Skip to Content

Accidents Happen, But We Can't Afford One in the Persian Gulf

 

This article originally ran on the website of Press TV
 

Things are getting out of hand in the Persian Gulf.

The murderous cannon firing by nervous and trigger-happy Navy personnel on the supply ship USS Rappahannock off the coast of Dubai earlier this week, which killed an Indian fisherman and wounded three of his companions as they motored past the US vessel shows how easily a deadly and hard to stop new war in the Gulf region -- this time between the US and Iran -- could start.

This time it was a fishing boat carrying Indians from Tamil Nadu state. Next time, however, it could as easily be an Iranian patrol boat, or even just an Iranian fishing boat that gets shot up or sunk by nervous US sailors. If that happens, then what?

If the Rappahannock's cannon had killed Iranian fishermen, instead of Indians, would it have been the first shots of a war withIf the Rappahannock's cannon had killed Iranian fishermen, instead of Indians, would it have been the first shots of a war with Iran?
 

Would Iran and its military sit tight and accept such an act, as the country did when the US shot down a civilian Iranian airliner in 1988?

Maybe, and maybe not.

I suppose if the US were to shoot up an Iranian civilian vessel, and then apologized adequately, there might be no consequences, but then, the record suggests that the US doesn’t have an easy time apologizing for such atrocities. Look what it took to get a US apology for the murderous actions (in broad daylight on a crowded street) of CIA contract worker Raymond Davis in Pakistan. He slaughtered two young Pakistanis with gunshots to the back and execution shots to the head, and his later arrest by Pakistani police led to the running down and killing of another innocent Pakistani man by other CIA officers racing to rescue Davis in their SUV. Only months later, when he was facing trial on murder charges, did the US stop demanding his release and finally finally apologize and pay a death compensation payment to the families of those killed, as well as to the family of a young wife of one of the slain men, who subsequently committed suicide by ingesting poison.

It also took months for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the head of the US military operation in Afghanistan to apologize to Pakistan for the slaughter, by helicopter gunships, of 28 soldiers manning a Pakistani mountaintop outpost, in an incident that has never really been adequately explained.

The way things are moving in the Gulf region though, there might not be time to wait several months for an apology in such a situation.

If the US Navy were to attack or sink an Iranian Navy vessel, or shoot down an Iranian military plane, whether deliberately or because of the nervous overreaction of some low-ranking sailors or soldiers manning a gun or rocket-launcher, even a quick apology might not prevent an Iranian response.



story | by Dr. Radut