Friday 11 January 2008

Boats, Threats & Videotape

A voice out of somewhere

“I am coming to you”, Could this be a father saying to his daughter who is distressed at school as a voice of assurance or is it a voice carried in the un-calm winds of the Persian Gulf in the Strait of Hormuz, threatening the existence of a coalition vessel convoy?

No one can say, just as the United States military command in the Gulf cannot now confirm that the video of seemingly or allegedly Iranian speedboats in aggressive posturing to their fleet is the source of that cool but eerily sinister voice.

We have seen boats, threats and videotape – you can make what you want out of both.

Far away war a day

The United States, very far away from home causing enough trouble in the Middle East was in international waters close to the territorial extent of Iran – this was no doubt a recipe for close encounters with their enemy.

The US then released a video of seemingly reckless speedboat riders playing chicken with a belligerent world power – they were at the point of being blown to smithereens when a voice was recorded with this chilling threat.

Iran then released their own video and the storyline takes a completely different course – a calm and collected officer asking about the coalition vessel, definitely not the voice we heard of the US video threat.

The curse of propaganda

If anything, it shows why we need multiple perspectives of any story, because each side had a propaganda element to portray and we are at risk of being persuading of what might be entirely false.

Had Iran not released a video view of their perspective of the incident the US reported, we would have satisfied ourselves with the usual staple of Iran being a lawless, ill-disciplined, faction-ridden theocracy that needs to be blown up to instigate regime change.

The Iranian version of events, though edited for consumption just as the US version was, gives us another pause for thought that Iran might not as horrible as we get told they are – it also shows that we would try to get away with anything, if other parties are not smart enough to take a record of their engagements with the West.

The UFO threat

I find this whole thing utterly reprehensible, I would hate to think that people are manufacturing videos to reflect a situation that does not represent the truth – between the US notion of provocative and Iran notion of routine, there must be something that is closer to the truth.

As the US backtracks about the coincidence of the voice with the appearance of these speedboats which one could almost say are probably Unidentified Floating Objects (UFO) – mirages of the sea – recorded from the fatigued lenses of a battle-weary cameraman and edited by excitable agents for more blood and gore of war.

As this story unravels, I do not think the entire truth would be revealed – however, for the sake of truth, fairness and justice, it is incumbent of all these aspiring Hollywood film-makers to release the entirety of their recordings of the event.

The news wires and channels should also keep out the analysts – at least, give us viewers the opportunity to decide for ourselves who is closer to the truth of the event.

A new premise for war

Beyond this is the opportunity for the US to contend that they have been provoked into attacking Iran having lost the impetus from the recent report that states that Iran has suspended any nuclear weapons development programme for years.

With an admiral suggesting that Iran risks a Gulf conflict, one fears that some activity very similar to the Iraq Dossier on the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction on which the war in Iraq was based but found to be groundless is being orchestrated to justify an unjustifiable attack on Iran – someone is fanning the embers of discord and one wonders who.

More so, having failed to execute the war in Iraq with finesse, or handle the issues in Afghanistan with a conclusion in sight; it is contemptible that a new set of planners are probably trying to see if another war in Iran can be a lessons-learnt success to redeem the supremacy and credibility of the United States.

Perish the thought, but let it pass your mind for a second!

Both pieces of footage

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