Ahmadinejad’s “navy” is at it again:
WASHINGTON – Recent clashes between Iranian and U.S. Navy forces in the Persian Gulf reflect Iran’s shifted military strategy to use its Revolutionary Guard’s fast boats more aggressively in the region, the top U.S. military officer said Friday.
In a confrontation Sunday — captured on a 36-minute video the Pentagon made public Friday — military officials said boxes were thrown into the water by the Iranians, triggering concerns about potential mine threats. And in an incident last month, a U.S. ship fired warning shots at a rapidly approaching Iranian boat.
While there are lingering questions about the origin of menacing verbal threats heard during the confrontation Sunday in the Strait of Hormuz, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday that the clash was the most “provocative and dramatic” he has seen.
“The incident ought to remind us all just how real is the threat posed by Iran and just how ready we are to meet that threat if it comes to it,” Mullen said.
Iran denied its boats threatened the U.S. vessels and accused Washington of fabricating its video. A five-minute video released by Iran shows a man speaking into a handheld radio, with three U.S. ships floating in the distance. That footage did not show any Iranian boats approaching the U.S. vessels nor any provocation.
Adm. William J. Fallon the top U.S. military commander in the Mideast, told The Associated Press that Iran runs the risk of triggering an unintended conflict if its boats continue to harass U.S. warships in the strategic waterway.
Uninintended conflict? It sure as hell seems like Iran wants to draw our warships into a confrontation.
Both Mullen and Fallon said they could not tell if the verbal threats heard in a Pentagon-released audio tape came from the Iranian boats. In the recording, a man with an accent can be heard warning in English: “I am coming to you” and then, “You will explode after … minutes.”
……Also Friday, the Navy for the first time described the December encounters in detail.
The USS Whidbey Island fired the warning shots on Dec. 19 in response to a small Iranian boat that was rapidly approaching, said a Navy official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Three days later, the USS Carr encountered three small Iranian craft, two of which were armed, said the official. The USS Carr did not fire warning shots but sent warning blasts on the ships whistle, which caused the boats to turn around.
Sunday’s incident, in which five Iranian fast boats swarmed a convoy of three U.S. warships, caused the most concern in the Pentagon and also heightened interest in the grainy video shot by a crew member on the destroyer USS Hopper.
The video, which Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said was unedited, showed U.S. sailors answering radio calls from the Iranians and monitoring the five fast boats. For much of the time, the camera followed one or more of the fast boats moving around the U.S. ships. And at one point, it zoomed in on an object floating in the water — which Navy officials said was one of the boxes the Iranians were seen throwing overboard.
As the incident escalated, sailors on the Hopper can be heard growing more agitated about how fast and close the small boats were moving near the ships. They can also be heard referring to the fact that the U.S. ship had gone on high alert, in which all of the hatches and doors on the main deck and below were closed to prepare the ship for potential damage.
The verbal threats cannot be heard in the video because they were in a separate audio recording released earlier in the week.
Fallon said that while the U.S. was still trying to determine the source of the threatening radio call, he remained convinced that it was related to the actions of the Iranian boats.
……Regarding the Iranian strategy, Mullen told reporters that the U.S. has been focused “for several years” on this shift to greater use of small, fast boats by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has taken over patrols in the Gulf from Tehran’s regular navy.
“It’s clearly strategically where the Iranian military has gone,” Mullen said in his first solo Pentagon press briefing. “There’s a projection they were going to do that over a number of years. … That was a big concern to me because of the history and the background with the IRGC (Revolutionary Guard.) This fit that mold, as far as I was concerned.”
Fallon added that the Navy believes the Revolutionary Guard now has responsibility for the whole Gulf, and has moved the Iranian navy further out into the Indian Ocean.
So far, the Commanders on U.S. ships in the region have been way too lenient in the warning department.
They ought to fire warning shots at the little turds, center mass.
It’s the USS Cole after the attack in Yemen. 17 sailors were killed.
That’s the USS Stark. 37 sailors were killed in that attack.
How long before it happens again? Do we want a repeat of that shit?
An update: Mealy-mouthed moonbat Keith Olbermann weighs in on the incident. He accused the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Michael Mullen, of trying to “fake” a “Gulf of Tonkin”.
……your friendly U.S. government, epitomized here by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mullen. This is about the little thing in the Straits of Hormuz, which the administration tried to sell as a near act of war by Iranian patrol boats against three giant U.S. warships, complete with provocative maneuvers and somebody radioing the U.S. ships, quote, “I am coming to you. You will explode after minutes.” Admiral Mullen, it was, who said of the video of the incident, “To my knowledge, I have not seen one as both provocative and dramatic as this.”
Five minutes later, though, he added: “First of all, I haven’t seen the full video myself.” Now, the Navy Times newspaper echoes a lot of online reporting saying that the threatening radio message may have come from a well-known marine heckler whose radio abuse is legendary around the Persian Gulf. Oh, and that the only Iranian boat that actually came close to one of the U.S. warships was unarmed. So you guys tried to fake another Gulf of Tonkin incident using some clown with a CB radio and the lethal threat posed by the S.S. Minnow?
Link to video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WADchtd0Hms
The leftwing is so deranged that they will sink to the abyss of stupidity just to demonstrate their hatred of America.
Blaming U.S. armed forces for “faking” an act of harassment by a hostile enemy…. Just when you thought they couldn’t get more repugnant.
If Olbermann ever extracts his head from his ass long enough to come up for air, he might recall what some “S.S. Minnows” did to the Cole and Stark, but I doubt it.