The incident should be remembered and considered in the context of today’s proxy war which the West is waging with Russia.
The anniversary of Iran Air Flight 655, a scheduled passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas which was shot down on 3 July 1988 by a missile fired by the USS Vincennes, passed perhaps unsurprisingly with no press coverage from western media.
The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 civilians on board were killed. The jet was hit while flying over Iran‘s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq-Iran war, along the flight’s usual route, shortly after departing Bandar Abbas International Airport, thought to be an F-14 Tomcat owned by the Iranian air force.
The event is an important one as it represents both an all-time low of relations between the U.S. and Iran but also highlights the extraordinary, unparalleled arrogance of the Americans, both in the act itself – which was in Iranian waters – and secondly in their inability to actually apologise for the error.
Partly responsible for the panicky response by the captain of the Vincennes, was that his vessel was engaged with a chaotic battle with tiny Iranian attack boats in the Strait of Hormuz. Also, the Vincennes didn’t use the correct communication codes when it attempted to contact the Airbus, not to mention the plane’s continuous radar ‘squeak’ from its transponder.
There was never actually a formal apology, although something close to one was formed by President Reagan.
Yet the incident should be remembered and considered in the context of today’s proxy war which the West is waging with Russia. As the West continues to supply heavier and heavier artillery and more sophisticated antitank weapons against Russia, the real worry is that the situation gets much worse and spills over the sides of the frontiers of Ukraine.
A WWIII scenario is not unrealistic and Putin has warned many times about this.
The Iranian airliner shooting was both a result of Reagan-era testosterone by its navy and blinding incompetence of a military which had bitten off more than it could chew in the Persian Gulf in 1988, in its quest to put in line Iran, which was attacking tankers.
Given that the immediate threat now from the Ukraine war is Africa becoming the next victim as wheat shipments cannot leave the port of Odessa, there is a very real possibility that the Black Sea will be the next place where NATO forces believe they can send their ships, squaring off with the Russian navy.
Ideally, the UN could step in and offer to broker a deal which would allow it to remove Ukrainian mines in and around the port, while Russia could agree to pull back its warships. This would allow ships to get in and load the wheat. In reality, the UN chief Antonio Guterres is only able to offer lame words in a tweet about the growing crisis, but not offer any solutions. Reports, statements and press releases have been prepared but the ineptitude of the UN is seen in the bare light for what it is: a largely corrupt, useless international organisation whose chief role is to keep its elite on the payroll.
At some point, African countries, which don’t want to take sides in the Ukraine war, will reach breaking point and start to experience famine, due to not having the normal access to the wheat. 21 out of 25 African countries which import wheat from Ukraine and Russia, take their wheat from Russia itself, which to some extent explains why such countries don’t wish to clash with Moscow. It’s also about Putin helping many of these countries’ governments stay in power as the usual support they would receive from London and Paris is no longer there, which leaves them to turn to Russian mercenary group Wagner, in some cases. It’s the same story in the Middle East where GCC countries are determined to keep good relations with Russia while sustaining amicable, working relations with their traditional allies in the West.
But a breaking point will come. And when that point arrives, African countries will ask their historical colonial masters for emergency aid. At this point, the absurdity of the Ukraine war – and how the west can’t really afford to fund it – will be driven home. In the UK, Boris Johnson will be asked by former British African colonies for emergency aid to help the starving masses. If he refuses, which is likely, then those countries will not miss a heartbeat in breaking off relations altogether for the new relationship with Moscow which has already happened in Mali.
At this same time, NATO governments will start to look at the Black Sea as the new area to fix. And God help us all if they decide that they need to send an Armada there. It would be madness on a whole new scale, which is losing its edge in terms of its shock value, when you have people like Liz Truss in Britain who recently announced that Britain and other western countries should be sending arms also to Taiwan. It seems that one world war with Russia is not enough to completely destroy what’s left of the British economy, but in fact a second one with China is what is needed to make the UK a basket case where it will soon be getting food aid from the World Bank. The implosion of EU economies has already started as food shortages and farming outputs have been hugely affected by the lack of fertilisers in the market place. But when gasoline prices climb even higher and the lines of people at food banks makes headline news, how likely is it that Boris or Biden bite the bullet and think about their own political salvation and pull the plug on this sanctions plan which is a gun which constantly blows the head off the one who fires it? Pray that they are not drawn into the Black Sea as many of us can still not forget flight 655. Misjudgement is the biggest threat and it is more likely to come from the UK and the U.S. looking for a solution to a war which they have created and have no idea of how to stop.