Why might have America wanted Iran to down its drone?

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Way back in the late 1990s, it is alleged by then-serving US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, General Hugh Shelton, that he was approached by a high-ranking member of the Clinton Administration’s Cabinet with a request that he allow an American U-2 spy-plane to be shot-down over Iraq as an effective pretext for starting a war to ouster Saddam Hussein.
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General Shelton did not name the Cabinet member in question when detailing the encounter in his 2010 memoir; however, it is speculated based on various elements in the text and elsewhere that the requestor may have been then-Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.
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Anyway, that is beside the point.
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What is directly relevant here, is that a surveillance drone operating in Iranian airspace is the modern-day equivalent of the last century’s U-2 spy-flight missions. And, fortuitously, one that can be shot down by the country whom it is surveilling, without some poor American pilot having to make the ultimate sacrifice as a dangled lure-bait.
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Much has been made of the rather curious pattern of the United States often seeming to start its wars via fishy incidents involving boats – the USS Maine at the outset of the Spanish-American War, for instance, or the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin which preceded the significant upscaling of US entanglement in Vietnam.
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Yet little attention has been directed towards another comparable instance to this week’s shoot-down – namely, the downing of an American U2 spy-plane over Cuba towards the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
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While it is seriously doubtful as to whether this was an intentional occurrence on the part of the Americans the immediate reaction of then-Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Nitze, is rather telling. “They’ve fired the first shot,” he said.
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So, if you are outright trying to start a war – having the country you wish to shortly be at war with, carry out an act of armed “aggression” against a border-penetrating reconnaissance effort, can be adequately sold as your bete-noire “firing the first shot”, and thus rendering rather more rhetorically ‘legitimate’ all the ensuing ‘return’ shots from cruise-missile range that may perhaps thusly ensue.
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Marx famously opined that history seemed to repeat itself as tragedy, then as farce. The Americans appear to go the other way, from time to time – with the trumped-up attempts at sparking a war with Iraq under Clinton, that seem downright farcical with retrospect, being succeeded with actually-successful and thencely tragic whipping up of a ‘Coalition of the Willing’ to actually invade Iraq for real this time, less than a decade later under George W. Bush.
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And, because the ‘rhyme-scheme’ of History is evidently a rather regular one, we have recently seen a bit of a shift in focus from straining to have Iran declared a Weapons of Mass Destruction seeking international pariah to be tarnished and toppled as Saddam’s Iraq was by Bush and Blair … through to what looks suspiciously like an attempted actual going ahead of the late-90s sacrificial-spy-flying-lamb gambit mooted for war-starting use against Iraq, except against modern-day Iran this time.
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Given their previous predilections in these areas, I am almost surprised that the Americans did not haul a Catalina flying-boat out of a museum so as to attain the maximum faux-‘freedom’ synergy for this stunt.
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