs something more convincing.

The recent capture of 15 British Navy personnel somewhere along the Shatt al-Arab waterway, a stretch of water straddling a portion of the much-disputed border between Iraq and Iran, couldn't have come at a better time for the US. Border skirmishes are nothing new and up until now incidents have gone largely unreported by the mainstream media. But an incident such as this, whether contrived or otherwise, is different simply because of the timing.

It couldn't have come at a worse time for Iran. Hot on the heels of a modest but widely-backed UN resolution, some countries usually allied to Iran have distanced themselves, publicly at least. So why risk a diplomatic incident with Americas biggest ally, the UK, right now? Surely to do such a thing makes you at least a greater international pariah than before, and at worst creates an ideal opportunity for the US to encourage a chain of events that eventually justify all-out military action.

Many have been suggesting that some kind of false-flag incident is imminent and maybe this is it, or the start of several, but whether this is it or not is so far unclear. Its certainly not in Irans interest to capture the British personnel and threaten to put them on trial for spying unless they're damn sure that they have their facts right. Unlawful abduction would bring memories of the 1979 hostage crisis flooding back to the world community and even the most ardent supporter would find it difficult to defend the Tehran government. The longer this crisis continues the worse it'll get for Iran. We all know (except the Bush administration, it seems) that war with Iran would result in a far worse situation than what we are witnessing currently in Iraq. My guess is that in two months time much of Iran won't exist. I hope I'm wrong.

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