Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Downing of Flight 655


On July 3, 1988, I flew from London to the USA on a large airliner with my friend Evan and our now ex-wives. After landing at one airport, while waiting for a final connection home, we heard that another passenger jet had been blown out of the sky. Naturally, this sent chills up my spine. The other plane happened to be Iranian, and those who shot it out of the sky happened to be Americans operating in the Persian Gulf. Among the 290 people on board, 66 were children.

The fact is, during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), with Ronald Reagan’s U.S. administration assisting Saddam Hussein’s Iraq against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the U.S. moved ships and aircraft through the Strait of Hormuz and into the Persian Gulf, and by 1988, the US was engaged in a quasi-war against Iran. US Navy Captain William C. Rogers III, the particularly aggressive commander of the USS Vincennes, moved his warship into Iranian waters and ordered the shootdown of Iran Air Flight 655, a civilian Airbus clearly on its way from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai International Airport. Flight 655 was a routine flight normally shorter than a similar one between Detroit and Chicago. The Vincennes fired two missiles, blew the plane in half and killed everyone on board. The American government has shown no remorse for this act, undermining its claims to moral high ground in international affairs – to say the least.

How often do governments admit wrong doing when they are complicit in a horrible act? If G.W. Bush rarely if ever admits wrong doing (let alone stupidity), what did his Daddy (then Reagan’s VP) say about this specific incident of killing 290 civilians on the American taxpayers’ tab?

"I will never apologize for the United States of America -- I don't care what the facts are." (George Bush, quoted in Newsweek, August 15, 1988).


Unlike either Bush president, I DO care what the facts are, and I DO NOT want to spend the rest of my life apologizing for the depraved idiocy of political leaders mismanaging my own country. Americans, Iranians, and everybody everywhere should be aware of how dangerous today’s situation is, with two carrier groups and another strike force sailing around the Persian Gulf today like it's a game of dare.

Is the USA already in another quasi-war with Iran? More will be revealed, whether we like it or not. On a related note, unleaded regular gas is up to $3.50 per gallon as of last night, in Detroit, and the Iraq War continues to go badly. Lucky us.

Today’s Rune: Flow.

Birthdays: The Buddha, Emanuel Leutze, Suzanne Lenglen, Barbara West, Lilli Palmer, (b. Lillie Marie Peiser), Joseph Brodsky, Bob Dylan (b. Robert Allen Zimmerman), Patti LaBelle (b. Patricia Louise Holte), Rosanne Cash, Kristin Scott Thomas, Joe Dumars.

7 comments:

Johnny Yen said...

That was atrocious, particularly in light of the excoriation Reagan had given the Soviets over the accidental downing of KAL 007 in 1983.

The Iran/Iraq war seems to have faded from the collective memory. A million dead, thousands more maimed. Little-known fact: it was the longest war of the 20th century, clocking in at about 8 years.

Good book on the subject: The Longest War: The Iran-Iraq Military Conflict, by Dilip Hiro, an Anglo-Persian journalist.

Johnny Yen said...

And gasoline is $3.79 or more here in Chicago.

the walking man said...

Revenge for the Imam Ayatollah Kohemini maybe condoning the storming of the US embassy and holding the hostages for most of the Carter Administration, for which old Ronny was more than complicit in as he ran his own civilian foriegn policy during that democratic liberal administration.

Then by way of apology for a few dead civilians the Iran Contra arms for money deal.

Hell what's 290 lives even the 66 children compared to what? The 20,000,000 soldiers dead in that American sponsored war. De Nada.

What do we have to apologize for? Really think about it; Reagan nearly bankrupted the country bankrupting the soviets so MR. Gorbachev could tear down that wall, Don Rumsfeld and Saddam were best friends during those days and the Bushes both father and son sold their souls to the Saudis for millions of dollars.

See Erik the American people have paid for the sins of our leaders as they commit them just ask the families of the 3,795 war dead since our victory in Iraq or the 34,000 maimed and wounded soldiers.

We do not pay the price for freedom of other peoples we pay for their enslavement to a way of life they didn't want and the billions of profits made by these very well planned out and executed moves by our government.

This is the price of nationalism before patriotism. If Iraq is the new center of terrorism then no matter the civilian non combatant population we should pull our troops and nuke the fuckers back to the first century, that is the nationalist American way.

Sorry world but you get what you buy from our leaders. Poor you if you can't pay the price of American capitalist colonialism.

It's a beautiful system that made the Bush and Reagan families even more wealthier than they were. so what's to apologize for we accomplished their goals with the blood of or children and the breakdown of the middle class.

peace

TWM

JR's Thumbprints said...

I guess junior shrub didn't fall far from the tree, did he? On a different note, I am now in a car pool and also facing a possible layoff. Michigan's economy consistently stinks.

Laura said...

I can not believe the prices at the gas pump!!! I never thought I'd see the day that they got this high. As far as politians go, they all are a bunch of lying, conniving, rich, selfish, power-hungry bastards. And I agree with JR. about Michigan's econmic statis . . . It really does consistantly stink!!!

Charles Gramlich said...

I thought the war in Iraq was over oil? How come we're paying so much for it?

Danny Tagalog said...

Great post - gasoline prices shouldn't be so high after recent events....

Get those criminals out!