January 14, 2016

"Iran humiliated the United States with the capture of our 10 sailors. Horrible pictures & images. We are weak. I will NOT forget!"

You don't need to have the speaker identified. The style is unmistakable.

95 comments:

Humperdink said...

Right on the button.

whitney said...

Such a distinctive speaking style. I knew immediately.
A while back, Ace of Spades had a "Talk like Trump" comment thread. It was absolutely hilarious

Hagar said...

It is not just the United States, but directly sticking a personal thumb in Mr. Obama's eye. So much for gratitude!

The military forces of unfriendly nations have "incidents" all the time, but they do not make each other do the POW thing with hands clasped behind the neck unless they are actually at war - or if they do, they do not publish photos of it. This was a very intentional provocation.

And then Biden and Kerry made it worse.

tim in vermont said...

Doesn't the Geneva Convention forbid parading around prisoners? Who expects Iran to abide by agreements?

tim maguire said...

This is one of those interesting moments in U.S. politics.

Liberal sites I'm looking at are full of people grateful for Obama and Kerry, the adults in the room, who got us out of this mess without war. What wonderful evidence of our warming relations with Iran that it played out so amicably! They are aghast at the thought of a Republican in charge who, they are certain, would have carpet bombed Iran and started WW III.

Conservative sites are citing the Geneva Convention, as though it applied in non-war situations, irate at the treatment of the sailors without any real assessment of what standard protocols are in this situation. Was the U.S. in Iranian waters? What is Iran's appropriate response if we were?

Not so vary long ago, China knocked a U.S. plane out of the sky, took the crew hostage, and ultimately returned that plane in little boxes (as we have done in the past with Russian planes).

Iran may not have reacted the way Britain would have, but did they act badly? So far, I haven't seen any evidence that they did. That's just the way it goes in gunboat diplomacy.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Amen Humperdink

Best comment I have seen "Two Navy warships were captured by a couple of bass boats" captioning a picture of the US and Iranian boats side by side.

These boats were unarmed and unescorted in hostile or potentially hostile waters. They were also undermanned with 5 persons each.

they did have some machine guns but apparently no ammunition, so unarmed. See Cdr Salamanders analysis here http://blog.usni.org/2016/01/13/the-strategic-everyone also see the comments for more.

Why did our sailors kneel? They should have been trained to sit, regardless of what the captors commanded.

Why did the woman submit to a headscarf? She does not look happy about it but she does have it on. One more reason for no women on combat ships.

Why did the Navy boat break down? Has it been getting adequate maintenance?

Why could the other boat not tow the broken down one?

Why were they there unescorted? We have plenty of warships in the area. One could have been keeping an eye on things with the mission of rapid assistance if needed. Helicopter, for instance.

It is embarrassing enough to be captured by Iranians but it could have been worse. It could have been pirates.

The response from the Navy both local commands and civilian chain of command all the way up to Commander in Chief was shameful.

We apparently did not get back all of the boats. The Iranians kept with the GPS system and may have kept the radio/encryption systems.

Biden and Kerrey's responses in particular were shameful. They should both resign over this but they won't. Biden actually thanked the Iranians for taking the sailors and boats into custody. Just helping out, he called it.

The weather was fine, our guys could call for help with the broken boat. They could have towed the broken boat. If the Iranians wanted to be helpful, they would have just hung about to offer assistance if needed. Boarding under arms is not offering assistance and is not something the VP should be thankful for.

Trump is right. This is a huge deal.

John Henry

Tregonsee said...

The late Allen Drury had two endings to the series started by Advise and Consent. The dividing point was who was elected, with the kind of stark difference in candidates of the real 2008 (or 1980) election. The happy ending was ironically called Promise of Joy; the tragic ending, Come Nineveh, Come Tyre. Given it was written at the depth of the Cold War, it is dated, but getting less so with the resurgence of Russia. There is little to distinguish Obama from CN,CT's Edward M. Jason (Kennedy).

traditionalguy said...

Give em hell, Donald. They are used to having their way with their pet Dhimmi Obama's Navy that has been under orders to surrender and not fight back. That is about to end.

garage mahal said...

The grade school-level taunts gave it away.

Big Mike said...

Why were they there unescorted? We have plenty of warships in the area. One could have been keeping an eye on things with the mission of rapid assistance if needed. Helicopter, for instance.

@PuertoRicoSpaceport, the answer is very simple. The US Navy has forgotten (if they ever learned) the lessons of the Pueblo.

mccullough said...

We shouldn't blow this stuff out of proportion. Let's just send the mullahs each a copy of the Satanic Verses. Our response should always be proportional

Triangle Man said...

Harrible, nor horrible. He said "harrible", which we all know is worse than horrible.

Hagar said...

I think the crew were following orders by the local command, however far up the military chain of command might go, regardless of what the official Hollywood version of U.S. policy might be, and their orders were that in case of an "incident," just do what you are told and don't make waves.

All we know so far is the pictures, so let us wait a little, and eventually it will leak out what really happened. Did the engines on both boats fail, did they drift into Iranian waters, were they actually across the international boundary, or is Iran claiming a different boundary, etc., etc.

Michael McClain said...

I feel like I'm watching re-runs of the Pueblo and Mayaguez incidents. I trust our LibCong masters are pleased with the damage they have wrought to our international security.

chickelit said...

Trump's words and manner of speaking harken back to earlier times in American politics. I'm half-reminded of FDR and half-reminded of William "Bull" Halsey, Jr.

Where is Chuck, the resident Trump-scold, to pooh-pooh all this rehash of Jimmy Carter?

David Begley said...

But we will cut the check to Iran for $100b on Friday or Monday.

Curious George said...

It is sure as shit not our Pussy in Chief Obama.

garage mahal said...

Cons are intimidated by childish taunting so they think everyone else is too.

The Drill SGT said...

No excuse on the part of the Navy.

1. should have towed the boat off the shore
2. their HQ should have scrambled support
3. all our ships should be armed
4. the crypto gear should have gone over the side
5. all those small boats, I assume are commanded by Ensigns and NCOs. They should have clear written orders for these eventualities

damikesc said...

Conservative sites are citing the Geneva Convention, as though it applied in non-war situations, irate at the treatment of the sailors without any real assessment of what standard protocols are in this situation. Was the U.S. in Iranian waters? What is Iran's appropriate response if we were?

That Iran kept the GPS equipment from the boats (and the US, of course, didn't mind) tells me that, no, they were not in Iranian waters.

WisRich said...

garage mahal said...
Cons are intimidated by childish taunting so they think everyone else is too.

1/14/16, 8:52 AM


If you could manage an ounce of critical thinking, you would understand why this "taunting" and humiliation by the Iranians put's the lives of American service men and women in addition to American civilians at an increased risk.

When the message of "Mess with the bull and you'll get the horns" turns into "mess with the bull and you'll get a thank you letter from the SOS" guess what? You'll get more people messing with the Bull"

This is not a hard concept. Oh, and how do you think Iran will act after it gets $50B and a few nukes compliments of Obama?

John said...

Pussycat, George, pussycat.

If you do not spell it out some folks think you are talking about ladyparts.

John Henry

John said...

Drill Sgt,

The US Navy does not put Army NCOs in charge of it's boats. It is likely under the command of a chief petty officer (E-7). Or at least a petty officer (E4-6)

I would be surprised if it were an ensign. Generally they are so green that they can't find their ass with both hands. Unless there was a chief along to tell the ensign what to do.

John Henry

Hagar said...

The international border in the Persian Gulf has been very precisely established since it is a narrow body of water and contested by so many not very friendly states plus being very important to international shipping.
However, the modern Iran insists that it is called the Persian Gulf for a reason, and it is eally all theirs.

Regardless of that however, the treatment of our sailors is a sufficient casus belli by historical precedent, and an extremely serious act by the Iranian Government.

jaydub said...

Even though I had 5 sea commands as well as command of a number of task groups/units/elements, and even though I operated in the Persian Gulf in time of war and peace, I still can't acertain from the information available exactly what happened to these patrol craft or why. Neither can anyone else commenting here. Some of those arm chair surface warriors would be well advised to keep their opinions to themselves until the facts come out. As Mark Twain once said, "It's better to remain quiet and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt." I think that's pretty good advice for everyone except, maybe, Mr Trump.

Jason said...

Nobody puts Navy in a corner.

Hagar said...

Some reports say the young sailor was a lieutenant (OF-1 or 2), and that may be so. These "Riverine boats" are not that different from "Swift boats," and this was in a high hazard area.

garage mahal said...

The nuclear armed warships that are off the coast if Iran don't scare them. We need a reality game show host to talk tough. That'll do it.

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...
Cons are intimidated by childish taunting..."

Could you provide some examples of this please?

The Drill SGT said...

John Henry

I understand the concept of a CPO, my father was a Bosun on a jeep carrier in the Atlantic.

however, I thought that the term NCO, which I thought was applicable in a generic sense to the Navy would be easier for folks to understand.

virgil xenophon said...

Most of the commenters above have pretty much covered the waterfront as to the questions to be asked, except what were the ROEs (Rules of Engagement) at the time? Looks like those two boats had the Iranian "bass boats" (LOL) outgunned. Were the USN craft making the transit without ammunition? Has happened before. SICKENING. For those who want to get a taste of the seething outrage of both active duty and retired Naval officers and enlisted (and the comments dripping with sarcasm about our PC Navy leadership) hie yourself over to "CDR Salamanders" blog and enjoy the sarc (and/or be appalled about the sorry readiness state/combat capabilities of our "green" PC Navy)

John said...

Drill Sgt,

I assumed you knew the difference. I was jes' funning you.

John Henry

machine said...

Keyboard commandos, engage!

holdfast said...

Since the Iranians kept the GPS units, I guess we won't know where they were.

exhelodrvr1 said...

They were likely under orders not to react in this type of situation. If that is the case, they should have never been put in this situation.

Very similar to the apologies when we overflew the Spratley Islands recently.

We're going to be paying for this with the lives of our military, and civilians, for a long time.

virgil xenophon said...

PS: One commentator over at CDR SALs asked sarcastically: "where were our Frigates that usually protect smaller craft? Wait....we retired all our Frigates didn't we?"

I should add that many of those hulls had YEARS of useful life with effective wpns with room to upgrade them but all was done to save cost of salaries, pensions and medical expenses--military effectiveness be damned. All to pour money into a gold-plated all -hings-to-all-people joint services fighter that STILL doesn't work (F-35 Lightning II)

Hagar said...

When George Washington was in command during an "incident" with French forces in the Western Wilderness in 1752, the British government immediately disavowed it as just an unfortunate accident due to an inexperienced and bumptious young colonel of the Virginis militia and by no means represented British policy, France still used this incident as the casus belli to declare war on Great Britain in 1754.
This was "The Seven Years War," known as "The French and Indian War" in America, but actually was the first world war, fought on 3 continents and the seven seas.
France lost and England won India and Canada.

Static Ping said...

tim mcguire, it is quite obvious that this was an intentional provocation, one in a series of recent intentional provocations, designed to make Iran look like the "strong horse" and the United States as the "weak horse." While these sort of posturing is important in world diplomacy, it is especially important in Middle Eastern diplomacy. Iran is obviously showing their neighbors that the United States will do absolutely nothing to stop Iran no matter what Iran does.

What makes this much worse is Kerry's response and Biden's response were so ridiculous - beyond parody - that it makes it clear that the United States is the "weak horse." If the boats were truly violating Iranian waters, no self-respecting American representative would respond this way. Heck, if these boats had been involved in a commando operation against Iran and were caught red-handed and the US was totally in the wrong, no self-respecting American representative would respond this way. If you have noticed, the Iranian response and the American response have very little in common. This is the sort of thing a weak country does when bullied by a major power it has no chance of resisting and is stalling for time. Frankly, this is the sort of statements you hear from brainwashed people in movies. It appears that this administration is utterly and completely desperate for this Iran agreement to work out that they will tolerate anything and are willing to humiliate themselves to boot.

I have never been a fan of this administration, obviously, but at least I could understand the reasons why they do various things that I disagree with. (Some of it is petty, mind you, but I still understand it.) This I do not understand. What the hell is going on?

Humperdink said...

To me, this is just an extension of the Bergdahl swap. Another embarrassment spun as a victory by the administration. The bad guys know the backbone of Obama, such as it is.

I wonder what would have happened had 4 F/A 18's buzzed the the boats.

What about the remaining American prisoners held by JFKerry's buddies?

Robert Cook said...

"Doesn't the Geneva Convention forbid parading around prisoners? Who expects Iran to abide by agreements?"

Hey, if American doesn't abide by the Geneva Conventions, how can we criticize others who don't?

AllenS said...

Time for 0bama to draw a line in the water. That's about all he knows.

machine said...
Keyboard commandos, engage!

Quite a few of us have served. You? I doubt it.

Robert Cook said...

"...it is quite obvious that this was an intentional provocation, one in a series of recent intentional provocations...."

I agree. I mean, who really believes American military vessels just "accidentally drifted" into Iranian territorial waters? It's like saying America just "accidentally eavesdropped" on Angela Merkel's private communications--and her ministers' private communications--for years. Or, it's like saying America just "accidentally" helped overthrow the democratically elected government in Ukraine...or that America invaded Iraq in self-defense against imminent military attack on America by Iraq, or that the attack on Iraq was based on "erroneous" intel. Who could believe such obvious ludicrousies?

David Begley said...

@Robert Cook

Don't have to follow the Geneva Convention for unlawful enemy combatants.

Our people had uniforms on but apparently no ammo.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Static ping,
"What the hell is going on?"

Intentionally weakening America's position abroad. That is the only explanation that matches the actions of the past seven years.

Robert Cook said...

"If the boats were truly violating Iranian waters, no self-respecting American representative would respond this way. Heck, if these boats had been involved in a commando operation against Iran and were caught red-handed and the US was totally in the wrong, no self-respecting American representative would respond this way."

What way is that? How would a "self-respecting American representative" respond if American military vessels violated Iranian waters or were involved in a commando operation against Iran and America was caught red-handed and was totally in the wrong? Do you imagine we would respond with anything other than denials?

John said...

Virgil,

A bit off topic but what the Hell is a Frigate these days.

Frigates used to be between Destroyers and cruisers, about 8-9,000 tons like the USS Truxton. Then Truxton became a Cruiser.

Then destroyer escorts, little bitty things about 1,300 tons (though they grew to about 3,000) were reclassified as frigates.

I read articles on what a frigate is and what it is supposed to do and the more I read the more confused I get.

And don't get me started on ship naming conventions since the 80s or so!!!

(Just feeling grouchy about the whole modern Navy today)

Wooden ships and iron men! That's what we need.

John Henry

exhelodrvr1 said...

RObert Cook,
"I agree. I mean, who really believes American military vessels just "accidentally drifted" into Iranian territorial waters?"

That can easily happen to ships if there are mechanical problems. The question is how we react. And this reaction by us encourages Iran, et al, to repeat their behavior. Probably at an increased level next time.

cubanbob said...

What is it with Democrats and their constant self-abasement to the Iranians? First Carter and Vance and now Obama and Kerry.

And along comes Machine and the keyboard apologists for The Worst President Ever.

John said...

Virgil,

Also don't forget the littoral support ship or whatever it is called. Pretty much useless for anything but costing bundles of billion dollar bills.

See Commander S for some good rants on it.

Maybe they can figure out some way to land the F-35 on one.

John Henry

rightguy2 said...

Now they know for a fact that we don't have ammunition in our warships' guns, that we will surrender at the slightest hint of provocation, and our leaders will grovel and say anything the jihadi leaders tell them to say; that's our ROE. So I guess their curiosity is satisfied and the Iranians will leave it at that?

If our government were actually pro-Islamist, how would they have handled this incident differently?

cubanbob said...

Back in the day when the US actually had a President the Iranians tried some crap with some oil platforms and the US Navy essentially sunk the entire Iranian navy in one day. The Iranian's backed down for a while. We sure can use a man like Ronald Reagan again.

coupe said...

I don't understand why they were in the Gulf with a river boat anyway.

Probably ran out of gas.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

The videos clearly show belts of M-2 ammunition and small arms weapons and magazines, which is all these boats carry.

Another report says these "Riverine" boats are Swedish and designed around Swedish needs in the Baltic Sea.
In the tropics they their engines tend to overheat and break down.

n.n said...

The weakness was demonstrated along time ago when the terrorists defeated the combined forces of The United States of America, Germany, etc., necessitating the mass uprooting of millions of native peoples, which progressed to a global humanitarian disaster under the anti-native proponents' direction. Fortunately, the female chauvinists' effort to normalize selective-child policy under the quasi-religious pro-choice doctrine have controlled the native population in first-word nations, which creates an opportunity for displacement and replacement of Dodo Dynasties in liberal societies.

The capture of American sailors, and presumably technological prizes (a la bin Laden experimental helicopter trade), is just the latest confirmation of an unfit civilization lead by anti-native special interests.

Static Ping said...

Robert Cook: Have you read Kerry's response and Biden's response? "Thank you, may I have another" is not a proper diplomatic response to anything, including acts of war, unless you are completely cowed. Their responses were what a comedian would use as an example of something utterly ridiculous. "F*** YOU!" would have been a better response. (No, that would not have been an appropriate response. It's that bad.)

John: Frigates... yes, I cannot keep the current naval classifications straight, not that I was ever a military man anyway. I did play one in video games. Assuming those games were as realistic as they claimed, something that qualified as a frigate in the 1980s would be quite useful in the Persian Gulf. It would be able to repel or destroy any naval vessel deployed by the local powers (no one there can afford anything bigger than a frigate or an old submarine), would be capable of dealing with aircraft assaults about as well as any vessel, and could handle a variety of missions. You wouldn't want a fleet of frigates to take on the main Soviet fleet, but they would certainly be useful as an escort of ships or all sizes.

jaydub said...

Boy was Mark Twain right on the money!!

Hagar said...

@Robert Cook,
The U.S. does observe the parts of the Geneva Conventions ratified as treaties by the U.S. Senate and thus have become part of United States law.
Other parts will generally be observed to avoid unnecessary problems in peacetime, if not in an all-out war.

John said...

Blogger Hagar said...

The videos clearly show belts of M-2 ammunition and small arms weapons and magazines, which is all these boats carry.


But the links are rusty and the cartridges are severely tarnished (According to CDR S's view of the video). Had they tried to actually fire the gun, it would have jammed on the first or second shot.

John Henry

eric said...

This must be making our allies in the area, like Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq more and more willing to work with us when it comes to Iran.

I mean, who wouldn't want such mealy mouthed, pathetic, wimps, such as Kerry, Biden and Obama to call friend in such dangerous situations?

We can't get rid of these losers fast enough.

cubanbob said...

I find it hard to believe that two boats suffered engine failure and drifted into Iranian waters. I'm sure the Navy issues GPS units to its boats and the sailors are sufficiently able to use these devices to stay out of hostile waters. And that one boat could have towed the other. Something is really stinky here.

damikesc said...

The nuclear armed warships that are off the coast if Iran don't scare them. We need a reality game show host to talk tough. That'll do it.

When the US was your de facto ally in the negotiations and is working hard to ignore everything you're doing to cause problems...yeah, they aren't going to take you seriously.

Hitler's generals were TERRIFIED that France would use their army and obliterate the Germans during the Sudeten crisis. And the Czechoslovakia takeover. But Hitler knew that the leadership of France and the UK lacked any heart to do anything. So he did it anyways...even though they could've wiped him out, with minimal effort, in about a week.

I find it amusing that the Left wants the government to obliterate the militia men in Oregon, but be nice and gentle with Iranians. And they wonder why people suspect they aren't fond of the US...

Hey, if American doesn't abide by the Geneva Conventions, how can we criticize others who don't?

We do. Towards parties who abide by them. The Conventions are a two-way street.

It's like saying America just "accidentally eavesdropped" on Angela Merkel's private communications--and her ministers' private communications--for years.

...which Merkel ALSO did to the US, mind you.

What way is that? How would a "self-respecting American representative" respond if American military vessels violated Iranian waters or were involved in a commando operation against Iran and America was caught red-handed and was totally in the wrong?

Parading them around in propaganda photos is unlikely to have occurred.

damikesc said...

I find it hard to believe that two boats suffered engine failure and drifted into Iranian waters. I'm sure the Navy issues GPS units to its boats and the sailors are sufficiently able to use these devices to stay out of hostile waters. And that one boat could have towed the other. Something is really stinky here.

We could check...if Iran didn't keep the GPS equipment.

Which they did.

We could've demanded it back to verify their claims.

Which we didn't.

If Obama and Kerry were trying to help Iran and harm the US, how would our foreign policy change?

Hagar said...

What way is that? How would a "self-respecting American representative" respond if American military vessels violated Iranian waters or were involved in a commando operation against Iran and America was caught red-handed and was totally in the wrong?

Well, that is pretty much what happened with the Bay of Pigs operation.
I think JFK apologized to the American people, but I do not remember him apologizing to the Castro brothers. That had to wait for Obama and Kerry.

Robert Cook said...

"I think JFK apologized to the American people, but I do not remember him apologizing to the Castro brothers. That had to wait for Obama and Kerry."

Don't you think he should have apologized to the Castro Brothers? Don't you think he should have been impeached?

Hagar said...

No.

Hagar said...

Nor Thomas Jefferson for attacking the Barbary pirates.

jaydub said...

http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/2016/01/13/iran-releases-us-sailors-held-18-hours/78716802/

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quaestor said...

Robert Cook wrote: [Who] really believes American military vessels just "accidentally drifted" into Iranian territorial waters?

What the fuck do you know about currents and tides in the Persian Gulf? What the fuck do you know about the local weather conditions? What the fuck do you know about marine engineering and hydrodynamics? What the fuck do you know about anything?

Robert Cook said...

@Quaestor:

What do you know about the reasons American military vessels were intruding into Iranian waters?

J. Farmer said...

This is just the kind of minor, nothing of an incident that gets blown out of proportion by people whose job it is to be outraged by thing. Fretting over such nonsense is only revelatory of insecurity as a great power. A confident great power would give the incident the attention it deserves: which is to blow it off and forget about it.

J. Farmer said...

@n.n.

"The capture of American sailors, and presumably technological prizes (a la bin Laden experimental helicopter trade), is just the latest confirmation of an unfit civilization lead by anti-native special interests."

And the prize for the most hysterically overwrought overreaction goes to...

Hagar said...

The "on your knees and hands behind your neck" and then publishing the pictures and videos, is not "minor."

J. Farmer said...

@Hagar:

"The "on your knees and hands behind your neck" and then publishing the pictures and videos, is not 'minor.'"

It's a minor slap to the face of the US and a small propaganda victory for the regime. Nothing significant, and nothing to make a big deal out of it. This actually could have turned into a protracted affair a la the incident with the British soldiers a few years back. This was resolved quickly and with little hassle. The US is a gigantic global superpower, while Iran is a weak state. Some thoughtful perspective is warranted.

Static Ping said...

J. Farmer said...
This is just the kind of minor, nothing of an incident that gets blown out of proportion by people whose job it is to be outraged by thing. Fretting over such nonsense is only revelatory of insecurity as a great power. A confident great power would give the incident the attention it deserves: which is to blow it off and forget about it.


It should be a minor incident. Unfortunately, it is not because it is part of a larger pattern of Iranian provocations, despite (or perhaps because) a very generous (and undeserved) diplomatic deal they just received, which given these provocations they apparently have zero interest in actually abiding. The concept of Iran having a nuclear bomb is a massive deal because they are one of the few powers crazy enough to use it, and it will motivate local powers, many of them not especially stable, to get their own. It is outrageous that Iran is intentionally showing itself to be a bad actor, and yet our administration insists this political deal must go forward at, apparently, all costs.

There is no such thing as a great power that is not insecure about nuclear weapons, unless we have developed a system to render them harmless that I am unaware.

J. Farmer said...

@Static Ping:

"Unfortunately, it is not because it is part of a larger pattern of Iranian provocations, despite (or perhaps because) a very generous (and undeserved) diplomatic deal they just received, which given these provocations they apparently have zero interest in actually abiding."

The deal was very generous. To our side. It is one of the rare foreign policy victories of the Obama administration. It places restrictions on Iran beyond what its permitted even under the non-proliferation treaty. The US gave up practically nothing in return, save lifting of sanctions (i.e. a return to normal state of affairs). Even the so called "windfall" Iran receives from the unfreezing of assets will make no significant differnce to the regional balance of power. Iran's military remains massively outspent and outclassed by the Gulf Arab states.

"The concept of Iran having a nuclear bomb is a massive deal because they are one of the few powers crazy enough to use it, and it will motivate local powers, many of them not especially stable, to get their own."

The notion that the Iranian regime is irrational and suicidal enough to detonate a nuclear bomb is a total myth. What's the evidence? What historical evidence we do have suggests just the opposite. Iran was attacked by Iraq for eight years in one of the most destructive wars of the 20th century. The regime never used weapons of massive destructive. Even after being attacked with chemical weapons by Iraq, Iran did not respond with their own WMDs.

"It is outrageous that Iran is intentionally showing itself to be a bad actor, and yet our administration insists this political deal must go forward at, apparently, all costs."

The vessels were intercepted within Iranian territorial waters. The Iranians had the right to stop and detain those vessels, period. Was the video released as a snub to the US and as propaganda for the regime, yes. But in the terms of geopolitics, it's not even a blip on the radar.

"There is no such thing as a great power that is not insecure about nuclear weapons, unless we have developed a system to render them harmless that I am unaware."

It is the opinion of US and Israeli intelligence that Iran is not trying to build a bomb. The conditions under the deal significantly restrict their ability to build a bomb.

Static Ping said...

J. Farmer: If that is your opinion on the matter, then there is nothing further to discuss as our assumptions are so contradictory that no common ground could ever be found.

Jeff Teal said...

Is J Farmer an Iranian agent or just a stooge?

Rusty said...

The deal was very generous. To our side. It is one of the rare foreign policy victories of the Obama administration. It places restrictions on Iran beyond what its permitted even under the non-proliferation treaty.

Uh huh. Sure. So far. What have we got?

damikesc said...

What do you know about the reasons American military vessels were intruding into Iranian waters?

Given that Iran has a habit of claiming that the entire Persian Gulf is theirs (it isn't), do you have any evidence that they actually WERE in Iranian waters?

Hagar said...

@ J. Farmer,
Iran is more than 4 times as large as Germany in area, has more natural resources, is about equal in population, is allied with Russia, which has lots of nuclear weapons of any variety, and is bent on conquering the former Ottoman empire once and for all, which necessarily includes "wiping Israel off the map," so I think there is ample cause for alarm.
Especially, since the mullahs and their generals must figure that the next U.S. administration, whoever becomes president, will be a lot less complaisant about these matters than Obama's.

Jason said...

Here are the frigates I can identify that have been decommissioned by the Obama Administration:

USS MCINERNEY - Decommissioned August 2010. USS BOONE - Decommissioned February 2012. USS STEPHEN W. GROVES - Decommissioned February 2012. USS JOHN L. HALL - Decommissioned March 2012. USS JARRETT - Decommissioned April 2011. USS UNDERWOOD - Decommissioned February 2013. USS CROMMELIN - Decommissioned October 2012. USS CURTS - Decommissioned February 2013. USS DOYLE - Decommissioned July 2011. USS HALYBURTON - Decommissioned September 2014. USS MCCLUSKEY - Decommissioned January 2015. USS KLACKRING - Decommissioned March 2013. USS THACH - Decommissioned November 2013. USS DE WERT - Decommissioned April 2014. USS RENTZ - Decommissioned 23 May 2014. USS VANDEGRIFT - Decommissioned 19 February 2015. USS ROBERT G. BRADLEY - Decommissioned March 2014. USS Taylor - Decommissioned May 2015. USS GARY - July 2015. USS CARR - Decommissioned March 2013. USS HAWES - Decommissioned December 2010. USS FORD - Decommissioned October 2013. USS ELROD - Decommissioned January 2015. USS SIMPSON - Decommissioned September 2015. USS REUBEN JAMES - Decommissioned July 2013. USS SAMUEL ROBERTS - Decommissioned May 2015. USS KAUFFMAN - Decommissioned September 2015. USS RODNEY M. DAVIS - Decommissioned January 2015. USS INGRAHAM - Decommissioned January 2014.

Just Wikipedia stuff, but broadly confirmed by the Navy Times: http://archive.navytimes.com/article/20140702/NEWS04/307020082/Decommissioning-plan-pulls-all-frigates-from-fleet-by-end-FY-15



John said...

Sort of related and it began before Obama. Maybe even during Clinton. A story in Drudge:

So far, the Navy has spent almost $2.4 million strengthening the bow of the first four vessels delivered since late 2012.

Repair costs include $511,000 on the initial vessel, the USNS Spearhead, which was damaged during deployment by waves slamming into the superstructure, according to test data cited by Gilmore and the Military Sealift Command.


The Navy used to have hundreds of auxiliary ships. AKAs, AO's AE's and others. (I served on USS Great Sitkin AE-17). All of these would routinely, sometimes 5-6 times a day, pull up alongside another ship, send lines over and transfer food, oil, stores, ammunition and whatever between ships moving along at 15 knots or so. We did it night and day in all kinds of weather, sometimes with Russian trawlers playing chicken with us. A very dangerous and un-natural act.

APAs carried troops and landing craft. They would get close in on an assault landing, put the boats over and ferry the troops in.

These were commissioned ships of the USN, crewed by USN sailors.

The USNS ships are owned by the Navy but crewed by civilians. They do everything the old navy ships did but I wonder what the union rules are about underway refueling at night, in heavy seas, with rain or sleet? Do they have to do it? What happens if they look out and say "Too dangerous, come back later". Or "You want us to carry sailors in to the beach while they are shooting? Not today, thank you"

We sailors never had that choice.

What is the legal/diplomatic status of a civilian ship owned by the Navy? I don't know if there are any implications or what they might be but I suspect that there are some.

Seems to me that this whole USNS replacement of what used to be USS ships is just one more example of the hollowing out of the Navy.

I have never kept that much track of how many ships the Navy has. I do remember that in 1970 Zumwalt reduced the Navy from about 600 to 500 ships. (Not counting some USNS ships) and it was a HUGE deal. I think we are now at about 300?

John Henry

John said...

USS REUBEN JAMES - Decommissioned July 2013.

~/o~/oTell me what were their names, tell me what were their names.
Did you have a friend on the good Reuben James.~/o~/o

That name jumped out at me. The original Reuben James (DD-245) was sunk in September 1941 while engaging in some FDR jackassery.

It was sunk in the North Atlantic by a German submarine. FDR tried to use it as an excuse to get the US into WWII. "We are a neutral nation," he said. "The Germans can't just go around sinking peaceful neutral vessels." (Quote very approximate)

If you listened to FDR at the time you would have thought they were just out there fishing or something.

In reality, and hidden from Congress and the American people, the James and other destroyers were actively seeking out German subs, coordinating with British bombers and depth charging them.

That is what the James was doing when it was torpedoed.

The Greer was also fired on in September while depth charging a German sub.

People claim that Bush lied us into war. Maybe, maybe not. FDR definitely did.

I am not saying this is what happened but a possibility is that the boats were sent in to be captured specifically to stir up an incident. Perhaps without the crew's knowledge in order to ad verisimilitude.

I would not put anything past those fuckers in the White House and Pentagon.

John Henry

J. Farmer said...

@Static Ping:

"J. Farmer: If that is your opinion on the matter, then there is nothing further to discuss as our assumptions are so contradictory that no common ground could ever be found."

Fair enough.

@Jeff Teal:

"Is J Farmer an Iranian agent or just a stooge?"

Yawn. How about saying where I'm wrong and why? You know, actually making an argument. See, here's the rub, even if I was what you accuse me of, it would make absolutely no difference to whether or not any argument I make is correct or not. That's what ad hominem fallacy is all about.

@Rusty:

"Uh huh. Sure. So far. What have we got?"

The implementation day has not even arrived yet. Had America walked away from the table (as many hard-liners were demanding) the talks would have fallen apart, the sanctions regime would have collapses, and there'd be no deal and no restrictions. How is that a better situation?

@Hagar:

"Iran is more than 4 times as large as Germany in area, has more natural resources, is about equal in population, is allied with Russia, which has lots of nuclear weapons of any variety, and is bent on conquering the former Ottoman empire once and for all, which necessarily includes "wiping Israel off the map," so I think there is ample cause for alarm."

Iran is not "bent on conquering the former Ottoman empire once and for all." Other than minor territorial disputes with the UAE and Bahrain, the Iranian regime has not demonstrated territorial ambitions. Your assessment of its power curiously leaves out in assessment of its actual military capability. Iran possesses a much less significant military than the Gulf Arab countries. Saudi Arabia has a massively better funded and trained military. Even if Iran made the kind of advance you claim it is "bent" on making, it would face the united opposition of the Gulf Arab states, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey (a NATO member).

Hagar said...

You are kidding, right?
Iran has taken over Iraq, is in Syria and Yemen, and moving on.

Robert Cook said...

"Iran...is bent on conquering the former Ottoman empire once and for all, which necessarily includes 'wiping Israel off the map,' so I think there is ample cause for alarm."

In one sentence you've made two assertions as fact, neither supported by evidence. You would do well to pay more attention to J. Farmer's lengthy comments above.

Hagar said...

Then why are the Saudis schmoozing up their old buddy Netanyahu?
Looks like desperation to me.

Hagar said...

Anyway, it now seems the "Riverine" boats did move into Iran's side of the border under power, but still no word on how they managed to do that.
If so, Iran would be entitled to take them into custody and hold them for quite a while if they felt like it, but they would not be entitled to treat the sailors as they did, and emphatically not to publish the videos and stills.

And the reactions at the White House, State Dept., and Secretary of Defense office make me feel sick.

J. Farmer said...

@Hagar:

"You are kidding, right?
Iran has taken over Iraq, is in Syria and Yemen, and moving on."


No, I am not kidding. First, Iran has not "taken over" Iraq. Iraq maintains a close relationship with Iran because a majority of its citizenship are Shia. A democratic Iraq would certainly be an Iraq whose government desired and sought closer relationships with Iran. But the Shia are not a monolithic force, and there are various Shia political parties in Iraq who support varying degrees of Iranian support. This is not a takeover.

As for Syria, Iran's position has been weakened in recent years. Its alliance with Assad has actually become a liability for Iran, as it has required financial and material support from Iran. Instead of a coherent nation0-state, Assad now rules over a fractured, war torn country. If US foreign policy were not so stupidly, reflexively anti-Iranian, we would have recognized earlier that our interests would have been much better served by helping the Iranians in propping Assad. Instead, the US got giddy over thinking it could deliver a strategic blow to Iran if Assad fell, yet again pursued an unbelievably wrongheaded regime change policy. The US and the Saudis helped fund and support a Syrian insurgency that eventually turned into ISIS.

Iranian involvement in Yemen has been minimal. That campaign is mostly about the Saudis wanting to prop up a friendly regime against a popular revolt. What we are witnessing is a new generation of Saudi leadership that seems very insecure of itself and is reacting in a dangerously impulsive way. The recent mass execution of regime critics, including the prominent Shiite cleric, is only the most recent example. These are just the kind of impulsive temper tantrums the regime is famous for throwing anytime it feels that the US is not being sufficiently deferential to their security needs.

J. Farmer said...

@Hagar:

"And the reactions at the White House, State Dept., and Secretary of Defense office make me feel sick."

A loud, full throated, saber rattling response might be good for domestic consumption, but it would be exactly the wrong way to play it diplomatically. This is what mature diplomacy is all about. It's also behavioral psych 101. The US should be confident in its power and let the Iranians have their brief little victory dance in the spotlight Getting into a dumb rhetorical pissing match with Iran would only play right into the regime's hands and would allow them to milk it for even more propaganda power. If the US should have learned anything from its foolish trust in the Shah is that a regime that is seen as overly deferential to the needs of the US would suffer a huge legitimacy crisis domestically. While a large number of the Iranian population has generally favorable attitudes towards Americans and would prefer a better relationship with America, they nonetheless believe that there are legitimate grievances against the US, and any time the regime can be seen as legitimately standing up to a perceived Iranian grievance, it enjoys a burst in support. Taking an aggressive, hardline stance with Iran simply plays into the exact caricature of the United States from which the regime draws so much support.

Hagar said...

The length of J. Farmer's replies and the number of strawmen he puts up shows how weak his positions are.

We are not going to go to war over this, though what Iran did was an "act of war" and should be responded to as such.

However, after 7 years of this administration we are hardly in a position to go to war with anybody, except an all out nuclear war, which Russia will respond to in kind. Our military on land,sea, and air is now to small, and there is nowhere on earth that our rear would be safe.

J. Farmer said...

@Hagar:

"The length of J. Farmer's replies and the number of strawmen he puts up shows how weak his positions are."

Identify one straw man I raised. Identity one argument that is wrong, and tell me why. Simple enough.

"We are not going to go to war over this, though what Iran did was an "act of war" and should be responded to as such."

Iran was well within its authority to intercept vessels in its territorial waters, especially military vessels. Second, these kinds of incidents are relatively commonplace. If every country treated them as an "act of war," this would be a much more dangerous, volatile world.

"Our military on land,sea, and air is now to small, and there is nowhere on earth that our rear would be safe."

The big, great power military that the United States built over the second half of the 20th century is now relatively obsolete. The thermonuclear determinant insures that the US cannot go to war with the other great powers. Bush, Sr.'s first Gulf War was the last traditional nation-state war the US has fought. And for what its worth, the last clearcut military victory we achieved. The military adventurism that has followed, in places like the Balkans and the Middle East have mostly been counterproductive disasters. We would be in a much better position globally and domestically if we sought to maintain international order through a concert with the great powers rather than our futile, hopeless quest for hegemony.

Robert Cook said...

J. Farmer keeps killing it!!