Monday, February 6, 2017

US Press Secretary Sean Spicer Falsely Accuses Iran of Attacking U.S. Navy Vessel, an Act of War

The White House press corps wanted to know what being put “on notice” entailed, and Spicer responded by claiming that Iran’s government took actions against a U.S. naval vessel, which would be an act of war. “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,” he said. “I think that we will have further updates for you on those additional actions.”

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.

Pentagon spokesman Christopher Sherwood confirmed to The Intercept that the attack was in fact conducted against a Saudi warship, and that the Pentagon suspects Houthi rebels. “It was a Saudi ship – it was actually a frigate” said Sherwood. “It was [conducted by] suspected Houthi rebels off the coast of Yemen.”

This, of course, is how American wars start. In the infamous 1964 “Gulf of Tonkin incident,” as it is often referred to, the White House and the Pentagon accused North Vietnamese forces of attacking two Navy destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam on August 4. President Lyndon Johnson used the attacks to coax Congress into approving a resolution, known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, that authorized military action in Vietnam. As the New York Times noted a few years ago, the “attack never happened.”

If the Trump Administration wants to start an unnecessary war with Iran then those in positions of authority have made themselves liable for arrest for committing War Crimes. Houthis attacked a Saudi warship, not the Iranians. And the Saudis are acting as aggressors, trying to prop up a puppet dictator in Yemen:

Yemen: Two sailors killed in Houthi attack on Saudi warship

Mike Rivero at speculates that: "Or is Trump simply gaming the Congress, telling them what they want to hear, until he gets all his confirmations?" - One thing that is unusual is despite the unwarranted Trump Administration criticism of Russia's involvement in Ukraine at the UN Vladimir Putin has remained relatively quiet. Is Trump gaming the neocons and establishment warhawks? Let's hope so.


[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, February 6th, 2017.]