Dichotomy of days: Reflections on remembrance of a tragedy

TEHRAN, Jul. 07 (MNA) – “There is little doubt that even before the deal’s existence, Iran was violating its terms.” —White House Press Statement, July 1, 2019.

July third is a very somber day of heartbreaking remembrance for the Islamic Republic of Iran, which stands accused of not living up to the terms of an agreement that was scuttled by the mercurial Washington regime. In a jarring contrast, July fourth for the United States is a raucous day of celebration, which includes a gaudy military parade in Washington and ubiquitous fireworks to mark America’s independence day. For me personally, contemplating the dichotomy between the two days results in didactic tension that is almost indescribable.

Mainstream western media still scarcely acknowledge the horrible tragedy that occurred in the Persian Gulf thirty one years ago when the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian airliner, killing all 290 passengers on board, including 66 children. The trigger-happy skipper of the Vincennes, who was awarded with a medal of honor a year later, was neither brought to justice nor expressed either remorse or regret for this sanguinary slaughter. Describing the unimaginable carnage displayed in a makeshift morgue in a cold storage warehouse in Bandar Abbas hastily set up in the aftermath of the US missile assault, Robert Fisk writes, “There are fifty-eight intact corpses here, fringed by a row of human remains so terrible that they could only be described in a doctor’s report or a medical journal.”

Recently, the Pasdaran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that now is also on the Washington regime’s terrorist list, shot down a US RQ-4A Global hawk, or possibly a more sophisticated and brand new MQ-4C, spy drone, which had violated Iran’s territorial air space over Hormozgan Province near the village of Kuhmobarak. Before blowing the intruder to smithereens, the IRGC issued multiple warnings to US forces, which ignored them all, the last of which was a full ten minutes before engagement in order to allow time for the Americans to correct their blunder. Furthermore, the IRGC chose not to engage a Boeing P-8 Poseidon plane that was pacing the drone, thereby compassionately sparing the 35-member crew onboard. 

US officials were understandably shaken by the downing of their spy drone, particularly if initial reports claiming the aircraft to be an MQ-4C are correct since it flies at extremely high altitudes in the range of 18,000 km. In any case, even if the aircraft was the older RQ-4A, the targeting by the IRGC was quite an accomplishment, since this drone has similar capabilities. In retaliation, an attack on three Iranian targets, presumably military facilities, was planned and in progress, but was aborted by the White House at the last minute following an unexpected burst of cynical compassion over the anticipated deaths of 150 people as a result of the raids. 

In calling off the strikes, Trump stressed that no Americans had been killed in the downing of the drone. However, he stated “We didn’t have a man or woman in the drone.” Had even a single American been killed Trump intimated, “It would have made a big, big difference.” So one dead American apparently justifies attacks on three Iranian anti-aircraft defense facilities.  If this is the case, and given “All men are created equal,” as proclaimed in the US Declaration of Independence, then the killing of 290 people on Iran Air Flight 655 should, by this calculus, justify retaliatory attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran on 870 US military assets, I would conjecture. All men are created equal, right? I see no exceptions here for Iranians; what is justifiable for America should be justifiable for Iran.

Meanwhile, the US president, along with his senior adviser daughter, has engaged in numerous photo-ops at the G20 summit with other world leaders, who, despite their off-the-record criticism of the current occupant of the White House, nonetheless seem to flock to him like self-effacing courtiers used to cluster around “His Imperial Majesty”, the former dictator of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. All of this swarming and fawning was typical and expected, given the context of an importunate, bullying egomaniac among spineless sycophants and those afflicted with hyper-inflated egos. No doubt, the former reality TV star turned leader of “the free world” used the numerous opportunities presented to hawk his illustrious brand name, which I prefer not to mention repeatedly out of empathy for the reader.

But when I learned of the draft-dodger-in-chief’s trip to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea for another photo-op, this time with Kim Jong-un, the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, something inside of me smoldered with outrage. I myself had been stationed right there in Korea, three miles south of the DMZ at Camp Jessup in Munsan, in 1969 and 1970. I drove my commander, the late Col. Samuel B. Spicely (d. 2016), up to the DMZ in a jeep and we both had to don flak jackets and steel helmets to do so. I had no choice at the time, other than to go AWOL (absent without leave) and leave the country; I knew one E8 master sergeant who actually did just that. In those days, the US had a conscript army, and draftees had the choices of leaving the country, going to jail or reporting for duty.  

At the same time, the present US commander-in-chief managed to get himself a 4F medical deferment for “bone spurs,” but I passed the army physical and was inducted: poor eyesight, flat feet and all. It was not about patriotism, believe me.  By then, I had realized the American war in Vietnam was, at a minimum, unwinnable, if not immoral and illegal. Like the pusillanimous US president and national security adviser John “chicken hawk” Bolton, I had no desire to have my brains blown out in a rice paddy in Vietnam, either. Nevertheless, I felt that I had a responsibility to serve the country of my birth.  Besides, if I had chosen to hightail it to Canada I would have had to leave my family and friends behind. That would have been especially hard on my mother who had cancer and died a year later.

As for Mike Pompeo, who was touted as a 1991 Gulf war veteran by no less than 51 members of congress during his congressional confirmation hearings for his appointment as secretary of state and previously as CIA director, it seems that he did not see combat service there at all, at least according to the CIA. So how ironic is it that this timorous troika, Trump, Bolton and Pompeo, is pushing hard for war with Iran, when two of them are draft-dodgers and none of them has had to face real combat?

This pathetic state of affairs would almost be laughable, were it not for the fact that the valiant people of Iran are suffering due to the injustices being imposed upon them by the chauvinistic chimeras of these bellicose blowhards. Unfortunately these importunate ideologues happen to be the overseers of the largest, best armed and most lethal military force that the world has ever seen. I hope and pray that Trump will be satisfied from playing army with his soldiers and tanks on the fourth of July, and not be tempted to unleash them on someone else’s country.

These are some of my thoughts on these dichotomous days of July 3 and 4. May Allah protect the Islamic Republic of Iran, and save us all from these psychotic human shaytans in Washington and their diabolical enablers in the Zionist entity, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

MNA/TT

News Code 147281

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