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War All the Time

Here's a tale that makes Mark Foley seem absolutely harmless in comparison: U.S. warships are headed for the coast of Iran, just in time for a late-October war. Maybe even a nuclear war. A nuclear war started by the White House. You know, to make sure Iran doesn't develop dangerous nuclear weapons that could be brazenly used against some country or another.


Today, the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group leaves port in Norfolk for the Persian Gulf. The group includes the USS Anzio, the guided-missile destroyers USS Ramage and USS Mason and the attack sub USS Newport News. Time and The Nation are among the mainstream mags saying this is the beginning of the war. We'll tell you what some less-mainstream sources say, after the jump.

The White House is run by such psychopaths that rational people are arguing about the likelihood of an American "first strike" on Iran. But it's not an idea that has exactly been embraced by Americans who aren't real thrilled about the other two wars America is currently losing.

Just the rumor of the Eisenhower group's deployment was enough to bring the protestors to Norfolk. And you'll notice GOP campaigns are utterly silent about Iran -- although we're sure Conrad Burns or George Allen have managed to slip in a few racial slurs in that direction, as a matter of course. Asked Time magazine last month:

What's going on? The two orders offered tantalizing clues. There are only a few places in the world where minesweepers top the list of U.S. naval requirements. And every sailor, petroleum engineer and hedge-fund manager knows the name of the most important: the Strait of Hormuz, the 20-mile-wide bottleneck in the Persian Gulf through which roughly 40% of the world's oil needs to pass each day. Coupled with the CNO's request for a blockade review, a deployment of minesweepers to the west coast of Iran would seem to suggest that a much discussed--but until now largely theoretical--prospect has become real: that the U.S. may be preparing for war with Iran.
The Navy denies everything but the facts of the deployment, which are kind of hard to deny when 6,500 sailors are being sent to the Persian Gulf six weeks before the election. Says the Navy Times, "Recent news articles speculating about a naval strike on Iran are being greeted with skepticism by the Navy." Well, sure. Tough to deploy if a few thousand sailors don't show up for work today!

The carrier group will arrive in the Persian Gulf on October 21. The Ike is allegedly relieving the USS Enterprise -- the nuclear-powered carrier. But as long as the Enterprise is in the Arabian Sea or Persian Gulf, it's ready to take part in whatever happens. Nuclear subs are supposedly deploying from San Diego to the Gulf, too. And there are some 160,000 U.S. troops on Iran's eastern and western borders.

If this is Rove's promised October Surprise, it's not going to be a pretty one. Starting a war against another oil country that hasn't done anything to us may dazzle Americans for a few days, but it's just going to leave them depressed. And the White House has a little problem over at the Pentagon: Senior commanders have no interest in this latest crazy plot. Unless Iran started the war ....

This is where our Crazy Theorists come in. For the past week or two, there's been talk on investor boards and other conspiracy forums of various Sinister Plots. One version has Iran striking the Enterprise with one of its Squall super torpedoes. Nuclear incident! Like Pearl Harbor and the Gulf of Tonkin combined!

Another version has the U.S. fleet blockading the Strait of Hormuz, which means Iran can't get its oil out through the Gulf. That would either make Iran give up its nuclear ambitions or piss off Ahmadinejad so much that he launches a few missiles at the American ships.

Too crazy or about right for these people?

Thousands Of Sailors Deploy Tuesday [WTKR]

War Signals? [The Nation]

Navy: Eisenhower deployment normal [Navy Times]

Behind the plan to bomb Iran [Asia Times]

Activists say Ike Battle Group heading to Iran; protest planned [MSNBC]

What Would War Look Like? [Time]

The military's problem with the President's Iran policy [New Yorker]

-- KEN LAYNE

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