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RedEyeJedi

War Signals

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RedEyeJedi

Read about this a few days ago. Forgot to post it.

War Signals?

September 21, 2006

Dave Lindorff

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 issued orders for 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 recent 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.

The Eisenhower had been in port at the Naval Station Norfolk for several years for refurbishing and refueling of its nuclear reactor; it had not been scheduled to depart for a new duty station until at least a month later, and possibly not till next spring. Family members, before the orders, had moved into the area and had until then expected to be with their sailor-spouses and parents in Virginia for some time yet. First word of the early dispatch of the "Ike Strike" group to the Persian Gulf region came from several angry officers on the ships involved, who contacted antiwar critics like retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner and complained that they were being sent to attack Iran without any order from the Congress.

"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. (McGovern, a twenty-seven-year veteran of the CIA, resigned in 2002 in protest over what he said were Bush Administration pressures to exaggerate the threat posed by Iraq. He and other intelligence agency critics have formed a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.)

Colonel Gardiner, who has taught military strategy at the National War College, says that the carrier deployment and a scheduled Persian Gulf arrival date of October 21 is "very important evidence" of war planning. He says, "I know that some naval forces have already received 'prepare to deploy orders' [PTDOs], which have set the date for being ready to go as October 1. Given that it would take about from October 2 to October 21 to get those forces to the Gulf region, that looks about like the date" of any possible military action against Iran. (A PTDO means that all crews should be at their stations, and ships and planes should be ready to go, by a certain date--in this case, reportedly, October 1.) Gardiner notes, "You cannot issue a PTDO and then stay ready for very long. It's a very significant order, and it's not done as a training exercise." This point was also made in the Time article.

So what is the White House planning?

On Monday President Bush addressed the UN General Assembly at its opening session, and while studiously avoiding even physically meeting Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was also addressing the body, he offered a two-pronged message. Bush told the "people of Iran" that "we're working toward a diplomatic solution to this crisis" and that he looked forward "to the day when you can live in freedom." But he also warned that Iran's leaders were using the nation's resources "to fund terrorism and fuel extremism and pursue nuclear weapons." Given the President's assertion that the nation is fighting a "global war on terror" and that he is Commander in Chief of that "war," his prominent linking of the Iran regime with terror has to be seen as a deliberate effort to claim his right to carry the fight there. Bush has repeatedly insisted that the 2001 Congressional Authorization for the Use of Force that preceded the invasion of Afghanistan was also an authorization for an unending "war on terror."

Even as Bush was making not-so-veiled threats at the UN, his former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, a sharp critic of any unilateral US attack on Iran, was in Norfolk, not far from the Eisenhower, advocating further diplomatic efforts to deal with Iran's nuclear program--itself tantalizing evidence of the policy struggle over whether to go to war, and that those favoring an attack may be winning that struggle.

"I think the plan's been picked: bomb the nuclear sites in Iran," says Gardiner. "It's a terrible idea, it's against US law and it's against international law, but I think they've decided to do it." Gardiner says that while the United States has the capability to hit those sites with its cruise missiles, "the Iranians have many more options than we do: They can activate Hezbollah; they can organize riots all over the Islamic world, including Pakistan, which could bring down the Musharraf government, putting nuclear weapons into terrorist hands; they can encourage the Shia militias in Iraq to attack US troops; they can blow up oil pipelines and shut the Persian Gulf." Most of the major oil-producing states in the Middle East have substantial Shiite populations, which has long been a concern of their own Sunni leaders and of Washington policy-makers, given the sometimes close connection of Shiite populations to Iran's religious rulers.

Of course, Gardiner agrees, recent ship movements and other signs of military preparedness could be simply a bluff designed to show toughness in the bargaining with Iran over its nuclear program. But with the Iranian coast reportedly armed to the teeth with Chinese Silkworm antiship missiles, and possibly even more sophisticated Russian antiship weapons, against which the Navy has little reliable defenses, it seems unlikely the Navy would risk high-value assets like aircraft carriers or cruisers with such a tactic. Nor has bluffing been a Bush MO to date.

Commentators and analysts across the political spectrum are focusing on Bush's talk about dialogue, with many claiming that he is climbing down from confrontation. On the right, David Frum, writing on September 20 in his National Review blog, argues that the lack of any attempt to win a UN resolution supporting military action, and rumors of "hushed back doors" being opened in Washington, lead him to expect a diplomatic deal, not a unilateral attack. Writing in the center, Washington Post reporter Glenn Kessler saw in Bush's UN speech evidence that "war is no longer a viable option" in Iran. Even on the left, where confidence in the Bush Administration's judgment is abysmally low, commentators like Noam Chomsky and Nation contributor Robert Dreyfuss are skeptical that an attack is being planned. Chomsky has long argued that Washington's leaders aren't crazy, and would not take such a step--though more recently, he has seemed less sanguine about Administration sanity and has suggested that leaks about war plans may be an effort by military leaders--who are almost universally opposed to widening the Mideast war--to arouse opposition to such a move by Bush and war advocates like Cheney. Dreyfuss, meanwhile, in an article for the online journal TomPaine.com, focuses on the talk of diplomacy in Bush's Monday UN speech, not on his threats, and concludes that it means "the realists have won" and that there will be no Iran attack.

But all these war skeptics may be whistling past the graveyard. After all, it must be recalled that Bush also talked about seeking diplomatic solutions the whole time he was dead-set on invading Iraq, and the current situation is increasingly looking like a cheap Hollywood sequel. The United States, according to Gardiner and others, already reportedly has special forces operating in Iran, and now major ship movements are looking ominous.

Representative Maurice Hinchey, a leading Democratic critic of the Iraq War, informed about the Navy PTDOs and about the orders for the full Eisenhower Strike Group to head out to sea, said, "For some time there has been speculation that there could be an attack on Iran prior to November 7, in order to exacerbate the culture of fear that the Administration has cultivated now for over five or six years. But if they attack Iran it will be a very bad mistake, for the Middle East and for the US. It would only make worse the antagonism and fear people feel towards our country. I hope this Administration is not so foolish and irresponsible." He adds, "Military people are deeply concerned about the overtaxing of the military already."

Calls for comment from the White House on Iran war plans and on the order for the Eisenhower Strike Group to deploy were referred to the National Security Council press office, which declined to return this reporter's phone calls.

McGovern, who had first told a group of anti-Iraq War activists Sunday on the National Mall in Washington, DC, during an ongoing action called "Camp Democracy," about his being alerted to the strike group deployment, warned, "We have about seven weeks to try and stop this next war from happening."

One solid indication that the dispatch of the Eisenhower is part of a force buildup would be if the carrier Enterprise--currently in the Arabian Sea, where it has been launching bombing runs against the Taliban in Afghanistan, and which is at the end of its normal six-month sea tour--is kept on station instead of sent back to the United States. Arguing against simple rotation of tours is the fact that the Eisenhower's refurbishing and its dispatch were rushed forward by at least a month. A report from the Enterprise on the Navy's official website referred to its ongoing role in the Afghanistan fighting, and gave no indication of plans to head back to port. The Navy itself has no comment on the ship's future orders.

Jim Webb, Secretary of the Navy in the Reagan Administration and currently a Democratic candidate for Senate in Virginia, expressed some caution about reports of the carrier deployment, saying, "Remember, carrier groups regularly rotate in and out of that region." But he added, "I do not believe that there should be any elective military action taken against Iran without a separate authorization vote by the Congress. In my view, the 2002 authorization which was used for the invasion of Iraq should not extend to Iran."

Source

Edited by RedEyeJedi

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AROCES

OF COURSE! You make battle plans with countries that poses threat.

Like I said, you want an Army that will draw a plan the day before going to war???

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The Skeptic Eric Raven

The should assassinate the President of Iran. Kill the cancer.

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RedEyeJedi

It's not a plan - it is in motion.

Iran is expecting them.

http://www.iraq-war.ru/article/103159

Great another ****ing war!!

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Birmingham

If the report is as accurate as the part about mine laying ships being dispatched, I do not think much of it. The two ships being sent are Minehunters/Minesweepers. Ships designed to search out and destroy mines - not lay them. And two mine counter measure ships are sure not enough if Iran would dump their supply of mines into the entry to the Persian Gulf. Also two carriers would not be enough. The US Navy had 6 carriers in the Gulf and Red Sea during the Kuwait War. In fact all the movement of US ships is still not enough to ensure an over whelming attack. And if you hit Iran, your only going to have one chance at it.

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AROCES

It's not a plan - it is in motion.

Iran is expecting them.

http://www.iraq-war.ru/article/103159

Great another ****ing war!!

That is called preparation! You don't draw the plan and then just keep it in the file drawer.

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Lord Umbarger

Remember in the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980's, the gulf was covered with mines. This is not an invasion in the works, this is, at best, just a little show of force. Flexing our muscles.

If we do go to war with Iran, it will probably be several months off. We'll be doing some no joke building up of forces. There will be a shuttle launch about a month before hand, several more fleets will converge in the area. There will be a massive build up of air power. Oddly enough, one of the best indicaters of military action is that all the take out places in D.C. start getting swamped with orders for food! Nah, when it goes down, if it does, there will be little room for mistaking it.

Actually, we do draw up invasion plans and keep them in a file drawer. The Pentagon has invasion plans for nearly every nation on Earth. They've had many of them since the peak of the Cold War. It's a part of the rapid responce concept. They are updated from time to time and are always pulled when trouble flares up in an area.

Edited by Lord Umbarger

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AROCES

YUP, I know that. But since Iran is a Hot place, we do not keep the plan in the drawer. That is what I mean.

Edited by AROCES

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Stellar

OF COURSE! You make battle plans with countries that poses threat.

Like I said, you want an Army that will draw a plan the day before going to war???

That is called preparation! You don't draw the plan and then just keep it in the file drawer.

:rolleyes: These arent simply "plans", they speak of PTDOs aswell... When simply updating plans, you dont deploy your assets.

As for this article: Dont hold your breath RedEye... I seem to remember reading a very similar article about US CBG movements to the Korean Peninsula, and people claiming war was imminent...

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Stellar

.”In the case of war, this weapon could be directed against Anglo-American military infrastructure in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf.

Which would end up actually dragging NATO in the conflict, I believe...

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metacast

Remember in the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980's, the gulf was covered with mines. This is not an invasion in the works, this is, at best, just a little show of force. Flexing our muscles.

If we do go to war with Iran, it will probably be several months off.

its serious. the agendas at work are serious. they have to be stopped. All we can do is have faith in the good guys out there.

"Representative Maurice Hinchey, a leading Democratic critic of the Iraq War, informed about the Navy PTDOs and about the orders for the full Eisenhower Strike Group to head out to sea, said, "For some time there has been speculation that there could be an attack on Iran prior to November 7, in order to exacerbate the culture of fear that the Administration has cultivated now for over five or six years. But if they attack Iran it will be a very bad mistake, for the Middle East and for the US. It would only make worse the antagonism and fear people feel towards our country. I hope this Administration is not so foolish and irresponsible." He adds, "Military people are deeply concerned about the overtaxing of the military already."

good guy^^

they have been cultivating that fear for a planned reason. These elitist know the science of social manipulation.

I suspect that both sides, iran and america, are thirsting for war, and probably serve a united agenda where they will proudly be each others opponents. th general populations are just the sheep. but i cant prove that.

Edited by ADbox

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Lord Umbarger

Nah, I still think this is only a little gunboat diplomacy. If we go to war in the next few weeks it will be because I ran does something stupid, like take pot shots at one of our ships. I don't really see that happening because if they do they know that they will lose a lot of thier nuclear infrastructure.

The Iranians won't start a war until they have the nuke.

Does any one have an accurate number of A/C Carriers in the area at this time? Just wondering. I really don't know. For something this big, the U.S. will want at least four or five that are not tied up with Iraq. If you start seeing those numbers, then the jig is up.

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AROCES

I remember one goverment official as saying. The first thing a President ask in any crisis is, " Where are the Aircraft Carriers?"

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Avinash_Tyagi

I remember one goverment official as saying. The first thing a President ask in any crisis is, " Where are the Aircraft Carriers?"

Well I would hope so, carrier groups are arguably the most important aspect of the US's conventional forces.

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Lord Umbarger

It used to be "call 911 in an emergency". Now it's "Where are the CVN's?".

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supercar

United States military forces in the Middle East region:

user posted image

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Stellar

United States military forces in the Middle East region:

?

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metacast

Nah, I still think this is only a little gunboat diplomacy. If we go to war in the next few weeks it will be because I ran does something stupid, like take pot shots at one of our ships. I don't really see that happening because if they do they know that they will lose a lot of thier nuclear infrastructure.

The Iranians won't start a war until they have the nuke.

Does any one have an accurate number of A/C Carriers in the area at this time? Just wondering. I really don't know. For something this big, the U.S. will want at least four or five that are not tied up with Iraq. If you start seeing those numbers, then the jig is up.

the people there, are as american as it comes. at least the youth .it is like the same country against each other.

Iran isnt an extremest culture at all. From the image i have in my head of all this, its like america is picking a battle with it's islamic twin, over power purpouses. they are the aspiring voice of islam, and america wants them out of the picture before they actually have the global standing to be the front runner for the middle east nations...

but im just a common so inform me if i am way off, but what is iran ethically doing wrong to deserve a war. if it is just their psychotic bush look-a-like of a leader, then we can kill him or undermind him in some way, or sit it out, until they do something crazy so it becomes an international issue. But if it is an agenda that we are up against, one similar and threatening to the American UN PNAC agenda that we have, then getting this guy out of office wouldnt matter, because he is just a frontman.... like bush. and this war just may be unavoidable unless people(us and them) take back our government....

but i dont know if any of that is truly the case. why dont I know. because noone tells us sh**.(the common american who is suposed to be the backbone of all american actions) All I have is this internet which... doesnt make me feel good about anything going on.

United States military forces in the Middle East region:

user posted image

that right there is a product of 911 . they(the terrorist aka anti american agenda people) wanted that to happen.

911 was a convientent gateway for the war machine to get its gears in action. 35% of americans now believe the current administration was involved in 911.

Edited by ADbox

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RedEyeJedi

As for this article: Dont hold your breath RedEye... I seem to remember reading a very similar article about US CBG movements to the Korean Peninsula, and people claiming war was imminent...

Hopefully you are right. But I doubt it. The anti-Iran rhetoric has been banging around for a while. The fact that people aren't biting has led to the deployment, and will probably create another manufactured terrorist catalyst/provocation.

United States military forces in the Middle East region:

user posted image

I posted a similar map, showing the progress of the War Of Terror. Step by step through the middle-east on the way through to China.

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Stellar

The fact that people aren't biting has led to the deployment, and will probably create another manufactured terrorist catalyst/provocation.

How do you figure?

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Lord Umbarger

Iran is working on a nuke. That's reason enough to put the brakes on them. Sure, the people may have no problem with the U.S. but, in a nation like Iran, they also have little if any say either. A nuclear Iran would be a serious threat to world security. Remember the Cold War? Well, the Soviets weren't nuts. They weren't all that keen on start a nuke fest. They knew that they would die and that was not high on thier list of favorable outcomes. These leaders in Iran on the other hand, they think that dying is just a means of getting to heaven. If they had a nuke, I really believe they'd be foaming at the mouth to use it.

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EnglishArcher

America sure knows how to provoke countrys, thats for sure.

Did you think the Japanease had a choice in ww2?, America was putting a economic noose around Japan. The frozen-credit policy of your country was driving Japan into national bankruptcy. America new the Japanese imperialists would not stand back, America new somthing was about to kick off. Maybe America was hopeing somthing would happen so you could enter the war.

Seems like history is reapeating itself yet again, America provoking more countrys in the middle east. Iran knows what you are trying to do, not so long ago Iran was sending old artefacts from museums to Britain. Looks like Iran is trying to make a point saying they have a rich history and have influenced the world in many ways.

The Persions are known to have the first carter for human rights, the Cyrus Cylinder which describes Babylonian slaves being freed and offering people the freedom of religion. This was written arounf 500BC. The reason i mentioned this is becuase the United Nations has a replica sitting at there HQ in New York, quite ironic if you ask me. lol

I just hope this is all scare mongering, as it would plunge the area into total chaos and cause more hatred against America in the middle east. Also it would be a mistake to attack, Iran are very well orginised and has mountaness terain. They also have very good modern weapons, they have a licence agrrement for the German Rheinmetall MG3 which is the best light maching gun in the world. Not to mention all the other sophisticated weapons they have required from the Chinese.

I would hate to see America drag Britain into yet another war which is based on lies.

So they want nuclear technology, Pakistan has it, why has America not attacked them?

Dont take everything i say to heart, this is just the way i feel at the moment on the situation.

Edited by EnglishArcher

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Snowball

Iran is working on a nuke.

If you have ANY evidence of this can you please submit it to the IAEA because the Bush administration has been trying to spread this story with nothong to back it up for a couple of years so far, they'll probably stick a medal on you and give you the keys to the city. Is there any chance we can get a sneek at the evidence as well?

Remember the Cold War? Well, the Soviets weren't nuts.

Is that what you were told at the time, no, they were painted as the devil looking to kill you and destroy your way of life, who told you these stories? Who's telling you these same stories but about Iran this time, how many times do you need to fall for the same trick before you'll eventually learn?

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EnglishArcher
These leaders in Iran on the other hand, they think that dying is just a means of getting to heaven. If they had a nuke, I really believe they'd be foaming at the mouth to use it.

What a ignorent quote, it seems like you want a war with Iran and are looking foward to it.

Iran has a rich history and has contributed more good to the world than America has ever done. You can trace written Irainian history back to 3200 BCE, have you ever heard of the silk road? it helped lay the foundations of the modern world. They had established trade routes around the known world, even trading with the Britons for there tin. The Persians were the first to nation to have a carter for humans rights. Babylonian slaves were released and people had a choice on free religion. :angry2:

Oh but these poeple you say are just sicko's who want to blow up the world.

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RedEyeJedi

He lives in the United States of Amnesia. You can't blame him.

Hell people's memories are so short they've even forgotten that the reasons for invading Iraq were all lies, and they're falling for it again.

The Iraq lies were only 3 years ago, how are they gonna have a chance with anything further back??

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