Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
Events continue to progress at blinding speed and only seem to be getting increasingly dangerous.
While the United States has been building up a considerable military presence in the Persian Gulf region for years, this effort seems to have accelerated in recent weeks and months .
The Pentagon is now shifting a great deal of military assets into the vicinity of the Persian Gulf under the guise of a contingency plan, while continuing to deny that it means a buildup to war.
These deployments are, in fact, nothing new and have been in the works some time now.
Marine Corps General James Mattis – head of United States Central Command – gained the White House’s approval for the deployment of troops to the region last year in response to the talks between the U.S. and Iraqi governments regarding extended American troop presence broke down.
As Stars and Stripes aptly points out, “the extent of the Pentagon moves is only now becoming clear,” and the timing of this can hardly be dismissed as pure coincidence.
Stars and Stripes cites unnamed United States officials who claim, “the deployments are not meant to suggest a buildup to war, but rather are intended as a quick reaction and contingency force in case a military crisis erupts in the standoff with Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons program.”
The glaring problem here is that there is no Iranian nuclear weapons program. This is so clear that even the United States Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had to admit as much on nationaltelevision just days ago.
With Iran not actually developing nuclear weapons and with the United States continually insisting that they abandon an imaginary nuclear weapons program, the only conclusion to be drawn is that the West will not relent until Iran abandons all nuclear technology and research, be it civilian or military.
There has already been a small force of American troops present in Kuwait, along with weapons deals with the small Gulf nation, which I have mentioned in a previous part of this series.
However, this small amount of troops is now going to be augmented by a much larger group which includes 15,000 new troops.
These new units in Kuwait – which is located dangerously close to Iran – include two infantry brigades from the United States Army along with a helicopter unit.
In addition, these troops include the United States Army’s 1st Calvary Division’s 1st Brigade which boasts tanks, artillery and over 4,500 troops.
The 1st Brigade has been dubbed a “mobile response force” for the region according to Colonel Scott L. Efflandt, commander of the brigade.
There is also a National Guard brigade form Minnesota which has been present in Kuwait since August and in December a combat aviation brigade arrived as well.
Apparently there is yet another unit which will be heading to Kuwait in the near future, but details on the unit’s size, composition and mission have not been provided by officials.
Whereas Kuwait has primarily been used as a staging area for troops and equipment to be moved into Iraq in the past, it is now clearly becoming yet another American military outpost and launching point in the region.
Just days ago it was reported that in addition to all of these buildups, a marine expeditionary unit along with a group of landing warships were being deployed to the Persian Gulf.
This is to include the Makin Island groups accompanied by the USS New Orleans and the Pearl Harbor amphibious transport dock ships.
The personnel on these ships, which will include sailors, marines and airmen, will be backed up by a general support battalion along with attack helicopters.
This is being explained as a move to replace Navy troops who have been patrolling the area for the last 10 months, but the presence of amphibious transport dock ships is quite interesting indeed.
This might indicate that a plan involving movements of land-based forces is in the works, or is already being implemented in order to augment the naval presence, air superiority via aircraft carriers, and overwhelming regional alliances.
The Pentagon has also made the highly questionable decision of ordering two aircraft carriers – along with their sizable and powerful strike groups and associated troops – to remain in the region; a move which will likely upset Iran.
Previously, Iran has made ambiguous threats to the United States regarding the presence of carriers in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz; and the latest decision to keep them in the general region is not going to reassure the Iranian government as to the United States’ noble intentions.
As I reported in part four of this series, the American aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson joined the USS John C. Stennis (which previously sailed through the strait eliciting protest from Iran) in the region in order to sustain the naval presence and threat.
There are also reports of another aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, moving to the region, again something which will not serve to comfort the Iranian government in this time of record-level saber rattling.
Indeed the official website for the Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet announced that the USS Abraham Lincoln along with guided missile cruiser Cape St. George left Thailand and are now “en route to support coalition efforts in the 5th Fleet AOR.”
The AOR, or Area of Responsibility, for the Fifth Fleet includes the Persian Gulf region as the Fifth Fleet is based out of nearby Bahrain.
The USS John C. Stennis is slated to return home to the United States in the near future, but according to Stars and Stripes, officials have stated that the Stennis will be replaced by the USS Enterprise so two carriers are still present in the region.
This is being done while claiming that it is just going to give “commanders major naval and air assets in case Iran carriers out its recent threats to close the Strait of Hormuz,” according to Stars and Stripes.
However, those who are aware of American military history, especially in the past few decades, know that these buildups inevitably occur before a conflict breaks out which is often billed as an unplanned, unexpected event.
As a recent Russia Today article outlined in detail, this buildup has been going on since 2003 – if not earlier – and the plans for war have been drawn up long ago.
It is only that in recent months the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released what Russia called a “politicized” report which claimed that Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapons program, giving newfound impetus to the long-term campaign against Iran.
However, since the evidence of this program is hardly as concrete as they make it out to be (as highlighted by Panetta’s own statements) there needs to be another reason to justify a full-on military offensive against Iran.
An incident with the Strait of Hormuz would be the perfect excuse for the United States, given that they have previously issued warnings to Iran over closing the Strait.
Iran continues to threaten closure, and the upcoming Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)exercises in the region are unlikely to ease tensions.
If Iran even conducts a mock closing of the Strait of Hormuz, this might in fact be enough of a justification for a Western strike, which would likely involve the United States, Britain, Israel and the regional Western allies.
The massive joint Israeli-American drills in the region, which very well might coincide with the new Iranian exercises, could also provide a situation where a conflict could spark up.
There is also the very real possibility of a Gulf of Tonkin-style false flag incident being manufactured to give the justification for an attack.
The possibility of such an event was reinforced by a recent article in the Jerusalem Post which read, “Iran, just like Nazi Germany in the 1940s, will take the initiative and ‘help’ the US president and the American public make up their mind by making the first move, by attacking a US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.”
Of course there is the very real possibility that such “help” would be a purely contrived false flag attack, which the United States would create if Iran refused to actually take that first step.
As one reader pointed out via email, it seems likely that this might occur as an attack on an aging United States Coast Guard (USCG) vessel.
This would be preferable because the USCG is often treated as a semi-civilian humanitarian organization, not a purely military force like the United States Navy.
However, I think that most Americans know that an attack on any American – or perhaps even allied – interests in the region would be more than enough justification for a strike on Iran.
If it was a USCG vessel over a Navy one, it would only be icing on the cake and serve to help put the favor of the international community on the side of the United States in this conflict.
This would be completely ignoring the fact that the United States has been behind the military buildup in the region; and, as I have repeatedly posited, this very well might be intended to goad Iran into doing something to justify an American assault.
Stars and Stripes points out that United States Navy officials have stated that while Iran might be able to temporarily close the Strait of Hormuz using anti-ship missiles and other weapons – something which Iran said would be as easy as drinking water – American commanders claim that they would be able to quickly reverse such a closure if needed.
The establishment media is continuously stating – without much in the way of evidence or explanation – that the United States Fifth Fleet out of Bahrain on its own could dominate the entire Iranian navy.
On the other hand, individuals only heard in the alternative media have repeatedly pointed out that this very well might not be the case and indeedIran might have an advantage in the Strait of Hormuz andPersian Gulf.
In a recent RT article, this possibility was highlighted, something which completely conflicts with the unsourced, blanket statements repeatedly made by such establishment media powerhouses as Reuters.
There is also the diplomatic aspect to this conflict which became even more significant with the Obama administration placing sanctions on three corporations which provide gasoline to Iran.
While Iran exports so much oil that they claim the top 3 position in the world, their domestic refinement facilities are not sufficient to meet demand, so they are forced to import the majority of their refined gasoline.
These sanctions will be imposed on China-based Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp., Singaporean Kuo Oil Pte Ltd., and United Arab Emirates-based FAL Oil Co.
This will result in the barring of all American export licenses along with most financing for these corporations, including Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp., which is the largest seller of gasoline to Iran.
This will likely hurt Iran a great deal and raise the price of their gasoline imports while also having some serious consequences for China.
This move elicited quite a negative response from China, including an unusually heated editorial on the issue published in China’s Global Times which can be read here.
It is quite clear that the Chinese are not going to sit by silently while the United States hurts their economy by cutting off their business with Iran.
Honestly, I find their reaction to be totally reasonable. After all, what right does the United States have to tell other nations who they can and cannot trade with? This seems especially ludicrous when the nation they’re trading with does not in fact have nuclear weapons and is not in the process of developing them.
As the editorial quite aptly pointed out, the United States cannot afford to get into a trade war with China right now, and the increasing sanctions and global domineering are pushing China towards exhausting that option.
Another matter of significant concern for analysts like me is the statement from Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin.
“Iran is our neighbor,” he said. “And if Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.”
This is arguably the strongest pro-Iranian statement coming from a Russian government official since the tensions have risen to these record levels, although they have been making similarly significant remarks about the international pressures on Syria.
A somewhat similar statement was made by Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in saying that the international community would interpret new sanctions and/or a military strike on Iran as an attempt at regime change.
“Additional sanctions against Iran, as well as a probable military attack on Iran, will be doubtlessly taken in the international community as those pursuing the goal of power change in Tehran,” Gatilov said according to ITAR-TASS News Agency (note the article has some less-than flawless translation as it is primarily a Russian-language publication).
Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Kremlin Security Council, who has also been making some of the most notable statements about Syria, has stated that Russia is concerned that Israel is pushing the United States into military conflict with Iran.
Patrushev, who is reportedly a close friend of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, also highlighted the total lack of evidence supporting the claims made by Western countries regarding the alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program.
“Talk about Iran creating an atomic bomb by next week we have heard for many years,” he said.
Indeed those of us who have been following this issue closely for years are beginning to get weary of the alarmist rhetoric which never seems to materialize in the dramatic fashion pundits and government officials are always talking about.
Another important piece in this puzzle is the report coming from Foreign Policy, a publication of the Slate Group, which is a division of the Washington Post Company.
I find the providence of this report quite interesting given that it goes over reports which allegedly, “detail CIA field reports saying thatIsrael’s recruiting activities occurred under the nose ofU.S. intelligence officers, most notably inLondon, the capital of one ofIsrael’s ostensible allies, where Mossad officers posing as CIA operatives met with Jundallah officials.”
Jundallah, a Sunni terrorist organization based out of Pakistan, is allegedly responsible for the assassination of Iranian governmental figures and also for the murder of Iranian women and children.
It’s interesting that such a thing could be going on while Israel “apparently didn’t give a damn what we [the CIA/United States] thought,” one anonymous intelligence officer said.
This is especially ridiculous when one considers that one of the main charges leveled against Iran is that they support terrorist organizations.
Meanwhile, the West supports terrorist organizations at the same time and turns a blind eye to Israeli false flag operations.
Indeed Mark Perry wrote Foreign Policy, “the existence of the Israeli false-flag operation was confirmed to me by four retired intelligence officers who have served in the CIA or have monitored Israeli intelligence operations from senior positions inside the U.S. government.”
“There is no denying that there is a covert, bloody, and ongoing campaign aimed at stopping Iran’s nuclear program,” Perry wrote.
The covert war against Iran, which Israel is heavily involved in, is something which I have been covering for some time now, and with every mysterious incident that occurs, like the assassination of Roshan, it just becomes that much clearer.
This latest revelation also lends support to the notion that a false flag attack on Western interests might be conducted in order to justify an attack on Iran, or very possibly an attack on Iran could be used to push Iran into acting first.
Either way, it seems that as every day goes by the pieces just slide closer into place and a disturbing picture is beginning to form.
Did I miss a story or an aspect of this rapidly changing situation? Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org with links or other information I might have skipped in order for me to provide you with the best possible geopolitical coverage.
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