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Who’s hot for a war with Iran?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, September 22, 2006

You have to wonder.

Today we have a breathless report by Dave Lindorff of "The Nation" which is complete with a former Air Force Colonel who taught at the National War College declaring that a planned naval deployment is "very important evidence" of war planning.

Then, of course, there's the clincher.
"This is very serious," said Ray McGovern, a former CIA threat-assessment analyst who got early word of the Navy officers' complaints about the sudden deployment orders.
Show me a sailor who wouldn't bitch about depolying and I'll show you an uncommon sailor. But more importantly, don't forget it's Ray McGovern saying this.

With that as a background, let's take a look at Lindorff's opening 3 paragraphs where all the claims are made:
As reports circulate of a sharp debate within the White House over possible US military action against Iran and its nuclear enrichment facilities, The Nation has learned that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon have moved up the deployment of a major "strike group" of ships, including the nuclear aircraft carrier Eisenhower as well as a cruiser, destroyer, frigate, submarine escort and supply ship, to head for the Persian Gulf, just off Iran's western coast. This information follows a report in the current issue of Time magazine, both online and in print, that a group of ships capable of mining harbors has received orders to be ready to sail for the Persian Gulf by October 1.

As Time writes in its cover story, "What Would War Look Like?," evidence of the forward deployment of minesweepers and word that the chief of naval operations had asked for a reworking of old plans for mining Iranian harbors "suggest that a much discussed—but until now largely theoretical—prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran."

According to Lieut. Mike Kafka, a spokesman at the headquarters of the Second Fleet, based in Norfolk, Virginia, the Eisenhower Strike Group, bristling with Tomahawk cruise missiles, has received orders to depart the United States in a little over a week. Other official sources in the public affairs office of the Navy Department at the Pentagon confirm that this powerful armada is scheduled to arrive off the coast of Iran on or around October 21.
War, huh? Could it be anything else?

Well, we thought we'd indulge in a little hypothetical Q&A that might have taken this conversation completely another way had Lindorff talked to anyone other than McGovern and Gardiner.

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So, this means we're probably going to war?

Not necessarily.

Really? What else could it be?

Oh, I don't know, preparations to enforce sanctions against Iran should they be passed?

Sanctions?

Yeah, you know, the UN has been talking about imposing santions against Iran if they don't stop enriching uranium. And apparently there seems to be some momentum building to actually do something.

Oh yeah. But why would you send a carrier battle group?

To impose the sanctions by denying ingress and egress to Iranian ports. Let's face it, if they can't ship oil through the Straits of Hormuz, they're out of business.

So a carrier battle group could stop them from doing that?

Oh yeah.

But I'd bet the Iranians wouldn't take it lying down, would they?

Probably not which is why we have tomahawk missiles. Should they attack our naval vessels, we could take out all their missile and naval sites with them.

But what about the mine layers?

Mines are area denial weapons. Again, a good way to control ingress and egress. We can also completely bottle up their ports if necessary. It's also a good way to canalize their surface vessels and make them attack along known corridors we control.

Iran has many fast attack missile boats. Ensuring we controlled the only avenues of approach would go a long way toward defeating any attacks they might mount.

So this deployment probably doesn't signal an attack on Iran?

Well think about it. If we were going to attack their nuclear facilities, we most likely would use Air Force long range bomber assets, not carrier assets from a single battle group. It is also unlikely we'd tip our hand that such an attack was in the offing by moving a carrier battle group into the area.

And if we were going to invade, it would take us 6 to 8 months to gather the troops, assuming we could find a place to stage them.

Nope. A single carrier group, no matter how many tomahawks it has or how hurriedly it is deployed does not mean war with anyone.

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Heh ... who says Disney has a monopoly on Fantasy Land?

UPDATE: Gary Hart (Mr. Monkey Business) adds his considerably diminished voice to the "we're going to attack Iran before November" crowd. Naturally he too quotes Col Gardiner (I think we're detecting a pattern here).
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
6 to 8 month’s? But I have it on the highest authority that the war is right around the corner!
 
Written By: Lance
URL: www.asecondhandconjecture.com
That’s just mean, Lance. ;)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I heard someone moaning about that the other day. ;)
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Show me a sailor who wouldn’t bitch about depolying and I’ll show you an uncommon sailor.


That would be the sailors from 7th fleet stationed in Sasebo. The guys in Yoko have it pretty good but would rather be underway than in sasebo.
 
Written By: Mac
URL: http://
Here are Ray McGovern’s qualifications as a source on the subject of the Bush administration’s plans for Iran (per the Wikipedia article that McQ linked):
McGovern was a mid level officer in the CIA in the 1960s where his focus was analysis of Soviet policy toward Vietnam.
Anyone who has spent any time exploring the Alice in Wonderland world of the internet Left will recognize the "career CIA man" as a familiar recurring character. For example, there is "28 year career CIA man" Bill Christison, who is ubiquitously quoted on the Left explaining the "root causes" of al Qaeda terrorism (US support for Israel), despite the fact that he retired from the CIA before al Qaeda was even created. Christison’s other area of expertise is explaining why 9/11 had to have been an "inside job" that used "controlled demolitions" to bring down the WTC towers.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
It is only mean if people follow the links and read them. Maybe you should delete that comment, some things should just be kept within the family;^}
 
Written By: Lance
URL: www.asecondhandconjecture.com
It is only mean if people follow the links and read them. Maybe you should delete that comment, some things should just be kept within the family;^}
a. Too late
b. I don’t know about mean, but it was seriously funny...
 
Written By: err
URL: http://
Inactivist???

That blogger seem rather active in the anti-Bush cursade.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Inactivist???

That blogger seem rather active in the anti-Bush cursade.

Just what the world needs: one more anti-Bush blog.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
The presence of a carrier battle group would not preclude the use of long-range bombers. It could be a jointness thing, or the Navy aircraft would support the AF bombers and provide a search and rescue capability. Of course one battle group seems to be a bit thin. But hey, who am I do disagree with experts like McGovern?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Of course, one battle group can carry MORE than plenty of nukes.... and I suspect there’s plenty of "nuclear accidents" waiting to happen when 7th century minds play with 20th century science. About damn time, too.

"Real nice country you got there in Dirkadirkastan; be a shame if something happened to it..."
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Ok, let’s take this comment, "To impose the sanctions by denying ingress and egress to Iranian ports. Let’s face it, if they can’t ship oil through the Straits of Hormuz, they’re out of business."

Wouldn’t we need UN approval to oppose sanctions on Iran? Wouldn’t not doing so break international law? Won’t there be some major international players that will have a major problem with that? Maybe North Korea, Russia, and China to name a few. Do we really want to unite these countries in a common cause? Do you think the recent deployments may be freaking out North Korea, causing them to state recently that they will be testing a nuclear weapon? This is insanity. I guarantee that if we attack Iran, or even attempt to impose major sanctions without UN approval, we may be biting off more than we can chew.

 
Written By: shayolgul
URL: http://
Wouldn’t we need UN approval to oppose sanctions on Iran?
If you’ll read carefully, the whole post is based on that premise.

If you notice the two other parts of the Q&A just before that which you cite they say:
Really? What else could it be?

Oh, I don’t know, preparations to enforce sanctions against Iran should they be passed?

Sanctions?

Yeah, you know, the UN has been talking about imposing santions against Iran if they don’t stop enriching uranium. And apparently there seems to be some momentum building to actually do something.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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