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    Before July 4th, the U.S. must confront July 3rd

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    Before July 4th, the U.S. must confront July 3rd

    Post by sang_garuda on Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:24 am

    On this 4th of July, before the United States of America can celebrate the “Shot heard around the world” (as written in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1837 Concord Hymn signifying the beginning of the American Revolution and its freedom), it must first confront the “Massacre heard in the Persian Gulf.”

    On July 3, 1988, one day before the Declaration of Independence was adopted many years earlier, a tragic event occurred between the U.S. and Iran in the Strait of Hormuz. It proved to have far reaching and devastating consequences, and revealed the U.S. had exchanged its liberty for oppressive ideologies.

    Although most straits have become demilitarized and warships have been banned, the Strait of Hormuz continues to suffer military engagements.

    After World War II and with the development and shipping of oil through the Persian Gulf, the United States and Soviet Union sought to expand their influence into this region. The United States initiated numerous treaties and trade pacts, toppled progressive and nationalistic governments, sold weaponry and armed countries, encouraged nations to attack each other to maintain a “balance of power,” and threatened to use nuclear weapons if its (sic) oil interests were threatened.

    The U.S. Government in 1953, heavily swayed by the Eisenhower Doctrine and the CIA, along with $200 million worth of military and economic aid, thwarted and replaced Iran’s populist and nationalistic government with the Shah.

    The unpopular Shah of Iran introduced U.S. values and traditions, resented by many Iranians, and Iran became one of the best equipped and supplied armies in the Middle East. Iraq, Iran’s northern neighbor, became fearful of U.S. militarism and therefore, sought to also increase its armed forces.

    In 1979, the Iranian Islamic Revolution toppled the U.S. backed Shah. When the Shah fled, 52 American citizens were held hostage in exchange for his return. The new Islamic Republic immediately initiated a massive disarmament program by canceling billions of dollars in military purchases abroad. Military equipment was allowed to deteriorate. (1)

    At the same time and due to the hostage crisis, a vengeful U.S. Government encouraged Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein in 1980 to invade Iran. For many years, Iraq and Iran disputed over their border and the Shatt-Al-Arab Waterway. The Reagan Administration overtly and covertly traded and sold arms to both Iran and Iraq.

    During the Iran-Iraq War, Iran attempted to sabotage Iraqi oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. It was in this context the USS Vincennes was ordered to seek out and destroy Iranian land-based missiles and attack Iranian oil platforms. It was also in this framework that on July 3, 1988 (as previously mentioned) the USS Vincennes shot down Iranian Flight 655 over the Strait of Hormuz as it was flying in a commercial air corridor. All 290 civilian passengers, including 66 children, were instantaneously killed.

    The USS Vincennes was given a jubilant homecoming and its crew received medals of valor and commendation. An investigation (which the U.S. Government tried to cover-up), though, showed the billion dollar warship was out of position and well inside the 12 mile Iranian declared war zone line. It was also revealed that Captain William C. Rogers III, commander of the warship nicknamed “Robocruiser,” was aggressive, arrogant and “looking for a fight” with Iran. (2)

    Furthermore, the International Court of Justice ruled “the actions of the United States of America against Iranian oil platforms in 1987 and 1988 could not be justified as measures necessary to protect the essential security interests of the United States of America.” (3)

    In 1996, Iran and the United States reached “an agreement in full and final settlement of all disputes, differences, claims, counterclaims relating to the incident…” As part of the settlement, the U.S. agreed to pay $61.8 million in compensation. (4) Still, the U.S. has never admitted responsibility or apologized to Iran for killing 290 people, which is vital to Middle Eastern cultures.

    In 1980, four years after the 1976 bicentennial celebration of the Declaration of Independence and during the Iranian Hostage Ordeal, instead of pursuing a path of national humiliation and regret for its actions in the Middle East, the U.S. (with the aid of a CIA intelligence coup?) elected President Ronald Reagan and set-out on a path towards right-wing extremism, massive military buildup and never ending expansionist tendencies.

    Eight years later the shooting down of IR Flight 655 should have been another occasion, this time to break-away from Reaganism and reject empire building around the globe, specifically in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf.

    It was a chance to also learn from ancient civilizations on how to demilitarize straits, ban warships and established treaties of peace and cooperation. It should have been a lesson on how foreign empires often find themselves out of position and destructively intervening in regions of the world where they are not wanted.

    Finally, July 3, 1988 was an opportunity to atone, re-establish ties with Iran and completely denounce war and nuclear weapons, as the Soviet Union’s Mikhail Gorbachev tried to do when he met with Ronald Reagan at the Reykjavik Summit in Iceland.

    The U.S. unfortunately continued down the road of Bushism I and is now experiencing Bushism II. President George W. Bush has rejected many international nuclear weapons treaties and plans to unilaterally deploy a Nuclear Missile Defense Shield.

    Bushism II has also disregarded the nuclear Agreed Framework with North Korea and Iran and is building a variety of new small-yield tactical nuclear weapons.(5)

    While President Bush rattles the “sabres of war” with Iran, Iran’s religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, while reaffirming his nation’s commitment to a peaceful nuclear programme and prophetically denouncing the use of nuclear weapons (something the U.S. Government refuses to do), may be accurate when he said President Bush was “mentally ill.”

    But then again, after the Iranian passenger bus was shot down in 1988 killing all 290 people on board, President Reagan said “it was a good judgment.”

    As the U.S. readies itself to celebrate another Independence Day on July 4th, I cannot help but think how the U.S. Government has become enslaved to hatred, revenge, retaliation, belligerent policies, nuclear weapons, and of course, Middle Eastern oil.

    If the U.S. confronts the July 3rd massacre before celebrating July 4th, it may then be a true celebration! U.S. citizens may also want to recall the patriots’ purpose in signing the Declaration of Independence was not a call to alter and abolish a foreign country, but to change and abolish their own Government, which had become destructive and repressive.
    -- Dallas Darling


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    Re: Before July 4th, the U.S. must confront July 3rd

    Post by shunno on Thu Jul 24, 2008 12:58 pm

    thanks for the updated global news...look like I am reading newspaper...
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    Re: Before July 4th, the U.S. must confront July 3rd

    Post by Prodip2007 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:05 am

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    Re: Before July 4th, the U.S. must confront July 3rd

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