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American Imperialism, Firing Squads, and the Vincennes Shootdown

At 1:03 AM 9/2/96, Alan Horowitz wrote:
>The Aegis ship in the Gulf wzs not in an exercise. It was in a war zone.
>If my memory serves, the Iranian jetliner had its squawker turned off, or
>broken. The officer in charge in the CIC had about ten seconds to decide
>if he was about to be locked-on by a missle. And no real information to
>make the decision with.

The U.S.S. Vincennes shot down an Iranian commercial airliner that was in
its normal and well-known flight path out of Bandar Abbas. That the U.S.
felt it was in a "war zone" was due to American imperialistic sentiments
that say the U.S. can and should send its police forces to distant parts of
the globe, even inside the Persian Gulf, no more than a few dozen miles
from Iranian shores. (And the godless Jew Persians had the audacity to
patrol its shorelines with gunboats! Jeesh. I'm sure the U.S. would not
send the Coast Guard out to investigate or harass foreign warships cruising
inside Chesapeake Bay, San Francisco Bay, or other coastal bays and

As to the "squawker" being turned off, this is not my recollection of the
case (though it was nearly a decade ago, so memories fade...).

(I just did an Alta Vista search to refresh my memory. Found this choice

" Anderson's job in "Air Alley," the row of operators who handled air
warfare, was to identify any air traffic within range of the ship. He told
the Aegis system to query the incoming plane: Identify, Friend or Foe? By
standard practice, all planes carry a transponder that automatically
the IFF query with Mode 1 or 2 (military), or Mode 3 (civilian). Anderson
got a Mode 3. "Commair" (commercial airliner), he figured. He reached
his console for the navy's listing of commercial flights over the gulf. But
as he scanned the schedule, he missed Flight 655. Apparently, in the
darkness of
the CIC, its arc lights flickering every time the Vincennes's five-inch gun
fired off another round at the hapless Iranian gunboats, he was confused by
gulf's four different time zones."

So, the Iranian jet's IFF module _was_ working...the U.S. ship just missed it.

Fact is, the U.S. shot down a commercial airliner which was in its normal
flight path! One can imagine the repercussions if TWA 800 was similarly
shot down as it followed its ordinary flight path.

The U.S. demanded sanctions against the Soviets in '83 for shooting down a
Korean airliner which had strayed (maybe) deep into Soviet airspace and
which refused to acknowledge several radio messages.

Though I am no apologist for the Soviets, which event was the more
egregious? That the U.S. demanded actions against the Sovs, but pooh-poohed
and whitewashed the Iranian airliner shootdown, is evidence of
imperialistic hypocrisy.

That the U.S. demands trials for alleged terrorists while having no trial
for Captain Rogers is further evidence of hypocrisy. (A military court
martial and a firing squad for those found guilty might have sent a more
consistent message.)

Make no mistake about it: I cannot support the sending of American gunboats
to the backyards of other countries merely for perceived notions about
American rights to their oil. Hopefully, as crypto anarchy spreads,
imperialism such as this will be undermined, destabilized, and ultimately
be defeated.

--Tim May

We got computers, we're tapping phone lines, I know that that ain't allowed.
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Licensed Ontologist         | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."