Monday, February 21, 2011

US Fleet Blocks Iranian Warships From Suez Canal Passage

It's reported that while the two Iranian warships have received permission from the Egyptian junta to proceed through the Suez Canal, they're being blocked in a naval game of chicken by a US task force led by the the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, escorted by the missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf and the supply ship USNS Arctic.

They have already proceeded through the Canal and are deployed opposite the Iranian ships, blocking their way.

At the same time the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge is standing by in the Great Bitter Lake opposite Ismailia and the canal's main passage...and the carriers USS George Washington and the USS Carl Vinson are moving into the Red Sea via the Gulf of Aden, surrounding the Iranian ships.

What happens next is anyone's guess. If the Iranian ships want to go through the Canal, they are going to have to confront the US Navy to do it.Or, they can turn around and go home.

Or the two Iranian warships could be ordered to allow their cargoes to be inspected, which was part of the new UN sanctions against Iran where there are suspicions of illicit cargoes...missiles bound for Hezbollah or Hamas, for instance.

The scheduled transit through the Canal for the Iranian vessels is Tuesday, February 22nd.

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B.Poster said...

This is indeed a fine mess we've managed to get ourselves in here. Little children learn not to threaten things they can't deliver. Perhaps the American leadership never learned this lesson. Maybe they all come from elite backgrounds where mommy and daddy gave them any thing and every thing they wanted and mommy and daddy cleaned up all of the messes they made and they just never learned any thing. In any event, I don't care. Its time for these people to man up or woman up as the case might be and act to defend America and NOT go around flexing muscles you don't even have on the other side of the world.

I think it is unlikely these Iranian ships are going home nor do I think the US ships are going to search them. If a shooting situation breaks out, at least one and possibly more of these American ships will find themselves at the bottom of the canal. Furthermore, the entire world would be arrayed against Aemrica in such a situation. The Iranians no doubt no this.

The most realistic solutions are for the Iranains and the Americans to agree to a "search" but they agree that the Americans want find any thing and the ships are allowed to pass or for the Iranains to turn around in exchange for huge compensation paid by the Americans. The problem with either of these solutions are neither of them is particularly good for Israel and they allow the Americans to save face. I jsut don't see the Iranians agreeing to any thing that would allow the Americans to save face.

What a fine mess our leaders have gotten themselves and us into. We'd have been much better off had they simply stayed out of this and allowed the Israelis to handle this. I really think the Israelis can handle this but with us in the way it makes it more difficult for them. Truth be known the Israelis are probably wishing we'd just GO AWAY AND NOT RETURN!! Its truly sad. I'm so sorry.

Freedom Fighter said...

Poster...are you seriously telling me that these two antiquated Iranian ships ( only one of whom really has combat capability) would stand up to two US carrier groups with full US Navy air force contingents and a missile cruiser?


The last thing the Iranians want to do is play tag with that kind of US firepower.

As for the Israeli navy, they could definitely have handled this but they lack the large capital ships and associated firepower the US Navy has.

Poster, a suggestion. In articles about this, I've named the two Iranian warships and the US Navy forces opposing them. Do a search on your own to find out more about the vessels in question and their capabilities.

I think you'll change your mind.

Unless the US Navy stands down, the Iranians are either going to be searched thoroughly or go home.

My guess is number two.


As for 'the whole world being arrayed against Aemrica ( sic)' I believe you're forgetting that stopping these ships and inspecting them is weel with the brief of the last UN sanctions that were passed.

B.Poster said...

While the ships may be antiquated, they have been outfitted with modern weapons that likely include anti-ship missles. Should it come to a shooting situation, casualties will likley be massive on both sides. I'd also suspect that there is a submarine there somewhere as well. We wouldn't be able to detect it.

We aren't going to search the vessels and the Iranains aren't going home, at least not without delivering their cargo to Syria or without hefty compensation from the Americans. Two possibilites: 1.)the Iranians and the Americans agree to a search but they agree in advance that the Americans aren't going to find anything.
2.) The Americans compensate the Iranians a large sum of money or something else that Iran wants and the ships agree to turn around.

These prospects invlove allowing the Americans to save face. I'm not sure the Iranians are going to be willing to allow such a thing.

Freedom Fighter said...

Well, if you say so Poster. You're certainly entitled.

B.Poster said...

I'm sure you've read about the Iranian anti-ship missles. I think it would go without saying that they would have brought some of these along for the trip. Also, I think it is also highly probable the Iranians would have brough along a submarine for the trip as well. If not, then the Russians likely would have. They, as well as the Chinese, have a HUGE investment in Iran they will want to protect it.

As for the US, it simply wants to withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the Middle East. Obviously it would prefer to do it in a face saving manner but it wants to do it non the less. As for Russia, China, and Iran they are looking to expand their influence. Furthermore they and the American military commanders know the Russian/Chinese/Iranain side will probably prevail in a military confrontation with America and its "allies."

So, the questions become do the Iranians and their allies want to start a military conflict right now? While they'd probably prevail, the casualties might be massive. They may prefer to wait awhile before initiating a conflict. Perhaps they can get what the desire without a military confrontation. With these factors in consideration I simply don't think the Americans are going to search the Iranian vessels nor do I think the Iranians are going to back down, not without exacting something of value from the Americans any way.

Its not simply a matter of being entitled to something. Its simply a matter of observing the facts on the ground and the geopolitical realities, which in America at least, are heavily influenced by what the voting public will support and trying to objectively evaluate something based upon these facts to try and determine what may happen.

Can we be wrong? Of course we can. We simply don't have all facts. For example, I don't think either of us have access to the latest intellegence reports that the Israeli, Russian, and Chinese intellegence agencies present to their leaders.