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Are we watching the final countdown to WW III?

Bloged in Middle East, Israelis by Gutter Grunt Sunday January 15, 2012 at about 6:18 pm

Obama has been doing all he can to keep Bibi Netanyahu in his cage to prevent the mad-dog Israelis from attacking Iran.

To this end, the administration has been overly public in assuring the world that it will not tolerate either a nuclear bomb in Iran’s hands or interruption of oil flow through the Hormuz.  Obama stated two years ago that the US stands ready to retaliate against anyone who attacks Israel.  The US taxpayers have built Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system.

The US was even ready to send ground troops to Israel.  In the last few days the Israeli side, speaking through the Jerusalem Post [see previous post], publicized plans for the US to deploy thousands of troops in Israel.  Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc of the US 3rd Air Force visited Israel only two weeks ago to get this deployment – originally called “Juniper Stallion 2012,” but changed to “Austere Challenge 12″ –  underway.

Of course, the US and Israel training together is nothing new.  Just last spring the USS Harry Truman carrier group visited Israel for joint naval/air exercises.  And the US and Israel have long cooperated in virtual war games.  But Austere Challenge would be the first large-scale US deployment to Israel of non-virtual boots with actual people in them.

Contrary to what a lot of the pundits have been saying, US boots in Israel are not directly related to an Israeli attack on Iran 1000 miles away.  What they would be is a very public show of solidarity between US and Israel — i.e., a serious disincentive to Iran, particularly with respect any plans Iran may have to intervene in Syria.

But that disincentive is not to be.  In what appears as almost an emergency notification made at an unprecedented early hour on a Sunday, Debkafile reports that today the Obama administration has suddenly pulled the plug on Austere Challenge 12.  The abruptness of this change in plans is, to me at least, reason for grave concern.

For one thing Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has to put his underwear back in the drawer.  He was scheduled to go to Israel next Thursday.  One presumes that his visit was to have two objectives: 1) consult with the IDF over the coming US deployment, and 2) read the riot act to Bibi regarding the way Israel is handling the Iranian situation.  But it now looks like the reading of riot acts is too late.  It is Israel, not Iran, that has crossed some sort of line here.

In this later regard, one could tell from the way the administration condemned last week’s Israeli assassination of Iranian nuke-trigger specalist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan that things between Obama and Bibi are going even farther downhill than they were when Obama agreed with Sarkozy that Bibi is a “liar.”

It must also be noted that just 2 days ago the Pentagon announced that additional muscle is now headed for the Persian Gulf – 15,000 troopers to Kuwait and a second carrier, the USS Carl Vinson combat group, is to join the USS Stennis group.  The CVN is actually now in the Gulf. Link 

But that’s not all. . . according to the Facebook page for the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, it has just pulled out of Thailand.  And Naval Today reports that the Abe Lincoln is “en route to support coalition efforts in the 5th Fleet AOR.”  DEBKAfile is less ambiguous, they are reporting that the Abe Lincoln is headed to the Persian Gulf.  It’s about 5000 nautical miles from Bangkok to Hormuz.  At 30 knots flat out, she’ll be there next weekend, about Jan22.  Three US carrier combat groups focused on a stretch of water 35 miles wide.  Someone has said that a fight over the Strait of Hormuz would be like a knife-fight in a phone booth.

It is becoming more apparent that Obama has given up the game with Bibi.  Israel is moving into strike mode and Obama is putting as much distance possible between the US and Israel as quickly as possible by denouncing the killing of Ahmadi-Roshan and by cancelling Austere Challenge.  At the same time he is busting ass to get as much firepower into the Gulf region as he can.

My guess is that it will be more like days or weeks, rather than months, before the lid is finally blown off of this over-heated kettle in the Middle East.  Events are moving very quickly toward three drastic show-downs: 1) between Israel and Iran; 2) between US and Iran; and, 3) between US and Israel.  Only one of these show-downs will be diplomatic, the other two could lead to WW III.

Somebody pass me that Mayan calendar.  I want to have another look at it.

HuffPost et al. MSM: heads so far up their butts all they can see is Iowa

Bloged in Middle East, Israelis, America, World Events by Gutter Grunt Wednesday January 4, 2012 at about 11:47 am

While the world’s media are reporting what may be the biggest story to come in 2012 — that US is sending thousands of troops into Israel — HuffPost, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, WaPo and the rest of the MSM sit their with their collective heads up their collective ass spewing on and on about 13 Republican delegates split between Romney and Santorum.

C’mon folks, let’s get with the program here.  It’s a big world out there and Iowa is still mostly about corn.

In the mean time the Jerusalem Post and Global Research are reporting  that Omama is sending thousands of troop and boats full of Aegis missiles to Israel for an indefinite time, including a US command post in Israel.  Global Research, a Canadian concern, calls this the most “blacked-out news story in America right now.” Yeah, well, it’s not blacked out, it’s just been missed by idiot MSM editors who think Iowa has become the center of the universe.

The speculation is that this troop build up is part of preparations for an attack on Iran.  BS.   I don’t think stationing “thousands” of US troops in Israel is or is meant to be a deterrent to Iran. Tel Aviv is 1000 miles from Terhan, so these troops are no offensive threat to Iran. If you want to intimidate Iran with troop build up, you put the troops in Oman — 32 miles away.

As for a defensive maneuver, well Iran is NEVER going to send troops to Israel. As in N-E-V-E-R. And a thousand pairs of boots has absolutely no effect on incoming Iranian Nour missiles.

These troops are in preparation for dealing with Syria. Israel absolutely has to get control of Syria when it implodes. The inevitable meltdown there gives US/Israel the opportunity to go in now and neutralize Hezbollah before turning on Iran.

The only non-clown in the Republican circus is Romney and he remains the strongest contender. He would be the biggest threat to Omama. A “limited” war like going into Syria would be very helpful to Omama’s presidential campaign. For one thing AIPAC would shower him with money, and for another, Americans just hate to switch horses in the middle of a conflict.

The interesting thing will be to see if Paul can get traction with the idea the US should not be involved with Israel monetarily or militarily. That seems to be the argument that’s boosted him these last few weeks. If he gets the American public lined up on his side with that argument, sending troops to Israel could be a real mis-step for Omama.

This is going to be one hell of a year, Mayans or no Mayans.

BTW, Ahmadinejad is in the news again. He has not exactly been shown live, but, according to Haaretz (Jan04.12) he has been “quoted” by Iranian news. So that’s a relief. At least for his mom.

MSM Fails of 2011

Bloged in Miscellaneous, Media Fails by Gutter Grunt Tuesday January 3, 2012 at about 2:58 pm

Here’s a few examples from my 2011 sampling of MSM reporting/editorial incompetence.

Jan16.11  Murder victim left £626,000 inheritance to millionaire husband convicted of her killing.

“After his wife’s disappearance, Prout began a new relationship with Debbie Garlick, who gave birth to their child shortly before he was jailed.” [This kid’s gonna’ be a bad one. Barely [sic] out of the uterus and already getting jailed.]

UK Daily Mail Jan16.11

Jan18.11  Claim: Customs agents found drugs in Armstrong’s bag By Jason Devaney

“According to the story, Armstrong denied ever taking the substance through his lawyer. “ [Obviously jocks writing about jocks. Say no more.]

MSNBC, Jan19.11

Jan21.11 Mass bird die-off: Feds poisoned them

“Brasel said she didn’t suspect illness because all the [dead] starlings were at a good weight and appeared to be, for the most part, healthy.” [For the most part, dead birds rarely appear to be healthy.]


Jan21.11 Man who shot neighbours over dog he detested jailed for 18 years

Barrett, who owned a Yorkshire terrier, told the couple they should not get a ‘killer dog’. His behaviour escalated, from smashing up a riverside jetty which the couples jointly owned to throwing what he said was a poisoned sausage over the fence for the dog.

[4 lines later… we get it all again, just in case we were sleeping the first time]

Barrett who owned a Yorkshire terrier, told the couple they should not get a ‘killer dog”. He got so fed up with the dog that he smashed up a chiminea and a riverside jetty which the couples jointly owned. Another time Mrs Venn saw Barrett throw a spicy sausage over the fence. When she threw it back, he told her: ‘You can have a few more, I’ll up the dose.’

Daily Mail

Jan01.11  Australian floods.  Examples of the international press always searching for fresh, creative, new ways to present the latest disaster.

Dec30.2010 Queensland flooding: “Floods the size of the countries, Germay AND France combined are wrecking havoc on the towns and rural areas of Queensland.”  Daily Kos


Dec30.2010, Michael Perry re: Queensland flooding “Flood water rose across Australia’s northeast on Friday, covering an area bigger than France and Germany combined,”  Scientific American


Dec31.2010 re: Queensland flooding by J. David Goodman: “Floods over an area the size of France and Germany combined included the Queensland town of Emerald, shown Friday.”   New York Times


Dec31.10 re: Queensland flooding “Military aircraft dropped supplies to towns cut off by floods in northeastern Australia as the prime minister promised new assistance Friday to the 200,000 people affected by waters covering an area larger than France and Germany combined.”   AP


Jan02.11 re Queensland flooding “Floodwaters that cover an area the size of France and Germany combined are draining slowly toward Australia’s northeast coast, filling bulging rivers to overflowing and inundating at least 22 towns and cities in the cattle and fruit and vegetable farming region.”   ABC News


Jan12.11 re: Victoria flooding “AUSTRALIA’S worst floods in living memory have left probably dozens dead and affected people in an area the size of France and Germany combined”   The Australian


Jan20.11 Gemma Daley and Nichola Saminather: “The flooding in Victoria follows weeks of rain drenching much of Australia’s east coast and inundating an area in the northeastern state of Queensland that authorities estimate is bigger than Germany and France combined. “ Bloomberg News

Idiot journalists, listen up. Here’s a tip on how to be a creative plagiarizer. When you want to copy a comparison based on the combined size of France and Germany, go to Wikipedia find out what the area of Germany is. Find out what the area of France is. Add them together. Now look at Google Earth to make a few guesses on what country would be equal to that figure. Go back to Wikipedia and check out your guess. Repeat until you have a close substitute for France combined with Germany, and – volia! – you have an “original thought.”

Jan22.10 Oldest living member of ‘Band of Brothers’ dies By TIMBERLY ROSS  [As opposed to, say, “Oldest dead member of ‘Band of Brothers” dies” ?]  Associated Press

Feb05.11 Con air force: RAF servicemen jailed for smuggling SEVEN MILLION cigarettes on military flights from the Middle East

Corporal Stuart Helens, 31, Sergeant Stuart Walker, 43, and Senior Aircraftman Paul Garbutt, 31, all admitted their part in the conspiracy. Helens was jailed for three years, Garbutt for three years and four months and Walker for years.  [For. . . how many. . . years?]

[And then, in the same article, there’s this botched caption, unless Lisa’s on heavy duty testosterone treatments.]

UK Daily Mail
Oct06.11  Reporting on the crash of a helicopter in the East River, MARK DUELL

“It came to rest upside down 50ft below the surface of the swift-moving water with just its skids showing - and people on the nearby docks began throwing life jackets into the water.”  [50 feet underwater and the skids showing??  Some skids.]

UK Daily Mail

Oct31.11 Husband died in crash ‘after jilted wife hit the handbrake while travelling at 60mph

“Ian Dixie, prosecuting at Bristol Crown Court, said Mr Meeking was twice the drink-drive limit and the couple had a 30-minute row as they drove home over her father.”[Reporter unidentified, and for good reason.]

UK Daily Mail

Nov02.11 8,000 deadly exploding containers feared on loose By JIM FORMAN / KING 5 News SEATTLE –

Emergency procedures are being instituted at ports in Western Washington after a string of problems with exploding shipping containers. The problem, say those familiar with the situation, is not with the cargo but with the containers themselves.  [Thanks for clarifying it the ports were in western Washington.  Like, how many ports are there in Eastern Washington? It borders Montana on the east for God’s sake.]


Dec02-04.11  Minor examples of proof-readers with steamed eyeglasses.

MSNBC: “Lost test cost woman a breat [sic] cancer diagnosis”

MSNBC:  “Hundreds of thousands of Honda vehicles sold [sic] the United States are being recalled or will be inspected by the company because their airbags could potentially explode causing injury or death, the company said.

HuffPost: As Herman Cain headed home on Friday to Georgia to face his wife for the first time since Ginger White alleged an affair with him, a new report surfaced stories [sic] of the couple having deep marital unrest long before Cain’s presidential campaign was rocked by allegations of sexual harassment.

DailyMail: But throughout the evening she was restless, and began preying [sic] to the heavens to be allowed another chance at life.

Keep up the great writing and hawk-eyed editing in 2012, MSM.

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