Craig Murray looks at stories to start a war with Iran

Summary: Former UK ambassador Craig Murray looks at the recent attack on a tanker in the Gulf of Oman. A possible false flag attack, Deep State efforts to start a war with Iran, and Americans’ famous gullibility – this story has it all. After Murray’s essay, you will find the most complete summary I’ve seen of what we know so far.

We will keep attacking until we get them. As we have Iran and Libya.

ID 55498569 © Mattiaath | Dreamstime.

The Gulf of Credibility

By Craig Murray at his website, 14 June 2019.
Posted with his generous permission.

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.

—————————

The story – the facts as we know them, and my prediction

“Iran did do it and you know they did it,”
Donald Trump on “Fox & Friends”, 14 June.

SecState Pompeo explained the basis for Trump’s verdict, at his June 13 press conference. hours after the attack – long before experts would have much of the forensic evidence, let alone time for analysis.

“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today this assessment is based on intelligence the weapons used the level of expertise needed to execute the operation recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication. …”

This is the usual pattern. An incident occurs. US officials make bold confident statements, uncritically reported by flag-waving US journalists. Contrary evidence quickly appears.

“‘A mine doesn’t damage a ship above sea level,’ said Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo, the owner and operator of the vessel. ‘We aren’t sure exactly what hit, but it was something flying towards the ship,’ he said.”
From Bloomberg, June 13.

“The crew is saying it was hit by a flying object. They are saying that something came flying. To put a bomb on the side is something that we are not thinking.”
— Yutaka Kataka, in a video on Bloomberg, June 14.

Photo of Damaged Tanker, M/V Kokuka Courageous

US Central Command released a video which they say shows “Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from one of the oil tankers targeted near the Strait of Hormuz, suggesting the Islamic Republic sought to remove evidence of its involvement from the scene. ” {From AP.} Should they have left the device, whatever it is, on the ship? Does their removing it mean that they placed it? This is interesting evidence, but requires more investigation.

Bellingcat reviews the evidence

This draws no useful conclusions, but is a good summary: “Was Iran Behind the Oman Tanker Attacks? A Look at the Evidence” by Eliot Higgins (managing director of Bellingcat, an open-source reporting website – see Wikipedia), an op-ed in the NYT – “Internet databases confirm much about the incident, but the Trump administration hasn’t provided convincing evidence of Tehran’s culpability.”

A reminder.

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.
— Latin for “false in one thing, false in everything.” English common law principle (Wikipedia) that “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

When listening to US officials, especially when talking about military and foreign affairs, remember that they lie. They lie often, boldly, confidently, and without suffering any consequences. Remember the definitive evidence that Iraq had nukes. See the big list of lies by US officials.

What might be the goal of this attack?

The obvious goal is to start a war with Iran. Much as Bush Jr. did with his fake claims of WMDs in Iraq and Afghanistan’s responsibility for 9/11. False flag attacks are frequently used to start wars because they are easy and effective.

America’s Deep State officials have reasons for these wars. But behind them is the insight said best by Randolph Bourne: “War is the health of the state” (1918). Only we can stop them.

My prediction.

During the last bout of war-fever, in 2008 (as the world slide into the Great Recession), I predicted that we would not attack (see my posts). That logic still holds. But the Deep State has grown much stronger, and our military is more “available” now that it has disengaged from Iraq and Afghanistan. I still believe that we will not attack, and that these episodes serve only to keep the American people distracted from our own affairs – and unsettled.

Craig Murray

About the author

Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He joined the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1984. His career culminated as British Ambassador to Uzbekistan 2002 to 2004. It ended when he criticized the regime as repressive and using torture (both the American and British governments freaked out). Afterwards, he was Rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010. In 2016 the US government refused to allow him entry to the US.

See his articles at his websiteSee his bio. See his Wikipedia entry – he has led an extraordinary life.

One of Murray’s book is Sikunder Burnes: Master of the Great Game. From the publisher…

“This is an astonishing true tale of espionage, journeys in disguise, secret messages, double agents, assassinations and sexual intrigue. Alexander Burnes was one of the most accomplished spies Britain ever produced and the main antagonist of the Great Game as Britain strove with Russia for control of Central Asia and the routes to the Raj.”

For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Also see other posts about threat inflation, about our long conflict with Iran, see these posts …

  1. Fear Iran’s nukes, coming very soon since 1984.
  2. Trump tells us it’s time to fight another nation: Iran.
  3. Martin van Creveld: An update on Trump’s Saber Rattling in the Middle East.
  4. William Lind warns about the cost of threat inflation.

About Obama’s triumph with Iran, thrown away by Trump

Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy
Available at Amazon.

Losing an Enemy:
Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy
.

By Trita Parsi (2017).

From the publisher …

“The definitive book on Obama’s historic nuclear deal with Iran from the author of the Foreign Affairs Best Book on the Middle East in 2012.

“This timely book focuses on President Obama’s deeply considered strategy toward Iran’s nuclear program and reveals how the historic agreement of 2015 broke the persistent stalemate in negotiations that had blocked earlier efforts.

“The deal accomplished two major feats in one stroke: it averted the threat of war with Iran and prevented the possibility of an Iranian nuclear bomb. Trita Parsi, a Middle East foreign policy expert who advised the Obama White House throughout the talks and had access to decision-makers and diplomats on the U.S. and Iranian sides alike, examines every facet of a triumph that could become as important and consequential as Nixon’s rapprochement with China. Drawing from more than seventy-five in-depth interviews with key decision-makers, including Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, this is the first authoritative account of President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement.”

28 thoughts on “Craig Murray looks at stories to start a war with Iran”

    1. Ron,

      I don’t understand your point. It is a craft of the Iranian Navy (one of its two Navies). Of course it has guns. The US Navy ships in the area also have guns.

      If the tanker was hit by shells, there probably would be evidence of that.

      1. Another deep state grand conspiracy theory run amok. Iran will target any ship. Somebody removed an unexploded mine and fired on the tanker.

      2. Ron,

        I am always amazed at how American’s speak as if government officials are God giving us Truth. No matter how many times they lie to us, Americans always uncritically believe. It makes us ideally suited to be peons.

      3. Ron,

        I believe that future generations won’t see any difference between the Presidents from Ford to Trump, and perhaps beyond. That is, their similarities dwarf their differences.

      4. Larry,

        “I am always amazed at how American’s speak as if government officials are God giving us Truth. No matter how many times they lie to us, Americans always uncritically believe. It makes us ideally suited to be peons.”

        That may be true. But IMO, not in this case.

  1. “I really cannot begin to fathom how stupid you would have to be to believe that Iran would attack a Japanese oil tanker”

    It seems that many people are willing to assume that the U.S. government is capable of nearly unlimited stupidity and shortsightedness. Those same people then argue that governments opposed to the U.S. can not possibly do something stupid or shortsighted. Interesting. Personally, I am withholding judgement.

    Of course, people within the government could have an agenda that is served by an act that would be stupid for the nation as a whole. I think that would apply to Iran as well as the USA.

    “The USA and their UK stooges have both immediately leapt in to blame Iran.”

    In the first reports that I saw, the U.S. government did not blame Iran. That came some hours later, when they had evidence. Or at least something that could plausibly pass as evidence.

    1. Mike M.,

      It could be a group of radical extremists causing havoc in the shipping lanes not under Iranian government orders.
      To blame this on a Trump administration fabrication to start a war is far fetched.

      1. Ron,

        “To blame this on a Trump administration fabrication to start a war is far fetched.”

        That displays an incredible – even mind-blowing – failure to learn from experience. The US govt has often done things like this, and officials are on record as considering doing so on many other occasions.

        This gullibility – despite repeated lessons from history – is the kind of thing that makes Americans ideally suited to be peons.

      2. Ron,

        “To blame this on a Trump administration fabrication to start a war is far fetched.”

        I just realized you might not know that both the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq were done based on fabricated evidence – the Gulf of Tonkin incident and Iraq’s nukes.

        Also, I suggest you read the links given about US officials discussing use of False Flag incidents to justify military action.

      3. Larry,

        “I just realized you might not know that both the Vietnam War and the invasion of Iraq were done based on fabricated evidence – the Gulf of Tonkin incident and Iraq’s nukes.”

        I realize that but I don’t see it here.

      4. Ron,

        Of course you don’t see it. You would not have seen it in 1964, because you would have said “To blame this on an LBJ administration fabrication to start a war is far fetched.”

        You would not have seen it in 2003, because you would have said “To blame this on a Bush Jr. administration fabrication to start a war is far fetched.”

        I suggest you review the list of lies by govt officials about serious matters (all quite convincing). Then learn skepticism. Those who fail to learn from the past …

      5. Larry,

        I learned skepticism a long time ago, In fact, I can’t remember when I wasn’t so.
        I’m not buying Murry’s story. I guess we’ll just have to disagree on this one.

      6. Ron,

        I don’t know why you find this impossible to understand. It’s not a question of believing anything. My objection was to your two bizarre statements.

        “To blame this on a Trump administration fabrication to start a war is far fetched.”

        Given America’s history, it is not far-fetched.

        “Another deep state grand conspiracy theory run amok.”

        You don’t know that, except through your blind belief in what government officials tell you. Hence my comment that you lack skepticism. No matter how many times government officials lie to you, you believe the next one without question.

        Also, mention of “conspiracy theory” is the sound of people’s ideological deflector shields in action. History is largely the product of people working in groups without issuing a press release at every step. Cmopanies plan product launches in secret. Politicans plan political campaigns in secret. Government leaders plan wars in secret.

      7. Ron,

        Yes, that’s my point. You can’t provide a shred of support for your beliefs, but you adhere to them. Tribal truths rule!

        This is how almost all discussions run these days, which is why comment threads are a waste of time. Facts mean nothing in America today.

      8. Larry,

        I’m not so sure comment threads are a waste of time, there is always something to learn.

        I’ll say this. There are a lot of bad actors on the scene in the Gulf, these incidents are not uncommon as I recall.

        You don’t have facts on your claims either, it’s speculation at this point, just like mine.

        Time will tell.

      9. Ron,

        Last comment, as I find this frustrating, reminding me what a waste of time this is.

        (1) You totally ignore the long history of US govt officials lying in circumstances like this. I gave you a partial – and still quite long – list. That’s a material fact of the kind given great weight in Court, intel reports, investment research, background checks – and many other such things.

        (2) The second statement of yours to which I objected to was “Another deep state grand conspiracy theory run amok.” My objection was that you have not a shred of evidence for that. Your reply that I “don’t have facts” for that objection just shows you’re not paying attention to what I say.

        Thus ends another attempt at dialog. No more, please. I’m likely to delete anything more I see.

    2. Mike,

      “It seems that many people are willing to assume that the U.S. government is capable of nearly unlimited stupidity and shortsightedness.”

      Why do you say that? If this was a US govt op, it was well-executed and advances a long-time US govt policy of isolating and destroying the Iranian regime.

    3. “That came some hours later, when they had evidence. Or at least something that could plausibly pass as evidence.”

      I have not heard of any evidence yet.

      Also I read somewhere that the crew said that it looked like a drone.

      1. me,

        The testimony of the crew, the photo, and the video are all evidence. Just not very good evidence.

        I have not seen any information about what the crew say, other than what is reported in this post.

  2. Iran, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan…our natural enemies right? Or someone else’s? Someone who’s gained control of our gov’t and thus our military? Hmm….But don’t say who, lol. So sick of this. It’s so obvious. We waste trillions on someone else’s bar fight, trying to resolve 2000 year old nonsense.

    1. John,

      That’s the key question! In other words, cui bono? Who benefits?

      But few ask, since most believe whatever the government tells them. This is a key problem. See today’s post for more about this.

      1. It’s the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower (our last conservative president) was so wary of. Throw in our laughably termed “alliance” with Israel and there you go. It’s an alliance, mind you, not just pure manipulation, lol. I don’t remember playing soldier in the woods as a kid with an imaginary Syrian boy as my enemy. We shouldn’t be anywhere near those people. Israel wants their bar fights. Let them handle it.

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