Friday, May 27, 2005
Iran . . . ? Syria . . . ? Oh, what the hell: why not both? News of an ominous naval buildup from our E.C. Xan at Corrente (via our D.C. Pissed-Off Patricia at Blondesense):
And, via our V.C. Arvin Hill, the following analysis from our R.C. Chris Floyd of Empire Burlesque:The Navy has ordered five ships and 2,800 sailors to deploy on unexpected missions to support anti-terrorism efforts in the Balkans and Middle East. Four of the ships will leave today.Okay, that's bad enough. I asked my Military Analyst the ex submariner* what this sounded like. Not a carrier group, he sez...too small. But at very least a task force. And if they're not mentioned as taking a submarine (he sniffs dismissively) it can't be very important.
The deployments are in response to requests from the European Command and the Central Command and are not exercises, Vice Adm. Mark Fitzgerald, commander of the 2nd Fleet, said Tuesday . . . .
So I goes nosing around a bit more. And run across this, dateline May 5. Call it Dot No. 2:The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Nimitz will leave San Diego on Saturday, carrying 5,500 sailors and Marines and leading a strike group on a scheduled deployment to the central and western Pacific . . . .Uh-oh..... that's where the submarine is!
Capt. Ted Branch commands Nimitz, based at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado; the ship deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2003 to support combat operations in Iraq. Deploying with the carrier are the cruiser Princeton, guided-missile destroyers Higgins and Chafee, fast combat support ship Bridge and the fast-attack submarine Louisville.
Two unrelated stories, right? A continent apart--one on the North American east coast, the other on the west. No possible relation. Tinfoil hat time. Or else it's Dot No. 3....
Because what did Sy Hersh tell us was a dead-on guaranteed event in June 05? Back around the first of the year he predicted this. Google "Sy Hersh Syria attack" and guess what's the first hit to come up: very grim dKos diary.
Maybe we let the Israelis hit Iran while we keep Syria pinned down with these naval forces (the Army and Marines being a bit preoccupied at the moment.) Maybe it's the other way around.
Meanwhile, Condoleeza Rice has moved from condemning Syria for "not doing enough" to stop insurgents moving across its borders into Iraq to blasting Damascus for knowingly allowing insurgents to stage their operations on Syrian soil. And US forces in Iraq are carrying out large-scale attacks near the Syrian border. How long before "hot pursuit" of insurgents carries them into Syria itself, or some other border incident -- contrived or genuine -- gives rise to war fever among the chickenhawks of the Potomac?
All the recent Zarqawi noise seems to be part of this buildup as well. Would a jihadi website controlled or supporting Zarqawi really be posting a stream of stories about his being wounded, taken out of action, passing on the baton to an aide, etc.? Wouldn't they instead be singing the praises of their invicible leader, or other such freeper-like propaganda? One possibility is that it's dat ole debbil psy-ops at work again -- possibly setting up a scenario that finds the "jihadis" confessing that their boss is safe and sound in Syria: yet another casus belli for Bush agression.