UPI reports on the multi-national armada sailing to Iran

Summary:  The rumors about a US armada sailing to the Gulf continue to rattle around the Internet, despite having almost no supporting evidence.  This post describes UPI’s contribution to the story.

For now I will stay with my original view:  these rumors are a tower of guesses built on a slight foundation.  Although they may prove to be true, so far they demonstrate only how little fact is required to kindle a firestorm on the Internet, a testimony to the gullibility of even well-educated and informed people (i.e., those who circulate these stories as facts, not speculation).   This the fourth in my series about the rumors; links to the other posts appear at the end.

These rumors have appeared in a mainstream media source:  “Analysis: Is war in the (Gulf) air?“, Claude Salhani, UPI, 11 August 2008 — Salhani is a Contributing Editor of UPI and also editor of the Middle East Times, which is the only newspaper that has published this story, so far as I can see.  Update:  and now The Washington Times.

This is validation, of a weak sort, to these rumors.  Note the UP story is headlined “analysis” not news, and no specific sources are cited.  It added no details to the rumors, and contradicts both the data from Stratfor and the US official denial (see my 13 August post).

Here is the opening of the article:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) — No sooner had Operation Brimstone ended — a mega joint U.S., British and French naval exercise held in the Atlantic Ocean where the allies practiced enforcing an eventual blockade on Iran — when, according to numerous reports, the armada set sail for the Gulf waters — and a potential showdown with Iran.

Leading the joint naval task force is the nuclear-powered carrier the USS Theodore Roosevelt and its Carrier Strike Group Two; besides its 80-plus combat planes the Roosevelt normally transports, it is carrying an additional load of French Naval Rafale fighter jets from the French carrier Charles de Gaulle, currently in dry dock.

Also reported heading toward Iran is another nuclear-powered carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan and its Carrier Strike Group Seven; the USS Iwo Jima, the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and a number of French warships, including the nuclear hunter-killer submarine Amethyste.

Once on site, the joint naval force in the Persian Gulf region will be joining two other U.S. naval battle groups already in position: the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Peleliu; the Lincoln with its carrier strike group and the latter with an expeditionary strike group.

Please share your comments by posting below (brief and relevant, please), or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

Other posts about this rumor

  1. More rumors of war: our naval armada has sailed to Iran!, 9 August 2008 — Tracing the origin of these rumors.
  2. Update on the rumored armada sailing to Iran, 13 August 2008 — With updates from Stratfor and Debkafile.
  3. A US naval armada is en route to blockade Iran and start WWIII (the story gets better every day), 14 August 2008 — More details from one of the bloggers who shot this story into cyberspace, and an official US denial.
  4. Stop the presses: no naval armada has sailed to blockade Iran!, 20 August 2008 — Putting this rumor to bed.

My posts about a strike at Iran by the US

  1. 4GW at work in a community near you  (19 October 2007) — Propaganda warming us up for war with Iran.
  2. War with Iran   (9 November 2007) — Why Iran is not necessarily our enemy.
  3. Is Iran dangerous, or a paper tiger?   (13 November 2007)
  4. The new NIE, another small step in the Decline of the State  (10 December 2007)
  5. Will we bomb Iran, now that Admiral Fallon is gone?   (17 March 2008)
  6. More post-Fallon overheating: “6 signs the US may be headed for war in Iran”   (18 March 2008)
  7. A militant America, ready for war with Iran  (6 May 2008)
  8. Another step towards war with Iran?  (7 May 2008) — About Andrew Cockburn’s article in  Counterpunch.
  9. “War With Iran Might Be Closer Than You Think”  (13 May 2008) — About Philip Giraldi’s 9 May story in The American Conservative (see below).
  10. The most expensive psy-war campaign – ever!  (13 July 2008)
  11. ISIS: “Can Military Strikes Destroy Iran’s Gas Centrifuge Program? Probably Not.”, 8 August 2008

Here is the full archive of my posts about a possible strike at Iran by Israel or the US.

7 thoughts on “UPI reports on the multi-national armada sailing to Iran

  1. File under tin foil hat .. but… Could the tit-for-tat over Osettia be A US excursion/threat into Iran for non-interference with Russia in Georgia? Nyah. That doesn’t fit either.

  2. If it is true it is disasterous. If not .. tragic.

    Tragic in the sense that confidence in the US and its leadership is so low throughout the world that so many people would automatically think the worst of them, automatically .. including a lot of US citizens.

    I stand my other comments posted, the US will eventually re-build (after a period of .. ‘agonising reappraisal’), but one of the hardest things for it to re-build will be confidence .. now that will take a long, lllooonnnggg time.

    The best evidence I can think of against the story is the inclusion (in the reports) of UK and French forces .. they will definately will not attack Iran. We wait and see. Personally? Time to fill the jerry cans again (actually last time I did that I saved myself a lot of money).

  3. Three questions/comments/points to ponder:
    Can the Roosevelt even service, much less launch, an extra wing of fighters? Especially ones that have different repair and armament requirements?

    Two: Uh…what does this grand fleet do, sneak through the Suez Canal on tiptoe? Not exactly the most covert approach, and I’m sure there would have been some real news (meaning reporting of facts, by multiple sources, in public) concerning any transit of the Canal.

    Three: No action in the UN. Even if the US administration was in a mood to forgo it, I can’t see the Brits and French being willing to.

  4. Someone I know in the Navy saw the USS TR sitting at dock in Norfolk earlier this week. Any readers in the area want to take a peek and see if she’s still in port?

  5. This whole meme is beautiful in its kookiness.

    Triggered by an anonymous tip, stirred by DEBKAfile (known in U.S. Navy intelligence circles as “The National Enquirer of security reporting”), embellished by “The Earl of Stirling and Lord High Admiral of Nova Scotia” (commanding from, of all places, Evansville, Indiana) and shored up with the rants of a most ambiguous and perplexing “prophet”, Nostradamus.

    Dan Brown couldn’t have done better!

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