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Thursday, July 03, 2008


Airline crimes of the (last) century

There have been a number of famous attacks on airplanes in the last 50 years: the 1976 mid-air bombing of Cubana Flight 455 (the first in the Western Hemisphere) by mercenaries hired by CIA agents Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, which took the lives of 73 people and whose perpetrators are to this day being protected by the United States, the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, attributed (emphasis on that word) to Libyan agents, which took the lives of 270 people, and the 1983 mid-air shootdown of Korean Air Flight 007 by Russian jets as the plane strayed over Russian territory, which took the lives of 269 people.

But the mid-air shootdown or bombing of a plane which took the most lives of all, as far as I can determine, took place precisely twenty years ago today, on July 3, 1988 - the murder of 290 people, including 66 children, aboard Iran Air Flight 655 by a missile fired by the USS Vincennes, whose absolutely laughable excuse was that they confused that Airbus A300 (a 177 foot long, 147 foot wide plane) with an F-14 Tomcat fighter (62 feet long, 64 feet wide). The murder was committed by an American warship which was in the Strait of Hormuz, inside Iranian territorial waters, and the plane itself was within Iranian airspace. Although they paid a measly $61.8 million in compensation for the Iranians killed, the U.S. has never taken responsibility nor apologized for their murderous act. A murder which, if committed by the Iranian navy, would surely have been the occasion for an all-out war launched by the United States.

Why do we want "U.S. Troops Out!", not just out of Iraq and Afghanistan, but everywhere they are situated around the world? Their ability to murder 290 people with impunity is just one of the many reasons.

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