The 1st Grand Ayatollah Kamikaze Motorboat Flotilla sortied in the face of the Great Satan's Naval superiority (kinda ironic that a certain inappropiately handwringing 'wish I was on the wayback machine' ex Sec o' State madame literally missed the boat).
U.S. Navy ships USS Port Royal (CG 73), USS Hopper (DDG 70) and USS Ingraham (FFG 61) were steaming in formation at approximately 8 a.m. as they finished a routine Strait of Hormuz transit when five boats, suspected to be from the Revo Guard Navy (IRGCN), maneuvered aggressively in close proximity. Pentagon spokescat Bryan Whitman (looking sharp in Jos. A. Banks) explained
"Small, Iranian fast boats made some aggressive maneuvers against our vessels
and indicated some hostile intent. This required our vessels to issue warnings.
The U.S. Navy vessels were prepared to take appropriate actions, but there was
no engagement of the vessels."
Lucky for them, the Ayatollah Admirals chose discretion as the best bit of valour and split the area. Had they been conducting naval martyrdom ops history could have been repeated - just like 18 April 1987 in the Iran Iraq war. On that crazy day, the Sinbad's of Persia actually drew beads and fired on the Great Satan and her navy.
Big mistake. Sparking a naval brawl that raged for 12 hours, Great Satan annihilated over 1.2 billion bucks worth of offshore oil platforms (they were also dual functioning as Revo Guard seaborne missile silos in the Gulf oil tanker war) and pretty much made the term 'Iranian Navy' truly past tense for like a decade. Ken Pollack's "Persian Puzzle" reads like a movie
"The Iranian Navy came out to fight. Light attack, F 4 Phantoms, even Iran's
largest warships sortied from Bandar Abbas to take on the American Forces. The
Iranian missile boat Joshan started the battle by firing an antiship missile at
an American cruiser (it missed) and was immediately sunk in a hail of missiles
Iranian small boats and a pair of F 4's also tried to strikeThe 18 April 1987 Persian Navy Annihilation Day is in the Great Satan's textbooks at Annapolis - the Naval Academy - as one of the top greatest victories ever won at sea by the Americans.
various American ships in the Gulf, and several of the boats were sunk or
damaged as were both F-4s. The Iranian frigate Sahand fired on planes from the USS Enterprise, which was providing air support. Enterprise's air wing immediately
put two Harpoon missiles and four laser guided bombs into the Sahand, sinking
her. Finally, in a remarkable act of stupidity, the Iranians also sent out the
frigate Sabalan, sister ship to the Sahand, late in the day, and it two fired three missiles at a passing American A-6 Intruder. The Intruder promptly put a
500 pound laser guided bomb neatly down Sabalan's smokestack."
Somewhere after Midway, Leyte Gulf and the Battle of the Atlantic.
18 April is actually a state secret, hidden from The Islamic Republic's own people to this very day. This is significant.
Proving that despotic absolute rulers and regimes are alot like teenage drivers - never really dig the brakes much. No fun to stop and most likely remaining nigh unstoppable until stopped. Dead in the water. Or dead in their tracks - like Iran's handpicked fiery missile man Ahmadinejad claimed
"The train of the Iranian nation is without brakes and a rear gear. WeKhomeini's view of politics as a management tool for violence, funnily enough, became as pragmatic and responsible as his spiritual namesakes were around the moderately confident regime change fearing mullah's of 2003 were.
dismantled the rear gear and brakes of the train and threw them away
The risk of provoking a conflict that was more than Iran could handle, unlike the diplomatic protests Great Satan had employed reacting to land piracy at the embassy in 1979, hostages in Lebanon and Hiz'B'Allah's suicide truck bombing debut that killed US Marines in Beirut.
The Grand Ayatollah himself was publically forced to change course after vowing to conquer Iraq and then next stop Jerusalem.
Within hours, mullah minions in NYC at the UN were sounding out a stop to the war with Iraq, within weeks (after losing several battles that drove Iran out of Iraq after six years) mercifully ended a war that cost over a million lives, bled a generation white, generated 4 million refugees, turned Iran's largest port into a smoking crater and bankrupted Persia to the sorry tune of 200 billion dollars. The Grand Ayatollah compared the armistice to bitterly drinking a cup of poison. (He was correct - after all, he died less than a year later).
Since last weeks naval battle that almost was did not morph into a remix of 1987, the mullahs must have panicked and called the Revo Guards off. No diss - yet obviously, this wasn't a British patrol of waterborne Marines. The mullahs can indeed be very practical - no point in reliving the largest naval defeat since WWII. P.O. ing the Great Satan now may very well have resulted in a disaster with no stopping point save a violent, sudden, complete regime killing regime change.
Walter R. Mead's historically correct, brilliant and fun to read Op Ed in the WSJ points out that it's tough to find any American wars that didn't involve seaborne chicanery as the spark that consumed countless regimes in the last 2.25 centuries.
"Last weekend, the Iranians fled before shots were fired. Good for them. IfDespite tons of weapons, Iran is more like a 'superpower' in asymmetrical warfare - hostage taking, terrorism and insurgencies than real military power to kill leaders, destroy precious resources, invading, occupation or regime changing.
Iran wants a large-scale military conflict with a U.S. that is angry, aroused
and united, endangering American naval vessels in the Straits of Hormuz is the
right way to get one. "
This is why those little speedyboats were ordered to run away, leaving Great Satan with a tough call: like kicking off a major conflict or continuing to accept the drip-drip losses inflicted on her for decades by the Revo Guards and their minions in asymmetric combat.