Monday, December 13, 2010

“Arabian Gulf” vs. “Persian Gulf”

There has long been a controversy over the name of the gulf in the Indian Ocean between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. The Iranians call it the “Persian Gulf” and the Arabs the “Arabian Gulf.” This controversy has arisen again recently because Iran objects to the United States Navy’s referral of the body of water as the “Arabian Gulf,” as has been its historical practice.

The U.S. Navy’s referral to this body of water as the “Arabian Gulf” validates my argument that the popular name for the Liberation of Kuwait should not be called the “Persian Gulf War,” which was not its official government name. In my post, Media Errors on Afghanistan and Iraq, from May of 2009, I had mentioned more significant factors than the dispute over the name of the body of water in order to make my case: that the war was not fought primarily in or on the shores of the Gulf, unlike the Iraqi-Iranian War, and that the name “Persian Gulf War,” now often called “The First Persian Gulf War” or “Gulf War I” is less distinguishable from the subsequent Liberation of Iraq. I did not mention the name dispute because historical evidence seemed to weigh in favor of the name “Persian Gulf.” But the Naval reference to that body of water as the “Arabian Gulf” proves my point more than I had realized that the war should not be called the “Persian Gulf War” because now it is clear that calling it by that name would violate U.S. practice in favor of the Iran, the mortal enemy of the U.S., whose confidence we ought not to bolster with the honor of using their traditional name. Regardless, the Naval reference also proves that the federal government would not have called the war the “Persian Gulf War” because it would have been inconsistent with its own practice, which proves the point I made in my earlier post that this popular name for the war was made up by the media, not the U.S.

The unelected media, known for liberal bias, as well as factual and grammatical errors, has no authority to name a war. Conservatives should call the first war led by the United States against Iraq “The Liberation of Kuwait” and the second one, which was legally a continuation of the first war because of Iraqi violations of the 1991 cease-fire, “The Liberation of Iraq.” These official names more accurately explain the purposes of these wars than the popular names contrived by the liberal media.

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