Not looking for inspiration

Everyone knows about the Iran and USA standoff, well, perhaps a reported standoff, the truth may never be known, because in situations like this both sides of a conflict are looking to gain brownie points with their people.

I’ve decided to look at this from a thriller writer’s perspective, so all or none of my thoughts are true or false.

So, Iran tried to mine and cripple oil tankers, and shot down a drone, a rather expensive drone at that.

The US wants to retaliate, but can’t prove conclusively that the Iranians are guilty of mining ships, and shooting down a drone in airspace it should not be in is hardly the reason to launch an offensive that could have catastrophic consequences.

Several things spring to mind from this doubtless misinformation on both sides:

150 innocent lives mean nothing in the greater scheme of things.  Thriller writers routinely kill off lots of people, innocent or otherwise, because the bad guys are really bad guys and couldn’t care less.  If this wasn’t the lead into another presidential election, that thought of the loss of life would not figure in any military or political thinking.

Innocent civilians in any war, real or otherwise are the last to be considered, and the first to die.

There is, of course, another more cynical perspective, one that was used in Iraq, and that’s to have human shields in places likely to attract precision bombing.  Yes, if the reports are correct, there is such a thing as pinpoint strikes using cruise missiles, though I suspect these types are now obsolete and the US arsenal has something far better.

Then there’s the possibility that whatever that replacement is it’s so new and untested in a live situation, that provoking another country might just give them a reason for doing so.  Or, a more simple explanation, the arsenal is full to overflowing and the US needs to offload some of its inventory.

Wars have been started with a lesser excuse.

Crippling oil tankers is an interesting tactic.  To me, destroying them would send a far more meaningful message to, well, whoever you like.

But, in destroying the ship, and have it sink in a place that would cause catastrophic consequences for all shipping in that region, would cause the Iranians far more problems than anyone else, which is why I suspect they didn’t, and I don’t think they will.   Like it or not they depend on the rest of the world, just as the rest of the world depends on that particular region.  Except for the US, the people they appear to be trying to antagonise simply because the US doesn’t need oil from that region.

So, not a good idea to isolate yourselves by having a complete ban on shipping to that corner of the world.  They’d have to suddenly become shipbuilders themselves, but in turn, no one would let their ships dock anywhere else in the world.

It seems to be posturing on both sides, and no doubt the propaganda machines on both sides are working overtime to convince not only their own people but the rest of the world, they are the injured party.  From what I’m reading, and I’m sure it has nothing to do with the truth, is that we are moments away from full-scale war.

And, not to throw a spanner in the works, it all depends on what the Russians will do.

The plot thickens!

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