THE US claims Iran was behind the “torpedo attack” on an American-linked oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.
Both the Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous – which was reportedly bombed – burst into flames and were forced to evacuate in the troubled region this morning.
Well maybe Iran did it. But perhaps not. We’ve been fooled by this sort of thing before.
Gulf of Tonkin incident, by Wikipedia.
The Gulf of Tonkin incident … was an international confrontation that led to the United States engaging more directly in the Vietnam War. It involved either one or two separate confrontations involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but the Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005 proved material misrepresentation by the US government to justify a war against Vietnam.
On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a signals intelligence patrol as part of DESOTO operations, was pursued by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron. Maddox fired three warning shots and the North Vietnamese boats then attacked with torpedoes and machine gun fire. Maddox expended over 280 3-inch (76.2 mm) and 5-inch (127 mm) shells in a sea battle. One U.S. aircraft was damaged, three North Vietnamese torpedo boats were damaged, and four North Vietnamese sailors were killed, with six more wounded. There were no U.S. casualties. Maddox “was unscathed except for a single bullet hole from a Vietnamese machine gun round.” …
In the 2003 documentary The Fog of War, the former United States Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara admitted that the August 2 USS Maddox attack happened with no Defense Department response, but the August 4 Gulf of Tonkin attack never happened. In 1995, McNamara met with former Vietnam People’s Army General Võ Nguyên Giáp to ask what happened on August 4, 1964, in the second Gulf of Tonkin Incident. “Absolutely nothing”, Giáp replied. Giáp claimed that the attack had been imaginary.
The outcome of these two incidents was the passage by Congress of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to assist any Southeast Asian country whose government was considered to be jeopardized by “communist aggression”. The resolution served as Johnson’s legal justification for deploying U.S. conventional forces and the commencement of open warfare against North Vietnam.
To say nothing of the over-hyped weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in 2003. A certain skepticism is deserved here.