The Trump administration’s efforts to provoke an international conflict have taken an extremely alarming turn. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer just publicly accused the Islamic Republic of Iran of firing upon an American warship – but the Pentagon denies that this ever happened.
At today’s press conference, Spicer said “I think General Flynn was really clear yesterday that Iran has violated the Joint Resolution, that Iran’s additional hostile actions that it took against our Navy vessel are ones that we are very clear are not going to sit by and take. I think that we will have further updates for you on those additional actions,” in reference to National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s declaration that Iran was “on notice.”
But the Pentagon quickly clarified that the incident in question referred to an attack on a warship belonging to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Yemeni Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran in their war against the Saudi-supported Yemeni government. A US warship was not attacked.
“It was a Saudi ship – it was actually a frigate” said Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood to the Intercept. “It was [conducted by] suspected Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen.”
Firing upon a U.S. naval vessel would be an act of war. The implications of this lie cannot be understated. The Trump White House is deliberately building a propaganda case to justify a possible war with Iran, which would be a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.
The Intercept then noted that “Major Garrett of CBS News quietly corrected him, saying “a Saudi vessel,” and Spicer then responded almost inaudibly: ‘Sorry, thank you, yes a Saudi vessel. Yes, that’s right.’ He did not in any way address his false claim that it was an Iranian attack, however.”
FOX News is already working overtime to drum up misplaced outrage and fearmongering over the fabricated threat posed by Iran.
The only proof FOX News has for this assertion is the report that one of the rebels may have shouted “Death to America, Death To Israel, Death to Jews” which is a common exclamation among Shiite extremists. The Department of Defense told reporter Samuel Oakford that they have “no hard evidence” that it was targeting an American ship.
National Security Advisor Michael Flynn said yesterday that he was putting Iran “on notice” after they tested a non-nuclear ballistic missile, which does not violate the terms of President Obama’s nuclear peace treaty.
President Trump echoed those words in his usual childish manner.
Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE for firing a ballistic missile.Should have been thankful for the terrible deal the U.S. made with them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
It immediately draws comparisons to the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which North Vietnam was accused of attacking the U.S.S Maddox. The true events of the incident were misrepresented by President Lyndon Johnson to drag the United States into the Vietnam War. Nearly 60,000 Americans died and 150,000 were wounded over the course of that bloody conflict, which left millions of Vietnamese dead.
The White House is openly lying to the American people so that Islamophobic warmongers like Stephen Bannon and Michael Flynn can send American soldiers off to die in droves fighting a battle-seasoned and unified enemy. We must make sure the American people understand the truth before we find ourselves involved in yet another protracted war in the Middle East.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.