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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Is it smart to do this?

If you wanted to calm tensions, why would you want to sit three naval strike groups off Iran’s coastline?

US Naval War Games Off The Iranian Coastline:
There is a massive concentration of US naval power in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Three US naval strike groups off the Iranian coastline are deployed: USS Enterprise, USS Eisenhower and USS Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group.

The naval strike groups have been assigned to fighting the "global war on terrorism."

Tehran considers the US war games to be conducted in the Persian Gulf, off the Iranian coastline as a provocation, which is intended to trigger a potential crisis and a situation of direct confrontation between US and Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf:

"Reports say the US-led naval exercises based near Bahrain will practise intercepting and searching ships carrying weapons of mass destruction and missiles.

Iran's official news agency IRNA quoted an unnamed foreign ministry official as describing the military manoeuvres as dangerous and suspicious.

The Iranian foreign ministry official said the US-led exercises were not in line with the security and stability of the region. Instead, they are aimed at fomenting crises, he said." (quoted in BBC, 23 October 2006)


At 26/10/06 5:30 pm, Anonymous Mighty Warlord Premier Bush said...

That picture gives me a hard-on.

At 27/10/06 4:39 pm, Anonymous gnadsmasher's former classmate said...

This may seem a bit round-about but bear with me.

Argentine prosecutors have just indicted and requested the extradition of former a Iranian president and other officials for ordering the bombing of the Argentine jewish association headquarters in Buenos Aires in 1994. According to the indictment, the bombing was carried about by Hezbollah operatives in concert with Argentine neo-nazis (some of them in the military). Thus Argentina, no fan of the US, has just been added to the list of countries that see Iran as (at the least) a sponsor of terrorism against people (Argentine jews) with whom Iran had no direct grievance.

Thus US military exercises off the Iranian coast using naval assets in the "war on terrorism" is not that far-fetched. But it is still a bit of an excuse...

...because the real reason is geo-strategic. The US wants to remind Iran that its situation is different than that of North Korea. Although it presents an array of military problems for the US, those problems are not insurmountable or akin to those of NK. Iran is more vulnerable on a number of levels, both internally and externaly. It has fewer close allies than the North Koreans (who have China as their patron); they are surrounded by hostile states; the Sunni Arab world hate Persians almost as much as they hate jews; and they have a fair base of internal dissent, plus ethnic and tribal irridentism along its eastern and northern borders. The Irianian regime is nowhere as hermetic as the Pyoungyang regime (e.g. KN does not have public internet access: Iran does), so its failures--and socioeconomically there are plenty--are more difficult to hide. In fact, much of the foreign policy bluster on the part of the Iranian regime is done precisely to divert attention away from various domestic problems. this can only be a temporary solution..

Thus US naval saber rattling is a neat response to recent Irianian naval exercises in which they trialed (and gloated about) new weaponry. It also reminds the Iranians that talk is cheap, but physically confronting the US will bring serious consequences and costs. After all, the US navy has not had a major part in the fights in Iraq and Afghanistan and is itching to show that they can punish somebody on their own. Iran would have to push its Army into Iraq to effectively counter US naval and naval air operations against them, which would invite the formation of a Sunni Arab/US/European coalition to repel them. Weakened on land, air and sea by th einetibale defeats that would follow, the Iranian regime then becomes ripe for overthrow by dissident elements (aided and abetted from abroad no doubt).

Of course the scenario will differ in reality but the point of the exercises is to make the Iranian high command think twice and do a reality check in light of their president's over-heated rheotoric. After all, he is not the one who is going to lead men into battle (just like Dubya, as it turns out). US military exercies are, in effect, a timely reminder of the unintended consequences of brash talk.

Incidentally, it also is a nice follow up to that mysterious plane crash of a few months ago where leading Republican Guard officers and others closely associated with Iran's nuclear weapons programme were killed. The ostensible cause was mechanical failure on the C-130 they were flying in.

Of course, the usual apologists on this thread will aver that the Iranians have no intention of producing nukes and it is all a Zionist beat up. Let's just say that the plane crash made the possibility of Iranian nuclear weapons a wee bit more remote, and served as a warning that while Iran can use Hezbollah to hurt innocents in a far off Latin country, others have the ability to reach out and touch them in an unpleasant way very close to home--without hurting innocents.

It looks like a bit of stiletto and saber to me.

Oh, one last thing. Politics makes for strange bedfellows, but have you Israel bashers checked out www.redwatch.blogspot.com? Looks like you've got some kindred spirits on the other end of the spectrum.

At 29/10/06 4:12 pm, Anonymous Dan Gresham said...

Iranians No Longer Pursued In AMIA Bombing
TEHRAN, Sept. 23--Interpol at its annual conference held in Berlin voted in favor of Iran by removing names of 12 Iranian nationals from the list of people suspected of bombing the building of Argentina-Israel Mutual Association (AMIA) on July 18, 1994.
Interpol President Jackie Selebi told BBC that Argentine Judge Juan Jose Galeano had issued arrest warrants for 12 Iranians, including former intelligence minister, Ali Fallahian, former cultural attachŽ at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Moshen Rabbani, and former education minister, Ali Akbar Parvaresh.
Galeano was removed from his post over corruption charges, including giving bribes to a witness to give false testimony at the court.
A federal court acquitted five Argentine nationals accused of taking part in the bombing of the mainly Jewish entity and ordered a retrial.
Some 85 people were killed in the AMIA blast.
Argentina has the largest Jewish population in Latin America. A total of 1,200 people have already testified in the case.

At 29/10/06 4:29 pm, Anonymous Dan Gresham said...

U.N. Inspectors Dispute Iran Report By House Panel
Paper on Nuclear Aims Called Dishonest

U.N. inspectors investigating Iran's nuclear program angrily complained to the Bush administration and to a Republican congressman yesterday about a recent House committee report on Iran's capabilities, calling parts of the document "outrageous and dishonest" and offering evidence to refute its central claims.

Officials of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency said in a letter that the report contained some "erroneous, misleading and unsubstantiated statements."

At 30/10/06 4:04 pm, Blogger bomber said...

Who said Iran isn't trying to get a nuke? If I was Iran, and had watched the CIA stage a coup to get the Shar into power, then back Saddam to attack you and then invade two countries near to you - I would want to get a nuke as well. My problem with Israel is REALLY simple - and it is that they get out of occupied land and stop brutalising the palestinian people.

You had me interested right up until you compared me to redwatch

At 30/10/06 7:53 pm, Anonymous Stan Gresham said...

Bisordi, leading judge in Israeli embassy case denounces influence of Israel and rejects car bomb theory.

22nd July, 2006.

Deputy Alfredo Bisordi, the leading judge in the investigation into the attack on the Israeli Embassy, revealed today that Israel had “a lot of influence” on the investigation and that “it wasn’t clear” to him that a car bomb had been used in the attack.

The 17 March, 1992, the day of the attacks, Bisordi was procurator, dealing with criminal matters, to the Supreme Court of Justice, whose president was Ricardo Levene, and, in this capacity, participated in the investigation until 23 December of that year. Presently, Bisordi is vice-president of the National Chamber for criminal investigation, the second highest court of the land, and the dossier on the terrorist attacks which caused 29 deaths remains unresolved: nor has it made any significant headway. In declarations to the DyN agency, the judge recalled that a few hours after the bombings “the hypothesis of the police was that explosives had been brought into the building amongst building materials, since repairs were going on at the time and the explosion had come from inside the building.” “There were various witnesses, including people inside the embassy and those who were doing the refurbishing, who had said that security controls were lax”, he said. And he added that “ there is also one important fact: the dossier shows that there was a motor bike which passed shortly before which could have activated the bombs by remote control”.

“I always thought that this could have been the most realistic hypothesis”, he stated. Subsequently, Bisordi recalled that “ at about ten o’clock that night, the head of security at the embassy, a gentleman calling himself Roni Gorni,, appeared at the police station and said that the investigation should be orientated towards the existence of a car bomb”.

“ We don’t know if that was his real name because the list of accredited diplomats provided by Israel didn’t correspond to those in the embassy.”, he indicated. Bisordi recalled that “this lead to the appearance, shortly afterwards, in the garden of a building with a high façade which backs onto the embassy, of part of a vehicle, which, it was later established, was a Ford pick up”.

The former investigator indicated that “ the discovery of this component was not formally recorded, nor was I, as official investigator, called to examine this finding, such being”, he continued: “an infraction of procedure as laid down in the Penal Code.”

For as long as I was in charge of the investigation I was never able to confirm independently the existence of a car bomb” the deputy emphasized and he said “ I don’t know why I didn’t participate in the examination of the car part , since I was available in the police station at the time.”

Furthermore, he stressed that “there was no witness who recalled seeing a van shortly before the bombings” and he intimated that “when I asked Israel to send the recordings from the 17 security cameras at the location they refused saying that they weren’t recording at the time.”[As in the Madrid bombings, the 7/7 bombings and the murder of Menezes, the security cameras weren’t working.-Ed]

Bisordi avoided answering whether he had been subject to pressures during the investigation but affirmed that “yes, there was a lot of influence...a lot of Israeli intelligence personnel were involved. I don’t know if they were Mossad, they said they were colonels and even participated in search raids”.

He regretted that “Israel always said that that they had no information and never provided any” adding that “ the FBI didn’t either; they were there at the scene, they collected evidence which they sent to Washington for analysis, but they never reported on their investigation”.

In summary, Bisordi said that” there were serious difficulties in establishing exactly what happened”, adding, pessimistically that “I don’t think we will ever know the truth about these events; the Court has registered an official truth but I don’t think it conveys anything of what really happened”.
La agencia DyN, Diarios y Noticias, es una agrupación de periódicos argentinos.


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