Now Would Be a Good Time to ‘Remember The Maine’ – and a Few Other Things

‘Remember the Maine’ was the slogan used by Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers to rally Americans around a false premise to start a war in 1898.

Well, it looks like we are going to get ourselves into another Middle East snafu. Bolton wants to go manu-a-manu with Iran (as long as someone else does the actual fighting — he is in competition with Trump for the most draft deferments). Big Daddy just couldn’t leave well enough alone, so he had to tear up Obama’s agreement (which Iran had been honoring) so that he would look good to his constituents (who are the ones who will have to go out and fight them if a war starts — it sure won’t be Trump-a-doodle). Of course, Big Daddy is smarter that the numerous people in Obama’s administration and the European governments combined who came up with the agreement… NOT!

remember the maine

Now the Great and Powerful Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is saying that the Iranians are behind the torpedoing of the two oil ships in the Strait of Hormuz and are offering for evidence a grainy video showing supposedly the Iranians removing a mine from one of the distressed ships. A video that looks like it was taken by a six year old who just got his first video camera for his birthday and didn’t quite know how to use it yet. No real evidence has been provided that the Iranians were behind it. Why not Al Queda or Isis or any of the abundant terrorist groups trying to prove their loyalty to an Allah who isn’t listening?

Here is an idea — who would profit the most from this destructive act? What about Russia? It definitely stinks of the sort of thing that Putin would come up with (except he likes intrigues that leave bodies lying around). Think of all the things he would be benefiting from it — The US would become mired in yet another Mid-East War, it would screw up the oil shipping for the whole western world, Putin could sell his oil to those countries suffering for it and the portals to Russian shipping would be booming as an alternative. Putin would win on all counts. It maybe even bring Japan and Norway into the fray if he were to manipulate things the right way as they own the ships that were attacked. What Putin gets away with is better than any spy novel ever made.

Before we get ourselves into another morass, it is time to think about another artificially created war — the Spanish American of 1898. And the part of it to remember is ‘Remember the Maine’ — the slogan used by Hearst and Pulitzer newspapers to rally Americans around a false premise to start a war. The Maine was a U.S. battle ship parked in Havana harbor (to protect American business interests) which mysteriously caught fire and sank one night. Later evidence pointed to the coal bunker exploding as the cause of the blaze, but the newspapers insisted it was the Cubans and hence thereby the Spanish who were behind it. This despite the fact that Pulitzer himself privately said that “no one outside a lunatic asylum” would believe that Spain would have done the dirty deed. But being lunatic has never stopped an avarice American military machine. Thus started a long, bloody and costly war that interestingly gained the islands of Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico for the United States. And introduced the fine art of water boarding that we began by practicing it on the Filipinos.

Also to remember is the Gulf Of Tonkin incident that was fuel to help President Johnson get gung-ho on starting the Vietnam War. The destroyer USS Maddox was patrolling off the shore of North Vietnam on a reconnaissance mission when it was followed by four North Vietnamese patrol boats. Although the U.S. declared that the Vietnamese fired first, it was later found that the Maddox had fired off three warning shots that the Vietnamese then responded to with torpedoes and machine gun fire. Only one bullet actually hit the Maddox, but the exaggerated report given to the American public indicated something much worse. The tide of U.S. emotion over the incident allowed the war lords to make a ‘revenge’ attack against N. Vietnam that escalated into the Vietnam CONFLICT — the official name given to it since no war was actually declared. The same is true for the battles that have been fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Funny, all the images and stories I’ve heard sure make them sound like wars. In fact, conflict sounds too wimpy- it’s like two Walmart showers fighting over the same grocery cart on Black Friday.

There are many forgotten things that need to be remembered. Oops! Did I not mention the Weapons Of Mass Destruction?

Roger Freed