The ‘Forgotten’ US shoot down of Iranian Airliner Flight 655

The ‘Forgotten’ US shoot down of Iranian Airliner Flight 655

07-08-18 01:30:00,

This summer marks 30 years since the shoot-down by the USS Vincennes of Iran Air flight 655, which killed all of the plane’s 290 civilian passengers. This shoot-down of a civilian airliner by a US naval ship occurred on July 3, 1988, toward the end of the eight-year Iran-Iraq War.

This incident is, of course, something that the people of Iran well remember. Americans who rely on the US mainstream media, on the other hand, would have to be forgiven for never having heard about it.

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Furthermore, in the rare instances when the media do mention it, to this day they tend to maintain official US government falsehoods about what occurred and otherwise omit relevant details that would inform Americans about what really happened.

The lack of mention of the incident or, when it is mentioned, the deceptive reporting about what occurred illustrates an institutionalized bias in the media. The consequence is that Americans seeking to understand US-Iran relations today fail to grasp a key historical event that has helped to define that relationship.

How the Mainstream Media Report the US shoot-down of Flight 655

If one does a quick Google search for relevant keywords specific to the shootdown, only a handful of US mainstream media reports turn up on first-page results.

Max Fisher in the Washington Post wrote a piece about it several years ago, appropriately titled “The Forgotten story of Iran Air Flight 655”. For context, Fisher asserted that “the Vincennes was exchanging fire with small Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf.” As explanation for how the Vincennes “mistook the lumbering Airbus A300 civilian airliner for a much smaller and faster F-14 fighter jet”, Fisher suggested it was “perhaps” due to “the heat of battle” or “perhaps because the flight allegedly did not identify itself.”

The Washington Examiner a couple years ago ran a piece with the headline “Iran says 1988 airliner shootdown is why U.S. can’t be trusted”. The author, Charles Hoskinson, stated simply that “An investigation revealed that the cruiser’s crew mistook the airliner for an attacking F-14 fighter jet while involved in a confrontation with Iranian gunboats.”

Fred Kaplan in Slate noted in a 2014 piece that the incident “is almost completely forgotten” (at least in the US).

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Forgotten War Crimes: NATO’s 1999 Attack on Serbia’s State TV Headquarters “Wiped from the Record” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Forgotten War Crimes: NATO’s 1999 Attack on Serbia’s State TV Headquarters “Wiped from the Record” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

10-01-18 08:13:00,

Nineteen years ago, On 23 April 1999, a NATO missile attack on Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) headquarters killed 16 employees of the state broadcaster.

The forgotten war crime occurred during the Kosovo War (March 1999-June 1999), and was part of NATO’s aerial campaign alongside the US-backed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) a paramilitary entity with links to Al Qaeda and organized crime , in opposition to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In the aftermath of the attack there were no great public campaigns launched for the 16 murdered journalists and employees, no outpouring of emotion for those killed, no calls for solidarity and togetherness in the face of aggression. On the contrary the West justified this grievous blow against freedom of expression, praised it even.

Tony Blair, Britain’s then Prime Minister, welcomed the killings when speaking at NATO’s 50th anniversary summit in Washington. Blair said the missile attack was “entirely justified… in damaging and attacking all these targets”, and that those murdered were part of the “apparatus of dictatorship and power of [Slobodan] Milosevic”.

Blair felt that, “the responsibility for every single part of this action lies with the man [Milosevic] who has engaged in this policy of ethnic cleansing and must be stopped”. Apparently Milosevic “must be stopped” by wiping out state journalists or what Blair describes as an “apparatus of dictatorship”.

According to one of the main leaders of the Western world, Milosevic must bear full responsibility for a NATO fighter plane firing a US-made missile on a state broadcasting service’s headquarters. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised by Blair’s visions of justice, particularly when examining his key role in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in the following decade.

Blair was not alone in praising this violation of international law. His Secretary of State for International development, Clare Short, said afterwards that,

“the propaganda machine is prolonging the war and it’s a legitimate target”.

Short is a Labour Party member and her official title today is The Right Honourable Clare Short. Defending these killings was neither right nor honourable one can assume.

NATO themselves commended the deliberate attack afterwards. NATO’s military spokesperson Air Commodore David Wilby declared RTS,

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