I heard the news tonight. Oh boy. It scared me big time.
The storm clouds of a new war are building very quickly on our horizon. The Iranians, in possible retaliation of their officials being held hostage by Americans in Iraq, have captured 15 British sailors, who probably were indeed in what Iran interprets to be it’s territorial waters. Under US pressure, the UN Security Council has jacked up the sanctions against Iran and in response, Iran announced that it would reduce its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Democratic Party controlled Congress just dropped the provision from the military appropriations bill that would require Bush to seek their approval before attacking Iran. Seymour Hersh continues to report on Bush regime plans to attack Iran, including Iran-based clandestine operations, the kidnapping of hundreds of Iranians including many “humanitarian and aid workers” by US forces and the revelation that an Iran-Contra-type scandal is being run out of Vice President Dick Cheney’s office with some of the illicit funds going to groups “sympathetic to al-Qaeda.” Russian and Arab news sources report a US attack is imminent. US Naval forces are in the process of war-gaming in the Persian Gulf off Iran’s coast at this moment. Very shortly, four US naval attack squadrons, each with aircraft carriers with hundreds of military attack aircraft and missiles, will be in the Persian Gulf simultaneously. There is considerable open speculation concerning the possibility that this US attack will involve the use of tactical nuclear weapons. Such a step would dwarf Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia in its significance.
Iran has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has the right to develop civilian use of nuclear energy and no evidence has been made public that they are in violation. Meanwhile, Israel hsd always refused to sign this treaty and has an estimated 250 illegal nuclear weapons. Locked and loaded. India and Pakistan both developed nuclear weapons in secret, yet remain US allies. The US signed the treaty in 1970, but remains in blatant violation of Article VI in which it promised to disarm its nuclear arsenal.
The personal implications for all of us in the event of such an attack should be profound. At that point, either normal life would necessarily cease or the world would be just to hold those that did not rise in determined resistance as collaborators with war criminals. A defining existential moment may be upon us. What’s the contengency plan?
Blair’s Faked Border
As former British ambassador Craig Murray points out, the British seem to have faked a maritime boundary.
The British Ministry of Defense has released coordinates where fifteen British sailors and marines were picked up by Iranians after searching a merchant ship:
“As shown on the chart, the merchant vessel was 7.5 nautical miles south east of the Al Faw Peninsula and clearly in Iraqi territorial waters. Her master has confirmed that his vessel was anchored within Iraqi waters at the time of the arrest. The position was 29 degrees 50.36 minutes North 048 degrees 43.08 minutes East.
The MoD asserts that this position is within Iraqi waters:
This places her 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi territorial waters. This fact has been confirmed by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.
Which leads to the obvious question. On what basis are the British asserting that the line they painted in their graphic is indeed the “Iraq / Iran Territorial Water Boundary.”
That boundary is simply not well defined and Iran and Iraq have fought several wars about the Shatt al-Arab and its waterways. There is no binding or otherwise recognized international agreement about the maritime boundaries.
Read all of it, see accompanying maps, and read informed comments here.