Monday, January 07, 2008

This is reprinted from the CBS News site:

In what U.S. officials called a serious provocation, Iranian boats harassed and provoked three U.S. Navy ships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, threatening to explode the American vessels.

U.S. forces were on the verge of firing on the Iranian boats in the early Sunday incident, when the boats - believed to be from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy - turned and moved away, a Pentagon official said. "It is the most serious provocation of this sort that we've seen yet," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record. Defense Department spokesman Bryan Whitman called it a "serious incident. This is something that deserves an explanation."

I don't know the entire situation, but I also don't doubt this may have happened. It seems to me a stupid provocation by the IRG, but who knows what was going on in their heads at the time. On the other hand, if it was the U.S. doing something and getting caught than the situation is equally stupid.

I can only speak for myself, when I imagine what was going on in the minds of the sailors aboard these three Navy ships.

In a situation very close to this, back in the mid-1980s, the ship on which I was serving was approached in the dead of night by at least two small, fast moving craft. This was off the coast of Lebanon, where the U.S.S. Butte was part of a small, task force. At between 1:00-2:00am our radar picked up the small craft, running without lights and failing to respond to either radio or other signals. General Quarters was sounded and it didn't take long for all of us to be made aware of the situation. When the craft got to within several hundred yards of the ship they were shot at and destroyed by our gun mounts. The next morning, after sunrise, aircraft found debris from what appeared to be one or two boats and several oil slicks. Speculation was that it was a suicide bombing mission by one terrorist organization or another.

You do not want to threaten American warships if you know what's good for you.

I really don't have anything else to add or say on the situation, unless or until something more is known.
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