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U.S. Warships to Mediterranean, As Israeli Iron Dome System Proves Successful

“Some people think… Israel [is] testing the rockets that would be fired against [Iran] from Gaza, next from Lebanon,” Ignatius said during a roundtable discussion. “So we may see something with Lebanon soon because it’s a preliminary; this is a, kind of, warm-up round for the real conflagration that’s ahead that involves Iran.” [CBS News]

CNN REPORTED on Monday that the U.S. is sending three U.S. Navy amphibious warships back to the Mediterranean, where they’ll be on standby to evacuate Americans from Israel, if tensions escalate further. It comes as Israel postpones a ground invasion another day, which has little support anywhere, in order to allow Egypt more time to work the negotiations, which are easing toward an inevitable ceasefire.

From CNN on the warships:

“This is due diligence. It is better to be prepared should there be a need,” one official said Monday. Both officials said the ships would be used only for assisting Americans and not for any combat role.

The most immediate impact will be on the ships’ crews and the estimated 2,500 Marines on board. They had been scheduled to return to Norfolk, Virginia, just after Thanksgiving; their homecoming will now be delayed several days depending on events, the officials said.

The ships involved are the USS Iwo Jima, the USS New York and the USS Gunston Hall.

On Sunday, David Ignatius speculated on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” starts at around 11:00 minutes in the video below, that there’s much talk that the Israel-Gaza conflict is a “warm up” for Iran, through the test run of Iron Dome missile system that has proven very effective in the current conflagration between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

On “Hardball” on Monday, Richard Engel joined the debate by saying what’s being judged by some as a test run for an attack on Iran “makes sense,” because they’re the real threat to Israel, and the attacks into Gaza could have been launched at any time.

The election now decided, Netanyahu is free to act as he feels necessary, with Obama making a strong statement about Israel’s right to defend herself, which covers a variety of horrible scenarios for the Middle East.

As an aside, people who have been blaming Susan Rice should check out Ignatius’s comments at around 7:00 minutes below when he explains the confusion about what was known about how Benghazi unfolded. It will give you an idea of why I’ve been writing some of the things I have since the witch hunt began. It’s followed up by the first question on why Ambassador Stevens was in Benghazi when it was so dangerous, which I asked weeks ago.

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8 Responses to U.S. Warships to Mediterranean, As Israeli Iron Dome System Proves Successful

  1. fangio November 20, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    During the worst of the Bosnian war, when the Serbs were at their cruelest, a reporter for a wire service said he thought the Serbs had learned the wrong lesson from the Germans, who had been extremely cruel to them. I think the Israelis have also learned the wrong lesson from the Germans. If you lock people away in a ” Ghetto ” they will eventually come to hate you. If you surround them with walls, shoot at them from those walls, from the sky with Apache helicopters, from the sea by armed patrol boats and destroy their homes with bulldozer/tanks made by Caterpillar, they will hate you. If you deny their children medical care and an education, deny them power and water and take away their jobs and give them to southeast asians, they will hate you. If you build roads around them, under them and above them for the sole purpose of avoiding them, they will surely hate you. I once had a friend who worked in a Kibbutz. One day while cleaning out the chicken house with a big burly, bearded Israeli farmer, my friend began to lift the wooden floor boards to clean out the chicken crap. The Israeli grabbed his arm and said, ” We don’t clean the shit, that’s why we have Arabs. ” It’s not a stretch to hear the echo of a German saying the same thing about a Jew during war. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  2. TPAZ November 20, 2012 at 6:44 am #

    +1

  3. Jane Austen November 20, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    “Richard Engel joined the debate by saying what’s being judged by some as a test run for an attack on Iran “makes sense,” because they’re the real threat to Israel, and the attacks into Gaza could have been launched at any time… The election now decided, Netanyahu is free to act as he feels necessary, with Obama making a strong statement about Israel’s right to defend herself, which covers a variety of horrible scenarios for the Middle East.” Taylor Marsh

    This is what I have also feared. It was so obvious what Netanyahu was doing. (I really think the man is evil.) How soon does America get dragged into another war?

    • Taylor Marsh November 20, 2012 at 8:41 am #

      There is absolutely no reason for the US to be “dragged into another war.”

      We will send missiles, guns and bombs, but won’t engage unless Iran touches off a nuclear device of some sort or veers into attacking our troops in the region.

      I’ve written this before, but short of a ground war, which the Israeli people do not support, Netanyahu has to do what he must, with the Israelis supporting his attacks inside Gaza so far.

      Again, I also disagree with where the Israelis believe Iran is on a nuclear weapon, but also find the double standard that Israel, Pakistan, India, etc. can have nukes, but Iran can’t. It continues the ongoing hypocrisy of the world’s nonproliferation efforts, with Egypt and Saudi Arabia ready to arm as well, because everyone learned that if you don’t have these weapons you’re in danger, as George W. Bush proved, as did Obama on Libya.

  4. Jane Austen November 20, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Taylor – I hope you are right and I don’t say this lightly. I have too much respect for your analysis but this is becoming too ominous. I think there are madmen running the world these days and I don’t know what is in the future. Israel by all accounts has had a nuclear weapon for years so I, too, find it hypocritical that Iran can’t (though I wish no one had these WMD). I’m looking at what could come from this as far as inciting “terrorism” around the world. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. I hope our intelligence is on the ball regardless of country.

  5. Cujo359 November 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    Wondering what Iron Dome was, I looked it up in Wikipedia. It’s a missile defense system, with a centralized command and control system, which was developed by Israel. Then, I noticed this bit here:

    start quote:

    On 18 May 2012, the United States House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, H.R. 4310, with $680 million for Iron Dome in Section 227. The report accompanying the bill, 112-479, also calls for technology sharing as well as co-production of Iron Dome in the United States in light of the nearly $900 million invested in the system since 2011.

    SECTION 227, IRON DOME SHORT-RANGE ROCKET DEFENSE PROGRAM, would authorize $680.0 million for the Iron Dome system in fiscal years 2012—15 in PE 63913C for procurement of additional batteries and interceptors, and for operations and sustainment expenses. This section would also require the Director, Missile Defense Agency to establish within MDA a program office for cooperative missile defense efforts on the Iron Dome system to ensure long-term cooperation on this program. The committee is aware that National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (Public Law 111-383) included $205.0 million for the Iron Dome short-range rocket defense system for the State of Israel. The committee notes that the Iron Dome system has proven very effective at defeating threat rockets launched at protected targets.

    end quote:

    Never let it be said that we and the Israelis can both figure out where our bread is buttered. Not only do we get a missile defense system in exchange for keeping our mouths shut about what’s happening to the Palestinians, but we get to do real world testing of it.

    • Cujo359 November 20, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

      Regarding what Richard Engle, et al, are saying about this being a run-up for an attack on Iran, I don’t see it. Iron Dome is meant to defend against attacks from short range, not from a couple hundred miles away. Technically, that’s a much different task, requiring different interceptor missiles, radars, and C2 software. Unless they’re positing a supporting attack from the occupied territories or Lebanon, Iron Dome isn’t going to be much use.

  6. TPAZ November 21, 2012 at 5:21 am #

    Since the end of the Vietnam war, we “go to war” to showcase our latest weapons systems that grimy little dictators and our allies can buy to kill their enemies. The military-industrial-complex must wage war somewhere around the world all the time.

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