Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Gobsmacked: Before Iran Became a Nuclear Menace

On July 3, 1988, the Aegis cruiser USS Vincennes believing it was about to be attacked by an Iranian F-14, shot down an Iran Air A300B2. All 290 souls on the Airbus perished. Iran Air remains that country's premiere airline.

While the United States, calling the Flight 655 incident a tragic mistake, issued notes of regret for the loss of human life, there was no admission of wrongdoing nor apology. Officially, Iran's hostile actions lead to the incident.

Vincennes's crew were awarded combat-action ribbons and its air-warfare co-ordinator even won the navy's Commendation Medal for his "heroic achievement." Vincennes's commanding officer, Capt. William C. Rogers III, completed the remainder of the deployment and was subsequently awarded the Legion of Merit for "exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of an outstanding service", by George H. W. Bush.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not getting a clear message: nuclear arms, even those hidden underground, could be accidentally detonated. While radioactive fallout might be minimal, Iranian regime change certainly would not be.

What would Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and the UN do? Take notice. The first three have had their own serious, nuclear accidents and the latter are not to be taken seriously, except perhaps by accident.


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