The Gulf of Credibility 718

I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker at the very moment that the Japanese Prime Minister was sitting down to friendly, US-disapproved talks in Tehran on economic cooperation that can help Iran survive the effects of US economic sanctions.

The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous was holed above the water line. That rules out a torpedo attack, which is the explanation being touted by the neo-cons.

The second vessel, the Front Altair, is Norwegian owned and 50% Russian crewed (the others being Filipinos). It is owned by Frontline, a massive tanker leasing company that also has a specific record of being helpful to Iran in continuing to ship oil despite sanctions.

It was Iran that rescued the crews and helped bring the damaged vessels under control.

That Iran would target a Japanese ship and a friendly Russian crewed ship is a ludicrous allegation. They are however very much the targets that the USA allies in the region – the Saudis, their Gulf Cooperation Council colleagues, and Israel – would target for a false flag. It is worth noting that John Bolton was meeting with United Arab Emirates ministers two weeks ago – both ships had just left the UAE.

The USA and their UK stooges have both immediately leapt in to blame Iran. The media is amplifying this with almost none of the scepticism which is required. I cannot think of a single reason why anybody would believe this particular false flag. It is notable that neither Norway nor Japan has joined in with this ridiculous assertion.


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718 thoughts on “The Gulf of Credibility

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        • Rory O’Connor

          Those three criteria point as much or more to the US or (less likely) Saudi Arabia, you creep. Why are you named after a German rocket?

          People who point to Israel all the time, solely, are Jew-haters whether they recognise themselves in the description or not.

          Btw, no, I do not like the Netanyahu Iran policy, and yes, it is at least possible it was Israel.

          • Doodlebug

            ‘Why are you named after a German rocket?’

            Why are you an arrogant fool?

          • Laguerre

            “People who point to Israel all the time, solely, are Jew-haters whether they recognise themselves in the description or not.” Cr*p. Israel is a very prominent country, which is known to actively intervene in the politics of countries around it, for example sending advisors to direct Iraqi Kurdistan against Baghdad. That is not the anti-semitism you like to suggest.

          • Rory O’Connor

            Good response Doodlebug, pick out the one jokey line. Don’t answer the substance.

            Nor does the other commenter: picking out Israel from the other likely suspects is deeply misguided.

          • bevin

            Israel is the only country with a motive. The other-including the US suspect countries- are motivated only by their desire to further Israel’s strategies.

          • Doodlebug

            I suggest you read Rhys Jaggar (further down) on ‘verbal reasoning’, since you seem to be coming up short somewhat. You cannot call someone a ‘creep’ and expect them to appreciate your sense of humour subsequently. Joke my arse.

            “it is at least possible it was Israel”

            From which it follows that individuals with more than two inter-connected neurons are entitled to hold the opinion that it was Israel. You clearly do not. And? Should that make you the target for verbal aggression?

            “Don’t answer the substance.
            “Nor does the other commenter: picking out Israel from the other likely suspects is the act of a creep.”

            The other commenter (Laguerre) answers your accusation of anti-Semitism directly and without even touching upon the idea of Israel’s possible (your word) culpability over the current incident. As they make abundantly clear, criticism of a nation state’s actions is not indicative of antagonism toward its general population. Unfortunately propagandists like yourself are too quick to conflate Zionism and Judaism, implying a distaste for the one signifies ‘hatred’ of the latter – a deliberate false relation.

          • Rory O'Connor

            Is bevin aware of Washington’s alarm at Iran’s friendliness with China? There is one clear motive to maintain pressure on Iran, and sufficient to answer his point about motive. There are other problems with his logic, but only so much time in the day.

          • Rory O'Connor

            Well done Doodlebug, you spotted what I said about Israel, on a second look. It wasn’t hidden first time. Your formula was: Means, motive, opportunity = Israel. And mine was: Means, motive, opportunity = a couple of countries. What special information do you have? The theory that everything bad the US does is because of Israel or that it’s responsible for everything? Or what? Incidentally I wasn’t expecting you personally to laugh at the comment about the name. But a sardonic, jokey comment it nonetheless it was. Unless you have an interesting further comment, I’ll drop out at this point.

    • Dungroanin

      The smirks are there due to the cancellation of the cancellation of oodles of MIC profits.

      It makes up a bit for the great tears and innui in the NWO as their star sinks and the SCO’s rises.
      ‘I certainly agree with the positive assessments of the activities of our organisation, the SCO, which have just been voiced here. The SCO is indeed successfully developing and strengthening its positions in regional affairs, making a significant contribution to ensuring peace, security and stability in Eurasia.
      Given that at the end of today’s meeting, Russia will take over the Presidency of the SCO, I would like to outline Russia’s vision of the most promising areas of the organisation’s work in 2019–2020.’

      I recommend reading the rest of that, it is short and clear.

  • JMF

    It’s like a planned crescendo of events leading up to the big one which could be an ‘attack’ on an american ship in a few weeks time

    • Paul Barbara

      @ JMF June 14, 2019 at 09:02
      That will really muddy the waters – I^^ael just loves to attack an American ship – perhaps they’ll even manage to sink it this time, and murder any survivors in the water, like they tried to do with the USS Liberty (the 52nd Anniversary of which just passed on June 8th).
      And still no Congressional inquiry. The most decorated ship in the US Navy, ever, for one engagement, and many US Seamen have never even heard of it. How is that? The various Administrations don’t want to upset their ‘Ally’. Such an ‘ally’!

    • Mr V

      And guess what – which assessment, that of intelligence agencies, or government one, about Iraqi “WMDs” was used in 2003?

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Johny Conspiranoid June 14, 2019 at 09:03
      And a government statement was enough to send Americans and other NATO countries to invade and occupy Afghanistan – no evidence whatsoever.

  • Andyoldlabour

    In this report from RT, we are shown a video alleging that IRG troops are removing an unexploded limpet mine from the hull, well above the water line, of the damaged tanker Kokuka Courageous.
    In the same article there is a Twitter feed, telling us that 21 crew members were rescued by USS Bainbridge, which is in direct contradiction of claims that Iran rescued all 44 crew members from both ships.
    Who do we believe, because I swear that I am going madder by the day.

    • Sharp Ears

      The Guardian have put that video (ex Reuters) on their website overnight. Trust that the US Navy captain Bill Urban is not related to our BBC Mark Urban.

      ‘The US military has released a video it says shows Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) removing an unexploded mine from the side of one of two oil tankers attacked earlier in the day. ‘At 4:10 p.m. local time an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous,’ Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US military’s Central Command, said in a statement.’
      Source: Reuters
      Fri 14 Jun 2019 04.32 BST

      We ask ourselves the same question, yet again. ‘What is going on?’

    • Tony

      And why aren’t we shown footage of the ‘saboteurs’ returning to their Iranian base? Surely, after catching them at it, the US forces would continue filming to get as much damning evidence as possible?

    • Laguerre

      “IRG troops are removing an unexploded limpet mine from the hull,” That is a very heavy over-interpretation. Could have been a boat called up by the crew to do just that, or lots of other explanations. The Iranians would hardly do what they were accused of while being filmed by a US drone. They would have stopped, and done it when the drone had departed.

  • Andyoldlabour

    It appears that the USS Bainbridge was the ship involved in the Maersk Alabama piracy incident in 2009, which resulted in the Tom Hanks film “Captain Phillips”.

  • Ewan Maclean

    Did the Japanese PM not return home and impose sanctions on Iranian petrochemicals? It’s difficult to know what is credible in the news and what isn’t.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Ewan Maclean

      Where did you hear that from?
      The Japanese PM was in Iran, before, during and after the attacks on the tankers.

      • Ewan Maclean

        Just me being stupid – Trump met with Abe before Abe went to Iran, and straight after meeting him imposed sanctions on Iranian petrochemicals…

  • Andyoldlabour

    I am not sure what type of aircraft/drone is supposed to have taken this video, but the quality is awful and the camera angle is highly suspicious, not to mention the coincidence of a drone being in that place at that time.
    Some people on the Bainbridge twitter feed are suggesting that the video was shot by an Orion at 20,000 feet, which is ridiculous – an Orion cannot hover, it would fall out of the sky.

    • Mark Bad

      Those sneaky Iranians must have a time machine. They are seen here attaching the mines after the sabotage event and then running time backwards to create the explosions that happened in the past!

  • Al Dossary

    You have to ask who would gain from the closing of the Gulf shipping routes? Certainly not any of the Gulf states, least of all Iran. Only the US and Israhel stand to gain from conflict with Iran.

    Iran, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE and Iraq all rely on the gulf area to ship their oil. Closing the shipping lanes would cripple their oil industry.

    Saudi can ship a lot of their crude across the country by pipeline to the Red sea, but that still leaves their facilities on the Gulf unable to ship oil, gas or refined products. So it would not stop Saudi crude deliveries, but most of the profit in oil is from the refined product rather than crude.

    The Houthi’s have already shown that they can target the Saudi infrastructure by drone or cruise missile, so I very much doubt that even MBS would be crazy enough to rattle Irans cage. I hope not – I live on a camp beside one of the largest refineries on the gulf.

    Are the Americans crazy enough to do it – well they do have previous for planning, carrying out and using false flags to justify action.

    In all probability there is a sub operating in the area, Israhel owned Dolphin class would be my guess. Worryingly these are thought to be armed with Nuke tipped cruise missiles. Its commander obviously is wary of passing through the Straits of Hormuz, but rather is operating in the Sea of Oman. I would imagine that the straits of Hormuz have multiple listening stations that would prevent any sub entering undetected.

    • BP

      You are not wholly correct, AD. There is an upside for Saudi Arabia in that there is the potential for an increase in the price of oil which they both desire and need.

    • Casual Observer

      2/3rds of the Gulf is so shallow that Seagulls would be able to see submarines sitting on the bottom. Its interesting that these incidents seem to have happened at the point where the Gulf of Oman starts to shelve off rapidly to great depths indeed, suggesting that in order to stay undetected one would need a reasonable sized Submarine. Wiki suggests the Iranians have 3 Soviet Kilo class vessels, diesel electric, and from the first batch back in the 80’s. In view of the fact that the the Japanese owners are now saying that crewmen saw something flying towards them, it does rather suggest a ‘State Actor’ with somewhat up to date abilities, which could well put the Iranians out of the frame ?

      Also with regard to limpet mines, its usual to attach them below the waterline so that the surrounding water tamps the explosion force directly against the hull of the target vessel. It also rules out the possibility of an idling crewman noticing something odd stuck on the side of his ship. One might assume from the USN video, that if indeed there were limpet mines in use, they were either placed by those ignorant in their use, or that they were used for the publicity effect rather than the destruction of the vessels concerned ?

      Given that the owner nations of the two vessels are either big customers for Iranian Oil, or have a history of being helpful in transporting the Oil, it seems most likely that this attack was designed to send a message of the not subtle variety to any thinking of ignoring US imposed sanctions on Iran ?

  • kashmiri

    Well, I recall that every single visit of a US president to India coincided with an American being killed in Kashmir or a large massacre carried out there, as India instantly claimed, “by Kashmiri terrorists” (while in fact these were all false flag attacks).

    As much as I sympathise with Iran, I am deeply suspicious of the obviously similar Gulf event. There is no lack of idiots on all sides of the conflict.

  • TravellingTaff

    I well remember their ‘evidence’ in the build up to the Iraq debacle. Non existent weapons of mass destruction’ and the 45 minutes claims…all of course to provide an excuse for invasion and regime change.
    Once again, these mad but dangerous neocons like John Bolton are employing the same tactics, probably using Iran’s enemies like Saudi or the Israelis, both who can’t wait to get the US into military action albeit for differing aims. These attacks are clearly designed to implicate Iran and ratchet up the tension !

  • Ian

    Of course, if you are going to stage an incident to create a climate for attacking Iran, you would choose the moment when the Japanese minister is in Tehran to encourage talks to de-escalate the situation. Blow that initiative off the front pages and substitute a fact free piece of propaganda that doesn’t stand up to the most cursory of scrutiny. And neglect to provide the faintest of evidence. And if that’s not enough provide a fake video in such low quality that nobody can determine anything about it. Very reminiscent of the false Israeli videos which surfaced after they attacked the relief convoys to Gaza, and which were later shown to be fake.
    You would almost think that someone has an agenda. John Bolton – “The truth must be guarded by lies”
    They really do take us for idiots.

  • Pat Marie

    You are absolutely right. But when you say you cannot fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe this I remind you of the people who voted for Trump. There are I’m afraid an awful lot of stupid people in the world. But even more dangerous is the media who feed the lies to these people. And that includes the BBC which is so sad, They play along with our government every time. Just look at the Salisbury poisoning. And the chemical attacks in Syria.
    The US want to start a war with Iran and will go to any lengths to do it.

    • wonky

      “(…) I remind you of the people who voted for Trump. There are I’m afraid an awful lot of stupid people in the world.”

      Did intelligent Americans have an alternative – other than throwing their vote to the dogs opting for Jill Stein – in order to avoid psychopath war harpy Hitlery? They really didn’t, did they? So, the next best / most intelligent thing to do, was to slam the emergency brake on the existing mafia deep state’s mass suicide project, by voting for Trump’s new mafia team, hoping it would be at least slightly less suicidal.

      Now, two years on, intelligent Americans have learnt a valuable lesson: The fascist mafia deep state cannot be defeated by any new president.
      Wannabe intelligent Europeans, however, still keep wanking over that proxy messiah war criminal Obama and his stupid grin, believing he was any different to that other grinning mafia war criminal Blair.

      The time to replace romantic fairy tale bs with grown-up analysis is now or quite possibly never.

        • Northern

          No, they didn’t. The Clinton campaign conspired with the DNC to ensure Hilary got the democratic party nomination. At least try to be accurate. Good post by Wonky.

          Would agree with the general feeling here something’s amiss with the Tanker strikes. Think it’s far more likely the American’s have video footage of Mossad carrying out the operation and decided to cut and paste bits of it with just poor enough quality to confirm nothing what-so-ever for anyone trying to actually forensically investigate.

          As an O/T aside, I’m still not entirely sold on Sanders – I’m sure his progressive domestic policies would have bought enough young votes that he would have walked all over Trump, but looking at some of his statements on recent issues he seems to be actually quite hawk-ish on foreign policy.

          • Northern

            “Think it’s far more likely the American’s have video footage of Mossad carrying out the operation and decided to cut and paste bits of it with just poor enough quality to confirm nothing what-so-ever for anyone trying to actually forensically investigate.”

            Or, with benefit of hindsight, this is video from the Iranian’s responding to the distress calls of the tankers, post detonation as had been suggested further below in the thread. Either way, the video confirms or denies nothing.

          • portside

            You will be disappointed by the Brexit Party’s domestic and foreign policies.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Northern June 14, 2019 at 12:13
            ‘…As an O/T aside, I’m still not entirely sold on Sanders – I’m sure his progressive domestic policies would have bought enough young votes that he would have walked all over Trump, but looking at some of his statements on recent issues he seems to be actually quite hawk-ish on foreign policy…’
            Agreed. A bit of a wolf in sheeps’ clothing…
            Jill Stein actually offered to stand down and offer him the leadership of the Green Party to run for President, but I don’t believe he even responded to her offer.
            Again, it’s the old Tweedle Dumb, Tweedle Dumber two-party roundabout. He will be a puppet of the Deep State.
            Whereas someone like Jill Stein, or Cynthia McKinney, would not kow-tow to them (especially the latter)..

        • Tom Welsh

          Wow, Ruth. You really have missed the point!

          The whole Assange furore has centred around Wikileaks’ exposure of the DNC skullduggery that resulted in Bernie Sanders NOT being available as a choice for the voters.

          He might well have been elected, had he been a candidate for election. But the US system of pseudo-democracy hinges critically on the political parties’ ability to control who is permitted to stand as a candidate.

          The two political parties that are officially allowed, that is.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ wonky June 14, 2019 at 11:36
        The people need to break out from the straightjacket of the two-party system – both Demoprats and Repugnants are puppets of the Deep State.

        • wonky

          Yes, two neoliberal war parties to choose from is obviously anything but “democracy”. Especially since the frontline is not the media’s preferred tale of (pseudo-)left vs. (pseudo-)right, but rather “neoliberal uber alles” vs. “anything but neoliberal, pleeease..”. For proof see Warren Buffet’s snappy quote about the ongoing top-down war.

          A larger variety of thought represented by different parties is very much needed to shake things up for the better. But there’s the next problem, as it seems to be an easy game for die-hard-neoliberals to corrupt smaller parties, because the Deep State has by far the Deepest Pockets.

          The German Greens with their victory in the last EU elections are a perfect example: anti-russian to the core, hawkish and authoritarian, economically ultra-liberal, “progressive” masters of Orwellian double-speak/double-think, and yet, they smile and they do love the bees and the birdies, don’t they.. how could anyone in their right mind disagree?? That makes them the party of choice for the next and maybe final phase of the neoliberal EU agenda, which needs to come about pronto!, before those pesky Putin-admiring country Bob Brexiter Cinque Stelle Podemos Yellow Jackets ruin it all..

          I believe radical (not “representative”) democracy is the way to go, as it could focus on everything truly progressive, empowering the voiceless, while completely bypassing all those cynical fake arguments coming from the Deep Pockets.
          ..And the media could finally return to what they’re supposed to be doing..

  • Carl

    The approved explanation for why Iran did this is “to show they can disrupt global oil supplies in the event of being attacked.” However it is being delivered with little conviction because everyone knows Iran’s leaders are not daft, that they would know such a “provocation” would be used by the Trump gang and the phony resistance as a perfect excuse for another “righteous” war. The nakedness of this false flag has this time embarrassed even the BBC and its deep state think tank talking heads.

    • Ian

      That’s laughable, since they obviously have ‘demonstrated’ anything of the kind. The opposite in fact.

  • Tom Rhodes

    As the first vessel was holed above waterline it shouldn’t be too difficult to recover details of the weapon and whether it had ever been exported to Iran – if it isn’t a false flag attack.

    • Tom Welsh

      To my mind the eye-witness accounts and the damage seem consistent with an anti-ship missile lacking an explosive warhead. In other words, effectively what sank HMS “Sheffield” at the Falklands.

      The kind of impact that sank the radically unprotected tinfoil British “warship” might be just enough to put a little hole in a nice fat tanker, and start an impressive (but non-fatal) fire with lots of exciting smoke and flames.

      • Doodlebug

        Seconded. What ‘the Donald’ claims to be the mark of a limpet mine forward (in that questionable video) appears to me more like a puncture hole, as does the perforation aft. If such weapons as you describe were launched by Iran, then they must have overflown their targets, turned around and come back again!?

  • Steven

    My sympathies are clearly with Iran here.

    But do we know that the visit is US disapproved rather than Bolton disapproved, since Trump reportedly knows of, approved of, and possibly even requested the Japanese prime minister to go to Tehran.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    There is rapidly becoming a case for taking BBC journalists to court for ‘wasting the taxpayers’ money uploading online/broadcasting barefaced lies, uncorrobated allegations and logic-free arguments consistent only with a propensity to fail 11 plus verbal reasoning tests’.

    For young readers and those from overseas, in years gone by the UK had a school selection process aged 11 to split pupils into more academically demanding grammar schools and more vocational secondary modern schools. The examination was called the 11+ and one of the test papers was called ‘verbal reasoning’.

    I cannot quite come up with a mechanism to punish private sector teleprompt readers/typists/scribblers (I no longer call them journalists as their ethics and lack of rigour are incompatible with such a term) , since we all have the option not to purchase their rubbish, watch their execrebale Tv broadcasts nor read it online. But ‘bringing journalism into disrepute’ charges would be an open and shut case if there were a forum to bring forward such a prosecution.

    I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that journalism/news reporting must be regulated in the MSM (the internet has no credibility per se), since self-regulation is a cogently proven farce.

    All journalists should have a three year license and challenges to their continued possession of one should be openly encouraged. Editors should face annual scrutiny and be ‘defrocked’ if lying in weighty matters is too consistent. As for publishers, they need to live here, pay taxes here and put up 10% of their net worth to be forfeited if they allow scurrilous rubbish amounting to media terrorism to be masquerading as news.

    That is before we deal with the endemic surveilance culture for which media employees should go to prison for ten years if they have engaged in long-term unconsented and hence parasitic keystroke hacking, mobile phone bugging etc etc.

    Piers Morgan. Andrew Neil and Nick Robinson may be pissing in their pants at that suggestion.

    News Corporation will be bunging coppers, politicians and MI5 left, right and centre as we speak…..

    • Tom Welsh

      “All journalists should have a three year license…”

      I am afraid that your proposed “solution” would be far worse than the problem it proposes to address, Rhys. The loud slavering noise you hear is the authorities licking their lips at the prospect of simply being able to deny a licence to anyone they dislike. Appeals might be possible, and it should be a simple matter to make sure the process grinds on for, say, a dozen or so years. After which the appeal would be denied on some technicality – say, only 11 copies being provided rather than the necessary 13.

  • Republicofscotland

    Looking at the bigger picture as to why the US and its obedient puppets are attempting to set Iran up, for an inevitable war.

    The US has already defaulted on the JCPOA deal, and Iran is close to moving away from parts of the deal, due to American actions.

    Trump has imposed more sanctions on Iran, but the likes of China and Turkey are still buying Iranian oil, combine this with Iran’s all bets are off now and we are intent on producing nukes to defend ourselves in the region mentality, and you can see why the US, Israel and Britain are attempting to conjure up a “plausable” excuse to attack Iran.

    • Wikikettle

      Republicofscotland. The Iranians do not want nuclear weapons. Its ‘WE’, that keep saying that they want them. Trying to have them will be just what Israel and US wants to bomb them.

  • John Scott

    1. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has form. They have previously carried out acts of piracy in the Strait, including kidnapping.
    2. The explosive charges were magnetic mines, placed on the hull (and generally above the waterline). This, not torpedos, is the explanation being “touted”.
    3. Irrespective of the talks, the military and paramilitary forces of Iran tend to act unilaterally.
    4. As would be expected, Iran (a country where women are routinely imprisoned for wearing the wrong clothes and dissent of any kind is repressed with violence) is given the benefit of the doubt, whereas Israel is named as a potential aggressor.
    Must try harder.

    • Crispa

      Yes you must.
      1. The IRG is not stupid.
      2. Is sheer supposition.
      3. Is facile.
      4. Is irrelevant.

    • glenn_nl

      John: You forgot to mention what possible benefit this would be to Iran.

      You must try harder 😉

    • Ian

      It could be Israel. They have form. It also could be Saudi, Abu Dhabi, the Houthis or any combination of them. Plenty to choose from. Or are you giving the benefit of the doubt to a country where indigenous citizens are imprisoned for saying the wrong things, being in the wrong place or merely existing, and dissent of any kind is repressed with deadly violence? Do at least try.

      • David Otness

        “Or are you giving the benefit of the doubt to a country where indigenous citizens are imprisoned for saying the wrong things, being in the wrong place or merely existing, and dissent of any kind is repressed with deadly violence?”

        This could and rightfully does describe Israeli-occupied Palestine as well.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ John Scott June 14, 2019 at 10:48
      1. Any examples spring to mind? Surely you aren’t referring to when they arrested US or British ‘sailors’ who ‘strayed’ into Iranian waters?
      2. Mines are meant to sink ships. Why would they place a mine above the waterline, where it could be seen from another craft, and which would do minimum damage?
      3. I suspect that is a presumption; they would hardly act without government approval in such a hair-trigger situation.
      4. Yeh, that old chestnut. That was one of the sob-stories told about removing the Taliban in Afghanistan, never mind the fact that things are worse for women now. And Saudi Arabia gets a free pass, ‘cos they buy lots of arms, and provide jobs for British workers (and incidentally murder men, women and children in Yemen, as well as in Saudi Arabia itself.
      You mention the US’s great ally in the Middle East – remember the Liberty!

    • Tom Welsh

      John, your prejudice seems very blatant.

      The IRGC is, to all intents and purposes, part of the armed forces of the state of Iran. If you accuse them of “piracy” and “kidnapping” in the coastal waters off Iran, please consider how you would describe the acts of the US Coastguard, Navy and Marines in waters all around the world.

      You claim that the explosive charges were magnetic mines – but you provide no evidence at all. Whereas eye-witness accounts speak of objects “flying towards” the ship. Such objects are known to exist: they are anti-ship missiles (whose explosive charges might be removed to avoid actually sinking the target).

      All military and paramilitary forces tend to act unilaterally – when you come to think of it, that is rather of the essence of “military action”. When people come together to discuss and negotiate, that is diplomacy; a form of action unknown to “the West”, which prefers to bully or kill those who resist it.

      If you think for a moment, you will recall that women can also be arrested in “the West” for wearing the wrong clothes. Let any woman try attending the opera, a court of law or even just walking down Oxford Street wearing nothing but a bikini; she will be arrested and prosecuted for “indecent exposure” or some such. Nowadays, of course, a woman can also be arrested for wearing too much – a chador or suchlike is illegal in many countries.

      All cultures impose limits on what clothing can or must be worn on different occasions. It’s just a matter of what kind of limits they are, which varies with the culture.

      Lastly, of course, Iran has not attacked any other country for centuries; whereas Israel is known to kill defenceless civilians (and occasionally US sailors) wholesale and quite deliberately, on a daily basis.

  • Michael Droy

    First time I have seen Sabateurs return to the scene with about 20 people on deck including what looks like a man with a 1990s TV camera.

    Very muted reaction – oil bounces $1 (still down $2 since Tuesday). Pentagon says no grounds for war. Media, even BBC very nuanced, giving the Iran denial and the China siding with Iran equal prominence to US claims in the WS news I heard just now.

    I think this is more about covering up for Saudi or Israeli stupidity than attacking Iran.
    The Houthis will suffer most.

  • RogerDodger

    Reading the BBC report, even they can’t help but be circumspect, noting several contradictions with what they term the ‘US narrative’, referring to their ‘version of events’ and highlighting John Bolton ‘providing no evidence’. How strong is the appetite among the UK establishment for a war with Iran?

  • Hippo Crite

    I knew that this blog would deny Iranian involvement even before looking. The anti-Western bias is very predictable! It is very consistent with the bad feeling caused by being fired from the diplomatic service as the punishment for disobedience, drunkenness and adultery. It is just like the rebellious angel who got thrown out of Heaven and has been contrary to its purposes ever since then. Be careful that you don not share his fate!!!

    • glenn_nl

      it was also pretty obvious some establishment stooge (particularly some loathsome US jingoistic toady) would start shrieking that Iran must be to blame, whatever the situation.

      It’s also rather obvious some some FCO stooge would put in some personal lies and digs at the blog host, instead of trying to counter the argument, when they know they’re on a hiding to nothing.

      • Tom Welsh

        We know, because it has been officially admitted, that both the USA and the UK governments pay thousands of military personnel to sit in front of computer screens pretending to be ordinary folk engaged in social media discussions.

        I find it grossly offensive that my taxes go to pay for such vile deception. But there is nothing I can do about it – it’s not as we lived in a democracy, after all.

    • Doodlebug

      And I think your ‘nom de plume’ says as much about you as we need to know.

    • pete

      Re “I knew that this blog would deny Iranian involvement even before looking”

      Chas, welcome back to the debate, I see you have returned to a familiar tune of attacking the blog poster rather than addressing any issue or problem raised by what has been said. However you seem to have left off the usual annoying pointless question, why is that?

    • ciaran

      If the mine removing footage is genuine then Iran knows who placed the mine. A media conference in the coming days featuring the already famous mine will prove Iran’s innocence, silence will not.

      • Tom Welsh

        Nothing can prove innocence in any matter at all. That is why the burden of proof lies with the accuser, and parties are traditionally considered innocent until proven guilty.

        But maybe that’s too old-fashioned for you?

    • Ros Thorpe

      Can you provide a logical response and don’t bore us with the quasi religious clap trap. It makes you look odd to be honest

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Hippo Crite June 14, 2019 at 11:17
      You really should try to get your facts straight – Craig wasn’t ‘fired’at all – they just replaced him while he was ill, and when he recovered, they told him his post was taken. And you surely know the real reason why they recalled him to London in the first place – because he exposed brutal torture by the Uzbekistan Regime after HMG (Jack Straw) told him to forget about it.
      And most of us have never been in the diplomatic service.
      As for ending up with Old Nick, someone such as your good self who mocks a good man who sacrificed his very good career to expose prisoners being boiled alive, is a lot more likely to make his acquaintance than Craig.

  • remember kronstadt

    If one looks very closely at the hole in the in hull the mine can be clearly seen reclining on a bunk-um.

  • Jack

    Obvious false flag by either Netanyahu or Bolton.
    Latest is a blurry video claiming iranians do something bad, rather it clearly show they detach the debris which was part of their resucing operation, but no, US and media spin it that Iran planted a mine and then removed it. The audacity and desinformation by so called journalists is breathtaking.

    Whats worse, Twitter cracks down on dissent against US threats of war on Iran!:

    “Some 4,779 accounts were removed for nothing more than tweeting “global news content, often with an angle that benefited the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the Iranian state.” This was deemed “platform manipulation,” and therefore unacceptable, the company declared in a blog post.”

    “Tweeting with an angle that benefits the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the American state, however, is just fine – at least, it wasn’t Twitter that brought the “Iran Disinformation Project” crashing to a halt earlier this week. The State Department shut down the social media campaign it created to “counter Iranian propaganda” after it supposedly went rogue, smearing any and all critics of Trump’s hawkish Iran policy as paid operatives of the Iranian government”

    • Tom Welsh

      “…often with an angle that benefited the diplomatic and geostrategic views of the Iranian state.”

      Or, as I prefer to put it, “the truth”.

  • Goose

    Suppose we can at least be thankful they still think it necessary to try to set up some pretext before launching military actions. Iran has been on Bolton’s regime change ‘bucket list’ for as long as anyone can remember. However, neocons famously often bite off more than they can chew, and attempting regime change in a country as proud, ancient and united as Iran, without overwhelming support back home could be their most foolish intervention yet.

    It’s vital the Tory leadership candidates are probed as to where they stand on preserving the JCPOA, and whether there are any circumstances in which they’d countenance the UK joining US military action. No doubt, the Snowden revealed big British signals spy hub base in Oman will be being heavily utilised.

    Also, did anyone catch Mark Urban’s report last night on Newsnight on how UK special forces want a new remit to fight hybrid warfare, it looks like the intention is to bounce ministers into agreeing and ministers are inclined to accept according to Urban. Urban didn’t mention the fact we have no democratic oversight of special forces in the UK unlike other countries with similar forces : Denmark, France and the US, all of which do have democratic oversight. The UK is the the only western country in which such forces to have no democratic oversight.

      • Goose

        MPs keep talking about demanding oversight but never seem to act on it. Since GCHQ , MI6 and MI5 now have much better oversight in the form of IPCO, this may explain why the MoD is increasingly involving itself in matters previously handled by the aforementioned agencies.

        We seemingly have MPs that are totally incompetent and who won”t rein in empire builders at the MoD.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Goose June 14, 2019 at 11:58
          The Secret Powers have been running rings around Parliament since at least the run-up to WWI; they are placed in vital government posts, and manipulate things behind the back of Parliament:
          See: ‘Hidden History: The Secret Origins of the First World War’ and ‘Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years’ both by Jim MacGregor and Gerry Docherty.
          The difference is, now the ‘politicians’ are corrupted far more than they were pre-WWI (with a few notable exceptions), and they are largely addicted to the trough.

        • Tom Welsh

          “We seemingly have MPs that are totally incompetent and who won”t rein in empire builders at the MoD”.

          Goose, you are not still labouring under the quaint old-fashioned notion that MPs are obliged to represent the interests of their constituents, are you?

          Why would they try to rein in those whom they serve and who can be expected to reward that service richly – and punish any opposition?

    • Brian c

      ‘It’s vital the Tory leadership candidates are probed as to . . . whether there are any circumstances in which they’d countenance the UK joining US military action.’

      Probably be more instructive to learn if there are any circumstances in which they wouldn’t.

      • Goose

        Brian c

        They know the JCPOA offers the best and possibly only means of containment, preventing nuclear proliferation in the region. Very difficult to see how any actions the US takes result in a better more stable outcome than that at present under the JCPOA inspections. Trump’s determination to rip up ‘Obama’s deal’ combined with Bolton’s regime change obsessions, don’t make for a good strategy.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Jack June 14, 2019 at 12:07
        If they hang onto him in jail till JC gets in, that would be favourite (providing JC gets in at the next General Election).
        To be frank, he does not look ‘tortured’. I suspect he is getting much better treatment than he was getting in the Ecuadorean Embassy since that turncoat traitor Lenin Moreno sold out his country and countrymen.

  • Trowbridge H Ford'

    It is important to realize that Chief of Naval O[erations Admiral John Richardson, a creature of former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, is taking the lead in this warmongering against Iran.

    He and Carter were opposed to the nuclear agreement that the Obama administration worked out with Tehran, and are now working to deneuclarize the Iranian regime.

    Richardson had the Navy look allegedly for those two sunk subs found soon after they disappeared, the USS Scorpion and Thresther, when they were actually looking for the USS Batfish and Puffer which were sunk in 1982 in the Anglo-American War against Sweden soon after Ricgardson joined the submarine corps.

    He is a full blown warmonger against America’s alleged enemies.

    • Trowbridge H Ford'

      Just typical of how the mode treat new information about a new wortld crisis!

    • David Otness

      “USS Batfish and Puffer which were sunk in 1982 in the Anglo-American War against Sweden.”

      • JImmeh

        “Puffer was placed out of service and sold for scrapping to the Zidell Corp., Portland, Oreg. 4 November 1960.”

        Batfish” was redesignated as an Auxiliary Research Submarine (AGSS-310) on 1 July 1960. She continued to serve at New Orleans until she was laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet and her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Registry on 1 November 1969 after 26 years of Service.”

        I’m not aware of any 1982 Anglo-American war against Sweden. Your comment appears to be complete bollocks, from tip to toe. There is not a single scrap of truth in it.

        • JImmeh

          And note that Sweden, the USA and the UK have been NATO allies since forever. No two NATO members have ever gone to war with one another. So please cite, Trowbridge H Ford, or go away.

          • Trowbridge H Ford

            Tunander, a recognized naval history expert, published a book by Frank Cass and other material on the Anglo-American war against Sweden so it is not just bollocks.

            Why post your own bollocks about subs with the same names?

          • JImmeh


            “Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage” has a Wikipedia article. The article doesn’t mention Sweden; it doesn’t mention either of the (long laid-up) subs that you mentioned. If you think the book mentions this unknown war, and the retired subs, but the wiki article doesn’t, cite your claim to page numbers in Google Books. Hell, edit the wiki pages and fix the facts (with reliable sources, or course).

            You’ve not cited anything to support your claims of this this fictional war between USA/UK and Sweden in 1982.

            Come on, Trollbridge; the subs you mentioned were both laid up decades before the incidents you claim happened, and the “war” you mentioned is totally fictional. Take your bollocks to 4chan, or for that matter anywhere where bollocks is tolerated (e.g. Twitter?)

      • Trowbridge H Ford

        Yes, assume you haven’t read Ola Tunander’s, Greg Vistica’s, and Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage on the subject.

        Will not reply in detail to one partial sentence put down on the matter.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Trowbridge H Ford June 14, 2019 at 18:30
          I haven’t read that book, but I did manage Alice in Wonderland. It certainly wasn’t mentioned in that.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ David Otness June 14, 2019 at 17:46
        ‘Anglo-Swedish War (1810–1812) During the Napoleonic Wars until 1810, Sweden and the United Kingdom were allies in the war against Napoleon. As a result of Sweden’s defeat in the Finnish War and the Pomeranian War, and the following Treaty of Fredrikshamn and Treaty of Paris, Sweden declared war on the United Kingdom…’
        That’s the nearest I can find.

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