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That is the opinion of this gentleman from the intelligence community. And knowing how Obama and his minions hate the US military, it would not surprise me in the least.
CALLER: Good. I just wanted to call and kind of give a little more insight on this SEAL team situation. I was in the teams for 20 years. I have multiple-decade military service and came in not long after Vietnam. I also worked for Blackwater for a few years in Iraq and know one of the guys that was killed at Fallujah quite well. But, anyway, the point I’m going to get at here is that I think there’s quite a bit of evidence that this is kind of a backwash from the situation of a couple months ago when the SEAL operators rescued Captain Phillips off the coast of Somalia. You may recall that situation.
RUSH: Yes, I do.
CALLER: Well, the truth behind that situation is that the SEAL operators were kept off the scene for well over 36 hours. There was a lot of foot dragging by the commander-in-chief’s people in letting them in the theater. After they were in theater and in place they were given a very restrictive ROE: Rules Of Engagement. The ROE was so restrictive that really they couldn’t engage their targets. There were two previous opportunities to rescue Captain Phillips, and they were not allowed to take those opportunities.
RUSH: Let me stop you here because people may not know. We’re talking Somali pirates. We’re talking about the Maersk cargo ship that a bunch of Somali pirates, teenagers, took over. One of them eventually died, and the media credited Obama — honest to God, folks, the media credited Obama — with giving the order to pull the trigger. Now you may resume the story, sir.
CALLER: Okay. When they finally did engage the hostiles, they did it liberally interpreting the ROE, and the on-site commander finally was kind of fed up with the situation and gave them a weapons-free command and they were able to engage and rescue Captain Phillips. The fallout from that was immediate and rather violent in its anger. The White House people — I don’t know the president himself, I just know their representatives with the chain of command — were absolutely livid with this and they did not want the rescue to be conducted in the way that it was. You know, I cannot prove this because I would have to give names and I’m not giving names for obvious reasons. But the bottom line is that on very good, solid inside information, the national command authority past the Pentagon was not happy.
RUSH: So let me cut to the chase here. So what I think I hear you saying is the blowback that you mentioned is, this is payback for the SEALs violating the ROE on this captain of the Maersk; and this is the chain of command reasserting itself, letting everybody know who’s boss and what’s going to happen to you if you don’t follow orders?
CALLER: That is my rather experienced opinion — and, frankly, the opinion of others. I am very close to the special operations community here in North Carolina, and, you know, that opinion is surfacing. These people are very vindictive — and you have to understand, Mr. Limbaugh, you’re very pro-military, and you always say wonderful things about our people in service, and we greatly appreciate it. But I do have to say this, and I’d like to make this one point. I’ve had two sons, by the way. My two eldest sons have done multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. The military of today is not the military that fought World War II. It is not even the military that fought the first Gulf War. It is a military that has been thoroughly politicized. It is a military that is suffering the fallout of Patricia Schroeder’s ridiculous, politically correct policies that still have great power and sway in the military. And I’m just going to have to tell you: I do not mean to impugn the junior personnel in the military, the line troops, the junior officers. I’m not talking about these people. These people are doing a fine job. They’re outstanding people. But the senior ranking, the civilian and senior ranking military personnel are thoroughly indoctrinated and on board with this politically correct agenda that’s in the military.
RUSH: Yeah. I’ll tell you the most recent example of it. A glaring example was General Casey, more concerned about the “diversity” in his Army than the loss of life at Fort Hood.
CALLER: General Casey, sir, and Wesley Clark are not the exceptions in the upper echelons. They are the rule. Those are the kinds of men that are running the show and they will throw the junior personnel under the bus to save themselves every time. And that is my opinion. Again, I don’t mean to impugn any of the junior people.
RUSH: We know what you mean. We know exactly what you mean.
RUSH: Everything’s been politically correctized — chickified, if you will. That’s one of the things I call it. Can you hold on for a break?
RUSH: I want you to explain to people what you meant. I think I know what you meant by the Patsy Schroeder stuff, Tailhook and all that, but I want you to explain exactly what you mean by that ’cause I’m sure you’ve got a lot of people curious.
RUSH: We rejoin our call with Greg from parts unknown in North Carolina, a former member of the Navy SEAL team who has two sons who served two tours each in Iraq and Afghanistan. What was it that Pat Schroeder did when she was a member of Congress from Colorado?
CALLER: I guess the question would be: What didn’t she do? She was very influential in passing legislation and putting pressure on the military to basically and fundamentally feminize the military. I can speak most clearly about the Navy, ’cause that was my experience at the time, especially when Admiral Kelso — who was the CNO at the time — kind of completely caved in after Tailhook and started instituting things like putting females on man-o-war, having the mixed training companies in boot camp and the like. And what Patricia Schroeder did was, with a really rather small cabal of very ambitious military officers — who, by the way, violated military rules and regulations by petitioning in uniform on Capitol Hill for these changes, but nobody seemed to notice that — were able to pass a lot of regulations through the Navy and the other branches that have, frankly, incorporated women into areas of the military where, being old-fashioned, I do not believe that they belong. And this has caused numerous problems throughout the military. Beyond that, I’m not exactly sure what else you would like me to add.
RUSH: No, I thought that’s what you were talking about but I wanted people to hear you say it. Pat Schroeder was very liberal, huge feminist, and I wanted you to say the feminization. My word for it is chickification. But it’s happening throughout our culture. It’s happening throughout the media as well. And it’s turning people soft and touchy-feely and so forth. And I know what you mean: There’s no room for that on the battlefield.
CALLER: There is none. And I’m very concerned about the future of our nation’s military. Again I do not mean to minimize the dangers that our military personnel are facing in this war. However, it isn’t a full-scale, knock-down-drag-out between conventional fighting forces. I am concerned that if we ever do engage in that sort of warfare again — and I think it’s ultimately inevitable, I’m afraid — that our military is not in the place where it needs to be.
I linked to some commentary and analysis from the military blog community yesterday on the Iranians’ aggression against our U.S. Navy over the weekend. Today I came across this post over at NRO THE TANK by Steve Schippert, who states that the show of aggression was more about trying to get the oil price raised in order to boost the Iranian economy, which depends solely on their oil revenue.
A lot of understandable unease – and significant misreading of events – today regarding the Iranian speedboat harassment and threats to U.S. Navy warships entering the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz. Most of the initial public take has centered around the threat transmitted in English, “I am coming at you, and you will explode in a few minutes.” Quite understandable.
But from there, most public reactions have failed to identify proper context for the Iranian actions this weekend.
First, in a quote attributed to an unnamed official in the latest New York Times article on the incident, is the possibility of an Iranian probe, testing reactions and observable procedures for future reference. “Whether they’re just testing us to learn about our procedures, or actually trying to initiate an incident, we don’t know,” the Times quoted him as saying.
Second, and more importantly from a strategic view rather than tactical, is the Iranian leveraging of crisis and instability in the manipulation of sky-high crude oil prices, the only boost that exists in the Iranian economy.
Oil is flirting with $100 per barrel. Its average price in December dropped to just over $88 per barrel from over $92 average for the month of November. Incidents like this weekend’s serve to remind the global oil market of how fragile the supply route is, thus maintaining premium price for Iran’s only significant export and only significant source of revenue.
There almost certainly was never any true suicide ramming threat on the open Strait. But perceptions can be quite profitable.
One additional thought:
While a revolutionary Shi’a Iranian regime poses the greatest threat to regional Arab oil exporters, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, its overtly threatening actions to US Naval vessels and statements threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz if attacked drives up alarm and oil prices for them as well. And this they enjoy with lucrative pleasure. For now.
For it’s a dangerous game of speculation they play of navigating the ‘gulf’ between international market perceptions of risk and a much lower level of threat actually perceived by the region’s predominantly Sunni Arab OPEC members.
And unless something drastically changes, this mutually beneficial market run will have finally fully funded the successful nuclear armament of the Iranian protagonists. And with that the ‘gulf’ between risk perception and threat reality will have narrowed substantially, and the game will be over. At that point, who played whom?
And it is so often said that it is American greed that is responsible for so much ill… Greed is universal. And the game being played is more dangerous than most apply thought to. Or so it seems from here today.
The Threats Watch analyses are pretty good, so I encourage you to check them out and go back there often for analysis in military matters.
UPDATE at 01:24 EST on 09 JAN 2008: Jules Crittenden has more good analysis:
In more ways than one. Iran has been testing U.S. defenses since 1979, and in almost every case has found them wanting. The exception, to some extent, has been Iraq, where Iranian agents have been held and Iranian goals for the present frustrated. Despite the existence of a Shiite-dominated government, Iraq has agreed in principle to a long-term strategic arrangement with the United States to include military bases. Short-term Shiites are dancing to an American tune, with al-Sistani long a voice of moderation, al-Sadr playing nice, al-Hakim talking up the Sunnis, and some elements of Shiite tribal leadership engaged in their own awakening.
None of that, long term, means any more than the notion that Iran has given up on nukes, which is to say, sure, if you think so. Iran is biding its time. Iran remains the elephant in the room of U.S. foreign policy, currently hidden under the throwrug of misrepresented NIE findings and surge-bought security. Imagine the possibilities under an Obama or a Huckabee presidency.
So why mess with success? It’s a minor incident, maybe just intended to remind the Americans re pending Iraq talks they still can be a nuisance. Maybe just to remind themselves exactly how complacent and short-sighted Americans really are. Maybe for domestic purposes. Maybe the Revolutionary Guard was just bored.
Or maybe … uh, let’s see … what else is going on this week that would make Iran want to call attention to itself, when all anyone in America cares about is the election and that’s going so well?
Oh yeah, that:
Gulf Daily News: Iran to overshadow Arab-Israeli Conflict
Ha’aretz: Hamas says Bush visit is about Iran, not Mideast peace
VOA: Bush says he will discuss Iran as well as Mideast peace
Sounds like Iran wants to be involved in the conversation.
Kevin Sullivan notes some people are already calling this a Persian Gulf of Tonkin. Hey, great idea, but don’t we need to exchange fire with the ghost boats first?
Gateway’s got your Iranian boat art, links.
UPDATE: via CBS/AP, RevGuard denies aggro approach, Mullah Foreign Ministry calls it “normal.” MFM has a point. Aggressive brinksmanship, absurd denials are entirely normal for Iran.
As usual, CNN plays fast and loose with the facts. But that is to be expected because of (1) their political agenda/bias and (2) their complete ignorance of anything to do with the U.S. military.
There are some great posts from U.S. Navy members/bloggers today on this incident.
My friend BULL NAV over at Op-For: IRGCN Trys to Lose Some Small Boats
CDR Salamandar: Pulling the Tiger’s Tail
Galrahn at Information Dissemination: 5th Fleet Focus: Standoff in the Straits
I tend to side with Bull on this, professional to the core in handling a tough situation. Could have turned ugly, didn’t, results speak loud and clear. We have some calls out to get some details, something about that CNN report doesn’t sound right, we’re guessing the guns were manned, locked, and loaded prior to any radio traffic if this indeed happened in the Strait, and this story is some reporter getting loose with the details.
[ … ]
The release confirms our identification of the ships involved.
We would encourage the Navy to release the audio recording of the radio transmissions. The Iranian response has set up a classic case of he said /she said over this incident, and it would do the Navy well, not to mention US policy well to establish US credibility, not only from an international political perspective but also for the domestic political crowd that is stupid enough to believe this could be the next Gulf of Tonkin incident. The release of the radio transmissions would discredit that parade of stupidity in analysis quickly, and highlight how thoughtless partisans must be to believe the officers and crews of our warships are looking for a shooting war 20 miles off the Iranian coast.
The IRGC is a terrorist organization by law in the United States. Law, not because of executive order, but because of Congressional vote. Thank Tom Lantos if you don’t like it, personally I thank him because I do think it was the right thing to do. When dealing with terrorists, understanding the battlefield is in the sphere of public opinion is just as important as understanding it is taking place in the waters of the Strait of Hormuz. A recording of the radio transmission from the Iranians would be a bigger blow than what would have been produced filling 5 FACs with bullets from the USS Hopper (DDG 70).
Spook86 at In From the Cold: What Happened in the Strait?
[ … ] As noted in the CNN account, the IRGC has assumed control of Iranian naval operations in the Persian Gulf, following a trend noted throughout Tehran’s military.
Over the past 20 years, the IRGC has gained a greater share of Iran’s defense budget, and receives the newest hardware, while the regular military — often viewed as politically unreliable — still operates 1970s-era western equipment. The IRGC is now in charge of Iran’s ballistic missile force, its more modern air defenses (including SA-6 and SA-15) units, and its latest aircraft.
Given those trends, it’s no surprise that Tehran has given the IRGC control of naval operations in the Strait of Hormuz. And that will increase the chances for similar incidents in the future. While Iran’s “regular” Navy has often been professional in its operations (and even cooperative in resolving maritime issues), the IRGC is a completely different breed. In other words, the zealots and crazies are now in charge of Iran’s naval ops in one of the world’s most important waterways. Not a good sign, to say the least.
[ … ]
The Iranian Navy, or more specifically, IRGC naval forces, have carried out harassment operations in the past. While details of Saturday’s incident remain sketchy, it does not sound like a rehearsal of the “swarm” tactics that IRGC forces would use against western naval forces in an actual conflict.
Utilizing that approach, dozens of small craft — some as small a jet skis — would attempt to engage western combatants at close range — inside the effective range of the vessels’ major weapons systems — using everything from RPGs to mines. The swarm attack could also provide cover for strikes by other weapons, including C-802 anti-ship missiles launched by shore batteries or aircraft. By damaging (or sinking) major naval combatants or support vessels, the Iranians believe they can close the Strait of Hormuz, effectively shutting off much of the world’s oil supply.
Word of the incident in the Strait came only days after a reported decrease in the flow of weapons from Iran, to insurgents in Iraq. But, with release of the recent U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program (and perceptions that an American military strike is less likely), elements of Iran’s defense establishment may feel emboldened, and willing to test the reactions of U.S. forces in the region.
People sometimes ask me why I don’t bother with Leftists when it comes to discussing the war effort or military matters. Michelle Malkin provides an example. The extent of the analysis from the Left is to blame President Bush (as they do with absolutely everything) and shout “Gulf of Tonkin!!!” So don’t anyone try to tell me that the Left and/or Democrats take these types of things seriously. They are immature children and are to be ignored on serious matters of world affairs.
So I suggest you check out some of the blogs above and also read their comments sections as many military members and military veterans usually chime in with a lot of knowledge and great analysis.