Friday, January 11, 2008

Strait of Hormuz, Day 5: Iran's Got a Video, Too

Iran released a video that shows a nice, peaceful Iranian boat at least 100 yards away from the big American warships. An Iranian crewman is holding a microphone. A later release of the video had nice, peaceful words, too.

An official with the Pentagon said that the video seemed to have been taken around the time of the Sunday incident. The part where Iranian boats played chicken with the American warships seems to have been edited out.

Iran's video of their version of what happened has been aired:
  • Iran's own Press TV, a government-run English-language channel - its signal is often blocked inside Iran
  • Another state-run channel, Alalam - an Arabic-language channel
Since Al-Alam's English-language site says, "Alalam News website reflects the policies of Alalam satellite television.
"Launched on August 15, 2006, the website is trying to disseminate news in a sincere and impartial manner by keeping up a moderate line. In its coverage of events, Alalam News is trying to avoid stirring religious and ethnic strife."

It's pretty obvious to anyone outside some of the groovier Philosophy departments that someone's not telling the truth. The Iranian and American versions of the Sunday morning incident in the Strait of Hormuz are quite incompatible.

I'm inclined to believe the American version. Even if I were to assume that both governments were equally reliable, there's the matter of the two videos -
  • The Americans would have had to do a top-rate special effects job: Faking several minutes of hand-held video
  • Iran's government could easily have recorded their video while the boats were at a distance, then dubbed the audio in
And, there's the matter of witnesses.
  • The Americans have the crews of three ships: those who were above decks, at any rate
It's conceivable that they could all be ordered to lie about what they saw - but I doubt it.

And yes, I'm biased. I remember how this lot got control of Iran, and I'm not all that impressed with how they've run the place since.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.