U.S. war provocation against Iran: Another Tonkin Gulf?
By Stop the War on Iran
Global Research, January 10, 2008 10 January 2008
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Take Action NOW to Stop War on Iran!

The Bush Administration has initiated an extremely dangerous war provocation just off Iran’s coast, in the Strait of Hormuz. With Bush on his way to the Middle East to mobilize a collection of oil-rich U.S. client states against Iran, the U.S. government is working overtime to create a public-relations incident to heighten tensions in the region and threaten a new war. We must take action now to Stop War on Iran.

On Jan. 6, 2008, the U.S. Navy alleged that a “confrontation” took place between three massive guided-missile U.S. attack vessels and five small, open Iranian speedboats at the entrance to the Persian Gulf in the world’s most important and busiest sea lanes. The Navy even produced a video purporting to show the Iranian speedboats approaching the U.S. warships.

But the Iranian media on Jan. 9 quoted an Iranian official as saying, “Images released by the U.S. Department of Defense about the Navy vessels were made from file pictures, and the audio was fabricated.”

Nearly five years ago, the Bush Administration, with active collaboration from Congress and the media, led the U.S. into war, claiming that Iraq possessed chemical and nuclear weapons and that the people of Iraq were behind the attacks on 9/11. Now the Bush Administration is clearly grasping for some excuse – any excuse – to attack Iran. Once the National Intelligence Estimate revealed that Bush has been lying about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, the hawks in his Administration have begun looking for any justification, real or fabricated, to sell a military attack they have been planning for years.

The real provocation here doesn’t come from Iran. The U.S. currently has half of its Navy off the coast of Iran, including nuclear-armed aircraft carriers, guided-missile destroyers, frigates, cruisers and submarines.

Meanwhile, Bush is spending eight days visiting Kuwait, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The purpose of his trip is to convince these corrupt, feudal regimes, which are dependent U.S.-client states, that Iran represents a dangerous threat, in preparation for a U.S. attack.

U.S. warships a constant threat

The U.S. Navy has again and again held major war games to plan for and stage just such a confrontation with Iran. The Pentagon has announced that it has already set targets on thousands of sites in Iran.

Even the video released to the media – if looked at closely- belies the very story that is being drummed up by the Bush administration. It shows five small open-air Iranian speedboats buzzing in the distance, far from the USS Hopper. Iranian boats have every right to patrol and defend their own coastal waters.

It should be noted that, according to the Pentagon’s own description, the USS Hopper is a guided-missile destroyer. It carries an M240 machine gun that can fire 10 armor-piercing projectiles per second and is capable of carrying nuclear missiles that can destroy whole cities. This high-tech ship weighs 8,373 tons and measures 504 feet in length. It was traveling in convoy with the USS Port Royal–a guided-missile cruiser that weighs 9,600 tons fully loaded and has a length of 567 feet and is also capable of firing Tomahawk cruise missiles–and the guided-missile frigate USS Ingraham, weighing 4,100 tons and measuring 445 feet in length.

These three deadly ships are just a small part of the U.S. Navy armada arrayed off the Iranian coast.

We Must Act Now to Stop War on Iran No New Tonkin Gulf!

Even after 16 of the top U.S. spy agencies publicly released a National Intelligence Estimate concluding that Iran has no nuclear program, at least since 2003, nor nuclear weapons, the Bush administration has continued to threaten Iran.

It is important to remember that the massive U.S. bombing of Vietnam and the Johnson administration’s escalation of the war was preceded by reports of an attack on a U.S. destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam – which years later was finally admitted to be phony.

On Aug. 2 and 4, 1964, the Pentagon claimed that small Vietnamese boats had fired on the USS Maddox and another destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. Lyndon Johnson used this “attack” as pretext for ramming a resolution through Congress giving him the power and funds to wage war on Vietnam.

Johnson’s own papers later revealed it was a fraud, and later Defense Secretary Robert McNamara admitted in the film “Fog of War” that the whole incident had been phony.

Nearly all the Republicans and Democrats in both houses of Congress, including the present major contenders for the presidential nomination, voted for resolutions against Iran. In a staged or fraudulent confrontation with Iran, with wild charges from the corporate-owned media, Congressional opposition is highly unlikely. The only force that will stop an attack on a Iran is a massive, grassroots campaign.

It is more urgent then ever that we raise a global alert.

We must continue to mobilize and act to Stop the War on Iran BEFORE it starts! It is essential that the anti-war movement denounce this latest provocation by the Bush Administration.

The Stop War on Iran campaign was the first international campaign launched to oppose Bush’s plans to attack Iran. Since our founding in 2006, with initiators including George Galloway, MP; Ramsey Clark; Tony Benn, MP; Dennis Halliday; Harold Pinter, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Literature; Margarita Papandreou, former First Lady of Greece; Ervand Abrahamian, Prof. ME History, Author, Between Two Revolutions; and David N. Rahni, Professor and scholar; and dozens more, we have now generated more than half a million petitions sent to President Bush, Congress, and major media.

But we must do more. In the coming days, we will be mobilizing like never before to stop another bipartisan rush to war. We need your help to do this. Please consider making an emergency donation at .

We must join forces to demand: U.S. Navy Out of the Gulf! U.S. Troops Out of Iraq! We need Jobs, Health Care and Housing, Not Endless War!

Sign the Petition –

Print out and circulate Stop War on Iran petitions –

DONATE to continue the Campaign to Oppose U.S. War on Iran –

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.