by Firoz Osman
It is astonishing that a number of attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf and a rocket blasted near the US embassy in Iraq’s Green Zone have not ignited a full scale conflagration in the volatile region.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton immediately pointed to the Islamic Republic of Iran as the perpetrator without presenting any evidence to a skeptical world.
Despite the US and Israel possessing vast expertise and experience in carrying out false flag operations, Washington released a grainy video claiming that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) removed an unexploded mine from one of the two tankers.
A false flag is a covert operation designed to deceive; the deception creates the appearance of a particular party, group, or nation being responsible for some activity, disguising the identity of real culprits.
Among the most notorious false flag operations with serious consequences was carried out by the US that started the Vietnam War on August 2, 1964 in what was to become the ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident. It was based on the false claim of an alleged attack by North Vietnam on a US ship, the USS Maddox.
The US alleged, communist North Vietnamese PT boats launched a “deliberate attack” on two US destroyers with 22 torpedoes. There was no evidence to suggest that there was an attack or any damage by North Vietnam. President Lyndon Johnson received authority through The Tonkin Gulf Resolution by the US Congress to enter Vietnam’s civil war and give its full support to South Vietnam.
The Vietnam War lasted for about 10 years; it caused the death of about 3 million South Asians and nearly 58,000 US soldiers. The recent incident in the Gulf of Oman resembles the Gulf of Tonkin Incident.
The New York Times headlined: ‘Trump Accuses Iran in Explosions That Crippled Oil Tankers’ detailing what Trump had said in relation to the Gulf of Oman incident “Well, Iran did do it...You know they did it because you saw the boat. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s got essentially Iran written all over it.”
However, doubts about the US version were raised by the Japanese operator of one of the damaged tankers, who said that the ship was “attacked by a flying object.”
It is absurd that Iran would attack a Japanese owned-tanker when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in the midst of discussing much-needed economic and trade links with Iran’s Rahbar (Leader) Ayatullah Seyyed Ali Khamenei despite Washington’s threats.
Iran has not forgotten a CIA-MI6 joint project code-named TP-Ajax in April 1953, where the CIA was ordered to undermine the government of Iran over a four-month period as a precursor to overthrowing Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. The CIA operation was led by Kim Roosevelt, nephew of the former US president.
One tactic used to undermine Mosaddegh was to carry out false flag attacks “on mosques and key public figures”, to be blamed on Iranian communists loyal to the democratically elected government. America installed the Shah back in power after the coup d’état.
America’s ally, Israel, also conducted false flag operations, the most infamous at that time became known as the “The Lavon affair”. A group of Egyptian Jews recruited by Israeli army intelligence were caught with plans to bomb American, British, and Egyptian civilian targets in Egypt.
This exposé caused a scandal in Israel resulting in the resignation of the Israeli defense minister, Pinhas Lavon.
Netanyahu has been agitating against Iran for the past 25 years making Israel the foremost candidate for such a false flag operation. That Mossad and the CIA have staged terrorism, coups and assassinations around the world has been proven beyond doubt, whether in Syria, Cuba, Libya, Afghanistan or Iraq. But Israel, together with Saudi Arabia, would rather goad America to launch an attack against Iran.
Underground agents create an atmosphere of panic and fear, indulge in assassinations, acts of terror and torture, firing chemical weapons indiscriminately, arming terror groups that bomb civilians -- all aided by a jingoistic media that portray political enemies as bloodthirsty and cruel, making brutal reprisals by the Western military more acceptable to a largely il-informed public.
The obvious question is “Cui bono?”— Who benefits? -- from this conflict. Certainly not Iran. Retired NATO General Wesley Clark revealed in an interview on March 7, 2007 with Democracy Now about a memo from the office of the US Secretary of Defense soon after 911, stating, “We’re going to take out 7 countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.” Who will come next? Pakistan?
Ever since the first Iraq war in 1991 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the right wing neocons including Bolton and Pompeo, Netanyahu and now Saudi crown prince Bin Salman, plan to destroy Iran in the manner of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya and Yemen. The fundamental purpose is to make Israel the unchallenged hegemonic regional power.
Iran’s shooting down of America’ s Hawk drone has clearly demonstrated that it will not go down without a fight and has been preparing for just such an eventuality. Enduring 40 years of strangulating sanctions have moulded the Iranian people to pursue a path, with steely determination, of absolute freedom and independence.
Dr Firoz Osman is executive member of the Media Review Network, an advocacy group based in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa.