I know everyone is all abuzz over the Olympics and Joe Biden (by the way, I am incredibly surprised that Obama picked such a magnificent running mate…maybe he will be okay after all) but here are some interesting thoughts to consider. (Thanks Relevellerr!)
-The Senate is processing a resolution (#580) which calls for a number of sanctions on Iran and urges the president to blockade Iran for the purpose of preventing that country from receiving any shipments of refined petroleum. Because of its limited refining capacity, Iran must import 40% of the oil it consumes. The situation echoes memories of the U.S. blockade of Japan over 67 years ago which prevented that country from receiving the oil it needed and which is now considered to have been a factor in Japan’s decision to attack Pearl Harbor.
-49 Senators have signed on as co-sponsors of Resolution 580.
-The House of Representatives is processing a resolution (#362) similar to the Senate’s, but one that also urges the president to set up a blockade to inspect all people and items entering or leaving Iran and prohibiting Iranian officials from traveling outside the country except for the purpose of nuclear negotiations. In a bulletin published last month, Ron Paul described it as a “virtual war resolution.”
-261 Congressmen have signed on as co-sponsors of Resolution 362.
-Three weeks ago, major elements of the U.S. Navy and several other nations including the United Kingdom and France, concluded a naval exercise in the Atlantic, called Brimstone, and described as a dress rehearsal for a blockade of Iran.
-Since then, the following naval assets have been reported to be heading for the Persian Gulf and the other waters abutting Iran:
-the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, with French Naval Rafale fighter jets on board, and her battle group,
-the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and her battle group,
-the USS Iwo Jima, an amphibious assault ship,
-the United Kingdom’s aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and her battle group,
-and the French nuclear attack submarine Amethyste along with other French ships.
-This armada is joining up with the existing elements of the Fifth Fleet already in the Gulf and its vicinity, which include:
-the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and her battle group,
-the USS Peleliu and her battle group,
-at least one nuclear attack submarine and a variety of other U.S. ships.
-It has been widely reported in the foreign press that this is the largest naval buildup in the Gulf area since the inception of the war in Iraq.
-Russia recently conducted a naval exercise in the Mediterranean involving at least 11 warships, an unknown number of submarines, the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsoy and the heavy missile cruiser, Moskva, described as the flagship of its Black Sea Fleet. The exercise was conducted out of and supplied by the Russian facilities at the Syrian port of Tartous.
-The German online publication, ALLES SCHALL und RAUCH, reported that the Kuznetsoy carries about 47 combat jets and ten attack helicopters. The planes have stealth capabilities that are considered inferior to America’s technology, according to the article, but Russian planes were allegedly able to approach U.S. vessels without being detected.
-Undoubtedly, the U.S. and its allies have developed an arsenal of cutting-edge weaponry that has been kept under wraps. Nevertheless, the German report goes on to say that Russian missile technology is of a particularly high order. It claims that there are no known effective counter measures at this time to protect against the high speed torpedoes and missiles Russia has developed that could be capable of sinking an aircraft carrier.
-It is also thought that this technology may have been shared with Tehran which recently conducted its own missile tests, following Israel’s extensive dress rehearsal for an aerial attack on Iran.
-Israel, Kuwait and the other Gulf States have already made their “war contingency plans”, according to news reports, in the face of the growing likelihood of a major regional war in the Middle East.
-The recent and somewhat ongoing crisis in Georgia is considered by some foreign analysts to have been an early move in the high stakes game of chess that seems to be rapidly developing. There is considerable disagreement in the world press over whether the Georgian conflict was actually initiated by the West or by Russia. However, given the fact that it occurred at a time when the movement against Iran was already well underway, it is considered likely that there is a connection.
It may already be too late, but if Iran does not soon take the necessary steps to ease the concern over its assumed nuclear weapons program, it appears that a major action will occur. This most likely would involve a blockade, at least initially, although the possibility of a direct aerial, naval and missile attack cannot be entirely ruled out.
Even a blockade would almost certainly disrupt the supply of oil, however, causing the price to surge and cascading another wave of woe across the already struggling global economies.
Furthermore, the unknown reactions of China and Russia, in this respect, represent the ultimate risk of a naval or aerial confrontation between major nuclear powers.