Friday, December 30, 2011

Brave and crazy...

So Tehran's latest round of threats didn't surprise me. Big talk sells well in that neck of the woods: Kha... Qa... Ghaddafi had his "Line of Death" in the Gulf of Sidra, Saddam Hussein promised "the mother of all battles" to anyone foolish enough to contest his annexation of Kuwait. To cut ice over there, you've got to talk smack like a GOP presidential speechwriter on a mean drunk.

But anyhow, this threatening the whole world with the closure of the Straits of Hormuz thing... I'm wondering what the whole background is?
  1. They really are crazy and aren't afraid of getting a heaping helping of regime change. (As we saw in Libya, threaten oil supplies and even the Frogs get bellicose. There'll be no problems forming a Coalition of the Swilling here.)

  2. This is saber rattling intended to make them look butch for their domestic audience.

  3. Vladimir Putin, who is sitting on oil that doesn't need to pass through the Straits of Hormuz, handed them a brick and said "Go on, throw it through the window! I dare you, chicken! Don't worry, I'll cover for you."
Hopefully nobody is going to decide that A Short Victorious War will focus group well between now and November.


Boat Guy said...

And we've got just the group of DUMBASSES in charge who might just decide to wag the dog.
Much as I detest the Iranian regime and would like to see us support those folks who are sane over there (and there are some)I'd be tempted to write my kid a note ecusing him from O's Excellent Adventure

Bubblehead Les. said...

Sadly, every few centuries, the Persian Empire gets "Froggy" and wants to rule the World. Then they have to get smacked down. Been happening since Leonidas of Sparta was a pup. Guess they think it's time to start Hopping.

As to a "Short Victorious War", well, with this Administration.....

staghounds said...

I don't have the current code book, but according to my old 1979 version, "Unacceptable" means "We will boycott your olympics in a couple of years".

Actually this is exactly what the Navy is for. No problem here with sinking every Iranian interferer and tomahawking their master.

President Obama is going to be re elected anyway, war/peace/victory/defeat notwithstanding.

Turk Turon said...

"Coalition of the Swilling"

RL said...

More likely a short victorious betrayal of the good guys.

Stuart the Viking said...

Oh how the "O" administration must be torn. If Iran were to succeed in closing the straits, my understanding is that oil, and therefore fuel, would shoot through the roof.

On one hand, such a rediculous rise in fuel prices is a (not so) secret wish of many of the enviromental wacko croud. Their fever-dream being that "Green Energy" (that "O" is always going on about) would suddenly become viable and the world would be all sunshine, breeze, and happy unicorns (oh god won't somebody PLEASE think of the UNICORNS?!?). So clearly, he should just let them close the straits.

On the other hand, a sharp rise in fuel prices would destroy the peach fuzz economic recovery (is it there? if we turn our cheak into the light just so, can't you see it?) that is happening (probably in spite of the administration's anti-business policies). More importantly (to "O"), the economy tanking right now would possibly kill any chance that "O" has for re-election. So clearly he must NOT let them close the straits.

I wonder what "O" will do.


Lewis said...

Bubblehead Les: Leaving aside that it's more than a few centuries since Leonidas held the Hot Gates, when's the last time the Persians got froggy and tried to rule the world?

Staghounds: Are we really that eager to find out how well the Sunburns work? Really?

And I guess we'd probably need to go after the nuke research program too, while we're at it, right? I mean, while we're on a roll and everything. Right?

Hell, what's the worst that could happen? (I'm not asking flippantly, by the way. I'm serious. Stop and think about it for a minute.)

Google "Riper war games" and reassure yourself that those dumb ragheads don't have the internet, or that they only speak Farsi, or that they'll give Hezbollah a big flashing green light to start fucking (more) with Israel, or that Sadr's boys will say, "We all Shia, let's roll!" or anything like that.

I mean, the same people pushing this are the same people who were pushing for Operation Iraqi Liberation, umm, Freedom, Freedom, yeah, that's it. (I swear, how fucking dumb does someone have to be to not realize the acronymification of Operation Iraqi Liberation?) And look how well those turned out, right?

Really, they should just shut up and let us and the Israelis continue to assassinate their scientists like good little wogs.

Lewis said...

ahem, passion impairs accuracy.

Please to insert "they won't give" in place of "they'll give" right before "Hezbollah".

Anonymous said...

As I recall neither side could stop the others flow of oil during the Iran Iraq war much less the the other noncombatants in the Gulf.

I'll put $50 on your choice number 2.

The folks at 5th fleet have been war game this for years. The best thing for Iran would be to do lots of barking, piss on a tree or two and then strut home. If they try and bite the big dog they can only lose.


Anonymous said...

4. Tehran realizes that the US president is a feckless empty suit who would take months to decide what to do, and that Western Europe, after years of "peace dividend", has no ability absent the US to force the Straits open.

GuardDuck said...

A Short Victorious War will focus group well between now and November.

Yeah, and they can term this one a "Prophetic military action."

Cargosquid said...

The Saudis have preempted the Iranians by promising to fulfill any short falls caused by a closure with increased pumping.

So...hey, Iran! Go ahead and close it. We need some target practice, the Saudis need money, Putin needs a domestic win, and Obama needs to look tough.

captcha: cowspor - watch where you step

azmountaintroll said...

According to Spengler (David Goldman), the Iranians are facing demographic collapse and plan to go down fighting. Imperial Japan with nukes. Happy New Year!

Stranger said...

Well, the Ahmapajama regime is hanging by a thread. If Obummer had given the people a little encouragement we would have a much friendlier bunch of Farsi to deal with. And the situation in Iraq would be stable. But the OH-man did did not. So Persia is a tinderbox.

As Machiavelli pointed out, the easiest way to put down revolt at home is to start a war. So it's a safe bet Ahmapajama wants a war.

Rule one for those who do not want to be the sucker is "never play the other man's game."

Killing the Iranian Navy may be easy enough. But kill just one Iranian civilian and we are likely to have serious trouble.

No matter how much the Shia hate Ahmapajama and his thugs, they will hate us more. And the Sunni will certainly close ranks with their "threatened" Shia brothers.

If we are lucky, we will get to shoot four times for every American. If we are not - that thought is best left untyped.


JT said...

The effect would be minimal to the actual flow of oil. The time it would take to sink the Iranian Navy and reopen the straits would be minimal.

Anonymous said...

Also, be aware: The Navy is for all practical purposes irrelevant in this game.

Oh, sure, the Iranians would love to pot a USN vessel -- it'd give them bragging rights for decades. But the important thing in the Straits is the tankers. Zap even one bulk crude carrier, and insurance underwriters would die, crushed in the thundering rush to cancel coverage. The tower of smoke would be the lede on every TV news program on the planet, and shipowners would be burning the RF bands almost as brightly with commands to the captains to park that sucker in a reasonably safe spot.

The anti-ship missiles are little; you could carry them around easily on a Dodge dually pickup, and the coast of the Strait is rough, full of hidey-holes where ASM-operators can set up shop. The crews themselves probably wouldn't enjoy the resulting game of whack-a-mole, but neither would the Bug drivers charged with winkling them out -- and Ahmadinejad would be crowing every time one popped up after an American bomber went past: "Yoo hoo, right here, Yankee dog".

Why won't they do it? Well, it works two ways. There is only one gasoline refinery in all of Iran, and it wouldn't keep NASCAR running for a race weekend. No Strait passage, no fuel, no economy -- something they can not afford at this juncture. And as has been pointed out, alternative sources (including us) are available for everybody but the Chinese, who are likely to take a dim view of cutting into their economy at this moment.

Iran is different from all the other Duck Soup principalities in the region in that it's a real nation, not a set of lines drawn in proto-EU drinking parties. Persians are patriotic, and much as they dislike the mullahs and their stooges (which many do), twisting the tail of the Big Dog plays well in the cheap seats. The real proper response is [yawn, change the channel] rather than saber-rattling.


MSgt B said...

I'm betting on "short vicorious war"

Firehand said...

I know the Navy has been gaming this for years; I just hope they've been gaming it honestly. I remember a retired officer talking about awargame where a carrier was ruled hit and sunk by a ASM; the admiral in charge got pissed and rerolled because "That couldn't happen!"

I really, REALLY don't want us to have another Battle of Savo Island...

Anonymous said...

4. It's Dick Cheney!!

Ed Foster said...

docjim505 in first, with warlocketx a close second. As to who has the right of it, only the teleprompter expert in the White House knows for sure.

Ken said...

You and me both (and I'm just an amateur observer), Firehand.

Nor Tassafaronga neither.

History records that the Japanese did the same thing when wargaming Midway. It is not a confidence-buildingness thing.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I am not sure where the line of talking trash in a bar to the somewhat good natured 6'6" 300 pound MMA fighter known as the USA is crossed and it gets the living heck stomped out of Iran's mouthy little 160 pound butt. However this time they are really is pushing it.

A minor regional irritation could definitely bring "a heaping helping of regime change". I know it would be a bad thing but personally I have kind of held a grudge against Iran since I learned about the whole hostage crisis as a teenager.


Justthisguy said...

I saw what you did there, with A Short Victorious War.

Like Honor Harrington, and David Weber, I am a Christian who does not necessarily see eye-to-eye with, and agree with, the government of his country.

P.s. If there is any doubt about the Steadholder and Duchess's religious opinions, she had one of her kids baptized according to the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, though she lives in a different (and fictional!) universe, with different physical laws than ours.

Mah kitteh only has four legs. Please feel sorry for us.

Tam said...


"I saw what you did there, with A Short Victorious War."


I was quoting von Pleve.

richard mcenroe said...

It's not just Ahmedinajad who could follow the Italian's advice.

I have a feeling if Obama loses the election he will announce the first carrier strikes the day before his opponent's inauguration.

gk1 said...

Didn't the last time we mix it up with the Iranian "navy" we sunk it in like what, 3 days? Zodiac boats with RPGs do not a navy make.

Volpone said...

A short victorious war?! How long did it take to move the Occupy occupiers? Weeks, months? Today, there is no such thing as short or victorious: the consequences go on forever or, at least, for a very long time. One man's Mead is another man's Persian.

AD-RtR/OS! said...

This group is incapable of "victorious", but "short" is well within their repertoire:
They'll surrender!

Dave S. said...

A short, victorious war sounds good to me. These chihuahuas have been nipping our heels for thirty years. If they want to start some crap in a very open way that gives us room to work, I'm all for it. I really don't care if it gives O'Bumbles a boost. The good of the country is more important.

TmjUtah said...

I think Achmedinejad would gladly exchange a few hundred Iranians and some obsolete hulls in exchange for getting four years more of the Obama administration.

He only needs to survive personally any exchange of fire with the US. Use of Shipwrecks and other systems will indeed make insurers absent themselves while the threat exists.

Dead Iranians other than the inner circle will enrage the citezenry; with good reason. America has been no friend to oppressed peoples since we saddled ourselves with The Won.

A pissing contest with Iran ultimately benefits Iran's rulers and weakens and demoralizes our military and allies. It is a win all the way for Obama. Yet another opportunity to "fundamentally transform" our flawed republic.

We have come to this.

Anonymous said...

But anyhow, this threatening the whole world with the closure of the Straits of Hormuz thing... I'm wondering what the whole background is?

Might this have something to do with Obama signing the NDAA with its 3rd party banking sanctions that in theory are going to make it very difficult for Iran to get paid for its oil?

Others have pointed out the similarity with our pre-Pearl Harbor sanctions on Imperial Japan: in August 1941 we imposed an embargo on oil, and since we supplied 80% of their's....

While the Japanese didn't have to attack us they did have to do something. Since they had allowed a culture of political assassination to develop over the previous decades, giving into our demands to back off in China was politically impossible; seizing Indonesian oil was the only way they could avoid starvation in short order.

Firehand said...

Be it said: we have a military that's capable of flat stomping any opposing force in the world provided they are allowed to actually fight and win. And that's the problem. For instance, the flatly idiotic ROE our troops have been under for some time, so as not to 'unnecessarily'(in the opinion of some politicians) upset world opinion or actually hurt the bad guys("Unless you really really have to").

Obama can't even bring himself to say 'victory' unless he's disparaging the idea; this administation, if they do order action, is far more likely top prefer piles of dead American troops and sailors to actually letting them win.

TMLutas said...

One little wrinkle for war fighting choreographers is likely to keep this scenario on the side lines. While the US is playing for a "wag the dog" tie where we go back to status quo ante afterwards and everybody gets to claim victory, it would be a God sent opening for Israel to go for nuclear program and regime decapitation.

While we have missiles flying it would be pretty difficult to work up any sort of condemnation. And frankly, the "antiwar" crowd would have trouble picking which style of warfare to condemn and would end up, like the dog looking at his reflection in the water, without any bone at all.

TmjUtah said...

I do not see a scenario where Israel profits from a unilateral nuclear attack. Not yet. The rational objective is to continue to degrade the industrial and military infrastructure the mullahs and the twelvers (two discreet but sometime overlapping factions) depend on to maintain power. This route is actually amenable in the eyes of the region. Nobody there likes Jews but they dislike Imperial Persians quite a bit.

If Israel launches a nuclear attack it won't be a limited or precision strike. This is the fact that none of her neighbors ever mentions... but is understood by all.

Btw, "pissing contest" as I used it above means a military conflict lacking any relation to national security, devoid of strategic objective beyond short term political advantage for the failed Obama presidency.

Thomas said...

Blogger gk1 said...

Didn't the last time we mix it up with the Iranian "navy" we sunk it in like what, 3 days? Zodiac boats with RPGs do not a navy make.

1:22 PM, January 01, 2012

Yeah and my favorite part was where RWR(PBuH) called destruction of the oil platforms a "measured response"

I think Achmedinejad would gladly exchange a few hundred Iranians and some obsolete hulls in exchange for getting four years more of the Obama administration.

The way to a short vicious war is to set fire to every wellhead/oil platform/pipeline/storage-tank in Iran...... they would be eating their own inside of three days.

Anonymous said...

Ah, please keep in mind that Ahmadinijahd {SP I know} and at least some of the mullahs really do believe that they have a calling to initiate the chaos that will start the rule of the Mahdi and the return of Jesus. In their minds, it is their duty to do whatever is necessary to make it possible for the 12th Imam to return. Starting a war with the Little Satan or Great Satan that sucks in Russia, Saudi (more infidels according to some Shia), and anyone else would serve their purposes quite well. Yes, they are nuts by western standards, but they are devout and utterly sane by the lights of their vision of Shia Islam. The Western response is in some ways immaterial.


IllTemperedCur said...

Vladimir Putin, who is sitting on oil that doesn't need to pass through the Straits of Hormuz, handed them a brick and said "Go on, throw it through the window! I dare you, chicken! Don't worry, I'll cover for you."

And when the US Navy pulverizes every piece of military equipment within 100 miles of the Shatt al-Arab Waterway, we'll sell you replacements!

Russkie Economic Stimulus!