Saturday, January 20, 2024

With the 2024 Presidential Election Approaching, Is Biden Trying To Pick A Fight With Iran?

Americans like a strong leader. Something no one has ever accused Biden of being. It's not surprising then that as we go into the 2024 Presidential Election, Joe Biden is  perhaps the weakest incumbent in recent U.S. history. His approval ratings are the lowest of any president over the past 15 years. Even former president, Donald Trump, has an approval rating of 75% among Republicans, despite the bipartisan Establishment's best (or worst) efforts to destroy his character.  So, what's Biden to do?

Traditionally, America has never liked  to "switch horses mid-stream"  during a war or other national crisis, and that's what Mr. Biden is hoping for. In fact, he's counting on it. Biden has intentionally put U.S. military forces directly in harm's way in order to virtually guarantee to provoke a crisis with the radical Houthi in Yemen. The Houthi, along with other terrorist groups including ISIS/ISIL, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Boko Harem, and others are believed to be actively supported by America's arch-nemesis, Iran

It's worth mentioning that there are approximately 100,000 members of the Houthi. They control roughly two thirds of  the most populated areas in Yemen. Hezbollah, which is most active in southern Lebanon, numbers to about 100,000 as well with roughly 60,000 full time and part time  fighters.  Boko Harem, which operates mainly in Nigeria, Chad, northern Cameroon, and Mali, is much smaller with roughly 15,000  followers.

No one knows for sure how many members of Al Qaeda are left. During the 20 year war in Afghanistan, thousands of so-called "freedom fighters" came from surrounding areas to take part in fight against the "Great Satan" (aka the U.S.). Best estimates indicate that as many as 20,000 of these "freedom fighters" were killed or seriously wounded. Currently it's believed that Al Qaeda/Al Nusra have about 3000 members.  

ISIS/ISIL came into being as a spinoff of Al Qaeda which they saw as too moderate. The United Nations has previously reported that volunteers from as many as 80 countries have ventured from their homeland to join ISIS (many were self recruited via the internet. ISIS has been unique among the terrorist organizations in its technological sophistication).

According to UN and U.S. intelligence reports, ISIS/ISIL may have had as many as 200,000 followers at one point. While many have killed, wounded, or simply drifted away, ISIS/ISIL still remains a potent force, especially in Afghanistan and parts of Syria which it has declared to be part of the "Islamic State". Nevertheless, best estimates put the number of active fighters at around 15,000 - 20,000.   

Behind all these organizations stands Iran, the archenemy of the United States since the Hostage Crisis of 1979 and the overthrow of the Shah. America, via the CIA, had previously overthrown the center-left government of Mohammad Mosaddegh, in 1953 and replaced it with Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, a secular, pro-Western and very conservative autocratic.  

However, in 1979, the Shah, as he was known, was overthrown by the followers of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Out went the Shah and a secular Iran and in its place Iran became an extreme theocratic country. All traces of equality and secular democracy went out the door. During the takeover, the radical Revolutionary Guard seized 52 U.S. embassy workers. They were constantly threatened with being murdered.

President Jimmy Carter authorized a rescue attempt which was poorly planned, poorly executed, and ultimately failed.  After 444 days, the hostages were finally freed as soon as Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president. Ever since, the United States has been trying to pick a fight with Iran.  Iran, on the other hand, has been attempting to exert its influence throughout the region, and has made repeated threats to destroy Israel (aka "the little Satan). To help accomplish this, Iran has sponsored  terrorists groups throughout the Middle East and beyond.       

All of these various terrorist groups have tend to subscribe to a intense hatred of the United States, Israel, and the West. This includes our democratic ideals such as religious and gender equality, free speech, free choice, and so forth. Some of these groups would love to prohibit music of all genres, dancing, singing, alcohol and drugs all types, smoking, or swimming just as an example.

Women may not be uncovered, nor can they vote, speak out, go anywhere without a male escort, drive, or even be educated. Gays in all their varieties are considered an "abomination". As such, they are to be killed without hesitation.  

President Biden previously sent two U.S. naval carrier strike forces, led by the USS Gerald Ford and USS Dwight Eisenhower, to the eastern Mediterranean and parked them off the coast of Gaza (the British dispatched a carrier strike force as well as part of the united show of force).  Officially, our presence was to "monitor" the situation between the Israelis and its ongoing operations in Gaza against the terrorist group Hamas.   

However, that role almost immediately changed from one of neutral monitoring to active participation as the U.S. has repeatedly intercepted missiles and attack drones sent by the Houthi in Yemen. Thus far about a dozen missiles and around 21 armed drones have been intercepted.

On Biden's orders, planes from the U.S. carriers made several strikes on Houthi compounds in Yemen,  resulting in several Houthi rebels and Yemeni civilians being killed and six wounded. That action has provoked a series of massive protests throughout Yemen as a violation of Yemeni territorial sovereignty.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced in early January that the USS Gerald Ford strike group would be returning home. It will be replaced by the USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship and centerpiece of a Marine centered Amphibious Assault Group capable of delivering 1,687 Marines anywhere they're needed. In this case, Israel.  It also has a impressive complement of attack helicopters and short-hop attack aircraft such as the F35B Lightning II and the AV-8B Harrier II.

The USS Mesa Verda, a amphibious transport ship with a complement of 700 officers and enlisted personnel (of which 550 are Marines) , and USS Carter Hall, a amphibious dock landing ship with a crew of 24 officers, 397 enlisted sailors and about 500 Marines, make up the remaining complement of replacement ships. 

As an aside, the USS Bataan was used in the 2020 targeted killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard and commander of the Quds Force, which I'm sure hasn't go unnoticed by Tehran's military leadership. In addition, in 2008/9, the Bataan and Peleliu  were secretly used as prison ships to hold suspected terrorists.

As if intentionally trying to makes matters worse, Biden sent a private message to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi advising that the U.S. was "prepared" for any actions the Iranian government cared to undertake, in what can only be characterized as a clear and unambiguous threat designed to provoke the Iranians. But what of Biden's assertion that the U.S. was prepared? It turned out, he lied.

According to a Department of Defense "Fact Sheet", our military faces shortages on practically every front.  Equipment, spare parts, and resources from secondary or even non-military sources are having to be diverted to meet demand by the military. U.S. naval ships are in serious need of a general overhaul while aircraft in the Air Force and Navy need a complete update amid critical spare part shortages.

The U.S. Department of Defense also raised the question as to whether our armed forces would be able to adequately engage in a multi-front conflict on a sustained level. The report went on to provide an analysis of the readiness of each of the military branches.

First was the U.S. Army which was characterized as "marginal" by the DoD with having only 62% of the total manpower needed to meet its minimum operational goals. The Army lacks adequately trained personnel to deal with the modern high tech battlefield. The Army is aging at a rapid rate, making it less combat effective. That's because fewer young people are enlisting and/or staying in.

The Navy's capabilities are rated as "weak to very weak". To be effective, the Navy needs a battle ready fleet of at least 400 ships. It currently has 298, and the majority of those need overhauling. The fleet is expected to shrink further to 280 ships by 2037. Meanwhile, China has been aggressively increasing its regional fleet which could mean defending Taiwan from a Chinese invasion may be problematic at best.

The fighting capability of the Air Force is listed by the DOD as "very weak" which is dangerous since control of the air is the single key deciding factor in most every battle. The USAF is currently at 86% of its minimum strength and facing a shortage of around 650 pilots.  Most planes are at least 32 years old and because of a lack of spare parts, pilots are barely getting in adequate flight time to meet minimum standards to retain peak performance.

The Space Force is seen as a "weak" with its role still not clearly defined. However, like all the other military branches, it has to cope with aging equipment, a lack of properly trained personnel, and few spare parts.

Finally, the Marine Corp. Out of all the military branches, only the Marines were viewed by the DOD as being "combat ready" despite facing the same issues when it came to having ample aircraft and military equipment, spare parts, and adequately trained individuals.

As an aside, the Department of Defense report also mentioned our nuclear capabilities. There's no question that we are living in a far more dangerous world as rouge nations such as North Korea and Iran press ahead with their nuclear weapons programs and delivery capabilities. North Korea has been acting like a spoilt kid the way it's been lobbing missiles in the direction of South Korea, Japan, and even Hawaii just to see what kind of reaction they can provoke.

Iran has been actively developing its nuclear capabilities amid its incessant threats that once developed, they intend to use them against Israel even if it means their own destruction. What kind of country dedicates itself to its own national genocide?  Of course, we face the ever present possibility of a "dirty bomb" being used by some fanatic against a ill-defined "infidel" country. Of course, top on that list would be the United States (aka "the Big Satan"), particularly given our porous southern border.

Biden's recent taunt of Iran or stirring the hornet's nest in Yemen aren't the smartest moves a president could make, but that's what he's done. There's no question that Biden's moves are politically motivated. He's trying desperately to boost his ratings and project the image of a strong leader.

Sadly for Biden is that he has never been seen as a strong leader. Of what can be said about it him historically, much of it isn't complementary.  Worse still is that what the world sees is a tired old partisan politician who is quickly losing his grip on reality.

The worse thing that can happen right now is for Biden to get us embroiled in a war, either directly or indirectly with Iran. Despite his empty bravado, we are not prepared and our enemies know it. It really just a matter of whether they want war or peace. Meanwhile, we need to avoid stoking a fire in the Middle East which could spill over into a invasion of Taiwan by China and a move by North Korea against the Seoul in the south.  

In Europe, the situation in Ukraine shows no signs of ending anytime soon and the EU is facing a mounting crisis over the unchecked mass influx of migrants from Africa and the Middle East. At home we're seeing our nation balkanize over political correctness, "wokeness", rekindled racism, rising crime, a fundamentally unstable economy as the invasion along our southern border goes unchecked.

While we do need a strong leader, Biden has clearly demonstrated for all to see that he is no longer competent enough for the job of President and Commander in Chief.  However, the Right needs to accept the fact that Trump's credibility may have been irreparably damaged by this point as to be no longer effective, which leaves us with a serious national dilemma.  With both parties potentially having a lame duck candidate, is there anyone capable of unifying and leading the nation at this critical juncture in our history? 

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DOD Fact Sheet: Sequestration's Impact to Regain Readiness

Executive Summary of the 2023 Index of U.S. MilitaryStrength

The USS Gerald R Ford aircraft carrier is returning homeafter extended deployment defending Israel

5 killed in U.S.-led strikes in Yemen, Houthi rebels say

The Evolution of Islamic Terrorism: An Overview









1 comment:

Paul Hosse said...
Supplementing my previous article, here's a excellent follow up interview between Chris Hedges and former Congressman Dennis Kucinich discussing the U.S presence in Middle East and our not so subtle efforts to provoke a war with Iran through the Houthi in Yemen. Biden's handlers are, no doubt, attempting to use a war to prop up a very shaky Biden Presidency, even if it means a wider global war which would likely go nuclear. The video lasts 33:41 and is well worth it.