US Cargo Ship Fires On Iranian Boat In Persian Gulf

MSNBC and Reuters are reporting that a US cargo ship fired upon an Iranian boat in the Persian Gulf. This event makes Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mullen's statement on Iran even more ominous:

Recent combat operations in Southern Iraq in Basra highlighted yet again Iran's activities in ways that very specifically pointed to activities which, in fact, resulted in the deaths of coalition soldiers. And I think for the ability to create stability in that part of the world that not just this alliance, but those who are allied, will have to deal with Iran in the very near future."

Kevin Drum has Mullen revising and extending his remarks.

It is in this context, that Hillary Clinton's umbrella of deterrence proposal is shrewd politically and as a matter of policy. It deserves debate in the Democratic contest.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I'm interested in (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Lil on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:56:35 AM EST
    all the presidential candidates' responses to this.

    Hillary: "Nuke em!" (1.33 / 3) (#44)
    by lilybart on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 12:21:06 PM EST
    She will be all for a war against Iran because she plays the hawk to overcome being a woman.

    Which is why she voted to give chimpy war powers.


    I wouldn't hold your breath. (none / 0) (#25)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:59:28 AM EST
    I'm waiting to hear what they have to say about Druggie McRush trying to get his attack dogs to incite riots in Denver.  



    So you think . . . (none / 0) (#53)
    by daryl herbert on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 01:36:36 PM EST
    The candidates should talk about Rush Limbaugh more?

    I can't say that I agree with you.

    And you think mentioning riots makes them less likely to occur?

    Again, I have to disagree.


    Well, that is your right... (none / 0) (#54)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 01:44:58 PM EST
    ...at least for now.  

    And, as it is my right, I shall beg to differ with you.

    I don't think exposuring and denouncing the Right Wing fright machine for being the scum of the Earth that they truly are is ever a bad thing. Silence buys acceptance...  

    But, whatever.  I'm sure you'd be happy to keep up the HC v BO junior high name calling.


    Oh... (none / 0) (#57)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 01:50:26 PM EST
    ...and another thing Daryl...

    Just how would you feel is some racist, sexist, drug-addled gasbag was inciting his equally stupid listeners to come to where YOU live and start riots?


    Provoking war again? (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by ctrenta on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 02:23:46 PM EST
    Well we all know how the U.S. provoked the Iranians the last time this happened. This incident sounds a lot like the last one: Stenography by reporters while the U.S. flirts with another war in Iran and we the people find out after the fact.

    Let's do our job people. Question the information you read and look beyond the MSNBC/Reuters headlines!

    USN cargo ship? (none / 0) (#1)
    by Salo on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:25:39 AM EST
    or a Merchantman?

    Contracted to the navy (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:27:25 AM EST
    Would that be similar (none / 0) (#30)
    by BarnBabe on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:07:00 AM EST
    to Blackwater? Do they have the authority to fire and would it be as if the US Navy fired a shot?

    There (none / 0) (#67)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 07:18:42 PM EST
    is a small Navy (or Coast Guard) detachment on board the ships to handle the weapons.  

    Scary. The rumor among the wives (none / 0) (#3)
    by Teresa on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:28:32 AM EST
    of the troops in Iraq with my nephew is that some of them have been moved closer to the Iranian border.

    I have heard that, too (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Kathy on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:29:45 AM EST
    through relatives.

    Christ, what a mess.  


    I keep telling myself that if Bush was going to (none / 0) (#6)
    by Teresa on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:32:41 AM EST
    start something with Iran, he wouldn't have waited this long..only nine months left until we have a new administration. Maybe he is that stupid.

    your mistake (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Kathy on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:35:36 AM EST
    is to use logic where Bush is concerned.

    I am pretty much terrified of what is starting to seem an eventuality.


    This (none / 0) (#10)
    by cmugirl on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:35:07 AM EST
    is a set-up for the October surprise to come!

    Actually I think they decided to.... (none / 0) (#17)
    by Maria Garcia on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:46:33 AM EST
    ...move up the October surprise. Start the war now. That gives McCain more time to run as a war candidate.

    Keep in mind... (none / 0) (#13)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:38:30 AM EST
    ...that the neo-cons are desperate to keep themselves in power.  They will do anything to hold on--including actively trying to incite a conflict with Iran.  

    To their way of thinking, that would ensure that the puppet McSame is elected to continue their war-mongering ways.


    Exactly. (none / 0) (#14)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:39:56 AM EST
    That is their strategy. Will it work? I certainly hope not.

    Okay, I'm going to do Conspiracy Theory here (none / 0) (#28)
    by MMW on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:03:30 AM EST
    Could they have been forced to do this early? Maybe they thought Obama would be the nominee and easy to beat (with the airport of baggage he's carrying), so there was no danger to McCain. But now, Clinton just won't back down (even Republicans are admiring her fight) they could have a very real fear that she could win the nomination and the general, with a sizeable Repub vote swing (women, seniors). She is the only one who could stop them. Starting with Iran now, they're essentially tying the hands of the next President.

    I got it...Tin Foil... that's the metallic sheen on the cap I'm wearing. :)


    Do they really care... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:15:18 AM EST
    ...who the nominee is going to be?  I, for one, don't think so.  

    They're running out of cards to play and are getting desperate.  

    War--it's good for what ailes them.


    No (none / 0) (#32)
    by cmugirl on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:15:57 AM EST
    I think you could be on to something, but then again, I'm a HUGE conspiracy theorist too! (Note to self: make tinfoil hat this weekend)

    Besides, if your theory is true, I wouldn't even be surprised anymore - there is no level too low that these people wouldn't stoop to.


    Also, this is their dream. (none / 0) (#45)
    by lilybart on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 12:22:43 PM EST
    and they may not get to bomb Iran if they lose the White House, so it's now or never.

    I always wonder why Cheney, who must have almost daily near-death experiences, only gets meaner and more criminal. I am sure he wants this before he dies.


    Is he near Basra? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:58:06 AM EST
    I'm not sure. He's based in the south (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Teresa on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:33:19 AM EST
    (Tallil?) but not there much. He provides security for the convoys to Baghdad with supplies usually, but is also sent on other missions. Now, I think they may be going to Sadr City (sp). Sometimes they do foot patrols in Baghdad before going back.

    He was home for his R&R last month and he has some awesome videos taken from his Humvee. Really scary stuff. I don't know how they stand it.

    I'll have to check my map for Basra.


    According to the map, he is pretty close to (none / 0) (#37)
    by Teresa on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:37:48 AM EST
    there. He doesn't tell us the truth because we worry so we get all our info from the other men with him through their wives.

    I will keep you guys in my thoughts (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Apr 26, 2008 at 07:11:52 PM EST
    and close to my heart right now.  I too have one of those soldiers that I learn more from other wives than him when he is in harms way.  The South is so destablized.  I have once again realized that BTD is leading the way to sane solutions by continuing to press on the issue of the umbrella of deterrence.  At this point in Southern Iraq the only stability we will be able to find is through some sort of umbrella of deterrence!

    Heeeeere we go (none / 0) (#5)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:32:34 AM EST
    with the drumbeat to war again.

    I am sick to death of the warmongering freaks that control our government. If only Pelosi had the spine to impeach Bush and Cheney immediately, none of this stuff would be happening, and we'd already be mostly out of Iraq and Afghanistan IMHO.

    Impeachment (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by joanneleon on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:37:33 AM EST
    was always the only remedy for this administration, and it remains the only remedy.

    By the time we get a democrat into the WH, if we're even able to do that, they will already have us into another war, into a slew of trade agreements and faux treaties done by the executive branch, etc.

    We knew they wouldn't go away easily.  We are so incredibly screwed.  We gave Congress the power to stop this insanity and they refused to do it.


    Yup. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by madamab on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:41:14 AM EST
    And to this day, I will never understand why Pelosi's table remained empty in the face of mountains of evidence of blatant criminality and treason by Bush, Cheney, Condi and Rummy.

    To the Hague with them all!


    Nancy and co. (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Marco21 on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:52:45 AM EST
    are too busy demanding Democrats fall in line and choose a nominee while giving the finger to the remaining states who'd actually like to vote their voice and for their choice.

    She only plays hardball with her own party. With Bush? Kid gloves.


    impeachment (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by miguelito on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:17:51 AM EST
    don't worry, Congress will get the nerve to impeach.. next time there's a Dem in the WH

    The answer is staring us in the face.... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:51:52 AM EST
    the Democrats are in on the big, bloody con-job.

    If we get a Dem in the WH, you'll see.  Our warring ways will continue....


    Math (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:49:53 AM EST
    Whatever you think of Pelosi, that was a smart thing, because we did not have the numbers to make impeachment anything more than an exploding cigar.

    Better to try and fail.... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 12:49:10 PM EST
    than never try.  Lives were and are at stake.

    But the Dems are more worried about keeping and winning seats than flesh and blood.  Cover of today's Newsday is some 19 year old Marine from around my way killed in Iraq...hope the "smart thing" was worth his life and untold others.


    Disagree (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 01:10:41 PM EST
    The best chance, or only chance we have of getting out of Iraq is to elect a Dem in Nov, and many Dem congresscritters. Impeachment proceedings would certainly fail, and because of Republican grey mail, and other major delaying tactics the impeachment would run right up to the election.

    America would be once again faced with powerless dems, wasting tax money during wartime and a recession, with nothing to show for it.  The GOP would win by a landslide. And not just McCain but all his downticket congresscritters.

    BushCo has the game rigged at this point in time.


    Just Wait (none / 0) (#55)
    by daryl herbert on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 01:46:10 PM EST
    If you want to see "the drumbeat to war," just wait until a U.S. cargo ship allows Iranian commandos to seize it and take hostages back to Tehran, instead of firing warning shots.

    The Iranians kidnapped Brits right out of Iraqi waters.  They will do the same to Americans if they get the chance, especially if they perceive the next president as weak.


    s&*%! (none / 0) (#8)
    by joanneleon on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:33:21 AM EST
    And Petraeus hasn't even been confirmed yet as the new Centcom commander.

    New moon is May 5th.


    Does the "revelation" about Syria fit (none / 0) (#16)
    by jawbone on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:41:41 AM EST
    as part of a possible election "surprise"?

    They're getting rid of Adm Mullen, who seemed to not go along with the maladministration--and Gen. Pet seems to be their pet gen.

    There's been conjecture that the mil brass would prevent Little Boots (our very own Caligula!) from taking his war jones to Iran.  But, maybe he has the whole ME in mind: Take out Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Iran.  That will make for a fine kettle of fish....

    Make that "getting rid of Adm. FALLON"-- (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by jawbone on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 01:27:28 PM EST
    knew something felt off typing that.

    Will Bush get one more war on? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Marco21 on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:50:54 AM EST
    We can't let that happen.

    Don't forget Syria! (none / 0) (#29)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:06:20 AM EST
    It won't just be one war. They released that video on Syria yesterday to prime the pump. He wants to go down in history as the man that saved the world. More likely he'll go down as the man who destroyed it.

    Yes (none / 0) (#40)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:51:30 AM EST
    The propagand ops is in moving into full swing. Yesterday there was an article showing that N Korea was helping Syria build a bomb.

    Some sort of agreements (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:57:00 AM EST
    promoting stability would save so many lives in the Middle East.  The warlessness that I live in personally is based on agreements and nothing more and nothing less.  I do not see how an umbrella of deterrence could produce anything worse than the lives it would save and the insanity it would prevent.  It may be the first time for some to ever experience an agreed upon mutual and group existence....a larger civilization.

    Unbelievable (none / 0) (#24)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:58:53 AM EST
    This on top of his claims against Syria. He won't rest until he's destroyed the world. Maybe he thinks a fresh war will distract from the crashing economy. If Congress doesn't stop him this time, I give up.

    Or maybe... (none / 0) (#27)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:01:35 AM EST
    ...he's really being pushed to bring about the Rapture.  

    I wouldn't be one bit surprised.  


    Noooooooooooo. (none / 0) (#26)
    by pie on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:00:52 AM EST
    Don't do it!

    I though they would wait till August. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Radix on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:17:15 AM EST
    I wonder if all the talk of ending the primary early hasn't help them move up their time table?

    Because there are no facts, there is no truth, Just data to be manipulated

    Don Henley-The Garden of Allah

    Now saying it didn't happen? (none / 0) (#36)
    by nycstray on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:33:32 AM EST
    From That Link (none / 0) (#56)
    by MO Blue on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 01:49:32 PM EST
    "No confrontation took place in the Persian Gulf between Iranian and American ships," a journalist for Iran's state-owned Arabic Al-Alam TV channel told Reuters, quoting the navy source.

    He quoted the source as saying any shooting that may have occurred could have targeted a non-Iranian vessel.

    To Fire On A Nation's Vessle (none / 0) (#38)
    by flashman on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:45:53 AM EST
    and then use that as a path to a neclear deterrant umbrella debate remines me of the bogus reasons for going to war w/Iraq; WMD's, images of "mushroom clouds", aluminum tubes...  I still say there are diplomatic solutions to Iran that doesn't involve threats of nuclear annialation.  Democrats should be discussing those first.

    Nothing Can Stop (none / 0) (#41)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 11:55:54 AM EST
    Bush from going to war with Iran. He can, as he already has that Iran is directly responsible for deaths of our troops. They are supplying and training terrorists. Think of it as the winning GOP strategy for November 08. I wouldn't be one bit surprised that this was planned out (Rove) well before Bush endorsed McCain.

    It's happening again... (none / 0) (#42)
    by desertswine on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 12:00:05 PM EST
    The Gleiwitz Incident.

    And it works every time.


    Moshe Dayan (none / 0) (#43)
    by JohnS on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 12:19:37 PM EST
    said that the US's publicly stated reasons for going into Viet Nam never made sense strategically. He finally got the real reason from a pretty high ranking appointee in the Pentagon: we were there to establish military bases to counterbalance the rising regional hegemon, China.

    Likewise in Iraq, except the rising regional hegemon is Iran. Except that the Iraqis don't want us there and Iran sure doesn't want a major US presence setting up shop next door. Especially with sabre-rattlers like Bush/Cheney running the show. Iran has shrewdly been able to keep the kettle boiling by playing Shia militia vs Shia militia to make it all but impossible for us to stay. They're playing chess, we're playing checkers.

    GOP Talking Point (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 12:52:30 PM EST
    Iraq is responsible for their own shia v shia warring, and it has little to do with Iran. This a fight about power in the Iraq gov by Iraqis. But you are entitled to repeat BushCo talking points all you want.

    It is ironic though that we are behind Hakim who is closely linked with Iran, his Badr brigades were trained by the Quds. While the one we accuse of being trained and financed by Iran is al Sadr, a fierce nationalist who has little to do with Iran.

    Of course the reason for betting on Hakim is that he can be bought, and al Sadr cannot. If al Sadr gains power in the October provincial elections the US will be forced out by Iraqis, not Dem nominees.


    You think calling something a Talking Point (none / 0) (#58)
    by daryl herbert on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 01:56:39 PM EST
    makes it false?

    Sadr, this "fierce nationalist," has been hanging out in Iran for months.  I guess that's a GOP Talking Point, so you can ignore it.

    He's a fierce self-promoter, is what he is, and his support is based on fierce identification with the shi'ite religion.  He isn't a nationalist at all.

    Iran is causing problems all sorts of problems in Iraq, from sending its own commandos in to training militiamen and sending them back to Iraq.  The next president will inherit that.  The next president can't elide this issue by labeling it a "GOP Talking Point."


    How Dare They! (none / 0) (#60)
    by flashman on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 02:08:52 PM EST
    We captured Iraq fair and square.  It was OUR weapondry who killed thousands and destroyed cities.  It's ours now!  Iran stay the HELL out!  They had their chance to rule Iraq and failed to capture it.  Our superior war tactics helped Sadam Hussain, our ally, eh I mean enimy, or did I have it right the first time... I mean WE beat Iran back so we can claim right to Iraq.  It's ours now, OURS, you hear me?  Everyone just stay the hell out! /s

    Yes (none / 0) (#61)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 02:16:47 PM EST
    Most BushCO talking points are false. For any shia religious leader to study in Iran is like breathing air for them. My guess is that you get your ME info from Fox and Powerlie, because you seem ill informed and not surprisingly up to date with the latest GOP talking points.

    Do you believe that there are still WMD's buried in the sand somewhere in Iraq as well?


    You are absolutely correct (none / 0) (#63)
    by JohnS on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 02:43:27 PM EST
    that Iran is generating Shia vs Shia violence in Iraq, it is a power struggle. However, why would you suppose that the Iranians aren't using their influence, playing all sides against the middle? That's smart play, waiting to see what happens...If we were smart we'd be talking to Iran (and all the other affected states in the region), and making plans on getting out of Iraq.

    Again, I am convinced we went in there to establish permanent military bases with which to contain/threaten a rising Iran. I think it'd be pretty unusual for any state not try to do a little manipulation in their own self-interest in that situation.

    And your habit charging me with throwing out right wing talking points is really annoying.


    whoops! (none / 0) (#64)
    by JohnS on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 02:45:46 PM EST
    that first sentence should have read "Iran is NOT generating the Shia vs Shia violence in Iraq..."

    Just when I thought someone was making sense (none / 0) (#66)
    by daryl herbert on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 03:37:51 PM EST
    Just when I thought someone was making sense, you had to go and ruin it with your correction.

    Of course Iran is messing around in Iraq.  As a previous commenter pointed out, what do we expect?   They're neighbors, Iran has interests in Iraq, and it's trying to secure them.

    The question is, what do we do about it.  Like I said, labeling it a "talking point" doesn't alter the face of reality.  If we acknowledge that Iran is in there causing trouble, and trying to undermine the peace, that does not mean we have to go to war, or that we have to bomb them, or that we can't work something out diplomatically.

    In fact, I think if the Iraqi government continues to become stronger and more broadly accepted (by shi'ites, sunnis, kurds, and most everyone else) a diplomatic solution between the Iraqi and Iranian governments will be possible.


    Sorry (none / 0) (#68)
    by squeaky on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 10:01:17 PM EST
    It is not a habit it is a response to what I perceive as misinformation aka right wing talking points.

    Iran has shrewdly been able to keep the kettle boiling by playing Shia militia vs Shia militia

    Now that you have clarified your comment I agree. Iran is right next to Iran, we are over 6000 miles as the crow flies. It seems natural that Iran would be an ally of Iraq, and interested in their well being. If there were a way to measure the amount of meddling we were doing in Iraq compared to the amount Iran is meddling in Iraq we would be off the scale.

    I have nothing against you and am happy that you are not mouthing GOP talking points. Sorry to have misunderstood your previous comment.


    debate you say, HA (none / 0) (#49)
    by DandyTIger on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 12:49:53 PM EST
    of course they should debate. And especially over Iran and this issue, Clinton's deterrence issues, and even Clinton's vote about Iran. It would be great for the country and the party.

    Let's see which candidate wants to debate and which one doesn't. I hope Obama steps up to the plate to debate and quits hiding. I just can't see how he can ride the rest of the primary through without debating. The DNC/dem leaders are certainly, desperately even, trying to help him out in that front. But I hope he will meet Clinton in Indiana or North Carolina. Someone who can lead would.

    On the Umbrella of Deterrence... (none / 0) (#59)
    by mattt on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 02:07:02 PM EST
    Jeffrey Lewis not so crazy:

    The statement [Hillary's "obliterate" comment] triggered alarm bells in the Persian Gulf, which would likely suffer the consequences of any war between Iran and the U.S. In a harshly worded editorial, the Saudi-based daily Arab News trashed Clinton's comment today as insane

    SA is presumably one of the countries Hillary would protect.

    Regardless of the merits of whatever concept lurks behind it, Hillary's rhetoric was reckless and pandering and she needs to tone it down.  But, I agree with the posters above who say she feels a need to talk and act tough, to counter murmurings from the neanderthal wing that a woman isn't tough enough to be president.  This scares me, more than a little.

    Another point of view via Zev Chafets (none / 0) (#65)
    by JohnS on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 03:05:01 PM EST
    via Col. Pat lang's website:

    "Israel Can Stand Up for Itself" - Zev Chafets

    "..in exchange for assistance, Washington would naturally (and rightly) demand a very strong say in Israeli policies. A misstep, after all, could embroil it in a nuclear exchange. Within a very short time, Israel's sovereignty and autonomy would come to resemble Minnesota's. This is not a bad thing if your country happens to border Iowa. It works less well in Israel's neighborhood.

    What's more, it is fair to say that Israel is not a weak country. It has developed a powerful set of strategic options. In the best case, it would be able to act on its own to degrade and retard the Iranian nuclear program as it did in Iraq (and, more recently, Syria). In a worse case, if the Iranians do get the bomb, Iranian leaders might be deterred by rational considerations. If so, Israel's own arsenal -- and its manifest willingness to respond to a nuclear attack -- ought to suffice."