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Archive for the ‘Persia’ Category

14 Aug 07
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Christopher T. Smith
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet
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NORTH PERSIAN GULF (NNS) – Coalition forces are training Iraqi marines to take over the mission of providing security to Iraqi territorial waters in the North Persian Gulf.

Mobile Security Detachment (MSD) 24 has been conducting a dual mission aboard Iraq’s Khwar Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT) and Al Basrah Oil Terminal (ABOT) in the Persian Gulf. MSD-24 provides security for the platforms as part of the Coalition’s Combined Task Force (CTF) 158 while simultaneously training Iraqi marines to eventually assume responsibility for the protection of Iraq’s sea-based infrastructure.

Gunner’s Mate 1st Class (EXW/SW) Timothy Burrell said the Iraqi forces are undergoing advanced training on a variety of possible threats. “They are now countering multiple threats while experiencing casualties such as loss of power and loss of communications. Their exercises [the] last 24 hours [were] rather than just a few,” said Burrell. “They’re really working toward taking ownership of the platforms.”

Lt. J.G. Danny Soria, ABOT’s officer in charge, agrees that the Iraqis’ training has paid dividends. “The Iraqi marines have responded well to our training program,” said Soria. “Since our arrival, the platoons that have been observed have improved their readiness drastically.” Iraqi marines stand all of the watches aboard ABOT and KAAOT. “Currently, the Iraqi marines are our eyes and ears and the first to react to the threat,” said Soria. “MSD stands a reactionary force.”

In addition to preparing the Iraqis to better defend the oil platforms, Coalition forces are preparing teams of Iraqi marines to conduct their own Visit, Board, Search and Seizure (VBSS) operations.

Coalition forces joined with the Iraqis to conduct Exercise Rapid Talon, Aug. 6, in the North Persian Gulf. During the exercise, Iraqi marines boarded a tugboat that simulated a commercial vessel transiting the region. “Rapid Talon is a routine exercise that we use to evaluate Iraqi boarding teams,” said Royal Navy Lt. Cmdr. Iain Doran, CTF 158’s Iraqi training and transition officer. “We put them through different scenarios to test their core skills and rate their proficiency level.”

The marines, who are trained by the U.S. Coast Guard, are not only conducting exercises, they are also involved in real-world VBSS operations. “Depending on how well the Iraqi platoons perform during Rapid Talon, the platoons conduct boardings with either a Coalition-led team, or if they performed very well, with only their U.S. Coast Guard trainers,” said Royal Navy Warrant Officer 1st Class Darren Paskins, CTF 158’s assistant Iraqi training and transition officer.

Doran added that the platoons’ contributions to the Coalition are signs of significant progress in their training. “Some platoons have now completed solo tanker sweeps under the supervision of just two or three of their Coast Guard trainers, and the feedback we’ve received from the masters of the vessels is that the Iraqi boarding teams are very effective and professional,” said Doran. “This is quite a big step, and something that’s only been recently introduced.”

Coalition forces are training the Iraqis to someday take the reigns of all VBSS operations in their littoral waters. “Ultimately, this training will give the Iraqis the ability to police their own territorial waters,” said Paskins. “It’s important that they get as much experience as possible, so we have them conduct as many boardings as we can in order for them to gain the experience and knowledge that are required to carry out the mission.”

Doran stressed that although Iraqi forces are making significant strides in their training, CTF 158’s mission is still the responsibility of the Coalition. “The whole mission in the [North Persian Gulf] is conducted by the Coalition,” said Doran. “Inherently, we provide security for the oil platforms themselves and the vessels coming to and from the oil platforms. We do this by conducting Maritime Security Operations.”

MSO help set the conditions for security and stability in the North Persian Gulf and protect Iraq’s sea-based infrastructure, which provides the Iraqi people the opportunity for self-determination. Iraq’s oil platforms account for about 90 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Photo – Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Nickel Samuel assigned to Mobile Security Detachment (MSD) 24 observes Iraqi marines participating in a live-fire exercise. MSD-24 is training Iraqi marines to maintain security in and around the Al Basrah and Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminals, which provides the Iraqi people the opportunity for self-determination. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher T. Smith.

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8 Aug 07
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher T. Smith
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Public Affairs
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NORTH PERSIAN GULF (NNS) – Naval Coastal Warfare Squadron (NCWRON) 5 Oil Platform (OPLAT) Detachment provided security for USS Chinook (PC 9) and USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332) visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) teams while conducting Interaction Patrols (IPATS) Aug. 5 in the north Persian Gulf.

NCWRON 5 OPLAT Det.’s mission is to protect VBSS teams while they are maintaining security in the region’s shallow waters. “We assist in Maritime Security Operations (MSO), in particular, in the shallow water region of the area,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mike Merrill, Inshore Boat Unit (IBU) 51 officer in charge. “Using our patrol craft, we provide a 360-degree ring of security around boarding teams as they board commercial vessels.”

VBSS and IPATS are elements of MSO that help generate support and awareness amongst commercial vessels sailing in the region of the coalition’s efforts to ensure a safe and secure maritime environment. Coalition forces also conduct MSO under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so that commercial shipping and fishing can occur safely in the region.

Sailors assigned to IBU 51 and IBU 52 comprise NCWRON 5 OPLAT Det. and provide security that larger vessels can’t offer. He added that the Sailors’ mission is significant because it enhances the capabilities of the coalition.

NCWRON 5 OPLAT Det. also assists in the training of Iraqi marines. “We simulate an opposition force for the Iraqi marines who are training to one day take over the defense of the oil platforms,” said Merrill. “We act as a vessel that may be conducting surveillance of the oil platforms or rapidly approaching the platforms. We play the bad guy, so to speak.”

Merrill explained that the IBU 51 and IBU 52 Sailors serving in NCWRON 5 OPLAT Det. were hand picked for the mission. Gunner’s Mate Seaman Justin Headley said he looks forward to working with them on a daily basis.

“Although we sometimes work long hours, and the heat starts to get to you, I enjoy what I’m doing because I enjoy the people I work with,” said Headley. “When you have a good core group of people working with you, the job is much easier, even when you’re not working in ideal conditions.”

NCWRON 5 OPLAT Det., based out of San Diego, has been supporting MSO in the north Persian Gulf for more than two months. The squadron’s standard mission is to provide harbor security and protection for high value maritime infrastructure.

Photo – Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Nickel Samuel assigned to Mobile Security Detachment (MSD) 24 observes Iraqi marines participating in a live-fire exercise. MSD-24 is training Iraqi marines to maintain security in and around the Al Basrah and Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminals, which provides the Iraqi people the opportunity for self-determination. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher T. Smith.

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Cross-posted at Rosemary’s Thoughts.

I have been banning all Iranian products into my house since 1979. Here is a group now that is asking you to do the same. Actually, they are asking for a little more.

Ask President Bush, today, to impose strict economic sanctions against Iran’s import of refined petroleum products. Iran, one of the world’s largest producers of crude oil, lacks the facilities to produce a refined product. As a result, Iran is one of the largest importers of gasoline – nearly half of all gasoline used by Iranians. Now, the Iranians are feeling the pinch of raised prices and gasoline rationing imposed by the government.

A bipartisan group in the U.S. House is seeking economic sanctions against Iran in an attempt to reduce the amount of gasoline imported by Tehran.

The legislation calls for companies that provide Iran with gasoline or assists with the import of gasoline would not be allowed to sell gasoline to U.S. customers. Iran imports most of its gasoline from Persian Gulf states and India.

According to Rep. Mark S. Kirk, R-IL: “This is becoming the critical weakness of the Iranian government, meaning its dependence on gasoline. Riots [in Iran] show the gasoline shortage is a growing danger to the Iranian regime and a diplomatic opportunity for Western countries to force Iran to adhere to international nuclear rules.”

The legislation would provide President Bush with several options, as well as several penalties. Included among these are: denial of loans and credits from the Export-Import bank and loans or licenses for exports to the U.S. [Um…I thought we already had this?] The House Foreign Affairs Committee has already approved “legislation designed to strike at investments in Iran.” State Department spokesman Tom Casey said, “We need to do everything that we can to continue to raise the stakes in Iran in terms of its nuclear program.”

Another supporter of the bill, Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., said, “Our goal must be zero foreign investment.” To reach that end, the U.S. is also working with European allies to try to increase penalties against Tehran. Of course, the countries that do a lucrative business with Iran don’t want to do anything to upset the powers that be.

Vote Your Opinion NOW!

Just as we have defeated big business here in America (NO illegal aliens!), we must bring to the light our European ‘friends’. We must explain to them, in a calm way, that there are higher ideals in this life than how much money you can grab. This is one of them.

Unless you want all of your women living under the Caliphate, which means clothed from head to toe with no skin showing, you must be with us on this. There truly is a war against us. It is to elimate everyone who does not believe as they do, Sharia Law, their idea of what a Muslim should be, and many more horrific things.

If you want to understand more, you may be interested in this book:

The Final Move Beyond Iraq.

Thank you.

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You HAVE to go to this site if you really want the Iranian mullocracy regime to fall: Stop Ahmadinejad. You will find a badge that suits your taste. There are many there. Then, don’t forget to visit the site! It is StopAhmadinejad (without any further extentions). You can also leave comments. They could use some good, sound encouragement. Okay, get going!

Hat tip: Winston of The Spirit of Man.

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With an opening statement like that one might assume I was referring to the city of Philadelphia, but no. I am speaking about the Muslim Brotherhood. While it sounds nice, a brotherhood and all, it is a front group for terrorists. It has been ever since I’ve been looking into them. Heck, they were supporting terrorists even before that.

The Brotherhood sprung up in the year 1928 and was banned from existence due to terrorist acts toward the Egyptian government but was later reinstated in 1948 as a religious body only. That did not work out too well, so there was again a ban on the group in 1954. When some of the activists were executed, many fled to neighboring states.

Here are some more links to the history of the Muslim Brotherhood:

This group, no matter it’s birthplace and stated purpose at that time, has become a political and military arm on the Global War on Terrorism. They are the enemy. The problem we see today, however, is that our own government does not seem to recognize this fact. For shame.

I found a very educational article over at CounterTerrorismBlog:

PBS’s week-long “America at a Crossroads” series presented many of the issues and dilemmas now facing America in the War on Terrorism. The series got mixed reviews on content and temper. There were criticisms about its objectivity from both the left and right. But, despite its flaws, the series provided viewers with a heavy dose of food for thought. Hopefully, it will help stimulate discussion and debate among a growing number of Americans, and perhaps even lead to more close scrutiny and questioning of aspects of Administration policy.

I intend to write several blogs on issues discussed in the series. I had the opportunity to participate in one of the films, The Brotherhood, so I shall begin there. [Continue reading]

If you are interested, you can take a gander at this site: America at a Crossroads. This site is marvelously done. I have not yet listened to the program, but I can only imagine that it has been watered down. After all, we are still fighting to get CPB and PBS to release “Islam v. Islamists.” (This is an earlier post I wrote.) The CounterTerrorismBlog contributor, Victor Comras, has contributed “The Brotherhood” to this series. Please visit his site for more information. (The link is above at the ‘continue reading’ link.)

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy is one of the moderate Islamic groups that speaks out against all the violence–without blaming others by saying, “But…” They do not blame Israel in the same breath. Their interest is in being heard so they can take their religion back from the psychopaths who have hijacked it. They are also fighting back against CAIR.

Here is a very good article I ran to on their site: PBS’ Islamist Apologists Muzzle Muslim Moderates at the site “9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America,” and here is an article written by M. Zuhdi Jasser. He can explain in more detail the crisis we are facing in our country between the dinosaur media vs. the rest of us.

We do not hear from the moderates, a question most often asked, because the media, the government and the Islamists we are at war with are preventing it. That should give you grave concern. After all, the documentary that was created, “Islam vs. Islamists”, was bought and paid for by you and me with our tax dollars. That makes it government citizen owned. That also makes it censorship. Why are they doing this terrible thing? So as not to hurt our enemy’s feelings? Very scary…

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From the desk of the Jerusalem Prayer Team:

In just hours, we leave for the border of Iran and the torture chamber of “Chemical” Ali. The road will be dangerous. An Iranian terror organization inhabits that mountainous region; it’s time to do some serious praying for our safety.

At 5:30 AM, we began the drive northeastward toward Iran. Kurdistan encompasses over one-third of the population-inhabited area of Iraq. It has the largest oilfield in the world, Kirkuk. It reaches from Khanaqin in the east and stretches along the Iranian border to Sinjar in the West, taking in the Plain of Nineveh. Our first destination was Sulaymaniyah. I learned that the Iranians are smuggling heroin, opium and hashish into Iraq. The border is open for more than 400 miles, and is controlled by the Mahdi Army and the Bader Brigade, both pro-Iranian Shiite organizations.

Our first meeting was with General Sheikh Ja’affra. This small man with a large black mustache is the Minister of Peshmerga Affairs. He was so thankful to the Americans for liberating his people. “If you withdraw now, you can be sure the terrorists will come to America. It’s quite simple; you asked them to fight you in Iraq and they did. If you leave, they will consider that you have been defeated, and will take the fight to you.

“The Mahdi Army is trained in Iran, and is modeled after Hezbollah. Their terror equipment comes from Iran. And yes, it was responsible for the attack in Najaf as well as all the attacks in the south. The suicide bombers are coming from al-Qaeda camps in Iraq, and are being replenished from Afghanistan. They are moving Afghan drugs into Lebanon to sell throughout Europe. Iran is behind all the attacks in Iraq in one way or another.

“To win the war, the borders must be closed and monitored by troops that are not loyal to Iran; troops that can be monitored. Most of Iraq is controlled by the Shia, and for that to change, a new Iraq must be built from Kurdistan southward. Our region is a model of democracy and stability. It is not necessary for U.S. troops to die here; we can stop the terror in these cities if you will let us. So far, your government has said, ‘No.’”

Over lunch we met with Vice President Kosrat Rasul Ali. He invited me to come back and meet with him and President Barzani and Abdul Abdulbari Alzebari, a member of the Iraqi Congress. Mr. Ali said to me, “We have 200,000 soldiers, you have 300,000. You don’t need military in harm’s way; work with us and we will control all of the ground in Iraq. If you will let us, we will shut down Iran. Now 60 percent of Iraq is controlled by Iran; we will see that the number is zero percent.”

Following lunch, we visited the Red House, Saddam Hussein’s headquarters in Sulaymaniyah, and the site of his torture chambers. A precious man, Kiowa, took us to the torture chambers where he was victimized. He was hanged from meat hooks from his chest while his arms were tied behind his back. At the same time, electrical shocks were applied to his body parts. I could see the terrible pain in his eyes as he repeated his story.

I was stunned to learn that Iranians are buying property in Iraq and pouring a fortune into the fundamentalist mosques. Most who escaped to Iran during Saddam’s regime are back in Iraq and strongly support Iran. They have made trade agreements and are pouring money into Iraq. There is an embassy in Baghdad and consulates in almost every region. Tourism agreements allow millions of pilgrims to visit Karbala and Najaf. This is a boon for terrorists who enter the country, along with the pilgrims.

Iran’s goal of achieving instability in Iraq is succeeding. The Holy Grail of understanding is that the U.S. battle in Iraq is between stupidity and stability. America’s liberal, anti-war left is giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The cries of, “We’re losing the war; they’re winning,” emboldens an enemy that has a 9/11 ideology. As I looked at footage of terrorist attacks on US troops, I became angry. To think that 9/11 terrorists have come to Iraq from around the world to fight us while the liberals in the U.S. scream, “Get out!” This is insane. How can you make Iraq the central front on the war on terrorism and not have a mess on your hands?

To have uncapped the genie of Shiite fundamentalism in Iraq with a Shiite super-state next door was a prescription for disaster. One cannot find one Arab out of one thousand that does not believe the U.S. invaded Iraq over oil. To try to convince them otherwise is an exercise in futility.

While we outwardly threaten Iran for their interference in Iraq, we close our eyes to the fact that there are Iranian agents behind virtually every rock. The embassy and consulates of this member of the axis of evil are nothing more than war rooms to fund and plan the battles against U.S. troops.

I am certain that if the U.S. provided the tools for the Iraqi Kurds to fight the war and simply controlled the skies and provided back-up, U.S. deaths would drop and victory would come in time. The liberal media, however, will have to be put into press pools and monitored; they are doing more to undermine a victory in Iraq than the enemy.

“Ali Baghdad” and his forty thieves that pillaged the banks in Iraq are out of their cage like a wild bird. They have migrated to the Middle East, their souls filled with hatred and their pockets filled with U.S. dollars. If an Iranian-style Islamic revolution happens in Iraq, the fire could jump across the Middle East.

I have just learned that another Blackhawk helicopter was shot down in Najaf, the fourth in two weeks. Intelligence officers told me that the helicopter attacks are carried out with Iranian missiles. Nine more U.S. soldiers have been killed just in the past 48 hours.

I was just told by three different airport agents that our flight would not leave for Jordan this morning. Why? There is no jet fuel. Iranian proxies are blowing up the oil trucks as they head toward Kurdistan, and the Turks will not allow oil to be transported into Iraq.

Without morality, democracy is one of the worst forms of government. The world found it to be so during the French Revolution and during Hitler’s day. No power on earth can ignore the Kurdish dilemma indefinitely. Thirty million living Kurds and the blood of a multitude of the dead cry out for justice.

Democracy literally means “rule by the people.” The only people-group supporting democracy is the Iraqi Kurdish people. It’s a fantastic success. Everything President Bush wanted to see in Iraq is present in Kurdistan. Erbil is the fourth largest city in Iraq with Baghdad first, Kirkuk second, and Mosul third.

The headlines today are gut-wrenching. A suicide bomber driving a truck loaded with explosives killed 135 in Iraq’s deadliest bombing since 2003. Shiite Prime Minister al-Maliki blamed Saddam Hussein supporters. An Iraq-born Israeli official tells me that it was Sunni al-Qaeda members. The problem lies with al-Maliki and his political ally, Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army of over 60,000 terrorists. I am so glad I came to Iraq, and especially Kurdistan, in order to tell the world the story of democracy at work in at least a region of Iraq.

Maybe President Bush is right about fighting the global war from Iraq. If he does that, he must surely fight it as a war with allies, not enemies. The words of Christopher Columbus may very well describe the President’s War on Terror with Iraq as the central front: “All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit because he comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures.”

Click here to receive articles by Mike Evans, intelligence reports from Iraq, and to receive notices of scheduled showings of the television documentary, The Final Move Beyond Iraq and release of his newest book: The Final Move Beyond Iraq.

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