Persian Gulf Fireworks?

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Navy photo / MCS 3rd Class Kathleen L. Church

A Close-In Weapons System (CIWS, pronounced SEA-whiz) fires rounds recently from the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea, not far from Iran. The CIWS is designed to destroy incoming anti-ship missiles by firing armor-piercing tungsten penetrator rounds, or depleted uranium with discarding sabots rounds, at rates of up to 4,500 rounds per minute. Ouch.

Lede story in Wednesday’s New York Times has the U.S. military as a confident boxer, warily eyeing Iran tucked into the far corner of the ring:

The United States has quietly moved significant military reinforcements into the Persian Gulf to deter the Iranian military from any possible attempt to shut the Strait of Hormuz and to increase the number of fighter jets capable of striking deep into Iran if the standoff over its nuclear program escalates.

The story appears 24 years to the day after a U.S. warship mistakenly shot down an Iranian airliner on a regularly-scheduled flight — the USS Vincennes mistook the Airbus passenger plane for an F-14 the U.S. had sold the shah — killing all 290 aboard (h/t Chuck Spinney).

Battleland detailed in December how a battle for control of the strait might unfold.

The U.S. reinforcements come as Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran is ready to restore diplomatic relations with Egypt. “Iran’s overtures of friendship are not conducive to regional stability but do respond to overtures from [newly-elected Egyptian] President [Mohammed] Mursi,” former veteran Defense Intelligence Agency John McCreary reported on his NightWatch blog. “Egypt, in other words, took the first step.”

This is starting to get interesting.

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Flight 655 was  a regularly scheduled commercial airliner climbing at 380 knots at 12,000 feet when it was shot down by a trigger-happy Navy mustang, Captain Will Rogers III at the helm of Vincennes in Iran territorial waters.  Commander Lustig, the Vincennes air-warfare coordinator, was awarded the navy's Commendation Medal for "heroic achievement," his "ability to maintain his poise and confidence under fire," enabled him to "quickly and precisely complete the firing procedure."


The fact is captain Will Rogers deliberately fired at the Flight 655  and never mistook it as F-14. He should have been declared as a War Criminal.


 Checked with the passengers list of ill fated 655, Not a single American. What it says?


 To the poster “Don_Bacon”

(“Battleland” placed no “Reply” button under your last answer to me, maybe to keep threads deliberately short, so I'll just continue our conversation with this new post)

You wrote: “Iran builds its own weapons, a self-dependency Iran learned the hard way when US-supported Iraq shut off its repair parts during the Iraq-Iran war.”

Unfortunately the homegrown Iranian missile program demonstrated that Iran could not rely on RUSSIA as a preferred strategic supplier, partner, leader and protector either, no matter how much subservientness Iran was willing to show in return! Maybe nobody can, maybe Ru$$ians are simply too duplicitous, too LOWLY to be relied upon in times of need: Do you still remember how the Russians suddenly refused to deliver the FULLY PRE-PAID S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, only to bow to U.S. and/or to djoow pressure ( = most probably only to imburse an additional fistful of dollars) ? What an EPIC lack of sense of geostrategy and of opportunity that was...! Blatant fatherland treason.

(Hyper-Power China is even more obtuse in relation to alliances – ask ALL its regional neighbours except North Korea about it. Is there ANY non-aligned nation out there that can really expect any fair play, selflessness and loyalty from China, like for example ex-West-Germany could from the U.S.A. during the Berlin Blockade? Asians...)

But apart from Russia's tragically squandered opportunities to expand its influence abroad, to become respected among the civilized peoples, to become a beacon of light in this Long American Night: Did you notice the instantly tempering effect of that one, short, superbly (and completely radar-less!) aimed Russian Flak burst on N.A.T.O.'s recent provocations against Syria?

And how confident can the U.S.A. really be that it wasn't indeed Iran that detected and downed the “Sentinel” stealth drone on the 4.12.2011 exclusively with native technology?

Now compute the possible success of any military U.S. adventures against Iran, should Russia decide to live up to its legal compromises and deliver all S-300s in useful time. Or S-400s.

1) Game-changing S-300s on Iranian soil = no U.S. carrier plane viable in Iranian skies.

2) No action for U.S. carrier aircraft possible = U.S. aircraft carriers go project power somewhere else.

3) (I had to laugh)

4) No naval aviation = no unprotected U.S. Navy chugging around the Persian Gulf.

5) No U.S. Navy in the Gulf = no attack against Iran (at best – a long Iranian Gulf blockade + a collapsing World Economy at worst. So what).

6) No attack against Iran = the Iranian nuke arrives serenely.

7) The Iranian nuke exists = “israel” instantly ceased to exist.

8) No “israel” = all of Mankind's problems solved! Paradise is on Earth. Thanks only to Russian S-300 in Iranian hands, yep.

Therefore, whatever “successes” any hypothetical, short U.S. air strike or prolongued air campaign against Iran might have (preferably before Iran's first nuke), even their MERE THREAT will never be more than a most gracious, political CONCESSION FROM RUSSIA (because of its arbitrary breach of the S-300 deal), and hence a proof of the U.S. Armed Forces' dependence on ongoing RUSSIAN GOODWILL , as well as a proof of its own pathetic, technological inadequacy and even of the RIDICULE of its persisting “Super-Power status”.

Just like the U.S.A.'s vitally needed permission from Russia (from R-U-S-S-I-A , of all countries!!!) to allow the bulk of N.A.T.O.'s logistics to travel freely across Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan into colonized Afghanistan, too, and to please pleeease also stay out of that conflict, inconvenient historical precedents notwithstanding... And simultaneously to ferry all U.S. astronauts into Space and back in cheap, safe, Soviet-era launchers, while maybe coming up in the indeterminate future with some indigenous solution for spaceflight, etc., etc., etc. ...

Old saying: “A good conscience is just the flip side of a bad memory.” And in my opinion the U.S. brass seems quite Gung-ho lately.


Lest we forget one brave officer.

Admiral William “Fox” Fallon, the dismissed Centcom  commander, was ousted for dissenting from the Bush administration’s bellicose posture toward Iran. Admiral  Fallon warned that constant talk of bombing Iran is not helpful. “This constant drumbeat of conflict is what strikes me which is not helpful and not useful,” he said. “I expect that there will be no war and that is what we ought to be working for,” said Fallon. “It is not a good idea to be in a state of war. We ought to try and to do our utmost to create different conditions.”


Text excerpts: “The U.S. reinforcements come as Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Iran is ready to restore diplomatic relations with Egypt. (…) 'Egypt, in other words, took the first step.' ”

Sooo, let me guess: Next on the U.S. admirals' suicidal minds is trapping all their remaining carriers deep inside the shallow Suez Canal and the adjacent, narrow Red Sea, to “defend” both entrances and “to protect strategic ship lanes”, yada yada.

It's gonna be such a massacre... (no: TWO massacres!)


 Right - one can even postulate that there's no cause for alarm until the US pulls all its ships OUT of the Gulf, because until then they're all like ducks on a pond, easy targets for cruise missiles launched from a myriad of locations including fast-moving small boats.

Aircraft carriers especially. They served a purpose on the open seas when their aircraft could attack the previously-invincible battleships, but now they have been obsoleted by missile technology employed from smaller ships and boats, or land-based. A carrier with 5,000+ struck by a salvo of cruise missiles would not be a pretty sight, admirals' bravado notwithstanding.

And smart mines. Iran has many of those, too, and the US Navy has neglected its anti-mine capabilities.


 In short: A growing fleet of over-sized, nuclear-powered vessels that are always visible from behind the horizon against swarms of small, sea-skimming, fast vessels and ammunitions.

Or, even shorter: Sea control versus sea denial.

Or, shortest of all: An asymmetrical fight.

Carried out in one of the most confined saltwater bodies in the World with an average depth of 50 metres (the Persian Gulf. Don't run aground with that SSN) and where the enemy even controls the only, narrow exit.

And two rival nuclear powers supplying all the necessary state-of-the-art anti-ship missiles to have some proxy reduce their own navies' workload.

Gosh, you U.S. Americans must really LOVE “israel” !


 Right again, with one correction. Iran builds its own weapons, a self-dependency Iran learned the hard way when US-supported Iraq shut off its repair parts during the Iraq-Iran war. 


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