Watch the propaganda for war with Iran unfold


CBS News correspondent David Martin sent out this alarming tweet.

Notice how he starts out as if stating an incontrovertible fact “Iran or Iranian-backed proxies used explosives to blow holes in four ships — two Saudi oil tankers and two others — near the Strait of Hormuz” before adding a bit of information that undermines the whole thing: “according to an initial assessment of the U.S. team sent to investigate.” In other words, this is what the US government, that has been demonizing Iran as a prelude to war, has simply asserted via anonymous sources with no supporting evidence. He ends by saying he “confirms” it. But what has he confirmed? That Iran was behind a bombing? Or that anonymous US government sources say so? There is a big difference between the two.

A real reporter who is not a mouthpiece for US propaganda and with a concern for objectivity might write something like this: “Two Saudi oil tankers and two others reportedly suffered some damage yesterday near the Strait of Hormuz. While anonymous US officials allege that Iran or its proxies were responsible, no evidence has yet been produced in support of that claim.”

So what do we know? The BBC, although no stranger to warmongering rhetoric either, gives a more nuanced report It appears that four commercial ships reported finding holes in their hulls while in the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of the Untied Arab Emirates. Two are registered to Saudi Arabia, one to Norway, and the fourth to UAE. None of those countries have assigned blame for the damage or made any statement as to the possible cause.

Global maritime news website have questioned the details surrounding the incident. The influential Lloyds List Maritime Intelligence, for example, criticised the authorities for “scant” information.

Quoting the maritime security company Dryad Global, it said: “Saudi reticence to report the incident accurately within their own media channels and the current failure to provide imagery evidence of the attack raises important questions as to the nature of the attack.”

The FleetMon website said: “What happened exactly, how bad were explosions and fire, if there were any, and what definition ‘act of sabotage’ means, how much true is indeed, the whole story, is so far anyone’s guess.”

But who cares about such trivialities as truth or accuracy? Let’s lay the groundwork for another glorious war, baby, and watch TV ratings go through the roof!

Forget the Maine, the Gulf of Tonkin, Iraq’s WMDs, the Kuwait incubators, and the many other times the US has lied the country into war and the media spread its propaganda. This time it’s different! No, really! It’s the truth, they swear!

Comments

  1. file thirteen says

    Yeah, “or Iranian-backed proxies” sets alarm bells ringing doesn’t it.

  2. file thirteen says

    To expand on my last comment: if they had even the slightest piece of evidence that it was Iran, they would be screaming Iran from the rooftops. Adding “or Iranian-based proxies” means that they don’t have a fucking clue who it was, but have decided to pin it on Iran, and if incontrovertible evidence turns up that it was someone else, why all they have to do is assert there was Iranian money (meaning money from any random citizen who lives in, or has been to, or knows someone in, Iran) behind it. Absence of evidence not being evidence of absence, that can never be disproved anyway.

  3. ridana says

    I’m not generally one to leap on “false flag” conspiracies, but if I’ve ever seen one, this is one. Notice that none of the ships sank, or had oil spills, or even major damage to their propulsion systems (I assume this to be true or that sort of thing would certainly have been included in the reports). There’s no point to wimpy attacks like these, not from Iran’s pov.

    Cheeto wants to be a war president so badly he can taste it, and will do anything to make it happen. If he can’t get a war with Venezuela, he’ll settle for Iran. He thinks it’s the key to reelection and his place in history. North Korea should be very careful what they do right now, because his adoration for dictators notwithstanding, if Hair Furor can’t get his other wars, they’re next on the list.

  4. says

    Trump’s place in history is already assured. Watch how suddenly the imperial war party discovers bipartisanship; they all want a war.

    Iran has no chance, except to spark an insurgency in the entire region. But they have fairly OK short range missiles that might cost the US navy a few casualties, and they could close the strait with mines. The scary thing is that US force structure is basically the same as what lost in Iraq, and Iran is bigger and has a better military. What does that tell us?

  5. Dunc says

    ridana, @ #4:

    I’m not generally one to leap on “false flag” conspiracies, but if I’ve ever seen one, this is one. Notice that none of the ships sank, or had oil spills, or even major damage to their propulsion systems (I assume this to be true or that sort of thing would certainly have been included in the reports). There’s no point to wimpy attacks like these, not from Iran’s pov.

    I’ve often thought that if you really want to get noticed, scuttling a couple of oil tankers in the Suez Canal would be the way to do it. Iran, however, is desperate to export more oil, so anything that threatens shipping through the canal is entirely contrary to their interests.

    Cheeto wants to be a war president so badly he can taste it, and will do anything to make it happen.

    The term “war president” is redundant. All American presidents are war presidents, because America is always at war.

    Marcus, @ #5:

    Iran has no chance, except to spark an insurgency in the entire region. But they have fairly OK short range missiles that might cost the US navy a few casualties, and they could close the strait with mines.

    They could, but again, closing the Strait of Hormuz is about the last thing the Iranians would want to do. They’re entirely dependent on commercial shipping through it.

  6. says

    Dunc@#6:
    They could, but again, closing the Strait of Hormuz is about the last thing the Iranians would want to do.

    It’s basically the same move Saddam pulled when they lit off their oil wells: “you’re going to win but we can make it worse for you.” That is basically the only thing any side can do in a war they expect to lose.

  7. says

    The damage to the boat does not look like an explosion. It looks like a minor collision.

    The US Navy does better collisions than that.

  8. Jim who is both big and ugly says

    “What fantastic reporting,” stated a source close the the reporter. The source further added, “I’m very proud of you, David. Your father and I always knew you’d make a big name for yourself.”
    If it wasn’t so fully unsettling, it’d be laughable to see the laziness and warhawkishness of the media these days.

  9. ridana says

    Dunc @#6: I know we’ve always been at war, but not every President has started the wars he’s presided over. Of course technically Trump has been a war President from his inauguration on, but they’re Bush’s and Obama’s wars. He wants one that’s all his own, preferably one that he thinks will be his chance to use nukes in.

  10. Dunc says

    ridana @ #11: True. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Trump turned out to be the first President in god-knows-how-long to get through a term without starting a new war?

  11. Holms says

    #8
    Highly speculative, but it looks to me somewhat like a torpedo collision with no payload.