THE DUOPOLY WATCH
Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
Whose False Flag, if any?
Special to The Greanville Post
I wrote the original version of the column yesterday (Jan. 12, 2016) shortly after I had heard about the “Iranian incident” involving the two small US naval vessels, taken into Iranian control after they had apparently strayed into Iranian territorial waters. “What a coincidence,” I thought. Barack Obama is giving his last State of the Union Address tonight and on his list of his accomplishments he is going to place the Iranian Nuclear Deal. There were and still are a wide range of reactionary forces ranged against that agreement—flawed as it is—and so, couldn’t this incident be a false flag attack, from either the US/Republican/Israeli side or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard/Right-wing side? Well, of course it could, and that’s what this column is about.
Fortunately the whole matter was settled quickly and the boats and crews were quickly returned to US custody. One question that will bear looking into is that the original U.S. claim of “mechanical difficulties” causing the vessels to drift into Iranian territorial waters has proved to be without foundation. The boats made it back to their base under their own power. Not that that adds anything to suspicions that could be raised about the original U.S. “mechanical difficulties” claim, does it? Nah.
Of course, none of this has prevented the renewed braying from the Republicans about how awful a deal it is and how weak the President is. And facts about the matter matter to them no more now than they did the morning the initial close-to-final deal was announced and before anyone could possibly have read it, when Sen. Tom Cotton from Arkansas and the US Military-Industrial Complex was up at the Capitol braying (boy, they do like to bray!) against it.
But let’s look at the incident a bit more closely. An “innocent mistake?” Surely it could have been. But given that it just happened to have occurred—as mentioned earlier— on the day of President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union Address, and given that there are a number of forces around the world which would like nothing better, post hoc, than to undermine his historic Iran Nuclear Deal, it surely could have been something else. “Surely you’re not thinking of a false flag attack, are you?” an interlocutor might ask. Well yes, that’s exactly what I’m thinking about.
Let me just list the possible perpetrators here. If more information comes out, we can delve into further details at a later date. First of all, the Republican Party is totally opposed to the Deal, because A) it is a major feather in President Obama’s cap, B) it might somehow help bring peace to at least part of the Middle East lessening the chances for the Permanent War they are so much in favor of, and C) their Middle Eastern wing (or is it the other way ’round), the Israeli/Likud government, is totally opposed to it for their own reasons. Second of all, there are the right-wing elements in Iran which are opposed to the deal, starting with the Revolutionary Guard and the right-wing military-industrial complex sector of the Iranian ruling class that they represent. Third of all, there is the Israeli government/Israeli Defense Force/Israeli military-industrial complex.
Who could have pulled something like this off? Well, in no particular order, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (al Quds), the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, and an anti-Iranian government terrorist grouping called the “Mujaheddin-e Khalg” (known as the MEK or MKO in the West).
In 2006 Seymour Hersh published an article in The New Yorker in which he claimed that Bush/Cheney were supporting the MEK. Although decimated by Iranian government reprisals, remnants of them may still be in existence inside Iran. Given their possible connections with Bush/Cheney, they would certainly have a reason to try to show up President Obama on this particular day. Or some anti-Obama unit of US intelligence could have made sure that the “mechanical difficulties” which supposedly caused the vessels to drift into Iranian waters actually occurred. Or what have you. The technological capabilities of imperial Washington are almost infinite.
And it is that this day is a particular one that raises this whole question. Of course conspiracy theories abound. Many involving the United States — think Tonkin Gulf, think the original overthrow of the first democratically elected Iranian government in 1953, think “bay of Pigs,” think the Allende coup, think “Iran-Contra,” think George Bush I tricking Iraq into attacking Kuwait in 1991, and so on and so forth — have been proven to be correct. Others, such as Obama’s “Plan to Grab all Your Guns” are the stuff of total fiction. But there are certainly a variety of interested parties that could have pulled off this very peculiarly-timed event.
Fortunately, the Iranian government intervened very quickly and the vessels and crews were quickly returned to U.S. control. The warmongers never had a chance to pour chauvinist fuel into the small fire. But questions do remain, as nothing is that innocent in the games that great powers play.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Senior Editor, Politics, Steven Jonas, MD, MPH is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 30 books. In addition to being Senior Editor, Politics, for The Greanville Post, he is: a Contributor for American Politics to The Planetary Movement; a “Trusted Author” for Op-Ed News.com; a contributor to the “Writing for Godot” section of Reader Supported News; and a contributor to From The G-Man. He is the Editorial Director and a Contributing Author for TPJmagazine.us. Further, he is an occasional Contributor to TheHarderStuff newsletter, BuzzFlash Commentary, and Dandelion Salad.
Dr. Jonas’ latest book is The 15% Solution: How the Republican Religious Right Took Control of the U.S., 1981-2022: A Futuristic Novel, Brewster, NY, Trepper & Katz Impact Books, Punto Press Publishing, 2013, and available on Amazon.