Tag Archives: Remember the Maine

Pearl Harbor wasn’t our first 9/11

Before Pearl Harbor, there was Remember the Maine (Spain’s sneak attack), before that Americans were admonished to never forget the Alamo (Mexico’s sneak attack). After Pearl Harbor, the sneak attack that conscripted US public opinion into WWII, there was the Gulf of Tonkin (Viet Cong sneaks), among countless false flags calculated to mobilize a peaceful population to support retaliations that would otherwise be acts of aggression. The Third Reich had its Reichstag Fire and fabricated depredations on German minorities in Czechoslovakia and Poland to justify launching war. Whatever happened at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, immediately branded “Nine Eleven”, launched the West’s overt War on Islam. It’s Yellow Journalism 101, but Americans never seem to learn. A Japanese flotilla traversing the Pacific to launch a suprise attack on the US fleet, unbeknownst to US intelligence, is as improbable as the collapse of the steel WTC towers. That our fleet’s capital ships, the aircraft carriers were off on maneuvers, leaving only aging battleships to be bombed, gives December 7th something of the odor of 9/11’s Building 7. Roosevelt’s legacy was haunted by accusations of “conspiracy”, of having sacrificed the unsuspecting servicemen’s lives to protect corporate oil interests extending beyond the Pacific. In view of the lives expended since, both military and innocent, to preserve the reaches of empire, what’s so hard to believe?

Remember the Maine? Egyptians will.

Remember the Maine? In 1898 a popular uprising was threatening Spanish rule in Cuba. alright, it's actually the USS Baltimore, Flaccus Brothers Prepared Mustard The US Navy cruised to the rescue. The rescue of whom, we never got the chance to find out. An explosion aboard the USS Maine gave America the pretext to blame a Spanish torpedo. An America inflamed by a jingoist press declared war on Spain and promptly seized her colonies “to protect US interests,” by coincidence just as the indigenous populations were overcoming their colonizer and were about to win their freedom. Today a US attack fleet speeds toward Egypt. Washington asserts its mission is to evacuate US nationals if need be.

I’d like to imagine the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge will position itself off Egypt’s coast to facilitate the Egyptian government’s stable transition to Democracy.

Perhaps the fleet intends to augment the security which Hosni Mubarak is deliberately destabilizing in Egypt. Perhaps they will offer medical care for Egyptian protesters denied access to Cairo hospitals if their wounds incriminate the government. Perhaps sophisticated Navy electronics will provide an alternate internet backbone if Mubarak tries cut his people off the web. Perhaps the US Navy can help jam the state television station still broadcasting lies to the broader population. I’m hoping our navy can erect a gallows prominently on the bow, to threaten Mubarak, speaking in the only language the despicable dictator might understand, an urgency he doesn’t feel from the peaceful protesters of Tahrir Square.

Possible?

Is it more likely to be a false flag like the Maine? Remember the USS Liberty? That was a US intelligence ship attacked in 1967 by unmarked Israeli planes, hoping that Egypt would catch the blame? There was more to that story and anyway it didn’t work out.

Remember whatever boat it was attacked/not-attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident? That worked.

“Showing the Flag” doesn’t have to be false flag. Remember the USS Cole? Worked in Yemen. Traditional foreign policy teaches that gunboat diplomacy asserts military dominance. Actually it runs a calculated risk. It draws out indignation and a show of defiance. Because a military wants to flush out resistance sooner than being taken by surprise.

Remember the enterprising Marines in Iraq who drove around with a megaphone insulting the Prophet Mohammad? They repeated Jesus Killed Mohammad until every last proud Muslim to renounce their blasphemy was baptized in an obliteration of firepower.

Remember the Maine? Americans remember the Maine like it remembers the Alamo or 9-11. We have no idea. We have no sense of deja vu about the US spreading its forces in defense of empire. I’m really hoping this is not the equivalent of the Soviets sending their tanks into Hungary in 1956.

But Americans have nothing on the educated Egyptians. Whatever America’s gunships have in mind, the Arab world has seen it. Jan25 organizers continue to defy media expectations about the movement losing steam. Attendance keep rising, yesterday pro-Mubarak citizens were proclaiming their changed allegiance. Today the labor unions are recognizing the imperative of launching a general strike, and protesters are venturing outside of the central demonstrations, threatening government buildings and facilities.

With every successive day of victories for the Democracy-seeking demonstrators of Tahrir Square, I have every confidence that the Egyptians will outwit this latest US envoy convoy.