[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

"Peace Expert" George W Bush Says ‘Isolationism’ Is Dangerous To Peace

The Impeachment Needle May Soon Move

Tulsi Gabbard blasts Hillary, aka 'the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption'

State Department Concludes Clinton Email Review, Says It Found Nearly 600 Security Violations

Reuters: Hunter Biden never worked in Ukraine [or went there] in five years on Burisma’s board

New Law Requires You To Listen To Greta Thunberg Lecture Before Purchasing Gasoline

Pope Announces Any Time Spent Watching 'The View' Counts As Time Served In Purgatory

Jason Chaffetz: Pelosi and impeachment – There have already been 3 votes. Here's why there may not be a fourth

A nasty new telephone scam is sweeping across America

Schiff made it all up: There are NO WHISTLEBLOWERS!

95% of tested baby foods in the US contain toxic metals, report says

‘Push him off’: Insane Video Shows Cops Push Teen Off a Roof, Taser Him on the Ground

NO JAIL for Cop Who Killed Elderly Librarian on Video During a Police Demo

Gunman Wearing Body Armor Arrested Outside Trump Dallas Rally….

Pronouns Gone Wild: Obsession Moves From Campus To Politics

Paper beer bottles & wooden cutlery: Do eco-moralists care more about the environment, or turning people’s lives upside down?

If your country’s neighbors attacked your country, how screwed is your country?

It took me 96 hours to ride an Amtrak train from coast to coast... I'd do it again in a heartbeat

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings dies; longtime Baltimore advocate was key figure in Trump impeachment inquiry

Elijah Cummings dead at 68.

REVEALED: Kurdish ‘PKK’ Terrorists Were Rebranded by Obama Officials to Dupe the U.S. Public

Ohio’s ‘Tobacco 21’ law takes effect on Thursday

Terrorized, Traumatized and Killed: The Police State’s Deadly Toll on America’s Children

Cops Arrest 12-Year-Old For Pointing 'Finger Gun' At Classmates

CNN President Zucker Has Vendetta Against Trump, is Pushing Impeachment

GQ Magazine Says “New Masculinity” is Men Wearing Earrings, Giant Sleeping Bag Dresses and Crying

Illinois red-light cameras have collected more than $1B from drivers since 2008

Police Force Horrifying Sexual Assault Exam on 5yo Girl After She Fell Off a Trampoline

The DeadWire

Biden: First thing we gotta do is go after people clipping coupons in the stock market

AG Barr Full Notre Dame Speech

Democrats Attack Elizabeth Warren 16 Times in Democrat Debate

Turkey holding 50 US nuclear bombs 'hostage' at air base, report says

Mary Poppins Movie Review (another disturbing Hollywood-remake targets children)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Dismisses and Mocks Bible Account of Creation From Genesis-to-Revelation; (Laughs at Believers in Literal Bible as "Un-enlightened")

ABC News ‘slaughter in Syria’ footage appears to come from a Kentucky gun range

Census Bureau seeks state data, including citizenship info

Latest list of those allegedly targeted for illegal monitoring by ousted Obama holdover Amb to Ukraine

Fort Worth police officer fatally shoots woman in her home while checking on an open front door

Cop Stands Up to Bully Officers for Harassing Him, Gets Beaten, Arrested and Fired

Siblings Outraged by Their Brother's Fatal Shooting Dismiss the Fact That He was an Armed Robber - "Oh Well!"

U.S. Mint to redesign gold and silver American Eagles, implement security devices - Mnuchin chips the bird

"Abuse By The Police" Documentary Allows Victims Of Rape By Cops Who Got Away Scot Free To Speak Out

James OÂ’Keefe announces 'This may be the biggest story Project Veritas has ever broke' [CNN]

ELECTORAL COLLEGE OVERWHELMINGLY FAVORS REPUBLICANS, ABOLISHING ENTIRE SYSTEM ONLY REMEDY: STUDY

Rand Paul: Democrats Need to be Investigated Over Ukraine

Winnie the Pooh warns attempts to divide China will end in 'shattered bones'

A bunch of democratic faggot and tranvestite loving freaks from hell

Bill Barr Flames ‘Unremitting Assault’ On Religion, Traditional Values During Notre Dame Visit

Hunter Biden Steps Down From Chinese Board in Bid to fight.


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

International News
See other International News Articles

Title: Bret Stephens, Warmonger
Source: The American Conservative
URL Source: [None]
Published: Jun 19, 2019
Author: Andrew Bacevich
Post Date: 2019-06-19 09:32:37 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 51

In fact, some people do want war, including a certain New York Times columnist.

Credit: MSNBC/YouTube Screenshot

The teaser for a recent Bret Stephens column in The New York Times accurately summarizes its contents: “If Iran won’t change its behavior we should sink its navy.”

We’ve done it before and, by golly, we can do it again. Stephens offers his readers this sanitized version of history to make his case: “On April 14, 1988, the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts, a frigate, hit an Iranian naval mine while sailing in the Persian Gulf. The explosion injured 10 of her crew and nearly sank the ship. Four days later, the U.S. Navy destroyed half the Iranian fleet in a matter of hours. Iran did not molest the Navy or international shipping for many years thereafter.”

Stripped bare of context, that paragraph is factually correct. But stripping it of context, as Stephens does, transforms it into a form of untruth, not a blatant lie perhaps, but an exercise in sleight of hand. Indeed, the very purpose of his column is not to enlighten, but to deceive and manipulate.

Americans are susceptible to this sort of argument. We like to think that the Pearl Harbor attack came out of the blue, ignoring the years of escalating antagonism between the United States and Japan that preceded it. Our version of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis portrays it as an unprovoked act of aggression, conveniently forgetting U.S. efforts over the previous two years to overthrow or assassinate Fidel Castro. And we prefer to divorce decades of muddled U.S. policies in the Middle East from the heinous crime of 9/11, pretending that the former played no role in inspiring the latter.

Advertisementgoogletag.pubads().definePassback("/339474670/ADN_Players/TAC_Player", [1, 1]).display()
processGoogleTokenSync({"newToken":"FBS"},5);

Yet bad history leads to bad policy. Stephens implicitly suggests that the incident involving the Samuel B. Roberts was itself an unprovoked attack. In fact, the story is a bit more complicated and those complications deserve reflection today.

Here is just some of the context that Stephens chooses to leave out.

Item: In 1988, Iran was in the eighth year of a war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq; Saddam had initiated that conflict by invading Iran, an unprovoked and illegal act of aggression.

Item: Beginning in December 1983, the United States had thrown its support behind the Iraqi dictator, providing him with battlefield intelligence and various types of material support; starting in 1985, in what became known as the Iran-Contra affair, the Reagan administration also began secretly providing arms to Iran.

Item: In 1984, Iraq had begun attacking ships involved in exporting Iranian oil; Iran responded in kind, attacking tankers belonging to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, countries that were bankrolling Saddam’s war effort.

Item: On May 17, 1987, with the double-dealing of Iran-Contra having become public, an Iraqi fighter-bomber attacked the USS Stark, nearly sinking it and killing 37 American sailors; Secretary of State George Shultz blamed Iran for the incident, attributing it to a “basic Iranian threat to the free flow of oil and to the principle of freedom of navigation”; in fact, both Iran and Iraq were engaged in impeding the free flow of oil.

Item: That July, the U.S. Navy began escorting Kuwaiti oil tankers transiting the Persian Gulf; the Pentagon also began preparing for offensive operations, concentrating additional combat assets in the region.

Item: On September 21, 1987, U.S. forces initiated a campaign of escalating attacks directed at Iranian mine-laying vessels and oil platforms; the United States had now effectively become a full-fledged ally of Saddam Hussein.

Item: Months later, the Samuel Roberts inadvertently wandered into a field of floating mines; the resulting U.S. fatalities were 37 fewer than those killed on the USS Stark but the incident provided the needed pretext for the United States to respond four days later on April 18, 1988 with Operation Praying Mantis, which decimated Iran’s minuscule navy.

Item, a notable footnote that goes unmentioned in Stephens’ column: Not long thereafter, on July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes, a cruiser intruding into Iranian territorial waters, shot down Iran Air Flight 655, killing all 290 civilians aboard; senior U.S. officials, including the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then lied about the circumstances leading to this incident; a U.S. Navy investigation charged Iran with “principal responsibility” for what it termed a “tragedy”; no apologies were forthcoming; Vice President George H.W. Bush said it best: “I will never apologize for the United States—I don’t care what the facts are.”

Within weeks, the Iran-Iraq War ended in a UN-brokered ceasefire. The United States had enabled Saddam to survive. Two years later, America’s erstwhile ally invaded and annexed Kuwait.

So, yes, in Operation Preying Mantis, U.S. forces did defeat the Iranian navy. Yet prevailing in this insignificant skirmish accomplished little apart from paving the way for further aggression by Saddam Hussein.

“Nobody wants a war with Iran,” writes Stephens. Actually some people do want war, almost surely including President Trump’s secretary of state and national security adviser. So, too, does Stephens himself. The deceptive history that he chooses to propagate can have no purpose except to promote armed conflict and to impede any understanding into America’s role in planting the seeds of forever war.

Andrew Bacevich is The American Conservative’s writer-at-large.

(1 image)

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com