On July 3, 1988, the United States, under the guidance of President George H.W. Bush, downed Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf. Nearly 300 civilians died including 66 children.
The plane was descending for a landing in Dubai on a scheduled flight on a well-travelled route. The responsible ship, the USS Vincennes, was in the Gulf in support of Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein who had, only a year before, killed 37 American sailors when the Iraqi Air Force accidentally attacked the USS Stark.
If one were to ask why American one might contend that America’s policies in the Middle East and elsewhere are mysterious in both origin and execution, I suggest that one might strap ones self down as this is going to be a bumpy ride.
As of the close of July 2019, the United States and Iran are facing off in the Gulf again, this time, the US is acting, superficially at least, on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia who are fearful of the military power of Iran.
Why the fear of Iran is a bit of a mystery, but wait, we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Iran has never acted against either Israel or Saudi Arabia, certainly not directly and assets it is targeted simply because it exists and fails to do as it is told. Could things be this simple?
Moreover, another mystery, until recently, Israel and Saudi Arabia had, at least publicly, been “blood enemies.” Finding this to be not just false but finding Saudi Arabia and the UAE openly partnered with Israel, and Bahrain with them, despite decades of protestation of quite opposite views, opens one for a bit of revisionism, particularly when it comes to looking at root causes of Islamic extremism and who is really behind a number of terrorist attacks.
Then we have the issue of ISIS and al Nusra, or al Qaeda as it is also called, and their military operations in Syria and Iraq, operations one might normally consider a threat against both Israel and Saudi Arabia as well. Instead, however, we are faced with yet another mystery.
Instead, they seemed to get over not just their differences with each other but, mysterious as it might seem, concerns about having major terrorist organizations controlling the large and powerful nations on their borders.
In fact, Saudi Arabia and Israel, perhaps Jordan as well, couldn’t be more pleased than to see al Qaeda and ISIS with their own air forces, submarines and even nuclear capabilities. Here we have yet it seems another perplexing mystery.
One might note that this is the same al Qaeda deemed by the US as responsible for the attacks on 9/11, now clearly partnered with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Another mystery is the unasked question.
Is America’s new love affair for al Qaeda a mystery or simply a case of “moral relativism” gone bad? Here, we are forced to ask when did Saudi Arabia and Israel gain control over al Qaeda? Was it after 9/11? Was it before?
More Historical Background
Then again, we approach the mysterious war between Iraq and Iran, a war that lasted from 1980 until one month after the downing of Iran Airlines Flight 655. During this war, Saddam Hussein’s forces in Iraq openly used poison gas against Iran on hundreds of occasions.
During this time, with full backing of the United States, Iraq developed not only a major production facility for biological and chemical weapons but began high level enrichment of uranium as well in order to produce nuclear weapons.
No sanctions were asked for against Iraq despite their drive toward nuclearization of their military, another mystery. At that time, Germany was the primary manufacturer of the high-speed gas centrifuges being shipped to Iraq and for the needed equipment to produce Sarin and VX gas shells as well.
The manufacturing of Sarin and VX gas had been perfected in a joint Israel, South African venture through the 1970s and 1980s with testing done on human subjects in Angola under the auspices of a Dr. Basson, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.
Even more mysterious is the fact that these transactions, between Germany and Saddam’s Iraq, were facilitated by a company owned exclusively by the brother of the President of the United State, Prescot Bush and Company.
There was another Prescott Bush, but the business was the same, arms for dictators, poison gas and millions of dead. Let’s hear that story as well. Prescott’s father and namesake, Prescott Sheldon Bush, a former United States Senator, had also represented German arms manufacturers, also under mysterious circumstances.
[ Editor’s Note: Prescott Bush eventually had a few million in his assets seized for aiding and abetting the enemy, and last I heard had managed to get them eventually released which funded the foundation of the Bush political dynasty…Jim W. Dean ]
That partnership began even before Hitler took power in Germany and many assert that without backing by the Bush family and the Rockefellers at Standard Oil, Hitler’s political career may well have fallen flat.
It was only in 1943, after the German defeat at Stalingrad, that then Senator Prescott Bush began to relinquish his millions in holdings in German occupied Poland, under Consolidated Silesian Steel among others.
These Bush owned holdings, responsible for much of the Third Reich’s military production, used labor recruited from a German managed workers housing facility in Southern Poland now known as Auschwitz. Acting as host was a man named Himmler, as agent and manager for the American owned industries in and around Oswiecim, Poland, facilities owned by IG Farben, Standard Oil of New Jersey and, of course, the Bush family.
That family that grew rich on Auschwitz labor, supplying weapons to Hitler and similarly, grew wealthier supplying WMD’s to Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran.
Only 3 short years after the US downed that Iranian airliner, the son of that Senator, now an American president, began a war on Iraq seeking, among other goals, to rid Iraq of the weapons of mass destructions purchased, quite mysteriously, directly from the family of that same American president, just as had happened those short decades before when so many millions died in Europe in a mysteriously similar task.
This was Operation Desert Storm. At least 35,000 American military died of Gulf War Syndrome, a mysterious disease that afflicted those who served in that conflict.
Who says lightning doesn’t strike in the same place over and over? Run the clock up to 2003 and the son of that same son of that same senator that armed Hitler, was sending American troops again after Saddam Hussein, after those same weapons purchased from that same Bush family member, an unending cycle, generation upon generation.
By that time, as history has shown us, those weapons had been destroyed, as alleged by UN weapon inspectors. Still, 5000 Americans died looking for them and another 250,000 were wounded sufficiently to be considered permanently disabled. We add that to the 35,000 that died first time around when the Bush family turned its very good friend, Saddam Hussein.
For Iraq, 2 million died prior to the 2003 invasion due to American sanctions and another half million or so during the “civil war” that ensued during the American occupation.
Was that enough? Another mystery, let’s look at early 2014 when, lo and behold, Iraq was again attacked, this time by “ISIS.” Funded by Saudi Arabia, backed by Qatar, Bahrain and as many assert, the US and Israel, ISIS seized 40% of Iraq and held it for nearly 4 years.
During that time, another 250,000 Iraq’s died, tens of billions in oil was stolen and America eventually came to Iraq’s assistance, in a limited way, only when Iranian forces helping Iraq began handily defeating ISIS.
Did American aid for Iraq lengthen the war with the US moving ISIS commanders from one place to another and accidentally attacking pro-Iranian forces fighting ISIS over and over? Is this another mystery?
Thus, we return to 2019 as America attempts to fill the Persian Gulf with warships in order to, well, in order to “what?” When Iran entered into the JCPOA agreement with the US and other nations in 2015, there were no regional security concerns, none for Saudi Arabia and none for Israel.
It is true that Saudi Arabia, a nation with the second most costly military on the planet, was deeply involved in a minor conflict with poorly armed tribesmen in Yemen, this we admit.
Additionally, Israel was and is deeply involved in a war against its own Islamic population, one of those rare occasions where artillery and 5th generation stealth aircraft are needed to calm a discordant population upset over troublesome domestic policies.
Where our attention lies today is the Persian Gulf where, were we to forget history and lose our taste for mystery and intrigue, we might well accept, at face value, the American assertion that military posturing in, around and above the territorial waters of an openly targeted nation is defensive in nature.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”