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If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

By: Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich


On July 7th, U.S. navy announced that it would carry out exercises in the Persian Gulf. Commodore Peter Hudson claimed that these exercises were being carried out to protect "maritime infrastructure such as gas and oil installations".  As the expression goes, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.  If in the 1980s the United States managed to fool the world into believing that it was protecting the crude oil passage with its naval build up in the Persian Gulf, 20 or so years later it can use the same argument to send its carriers to the Gulf and no one will be the wiser for it.  After all, most people think that "relying on foreign oil" is a sin and any act, even ensuring the flow of 'foreign oil' justifies provocative U.S. actions.


Persian Gulf
(space photo by NASA)


But before we send our boys to protect our interests in someone else's backyard, lets examine what happened in the 80s that makes these brave men report for duty so readily, and confident in their success.


It has always been the U.S. position that America should be the only country allowed to dominate the region, notwithstanding Israel of course.   When the war between Iran and Iraq broke out (1980-88), it gave Regan the perfect pretext to send the navy to 'protect the passage of oil'.  Later however, a Congressional report found that during 1981-1987, the U.S. naval buildup had actually made shipping more dangerous[i].  The aggressive naval buildup in the Persian Gulf was to provoke Iran into war in order to secure alliances in the region.  It was no accident that in 1987, the U.S. fired on a UAE fishing boat thinking it was Iranian[ii]


This was the first of many casualties.  While the U.S. has always maintained that the shooting down of a civilian Iranian airliner by the Vicennes which  killed all 290 passengers was an accident, the commander of another U.S. ship in the Persian Gulf has said that while "the conduct of Iranian military forces in the month preceding the incident was pointedly non-threatening," the actions of the Vicennes "appeared to be consistently aggressive".   The Vicennes inclination to kill ruthlessly earned it the nickname "Robo Cruiser"[iii]


At the cost of innocent lives, prompting the continuation of the Iran-Iraq war which many blame solely on Khomeini-- thanks to Washington's propaganda, the U.S. reached its main objective.  The tensions caused the Arab states to turn to the United States for security and protection in return for which the U.S. built bases for expanding its empire, and it was paid for it.  On a per capita basis, the Persian Gulf states are the biggest spenders of "protection money'.  Bahrain pays a total of $53.4 million, Kuwait 252.9 million, Qatar 81.3, and United Arab Emirates $217.4 million[iv]


Mr. Bush is following in Reagan's footsteps.  With Israeli military maneuvers threatening war and provoking Iran without any protest from the international community, Mr. Bush has ordered a naval buildup in the Persian Gulf for 'protecting' the safe flow of oil.  No doubt, the U.S. navy will be hard at work provoking Iran hoping that as before, the resulting tension will prompt the Arab states to turn to Washington for protection, and not a minute too soon.  According to Shibley Telhamiand of Brookings' Saban Center for Middle East Policy, an opinion poll conducted with Zogby International, Arabs prefer France over America to be the superpower by a margin of 21 to 6 percent. More than twice as many,13% prefer China to the U.S.[v] .   With rising tensions, or a false flag operation, the U.S. will win over the Arabs and get even more 'protection money' ; even though they have been amply armed by the biggest arms-dealer in the world - the United States.  


So the navy is off to protect the $140 per barrel of oil which before the Iraq invasion was under $30/barrel.  If history is any indication, the naval buildup, Israel's bellicose and expansionist policies, the Iraq war, and Mr. Bush's personal history of repeated failures, all implications are that America is headed for disaster, taking with it all those who 'are with us', and destroying all those 'who are with them'.


[i] War in the Persian Gulf: The U.S. Takes Sides, staff report to the Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate, Nov. 1987.

[ii] Ronald O'Rourke, "The Tanker War" (1988)

[iii] Stephen Shalom. The United States and the Iran-Iraq War: 1990

[iv] Chalmers Johnson 'Commission on Review of Overseas Military Facility Structure, Report p.Mp'

... Payvand News - 07/10/08 ... --

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