Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Gulf of Tonkin" in the Persian Gulf?

This reeks to high heaven of a pretext for war: Exclusive: Iranians Had Showdown With U.S. Forces by Anna Mulrine U.S. News and World Report 03/23/07. Mulrine reports for the conservative news magazine:

As the British government demanded the immediate release of 15 of its sailors whose boats were seized by Iranian naval vessels in the Persian Gulf on Friday, U.S. News has learned that this is not the first showdown that coalition forces have had with the Iranian military.

According to a U.S. Army report out of Iraq obtained by U.S. News, American troops, acting as advisers for Iraqi border guards, were recently surrounded and attacked by a larger unit of Iranian soldiers, well within the border of Iraq.

The report highlights the details: A platoon of Iranian soldiers on the Iraqi side of the border fired rocket-propelled grenades and used small arms against a joint patrol of U.S. and Iraqi soldiers east of Balad Ruz. Four Iraqi Army soldiers, one interpreter, and one Iraqi border policeman remain unaccounted for after the September incident in eastern Diyala, 75 miles east of Baghdad. (my emphasis)
Whether this story is Gospel truth or a "Judith Miller" story (i.e., bogus as the WMDs-in-Iraq claims), if the United States goes to war against Iran right now, the results will make the Iraq War look like that fabled "good news" that the war fans always tell us is out there. Mulrine's report on this alleged incident says:

No American soldiers were wounded in the incident.

It is possible that Iranians thought they were in Iranian territory, according to U.S. military officials. Such border confusions and disputes happen routinely. (my emphasis)
Britain's Tony Blair says that those British sailors seized by Iran last week were definitely in Iraqi waters. And Tony Blair wouldn't lie to us about something like that, would he?


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