Just who is provoking whom where?
Imagine, for a moment, that Iran had sent its navy to patrol in the Gulf of Mexico, in international waters just off of the coasts of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and that its leader flew out to one of those ships and threatened to take out America's oil infrastructure.
How do you think the US government would react? How do you think the American people would react?
Do you think the US would send naval vessels out to provokingly sail close to Iranian ships? Do you think the US might do more than that and maybe sink those ships? (Especially if at that very moment Iranian special forces were operating inside the US, creating havoc and supporting subversive elements, as US special forces are already doing in Iran.)
Well duh! Of course they would.
So what do we expect the Iranians to do in this situation? Just keep their fleet moored in harbors and watch the US fleet sail up and down the Gulf, and out in the Arabian Sea off their southern coast unchallenged?
I'm not saying that Iran's decision to move aggressively to challenge US naval power off their shores is necessarily the wisest move, but at least American journalists and editors ought to have the decency and ethics to point out to readers and viewers that it is the US, not the Iranians, that are provoking things here.
If and when there is a US attack on Iran, you can bet the pretext for it will be some act by Iran that the US media will present as a "dastardly" attack on innocent US forces. What we're seeing with this coverage of the latest confrontation between US and Iranian vessels is that we will not be getting the real story.
As long as the Bush/Cheney administration continues to have that huge armada of war-primed vessels hugging Iran's coast, it is the US that is the aggressor, and it is the Bush/Cheney administration that must get the blame for the consequences.
The American corporate media will also be responsible though, for our domestic news organizations are playing the willing propagandists here as willingly as did Pravda or TASS in the old Soviet Union.
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This story was published on January 8, 2008.