How Not to React to Incidents in the Gulf of Oman
Strange things have happened over the past several days in the Gulf of Oman. Some crews reported that they temporarily had lost control of their ships for undetermined reasons. Another ship experienced what the British Navy called a potential non-piracy-related hijacking when unidentified armed men boarded it and then just as mysteriously left the ship. Most attention was focused on yet another ship that was attacked by a drone that killed two crew members. This ship, a tanker called Mercer Street, is managed by an Israeli company, although the Liberian-flagged vessel is owned by a Japanese firm and the dead crew members were British and Romanian.
Choruses of denunciation were immediately directed at Iran. As usual with anything involving Iran, Israeli officials were the loudest in denunciating and the quickest to rattle sabers. Israels deputy prime minister and defense minister, Benny Gantz, declared that the world needs to deal with Iran, the region needs to deal with Iran, and Israel also needs to do its part in this situation. Gantz said, in response to reporters questions, that Israel was ready to strike Iran and that others ought to join in the military action.
A statement from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was somewhat less bellicose, using the words strong condemnation but promising only to consult with other governments about an appropriate response. We are confident that Iran conducted this attack, he said.
It is not apparent what gives Blinken such con....