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Breaking News:

The Buildup for War with Iran continues apace

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The Buildup for War with Iran continues apace

http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/e2e3e263eb166d760893db9c9e4712ae?s=38&d=identicon&r=GPosted on 9 March 2012 by "the witness"

January 9, 2012. 7:55 pm

Posted by: Robert Sibley's Ideas & Consequences

It was only a few days ago that Prime Minister Stephen Harper was warning us that Iran is the greatest threat to global security and the country’s theocratic dictators were not only looking to acquire nuclear weapons, but possibly to use them. He was particularly concerned that Iran’s threats to close the Strait of Hormuz – one of the crucial oil shipping routes – only highlighted the dangers posed by the mad mullahs.

“Iran is a very serious threat to international peace and security. In my judgment, it is the world’s most serious threat to international peace and security,” Harper told a Calgary radio station.

Interestingly, Harper’s warning came at about the same time that, American, French, British and Russian air and naval forces began gathering off the Syrian and Iranian coasts.

So far as I know the Harper government hasn’t ordered any of the Royal Canadian Navy’s ships to join an Iran-watch flotilla, but it is interesting to note that HMCS Charlottetown departed Halifax on Sunday morning for the Mediterranean Sea. Ostensibly, the frigate, with 250 sailors, was embarking on a six-month counter-terrorism mission as part NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour.

Is this a coincidence? Not likely. Are we being readied for yet another war? Quite likely. Consider what’s happening.

According to DEBKAfile, there’s been a significant military buildup of western naval forces in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea in the last two days. The USS Stennis aircraft carrier, which the Iranians have said they won’t permit to re-enter the Strait of Hormuz after it transited the strait in late December, has apparently launched one of its huge RQ-4 Global Hawk’s spy drones to do surveillance over the Iranian coast along the Persian Gulf. The aircraft carrier and its strike force are cruising in the Sea of Oman, near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.

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Launching the Global Hawk

The Global Hawk’s mission, according to the U.S. Navy, is “to monitor sea traffic off the Iranian coast and the Straits of Hormuz.” The navy has been ordered to watch this traffic following statements Sunday by Iranian Navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari that the strait was under full Iranian control and had been for years.

The Americans responded the same day, saying no way. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged that Iran has the ability to block the Strait of Hormuz “for a period of time.” However, he also said there was no way the U.S. was going to allow the Iranians to keep it blocked. “We’ve invested in capabilities to ensure that if that happens, we can defeat that. Yes, they can block it. We’ve described that as an intolerable act and it’s not just intolerable for us, it’s intolerable to the world. But we would take action and reopen the straits.”

But it’s not just the U.S. Navy that’s getting ready for whatever happens. Thousands of U.S. troops began arriving in Israel last week, according to Debkafile. They may be staying up to the end of the year as part of a U.S.-Israel Defence Force deployment in preparation for possible military action against Iran. The troops are to be joined by a U.S. aircraft carrier, whose warplanes will fly missions with Israeli Air Force jets. Most of the 9,000 American servicemen gathering in Israel in the coming weeks are airmen, missile interceptor teams, marines, seamen, technicians and intelligence officers.  Air Force Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc, during a visit to Israel wo weeks ago, described the arrival of the troops as more of a “deployment” than an “exercise,” effectively confirming that the U.S. is getting ready in case it decides to attack Iran’s nuclear installations, or for a war emergency created by the closure of the Strait of Hormuz.

The Americans aren’t acting alone. The British government ordered the HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer armed with new technology for shooting down missiles, to the Sea of Oman. It should arrive there at about the same time as the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. France has also consigned an air defense destroyer Forbin to the waters off Tartus to keep an eye on the Russians.

Naturally, the Russians are being unhelpful, undermining a coordinated western response to the Iranian threat. The Putin regime has ordered the Admiral Kuznetsov to anchor at Syria’s Tartus port on the Mediterranean. It arrived Sunday, along with the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and frigate Yaroslav Mudry.

No doubt, the Russians want to protect those expensive nuclear facilities they’ve sold to the Iranians, along with all those Russian nuclear scientists. (It’s always been a puzzle to me why Russia would help a Muslim state like Iran acquire nuclear weapons when it has so many problems itself with Muslim terrorists, whom, presumably, Iran’s mullahs would be only too happy to provide with nuclear materials. Think of what a Chechen terrorist could do in Moscow with an Iranian-supplied “dirty” suitcase bomb.)

To observe all of this is not to suggest the preparations aren’t necessary. Better to tackle Iran now than when it has nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, this is a lesson westerners have a hard time accepting even though it’s one that history teaches time after time.

As that great political realist Niccolo Machiavelli once wrote, describing reasons for the success of the Roman Empire against troublesome barbarians: “The Romans, seeing inconveniences from afar, always found remedies for them and never allowed them to continue so as to escape war, because they knew that war may not be avoided but is deferred to the advantage of others. So they decided to make war with Philip and Antiochus in Greece in order not to have to do so in Italy.”

In other words, if you don’t fight the wars that you can win you can be sure that sooner or later you’ll have to fight a bigger one in which the odds of success might not be in your favour.

Given Harper’s concerns about Iran, I find it difficult to believe he hasn’t considered making the HMCS Charlottetown – and anything else Canada has to offer — available for Iran-watch duties, and whatever that entails.

Israeli think-tank asks: If Iran explodes a nuclear bomb, what then?

  1. Russian Move Against US Called “First Shot” Of World War III | EUTimes.net (12:15 PM on January 10, 2012) [...] the buildup for war between the US and Iran continues to escalate, UN Chief Ban ki Moon’s call for the easing of tensions has gone unheeded as the Obama regimes [...]
  2. Iran stores more oil at sea as trade pressure grows – Reuters | Seamen (12:12 AM on January 11, 2012) [...] HormuzMalaysia Star: Hormuz Strait closure would hurt world: UAEKhaleej Times: The Buildup for War with Iran continues apaceOttawa Citizen [...]
  3. Russian Move Against US Called “First Shot” Of World War III « Investment Watch Blog – 2012 (7:35 AM on January 12, 2012)
  4. Is the covert war with Iran becoming overt? | Ceasefire.ca (12:18 AM on January 13, 2012 ) [...] the possible role of HMCS Charlottetown, which was recently deployed to the Mediterranean (“The Buildup for War with Iran continues apace,” Robert Sibley’s Ideas & Consequences, Ottawa Citizen blog, 9 January 2012): I [...]

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