Let’s begin with a few headlines:
The first two seem to point to a US realization that war against China and Russia is unwinnable and that the USA simply does not have the means to impose a global world order run by one hegemon. Some will say “well, good morning USA!” but the importance of these two events is that it appears that the USA has officially come to the realization that the international world order they attempted to impose on the planet is unachievable. The fact that top US officials admit that is a very positive development and it pushes back the risks of a major, possibly nuclear, war.
The next two are probably a side-effect of the former, that is to say that since the USA cannot simply bully Russia and/or China, they now feel the need to bully Nicaragua and treat it like Cuba and Venezuela. That is a very bad sign, as it shows that while Uncle Shmuel did have to give up his planetary ambitions, the nutcases in Congress are still bad old imperialists in the worst sense of the word, and they still think that they can, and should, bully smaller nations into submission.
Finally, there is this really weird story in the Gulf of Oman.
What actually took place here is hard for me to tell. So first, let’s watch the video as filmed by the Iranians:
First, we see what appears to be an unopposed landing of IRGC soliders on an oil tanker. Next, a number of fast attack craft led by what looks to me as a Shahid Nazeri high speed catamaran appear on the scene. Then we are shown footage of a USN Arleigh Burke-class destroyer apparently heading in the direction of the IRGC catamaran. Next, we see the oil tanker surrounded by Iranian fast attack craft which are shown delivering more personnel on the oil tanker. A quick shot appears to show the Iranian fast attack craft ahead of the USN destroyer. Then we hear what appears to be an IRGC radio message to the USN destroyer to leave the area and the USN reply that the destroyer is on “routine operations in international waters”. Next we see close footage of the destroyer which suggests that the IRGC fast craft came very close to it, possibly surrounding it on all sides. The destroyer’s hull has the number 68 which appears to belong to the USS The Sullivans. We are also shown another number, 112, which appears to show that the USS Michael Murphy was also involved in the incident.
Next, we see that one of the two USN destroyers appears to be overtaking the tanker, possibly “pushed” away from it by Iranian fast attack craft. They are then joined by the Iranian catamaran. The Iranian then get very close to the USS The Sullivans and point their heavy machine guns at it. Then we see this image:
Unless this picture was doctored we see three undeniable things:
- The USN destroyed has fully stopped (no wake)
- The Iranian catamaran is directly in front of the USN destroyer, facing it
- Several fast attack craft are also in the immediate proximity
- The USN destroyer is very close to the oil tanker, which begs the question why this destroyer ever got so near the oil tanker if it was “only” conducting “routine operations”?
In this very short shot it appears (at least to my non-trained in naval recognition eyes) that the 2nd USN destroyer is following the USS The Sullivans:
Next we see the tanker leaving the area while the USN destroyed is stopped, surrounded by Iranian vessels. The Iranian then appear to also leave while escorting the tanker. Then the various ships appear to be leaving.
The Iranians claim that the USN was trying to seize the tanker in a act of “piracy”. The US only admits that an “incident” took place, but does not explain why/how its destroyers got so close to the tanker. I see no evidence at all that any US personnel was on the tanker, yet the Iranians claim that its oil was transferred to another ship. That makes no sense to me.
But what is undeniable is this: two USN destroyers were extremely close to that tanker and that IRGC forces forced both of these destroyers to first stop and then change course and leave. That, by itself, is yet another huge slap in the face of what still remains the most powerful navy on the planet.
I would also note that the surface ships from the IRGC we see on the footage is only part of what the forces the Iranians must have had ready should a shooting incident begin: they could have had one, or several submarines nearby, and they certainly had their coastal defense missiles targeted at the USN destroyers.
The key factor here, as always, is that the Iranians were clearly willing to fight and, if needed, die for their country. The USN personnel not so much 🙂 It is one thing to fire cruise missiles while being comfortably out of range and quite another to, literally, see IRGC soldiers face to face.
So I will let Roger Waters sing the conclusion to this incident:
Hugs and cheers,
UPDATE: better video here: https://preview.presstv.ir/ptv///iran/20211104/irgc_final.mp4 (thanks Pappagallo!!!)