Cvivilian Yank takes a stab at the Hormuz encounter

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Unser_Giftzwerg, Jan 16, 2008.

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  1. I'm just a Yank landlubber, currently no fan of the American Republican Party, but no knee-jerk anti-militarist either. I got so fed up with media accounts of the USN-Iranian speedboat clash, and Chicken Little bloggers, that I had to write up a rebuttal.

    I tried to re-post it here, but the HTML codes are slightly different. After trying to edit and making a mess of everything I realized I could go the lazy way and post a link.

    A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Persian Gulf

    I would value feedback from this community above all others. I feel I have a decent grasp of maritime convention, the more obvious bits at least. Balanced against that is the fact I am a civillian and a landlubber. So I come here for an expert review and am prepared to take my lumps.

    The basic idea is the story was presented in the media pretty much as it happened. And no, it was not an attempt by Bush to start WW3.

    I appologize up front for it's length. It was created as a rebuttal to Democratic-voting American bloggers who, if I maybe alowed to suggest, know nil about this subject. Most of this lot seem willing to swallow whole anything just so long as it embarasses Bush. So I had to hammer on at length about basic maritime concepts theywere willing to abandon.

    In truth I had to spend so much effort on the basics that the interesting points got short mention. But that is why I come here, to get teh expert feedback on how far off the mark I am here.

    Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read it. :thumright:
     
  2. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Good post mate. People underestimate Irans ability to win a propaganda war at there peril. They arn't just a bunch of raghead jihadis but a very clever and resourceful nation. "Shooting from the hip" in terms of manipulating the media is a bad policy with Iran, everything they do needs careful consideration for the hidden agenda.
     
  3. Exactly what I figure blobby. The interesting stuff is trying to figure out how each side is playing the angles. There's more to propaganda than just trying to start WW3.

    For example, it seems a line of stories in Asia Times have apeared in which "experts" offer opinions that - if believed - would give Iran de facto military control of the upper Persian Gulf and the Straight of Hormuz. Curious coincidence, that. Now me, I smell Iranian propaganda. But the American blogging left swallows up every word of it as gospel truth.

    Bush sucks. Bush wants to bomb Iran. Therefore Iran is to be tusted without reservation. Iran's message is finding fertile ground on this side of the pond.

    (I don't blame them for their propaganda. Just call a duck a duck, eh?)
     
  4. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    The Iranians have a historical hang up about getting invaded, it suits them just fine to control there nation with the paranoia about the evil empire. Bush is doing them a favour, he just cant see it.
     
  5. this is a Authour Batchelor reply
     
  6. Is my understanding of maritime law in the right neighborhood? Or am I off the mark?
     
  7. U-G... I presume that you are referring to "Legal Mist" the article by Kaveh Afrasiabi which includes references to the refusal of the USA to ratify UNCLOS.

    If so be a good chap and please post a link for general information and discussion. I am travelling at the moment and can't link from my iPhone.

    Cheers

    RM
     
  8. Good read , however quite honestly the encounter betwen the US Navy and the boats of the Iranian RG seems to have too many different accounts .Two sides to every story and with the recent events concerning the reasons for the invasion of Iraq its possible the US account could be defective!!

    Basically the US Navy have a ''self protection '' rule that has been in force since the bombing of USS Cole when a boat drew alongside and exploded
    causing a lot of casualties and damage to Cole.
    The Iranians obviously know of the US rules and in this encounter seems to be a deliberate test to see if the US ships would respond by using force.
    If they had then it would have given Iran a huge propaganda base to work from----and possibly given them reason to make real threats regarding ships passage via the strait of Hormuz .It is part of their territorial waters
    after all!
    This in its turn would see the oil markets go haywire--to the detriment of the west!!

    Iran has its own domestic troubles aswell so to cause confrontation would be a means of making headlines for the media and making news. Very similar to the Bush government---- and the USA.
    Could be a case of fooling the people some of the time !!!!!

    :nemo: :nemo:
     
  9. You could not be more spot-on Bergen. Here is your link. I have this one bookmarked.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JA15Ak02.html

    I am not naval lawyer and I gave the article only a once-over. But even I find obvious fault in all but one of the claims.
     
  10. Re: Civilian Yank takes a stab at the Hormuz encounter

    U S

    Just to play the devils advocate a minute. I have lifted two lines from your article which rather destroy its complete basis. First being:

    "The USN is not alone. Every navy of every law-abiding nation on Earth contributes to this effort"

    You make the assumption that the US is a law abiding nation. Others would say it is not being one that attacks sovereign states with no justification, Iraq, Grenada, Somali, Lebanon to name a few who did not invite you to pop along to the game. One that regularly kidnaps people even within the jurisdiction of friendly allies and flies them covertly around the world to destinations where they can be tortured against all the rules of International Law. One that regularly detains people with out trial for years with no access to independent jurisdiction of a lawful court, no rights and no meaningful legal representation. Certainly not a law abiding Nation by any stretch of the imagination.

    "Iran's frustrations, if understandable, still do not give them Carte Blanche to flaunt existing laws, then hide behind a claim nothing unusual happened."

    The second quote could easily start "USA's frustration.................unusual happened"

    I am afraid the USA has lost any moral authority and cannot complain when others act like they do.

    Nutty
     
  11. Exactly the "good stuff" skullduggery we never got to over here. Too preoccupied finding more evidence of Bush's propaganda "genius" on the western side of the N. Atlantic.

    There's another Asia Times article I got wind of. I have to track it down still. I'm pretty sure Iran using this incident to push news stories thru Asia Times that 'just happen' to bolster Iranaian territorial claims to the Gulf. Something like thatis to be expected. But I have to see if my ducks are in
    a row.

    I don't know if the IRGC hoped to get the Americans shooting to provoke a bigger incident, or if they just wanted to tweak Bush before his visit. Or something else entirely. But as an ex-USN over here said, no matter what it is a great intel gain for Iran. They get to measure ROE, see how close they can get without shooting, even routine stuff like photographing superstructure features and electronics on the mast.
     
  12. Re: Civilian Yank takes a stab at the Hormuz encounter

    Fair enough Nutty and believe me I am not in the business of being a kneee-jerk American appologist. I take everything you say about Grenada and so forth. I know our subs tap into cables and slip into territorial waters.

    But I meant the USN was a 'lawful navy' in this sense: Do you see USN ships obeying safe sailing regs? When you pass by a USN ship does she sail well and professionally? If a USN ship were to spot an act of piracy at sea, would they stop it? Is there a net good to international trade by having ships of the USN, the RN, and other like navies keeping open the sea lanes?

    I was speaking more of the very concept of navies themselves. As compared to the misuse of military power as it has been regrettably emplyed by certain national leaders.

    I should probably delete those paragrpahs. Tehre were included in response to a particular sub-topic the circled around a specific website. In short, there are people who say a UN Navy should enfore the sea laws. My response is, all responsible navies more or less do that today, as their resources allow.
     
  13. U S

    So what you are saying is if your side behaves lawfully then so does the other.

    I do not think any one believes that happens in real life..

    Nutty
     
  14. No sooner do I post this than the nutcases come pouring ou of the wodwork. This new essay shot up to the acclaim of over 200 readers of the left-leaning American website Daily Kos. Some of those who approve are the same people who run the website.

    What does this essay claim? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/1/16/15234/4407/463/437882 It claims the entire encounter, every bit of it, was made up. According to over two hundred self-described "realists", nothing at all happened out in the Strait of Hormuz.

    THIS is the sort of idiocy I was fighting against. But I give up. On the same site my essay got 5 people to approve.

    The conspiracy yahoos have taken over Daily Kos.
     
  15. No, I am saying that if five speedboats go flying across the path of a much larger vessel in transit through a narrow chanel, are those speedboats obeying safe and routine proceedure?

    Do you think, in real life, international trade would thrive in a world where no one ensured safe sailing at sea?
     
  16. UG the rules of Navigation and two vessels under power is normally
    quite plain --the smaller keeps clear of the larger vessel . Especially in a
    restricted navigable area.

    No such thing as ''Safe '' sailing at sea!!!! Its a dangerous place . However
    there are predators lurking aswell these days -piracy is now thriving .
    International waters are considered 'free passage ' however littoral waters are sometimes policed by the country that has borders along that piece of water .

    :nemo: :nemo:
     
  17. You will find that the story about the Dastardly Eyranian Suicide Sailors will eventually rank with other all-time greats like "Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster" and "George Bush's Guide To Particle Physics". It is very telling that the USA has backtracked on almost every aspect of the original story of Armagedon-sur-Mer. The USN must be wondering why the story was embellished to the point of absurdity and then released as non-attributable background information by one of Bubbleboy's Pentagon apparatchiks without the knowledge of the Theatre Commander.

    As Nutty states the USA has no moral authority anymore and I for one would believe little that emanates from the US. The most dangerous regime on the face of the planet. :thumright:

    RM
     
  18. Just a few comments late into the discussion. In general I like the comment but.....

    The law of the sea is not egalitarian, never has been and probably wont be for many years. It was set up by those who had the might to enforce it for their benefit. It is maintained basically to support the activities of those with the power and money to benefit from it and any humanitarian benefits are incidental.

    The point of view of the writer would appear to be pro US but anti Shrub, which is in itself not a bad thing but in doing so it misses the equal desires of the Iranian side to achieve it's goals from confrontation and that they are as up for the game of chess as the Yanks. Equally it appears to lose sight of the reality that instaead of a single grandmaster playin the game as there is in the US, there are several on the Iranian side and they each have their own strategy and objective with the ability to move pieces independantly.
     
  19. International trade would thrive more fairly if third world countries thought they were getting a fair crack of the whip when rules imposed by the USA and EC, together with subsidies and tax breaks given to producers in these highly developed areas prevent them from entering this "international" trade.. These countries would then see the value of preventing piracy and terrorisam etc. from their own territory.

    The USA suffers from stories such as the threat to sink a River Clyde Ferry recently in the UK which no doubt never made the news in the USA. See link below.

    Sink the ferry

    NUtty

    PS.. U-S I am still playing the Devils Advocate in an effort to show you that these matters are viewed from outside the US with a much more jaundice eye, where many view the US as the worlds bully not friendly policeman.
     
  20. Hello all, back with a mug of coffee.

    Thanks Greenie,

    "No such thing as ''Safe '' sailing at sea!!!! Its a dangerous place." That message I've heard. It's part of what annoyed me by the response over here. People were laughing at the thought there was even a potential danger. The fact the Hopper had suffered a death just the day before made the laughter cut the wrong way.

    And saftey is why I brought up the part about cutting across the wake of the USN ships. I am very much land-bound but I do live on the Great Lakes. From time to time I've goten out on small craft. We have lake freighters here, I dunno, 100 meters long. Even I've heard enough to know the 'rules of the road' say tiny ships get out of the way of big ships.

    I'm not saying a few speedboats cutting in front of a ship is a reason to go to war. But OTOH it is not the way a coast guard would normally maneuver around a foreign warship in a narrow channel were the smallcraft there just to obtain a visual ID on the foreigners. Over here people believe that sort of ziping to and fro happens every day, that there's literally nothing there to raise an eyebrow over.

    Again, these arguments over small details come up because over here it's all people knowing nothing about the subject arguing as past each other. Thanks again for being so patient and helpdul. :thumright:
     

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