Well, everything is getting way out of hand and we’re not even halfway into January yet. Politicians are getting microanalysed, every sniff, every missed word, every hand movement, it all has to mean something. It’s either a secret code or they’re drunk or drugged. Maybe they’re just having a bad day or getting a cold? Nah, that’s no fun.
A photo of Suleimani’s hand, wearing a ring, has been touted as proof of his death. But wait! There is another photo showing that ring when he was alive and the setting is different! So it must be a different man’s hand!
Not one second of consideration that a man with substantial wealth might own more than one ring. The stone set in those rings is most likely Yemeni aqeeq (agate), a stone believed to have considerable beneficial properties in the Arab world. Good quality ones are not cheap but those prices wouldn’t even faze a general. I bet he had several of them.
This also means it’s not surprising that some rich celebrities have one of those ‘lucky’ rings too. Celebrities are remarkably prone to believing in superstitious nonsense and really, one of those rings is pocket change to them. Now, there might be some conspiracy linking them all or they might all just have fancied getting a lucky ring. There are many websites selling them and they are likely to be in high street jewellers too. I don’t know, I haven’t spent a lot of time in jewellery shops. They don’t sell whisky – well the one in Ellon does because the whisky shop is in a corner of the jeweller’s but I only visit that corner.
It seems that in retaliation for the American drone killing Suleimani, Iran has fired rockets into unoccupied places, killed fifty of their own people in a stampede at Suleimani’s funeral and shot down a Ukranian passenger jet leaving Tehran airport. No wonder Trump isn’t scared of them.
The rocket attack was a face-saving exercise. Iran had informed Iraq before it happened, knowing that Iraq would inform the Americans, giving them time to get out of the way. Iran does not want an escalation but they could not simply do nothing. Loss of honour in that part of the world is disastrous. So nobody below the highest levels would know about the plan, they didn’t kill any Americans (but claim they did) but their ground forces were expecting retaliation. Since no Americans died, the USA doesn’t have to respond and World War Three is postponed.
The plane seems likely to have been an accident. America (if they have any sense) will not crow about this since some years back, an American warship in the Gulf misidentified an Iranian passenger plane and shot it down. So they really can’t claim any high ground.
Conspiracy theories about the jet are already in full swing. It’s claimed that one side or the other shot it down to kill someone in particular, a mysterious someone who is really important in a mysterious something.
My own feeling is that a jumpy anti-aircraft operator, expecting a response to the missiles, simply saw a plane and pressed ‘fire’. In that situation they’d hardly be likely to call the plane for a chat to see how they’re doing. An incoming aircraft in the middle of what they think is a battle is going to get a reflex response. Remember, those ground soldiers didn’t know the Americans had been warned, and had moved away before the rockets landed. They thought they were at the beginning of a war.
It would have been sensible, of course, to advise the airport to ground all flights while there were missiles flying around. That clearly didn’t happen. Basically, all those deaths were due to a massive cock-up.
Apparently there were 63 Canadians on the flight. Oooo, suspicious! They must have been involved in the Uranium One madness and were getting out of town fast. Or maybe they worked in the oilfields, or at reactor sites, or in construction, and were just on a shift change. Maybe they simply thought things were getting a bit hairy and decided to get the hell out of the way.
Why were they going to Ukraine? Isn’t that suspicious? Well… if I was in a city that looked increasingly likely to be bombarded with the full fury of the American military, I think I’d be on the first available flight to anywhere. Getting home can wait, getting the hell out would be my priority.
So sure, you can read a lot into all the circumstances of the last few days but unless I see some solid evidence I’m going to put most of it down to bad luck, panic and ineptitude. Lots of foreign nationals leaving Tehran when there’s war brewing is not a surprise, and I’m also not going to be surprised that they might have just bought a ticket on the first flight to anywhere else. It’s what I would have done.
As I said, the airport letting that flight depart when there were missiles flying and some very tense anti-aircraft operators around was a very bad idea. Maybe they let it fly so that the important person in the important scheme thing could be killed. Maybe they just screwed up.
It was a fast-moving, very tense and confusing time and mistakes are highly likely under those conditions. Missiles flying, a harsh response expected, the airport trying to get people out of town, bad communication and panicky anti-aircraft crews…
None of it needs a conspiracy. I’m not saying there isn’t one, just that microanalysing every event in a confused and panicked situation isn’t always necessary. There could have been darker motives at work but I see no real evidence for that and we probably never will. That won’t stop the theories, of course.
Buy shares in tinfoil.