Monday, January 7, 2008

And So it Begins

When I put up this post, I figured it would draw fire. I deliberately chose to view this incident OUTSIDE of a Bush/Cheney/Neocon worldview and I wrote it as if Barack Obama/John Edwards/Hillary Clinton were President.


Because Bush/Cheney are not "forever." In about a year, we're going to have a foreign policy once again. We're going to be tested. We're going to have to think of a world where there is no Bush/Cheney to have a kneejerk reaction to.

Liberals/Progressives better wake the fuck up--we're going to be tested once the insane and criminal batch of current office holders leave office. Didn't any of you read McGovern's op-ed? Yes, they SHOULD be impeached. They likely won't be impeached.

But that doesn't change the fact that an American President is going to see our forces targeted, provoked and attacked in the future. There will be future attacks on US interests.

And if the prevailing worldview is to view things through the distortion of a Bush/Cheney worldview, we're in for a real treat. Because sometimes, sometimes, the use of American military power is justified. It is not "war mongering" and it is not "reckless" in any way, shape or form to protect the world's oil supply--

--we've been doing it in the Persian Gulf since Ronald Reagan was President, and that blue water Navy of ours gets more and more important by the day.

It's called China. And their blue water navy gets bigger every day.

So grow up, kids. Grow the fuck up. Some day soon, the grownups are going to be back in charge, and if we tie their hands, we're going to see a resurgence in the "neocon" worldview, whether we like it or not.

[A photo of the Strait of Hormuz from the Space Shuttle]

U.S. says Iranian gunboats harassed warships

By Jim Miklaszewski
NBC News

WASHINGTON - Iranian Revolutionary Guard gunboats harassed three U.S. Navy warships in the Strait of Hormuz Sunday, in what the U.S. military considers a "significant provocative act."

Military officials told NBC News that two U.S. Navy destroyers and one frigate were heading into the Persian Gulf through the international waters of the Strait of Hormuz when five armed "fast boats" of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard approached a high speed, darting in and out of the formation.

At one point a radio message from one of the Iranian boats warned, "You are going to blow up within minutes."

The Navy warships went into defensive mode, radioed the usual warnings to steer clear, and in the end no shots were fired. U.S. military warships believe the Revolutionary Guard boats were "testing our defenses," the officials said.

The United States expressed concern when the Revolutionary Guard forces took over Iranian naval operations in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz from the regular navy more than five months ago.

First of all, this is a joke, plain and simple. No "Iranian Fast Boat" should ever be allowed to approach a US Warship. I don't know what the rules of engagement were, but it's pretty simple--if a vessel approaches a US Navy vessel in open waters, and behaves in a threatening manner, then that vessel should be blown out of the water.

If you want to be taken seriously in the world, yes--you should prefer diplomacy. You should never start a war so that you can work out your "daddy issues" at the expense of 3,900+ dead Americans. But the use of military force to protect American lives is sometimes justified.

I'm not for warmongering. I'm for common sense. And the lives of the Americans on those warships are too goddamned valuable to allow some academic exercise in open waters. The example of what happened to the USS Cole is just too hard to forget. And, of course, the US Navy should have then picked up any survivors and dropped them off at the nearest port. I don't know how you survive being blown up in a fast boat, but I also don't doubt the professionalism of our Navy. It's not by accident that the Navy is running most of the military right now, and most of the "conscience" about things comes from highly trained and professional Navy officers right now. The other services have some issues they need to work on, and they would benefit from spending some time figuring out how the Navy instills the right traits in its leaders. Just sayin'.

The Iranians are not a threat per se to the existence of the United States. But when they do stupid shit, they deserve to be poked in the eye and told to back off. There is a struggle within Iran, and perhaps the lack of judgement on the part of some of their more radical elements--for example, whoever thought it would be a good idea to stage this particular stunt--should be demonstrated back to them. If person X thought it was a good idea, then person X in the Iranian leadership can sit back and explain why several sunken fast boats achieved their goals. It would make for an interesting meeting, I guess.

I commend the Navy for not removing a few Iranian fast boats from the Iranian Navy's inventory, but what is this really all about? What is really going on here?

UPDATE 1: From the Pentagon, as seen on

Pentagon says U.S. ships harassed by Iranians.

“In what is being called a serious provocation, Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats harassed and provoked three U.S. Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz,” Pentagon officials said. According to one official, “Five small [Iranian] boats were acting in a very aggressive way… and causing our ships to take evasive maneuvers.” The AP reports:

“There were no injuries but there very well could have been,” he said, adding that the Iranian boats turned away “literally at the very moment that U.S. forces were preparing to open fire” in self defense.

He said he didn’t have the precise transcript of communications that passed between the two forces, but the Iranians radioed something to the effect that “we’re coming at you and you’ll explode in a couple minutes.”

Again--no question. Had the US Navy blown these craft out of the water, I would be the first to applaud their efforts at defending themselves. Someone in the Iranian regime is clearly agitating for a confrontation, one we should not to back down from.

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