Iranian naval vessels on Friday seized 15 British sailors and marines who had boarded a merchant ship in Iraqi waters of the Persian Gulf, British and U.S. officials said. Britain immediately protested the detentions, which come at a time of high tension between the West and Iran.
Is this the "Gulf of Tonkin" incident that will be the trigger (excuse) for Britain and the United States to go to war with Iran? The increasingly heated rhetoric from the Bush Administration about Iran has been very similar to the public disinformation campaign about Iraq and Saddam Hussein leading up to the 2003 start of the war with Iraq. It seems clear that some in the Bush Administration are eager to go to war with Iran and it is equally clear that the public would very reluctant to start another war absent some provocation from Iran. Has Iran obliged with that provocation, perhaps in response to an as yet unreported initial provocation from us? Or perhaps as in the original "Gulf of Tonkin incident" this news report is more fiction than fact? Stay tuned. We live in interesting times.