“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Iran Is Making a Habit of Using Drones Over US Navy Warships in the Gulf.

Where is the alarm about this? I thought, after reading the story, it must be something new, but the Russians were writing about it in May. The Russians must have wondered what is going on with the US Navy. What does the US Navy say about this and has The Administration noticed? These are two different incidents, two different times and sources. I am not a naval man, but it sure does not seem like a good idea to me. The United States spends one hell of a lot of money on The US Navy and depends on the invulnerability of the US carrier war groups, and Iran is flying drones over them and not being noticed?

Would I be out of line in asking why? Perhaps someone in The Administration, or the Pentagon or the Navy would not be out of line by asking, WTF?

Iran TV broadcasts 'US ship spy plane footage'
Nov 11 4:07 PM US/Eastern Breitbart
Iran's Arabic language television station broadcast footage it claimed showed a US aircraft carrier cruising in Gulf waters it said was taken by an unmanned Iranian drone.
The brief minute-long film, which was shown on Al-Alam television's evening news bulletin, showed wobbly aerial footage of an aircraft carrier stacked with war planes as it sailed.

The television's anchor said the film, the property of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard, showed a vessel from "the US fleet in the Persian Gulf".

"A source in the Revolutionary Guard said the drone carried out its mission without US fighter pilots reaching it," the television said.

It said there were 10 such films taken by the drone which showed "more precise information and details about military equipment, foreign forces, and their activities in the Persian Gulf."

The station did not name the vessel nor did it say when the footage was shot.

The broadcast comes near the end of Iran's latest 10-day war games, "Great Prophet II", which military chiefs have said were aimed at showing off Iran's defensive prowess and testing new military hardware.

The war games coincided with US-led naval manoeuvres in the Gulf off Iran aimed at halting arms-trafficking, the first time such an exercise has been held in the area.

Iranian drone plane buzzes U.S. aircraft carrier in Persian Gulf
TEHRAN, May 30 (RIA Novosti) Novosti, Google A pilotless Iranian reconnaissance plane circled for 25 minutes over a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf before returning safely to its base, a senior Iranian official said Tuesday.

"Our pilotless reconnaissance plane flew over the USS Ronald Reagan in the Persian Gulf unnoticed to the Americans for 25 minutes," the official said, according to Iran's Fars agency.

He did not say when the flight took place, but added that U.S. radars picked up the unmanned aerial vehicle after 25 minutes, and that four USAF fighters and two helicopters were scrambled to intercept it. However, the Iranian plane had already crossed the border back into Iran and landed at its base.

"This points to holes in the U.S. military reconnaissance systems deployed in the Persian Gulf," the Iranian official said.


  1. Would've been a good time for a mass flight-deck conga-line moon-job.

  2. Yep, again rufus tells US it does not matter, that those morale building escapades of the Enemy are unimportant. No need to worry about the "hearts & minds" of Iranian people.

    That the Iranians and the NorKs have no capacity, because it'd make life more difficult if they did.

    The last Mohammedan drone we read of was shot down in Israel. Capable, as I recall, of humping a couple hundred pound payload.

    When the Marines use "model planes" for recon, it is heralded as a great step forward in battlefield recon technologies, when our enemies match the capacity, ho hum.

    Always so much difference in perception.

    A W54 style warhead delivered by drone aircraft, nah, not an accepttable PC possibility. Perhaps the Iranians would use a civil airliner, similar to the one we shot down, "in error", but a drone ...
    nah no threat there.

  3. I mean, the Israeli Navy didnot lose the combat effectiveness of that Frigate off the coast of Lebanon, because the Hezbollah rocketters did not have any "Silkworms".

    Really, all those MSM reports were just misinformation, really. The Israelis need not even turn on their air defense radar systems, the Mohammedans are so 7th Century.

  4. Like the Soviet and BorK trawlers of old, we cannot shot down or sink any Iranian assets.

    We are not at war with them, are we? No RoEs will permit shooting down Iranian assets that do not attack US. Hell in Ramadi they do not always permit firing on Iraqi that shoot at Marines.

    Why would we be more aggressive towards Iranians then we are toward Iraqi Insurgents?

  5. ahh, but those Soviets did not need a suitcse bomb, really.
    We built them, deployed and live fired them, Nuclear devices under 100 pounds in warhead mode.

    Of course no one in the world can match US technologies of 1954, sixty years later.

  6. The example illustrates how under estimating Enemy capacity is usually an error.

    Mount a W54 on the Silkworm, the RR will sink, 1 kiloton is more than enough, at the waterline.

    Maybe we'll shoot it down, inbound.
    Maybe the swarm wil overwhelm the vulcans in the fog of war.

    If the outcome was predetermined, we wouldn't have to play the game.

    The US cannot lose in Iraq, or 'Nam either.

    Those pesky Zulu could never beat the Brits, either.
    The Martini-Henry rifle gave the Brits an unsurmountable advantage, except at Isandlwana

  7. But there is evidence that the Pakistani and NorKs did, rufus.

    Siesmic evidence.

    You choose to discount it.
    Mr Cheney does not, I'd wager.

    Not if he believes his own rhetoric.

  8. I'm usually against rat's pessimism, but something is wrong here. USN wouldn't allow a possible threat to take that film (I saw some on Fox this a.m., it was right over the RR, about 1000' it appeared). So, since it wouldn't allow it, USN must not have known it was there. How can that be?

  9. Maybe we should add the RR to Green Zone and Haifa--re that late-night swamp of depression from yesterday's thread.

  10. Oh, I'd bet they knew it was there, buddy. But just as with the Marines, no authorization to fire was given.

    We'll shoot the drones down, later.

  11. Rufus, if you can visually guide a missile to a target, you can defeat billions of dollars worth of ECM equipment. Get three small drones in the air and you triangulate the exact position of a carrier. How can that be good?

  12. The brass had recently--under a change in weather--corroded on those MH rifle cartridges, and the Brit troops lost a great amount of their volume of fire with extraction problems.

  13. At minimum it is a propaganda victory for Iran.

    To teach them that they shouldn't use our navy to score propaganda victories we should nuke Qum.

    Yes they'll be the the usual cries of disproportional response but just have the President respond with a nice note of fuck you stay away from our carriers.

    See how easy it is to get respect. And by the way no one respects us anyway, not for our worldwide humanitarian efforts or anything else so why curry favor with 'em ? Like what are they gonna do really really really dislike us?

    And while were at it when did this disproportional response crap start?

  14. Follow three drones using GPS and you have a real time location of a carrier.

  15. Did they mention the size of the "drone?" Was it basically a toy airplane with a video camera? Or was it of a size to have been militarily significant?

    If it was a toy airplane it probably fell below the minimum RCS (Radar Cross Section) for CIWS (Christ It Won't Shoot) to lock on.

  16. 2164th wrote:

    Rufus, if you can visually guide a missile to a target, you can defeat billions of dollars worth of ECM equipment.

    Another way to do it (and more likely given the Islamic character of the Iranians) is the Manned Missile.

  17. A very good article by VDH



  18. Christ it won't shoot--LOL. Good one.

  19. rufus said:

    But, if your objective is to sink a Nimitz-Class Aircraft Carrier I think you're going to need something with a little more heft.

    And if you succeed, you've just handed the US another Pearl Harbor moment. Not even the Democrats would let that slide without going to total war.

  20. I'm sure given this latest "drone" incident that Congress will authorized a new $25 billion dollar allocation to Lockheed to develop an new set of binoculars for the deckhands to use as part of "Operation Don't Let the Drones Roam"

  21. at some point, gleefully swat a couple out of the sky, and monitor the Iranian transmissions to see who got beheaded that day.

    I'm waiting for the day when it's President Ineedanewjob who gets beheaded when he is no longer useful as a red cape to the theocrats who really run Iran.

  22. I do not know the capability of present detection. I do know that if you pulse a signal, it decreases the liklihood of detection.

  23. Home home on the range

    Oh give me a drone with an Iranian home
    and skies clear enough to fly close,
    And we'll tri-angu-late, and soon be your fate, that bombs will hit your darl'n ships.

    Oh drone drone in the sky, where the navy can't see ya that high, for one hundred feet is really too steep for the admirals aids to look up.
    So home home in the sky, while the Superhornets stand by,
    To intercept what, it's only a duck,til the silkworm comes into your side.

  24. By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON -- President Bush's chief of staff said Sunday "nobody can be happy with the situation" now in Iraq and the White House would consider the idea of U.S. talks with Syria and Iran if a blue-ribbon commission recommended that.

    President Bush and his national security team planned to meet Monday with the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which is trying to develop a new course for the war.

    "We're looking forward to the recommendations," said Josh Bolten, Bush's top aide. With Democrats seizing majorities in the House and Senate in last week's elections and urging a change in Iraq policy, Bolten said the White House is "looking forward to a dialogue with bipartisan leaders in Congress."

    "Everybody's objective here is to succeed in Iraq. I think that's true of Democrats as well as Republicans. But the president has said we need to get fresh eyes on the problem. We need a fresh perspective," Bolten said.

    Already, military commanders are re-evaluating strategy to determine what changes are needed "to get ourselves more focused on the correct objectives," the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman said last week.

    The administration, Bolten said, "has always been ready to make a course adjustment" in Iraq.

    "Nobody can be happy with the situation in Iraq right now. Everybody's been working hard, but what we've been doing has not worked well enough or fast enough," Bolten said. "So it's clearly time to put fresh eyes on the problem. The president has always been interested in tactical adjustments. But the ultimate goal remains the same, which is success in Iraq."

    Nexus of Terror
    The new rhetoric

  25. Drone, drone on the range

    Where the sub and the carrier play,

    Where seldom is heard a ground-jamming bird

    And the tracks squak friendly all day.

  26. The U.S. has accused Syria of facilitating the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who plans to speak to the commission via video link on Tuesday, reportedly will urge the administration to open talks with Syria and Iran and push for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a way of defusing Mideast tensions.

    Bolten was whether the administration was ready to make a new effort to get involved in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. "We'll see. The timing has to be right and it has to be something that both the Israelis and the Palestinians want," he said.

  27. oh my God, I sat there and wrote a song and Habu beat me to it


  28. We also need a flotilla of "drone distracters" that will focus the operators not on our ships but on our shapes.

    Drone Distracters

  29. Ms T,
    great mind often converge.

  30. 2154...I can pull them and got no neg feedback from installation. can you not pull?

  31. Us mere mortals do not have the required Access for that link, habu.

  32. I use safari Habu, it tells me it is forbidden. Why did you demote me?

  33. This is what I get:


    You don't have permission to access /galleries/briana_banks/0001.jpg on this server.

    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    Apache/1.3.33 Server at Port 80

  34. TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday criticized the United Nations Security Council over its efforts to impose sanctions on Iran because of its nuclear program.

    "It is most embarrassing that the U.N Security Council, which should be the defender of nations' security and rights, threatens countries pursuing nuclear fuel under the law to provide fuel for peaceful purposes," Ahmadinejad said.

    Addressing the seventh conference of the general assembly of the Asian Parliaments Association for Peace, Ahmadinejad criticized the U.N. for applying a double standard, noting that "countries, armed with nuclear weapons, deny the rights of other countries to produce nuclear fuel and exploit it for peaceful purposes."

    Ahmadinejad made the comments following the meeting Saturday in Moscow between Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Russia is urging the resumption of international talks on Iran's nuclear program. Although Moscow, along with China, have agreed in principle on sanctions, both have publicly pushed for dialogue instead of punitive measures.

  35. DR,

    Sorry, I followed the protocol and both times I can see it on my screen. I'll keep workin it. It was just an awesome babe anyway...see 'em every day, right?

  36. In the Cold War, sailors on the USS New Jersey would often have a "Steel Beach" steak barbeque on the fantail when Soviet cruisers or signal-gathering "fishing boats" came calling. This was a nefarious attack at the very heart of the communist system, as the Red sailors sat there looking through their binoculars, mouth watering, with only scrawny potatoes floating in water on the menu for their supper.

  37. well i for one am sick and tired of our carriers being a target in the middle of a civil war between the sea and the air.

  38. One bright morning, on the shores of the Panama Canal, we were engaged in a Sturday morning mud bog. Between GI's with trucks and 4x4's and the Zonies there were a couple hundred folk there.

    As usual the beer had been flowing freely when we saw a Russian trawler entering the cut.
    Quickly we assumed our positions on the military ridge, giving us a strategic overlook of the Canal and the enemy ship.
    Then on what, in retrospect, seemed to be an unheard command the contingent turned it's back to the Russians, dropped tro' and delivered a suitable salute.

    Thanks for the memory.

  39. My clearence must have been upgraded.

  40. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who plans to speak to the commission via video link on Tuesday, reportedly will urge the administration to open talks with Syria and Iran and push for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a way of defusing Mideast tensions.

    Great. Defusing Mideast tensions depends upon a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What will we do, convince Hamas to re-write its charter or convince the Israelis to hand over their territory to the Islamists and leave the region.

    WRT Iraq, it's just another front in the War on terror as will be seen when the imminent Middle East War erupts.

    BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Fouad Siniora warned against pushing Lebanon to the abyss after Hezbollah has threatened to force his Cabinet's collapse by street protests.

    "Taking matter to the verge of the abyss is not in the interests of anyone," Siniora said Wednesday, stressing that "we will resort to dialogue and consultations."

    Israel has to prepare for a full-scale war, in which Syria will be an important player, an Israeli military official told the British Sunday Times. "The challenge from Iran and Syria is now top of the Israeli defense agenda, higher than the Palestinian one," another official said.

    According to London's International Institute for Strategic Studies, both Iran and Syria have ballistic missiles whose range extends over most of Israel, including Tel Aviv. Funds have reportedly been approved for the construction of appropriately equipped shelters.

    Eyeing Syria, the IDF has formed a new infantry brigade, known as Kfir (young lion), as a countermeasure against Syria's commando forces, which are considered "better" than Hizbullah guerrillas, a military source informed the Times. The IDF is also reportedly integrating three elite brigades in preparation for them cooperating on deep cross-border operations into Syria and Iran.

    At that point, the Israelis and the Americans will greatly delay or eliminate the Iranian capacity to produce their own nuclear weapons.

  41. After five years of War, more of US agree with Osamas' point of view then did on the morning of 9-11.

    A paper tiger.

    Strong and weak horses.

    Somolia writ large, a systematic lack of will.

    Mr Olmert is ready for talks.
    Mr Baker and Mr Blair agree.
    Mr Bolton, at the White House concurs.
    Mr Bolton, at the UN, is packing his bags, his tenure complete.

  42. rufus said:

    It's a tough job description; Fight off the Red Navy during time of war, and the USAF during peace-time.

    It's not all war all the time. The core skill-sets of civilian employees retained by the Navy results in a lot of engine rebuild and avionics work from the Air Force. Pays the bills.

  43. stoutfellow said:

    What will we do, convince Hamas to re-write its charter or convince the Israelis to hand over their territory to the Islamists and leave the region.

    Well, as soon as Olmert's blue ribbon study panel reports on the infeasability of option A, he will begin to implement option B.

  44. Fangs, for the memories.

    Chris Wallace just teased his upcoming interview with Dem leader Howard Dean, who told Wallace, "We're leaving Iraq, we have to cut our losses".

  45. No more "good" money chasing after the "bad".

  46. listening to Dean, I keep having this thought, that Texas was once its own nation, that we are self-sufficient in industry (including defense, tech, health, and education), food, oil/energy, and have deep links to the southern hemisphere with which we can and do get along just fine. Why do we have to be represented by the foreign policy of Kerry, Dean, and Kennedy? In this day and age, it makes no sense--it's even irresponsible, especially to our unborn heirs.

    We even have a sea coast, and big deepwater ports.

    And a strong military. You guys and gals should come on down--we'll cut this sucker loose from the yankee f**kups, and build a real future.

  47. that was in jest, but we hear it every day down here. in the grocery line, at the gas station, at the high school functions, from UT students. It was a joke a few years ago.

  48. Texas, a whole 'nother Country.

    But which Presidents have led US into military quagmire?
    Why both them Texicans,
    Johnson and Bush.

    Then them Texicans tell US it's our fault
    Will wonders never cease.

  49. "suspect" efforts, but the po bastids is dying in droves. What for? That's a real question--what exactly for? Either they are kowtowing to the shitheads or not--if so, then why are they dying? if not, then aren't we at war with the same people doing the killing?

  50. well, rat, it's the country folks--the ignernt--who talk that way. The big boys in the cities don't.

  51. it's DC/Kennedy-wing disgust. howard Dean just set me off. I shoulda kept my mouth shut. Pussilanimous post, that was.

  52. Mr al-Sadr is not kowtowing, neither the Sunni in Anbar.

    There is the source of the current internal Iraqi conflict. The aQ miscreants are just along for the ride. Riding into Syria and Jordan, along with the new exiles.

    That story of the Iranians isolating Sistani takes the cake, though.

  53. I live near Johnson City, where LBJ was born. Kids all went/go to school, a few blocks from his birth home. people revere him for ther REA--bringing electricity to the country, via Colorado River dams. But you can't get a discussion on anything else of his presidency. All you get is a 'look-away'.

    And i think that a lot of BDS--at least at first--was just plain ole Texas-phobia. I know it's strong in the neighboring states. GWB has that twang, to boot--he could read Shakespeare and make it sound like it was writ down in Hogwaller.

  54. it was from Debka--you know the disclaimers apply--

  55. if even a non-twanger has heard that--it must really be bad. I sound just like the guy, and those things you mention hit me like an aural truck.

  56. TV has 'los-angelized' the under 50s' language, i have read.

  57. Rufus,
    Go'in back to the mid 1800 my family covered Dixie like the dew.

    I had the unhappy fortune to have been born when we were stationed in California. I have renounced my birthstate and adopted one of the above for each of my personalities.

  58. That thing looks just like the werhmacht MG42, don't it. Same action, I think, if that gun in "private ryan" was a real MG42. The gun that kilt the medic.

  59. I just *love* the female Alabama/Mississip drawl. It just melts my boodles.

  60. I was born in Alabam. Jackson, on the Tombigbee river.

  61. Rufus,
    Ya gotta have someone tote the ammo.


  62. if Gettysburg was the South's high-water, then the attack on Little Round Top was the high-water of the high-water. That attack was made by an Alabama unit.

  63. my computer forbids me to see the ammo toter, tho the red textile-covered unit did come thru

  64. I was always a fan of this piece of personal artillery.

  65. durn blue-nose computer and its forbidden zone.

    that BAR, was a long-range sniper rifle in the barren hills along the Korean static line, i've read. It must reach far and not just fast.

  66. Chamberlain's order to "fix bayonets!" and run down the hill after the Bama 15th was the froth floating on top of the high water of the high water. And it came because they plumb ran out of gunpowder.

  67. One of my uncles was at BloodyNose Ridge AND HeartBreak Ridge.

    He told me a good inner tube was a great weapon cause it could sling a granade over the razorback of the mountain on which the the other side was full of Chi-coms.

  68. if if if, the Alabama boys hadn't force-marched the night before, if they had et anything that day, if they had even known what the hilltop was--an infilade along along the whole union line--the battle goes the other way, and maybe only a truce would've kept Lee out of DC.

    Only thing I can think of in that league of "razor-thin margin with momentous outcome", was the timing of those dive-bombers over the EOJ fleet at Midway.

  69. My Grandpa hefted one of those BARs. Has only good things to say about it.


    The seemingly intractable situation of sectarian violence belies the ambiguity of who has the monopoly of force.

    Right now, all the ambiguous violence only serves to tug along a given constituency. Of course, it seems the Shias and Sunnis are tugging a little harder.

    And the amount of violence you are willing to produce should, in the Iraqi environment, testify to how likely you are to remake that environment into what you want.

    I can't help but think about Gangs of NY and the final scene:

    "Bill's gang and Amsterdam's meet in Paradise Square. At the moment they are ready to fight each other, the Union Navy fire their cannons into the city, directly into Paradise Square. Many of both gangs are killed, and an enormous cloud of dust and debris covers the area. This destruction is followed up by a wave of Union soldiery, who wipe out many of the gang members (including McGloin) with massed rifle fire. Abandoning their gangs, Amsterdam and Bill exchange blows in the haze, then are both thrown to the ground by another cannon blast. When the smoke clears, Bill discovers he has been mortally wounded by a piece of shrapnel impaling his side. Looking around at the devastation, he declares, "Thank God I die a true American," and allows Amsterdam to stab him, dying with his hand locked in Amsterdam's."

    All in all, were going to have to get some bloodlust. Iraqis will stop being fools once we show them that fools get killed fast. Iraq isn't a mess. Our national conscience or w/e is. I think its only as intractable as our sympathies overwhelm the desire to deliver retribution.

    Forgiveness only means something in a context where retribution is an accepted norm. Otherwise, it just paints you as a blind optimist, i.e. bait, prey or a tutsi.

  70. plus it weighed 20 lbs. that long barrel would've been the shitz with less total wt. i don't think anyone much shoulder-fired it, anyway, right?

  71. ppab, about three or four of the New Bosses have lit my nearby tv screen just this morning, trying to top each other with how fast we be gwan skedaddle out the neighborhood. Carl Levin was just the latest, just now.

  72. I'm new to the world of firearms, having just asked the state police of IL to furnish me with the requisite documents, so let that qualify any dumb question I'm about to ask -

    Is the only difference between the BARs in the link below and those used in WW2 is the magazine?

    Browning's BAR catalog

    I'm looking for a gun-building project and was wondering about the BAR, but there are auctions where they are selling those models above and they arent badly priced it seems...

    Anyone own one of these things?

  73. i really don't think they'll stab us in the eye again. i think they're doing too well rolling up the flanks.

  74. Council for Asian Parliaments for Peace, meeting in Tehran. Achmadinejad sounding wounded that Iran is having trouble with their peaceful nuke program, that complaints are unfair and illegitimate.

  75. ppab, there's oodles of e-auctions--try search. I'll bet a real BAR will be higher'n a cat's back, tho. and 'fixed' to semi-auto only.

  76. 'course, WWII mg's regards, Marines would've been working against the Japanese "woodpecker".

  77. pic of one, found on Guadalcanal in 2004 [i think].

  78. Corsair wreck, from same site. Tell there ain't spirits around in this pic.

  79. Lots of 'pullout' stuff here.

    Anyone know how to say "Yes, Boss, No, Boss" in Farsi?

  80. I think Whit's partner Tiger is a gunsmith

  81. lord knows what's all over that sea floor already. Some nasty stuff available from the bazaar.

  82. There's some sort of rocket mine that is undetectable on the seabed, dunno how it works but have heard it is a new threat.

  83. USN gotta have an antidote, tho--right?