Friday, January 15, 2016

Iran Just Told The World 
The United States Is 
Now A Paper Tiger

And Iran is Right

The real point of what happened with Iran seizing our sailors & making propaganda out of it is to understand what they want the world to see

US & Western presence on the international trade lanes has kept criminal regimes like Iran's in check for decades.

Without the presence of US & British navies in the region, Iran would keep enlarging their boundaries, choking the shipping lanes and shaking down smaller, weaker countries for the right to pass through 'their' ocean. It'd be the Barbary pirate days all over again, with feral navies prowling the waters looking for shipping they can seize and hold hostage.

While the world largely doesn't pay attention to this until something dramatic happens, there's been a 'cold war' underway between Iran & the US on the seas as Iran continually claims international waters as actually being inside their territory. Periodically Iran 'tests the doorknob' with a direct provocation to see what the Western response will be, such as when they grabbed 15 Royal Navy sailors in 2007
We pay attention when Iran decides to directly challenge the naval powers enforcing international boundaries. But there's all kinds of shenanigans the Iranians are engaged in on the seas that don't get wide attention.  Such as their grabbing foreign ships and demanding they pay 'fines' for passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran lays claim to all of the Strait of Hormuz but 'recognizes' the international water lanes, and insists any shipping that strays into their section of it is violating their territorial waters and must pay a fine, as a Marshall Islands-flagged ship had to do in May of 2015.

Note how the Iranian Navy dealt with this cargo ship. They didn't demand it leave their waters at once; no instead they claimed they were seizing the ship and demanded that it follow them deeper into Iranian waters. And the cargo ship was fired on when it didn't immediately comply.  This was a shakedown from the start. 

How valuable is the Strait of Hormuz? The New York Times explained:
The Strait of Hormuz, the slender waterway that connects the Persian Gulf to the rest of the world and is a critical conduit in the global oil supply chain...
And Iran claims 'historically' this Strait is in their 'sphere of influence' and so any shipping that uses it only does so at their forbearance.

Of course, this has been nothing but propaganda for decades, since the presence of US, British, and other allied navies has guaranteed the safe passage of shipping through the Strait without their having to pay fines or tribute to Iran to do so. If they could, the Iranians would be exacting tribute from every ship passing through the Strait of Hormuz.  

 The international water boundaries were set, and the ships of all nationalities may pass through them unhindered.

As long as their security is guaranteed by the patrolling allied navies.

And here comes the problem.

Iran suspected - correctly, as it so happened - that if they directly challenged the US Navy by seizing some of it's ships & personnel, nothing would happen.  They can't shake us down for a fine or tribute they way the can shake down the Maersk company, but they're not after money here. The Iranians were provided with a perfect opportunity to demonstrate something else to the world. They were given propaganda. And they took full advantage of it.

The propaganda from Iran that is now rocketing it's way around the Middle East is this: that the biggest navy tasked with ensuring the security of international boundaries for shipping through the Strait of Hormuz is now a paper tiger.

"Look," Iran said it's smaller neighbors in the region, "you think the Americans guarantee the safety of your ships? Watch THIS and learn something! They can't even keep us from seizing their own boats & sailors if we want to!  You think YOUR shipping is going to be safe from us any longer?  You had better just pay up!"

Incredibly, yesterday the State Department said Iran using our captured soldiers as propaganda didn't violate the Geneva Convention.  

Due to Obama & Kerry's incredibly weak response to this incident, you can fully expect to see Iran's Navy begin to flex it's muscles in the Strait of Hormuz more than ever.

Determined to do whatever it takes to 'save' his nuclear deal, which is non-binding & which Iran didn't even sign - Obama will forbear any Iranian provocation.  The Iranian leadership know this, and has just graphically demonstrated this to the rest of the world.

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