Thursday 30th of March 2023

Is Filipino Monkey The New "Tonkin Incident" ?

 It's taken me a day to realise how bogus the "Filipino Monkey" saga truly is.  I now believe that using the story has been a "safety hatch," an trustworthy escape from a failed attempt at starting a new war. 

Vainly, I'd arrived at the connection due to my  name (the story only really came to Australia yesterday), but was far from disappointed to find that many bloggers have made the connection between Monkey and the Tonkin incident.  For those who don't know, the Gulf Of Tonkin was the location of a confrontation that was used as vindication for starting the Vietnam war, and it's now widely believed that the event was faked.

We'd better start at the battlefront.  Here's a taste from Fox News:


Already a troubling issue for Bush, Iran jumped back into the spotlight Sunday when Iranian boats harassed and provoked three American Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz. U.S. officials said Iran threatened to explode the vessels, but the incident ended peacefully.

Bush said "all options are on the table" to protect U.S. ships. He said the Iranian boats "were very provocative and it was a dangerous gesture on their part. ... And they know our position, and that is: There will be serious consequences if they attack our ships, pure and simple. And my advice to them is don't do it."


The US released a video of the incident, vision of an Irianian officer talking into a mike on a boat overlayed with the menacing words. ""I am coming to you. ... You will explode after ... minutes."

 The trouble with this graphic portrayal of Iranian hostility is that the vision and audio don't match.  Sound from a man speaking from a small open boat would be accompanied by background noise like wind and the engine, but the dialogue on the video is unhampered, as spoken from a closed room. The Pentagon, according to the Guardian, has countered  this problem by saying that it recorded the film and the sound separately and then edited them together to give a "better idea of what is happening".

 In the days following Bush's war-sermon from Jerusalem, speculation bounced around the net that the words were spoken by Filipino Monkey, and the navy admitted that it couldn't be sure the broadcast (which was heard after the event but relocated to the middle for their "better idea") came from  the speedboats, but it couldn't be sure that it didn't.


"What is your cargo? What is your cargo?" the voice of an Iranian officer crackled over the radio.

Before the ship's captain could respond, a third voice came on the air: "I am carrying machine guns and hand grenades to Iraq . . . and the atom bomb."


This exchange apparently happened  in 1987, and was printed in the Los Angeles Times.

In March of the next year, the Washington Monthly published another Monkey story



But the Tennessee drawl on warship 993 is still questioning its starboard stranger. "Who are you and what is your intention?"

There is an ominous silence. Then a high-pitched cackle fills the airwaves. "It's the Fil-i-peeno Mon-key! Who wants some Fil-i-peeno ba-NAN-a?"

Kochrekar laughs. The voice, he explains, belongs to a renegade radio hacker, code-named Filipino Monkey, who likes to break in at tense moments with obscenities and animal noises.

"It's the Mon-KEEEEE!" the voice shrieks again. "Come and get my ba-NAAAAAAN-a!"

Shippers have been trying to trace the Monkey for three years, without success. "You see, even in wartime a man can find laughter," Kochrekar says, turning off the radio.



 This bitter assessment on a Military Times blog sums up the sentiment bouncing around the net:


 "We put it in there - even though we have absolutely no idea who was speaking and even though it didn't sound like any of the other radio transmissions (which we purposely left out so that you couldn't compare it with the transmissions that we were sure were coming from the Iranian boats) so that the gullible American public would think that the Iranian Navy was threatening the USN in the Gulf of Hormuz. (Or is that the Straight of Tonkin?)".


You can't help but wonder, though,what might have happened if the media stunt had succeeded.  Bush's words from Jerusalem may have added enough to Cheney's previous  urging of Israeli first-strike on  Iraq to enable Tel Aviv to push the Red Button, after which Duyba could fulfill his promises of support in such a conflict .  As Iranian supporters retaliated against Israel, transforming the War On Terror into the War For The Holy lands, dirty bombs, not  mention a few "real" nuclear blasts, could begin to explode  in cities throughout the world. 

Perhaps this didn't happen because of the speed in which the knowledge of the Bush Administration's spin-doctoring raced around the globe.

The fall-back, on detection, to the Filipono Monkey story  now presents itself as a cover-up for a con-job.  The question that lingers in my mind, given that the Navy can't tell where the broadcast came from, is that it could have come from anywhere.  It could even have come from a US operative.

If the internet had existed at the time of the Tonkin Incident, perhaps the fallacies might have been detected in time to stop the Vietnam War.  There are a couple of other incidents, between that time and now, that have new question marks hanging over their truthfulness.