I came across an article in the New Zealand Herald that has an interesting piece about the 15 British military personnel taken hostage by Iran. Clearly, Iran is not the calculating chess player I thought they were; instead, they are a bumbling and desparate nation who is at the end of its rope. But I digress.
The author of the piece, Gwynne Dyer, chose a spectacular and attention grabbing title- How to start a war- American style. Dyer contends that had Iran came across an American boarding party there would have been a shootout and the United States would now be at war. He bases this claim on a few out of context quotes by the XO of the USS Underwood, a frigate assigned to help out the British ship Cornwall, the ship the boarded RIB's came from.
I'm sure the XO was frustrated and pissed that the Brits were taken and perhaps insinuated, "Why didn't they shoot those bastards instead of getting captured?" I had the same reaction also. I doubt the XO had all the information about the cunning tomfoolery the Iranians executed in kidnapping the 15 Brits. Make no mistake, kidnapping is what it was. After nabbing the crews in their most vulnerble moments when deboarding a vessel and taking them to Tehran, Iranian officials sent the coodinates of captured RIB's to the UK Prime Minister. The ironic part is that the coordinates were INSIDE Iraqi waters. The PM sent a WTF? to Iran who then said they gave the wrong numbers and provided coords inside Iranian waters. Hoever, another hole in Iran's game lies in the anchor point of the vessel the Brits boarded- it is still anchored, hasn't moved much since the incident, and is still in Iraqi waters.
This whole event is a canard but for Dyer to insinuate that we would now be at war with Iran is just stupid, irresponsible journalism. I would expect to see an article like his in the UC Berkeley campus paper. If you want fortune telling and innuendo give Miss Cleo a call but leave it out of the papers. Or at least ones that do serious journalism.