The Trump administration has blamed Iran for the damaging of 4 oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. Earlier this year, President Trump threatened to block Iranian exports of oil. Iran shot back with a threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. Alireza Tangsiri, the head of the Revolutionary Guard Navy Force, stated, “If we are prevented from using it, we will close it.” The attack on the oil tankers is the most recent development in a situation that is constantly escalating. The American government’s official stance is that the oil tankers were intentionally attacked due to mines placed in the gulf. The Japanese owner of one of the liners stated that it was not a mine but rather a flying object that struck the ship.
This incident is eerily familiar to several events throughout U.S. history, namely the Thornton Affair, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the explosion of the USS Maine. While these events seem unconnected at face value, these three episodes of history plunged the US into bloody wars that would cost thousands of lives only to expand the American empire.
A History of War From Lies
A War of Needy Expansionism
False crises have always allowed the United States to expand its territory. In 1846, US troops marched south into the area between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River. This area was claimed by both Mexico and the United States. Once the American troops were fired upon by Mexican soldiers, the incident was used as a spark to set off the war. This war cost 13,000 American lives. The results of the war furthered tensions that would lead to the American Civil War by bringing the slavery debate back to the national level.
In 1888, the USS Maine was docked in Cuba to protect American interests during the Cuban War of Independence against Spain. The ship, while in Havana Harbor, exploded. American newspapers were quick to point the finger at Spain, claiming that mines set by the Spanish caused the explosion. This explosion and purported attack allowed the Warhawks in Congress to push for war against the Spanish. Thousands of lives were lost. The treaty that resulted from the war would grant the United States control over the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico, with Cuba gaining protectorate status. The direct result of this treaty was the Filipino war against their new American overlords, which cost even more American lives.
Modern research has proven that the explosion came from within the ship and had nothing to do with the Spanish. Thousands of lives were lost because of a lie perpetrated by Congress and the media.
The Largest Lie Told for War
The last event that draws a strong comparison to the crisis in the Strait of Hormuz is the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The USS Maddox, an American destroyer performing intelligence patrols in the region, came under fire from North Vietnmanese light torpedo boats. The National Security Agency then claimed that a second attack happened in the Gulf just two days later, but that attack was proven to be non-existent. The incident, however, was used to light the fuse that would result in the most pointless and disastrous war in American history. The Pentagon Papers later showed that the USS Maddox received no damage except for a single bullet hole. Yet, this bullet hole is responsible for millions of deaths and eternal scars on those that survived.
These incidents show the truth that we must learn. All purported attacks against America or its interests should be investigated fully until there is no doubt about its perpetrator. An attack on a shipping vessel does not warrant a full-scale intervention in the Persian Gulf. The US has large reserves of oil that, due to bureaucratic red tape, is virtually untouched. This is not to say that Iran is a peaceful nation and absolved of all fault. There may have been an attack, but the attacks were never against American vessels. America has fought in the Middle East since the administration of Bush Sr. Conflict in the region continues to this day. We must not let Iran bully us or provoke us into a war that we will never win. The solution is not apparent, yet nor is it easy, but we must never go to war with Iran. It will be a nightmare scenario that will cost the lives of many American soldiers and innocent civilians in the region.
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