As you already know, Iran seized two US Riverine Command Boats a few days ago. The crew and the boats were soon released, but not before being humiliated by the Iranian navy. The obama administration has been desperately trying to smother this incident. On the news sites left wingers were spewing all sorts of reasons that the boats fell into trouble. I saw engine trouble, ran out of gas, navigational errors, ran aground- all sorts of things. As of today the official story is this:
One of the boats began to have its engine “run roughly” during the transit from Kuwait to Bahrain, according to the details of what the crew has said. It’s not yet clear at what point they drifted off course, or if they even understood they were off course. It’s not believed the engine trouble was the cause of going off course.
But when they got so close to Farsi Island, and were approached by the Iranians, it is believed the U.S. boats could not rapidly get out of way because of that engine trouble.
Defense Secretary Carter said this:
“I think that this much is clear, there was a navigational error of some kind,” he said at a press conference on Thursday. “All the contributing factors to that we don’t know yet, and we’re still talking to those folks, and we’ll find out more … but they were clearly out of the position that they intended to be in.”
Carter is clearly under pressure to dispense with the issue:
“What we are most happy about here in the State Department is that we were able to get them home in less than 24 hours, (with) 10 fingers, 10 toes, nobody hurt. They are all safe and we got our boats back, and I think that is the most important thing.”
From the Navy Times:
The boat crews were arrested by Iranian forces after they skirted by Iran’s Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. The sailors seem to have mistakenly entered Iranian waters aboard their top-of-the-line riverine assault boats. Their navigation systems appeared to be working and the boats had fuel.
Officials are trying to ascertain how they wound up off track, leading to the run-in with Iran’s paramilitary forces based on the island, according to a source familiar with the debriefings.
A refueling rendezvous gone awry is the likely explanation for why the boats got off track, according to a U.S. official who asked for anonymity to discuss information from the debriefings.
This nautical adventure has a fishy scent to it. First, something about the boats. They’re fast and mean:
The boats have a crew of 5 and can carry up to 20 passengers. Forty-nine feet long and more than 12 feet wide, the RCBs use Swedish-made Scania diesel engines coupled to Rolls-Royce FF410 waterjets to reach speeds of more than 43 knots. The RCB has a draft of only three feet, allowing it to operate effectively in shallow waters. It has a range of 320 nautical miles.
The RCBs bristle with weaponry, averaging a weapons station every ten feet. There are four mounts for machine guns, which can handle M2HB .50-caliber heavy machine guns, GAU-19 .50-caliber miniguns, and M240 medium machine guns. Typically a RCB mounts one of each, with one .50 caliber station sometimes mounting two heavy machine guns (see above). The boats are also equipped with a Mk49 remote control weapons station equipped with a M2HB heavy machine gun. Developed by Israeli defense contractor Rafael, the Mk49 has a 360 degree arc of fire.
And they don’t get lost easily:
Riverine Command Boats are packed with sensors and communications gear, too. The Sea FLIR III infrared sensor system features a thermal imager sensor, laser rangefinder, and autotracker, all on a gyro-stabilized package to keep the image stable on a rocking boat. The latest in communications allows the boats to communicate with other navy ships, aircraft, and even ground forces.
These boats make nearly 1300 horsepower. Why mention that? Because given the technological capabilities of these boats, getting lost is just not realistic. Not knowing where you are in the Persian Gulf? Not buying it. Not knowing you were drifting into Iranian waters? Not buying it. If one boats truly has a problem and I’m the skipper of one of these boats, as soon as I realize we’re drifting where we’re not supposed to be I put a tow line on the disabled boat and get it the hell out of there. Does anyone really believe that sailors on these boats don’t understand the gravity of their location?
Upon their capture the sailors were utterly humiliated, forced onto their knees with their hands behind their heads.
The female sailor was forced to wear a hijab. The Iranians even stripped them of their boots.
The Iranians made and released a video of the capture. Our dumbass Secretary of State Kerry thanked Iran and the White House slobbered.
Most stunningly, the BBC reported that Kerry himself apologized to the Mullahs of Iran.
And the White House released a separate statement that our sailors had been “afforded the proper courtesy that you would expect.”
Proper courtesy? Sometimes you wonder on what planet these idiots are. Had the situation been reversed would we have done this?
So, for the record, if an Iranian boat had suffered a mechanical failure and come nonthreateningly into American waters, accompanied by another Iranian vessel attempting to render aid, we would not have: stripped the Iranians of their gear, at gunpoint, and forced them to their knees; made a video of same, for use as propaganda; ransacked their property, possibly including sensitive communications gear; forced them to wear clothing that suited our religious sensibilities; detained them overnight, while interrogating members of the crew on camera; and finally released edited footage in an effort at humiliation.
None of this was “standard nautical practice,” as Vice President Joe Biden claimed. Nor was it something for which we should thank the government of Iran, as Secretary of State Kerry was quickto do, while claiming that the sailors had been “well taken care of.” Presumably neither man had seen the footage released by Iran when they made those remarks, but the mere fact that the sailors and their boats had been kept overnight should have been concerning enough to give them pause. Even without its more theatrical elements, the detention alone was objectively a hostile act, despite surreal protests to the contrary from the U.S. government.
Viewed in isolation, this event is bad enough but it’s not an isolated thing. Last April Iran detained a US cargo ship. In December Iran test fired several rockets within 1500 yards of the USS Truman. The RCB seizure is just one more provocative action, one more Iranian stick to the eye of Barack Obama. Iran is putting on a show, letting the world know how far they can shove a shoe up Obama’s back side.
I don’t believe these guys were lost. I really don’t believe they were in Iranian waters. The Iranians have a good grasp of Obama’s narcissism. They know how badly he wants his lousy nuclear deal to hold for the Obama legacy. Obama recently blocked Visa waiver reforms in order not to upset Iran. They know there’s probably almost nothing he wouldn’t do to save it. That stirred a memory of a show I watched on Netflix called “Black Mirror.” The first episode was called “The National Anthem.” In it, the Duchess of Beaumont is kidnapped and the ransom calls for the Prime Minister to have sex with a pig on live television and eventually he does. It’s not hard to imagine the nuclear agreement as the Duchess.
The Iranians already have Obama by the short hairs and they know it.
There’s more to be told about this story and IMO these boats and crews were hung out to dry. I’m waiting for the other anchor to drop.