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Can Geo W Finesse Iraq BEFORE a November 4 GOP Meltdown?

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posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 03:52 PM
Iran v. the US in the Strait of Hormuz and Peace In Iraq

On January 6 Iranian speedboats
reportedly feigned attacks on the US Navy. At first, the Navy also claimed it had received a threatening message from the boats.

, following the incident the US began to back away from claiming the Iranian speed boats had issued threats, saying instead the source of the transmission might have been hecklers who transmitted threats as the Iranian boats darted among the US ships. Shore based threatening radio transmissions are not uncommon, especially when the international ship’s bridge-to-ship’s bridge open frequencies are used. It is difficult if not impossible to accurately locate the source of a radio transmission during a short and intense incident as this one.

Two issues.

First, the probability of an ordered Iranian attack would be preceded by a waning is considered to be next to totally improbable. If an attack was the Iranians objective, the last thing the Iranians would do is radio a warning to the Navy ships. Out of the question.

Second, the US Navy
did not open fire! This tells us several things. I cannot conceive the on-site commander does not have full authority given in advance to open fire whenever he considers a ship or a man in jeopardy. After all, blowing a couple speed boats out of the water is not likely to start World War Three.

Yes, if we had shot up
one or two of the boats, there would very likely be diplomatic consequences, but not of a national life or death variety. THEREFORE it tells me the speed boats did NOT reach the threat level requiring an immediate armed response. That in turn implies we are HYPING what the Iranians claim is a daily event. Iran claims to ‘own’ the Strait of Hormuz as territorial waters; we claim it is international waters and we say every nation has the right of free passage which would include Iran.

The Navy’s 5th Fleet PIO
said on January 13 that the US ships were in the process of assessing the threat level and preparing to fire when the Iranians disengaged and left the area. Implying the Navy would have opened fire in a few seconds. I repeat I do not know the Navy’s classified rules of engagement for captains of warships in the Strait of Hormuz, but still it makes me think Bush43 is attempting to do a 2008 re-run of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident which began a 10 years long war costing us 59,000 KIA and us killing from 800,000 (our number) to 3,000,000 (their number) Vietnamese civilians. Let’s all say NO THANKS, Geo W, we want NO rerun of Vietnam for your L E G A C Y.

The January 12
edition of the NY Times carried a story obviously leaked to it by the Pentagon purporting to give a context for US concerns. The story related how the US had carried out war games in 2002 to assess the potential for harm by a swarm attack by a large number of small speed boats armed with explosives and operated by suicide crews. The results were horrifying. The Navy lost 16 major warships, including an aircraft carrier, 2 cruisers and 2 amphibious ships in swarm attacks lasting barely 10 minutes. US Fleet ship’s defenses were overwhelmed by the large number of small, quick speed boats assumed to be armed with rockets and torpedoes or serving as decoys. Say Hello, USS Cole.

By revealing the war
game outcome, it appears the Administration wants to give much needed credibility to Bush43 in his on-going squabble with Iran. The modified NIE has ended Bush43's credibility vis a vis his claims Iran wants or is about to have an atom bomb. The new revelation of a threat from Iran in the Strait just before Bush43 climbed up the long ladder to Air Force One on his trip to the region was fortuitous, to say the least. Now, B43 is visiting Riyadh and Kuwait City. He is seeking to enlist the ruling elites in his on-going effort to BASH Iran but this time, he is turning the Iran threat directly to both countries and away from his former concern, Israel.

ALL of the oil
from both autocratic kingdoms passes through the Strait. IF Iran shut it down, how much money would it cost Arabia and Kuwait every day with oil at $100 a bbl? Bush43 could not float the threat to Israel gambit, so now he’s trying his Hormuz gambit. We’ll se if the Arabs fall for this one. Aside: If the Strait was closed more than a few days, we’d see $300 a bbl oil and $5-$10 a gallon gasoline at your ExxonMobil station.

In traveling to the Middle East
, Bush43’s purpose is to create a stronger anti-Iranian coalition among the oil rich Arab states. An Iranian nuclear threat aimed at Israel was not sufficient glue to create an Arab coalition. For a variety of reasons not the least of which was the US intelligence failures in Iraq (WMDs) running then to the time frame of an Iranian nuclear threat was simply not seen as a credible basis for fearing Iran's actions. The autocratic states of the Arabian Peninsula were much more afraid of US attacks against Iran than they were of Iranian atom bombs raining down on Israel five or 10 years down the pike.

Politics aside
, the potential Iranian naval threat in the Strait is a far more realistic, immediate and devastating threat to regional interests than the nuclear threat ever was. Building a working atomic weapon was probably always beyond Iran's industrial capabilities. Just to build a nuclear device for demo purposes was years away. In contrast, the threat in the Strait is within Iran's capability right now.

Blocking the Strait
by Iran even for a few days is an on-going danger and effects the Arab states in ways a nuclear strike against Israel did not. Convincing the Saudis to stand against Iran over a possible attack against Israel is a reach; convincing the Saudis to worry over lost cash flow while oil prices are at or near all-time record highs does not need a great deal of persuasion. This is a threat that has substance.

If Bush43 can convincingly
establish the Hormuz threat then the US goes from being alone in its anti Iran policy to being the guarantor of the real Arab interests. Oil money. If the price Arabs must pay for the US to keep the Strait open is helping shut down the jihadist threat in Iraq, that is a small price indeed for them to pay.

The US sees a public shift
by Iran away from its current pro-Shia position as crucial in order to convince all the Iraqi factions to move toward a political conclusion. Reining in the militias is going to be hard work but W-DC wants and needs the final step ASAP. Before November 4, 2008. The NIE shift, which took the nuclear issue off the table, was not enough to do it. By raising the level of regional apprehension over a real threat - closing the Strait - the US is hoping to shape the internal political discussion in Iran towards Iran’s public participation in the reshaping of Iraq.

Tehran has its own domestic political problems.
In the same way that Bush43 saw an landslide of protest from his own supporters over the NIE, the Iranian government will see resistance to open collaboration with the United States. Constant anti-American propaganda since 1979 cannot be turned off like a light switch. Neither are the Iranians sure they need a public agreement with the US. From their position, they have delivered on Iraq, the US has delivered on the NIE and things are now moving in an agreeable direction. Why go public? The American’s felt need is to show the Iraqi Shia that Iran has publicly abandoned their quest for a Shiite Iraq doesn't do Iran any good.

Iran's argument to the Arabs
has been, "If the US pushes us too far, we will close the strait. Therefore, you keep the Americans from pushing us too far." The Americans have countered by saying to the same Arabs that the Iranians now have the potential to close the Strait regardless of what the US Navy does. Therefore, unless the Arabs want to be at the mercy of Iran, they must join the US in an anti-Iranian coalition that will bring Iran under control.

In his courting of the Arabs
, Bush43 will emphasize just how out of control Iran is, pointing out that Tehran is admitting that the kind of harassment seen Jan. 6 is routine. One day chosen by Iran this [Strait] will get really out of hand. Iran has a great deal to gain from having the ability to close the strait, but very little to gain from actually closing it.

The US is putting Iran
in a position so that the Gulf Arabs will be asking Tehran for assurances that Iran will not take any action. If the Iranians do give the Arabs such assurances, that sets the stage for a regional demand that Iran disperse their speedboats, which are purely offensive weapons of little defensive purpose. The US, by having simplified the situation for Iran with the modified NIE and Iran not giving the response Bush43 wanted, now is complicating the situation again. Washington has played a strong card.

The issue comes down to
whether W-DC can get Iran to join in a public resolution over Iraq. Maybe more to the point: can Bush43 arrange a public reconciliation between the "Great Satan" and the leading member of his own "Axis of Evil" following the ancient writer who said in Isaiah 11:6, “And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” American Standard Version. Is B43 that little child?

[edit on 1/15/2008 by donwhite]

posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 09:29 PM
Actions speak louder then words . It is clear that Iran is trying to provoc(SP?) a war with the US and its allies.

Why does Iran want to start a war so badly with the US ?

Well the Iranian government is willing to sacrifice its military and its people just to unleash the Islamic hoards that will kill off Demacracy in Iraq once and for all . With the troop surge coming fours years to late public support for the war in Iraq is at spilt so the hoards and the effects they would have the levels of public support for the war would final force force a US withdrawl from Iraq.

I'm sure that the leaders of Saudi Arabia would also like to see Iraq ruled by an iron fist Islamic government. As for the latest incident the Iranians were probably probing the USN defences as well as looking for trouble. US and coalition naval commanders will be aware of the fact that Iran is looking for trouble and the USS Cole bombing.

In each case it is up to the judgement of the captain or commanding office what action should be taken against the Iranians . Credit goes to the USN commander in this case but one should always remember that the security of the ship and crew must come before anything else.

After fifty years of incidents like this that have resulted in shots being fired and causality's North and South Korea now have something along the lines of a radio frequency were there two navy's can communicate to avoid shots being fired.

posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 08:02 AM
reply to post by xpert11

Actions speak louder then words. It is clear that Iran is trying to provoke a war with the US and its allies. Why does Iran want to start a war so badly with the US? Well the Iranian government is willing to sacrifice its military and its people just to unleash the Islamic hoards that will kill off Democracy in Iraq once and for all.

Have you calculated in the effect 500,000 dead Iranians in the 1980-1988 Iran Iraq War must have had and still has in the Iranian composite makeup? As I’ve posted elsewhere, my family in Ky took in a 14 year old Iranian boy who lived with us 4 years, finished high school and began his college education before moving away? Aside from being expensive, I’m sure he missed his family and they missed him, yet they made that sacrifice to keep him out of harms way. His mother and father managed to come here 1 time a year to visit him.

I do not believe the idea of a war with America is popular with the ordinary Iranian. I think the Iranian government sees the US as over-extended and because of our unquestioning support of Israel, lacking real support in any place in the Arab world. From Teheran’s POV, now is the time to PUSH on the US as the US cannot push back! As evidence by today’s announcement that NATO will NOT send more troops to Afghan, and we are having to send 22,000 USMC to bolster that bungled operation , we do not have allies anywhere.

Iraqi do not want democracy. They want security. They want peace. There are many things Iraqi want ahead of “democracy” whatever that is to mean there. It is obvious to me that “democracy” means one thing to Bush43 and yet another to everyone else.

After fifty years of incidents like this that have resulted in shots being fired and causality's North and South Korea now have something along the lines of a radio frequency were there two navy's can communicate to avoid shots being fired.

Korea observers generally agree it was 2000 before the South Koreans had a real genuine free and open election of their president. All the Korean presidents beginning with our choice of Sygman Rhee and running between 1946 and 2000 were staged - rigged - to assure the US occupying forces had a complaint “president.” In that long time frame, most of the men who took the title “President” were actually generals we trusted and financed. We tried that same plan in South Vietnam but Ho Chi Minh had other ideas. Korea had no Ho.

You see, America has always used elections in foreign countries to bamboozle the American public, and not necessarily to improve the political conditions abroad. All of Central America is a case in point. The Philippines is another example. America learned early on - in the first parts of the 19th century as we moved west - how to “colonize” without the accouterments the British and French always carried with them.

By us controlling the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and capital in general, we have managed to “control” almost any place we want to control for commercial exploitation. The American people would not support that ONE minute if they knew what was going on.

We controlled Chile and Bolivia for its copper and tin. All the states of Cental American have been under our aegis since the Panama Canal was opened if not before. How do you think I can still buy bananas for 39 cents a pound, the same price I pad more than 10 years ago? (Not every day. The low price alternates with 49 cents a pound). American commercial companies dominate Costa Rica. El Salvador. Nicaragua. Guatemala. Honduras. Panama. And we joust with Mexico.

The US engages with Brazil over the price of coffee. We engage with whoever it is that produces coco for chocolate and who grow vanilla. We are still engaged with Cuba over the price of sugar. As we mechanized the growing of rice, we have condemned millions of Asians and Africans to a life of poverty. Don’t forget we took Florida from Spain. We took Texas from Mexico then when the Mexicans objected, we took New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California and part of Colorado! We ran the British out of Washington state. Dole Pineapple Company masterminded the taking of Hawaii. We took Guam, Wake Island, Midway Island, and the Philippine Islands from Spain. The Philippines, like Cuba, were not appreciative of our change In landlords.

End of over-long commentary.

[edit on 1/16/2008 by donwhite]

posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 08:17 PM
It is the leaders of Iran and the elements of the population that support that regime who want a war with the US. As for the level of geniune support that the Iranian government enjoys from the local population is an unknown quality . IMO the anti Iraq war crowd grossly underestimate the will the Iraqi people have to fight for there freedom and democratic way of life but that is another topic.

NATO and other US allies would only join in an attack on Iran is if the likes of a RN or RAN ship was attacked or threatened and baited into firing the first shot. That is how I could some of the US allies taking part in military action against Iran.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:12 AM
reply to post by xpert11

It is the leaders of Iran and the elements of the population that support that regime who want a war with the US. As for the level of genuine support that the Iranian government enjoys from the local population is an unknown quality . IMO the anti Iraq war crowd grossly underestimate the will the Iraqi people have to fight for there freedom and democratic way of life but that is another topic.

Well, I would not say Iraq had a “freedom and democratic way of life” in 1980-88 as we Westerners understand those 2 words. All Iraqi I have heard describe the period prior to 1991 was this: lots of law and order and if you kept out of politics, not a bad place to live. That is the secret of a long life in any totalitarian state. As Kenny Rogers sang it, “Know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em.”

Since the advent of Ayatollah Khomeini and the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, all decisions of consequence are subject to review by the Supreme Leader who is the chief of state and is now the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The head of government, the Number 2 post, is President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. [Note: I’ve compared Shia to Catholicism in Christianity and Sunni to Protestantism. Shia believe in saints, miracles and in the supremacy of a hierarchical clergy. The Sunni don’t.]

We must assume the leaders of Iran whoever they are, are as well informed as anyone about the facts-on-the-ground in the region. And most likely are much better informed than the United States Government is or ever was. After the March 18, 2003, Second Punitive Expedition to Iraq, as I like to call it, harkening back to the 19th century British way of dealing with recalcitrant colonials, the balance of power was grossly disrupted.

And do not think for one minute the Arabs have forgotten the “mad dog loose” attack on Lebanon by Israel’s IDF in 2006, in which the US delayed UN intervention for 34 days while the Israelis ran amuck killing who they willed. Aside: the 3 missing IDF soldiers are still missing. Hmm? Note: To understand the endless conflict in Lebanon you must know what a “communion based republic” is or means. Quick: It puts the minority Christians in charge of the government. End.

I am not aware of how many “enemy combatants” we have killed in Iraq. Estimates of Iraqi dead run from our 85,000 to the UN’s 120-200,000. If the ratio of civilian-to-fighter deaths in Vietnam holds true in Iraq, then about 10% of the total (indigenous personnel) dead were “enemy combatants.” That points to between 8,500 and maybe 12,000. (You may have read my black prediction the US will sustain KIA number 4,000 on March 9).

Balance of Power. Hegemony. As I have written elsewhere on ATS, there was a delicate balance of power after the drawing of national boundary lines by the French and British around 1922. In 1948, Westerners who did not live in the region, introduced the survivors of the Nazi Holocaust into the Palestine Mandate of the League of Nations. In 1967 the Jewish state of Israel reached its geographical zenith. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is included in this conquered territory. As you know, it is the Number 3 Holy Site in Islam. The Dome of the Rock and the al Akha mosque are sited there.

As long as Israel occupies the Temple Mount, there will be no peace in the Middle East.

Iran is exploiting that FACT we do not seem to be able to grasp on this side of the Atlantic. To us a Holy Site is Disneyland. A vacation destination. Egypt is the only viable counterpoint to Iran in the region. But Egypt has so many people it is an explosion waiting to happen. Jordan is merely the left-overs of the region. Lebanon is locked in an endless war of religions. Say Thank You, France.

Syria is influential but because of its location, not because it is inherently powerful. Saudi Arabia is like Egypt, an explosion waiting to happen. It is an example how American c9lonialism works. We are keeping in power 300,000 members of the EXTENDED royal family of the Saudis. Who take most of the oil revenues away from the 18,000,000 others living there. But the Saudi position is additionally complicated by their self-assumed Guardians of Mecca and Medina status. Kuwait is merely an accounting device for the world’s major oil companies. Iraq is the only country in the region, other than Iran, that has the potential to become an industrialized power of the Western type. And we’ve wrecked that possibility for at least one generation.

Which brings us back to Iran. In reality, all they have to do is wait us out. We are not gong to remain in Iraq much longer. Even if we keep a Korea size military presence - 38,000 - that force will be there ONLY to keep the oil flowing for ExxonMobil and TexacoChevron. Which is why we are in Iraq. Everybody knows that but the US public. Hmm?

Foot Note: The Iranian Council of Guardians of the Constitution is a 12 member board made up of six clerics chosen by the Supreme Leader and six jurists selected by the Majles (Parliament) for six-year terms; this Council determines whether proposed legislation is both constitutional and faithful to Islamic law, vets candidates for suitability, and supervises national elections. Iran Facts: Area, 1.65 million km2. Population 65.4 million (2007) Median age 25; Ethnicity: Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%. GDP per person is $8,700. (2006). From CIA World Factbook.

[edit on 1/17/2008 by donwhite]

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:44 AM
I have to say this, DonWhite knows its history.

I agree with you OP, you know the last thing that Arabs rich countries wants is their cash flow interrupted, but we are only speculating, in the new found riches of corporate oil barons it seems that greed can be more powerful than reason.

Already the Iraqi oil is don deal, but the culminating goal is Iran's oil, that will close the circle of oil domination in the region with the US elites on top guarding all that oil interest.

How far will the greed goes for the oil domination of Iran as to interrupt oil supplies to the world in order to win a bet.

posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 10:40 AM
reply to post by marg6043

“ . . in the new found riches of corporate oil barons it seems that greed can be more powerful than reason. Already the Iraqi oil is don deal, but the culminating goal is Iran's oil, that will close the circle of oil domination in the region with the US elites on top guarding all that oil interest. How far will the greed goes for the oil domination of Iran as to interrupt oil supplies to the world in order to win a bet.

Marg6043, you are my favorite person! As usual you remind us of some facts that must be taken into account. Lewis Paul Bremer, our head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, was a division in the Department of Defense. As Administrator he reported directly to the Secretary of Defense who I called Herr Oberfuhrer Rumsfeld and the President. He held this post from May 11, 2003 until preliminary Iraqi sovereignty was restored on June 28, 2004. About 13 months. It that time period, he exercised what is called plenipotentiary power. It was during this time frame the OIL contracts were made ostensibly ON BEHALF of Iraq by Paul Bremer.

Iran has a lot of oil. I believe it is the No. 5 exporter. Iran has not been fully explored. Iraq has not been fully explored. Iraq may hold MORE oil than Saudi Arabia! For sure, Iraq and Iran together have enough oil to satisfy the US mega-appetite for 100 years! OTOH, Iran has already given China some long term leases for a lot of oil and natural gas via yet to be constructed overland pipelines. This helps assure the Security Council will not act too harshly against Iran. Thanks for the remind, Ms M43.

In a Newsday article an unnamed former senior State Department official who worked with Bremer is quoted as saying, “Bremer is a ‘voracious opportunist with voracious ambitions. What he knows about Iraq could not quite fill a thimble. What he knows about any part of the world would not fill a thimble. But what he knows about Washington infighting could fill three or four bushel baskets.’ " by Knut Royce, May 2, 2003.
On May 23, 2003, just twelve days after his appointment, Bremer issued Order Number 2, dissolving the entire former Iraqi army putting 400,000 former Iraqi soldiers out of work and on the street!

[edit on 1/17/2008 by donwhite]

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 04:38 PM
Super Tuesday. February 5, 2008. Election Day November 4, 2008. About 273 days by actual count.
Here is the list of states voting next Tuesday.
AK, CA, AZ, UT, ID, NM, CO, TN, AL, NY, CT, ND, KS, OK, MN, AR, IL, GA, MA, NJ and DE.

Tomorrow ME caucuses. Other states holding delegate selections in the month of February are, WA, NE, WI, LA, VA, MD, and DC. Because the GOP uses winner take all selecting, it is very likely we will have the winner of the GOP race after Feb. 5. 1,191 delegates needed to win.

The Dems OTOH, being MORE democratic, allot delegates on a proportional vote system so it may well be the leading candidate will not reach the needed 2,025 delegates to win on Feb. 5.

Democrats will meet in Denver, Colorado, from August 25-28 at the downtown Pepsi Center.

Republicans will meet in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, from September 1-4 at the RiverCentre / Xcel Energy Center.

November 4 is Election Day in 2008, with polls opening as early as midnight in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, and finally closing in Hawaii and Alaska.

posted on Feb, 1 2008 @ 07:37 PM
How to Resolve the Iraq Question: The Alaska Plan.

At the bottom of Iraq is OIL. How to divide the oil revenues is the ONLY issue that keeps the Iraqi Parliament from reaching the goal we are calling “reconciliation.” So let’s deal with the oil.

There are 2 major areas where oil is currently produced. In the north, in a area under Kurds control. In the southeast near Basra, with is close to Iran and under Shia control.

Shia number about 60% of the population of Iraq. Kurds number about 15% of the population and Sunni number about 25%. There is very little oil in areas - the west - where Sunni are in the majority. So here’s my suggested solution.

Amend the Constitution removing oil and natural gas from the purview of the Parliament’s authority. Divide the country into 3 oil sharing zones. One in the north oil producing region, one in the southeast oil producing region and the remainder of the country in the third zone.

Put all oil and natural gas under a National Petroleum Commission. This commission would be in total control of the oil and natural gas resources of Iraq. The commission would be headed by 9 members. 3 each of the Shia, Sunni and Kurds. Members would be chosen by a collective of 15 powerful men representing each of the 3 communities. Kurd, Shia and Sunni. All commission decisions must have 6 votes though 2 members may require the attendance of all members. The chairmanship would be rotated to all members on a monthly basis. All records of income and all outgoing monies would be public and made available on a monthly basis.

Commission appointments would be for one 10 years term. No succession permitted. It’s a one time job. Commissioner pay would be FIVE times the pay of the Iraqi President or Chief Justice, whichever is the higher. After serving 10 years, the person would retire on half pay for life. He and his extended family would be banned from any contact with oil pumpers, buyers or shippers for as long as the commissioner lives.

Parliament would receive 50% of the net oil revenues. All Iraq federal (parliament) expenditures be divided equally between the 3 zones. The remaining 50% of net revenues would be paid to each Iraqi family on a pro rated basis, according to the number of members of the family. Example: if Iraq pumps 3 million barrels a day, and sells it for $80 a bbl, and it costs $30 a bbl to produce, netting $50 per bbl per day, then total annual revenue would be 365 X $150 million. $54.750 b. a year.

Each Iraqi family would receive about $5,500 a year. Parliament would have $27 b. to do public works. Note: Iraq population is 25 million. I estimated 5 family members per family, or 5 million payees.

Parliament cannot resolve this issue. A National Oil Commission could.

[edit on 2/1/2008 by donwhite]

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