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He was deterred from attacking Iran before Election Day, but it's looking increasingly like Bush is planning to attack Iran soon.

Back on October 9, I wrote in The Nation that it looked like the Bush-Cheney gang, worried about the November election, was gearing up for an unprovoked attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, with a carrier strike group led by the USS Eisenhower being ordered to depart a month early from Norfolk, VA to join the already-on-station USS Enterprise. That article was based on reports from angry sailors based on the Eisenhower who had leaked word of their mission.

There was, thankfully, no attack on Iran before Election Day, but it is starting to look like I may have been right about the plan after all, but wrong about the timing.

As the threat of a catastrophic US election-eve attack on Iran started to look increasingly likely, reports began to trickle out of the Pentagon that the generals and admirals were protesting. They knew that the US military is stretched to the limit in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that a war with Iran would be a disaster of historic proportions. To bolster their blocking efforts, the Iraq Study Group, headed by Republican fixer and former Secretary of State (under Bush Pere) James Baker, which had been slated to release its report on what to do about Iraq in January, 2007, pushed forward its report. Baker, together with co-chair Lee Hamilton, went prematurely public with the group’s conclusion that the Iraq war was a failure, and that the US should be trying to negotiate with Iran, not attack that country.

That joint effort appeared to have blocked Bush and Cheney’s war plan, but the reprieve may have only been temporary.

It now appears that the idea of attacking Iran is again moving forward. The Eisenhower strike force, armed with some 800 Tomahawk cruise missiles as well as a fleet of strike aircraft, and already on station in the Arabian Sea for over a month and a half, has moved into the Persian Gulf. A second carrier group, led by the USS Stennis, is steaming toward the Gulf, too. Already in position are three expeditionary strike groups and an amphibious warship, all suitable for landing Marines on Iranian beaches. On December 20, the New York Times, citing Pentagon sources, reported that both Britain and the U.S. are moving additional naval forces into the region "in a display of military resolve toward Iran that will come as the United Nations continues to debate possible sanctions against the country." (We’ve all seen what "displays of force" by the Bush administration actually turn out to be.)

The idea of hitting Iran may make sense from the Bush-Cheney bunker, where the only consideration is not what's good for the country, but what's good for Bush and Cheney. After all, if you’re losing your war in Iraq, and if you have hit bottom politically at home (Bush's ppublic support ratings are now down in the 20s, where Nixon's were just before his resignation, and Cheney's numbers have been in the teens for months), and if the public is clamoring for an end to it all--and maybe for your heads, too--expanding the conflict and putting the nation on a full war footing can look like an attractive even if desperate gambit.

From the nation's point of view, of course, an attack on Iran would be an unmitigated disaster. There are no more troops that the U.S. could throw into battle (the Pentagon is scrambling just to find another 20,000 or so bodies that Bush wants to throw into the Iraq quagmire), so an attack would have to be basically that--an attack.

Certainly the forces the Navy is assembling in the Persian Gulf, together with the B-52s and B-1s and B-2s available at Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and at bases in other countries in the region, are capable of destroying most of Iran's nuclear facilities, as well as its military infrastructure. But in terms of conquering territory, the most the U.S. could hope to do would be to perhaps hold a beachhead on the Straits of Hormuz, where the Persian Gulf links to the Arabian Sea. And even that would be a bloody challenge.

There is no way the U.S. could hope to conquer Iran.

Nor would the Iranian people rise up and overthrow their theocratic leaders--the same neoconservative fantasy that Bush war-mongers promised ahead of the Iraq invasion, and which they are re-cycling now to justify an attack on Iran. In fact, an attack on Iran, far from sparking a rebellion against the government there, would crush the new wave of reform that was evidenced in last week's local elections in Iran, which dealt a blow to the country’s hardliners. Iran is a proud nation with a history reaching back thousands of years. If attacked, its people can be counted on to rally around their current rulers, and its war-hardened soldiers can be counted on to fight to the death to defend their country.

Moreover, while its military may be no match for America's, Iran has many asymmetrical options for retaliation. As the key player in Iraq, with close links to Iraq's Shia factions, Iran's military has trained and armed the Badr Brigades--the largest and best-armed faction in Iraq, and one which to date has stayed out of the fighting against US forces. Iran is also close to the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al Sadr, and could unleash his fanatical troops too, against US forces in Iraq. If this happens, count on American casualty rates leaping to or even surpassing Korea or Vietnam-era levels overnight.

Additionally, Iraq's intelligence services have connections with Shia groups in Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries, and can be expected to quickly organize cells to strike at economic and US military targets there.

More seriously, of course, an attack on Iran will jack the price of oil to levels never seen before. Even if the US managed to militarily control the Straits of Hormuz, Iran's hundreds of stockpiled anti-ship missiles, which are buried in bunkers all along the Persian Gulf, would cause insurance rates to soar so high that no tanker could afford to sail that route, effectively cutting off over one quarter of the world’s oil supply. Virtually all of the oil produced in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Kuwait and the Arab Emirates would be trapped in the ground. As well, the network of pipelines that bring oil from wellheads to refineries and to storage and pier facilities would be virtually indefensible against Iran-inspired sapper attacks.

Oil industry analysts have talked of oil leaping in price to $200 a barrel or more in the event of a US war with Iran, and given how panicked this country got when oil reached $80 a barrel recently, there's no need to go into detail explaining what $200/barrel oil would do to the U.S. economy--or to the global economy.

Of course, the biggest issue is that attacking Iran would be yet another war crime by this craven administration. No one can argue that Iran poses an imminent threat to anyone, least of all to the U.S.--the only legitimate grounds under the U.N. Charter and the Nuremburg Charter, to which the U.S. is a signatory, for initiating a war. Attacking a country that poses no such threat is defined as the most heinous of war crimes: a Crime Against Peace.

If Bush and Cheney perpetrate this crime, the Congress should initiate immediate impeachment proceedings and should simultaneously pass legislation terminating funding for the war. The important thing now is for the American people to register their opposition to this war before it happens. Call your senators and your representative and let them know you don’t want it to happen, and you want impeachment if it does. And add your name to the petition against war. Also mark down January 27 in your calendar, for the big march and rally against war and for impeachment in Washington, D.C. (to be followed by two days of lobbying Congress on Jan. 28-29.

Finally, send this story to everyone you know, and urge them to do the same. At this point, with Democrats still cowering in their offices, only the American people can stop this madness.

Originally posted to dlindorff on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:19 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  C'mon, you're scaring me.... (3+ / 0-)

     Bush is just the kind of idiot who would jump into the fire because he knows everyone else would have to jump, too.  And if he's really serious about pursuing military means to achieve peace in the Middle East, how can he possibly occupy Iraq and leave Iran alone?

    you learn something new every day, if you're paying attention

    by jhop7 on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:29:48 AM PST

  •  Iraq is not the issue anymore . . . (6+ / 0-)

    The US media is obediently casting this whole Iraq discussion in Kagan's framing of "victory is still possible."

    The focus belongs elsewhere.

    I doubt the discussions at AEI or the Pentagon or the White House stick to Kagan's frame, or consider it at all except as a bullshit cover story to feed to the public. Remember, invading Iraq was always part of a larger Master Plan, not an end in itself.

    I think every discussion of our illegal war of aggression, within these high government circles, starts with Goal One -- make America the Middle East policeman and regional power broker.

    And it continues by asking who -- oh, who? -- is in that catbird seat that we want all for ourselves? Why, Iran and Syria are. Reducing their influence while sticking to our bases and Emerald City in Iraq is what the high policy people discuss these days, not just Iraq.

    There are two ways to reduce Iranian and Syrian influence in the region -- regime change through intrigue, or bombing them back into shattered states ripe for regime change through force.

    Regime change, of course, is political speak for "establishing puppet governments capable of signing long-term oil contracts with American extractors."

    That's why we want more troops "surging" into Baghdad -- to hold onto the place during the shitstorm that comes down when Israel and America go after Iran and Syria.

    From the perspective of the Washington masters of war, America has to do it or die. America has to dominate some of the oil-bearing regions around this world of ours, or become a has been nation, drowning in debt, and flooded with worthless dollars.

    So they'll cook up whatever reasons they must feed the public in order for America to go dominate some foreign oil. A war on a noun (terror) was just the beginning. These people are good with words; they'll make it sound convincing, whatever it is.

    Iraq is just one nation on their list. The discussion sin Washington are about the next nation, and the next. Not just Iraq.

    All frames exist within a larger frame. Draw a larger frame around your opponent's frame, and he will appear wrong or insufficient. This is how wizards play.

    by antifa on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:34:34 AM PST

    •  I read an article in the New Yorker (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antifa, JenThinks

      recently that seemed to say the same thing you do - http://www.newyorker.com/...
      Your quote:  "

       There are two ways to reduce Iranian and Syrian influence in the region -- regime change through intrigue, or bombing them back into shattered states ripe for regime change through force

      ."

      As I understood the article, it seemed like the author was saying that, from Bush's point of view, he can't really win in Iraq unless he weakens Ahmadinejad.  I never saw follow-up on the statement and perhaps I misunderstood what the author meant.  The thought has been haunting me lately, though, as I hear about the deployment of the ships to the Persian Gulf.

      Here's the quote in the New Yorker article that caught my attention:....

      by the President, who said, in August, that "Iran is backing armed groups in the hope of stopping democracy from taking hold" in Iraq. The government consultant told me, "More and more people see the weakening of Iran as the only way to save Iraq."

      George Bush - the Torture President

      by myrealname on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 09:04:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent overview (0+ / 0-)

      Amazing how much discussion goes on around here as if it was anything other than as you summarize here.

      If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

      by HenryDavid on Sun Dec 24, 2006 at 12:17:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bush is like Hitler at the end (5+ / 0-)

    Toward the end of WW2, as the Allied armies were closing in on Berlin, Adolf Hitler would move German divisions around a huge map of Europe in an attempt to redeploy and turn the tide.  The problem was that none of these divisions existed in real life, only in the Fuhrer's addled brain.  I imagine similar scenes are all too similar in the War Room these days.

    "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

    by Jon Stafford on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:34:38 AM PST

    •  Just like talking to the paintings (0+ / 0-)

      After this horrible episode in American history is disected and written about, I am sure that we will find out that Bush is doing all of this an more.

      It will be interesting THEN, but it is scary as hell NOW.

      Saints preserve us!

    •  Does this mean... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that he and her will be shooting themselves and chomping on phials of cyanide? I sure hope so - somebody needs to rescue the First Dawg before it happens though.

      Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      by fatdave on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:53:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We'll have to ask Putin... (0+ / 0-)

        ...whether he'll be willing to store The Decider's remains in the Kremlin basement for the next fifty years or so, too.

        By the way, this...

        I imagine similar scenes are all too similar in the War Room these days.

        ...was a typo.  More like a "braino."  It should have said, "I imagine similar scenes are all too familiar in the War Room these days."

        "We must move forward, not backward, upward not forward, and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom." - Kodos

        by Jon Stafford on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 11:05:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You've seen "The Downfall"? (0+ / 0-)

      And Hitler, in his final rantings, blamed the German people for "not being strong enough to carry out my vision.  They deserve this destruction."

      Now, who does that resemble lately?

      If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

      by HenryDavid on Sun Dec 24, 2006 at 12:19:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If only... (7+ / 0-)

    At this point, with Democrats still cowering in their offices, only the American people can stop this madness.

    I wish I shared your optimism.  The American people have been trying to stop the madness for quite some time.  The results have not been encouraging.  Bush is obviously going to do what he damn well pleases - and nothing is going to stop him.

    We thought we had sent a strong message back in early November to get us out of Iraq - so what's he going to do?  Send 50,000 more troops, that's what!

    His message to the American people, echoes that of Dick Cheney, "Go fuck yourselves!"

    Imagination is more important than knowledge - Einstein

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 08:34:38 AM PST

    •  I wish I shared your observation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hornito, JenThinks, UneasyOne

      The American people have been trying to stop the madness for quite some time.

      When the American people really try to stop something, or do something, we're unstoppable.  All we've done collectively at this point is become more skeptical while we watch the news.

      Maybe we're all waiting for someone to lead us.

      •  Think Blue and pissed of liberal need to (0+ / 0-)

        get out in the street in DC on January 27!!!

        If nmore than a million folsk show up, it could strengthen the spine of the Democrates adn further scare "moderate" R's.

        It will also help turn the media around - the momentum has been lost which has allowed the "surge" to be legitimized. I think this was one primary purpsoe of ISG Report - take teh wind out of the saisl of eh Democrats adn teh voters post election for withdrawal.

        You see, important things like wars - to the generals and the power brokers - can't be subject to democratic control via elections!!

  •  I wish I could call you crazy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oldpro, myrealname

    prove you were an idiot.  You're not.  This has been under the MSM radar - they could maybe put a stop to this by shining a very bright light.  They won't.  You ain't the only one who knows this.  The only thing that might stop this is an aroused and enraged American populace.  Other than that, we can only pray - and fume.

    •  get out in the street! Prayer is no solution (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JenThinks, psyched, UneasyOne
    •  It hasn't been "under the MSM radar".... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mataliandy, JenThinks, mathGuyNTulsa

      They've been promoting it with propaganda. The neocons who control much of our MSM these days, are fully behind attacking Iran, as they've been behind Bush since Day One, and the right-wingers in Israel, day in, day out.

      The vast majority of the public is only going to see and read the propaganda, and will be whipped into an "attack frenzy", just like they were with Iraq. Though there isn't a 9/11 to "use" this time, I am sure the Bushie fascists will concoct something....

      -7.00/-4.77 "Public campaign financing, media reform, and ballot integrity, are all necessary ingredients for a healthy democracy!"

      by Hornito on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 09:53:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He HAS been heard in the White House singing, (5+ / 0-)

    "All I want for Christmas is my two-front war".

  •  Could the new surge force slated for Iraq (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    civil society, UneasyOne

    be multi-functional and used for Iran as well?  Could Bush be gathering a force under the cover of one conflict to use for another?

  •  Will the penatagon follow the orders... (4+ / 0-)

    to attack if given?  Tragically I believe they will, because it would be as great a tragedy but of a different sort if they didn't.

    The only way to prevent this without causing a major crisis in our governmental system wherein the civilian leadership controls the military, is to get Bush out of office.  

    •  They have to - otherwise they are subject to (0+ / 0-)

      court martial and our very form of government is at risk.  That's why so many are resigning.  Some are being forced out for telling the truth, others can't stomach what's going on.  A lot of these are obviousy our best men.  Post Bush/Cheney, we need to get them back.

      •  the only grounds on which they stand a ghost (4+ / 0-)

        of a chance of not obeying the orders is to insist upon there being a declaration of war..

        But that is so slim as to be anorexic.

        Bush is systematically dismantling the nation and by the time he is done we will no longer be even a third rate power surrounded by enemies.

        Impeachment becomes a matter of survival the longer he stays in power.

  •  add Hirsh's reports on air strikes & bunker nuke (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JenThinks
  •  Please rec this Diary or FP this story (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JenThinks
  •  Iraq surge and Iran war may be related (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JenThinks

    One stated objective of the Iraq "surge" is to go after Shia militias.

    If so, this could prompt a regional conflagration including Shia in Iran.

    Or we could wee a "Gulf of Tonkin" pre-text in the Gulf strting a war against Iran, which is them joined by Iraqi and other Shia forces in the region.

    This also fits with the advice Cheney allegedly received from Saudi Ariabia and Sunni's.

  •  I think your assesment of US (4+ / 0-)

    force composition in theater is grossly inaccurate.

    A second carrier group, led by the USS Stennis, is steaming toward the Gulf, too.

    The Stennis just docked in Bremerton California on Nov 21st, and is slated to be there thru the holidays, the crew is enjoying the holidays with family. It would probably take at least 2-3 weeks to ready the Stennis for ME deployment.

    http://www.ne.jp/...

    Secondly you state the IKE CSG,

    The Eisenhower strike force, armed with some 800 Tomahawk cruise missiles

    Guided missile cruiser Anzio carries 122 Tom Toms, the USS Ramage carries 90 Tom Toms plus the USS Newport News-SSN-750, which carries IIRC 154 Tom Toms. Thats a total of 366 Tom Toms, not the 800 you cite.
    USS Eisenhower to deploy to Mideast :

    The aircraft carrier battle group is scheduled to sail Tuesday from Norfolk to relieve the USS Enterprise. <snip> The Enterprise left Norfolk on May 2, along with the cruiser USS Leyte Gulf, the destroyer USS McFaul, the frigate USS Nicholas and the attack submarine USS Alexandria.

    http://www.dailypress.com/...

    The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group also includes
    ~guided missile cruiser USS Anzio-CG-68 :
    Armament: MK26 missile launcher (CG 47 thru CG 51) Standard Missile (MR) or MK41 vertical launching system (CG 52 thru CG 73) Standard Missile (MR); Vertical Launch ASROC (VLA) Missile; Tomahawk Cruise Missile; Six MK-46 torpedoes (from two triple mounts); Two MK 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight guns; Two Phalanx close-in-weapons systems.

    http://www.navy.mil/...

    ~guided missile destroyer USS Ramage-DDG-61
    Armament: two MK 41 VLS for Standard missiles, Tomahawk; Harpoon missile launchers, one Mk 45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight gun, two Phalanx CIWS, Mk 46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts)
    http://www.navysite.de/...

    ARLEIGH BURKE - class Guided Missile Destroyer USS Mason-DDG-87
    Armament 1 x 5"/62 RF, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), 90 VLS Cells,
    2 SH-60B helicopters, 8 Harpoon Missiles, 6 x 12.75" TT.
    http://www.navsource.org/...

    Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Newport News-SSN-750
    Carries Tomahawks:
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/...

    dlindorff, your diary seriously overvalues the offensive end of the Defensive/offensive mix of the IKE group, you over state the number of Tomahawks in theater by a factor of 2. You also mistate the location of the Stennis. It is also of import to note that the Anzio and Ramage only carry 2 cruise missile launch systems each, so they can only fire staggered salvoes of 2 each. At which point the launchers must be re-loaded.

    Heres a freebe for you, dlindorff,

    Tactical Tomahawk Penetrator Variant missile
    On 27 May 1999 Raytheon was awarded a $25,829,379 undefinitized cost-plus-incentive-fee/cost-plus-fixed-fee, ceiling amount contract for the modification of the Tactical Tomahawk missile to the Tactical Tomahawk Penetrator Variant configuration as part of the Second Counter-Proliferation Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration. The Tactical Tomahawk missile will be modified to incorporate the government-furnished penetrator warhead and the hard-target smart fuze. Four Tactical Tomahawk Penetrator Variant missiles will be assembled to conduct the advanced concept technology demonstration testing. Work will be performed in Tucson AZ and is expected to be completed by March 2003.
    http://www.fas.org/...

    NOW, when you find 4 or 5 carrier groups & 10 or more LA Class atattck subs in the Mid East, that will be time to take a crap. Untill then, its good to watch the Bush Crime Family, but we all need to deal with hard facts.

    Vigilance.

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 09:37:32 AM PST

    •  Gulf of Tonkin like pretext event (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mataliandy

      would not require the deployments you suggest.

      •  I prefer to think of it in the context of the (0+ / 0-)

        BB Maine. The Gulf of Tonkin was a mis handling of ammo, that blew up in a storage bunker in a ship, with probably no enemy contact.

        A minor point, but I get you. A Tonkin type event requires only one ship. The Ike CSG fits that requirement. But if you are going to use a Tonkin event as a pretext for military action, where are the forces that will execute that military action?

        Which brings us back to .... when there are 4 or 5 carrier groups and 10+ LA class attack subs in the Mid East then there be reason to crap.

        BTW, there are only about 45 B-52's left, about 89 B-1b's and IIRC 20 B-2's. Only the C-130 is capable of carrying a MOAB:
        http://www.globalsecurity.org/...

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:03:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Are you sure about location of Stenis? (0+ / 0-)

      Last date of action for the Stenis on the link you provide was November 29.

      What was Diarist's source of Stenis claim anyway?

      •  Dunno, the diarist dropped no links. (0+ / 0-)

        THere are other carriers in better position to deploy to the Mid East than the Stennis. Though the Stennis did just complete training so it should be in top shape for that sort of mission.

        But to the best of my info the Stennis is docked ...
        not steaming, big difference.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:07:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

        The US navy has a very handy website that shows the location of carrier groups under deployment:

        www.navy.mil/navydata/navy_legacy.asp?id=146

        This shows that there is one carrier group deployed in the Persian Gulf, one deployed in the Atlantic and one deployed in the Pacific. All other carrier groups, including the Stennis, are in home port. FWIW, this is about as low a carrier deployment that you ever get.

        Whilst I appreciate that there is a possibility ( albeit very, very low ) of the US going to war with Iran, deploying phantom carriers or misconstruing routine naval rotations as evidentiary signposts is getting tedious.

      •  Stennis (0+ / 0-)

        It's in the NY Times. Dec. 20 article.

        •  Stennis is not steaming (0+ / 0-)

          According to the NYT.

          Officials expressed doubt that the Stennis and its escorts would be asked to set sail before the holiday season,

          From the NY TImes 12-21-06:

          http://www.nytimes.com/...

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 12:09:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you left this out from NY Times (0+ / 0-)

            The next carrier scheduled to sail toward the Middle East is the Stennis, already set to depart Bremerton, Wash., for the region in late January, Navy officers said.

            •  The Diary's author say the Stennis is (0+ / 0-)

              steaming.....

              I think the author has been corrected, no?

              Steaming does not = docked. That is the point.

              The next carrier scheduled to sail toward the Middle East is the Stennis, already set to depart Bremerton, Wash., for the region in late January, Navy officers said.

              I have already paraphrased that upthread. You probably missed it, IIRC Look for a large comment with lots of supporting links.>/snark<</p>

              FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 24, 2006 at 08:51:22 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Um, Bremerton is in WA, not CA ...n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      -7.00/-4.77 "Public campaign financing, media reform, and ballot integrity, are all necessary ingredients for a healthy democracy!"

      by Hornito on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:13:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  DAmn, I got smacked down- LOL (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hornito

        Sorry I didnt check that, my bad. I assumed that since the Stennis was operating in SoCal that Bremerton was in Cali.

        ANd as is typical when you assume you make an ass out of yourself.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:16:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No biggie, Your other points were salient.....n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roger Fox

          -7.00/-4.77 "Public campaign financing, media reform, and ballot integrity, are all necessary ingredients for a healthy democracy!"

          by Hornito on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:21:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Stennis not sailing yet but... (0+ / 0-)

            As the times reports (here's the ref:  http://www.nytimes.com/... )

            the Stennis is ready to sail from Washington State. It was scheduled to leave in early January, but the times reports officials as saying it "could be" sent several weeks earlier, which would mean any day now, and be in place within less than two weeks.

            the times report also refers to minesweepers from the UK and the US being sent to the Gulf. Now as i wrote in October, why would they need them, except for war with Iraq? Afghanistan is landlocked, and Iraq, whose government is supposedly on our side, has no Navy, and precious little coastline. The minesweepers are not for the Iraqi insurgent threat, as they have no mine-laying capability. Clearly it is for war with Iraq, which could be expected to lay mines in quantity, in hopes of sinking oil tankers, and maybe even US ships.

            Minesweepers are not something you send for a "show of force." They pose no threat. they're only useful during a war. So what the hell are they being sent over for?

            •  I suggest you ask your source at (0+ / 0-)

              the Pentagon if its SOP to operate in the area of the Persian gulf without Minesweepers.

              Minesweepers are not something you send for a "show of force." They pose no threat. they're only useful during a war. So what the hell are they being sent over for?

              YOu might end up looking a bit silly, if over the last 10 years it was SOP to operate in the Gulf with sweepers.

              In fact IIRC most Marine Expid. forces include anti mine teams. AS if it was SOP.

              In 1987 Iran covertly laid only over 100 old-type mooring mines in the Gulf, which caused 240,000 sq-km sea area to become the "most dangerous ocean" for a while, the soldiers turn pale at the mention of mines, and the Strait of Hormuz" was called "the corridor of death".

              Japanese sweepers deployed during "Enduring Freedom"

              http://www.globalsecurity.org/...

              from wiki:

              Operation Praying Mantis
              Main article: Operation Praying Mantis
              On 18 April 1988, the U.S. Navy waged a one-day battle against Iranian forces in and around the strait. The battle, dubbed Operation Praying Mantis by the U.S. side, was launched in retaliation for the 14 April mining of the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58). U.S. forces sank two Iranian warships and as many as six armed speedboats in the engagement.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              US navy sweeps on election day 2006

              http://www.navy.mil/...

              Sept 2006:

              http://www.navy.mil/...

              June 27th 2005:

              http://www.navy.mil/...

              Looks like SOP to be in the Persian Gulf with Anti mine teams.

              By the way, see if you can find a US Navy "Minesweeper", it may be the term has become obsolete. I just realized that the navy hasnt apparently built a minesweeper in like 40 years.

              FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 24, 2006 at 09:49:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  tomahawks (0+ / 0-)

      The carrier is also carrying the missile. I was told by Pentagon sources that the strike force has 800.

      •  I would have guessed (0+ / 0-)

        The supply ships would be where extra Tom Toms are stored. Supply ships are ready to move supplies to Guided missile cruisers, not air craft carriers.

        And I doubt the IKE has been retro fitted with the VLS launchers. Something about carrying out air ops while shooting Tom Toms from the same ship, that doesn't jive. I think the Air traffic Controllers would hate that.

        Any numbers of how many Tomahwak Penatrator variants they have?

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 11:49:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wiki says (0+ / 0-)

        Stennis carries no Tom launchers

        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        The more I thought about it, the idea that the Stennis would carry extra TOm TOms is absurd.

        Supply ships would be carrying them, which would make go me go HMMMMmmm  about your source, saying the Stennis would carry them.

        FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 01:17:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How many are there now? (0+ / 0-)
  •  It sucks that we fear the use of our own military (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hornito

    - Israel has the right to exist, and responsibility to coexist.

    by Opinionated Ed on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 09:49:53 AM PST

  •  don't forget syria, folks (0+ / 0-)

    an excellent diary; well said.

    for the past two or three years, i have been trying to determine whether bush will invade iran next or whether he will take a smaller bite of the apple of global hegemony by invading syria.

    this excerpt from the american conservative piece from january:

    The wider war that the Bush administration seems to be pursuing was telegraphed long ago by the various neocon pundits and prognosticators. Charles Krauthammer used his Washington Post column in March to suggest that the way to advance the "glorious, delicate, revolutionary moment in the Middle East" is to go after Syria. "This is no time to listen to the voices of tremulousness, indecision, compromise, and fear," he wrote. Instead, the Bush administration’s commitment to spreading democracy should take it "through Beirut to Damascus." William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and co-author of The War in Iraq ("The mission begins in Baghdad, but it does not end there"), helpfully suggested some options that the Bush administration is clearly thinking about now. In The Weekly Standard last year, Kristol wrote, "We could bomb Syrian military facilities; we could go across the border in force to stop infiltration; we could occupy the town of Abu Kamal in eastern Syria, a few miles from the border, which seems to be the planning and organizing center for Syrian activities in Iraq; we could covertly help or overtly support the Syrian opposition. ... It’s time to get serious about dealing with Syria as part of winning in Iraq, and in the broader Middle East."

  •  Spreading war (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mathGuyNTulsa

    Yes, I echoed your story in several places.

    The call for more troops in Baghdad for a "surge" is part of this mad war strategy.

    Obviously, Bush planned to attack Sadr City simultaneously with the attack on Iran.

    Now it looks like he is trying to pull off the Iran attack without the surge, since generals have told him the surge won't be ready for months.

    Why does he want to rush to it NOW?

    Because he wants to do it before Congress is in session. He is obviously trying to saddle the country with such enormous problems that there isn't time to consider his actions critically. Not his present actions or his past actions.

    It's not Congress we need to contact. We need to be contacting generals in the Pentagon and governors of States. We need to re-assert control over the National Guard. And I'll tell you why.

    An attack on Iran will have exactly the reaction you predict in this country. And Bush has been preparing for it for almost a year. He has constructed new mass detention centers. He has gutted Posse Comitatus, Habeas Corpus and he has set up a military justice system under his control.

    Bush is prepared to declare martial law and order mass arrests of people in this country that he deems "enemies." Bush characterized the opposition in the last election as terrorist sympathizers. All pretense of republican government and democracy will vanish in the "fog of war."

    There is no other explanation for the preparations that he has made over the last year. Bush and Cheney truly are as psychotic and as dangerous as the Nazis were.

    Our hope is that our military leaders will refuse to carry out his mad plans. Or, at least STALL him until after the new Congress convenes. The leadership in Congress will not be able to ignore generals telling them that they must remove these dangerous criminals.

    Pray for them. Pray for us. We MUST get through this next two weeks. He probably won't move before Christmas. It's the week after that and the days before the new Congress that will be the most tense.

    That's when we need to reach out to our governors and the generals. We do not have other options. Bush and Cheney must be prevented from committing further crimes against humanity.

    We must reach out to conservatives. They have as much to lose under the misrule of this madman as we do. They are only different from us in that they believed in him longer than we did.

    •  AGAIN (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      Attack Iran with what?

      36 fighter/attack jets fron the IKE group?

      When you see 4 or 5 carrier groups and 10+ LA class attack subs, it will be time to take a crap.

      How about the fuel for jet aircraft, where are you going to find it? It takes time to move these materials in position.

      Vigilance

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:14:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dude, I was in the Persian Gulf (0+ / 0-)

        During the Iran/Iraq war.

        You don't need the kind of firepower you are talking about to strike Iran's nuke facilities.

        Especially not if you plan to use nuclear weapons, which is part of the attack plan Bush and Cheney had drawn up over a year ago.

        •  Very good point. (0+ / 0-)

          Conventional Bunker busters are not very awe inspiring when you consider the dug in & hardened targets in Iran.

          Planes can carry:

          The GBU-28 or the BLU-113, is 19 feet (5.8 meters). It weighs about 4,400 pounds. The GBU-27/GBU-24 (aka BLU-109) is nearly identical to the GBU-28, except that it weighs only 2,000 pounds (900 kg). It is less expensive to manufacture, and a bomber can carry more of them on each mission.

          Iranian nuke sites:

          http://www.globalsecurity.org/...

          Which suggests nukes are the way to go, but we know nukes wont do the job. Not single strikes at least.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:31:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

          The amount of firepower that you need depends on whether you can secure agreement from Iran to not fire back or retaliate in any way; as no one expects them to remain passive, and there is a general awareness that they have a target-rich environment to play in with an appropriate hardware mix, then the firepower issues become appropriate matters for discussion.

          Attacking fixed nuclear facilities is one thing, hunting for mobile missile systems along a thousand mile stretch , from Mahabad to Bandar Abbas, is a whole different ball game....even if you plan to use nuclear weapons.

          •  Irans Air force isnt much to crow about (0+ / 0-)

            Their policy in the past has been to use aircraft as antiaircraft systems, instead of ground based SAM systems, which Iran would probably use as point defense centered on their valued sites.

            Of course if Iran has the Russian X-555 mach 3 cruise missle
            or the "Sunburn". OUCH!

            Though Iran has about 300 jet planes, some as old as the F-4 & F-5. And Iran has SAMS, some as old as the SAM-2 to SAM-6.

            FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 12:01:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Iran's AF (0+ / 0-)

              No, but they have bought the latest most sophisticated Russian anti-ship missiles, against which the Pentagon has said it has no adequate defenses. These Russian missiles fly right above the water at supersonic speed and can go hundreds of miles. If fired in clusters, they are virtually unstoppable and are ship sinkers.

              •  Are you refering to the X-555 (0+ / 0-)

                Or the Sunburn?

                And the tactical doctrine is wrong, you fly in at 10 to 15k feet at Mach 3, then dive at the target, reaching mach 4.3 to 4.8.
                Giving the Phalynx point defense systems on the Arliegh Burkes ,under 3 seconds to react
                while the target is in range.

                If this is the quality of info you get from the DOD you might want to ditch that source, they suck.

                FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Sun Dec 24, 2006 at 09:56:43 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Let's not forget Israel's forces.... (0+ / 0-)

        I doubt they will sit on the side lines this time.

        -7.00/-4.77 "Public campaign financing, media reform, and ballot integrity, are all necessary ingredients for a healthy democracy!"

        by Hornito on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 10:20:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  why should Congress wait til AFTER an attack to (0+ / 0-)

    impeach? By then it would be too late since, as you say, the global economy would tank. It's not like they don't have ample reason to impeach him now.

    Btw, I'm about to have a story published about undoing all of Bush's support. It's at http://www.clarkvsbush.com

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