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Sun

31

Aug

2008

The Silly Season Is Here… Again
Sunday, 31 August 2008 06:39
by Tom Chartier

Warning! A massive armada of U.S., French and British warships is steaming towards the Persian Gulf to engulf Iran in flames!

Oh come on! Give me a break. We could use a bit of sanity in this mad, mad, mad, mad world. As so many times in the past couple of years rumors are flying that behind our back the U.S. is going to obliterate Iran this month… or is it next month… or is it just like they did in April 2006… or was that April 2007?

The silly season is here again… or maybe that should be “here still.”

This year’s chosen month for the end of the world has been August. They’d better get their war on if they want to destroy humanity by August… assuming it is still even August by the time this gets published. Oh well, September will do fine. It’s a good month to die.

Some respected and intelligent men have bitten into the rumors and helped spread them around sowing the seeds of paranoia and fear… as if we need any more of either. The USS Abraham Lincoln carrier task force is in the Arab Sea… or maybe the Persian Gulf, along with the USS Peleliu task force! The Iwo Jima task force is steaming to help invade, as are the Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan carrier task forces… so a massive plot is being hatched to destroy Iran! Or so the rumor goes.

I can’t help but reminded of Charles Foster Kane’s headline in the Inquirer: “Spanish Armada Off Coast of Cuba!” But now it’s in reverse. Instead of the mainstream media being guilty of making up alarmist and false news, they are guilty of… not making something up. Hey, they have reported plenty of propaganda and they have spun facts as well as ignored facts according to which agenda is most financially rewarding. But ignoring wild rumors is not proof of anything.

There’s no argument here that Israel wants Iran bombed back to the Stone Age and they want the U.S. to do it for them. At least that is what the Neocon Uber Hawks hope and pray for. Nor is there any argument that George W. Bush has lied the U.S. into a war or that he views himself as above the law, The Decider and a “war president.” For many, an automatic knee jerk reaction has developed that the Shrub That Be will engage in anything and everything totally cataclysmic. Such a reaction is understandable.

With only a few months remaining in Bush’s reign of terror the entire world is practically holding its breath in fear that The Deranged Decider will decide to go out in a blaze of glory. Well… maybe. Maybe not.

Panic and hysteria can be as harmful as delusional opinions of grandeur, the paranoid excuse of the pre-emptive strike or the mantra of all who rationalize wars of aggression: “God is on our side.”

This is all the more reason to be skeptical of rumors. Now is the time for a calm rational approach, lest the Big Bonehead actually does slip one over on us… or worse, we create and become that which we fear most. Aren’t there places in the world in which that exact thing has happened and is happening… like uh… Israel and the United States?

So let us look at our five carrier task forces and let’s see where are they really.

Yes, the USS Abraham Lincoln task force and Peleliu task forces are indeed deployed to the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf. For the U.S. to be maintaining two carrier task groups in this area has been standard since the beginning of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, maybe before. What I’ve noticed is every time the warning alarms of a third carrier group have sounded a build up of forces, it has in fact been rotation. One group deploys while another sails back to its home base.

The Iwo Jima was deployed on August 26, for patrol in the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf. In August the Theodore Roosevelt group was also deployed to the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf. Since these areas are shipping routes for Mid Eastern oil, the U.S. normally maintains carrier strike groups in these areas… and has for years. This by itself is nothing unusual.

And last, the Ronald Reagan that departed Malaysia on August 21 is deployed in the Western Pacific. That is a rather large area and if I have my geography correct, does not lap the shores of Iran.

Now then, I do not like the idea of a huge American naval fleet patrolling the globe. It’s a waste of taxpayer money, a source of intimidation and there is always the possibility some Deranged Decider will get the urge to push the red button. If Bush doesn’t do it possibly McCain will, if… and I seriously shudder at the thought… he becomes the next US Democratic Dictator. Best to mothball the fleet and avoid temptation.

However, I see no conclusive proof these carrier strike group deployments are the prelude to Armageddon. They might be… but I seriously doubt it. It appears to be nothing more than “business as usual.”

Most of us know the implications of an attack on Iran. It would not be the “cakewalk” Richard Perle predicted for Iraq. Iran can and would put up much more of a fight. With the U.S. military nearly broken from five years of folly in Iraq, there are no real ground forces to lock down the situation… as if there ever were. That is something the U.S. military is inept at, even when healthy.

With the dangerous Neocon policy of re-igniting the Cold War with Russia any military engagement with Iran would undoubtedly also engage Russia. That is a Neocon absurdity. A core reasoning of Neocon “philosophy” is a return to the Reagan era, which is credited with ending the Cold War, which ended the threat of WW III… with Russia. So they want to start WW III with Russia over Iran?

Judging by the events in Georgia, it seems the U.S. is willing to issue big statements while unwilling to engage Russia.

Israel wants the Iranian nuclear sites destroyed yesterday. And they want the U.S. to do it for them. The operation would be much more difficult than taking out Saddam Hussein’s fledgling reactor or a mystery building in Syria. I don’t think Israel has the might to go it alone… hence all the lobbying to get America involved. And our ‘friends” sure as hell do not care a rat’s ass for U.S. security or welfare.

Does either Israel or the U.S. dare to use nuclear weapons? Obviously not. The “blowback” would engulf both countries. Israel’s alleged arsenal of nuclear weapons as a deterrent has proven to be not only useless but in fact invites surrounding nations to develop their own nuclear deterrents. Also were the Israelis to use them, Arab and Iranian retaliation would be beyond anything they can imagine. I’m not sure the world in general will weep anything but crocodile tears if the Children of the Holocaust inflict a Holocaust on another nation’s children.

And even if the US and Israel combined were to bomb Iran back to the Stone Age, Iran would in a last gasp of defiance, inflict some serious blows to Middle Eastern oil production. Do you think $4.60 per gallon of gas is expensive? Try $10, $15. Could it go as high as $20/gallon at the push of a button or flick of the wrist?

Despite the ravings of the Neocons, the incompetence of the Deranged Decider, the spinelessness of Congress or the loyalty to the office of POTUS from the Pentagon I suspect bombing Iran is a brink they are willing to step up to but not over.

I just do not like rumors anymore than I like conspiracy theories. They are double-edged swords. They result from the panic, misinformation, speculation and jumping to the wrong conclusions. Isn’t this the same sort of thinking that has resulted in so much suffering in the world? Do we really want to fuel more hysteria?

The rumors of a massive armada preparing to obliterate Iran seem to be just paranoid rumors.

I could be wrong. The voices of reason are seldom heard. And after all, we so seem to have insane brains listening to their own voices of insanity. However, I really worry when intelligent, rational men begin unknowingly buy into wild rumors and feed their fire, even from the best of intentions. 
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Shannon said:

0
The changing variable
Well, you just said it. The deranged decider, who enjoyed war games and they are about over, might decide it was too much "fun!" not to let one last opportunity slip by without acting. That is the biggest fear. The Decider needs a responsible babysitter, for the sake of the rest of us.
 
September 18, 2008
Votes: +0

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