Streetwise Professor

January 3, 2012

Please General Salehi, I Don’t Want to Go

Filed under: Military,Politics — The Professor @ 3:23 pm

The Iranians are losing their water lately.  With impending sanctions already imposing acute strains on the Iranian economy–as evidenced by the sharp decline in the Iranian rial–and with their primary ally in the Middle East–Syria–tottering from domestic insurrection, the Iranian regime is engaged in a lot of chest thumping: firing off missiles, holding maneuvers to practice shutting the Straits of Hormuz, etc. Sort of like North Korea, only with kabob instead of kimchee.  (Or maybe kookoo!)

Today’s Iranian icky thump was to warn the US Navy not to send the carrier Stennis back through the Straits.

Well, chess was supposedly invented in Iran, but they apparently forgot how to play if this is any indication.

There is no way the US can cave to this threat.  And there is no way the Iranians can back it up.

The Iranians are always announcing this miracle weapon and that, but if you follow it you’ll know that said miracle weapons are almost always one-off prototypes that never make it to serial production, and even those that are produced are usually farcical stitch-up jobs (like the “new” domestic fighter that is a warmed over F-5 design that was obsolete in the early 1970s).

The Iranians should probably consider a little local history.  Like in 1981 and 1989, when Khadafy tried to enforce his declaration of sovereignty over the Gulf of Sidra by sending aircraft to intercept US F-14s from American carriers that Reagan had sent into the Gulf in response to Khadafy’s declaration.   The result kinda sucked for 4 Libyan pilots. Two Su-22s were splashed in ’81, and 2 Mig-23s bought it in ’89.

The Iranians have less air capability than the Libyans did 30 years ago, and the US Navy has substantially more on a single carrier than it did then.  Do the math.

Or even closer to home, during Operation Praying Mantis in 1988, the US Navy smacked around the Iranians after an Iranian mine holed a US destroyer (the Samuel Roberts).  Again, the mismatch in capability has only grown.

So watch the Stennis cruise right back through the straits, and watch the Iranians stomp their little feet.  For if they try to do more than that, the results will not be pretty–for them.

The only suspense is how long it will take RoPaul to leap to the Iranian’s defense. He has already declared that sanctions are an act of war, and that Iran’s quest for nukes is A-OK because without them they are like Rodney Dangerfield, and get no respect.

Since he’s a little involved in Iowa today, my entry into the RoPaul Iran Water Carrier Pool is  4 January 2012.

And in the irony department, Zero Hedge and Infowars are flipping out because they can’t get updates on the positions of US carrier battle groups from Stratfor (h/t R). I guess the US Navy is now Anonymous.

In closing a little reminder of why I wouldn’t want my “leadership” making threats, if I were an Iranian pilot:

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  1. I think you are overlooking a huge tactical consideration.

    The Mullahs could well give immunity to the Ahmidinejad associates who conjure genies and then launch a massive magic strike against US Naval forces-God help us if the Thirteenth Imam joins the assault.

    Comment by pahoben — January 3, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

  2. Yeah, but Robin Williams is pretty over the hill now. And Barbara Eden too!

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 3, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

  3. Is the Yakhont system a concern-I really do not know what is hype and what is real about this system. I assume if Syria has them then Iran has them.

    Comment by pahoben — January 3, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

  4. I don’t believe a US aircraft carrier group has any real counter to a Yakhont. It’s just too fast and there’s nothing stopping Iran from digging in launchers into the hills on that island that straddles the Strait of Hormuz. The big question is: Does Iran actually have these missiles, and if so how many?

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 3, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

  5. On paper Yakhont is impressive. But there is a lot of hype, and the USN can put out some crazy ECM.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 3, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

  6. Anyone have any idea when the next carrier will transit the Strait? The threat was specifically to carriers?

    Hard to understand-an attack on a US warship in international waters or exposing this as empty bombast. This doesn’t seem to be a good position at all for Iran.

    Comment by pahoben — January 3, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

  7. @pahoben. Yes, threat was specifically directed at CVNs. Here’s the current deployments of US carriers. Stennis is the only one in the region right now.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 3, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

  8. Very neat info-thanks. I showed my son and he told me that each carrier by itself is the sixth largest air force in the world-wow.

    Comment by pahoben — January 3, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

  9. I’d have thought Iran’s Sunburn missiles would have been more of a concern than a Yakhont. They are really nasty bastards, getting up to Mach 3.

    Comment by Tim Newman — January 3, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

  10. Ah, maybe Iran doesn’t have the Sunburn. I know there was some talk a few years back about Russia selling them some, but that might have been during one of their umpteen hissy fits.

    Comment by Tim Newman — January 3, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

  11. Sunburn (Moskit) missiles are just older versions of the Yakhont. The latter is supposed to be its replacement, AFAIK.

    I won’t pretend I know anything about US Navy ECM capabilities. How a Bastion missile system (or an Iranian copy of one) fares against a carrier group is probably one of those things that will only become clear in a real life confrontation on the Strait.

    As for selling stuff, the US and Russia appear to have an informal deal at the moment in which the former doesn’t sell to Georgia and the latter doesn’t sell to Iran. Nothing to do with hissy fits, just realism.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 4, 2012 @ 12:45 am

  12. On a non-related note, it appears that Iowa Republicans prefer religious zealots and financial industry stooges to men of principle and reason.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 4, 2012 @ 3:02 am

  13. Re the supposed threat from Sunburn / Yakhont, it’s worth remembering that exactly identical fears were expressed over 100 years ago about the threat to dreadnoughts from land-based torpedo tubes, then about the threat from torpedoes mounted on destroyers, then about the threat from torpedoes mounted on submarines.

    In fact, no dreadnought was sunk by a submarine-launched torpedo until 1939, none was sunk by a destroyer-launched torpedo until 1944, and we’re still waiting for one to be lost to a shore-based tube.

    These threats have a way of looking severe on paper, but then in practice often prove to be not that all threatening at all.

    Comment by Green as Grass — January 4, 2012 @ 5:08 am

  14. Sunburn (Moskit) missiles are just older versions of the Yakhont. The latter is supposed to be its replacement, AFAIK.

    There are two Sunburns, one which is the predecessor of the Yakhont, the other which is a later generation. According to Wikipedia, anyway.

    Comment by Tim Newman — January 4, 2012 @ 8:41 am

  15. Nothing to do with hissy fits, just realism.

    This was well before the war with Georgia, around the time of the missile defence shield IIRC.

    Comment by Tim Newman — January 4, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  16. Ah, I’m gettting confused about the missiles. The Iranians already have Sunburn, which as S/O says is a predecessor, not successor, to the Yakhont.

    Comment by Tim Newman — January 4, 2012 @ 8:48 am

  17. Unless they have disruptors, photon torpedoes and cloaking device technology, I don’t think the USN has too much to worry about.

    Comment by Green as Grass — January 4, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  18. Hooyah, Prof. Thx

    Comment by markets.aurelius — January 4, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

  19. “And in the irony department, Zero Hedge and Infowars are flipping out because they can’t get updates on the positions of US carrier battle groups from Stratfor (h/t R). I guess the US Navy is now Anonymous.” Getting a tad worried about ZeroHedge’s next CME expose, are we? Or are you hoping SOPA gets them shut down before some of your buddies end up in court?

    Comment by Mr. X — January 4, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

  20. @Mr. X. Like I effing care about delusional “exposes” from hyperventilating ZH retards. And the next thing you learn about the CME will be the first.

    And I see that you are now getting on your SOPA box. So predictable: right on cue. Kontrol will be pleased!

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 4, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

  21. Dale Carnegie had it right back in the 1930s…nobody kicks a dead dog, and if ZeroHedge and Ron Paul didn’t piss you off, you wouldn’t be attacking them every other post. So they must be doing something right.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 4, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

  22. Uhm, I mentioned RoPaul in one post. One. Re ZH: there’s a difference between mocking and attacking.

    And since you’re Pope of the Perpetually Pissed (1) you’re one to talk, and (2) I must be doing something right!

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 4, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

  23. C’mon Prof, I’m not the one who got caught lying about ZH not posting anything about the Russia protests. Better luck next time. And no worries on Ron Paul scuppering the Iran war you desperately hunger for, Obama’s gonna deliver before anyone else sees the White House.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 4, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  24. You also got caught talking down the NDAA, insisting stubbornly that it didn’t apply to detaining Americans, only turban-wearers, even when confronted with video after video of U.S. Senators insisting that it did apply to Americans. And silencio on SOPA. You said ZH must be some sort of Bulgarian KGB commie plot. You meet with Boris Nemtsov just by ‘happenstance’…and you still have the chutzpah to say I’m the plant? Seems the spooky/disinformatzia connections are on the other shoe, namely yours.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 4, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

  25. Thank you Mr X . Daniel Ivandjiiski -DANIEL IVANDJIISKI, WHO WAS BANNED FROM SECURITIES .. And it is also the RT MO. RT is well-known for sprinkling its more outlandish “reporting” and commentary in a stream of legitimate news stories told in a relatively straightforward way.

    So what is ZH, exactly? Its creator is Daniel Ivandjiiski, a native of Bulgaria. Daniel has a very dodgy past, including losing a job and his securities license for insider trading. None of this is hard to find out: it was covered in a New York Magazine piece that ran soon after ZH first gained notoriety. Mr. Ivandjiiski’s checkered past perhaps explains his clearcut antipathy for Wall Street. But there may be more to it than that.

    In light of my flash analogy of ZH to a Soviet disinformation operation, what is really interesting is the background of Daniel Ivandjiiski’s father. Ivandjiiski pere (Kassimir) was a Bulgarian “journalist” and “envoy” during the Cold War. A member of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Trade, in the COMECON and EU departments. A journalist. A “special envoy” (hence presumably with very useful diplomatic cover) in every proxy war in Central Asia and Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.

    That is an intel operative’s CV with probability 1. Probability 1. Every one of those jobs was a classic cover. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever—none—that Mr. Divandjiiski senior was a member of the Bulgarian Committee for State Security (Държавна сигурност or DS for short)—the Bulgarian equivalent of the KGB. And remember that Bulgarian DS was the USSR KGB’s most reliable allied service during the Cold War. It carried out wet work in western countries, notably the “umbrella murder” of Georgi Markov in London. It was linked to the plot to assassinate the Pope; although in the topsy-turvy world of intelligence, it is also alleged that the CIA fabricated the case against the DS. Regardless of the truth about the links to the attempt on John Paul II, it was a very, very, very nasty operation. (The African stops in Ivandjiiski’s resume makes it highly likely that his path intersected that of another charmer, Igor Sechin, who was a “translator” in Africa.)

    Comment by Anders — January 4, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

  26. Did IVANDJIISKI (nice all caps, that means you’re screaming online) invent Doug Casey?

    How about the guy who wrote U.S. Monetary Policy and the Descent into Fascism, a fine piece by Dr. Edwin Viera?

    If Russia starts promoting gold, is every gold bug going to smeared as a Russian agent too? If Putin says the sky is blue, are you a commie for agreeing?

    EDWIN: Given the current state of things, I’m sure there are a lot of people deliberately deciding to adopt a low profile, politically or socially. A lot of this has to do not so much with politics but what your neighbors or your coworkers will say about you, right? If you tell them something that is actually happening in the world, you will be labeled a conspiracy theorist; they’ll look at you as if you’re crazy.

    But what about the activists? At a certain stage, the great mass of people will look around for leadership figures. When the economic crisis comes, they’re going to want someone to tell them how to get out of it. They’re not going to know the answers themselves. The question is, will there be activists, leadership figures, proposing the right solutions – and how soon will they come along?

    That’s why I look at this Tea Party Movement, using that in a generic sense, an indication of the ground swell of discontent that’s out there. There’s a huge amount of that, but at this point it’s not particularly directed. Of course the establishment is trying to co-opt it, with Gingrich and others trying to claim that they’re leadership figures in this movement, and that deflects it from the direction in which it ought to go.

    By contrast, you do have the Ron Paul-type movement. I mean, look at Ron Paul as an example. This is not a charismatic figure. He’s a very diffident individual, a very shy individual, not someone that you could possibly imagine as a man on a white horse in a political sense. He certainly has had very little real effect in Congress. He’s been the gadfly, he’s been the critic, but he hasn’t put in any legislation of consequence that has been passed. He’s made a lot of noise about the Federal Reserve, but he’s constantly being blocked by the real power structure in Congress in terms of getting anything done there. Yet nevertheless a whole political movement has essentially crystallized around him.

    I look at him as the surfer on the wave. The surfer is not the important thing, the wave is the important thing. The surfer would be nowhere without the wave. That wave is out there, and it’s just waiting for the right surfer. He’s the first one that’s come along, but there will be others, perhaps some state governor who is actually competent, and he looks at this monetary system and he says, “To hell with this. Here’s what we have to do,” and they put in that alternative currency statute, the proper one, not the kind of statement that was made in Utah, but a proper functioning one. In which case he will become the next president of the United States, and then we will see what will happen.

    The wave is coming SWP. And it’s a tsunami. You just got the first vibrations.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 4, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  27. This sounds like the plot line from the second Fantastic Four.

    Comment by pahoben — January 5, 2012 @ 7:15 am

  28. …you know when the Silver Surfer destroys evil and saves the earth.

    Comment by pahoben — January 5, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

  29. More proof of your cluelessness, X Man–not Fantastic 4, pahoben 🙂 I’ve been writing about the US being in a pre-revolutionary state for some time. Obsessions about the monetary system are not likely to be the catalyst for any discontent, however.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 5, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

  30. I was just trying to picture Ron Paul on a surfboard at Mavericks after reading X’s post.

    Thanks Professor-I didn’t understand before the etiology of Mr. X. 🙂

    Comment by pahoben — January 5, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

  31. “I’ve been writing about the US being in a pre-revolutionary state for some time. Obsessions about the monetary system are not likely to be the catalyst for any discontent, however.” Sure, and Germans weren’t obsessed with the wheelbarrow loads of Reichsmarks it took to buy a loaf of bread while Nazis and Communists killed each other in the streets of Munich. Brilliant Professor. You say the U.S. is in a pre-Revolutionary state then jeer the most popular websites (Zerohedge in the lead) that say so. Besides ZH like Drudge is 95% aggregate content, meaning you may have a problem with the Bulgarian guy but what about (since whataboutism is a signature phrase of this site) Doug Casey, Mike Krieger, Peter Schiff (Schiff is especially a guy I think could run circles even around you in a debate about the Fed, or at least around David P. Goldman), legendary investor Jim Rogers (who worked with Soros before Soros turned to the dark side and became a conduit for all sorts of spooktastic mischief and the corporatist controlled Left) etc etc etc.

    Why the Elite Establishment or TPTB Hate Ron Paul

    In case you have been asleep under a rock for the last few months let me fill you in. The elite in this country that control all forms of mainstream communication in the United States as well as both fake political parties are having a panic attack in response to Ron Paul’s surging popularity. There is a simple reason for this. On the important issues, the issues that affect your freedom and economic future he does not tow the party line of TPTB. As I have written about endlessly for almost five years now, the Federal Reserve is the mechanism of American empire and this institution’s policies are the primary reason the middle class in America is on the verge of being completely destroyed. It is the mechanism for transferring wealth and power to a smaller and smaller faction of the population through persistent inflation. As Keynes wrote: “Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

    Remember, the Fed creates dollars out of thin air and then forces countries to accept this counterfeit, backed by nothing, and consistently devalued money for their resources. While many people now understand this concept, what most U.S. citizens still do not seem to understand or want to accept is that it is not in the national interests of other countries to accept this certain to be vaporized currency for their hard produced goods. Fortunately for us, there is a solution to that.

    And here’s some hard numbers for you from the New York Times exit poll of Iowa caucusas participants (h/t Jim Lobe):

    According to a New York Times survey of participants who entered the caucuses, a whopping 48% of those aged 17 to 29 said they supported Paul. By contrast, only 13% were for Romney.

    One in three voters who participated in caucuses for the first time said they favored the anti-interventionist libertarian. Perhaps most significantly, 44% of participants who described themselves as “independents” or “other” (rather than Republicans) said they supported Paul, as opposed to 18% who said they preferred Romney.

    Independents, who, according to most surveys, make up around 40% of the electorate, are generally considered critical to the outcome of next year’s election.

    Go ahead and jeer Paul, but your daughter’s peers are voting for him.

    Peace out, Professor.

    Comment by Mr. X — January 5, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

  32. Oh yeah, and the Paul rallies have better music:

    Comment by Mr. X — January 5, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

  33. Hmm…it seems there was another recent candidate heavily supported by young voters. Oh yes I remember it was Obama.

    Comment by pahoben — January 5, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

  34. How do so many people come to believe that some candidate, call him candidate Y, has no faults and an easy solution to all problems?

    Comment by pahoben — January 5, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

  35. @pahoben–hope springs eternal. But I agree, I think it’s infantile. It would be so easy if it worked that way. But there are no saviors–and the most dangerous are those who claim to be one.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — January 5, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

  36. I guess their message always finds fertile ground amongst the weak minded and the young-100% agree.

    Comment by pahoben — January 5, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

  37. Yes indeed Phaoben, maybe the voting age should be raised back to 21?

    Besides, who cares if the young are stupid enough to vote for a moron like Ron Paul, he will not win this time, and he is getting on a bit.

    Maybe his isolationist policy is caused by advanced senile dementia? After all isolationism worked soooo well in the 30s right?

    Comment by Andrew — January 6, 2012 @ 1:38 am

  38. @Andrew-similarly voting could be limited to tax payers and members of the military. No skin in the game-no vote.

    Comment by pahoben — January 6, 2012 @ 6:58 am

  39. I would agree with that, if you are on the benefit or in prison, no vote.

    Comment by Andrew — January 6, 2012 @ 7:59 am

  40. For some reason this reminds me of my favorite Abe Lemon’s story. Abe was basketball coach at University of Texas in the early 70’s. He was at some coaches meeting and Digger Phelps was speaking about the terrible pressure on 18 and 19 year old athletes at Notre Dame. Abe responded, “When I was an eighteen year-old Marine with my face down in the sand at Iwo Jima, all I could think of was thank God I’m not a freshman at Notre Dame.”

    Comment by pahoben — January 6, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  41. Let’s get rid of female suffrage while we’re at it, fewer of them vote for for responsible candidates.

    How about some property qualification too?

    Or for that matter why not just restrict it to a top few hundred billionaires and enterprises (which are humans) like Koch and the Coca Cola corporation, who do after all have far, far more skin in the game than any of us.

    Sounds fair to me. A good project for the Tea Party to take up.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 6, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  42. Always to the ridiculous extreme when you construct your strawman.

    Comment by pahoben — January 6, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

  43. “Always to the ridiculous extreme when you construct your strawman.” Yeah, those Georgians paid with MY taxpayer dollars hooting and hollering when unloading grenades on a carload of Ossetians in a Lada as depicted in the 08/08/08 film were targeting militia…not screaming civilians.

    I stand corrected Andy. Whatever salves your conscience. Once again, why the heck is a Kiwi or a Scandinavian? Ah nevermind…

    Comment by Mr. X — January 6, 2012 @ 3:38 pm


    Lite Colonel on Paul being most correct of all GOP presidential contenders re: Iran

    Comment by Mr. X — January 6, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

  45. It looks like S/O is becoming quite the democrat-Putin is scowling.

    Comment by pahoben — January 6, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  46. Why should he be?

    Putin is the world’s greatest democrat since Gandhi passed away.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — January 6, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  47. Thank you sublime mafia supporter .Bootlicking on top level.

    Havel has described the current Russian regime as the harshest of all known forms of post-communist political systems, calling it a “specific combination of old stereo types and a new business-mafia environment.” He views the current developments in Russia as resembling more the events in the communist bloc in 1989–1990, than the Arab Spring, and says the most important thing now is to convince Russia’s citizens that the current regime, which presents itself as democratic, is in fact not democratic at all.

    Comment by Anders — January 7, 2012 @ 9:24 am

  48. Venn Diagram on BoingBoing that relates to The Professors earlier post-What’s My Name Again?-

    Comment by pahoben — January 7, 2012 @ 9:30 am

  49. It’s good to see your reinforcing Dr. Ron Paul’s position SWP. Keep up the good work and you might recover for that hatchet job you did a few articles ago!

    Comment by Bob — January 9, 2012 @ 9:32 am

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