Friday, October 19, 2012

GRAND THEFT URANIUM/IN HORMUZ, IRAN WINS

GRAND THEFT URANIUM
AND
IN HORMUZ, IRAN WINS
OCTOBER 19, 2012

NOTE: IF ANY OF MY LINKS ARE BROKEN, THEY HAVE BEEN SEPARATELY SAVED AND ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST



IF THE AMERICANS ATTACK IRAN, THE WORLD WILL CHANGE. THEY WILL NOT DARE TO MAKE SUCH A MISTAKE.
-- AKBAR RAFSANJANI, FORMER PRESIDENT OF IRAN

THE RESULTS OF AN AMERICAN OR ISRAELI MILITARY STRIKE ON IRAN COULD, IN MY VIEW, PROVE CATASTROPHIC, HAUNTING US FOR GENERATIONS IN THAT PART OF THE WORLD.
-- FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES








[ JULY 26TH, 2015 EDIT:
HOW EXCITING IT IS THAT A DEAL BETWEEN IRAN AND THE WEST, RUSSIA, AND CHINA ON THE IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM HAS BEEN REACHED!
FOREIGNPOLICY.COM/2015/07/14/READ-THE-FULL-TEXT-OF-THE-IRAN-NUCLEAR-DEAL-HERE/ ... WWW.IBTIMES.COM/IRAN-DEAL-FULL-TEXT-READ-FRAMEWORK-WORLD-POWERS-NUCLEAR-DEAL-1868342 ... HTTP://APPS.WASHINGTONPOST.COM/G/DOCUMENTS/WORLD/FULL-TEXT-OF-THE-IRAN-NUCLEAR-DEAL/1651/
IRAN WILL BE GRANTED ITS RIGHTS TO A PEACEFUL ENERGY AND MEDICAL ISOTOPE PROGRAM. INDEED, THE ONLY REASON THEIR DOMESTIC ENRICHMENT WAS ACCELERATED IN THE FIRST PLACE IS BECAUSE THEY WERE DENIED ACCESS TO MEDICAL-LEVEL ENRICHED FISSILE MATERIAL. AS IRAN IS A HUB OF CANCER TREATMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST, THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE. BUT NOW THAT STONEWALLING IS OVER, AND IRAN HAS AGREED TO ELIMINATE ITS OWN STOCKPILE OF MEDIUM-ENRICHED URANIUM AND REDUCE ITS LOW-ENRICHED URANIUM STOCKPILE BY 96%. YES, THAT'S A REDUCTION TO 4% OF THE CURRENT AMOUNT.

BEYOND THIS, THEIR CENTRIFUGE SYSTEM IS BEING SCALED BACK BY 2/3. WHILE THEY CAN DENY ACCESS TO SITES NOT SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED AS A TARGET FOR RANDOM INSPECTIONS, THEY MAY ONLY DELAY THIS FOR ABOUT 3 WEEKS WHILE AN APPEAL IS BROUGHT TO A PANEL MADE UP OF IRAN AND CHINA, FRANCE, RUSSIA, UNITED KINGDOM, UNITED STATES [THE P5 NATIONS), PLUS GERMANY (P5+1). SO DESPITE ANY HYPERVENTILATING OVER IRAN'S RIGHT TO APPEAL INSPECTIONS AT SOME SITES, THUS DELAYING SUCH INSPECTIONS AND ENABLING SUBTERFUGE IN THEIR FICTIONAL PURSUIT OF A NUCLEAR WEAPON, THE MEMBERS OF THE PANEL, NONE OF WHOM WANT IRAN TO GET A NUCLEAR WEAPON, WILL DECIDE IF THE INSPECTION WILL TAKE PLACE. INVARIABLY, THE RULING WILL ALWAYS BE AGAINST IRAN AND IN FAVOR OF INSPECTION. AS FOR THE THREE WEEK APPEAL PROCESS ALLOWING THE IRANIANS TO "CLEAN UP" THOSE SITES, WELL HOW STUPID DO YOU THINK THE P5+1 ARE? THEY ARE UNANIMOUS IN THEIR RESOLVE THAT IRAN NOT BE ALLOWED TO DEVELOP NUCLEAR WEAPONS. IF THE IRANIANS REFUSED ACCESS TO A SITE, YOU DON'T THINK THE MOMENT THEY SAY NO, MONITORING OF THE SITE FROM AFAR, OR BY SATELLITE, OR ANY OTHER SURVEILLANCE MEASURES WOULD BE DEDICATED FOR THOSE THREE WEEKS?

NATURALLY, CONGRESSIONAL WARMONGERS CANNOT HELP BUT LIE ABOUT THIS DEAL. WELL, I HATE OBAMA, BUT THIS IS DEFINITELY HIS GREATEST FOREIGN POLICY TRIUMPH. WHAT A SHAME IT WOULD BE TO ALLOW WARMONGERS TO REVERSE IT AFTER 2016.
WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=3NDDWIMNN-U
WWW.MSNBC.COM/.../GOP-CRITIC-IRAN-DEAL-GOES-COMPLETELY-OVER-THE-TOP
HTTP://NYMAG.COM/DAILY/INTELLIGENCER/2015/03/CONSERVATIVES-HATE-IRAN-DEAL-HATE-ALL-DEALS.HTML ]

JANUARY 16TH, 2016 EDIT:
NOW EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS!
HTTP://NEWS.ANTIWAR.COM/2016/01/16/IRAN-SANCTIONS-LIFTED-AS-IAEA-CONFIRMS-THEYRE-IN-FULL-COMPLIANCE-WITH-DEAL/
FOLLOWING THE IAEA'S CERTIFICATION THAT IRAN IS ABIDING BY THE DEAL, THE WORLD HAS LIFTED THE SANCTIONS THAT HAVE DEVASTATED THE IRANIAN PEOPLE. I BREATHE ANOTHER SIGH OF RELIEF.
OF COURSE, THE DANGER OF WAR IS EVER-PRESENT.  IF THE UNITED STATES ELECTS ANOTHER WARMONGER (WHICH THEY ARE WONT TO DO), THIS HISTORIC PACT MAY JUST BE DISREGARDED. OF COURSE, THE REST OF THE WORLD CONSIDERS THE NUCLEAR MATTER SETTLED, LEAVING WARMONGERS ONLY ONE OPTION: MONGER AT HIGH SPEED. IT ONLY TAKES AN INCIDENT. BUT FOR NOW, PEACE PREVAILS.
NOVEMBER 29TH, 2016 EDIT: OH FOR GOD'S SAKE. PRESIDENT.... TRUMP?!

JANUARY 11TH, 2017 EDIT:
CITED ABOVE IN A PRESCIENT AND SOBER WARNING, THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF IRAN AKBAR RAFSANJANI HAS DIED. A MODERATE CONSERVATIVE, AT TIMES HE ATTEMPTED TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN CONSERVATIVE CLERGY AND IRAN'S REFORMIST MOVEMENT. AFTER THE QUESTIONABLE 2009 REELECTION OF THE FIREBRAND AHMADINEJAD TO THE PRESIDENCY, RAFSANJANI SPOKE OUT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT'S AGGRESSION TOWARDS PROTESTERS. HE ALSO HELPED TO BRING RELATIVELY MODERATE HASSAN ROUHANI TO THE PRESIDENCY IN 2013. TENS OF THOUSANDS ATTENDED HIS MEMORIAL. RAFSANJANI'S LEGACY AS A PRAGMATIC CHAMPION OF THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN BY HIS COUNTRYMEN.




It is impossible to predict exactly how a war with Iran would play out, other than, like all war, as a calamity. This election will be interesting. While there is of course time for some October Surprise, I highly doubt a war will begin. Hawkish (to put it mildly) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has backed down in the face of opposition to any strike from intelligence, military, and political leaders both of the United States and his own country

This is perhaps the most amusing foreign policy gaffe of Obama's Presidency to date: an open mic moment caught between him and then-French President Nicholas Sarkozy. On Netanyahu, the President said:
You may be sick of him, but I have to deal with him every day.
Delightful! As awful as Obama has been, one thing I can praise about his Administration is that they are indeed working to at least delay this insanity. Though I wouldn't want to give them too much credit. Aid to Israel has not budged. In fact, it has risen. And it's really just bribes.



The praise primarily belongs to 
military brass and intelligence communities in condemning the prospect of a needless strike on Iran. 

It is obvious who Netanyahu would prefer to win. Netanyahu loves Romney's relatively (to Obama) aggressive anti-Iran rhetoric (example below). As well, they have known one another for over thirty years from their business careers.

I have been predicting a war with Iran since 2006. I put timetables on it. For example, by the end of the Bush presidency or by August 2010, after which the United States handed sovereignty over much Iraqi airspace to the now Iranian-allied and Shia Muslim-dominated Iraqi government, which of course would never allow Israeli warplanes to fly over towards Iran.

But when I was wrong, I decided that it was detrimental to the credibility of my warnings to have timetables. But that does not make the situation any less dire. Instead of predicting the timing, we must focus on the conditions the world is in, and consider the horrifying implications of a strike on Iran in such conditions. Everyday I am wrong about this war, I thank God. But I only have to be right once.

Would Israel make a surprise first strike as their military history shows they favor? Such a move would be quite foolhardy, however, as Israel, for all its military pomp, simply lacks the equipment and weaponry to pull off a meaningful air strike. 


[DECEMBER 23RD, 2012 EDIT: EVEN WITH THE BUNKER BUSTER BOMBS MENTIONED IN THE ABOVE EDIT, THEY STILL HAVE TO GET THEM FROM ISRAEL TO IRAN]

A recent overview of that pomp and a look at Israel's possible military actions included a scenario I had never heard suggested until then. The author refers to it as "The Entebbe Option," in reference to an Israeli mission called Operation Thunderbolt or Operation Entebbe from the 1970s, in which commandos from the Sayeret Matkal (Israeli Special Forces) attacked the Entebbe Airport in Uganda to rescue Jewish/Israeli hostages after a hijacking.

Tragically, it seems that at least two of the lost Jewish civilians were killed by friendly fire. A third was killed in a less clear case of crossfire. Having been separately taken to an area hospital, a fourth was summarily executed there a day after the raid.

But as over 100 others were saved and all of the hijackers, along with several dozen Ugandan soldiers, were killed, the undoubtedly daring mission was a near total success.

Five Israeli commandos were wounded. But, most importantly, the brother of Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu was the only Israeli soldier killed. For this reason, the raid is also referred to as Operation Yonatan (Jonathon). This loss, obviously, hit the Netanyahu family hard. I am certain that it heavily influences the Prime Minister's thinking to this day.

So what would an Iranian version of Entebbe look like? Well, first of all, it must of course be noted that this would not be a rescue mission into a country that all of a sudden held hostages. Rather, it would be a covert strike and extraction of guarded nuclear material (which is, unlike hostages, a bit radioactive!) from a country that is on high alert and has been for a decade. And thus the comparison is already seen to be baseless. Nevertheless, the article describes the fantastical victory version of such an operation:
Israel's likely inability to destroy Iran's nuclear capacity in a single stroke, even in a best-case scenario, has led U.S. war planners to speculate about a second, out-of-the-box, and extremely dangerous military option: what they're calling an "Iranian Entebbe."
In this scenario, the Israelis would forego a massed air attack and instead mount a high-risk but high-payoff commando raid that would land an elite Sayeret Matkal (special forces) unit outside of Iran's enrichment facility at Fordow, near QomThe unit -- or other elite units like it -- consisting of perhaps as many as 400 soldiers, would seize Iran's enriched uranium for transport to IsraelThe operation's success would depend on speed, secrecy, simplicity, and the credibility of Israeli intelligence... 
...The Israeli unit would be transported on as few as three and perhaps as many as six C-130 aircraft (which can carry a maximum of 70 troops) that would be protected by a "swarm" of well-armed F16s, according to the scenario being considered by U.S. military officers. The C-130s would land in the desert near Fordow. The Israeli commandos would then defeat the heavily armed security personnel at the complex, penetrate its barriers and interdict any enemy units nearby, and seize the complex's uranium for transport back to Israel. Prior to its departure, the commando unit would destroy the complex, obviating the need for any high-level bombing attack.

Whew! It sounds like a very fun level in the Call of Duty video game series. The only difference is that there are no immediate second attempts in the face of failure. It is especially amusing how it is acknowledged that the forces guarding these sites will be "heavily-armed" as if someone put the game's difficulty level on "expert." 

[JUNE 6TH, 2013 EDIT: THE UNITED STATES WILL GIVE ISRAEL SEVERAL MID-AIR REFUELING PLANES AND V-22 OSPREY TROOP TRANSPORTS. THIS NOW ENABLES THE VERY SCENARIO ABOVE]


Let us look at this statement:
The unit -- or other elite units like it -- consisting of perhaps as many as 400 soldiers, would seize Iran's enriched uranium for transport to Israel. The operation's success would depend on speed, secrecy, simplicity, and the credibility of Israeli intelligence.

Regarding intelligence: In 2007, The United States Intelligence Community, comprising all sixteen US Intelligence Agencies (yup, sixteen!) reported a consensus that enrichment of uranium to weapons grade was not occurring. Throughout the years, and earlier just this year, they reiterated this position. The Israeli Mossad agrees.


On top of this, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA, the global nuclear watchdog organization) has been in Iran since the 1950's. The current head, Yukiya Amano of Japan, came to office in 2009 openly stating that he was "solidly in the US court" on the Iranian issue. And yet, they too have found no evidence that Iran is weaponizing its nuclear material. 

Indeed, just recently, the Iranians converted a large amount of their twenty percent enriched uranium into a state which is used for cancer treatment. It is labor-, technology-, and time-intensive to reconvert it into something that can again be weaponized.


[OCTOBER 22, 2013 EDIT: IRAN'S RECENT PROPOSALS OFFER MAJOR CUTBACKS IN URANIUM ENRICHMENT]

The fact is that the Islamic Republic of Iran's two Supreme Leaders, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1979 to 1989) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (1989 to present (2015)), have consistently condemned weapons of mass destruction in general, and nuclear weapons in particular, as forbidden to Islamic nations. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, in fact, Khomeini actually suspended Iran's entire nuclear energy program which had been started with the help of the West under Shah Pahlavi. The only reason it was reinstated is because Iraq, with Western assistance, decimated the refining capabilities of Iran during their long war in the 1980's. Indeed, it has still not recovered and Iran is actually a net importer of gasoline. Given nuclear power's energy density compared to petroleum, Iran's leaders rationally decided that a non-military nuclear program was appropriate.

After Saddam Hussein's Iraq had used chemical weapons on Iranians, Iranian military leaders suggested that they respond in kind with the stockpiles of chemical weapons the Shah of Iran had prior to the 1979 overthrow. 
Khomeini forbid it. This anti-nuclear/anti-WMD stance is reiterated on a regular basis

[AUGUST 27TH, 2013 EDIT: THOUGH IT HAS BEEN COMMON KNOWLEDGE FOR DECADES, 
THE CIA RECENTLY ADMITTED TO PROVIDING MATERIALS AND EXPERTISE TO IRAQ IN ITS DEVELOPMENT OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AS WELL AS PROVIDING INTELLIGENCE FOR COORDINATING THEIR DEPLOYMENT AGAINST IRANIANS AND KURDS.]

Khamenei once said:
We don't have any belief in the atomic bomb and we do not pursue it. Our religious principles forbid the acquisition and use of such weapons of mass murder. [They are] symbols of destruction.


Therefore, any Israeli operation to seize nuclear material would amount to nothing more than a well-armed burglary of Iran's rightful stock of uranium for civilian use.

And the notion that such an operation would be successful is absurd. Say they did it. Say they actually got it all out and with minimal losses.  End of story? The author, almost unbelievably, ignores the fact that Iran's nuclear material and infrastructure is spread throughout the country in literally dozens of sites and that a single raid on a single site at Fordow will do almost nothing). 


Dire consequences for Israel (especially innocent Israeli civilians) will be a practically endless barrage of rockets and ballistic missiles. Iran has thousands of long-range conventional arms. More danger comes from Iranian-created and -supported Hezbollah in Lebanon just to the North of Israel. Their missile strength is estimated to be as high as 40,000. While it was celebrated for its so-called "success" against the rockets of comparatively puny Gaza Palestinian armed groups such as Hamas, Israel's Iron Dome missile defense will be completely overwhelmed, leaving lsraeli civilians as helpless as the civilians during the IDF's seemingly biennial terror bombing campaigns against Gaza.  

On his show, Bill O'Reilly and Mitt Romney had an exchange on Iran:
ROMNEY: I’m ready to make sure we have military options combined with crippling sanction
O’REILLY: Of course we have military options.
ROMNEY: But we have developed in a way that Iran understands we would use military options.
O’REILLY: You’re a tough guy? You’re going to stare them down and say ‘Look, I’m gonna use them? If you bomb Iran that starts World War III. You know that. They’re going to try to block Hormuz. Oil will double. The unintended consequences to the United States all across the Muslim world will be horrible. That’s what Iran is banking on.
Romney nodded.

The Strait of Hormuz is pictured above. 
Here is another map, Hormuz being at the far right of the map under Iran:


Through this narrow strip of water linking the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean daily flows 
twenty percent of the world's total oil supply, and forty percent of the world's seaborne oil. 

With the outbreak of war, what will happen in the Strait of Hormuz will be a tragedy, and one that some seem to believe is impossible. But make no mistake, Iran will win in the Strait of Hormuz. Indeed, the more warships sent to reopen the waterway, the faster Iran will triumph.

We know this is so because of the results of an infamous war game, the Millennium Challenge 2002, which was the largest war game ever (and I think still is). Its purpose was to test the ability of the US military to answer simultaneous crises all over the world.

The relevant scenario was to send a large armada into the Persian Gulf to protect oil shipping from a "countryless" navy (Who could it possibly be?) made of small motorboats, small planes, and some missiles. But they had dozens of them. The opposing commander (Red Team) just had the small craft circle the coasts of the Gulf, randomly breaking off to attack, usually failing but the point is that they have a practically unlimited supply relative to the very much limited supply of conventional warships of the US Navy/Blue Team and the oil tankers they were protecting.

This eventually drove the US commanders crazy. They ordered oil shipping ceased, immediately swiping one fifth of the world's oil supply. Meaning this:

[JANUARY 31ST, 2015 EDIT: IT IS TRUE THAT THE SHALE OIL BOOM OF THE LAST DECADE HAS LEFT BOTH THE WORLD GENERALLY AND THE UNITED STATES PARTICULARLY SOAKED IN AN OIL GLUT THAT MAY LAST FOR YEARS. REGARDLESS, THE FLAREUP OF HOSTILITIES IN AN AREA SO IMPORTANT TO THE WORLD MARKET FOR OIL WILL LEAD TO PANICKED SPECULATION. THUS THE REAL SUPPLY OF OIL WILL BE MEANINGLESS IN THE SHORT TERM, THE PRICE BEING DOMINATED BY THE INFLUENCE OF DAY-TO-DAY DEVELOPMENTS IN HOSTILITIES IN THE PERSIAN GULF.]

Blue Team then booked it for the Strait and into open ocean. 
What happened next shocked everyone, except the Red Team commander.

The most frightening aspect is that the commander who did this was not a Naval officer, but a Marine General! Thus, the technology and firepower deployed is truly irrelevant in this unique scenario. The issue is the lack of maneuverability of big clunky oil tankers and warships as compared to swarming small craft piloted by angry Iranians in such a narrow waterway. Naval forces will have to protect not only the tankers, but themselves. Sending reinforcements will simply further crowd the area, aiding the Iranian strategy. It is madness to not acknowledge the impossibility of this situation.

With nothing but a few dozen planes, missiles, and swarms of suicide boats --and a bit of cunning-- Red Team sunk an aircraft carrier, ten cruisers, and five amphibious craft.Sixteen ships! And if it wasn't clear, including an aircraft carrier! That was 2002. Now the Iranians have British-made speedboats, missile boats, mini submarines, sea mines and hundreds of anti-ship cruise missiles along its coast. And of course, those controlling these weapons will not be playing games or running drills, but defending their home and avenging its violation.

If there are 50 suicide boats and you sink 49, you still lose. If there are ten missiles and you shoot down nine, you still lose. If what was sunk in that war game was sunk for real, some 15,000 US sailors would be dead or captured in one day. 


With Blue Team (US Navy) stunned, the game was "paused" (again, like a video game!). The Blue Team simply declared the sunken ships "refloated" and carried on. If we have that technology in real life, maybe we actually 
will win.


Instead of a free-play, two-sided game as the Joint Forces commander advertised it was going to be, it simply became a scripted exercise. They had a predetermined end, and they scripted the exercise to that end.
General Van Riper then quit, knowing the war game was a sham.

Any full scale fighting in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz would mean a bloodbath for the Fifth Fleet. I repeat: It is madness to not acknowledge the impossibility of this situation. 

[They] tried to bluff it out, but they were pretty lame about it... They just declared the sunken ships "refloated" so the game could go on as planned. This is the kind of word-game that makes the military look so damn dumb. Too bad Bonaparte never thought of that after Trafalgar: "My vleete, she is now reflotte! [My fleet is now refloated!]" Too bad Phillip didn't demand a refloat after the Armada went down: "Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, c****a sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? [These English sank all my ships. F**k their mothers! So listen: The fleet is now refloated okay?]?"
If this happens, the Middle East, and likely most of Asia will erupt in violence. China and Russia will have their military forces mobilize, Pakistan (Iran's neighbor) and India will also be a focus of tension, as they both possess nuclear weapons.

What are we to do? Nothing but love our families and our local communities, strengthen them likewise, and pray (or, for those disinclined to pray, hope) that cooler heads prevail today, tomorrow, and always.




2 comments:

  1. It is still unclear as to whether the US/Israel are going to attack Iran. It is clear they are crazy enough, and are probably trying to stir things up by messing with Syria. But will they end up taking the last step? Could it ignite another world war? And if so, would the upside be the end of the US empire?

    ReplyDelete
  2. But will they end up taking the last step?
    ...
    Let us hope and pray not.

    Could it ignite another world war?
    ...
    Absolutely, it would be a "last straw," so to speak.

    And if so, would the upside be the end of the US empire?
    ...
    If civilization can survive another world war.

    Like I said, let us pray that this does not happen.

    ReplyDelete