French Foreign Minister Says: World Must Prepare For War With Iran
George Bush has been talking about it for years now. And finally, it seems that our allies are truly catching up:
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in an interview on RTL radio and LCI television,
"We must prepare for the worst," Kouchner said, adding: "The worst, sir, is war."
Le Monde (link in French) also mentions that the French armed services are
preparing for such an eventuality:
"We are preparing ourselves by trying to put together plans that are the chiefs of staff's prerogative (but) that is not about to happen tomorrow."
An interesting aspect is that Germany is apparently also involved,
"We have decided to prepare ourselves for possible sanctions outside the U.N. sanctions and which would be European sanctions. Our German friends proposed it. We discussed it a few days ago."
The truth is, the world has talked until we are all blue in the face. All this no, and no action, only makes us all look foolish.
Clearly the French are in the loop this time around. Sarkozy was with Bush when some of the following "went down".
Clearly, also, North Korea is not playing by the rules of its agreement with the US, - and Iran, well, it is just plain asking for it!
The alarming thing about all this is that Beijing is in the loop, and assists NK and Iran/Syria. This may not be mentioned below, or in the Iran dossier, but is nevertheless true.Read on and enjoy!
Iran dossier to follow later.
Thirty-four warships and submarines from India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and the United States have just concluded a naval training exercise. The six-day exercise, sponsored by the Indian Navy, is codenamed Malabar and occurred about 100 nautical miles from Indiaâ€™s Andaman archipelago. The U.S. Navy's contribution includes two aircraft carriers and an attack submarine. (See this report from the BBC for a few more details.)here
This naval exercise, which will receive virtually no coverage by the American media, is a glimpse into America's future security strategy. America's so-called "special relationship" is supposed to describe its diplomatic and military association with Great Britain. True enough, as far as it describes THE PAST.
But that book is now closed.
The other Malabar countries, Japan, India, Singapore, and Australia, represent the cornerstone of America's most important strategic imperative during the first half of the 21st century. The United States is not yet in a confrontation with China. But the U.S. still needs to establish an architecture to balance China's future strategic position. These four countries, along with others in the Asia-Pacific area, share this interest with America.The next president will soon see the need to promote Japan to "first among equals" with respect to America's bilateral relationships.
Unless and until Russia re-emerges as a hard belligerent, BRITAIN AND THE REST OF EUROPE WILL BE TOO OCCUPIED IN THE DECADES AHEAD WITH ISLAMIC INTERNAL SECURITY PROBLEMS AND OTHER SYMPTOMS OF SOCIAL DECAY TO CONTRIBUTE MUCH TO GLOBAL SECURITY ISSUES. China's explosive rise by contrast is something the rest of Asia cannot ignore. Japan, India, Australia, Singapore, and others must mobilize and organize. The Malabar exercise is a demonstration of this.
By mid-century we should expect America's â€œspecial relationship to shift again, from Japan to India. India's rapid economic and military expansion, combined with Japan's languishing demographics, will make this necessary.
So look to the 34 warships near the Andaman islands and see America's future security strategy.
From the third week of July, the only American strike force- carrier in the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea region was the USS Enterprise. By the end of September, it will be joined by the USS Nimitz and the USS Truman Strike Groups. With their arrival, three American naval, air and marine forces will again confront Iranian shores at a time of crisis in the military and civilian leadership of Iran - signaled by the abrupt change of Revolutionary Guards Corps commanders, rising Israel-Syrian tensions and a troubled situation in Lebanon.
The Nimitz, part of the large-scale Malabar 2007 II exercise with five Asian nations, is termed by Indian military observers "the first step towards establishing Asian NATO". Since the maneuver ended Friday, Sept. 7, the Nimitz battle group has been on its way back to the Persian Gulf. The Truman group, made up of 12 warships and submarines, including a nuclear sub, with 7,600 sailors, air crew and marines aboard, has just completed a long series of training exercises and is preparing to set out for its new posting. It carries eight squadrons of fighters, bombers and spy planes.
The Truman force's battle cry is: "Give 'em hell".The combined naval strike groups include the Monterey-CG 61 guided missile cruiser, the USS Barry DDG 52 and USS Mason-DDG 87 guided missile destroyers, the USS Albuquerque-SSN 706 fast nuclear strike submarine and the combat logistical USNS Arctic T-AOE 8.
In the last week of August, the USS Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group took up position opposite the Lebanese coast to monitor the Lebanese September presidential election. Aboard the group's vessels are members of the 22nd Marine special operations-capable Expeditionary Unit, who are ready to execute landings on Lebanese beaches if required.
YET MORE INFORMATION FROM ANONYMOUS:
In the past few month, American naval and air forces have intercepted two North Korean vessels clandestinely en route for Iran with cargoes of enriched uranium and nuclear equipment. The shutdown of Pongyongâ€™s nuclear facilities has made these items surplus to North Koreaâ€™s requirements and worth a good price to the Islamic Republic.
On July 12, the second intercepted North Korean freighter was sunk in the Arabian Sea by torpedoes fired from a US submarine 100 miles southeast of the Iranian naval base-port of Chah Bahar. Delivery of its freight of enriched weapons-grade uranium and equipment and engines for manufacturing more fissile material including plutonium in its hold could have jumped-forwarded Iranâ€™s nuclear bomb and warhead project, lopping off at least a year of work. For this Iranâ€™s rulers were ready to fork out $500 million.
The shipment was brought forward by several weeks to evade detection by UN nuclear watchdog inspectors who were to descend on Pyongyang this week to verify the dismantling of its nuclear facilities.
US airplanes had been tracking the freighter and picked up signs of radioactivity, indicating the presence of nuclear materials aboard.
President Bush had the option of ordering US Marines to board the vessel or sinking it. He decided on the latter - both because the North Korean freighter was approaching an area patrolled by Iranian naval units and seizure of the vessel by American marines might have provoked a clash; also so as not to expose US troops to radioactive contamination.
He therefore first ordered American naval and air units in the Persian Gulf, Middle East and seas opposite North Korea to go on a high state of readiness and torpedo the North Korean vessel without delay.After the attack, US warships raced to the spot where the ship went down. They picked up three lifeboats. Most of the North Korean sailors aboard were either injured or dead. Twenty in all died in the attack. They all bore symptoms of contamination. After the episode, the area was cordoned off and underwater equipment dropped to salvage the cargo from the sunken ship.
All the parties to the incident, the United States, North Korea and Iran, have kept it dark. The situation in and around the Gulf is inflammable enough to explode into a full-blown Iranian-US clash at the slightest provocation. There was also the danger of North Korea aborting the closure of its nuclear facilities at the last moment.
In Feb, 07 the Central Intelligence Agency warned the White House that Iran had offered North Korea a billion and a half dollars in secret negotiations for key components of its dismantled nuclear industry.
In March or early April, Kim Jong-Il decided in the interests of prudence to spurn the offer. He feared that if the deal leaked out to US intelligence, he could say goodbye to the rewards and benefits promised for giving up his nuclear weapons.But on second thoughts, the North Korea ruler decided it was worth taking the risk of a limited deal with Iran and he therefore agreed to -
1. Subtract for Iran a portion of enriched uranium from his stock.
2. Make up some of Iranâ€™s shortages of high tech equipment for manufacturing weapons.
3. Lend Tehran dozens of nuclear engineers and technicians who have been put out of their jobs by the shutdown of North Koreanâ€™s program.
With their help, Iran can speed up its program
Three senior North Korean engineers were due in Tehran by August 20 and another nine in December, 07. By then, North Korea expects the IAEA certificate confirming the closure of its nuclear program to be safely in the bag.Tehran is also giving North Korea three yearsâ€™ supply of free oil.
The CIA knew about the North Korean deliveries and knew they would be disguised as iron shipments, but were not clear how many ships would be used.
Over several weeks, the Americans cast a dense net of maritime and aerial surveillance, co-opting friendly Asian and European air and naval forces, to keep tabs on every vessel departing North Korea with freights of iron.
The first North Korean vessel was caught in the net on June 25.
Suspected of carrying radioactive materials hidden behind a cargo of iron, the vessel had entered the Arabia Sea and was two days voyage from Iran when, according to our sources in Paris, President Bush and French president Nicolas Sarkozy had a quick conversation over secure lines. That exchange resulted in a decision to rush US and French naval units in the neighborhood to intercept the suspect North Korean freighter and blow it out of the water.
It is not clear whether the ship was sunk by an American or a French submarine and, even after the event, it is not certain that the doomed ship did in fact carry nuclear materials or equipment.
Three days later, on June 28, the US Navy released this statement:
US sailors helped rescue the crew of a North Korean-flagged ship on Monday. The incident occurred in the Arabian Sea when the ship reported it had engine problems, no food or water and was in danger of sinking. The USNS Kanawha and the French ship Dupleix helped evacuate the shipâ€™s 16 crew members to safety. None of the crew was a North Korean citizen.
The US and French ships are part of Combined Task Force 150, which conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the North Arabian Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.The Military Sealift Command ship in the US Naval Fleet is the USNS Kanawha Auxiliary Force.The last time the US Navy or Air Force directly attacked a North Korean vessel was in December 2002, four months before the invasion of Iraq.
That operation was also carried out in conjunction with a European naval force. The CIA located in the Indian Ocean a North Korean freighter carrying a disguised freight of Scud missiles bound for Saddam Husseinâ€™s army in Iraq. The missiles were to have been unloaded in Yemen and smuggled into Iraq. The ship was boarded by Spanish marines under the cover of American helicopters.
The North Korean shipments tie in with this report of shipments to Syria in the latest Isreal vs Syria fracas