The Fifteen

When the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps attacked Combined Task Force 158’s HMS Cornwall’s boarding party last week, there was an alarm bell in the halls of history that marked the closing of an era.

The last time that bell sounded, it was the end of Pax Britanica in 1914. The crash of European civilization followed. This time, it is the end of Pax Americana. Xerxes is in the field.  The vain Spartans are gone.   Here comes the grave contest for American civilization.

Tehran was not sending a message.  The attack was not timed to the United Nations Security Council vote to sanction Tehran for flagrant  violations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.  The attack was not timed to the embassy of the hallucinatory President Ahmadinejad to New York, nor to his cunning, last-moment cancellation.  Nor was the attack timed to the Friday morning prayers in Tehran that, in the voice of Mullah Hashemi Rafsanjani, warned ominously of conspiracies against the Revolution Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Most important to understand, Tehran’s original intention of the attack was not to provide suspects for a show trial in order to humiliate a fragile Parliament, nor was Tehran’s original aim to grab hostages to barter with the Americans who detained five IRGC special ops weeks ago in Iraq.  That a show trial and bartering have been raised subsequent to the operation is most perilous, and that a Maliki government naval offical has spoken in support of Tehran’s lies is most sinister; however, none of this was the motive for the attack.

The attack was specifically aimed at stopping Cornwall from inspecting the contents of the slab-sided dhow freighter waiting to make landfall.  The dhow was deeply in Iraqi waters.  The GPS coordinates of Cornwall and the boarding party are confirmed by credible observers.  There was no ambiguity about territoriality as there was in the IRGC abduction of eight British soldiers in 2004 on the disputed border line of Shatt al-Arab. Tehran’s claim that the boarding party was in Iranian waters is naked falsehood. This operation was a swiftly launched strike to stop CTS 158 from discovering a cargo designated for the Mahdist forces harassing the American and British coalition in Iraq.

What is critical about the attack is that it was successful and that the Americans did not answer it.

The IRGC is well-briefed and as deadly as a hair-trigger.  The IRGC does not fear the U.S. Fifth Fleet despite the two carrier battle groups now operating in the Gulf region.   The IRGC does not fear the American expeditionary force in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, nor does it fear Gen. David Petraeus’s so-called surge tactics in Iraq.  The IRGC is so much in command of the Gulf that it can act spontaneously to protect its covert supply routes to its surrogates.  The IRGC has issued orders over the last weeks that the Mahdist chieftains who had sought refuge in Iran while Petraeus launched his battalions are free to return to operations in Iraq.  A maximum alert is in place in Iraq for a major strike on coalition forces.

The information right now is as loud and clear and brutal as it has been in six years of America’s battling with the surrogates of the predatory Tehran. What can be heard is a profound war warning. Heretofore, what was well known is that the homicides of al Qaeda are Tehran surrogates, and the attack on New York and Washington was supported before and after by the IRGC; and the next al Qaeda WMD attack on the American mainland will be supported before and after by Tehran.  Also well known was that the homicides of Hizballah, Hamas, Al Aqsa, Islamic Jihad are Tehran surrogates; and that the plain murder attacks of last summer along northern Israel are on track to be replayed this summer along the Golan, at Gaza, and into Jerusalem itself.

What is fresh is that Tehran has accelerated its plan.  Tehran has its own war calendar.  Tehran is led by an elite murder cult called the Partisans of the Mahdi, all of whom believe, as Twelvers, that the Invisible Mahdi who vanished twelve centuries ago in Mesopotamia will reappear in conditions of hellfire anarchy in order to lead the believers to Paradise.  The Partisans of the Mahdi are committed to provoking a global military vortex in order to satisfy their personal aggrandizement. This logical irrationality makes the timeline for their ambitions both unbelievable and unknowable.

The previous information that the Tehran plan was months not weeks in the future has been cancelled.  There is no certain time.  Perhaps it is the Passover period in Israel and the weeks after April 10. Perhaps we are in a timeless zone, where Tehran will act according to local events and then seize opportunity in any escalation and chaos that follows.

The momentary Tehran-driven escalation of the outrage of the abducted Cornwall boarding party — taunting to create a show trial or prisoner exchange — is a stark illustration of how totally Tehran controls the field. Tehran gives or refuses battle, and the Americans must oblige.  This could either be the moment when the weapons go free, or it could be the moment when Tehran softens America for the next wave of provocations.

At the least, Tehran is already using the disinformation claim that the boarding party was in Iran’s waters in order to befuddle the opposition, obliging America to choose between its fastidious British ally and the treacherous Baghdad government.  Iraqi Coast Guard official Gen. Hakim Jassim, at the direction of the Maliki government’s Mahdist cronies, was speaking with calculated deception when he implied the British were not inside Iraq waters: "We were informed by Iraqi fisherman after they had returned from sea that there were British gunboats in an area that is out of Iraqi control.  We don’t know why they were there."   This is an example of the scale of double-crossing that America refuses to see and acknowledge about its Iraqi ally.

What can be seen from early spring is that the dauntless United States Navy and its global intelligence-gathering system cannot prevent Tehran from attacking at will.

What can be observed also is that Pax Americana, the chimerical presumption since the fall of genocidal Berlin and imperialist Tokyo that American policy is irresistible, that this arrogance is gone like the Spartans.

What can be concluded is that America is without a plan to answer the Persians in their apocalyptic passion to conquer. Xerxes is in the field. The 110th Congress’s House of Representatives kneels.

What can be concluded also is how far America has fallen away from that fertile summer of 1904 when the cocksure Teddy Roosevelt and his crafty secretary of state, John Hay,in order to excite the Republicans in nomination convention at Chicago sent a grandstanding message about another piratical Moslem warlord. The June 1904 message to the American Consul-Gen. Samuel Gummere at Tangier that swelled the chest of the gun-slinging American people was, "Gummere, Tangier.  We want either Pedicaris alive or Rais Uli dead.  HAY."

And what is the likelihood that Washington and Whitehall will send the appropriate message to Vice Admiral Kevin J. Congriff commanding the Fifth Fleet at Bahrain: "We want either the 15 alive or Ahmadinejad dead"?