Anchors Aweigh–You’re Fired!

Sounds like something Donald Trump would say, right?  Well, not this time.

A few months back a couple Naval boats strayed into Iranian waters and were captured….of course the normal outrage at such an act….but for me I found it strange that it occurred and ask some questions that others failed to ask….How did both boats get lost?  If one boat broke down why did not the other come to their rescue and tow them to international waters?  What happened to both boat’s GPS system?

There was more to the incident than a simple confusion on navigation.

I mention all this because it seems that the Navy has found its scapegoat for this incident……

The commanding officer responsible for 10 sailors captured by Iran is no longer commanding anybody. The Navy says Cmdr. Eric Rasch of Coastal Riverine Squadron 3 has been fired because of a “loss of confidence” in his ability to command after the embarrassing international incident in January, the Navy Times reports. Sources tell Reuters that other sailors involved in the incident have also been disciplined.

The sailors were held overnight and interrogated after their two vessels ended up in Iranian waters around Farsi Island when they were supposed to be going from Bahrain to Kuwait. Officials blamed a navigational blunder, along with some serious errors in judgment, possibly including a decision to take an unauthorized shortcut. The Navy has yet to release its official report on the incident.

And even with the investigation more questions arise.

Like was the short cut authorized?  If not then why not discipline the sailors on the boats.

My guess is this will be the last we hear of this incident (except when the lunatics want to use it to further a conspiracy)……..we will probably not get to see just what the investigation revealed……

Any thoughts?

Give ‘Em Cash

I have heard all the GOP candidates go on and on about all this cash, taxpayer money, that the US will be giving Iran now that we have a nuke deal.  Have you?

I have been silent on this because it is all so ridiculous that I thought, erroneously, that the American people would be a little smarter than to buy a handful of billsh*t.

As usual I give the public too much credit.

So let me break it down for those with lesser minds……

As the 2016 election season gets into full swing in the US, the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran is becoming a focus, and with it the oft-repeated myth of the US having “given Iran $150 billion” as part of the deal, a claim often repeated by hawks looking to see the deal killed.

The reality is that the money and other assets belonged to Iran in the first place, and all that really happened under the nuclear deal was their unfreezing, allowing Iran to transfer the money to different banks, and spend it on infrastructure upgrades.

In the wake of the deal’s implementation, Iran moved a portion of the assets back into Iranian banks, in an effort to shore up their foreign currency reserves and curb the country’s previously excessive inflation. Most of the money remains in Western banks, however, because it’s easier to pay Western companies for their goods and services that way.

The notion, repeated by many but championed by Donald Trump in particular in recent days, is that this was somehow American money to begin with. It never was, and was never going to be, and the current situation is the default, allowing a foreign country to spend its own money, with no US interference.

(antiwar.com)

Let me put it simply, in case that above explanation was too deep.

It is THEIR money that we froze in American banks in 1979.

One more time!  It is Their money NOT TAXPAYER MONEY!

Anyone telling you that is taxpayer money is…..LYING!

Any questions?

Iran And Elections

As long as we are speaking of elections……

While the country, the US, was laser focused on the primaries and the media speculating who and what would happen afterwards and onward……Iran had an election and it could be good news for the rest of the world….

It looks like the moderates are winning big time….that could seriously limit the influence of the hardliners…..

Though all the details are still emerging, the results of the Iranian parliamentary election were released by the Interior Ministry today, and showed a strong shift in composition toward the reformist wing, giving the supporters of President Hassan Rouhani a plurality

The split sees 85 reformist MPs, and 73 members of the moderate conservative camp, meaning the two factions combine for a majority, even without further possible gains in some districts during runoff votes. These factions both supported the nuclear deal, and are broadly supportive of international rapprochement.

The big losers are the ultraconservatives, the hardliners,  who had over 100 seats in the parliament last time, but are down to just 68. Turnout was 62 percent nationwide, according to the Interior Ministry.

The election also saw voting for the Assembly of Experts, a body which is responsible for selecting the next Supreme Leader. Though the experts aren’t split up by political alliance, they too appeared to be heavily moderates and reformists.

Another positive note for the Iranian election was that more women than ever have won……

Estimates based on the latest results show that as many as 20 women are likely to enter the 290-seat legislature known as the Majlis, the most ever. The previous record was set nearly 20 years ago during the fifth parliament after the 1979 revolution, when 14 women held seats. There are nine women in the current Iranian parliament.

Eight of the women elected this time were on a reformist-backed list of 30 candidates standing in the Tehran constituency known as “the list of hope”.

(the guardian.com)

Now with this election what will the scenarios for the region look like?  Could this be a positive sign?  Or will it be just more of the same rhetoric?

I found a piece written by a very good Iranian-American journalist, Hooman Majd……..

Iranians want a lot of things. What they don’t want is to be told that their vote doesn’t count or that it doesn’t matter.

Source: How much change do Iranians really want? – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Personally, I think this is a positive thing…..that the Iranians would move closer to the rest of the world and work with it in solving problems……it is too early to say for sure….but it does look like a promising change, at least to me……

The hardliners have been beaten by the reformists and the moderates…..that could be a positive thing for international relations…..but what if anything does this defeat mean……

Two important nationwide elections were held in Iran on Feb. 26. One was for the Majlis, or parliament, while the second was for the Assembly of Experts, a constitutional body that appoints the supreme leader and can, at least theoretically, fire him. To be sure, the elections were neither democratic nor fair. Thousands of candidates were disqualified from running by the Guardian Council, another constitutional body that vets all candidates for elections. The elections are also not fair because the hard-liners, who control many important national organs, use the nation’s resources for their own campaign and propaganda.

Source: What the Defeat of Iran’s Hard-Liners Means

This will be an interesting situation to observe……well at least for me…..

A Bigger Problem Could Brewing

First thing I would like to do is thank ALL my readers on the stats from yesterday……they were through the roof…..I appreciate all the fine folks that stopped by and helped make it a great day here on IST…….also it was one of my better days for comments and that is one reason I write a blog…..I like it when my readers reply to each other and the conversation begins……Thank you….thank you……

Most Americans are oblivious to what is happening in the Middle East…..well beyond the moron talking points that is……but there are bigger issues happening that we need to keep an eye on…..if we ignore it then the chances of them becoming out of control is a big possibility…..

What I am talking about is the chance that the Saudis are prepared to send in troops to fight in Syria…….

Saudi Arabia is prepared to deploy ground troops to Syria to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) if US-led coalition leaders agree to the offer.

Saudi’s air force has targeted ISIL with air strikes since the campaign began in Syria in September 2014, but the Gulf kingdom is now ready to provide ground forces to defeat the armed group, a military spokesman said on Thursday

“Today, the Saudi kingdom announced its readiness to participate with ground troops with the US-led coalition against ISIL, because we now have the experience in Yemen,” Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told Al Jazeera.

We know that air strikes cannot be enough and that a ground operation is needed. We need to combine both to achieve better results on the ground.”

Asseri didn’t elaborate on how many soldiers the kingdom could send.

But there are others that say that this is not about the riff between the Saudis and Iran……

Despite media speculation about war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, several domestic and international factors make that prospect highly unlikely.

Source: Five reasons why Iran-Saudi conflict won’t escalate – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Whatever the outcome of this situation matters not….the consequences are a different story all together…..

I know Queen Bey’s performance at SB 50 is more important than anything happening  today….but tomorrow you could be ass deep in the sands of another conflict……Spend a little time and get to know the possibilities for the future…..when you are informed then you are seldom caught with your pants down…….

US Hawks Ignore Top Israeli Official on Iran

The Hawks in the GOP for the 2016 election are still thumping their chest about how they will go about killing the Iran nuke deal…..regardless of what anyone says are the benefits…they are opposed….well it does make good political fodder for their campaigns….but is any of it really true….I mean all the visuals they give the voting public?

Neoconservatives and other right-wing pro-Israel hawks have ignored the fact that some (current) officials from Israel’s security establishment never viewed Iran—even armed with a nuclear bomb—as an existential threat. They have instead taken whatever Netanyahu says as articles of faith, faithfully repeating his talking points across any number of media and platforms. Of course, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

Source: US Hawks Ignore Top Israeli Official on Iran « LobeLog

These politicians are dangerous and will lead the US into a situation that will be our eventual downfall (my personal opinion)……..

Iran: The Riverine Mysteries

I recently wrote a couple of posts about the sailors that were captured by the Iranians…..and as I suspected I got a few comments but most of them were anti-Iranian and not an answer to the questions I asked within my posts….

I do hope that people read the entire post and not just the title of the subject matter…..some seem to think that I was defending the Iranians or maybe speaking bad of the US Navy……none of that would be true…..I did however, have questions that I need answering, at least for me……

As a past analyst I am trained to look for small details that could be more revealing than the big picture…..the one thing that struck me was the female sailor in the pic of the crews in the small room…..she seem to be segregated from the rest of the crew…..is she having a problem with the situation?  Maybe she has a problem with her crew mates……she does not appear to be part of the crew, at lest to me….

I have been reading as much as possible on the situation….trying to get a handle on what is going on…..we will probably never know the whole story….but that should not preclude any questions from being asked…..

I read a piece that I found intriguing and decided to share it with my readers…..

The events surrounding the interception of ten American sailors in two US riverine boats who somehow wandered into Iranian waters continues to baffle the curious. Not that the American media is to be included among those asking questions: aside from the outraged shrieks of the neoconservative outlets over the alleged “appeasement” of Iran and the […]

Source: The Riverine Mysteries – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

The media and the lame excuses given by the government has done nothing to ease my mind at what I think was a covert mission……after all Farsi Island is an Iranian Naval Base……

And then there is yet another incident involving the US and Iran on the high seas of the Persian Gulf…….

The US warship, reportedly the guided-missile cruiser the USS Monterey, was loitering around in the Sea of Oman today when it got a warning from the Iranian Navy to withdraw, cautioning that the ship had entered the area of an ongoing military exercise.

Iranian Admiral Habibollah Sayyari accused the US ship of trying to spy on the live-fire exercise, but did confirm that the US ship left quickly after receiving the warning that it had strayed into the missile range of the exercise. They also reported warning a US jet away from the area.

US Navy officials confirmed that Iran had announced a “closure” in the area because of a live-fire exercise, which is common practice, but offered no explanation for why the US warship strayed into the area, beyond saying they don’t consider announcements like that to be “orders.”

Once again…..questions.

Was this an accident or an intel mission or maybe a provocation?

What is going on in the Persian Gulf?  The first thought is that it is a game…..a geopolitical game……personally, I do not like the idea of putting troops in danger for a game……am I alone?

In Case You Are Not Sure

There is so much crap being fed to the American people during this election cycle…..and most of it has to do with Iran…..all the chest thumping by mentally challenged primates is not telling the whole truth….but then they are paid by another country to NOT tell the truth…… just do as they are told……

The Iran nuke deal that was all the news a few months ago has once again made the news and at the same time has GOP candidates spreading their manure like good field workers they are……

In case you have not been exposed to the facts of the deal then let me enlighten you a wee bit…..

Of course some will not trust the report……they are paid and paid well to dispute the findings……