PERSIAN GULF OF TONKIN...
Prison Planet asks what everyone's thinking--"Was The British-Iranian Hostage Crisis Staged?". However, the article basically seconds comments made on BBC NewsNight and exhorts people to watch it, which I started doing but the video wasn't synching very well to the audio and so forth...
I am of the mind that this event had to be staged, in the sense that the British knowingly entered Iranian waters and set themselves up to be captured in order to provoke Iran into doing something that the Brits can justify losing their cool about so that the bombing can begin.
But I admit I don't have a lot of evidence to feel that way--I just don't trust Blair/Bush. And why should anyone trust them after their outlandish claims about Iraqi WMD?
For instance, if the Brits were purposely going into Iranian waters, did they know they'd be captured and treated as well as they seem to have been treated? I would guess they couldn't know that for sure. Did they think they would be fired on by the Iranians? I'm sure they felt that was a possibility.
I mean, the Iranians have to feel threatened--the Western anti-Iran rhetoric has been building for at least the last couple of years, and now there are U.S. and British carrier strike groups doing war games supposedly in international waters in the Persian Gulf.
However, despite the threats, the Iranians have successfully thumbed their nose at Bush/Blair and basically thwarted all the neocon attempts to wrongfoot Tehran. But we know that Iran is/has been a target of the neocons and they must be getting desperate to gin something up against Iran since nothing so far has worked, i.e., the "reasonable offer" gambit or the fake "Iran-in-Iraq" dossier gambit.
So intentionally sending 15 soldiers into Iranian waters as bait to do one of the following:
1) Be taken hostage--in the planning meetings at 10 Downing St., this was probably the hoped-for scenario because a) no one dies b) it reminds the world of the '79 Iranian hostage crisis, and c) gives Blair a chance to huff and puff and go to the U.N. for--a resolution or something to be used against Iran and inch that much closer to war
2) Be fired upon and retreat/take casualties--in the planning meetings, this was second-best mostly because of the deaths or injuries involved, but also because it wouldn't put Blair on the world stage, pleading for Iran to just act right and follow international law, which will eventually make war with/bombing of Iran seem more justified in the long run. But drawing fire would've been the quickest way to get the war going.
At any rate, I have no trouble believing that these 15 Brits would do this, even with the full knowledge of what may happen to them. They're in the military--they follow orders. They want to be there--they believe in the mission. And all that jazz.
And the Iranians probably saw their chance to get back at the West but they're not stupid, so they just arrested the Brits. They were surely aware that firing on a British boat would be a very bad idea. And they of course knew that this exact same type of thing had happened in 2004 to no big fuss. But that was before Iran outmaneuvered Bush/Blair.
So was it staged?
I suspect yes, but we'll never know for sure--I can't prove it was, but there's no proof it wasn't. But at this point, it doesn't really matter whether or not this hostage-taking was staged or more accurately, I think, provoked. Now, the damage has been done--the media will unceasingly talk of this new "Iranian hostage crisis" and it will be painted as an act of "terrorism" despite the fact that the U.S. has itself taken Iranian hostages in the last few months and that the captured Brits are not civilians.
But however you look at it, this is still no casus belli. Faye Turney doesn't look as though she's been kept in stress positions or waterboarded or anything. The Iranians obviously gave her a pack of smokes. I'm not suggesting that she or any of the Britons are enjoying their captivity, but I am saying this is not something to go to war over.