Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"There are no international waters in the Straits of Hormuz"

War In Context on the further misadventures of Bush and The Battle Of Hormuz Strait.

[...] Even so, when Bush says “before its too late” to his Arab friends, most of them are probably taking comfort in completing that line with, “before its too late… for Bush to do anything about it.” He frets about only twelve months left on the clock — the rest of the world can’t wait for his term to end.

Witness the spectacle of an international “incident” that after a few days has devolved into a debate about a Filipino Monkey. The only comfort the White House can take from this drama is that the press never even noticed when the stage upon which it was set, came into question.

Iranian speedboats threatened US warships in international waters in the Straits of Hormuz. So far only one analyst — Kaveh L Afrasiabi, writing in Asia Times — has pointed out the most basic factual error in this account: there are no international waters in the Straits of Hormuz.

Let’s repeat that: there are no international waters in the Straits of Hormuz. The U.S. ships were in Iranian territorial waters exercising the “right of transit passage” afforded to them in international law by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which the United States has signed but which Congress has yet to ratify. This is why in the video of the incident, a U.S. naval officer can be heard saying, “I am engaged in transit passage in accordance with international law.”

Just one more fact about this incident conveniently left out of the public discourse in the administration's desperate longing to start another criminal, unnecessary war, damn Cheney's eyes.

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