back to article US deploys robot submarine armada against Iranian mines

The US is deploying a fleet of robotic submarine mine clearers to the Middle East to counter threats by Iran that it will close off the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of world oil supplies travel. The Sea Fox submersibles, manufactured by German firm Atlas Electronik, come equipped with a TV camera and sonar and are …

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  1. Dazed and Confused

    And another word for...

    Fast attack boats is "Sitting ducks" to an airborne force that is just happy to shoot first and forget about the whole concept of asking questions. Mini subs are likely to be more of a problem but they aren't likely to need to blow many out of the water before the crews start to think twice.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      You got upped 3 for this?

      You don't "man" mines.

      They have less need of a crew than the robot subs.

      You just put a stick of TNT in a pop bottle with a proximity fuse and make sure your own tankers are well out of the way.

      If you want a bigger bang you recycle old oil drums. The problem with those is that they can be seen easily but at $sillysillies a pop you can soon win a war even if the USA blows them all up and you fail to even hit an hole in one.

      No facepalm icon until we get a Thatcher cheesy grin icon.

    2. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: And another word for...

      "Fast attack boats is "Sitting ducks" to an airborne force that is just happy to shoot first and forget about the whole concept of asking questions." Mini subs are likely to be more of a problem but they aren't likely to need to blow many out of the water before the crews start to think twice.

      Two problems with that:

      1) The US Navy don't blaze away at anything within range, as a rule. After downing a civilian airliner in the region years ago they're rather more careful at identifying and warning targets *as much as possible*. Stating otherwise is simply wilful ignorance being levelled at highly train professionals. They're probably a lot better at their job than you or I will ever be at ours.

      2) On the other hand, remember that a fast attack boat managed to do quite a lot of damage to a destroyer a few years ago. Different circumstance, but it wasn't even armed with missiles or mines.

      3) Two words: Swarm Tactics. Iran can and have bought a lot of small vessels and aren't going to sent them one at a time piecemeal, either armed with missiles or mines. In shallow, enclosed waters they will operate a doctrine that is essentially a maritime Zerg-Rush, hoping to overwhelm foes with sheer numbers of boats and incoming munitions. It's a valid tactic, considering how cheap speedboats and human lives are to Iran, and how expensive US missiles are. The Iranians can lose fifty speedboats without breaking a sweat, but the moment that ONE US ship takes a hit, it's going to have political impact.

      Ok... that's three problems. Four if we count surprise...

      Mini-subs are *less* of a problem, really. They are slow and working in very shallow enclosed waters. So long as they can't just tootle into a harbour they aren't likely to be a major problem, because sonar actually *works* and isn't just a thing that goes 'ping'.

      1. TakeTheSkyRoad

        Re: And another word for...

        Sorry but opening your statement with this :

        "After downing a civilian airliner in the region years ago..."

        Kinda means I have no faith in this :

        "highly train professionals"

        While I'm at it your point 2 has no relavance though you admit to it.

        As for point 3 this isn't Starcraft ! Please see WW1 for an example of that number does not equal victory. I see your point with the missles but these really aren't needed, most US ships are armed with perfectly capable Gatling guns with ample range and smart enough targetting to sore a hit... more so if there are plenty of targets.

        1. Psyx
          FAIL

          Re: And another word for...

          "Kinda means I have no faith in this"

          Mistakes happen. A thousand civilian vessels or more step within shooting range of USN assets daily without being gunned down. These people are professionals and often their only job is to identify targets. They get quite good at it. Also take a look at the USN's report into the incident and see what was learned. Sitting there blithely saying 'I have no faith in this' is sheer nonsense.

          "While I'm at it your point 2 has no relavance though you admit to it."

          It could be relevant if Iran decides to instead de-flag vessels in confined waters and then use them unconventionally. It shows that you can get within spitting distance of USN assets with the intention to attack.

          "As for point 3 this isn't Starcraft ! Please see WW1 for an example of that number does not equal victory. I see your point with the missles but these really aren't needed, most US ships are armed with perfectly capable Gatling guns with ample range and smart enough targetting to sore a hit... more so if there are plenty of targets."

          I was just trying to put it in terms understood to a reader without grounding in military science in an amusing manner.

          Numbers are a still a force multiplier. Just not a very good one. "Quantity has a quality all of its own" as Stalin said. Please see Clausewitz, Sun Tsu, or any other classic military text for reference. Number does not equal victory, but nonetheless, this is Iran's strategy and why the USN now train to deal with such threats. It's asymmetric not only in terms as being 'about numbers', but in other ways, too. Using large numbers does not mean they will be stupidly employed and ran cattle-like towards the nearest Aegis vessel. For reference, WWI 'human wave' strategies operated by advancing right behind a rolling barrage, and Korean human wave tactics weren't stupid charges, but about exploitation.

          Also: Phalanx (or 'gatling guns' as you call them) is designed to operate against missiles, not boats. I don't know about more modern systems, but it's not designed to engage boats travelling at low speed, and it's not manually pointed, but robotic-operated. They also each carry very limited ammunition.

          Don't discount having more people than the other side has people as a valid tactic. All warfare comes down to one of two factors: Attrition or Manoeuvre. One of those involves the other side taking more casualties in men or materiel (yes: I spelled that right) than they can sustain (which using cheap boats while the enemy uses expensive limited missile supplies based on very expensive ships can exploit) and the other involves getting in a position to win (which speedboats in a small area of engagement can exploit). Iran can't fight the USN on equal terms, so they've devised an interesting strategy. And heck... if that fails, they can just toss ground-based missiles into the fray and hope that one or two hit home.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: And another word for...

            "....Phalanx (or 'gatling guns' as you call them) is designed to operate against missiles, not boats. I don't know about more modern systems, but it's not designed to engage boats travelling at low speed, and it's not manually pointed, but robotic-operated...." Phalanx has a manual mode which allows direct engagement of surface targets under all weather and day or night situations. Besides that, the main guns on USN warships are radar-aimed and will be able to engage and destroy whole fleets of Boghammers at range whilst the Phalanx take care of the missiles and rockets the Boghammers might fire back

            That's assuming the Boghammers, speedboats and jetskis (yes, the Revolutionary Guards have tried launching RPGs at tankers from two-seat jetskis!) manage to sneak past the Seacobra gunships and F/A-18s. For non-letal defence in the case of "is-that-a-speedboat-of-fishermen-or-Iranian-kamikazes" the USN has shown the capability to dazzle attackers with lasers and discomfort them with microwave and sound emitters. The USN has conducted its own wargames, including live-fire tests against swarms of robo-boats, and has declared itself quite prepared for such attacks.

            1. Psyx
              Thumb Up

              Re: And another word for...

              I wouldn't disagree that it's both a threat that the USN has trained to deal with (*specifically because the Iranians dreamed it up*) or that the USN has an arsenal of tools to deal with such a threat, at least on paper (Phalanx is deployed of course, but how many of the 'new toys'?). However, I was vehemently disagreeing with the poster's points that the USN are incompetent trigger-happy monkeys, that large numbers don't count for anything, that swarm attacks aren't a valid tactic or are an unintelligent one, and that 'gatling guns' engaging small vessels on water are shooting proverbial fish in barrels.

              Iran didn't come up with an inherently stupid tactic that is doomed to certain failure, which is why the USN has now tooled up to deal with it, and trained it's very professional force to address it. I expect that a swarm attack would fail, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. Stranger things have happened in asymmetric warfare. I daresay that in dollar value, Iran's fleet of speedboats have already cost the USN a hundred or even thousand times their value in countermeasures and training alone.

              Now, whether those defences can be applied and extended to civilian tankers is another question, of course. Even if escorted by USN airpower and vessels, the strait is a very confined space. Iran only has to get lucky the once for it to be a massive media event and publicity coup for them, where the USN only needs to get unlucky once and be provoked into hitting a false target for it also to be a media storm.

              One thing is for sure: I would *not* want the job at looking at RADAR screens, picking and engaging fifty speedboats, on choppy water, at night, armed with anti-shipping missiles, potentially infiltrating a convoy, with the potential for engaging innocent shipping, in a narrow, busy shipping lane, at very short notice. Kudos to whoever does, if they get it right.

  2. tkioz

    U.S.S Ponce? Really?

    Might as well name one U.S.S Twat while they are at it.

    1. Chris Miller

      Juan Ponce de Leon was the Spanish discoverer of Florida (or at least, the first European to get there, the place was already full of Seminoles), where there's a town named after him. He is commemorated by the USS Ponce*, whose crew have difficulty understanding why Brits tend to find their ship's name so amusing.

      * Also on Star Trek, apparently.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Chris Miller

        I had to Yahoogle it as the name made me take a quick check of the calender just to make sure it wasn't April 1st!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Apparently Ponce is a Basque surname, but I'm guessing you don't have to have a Basque to be a Ponce ;)

        A cravat and some golf slacks and some gold chains might do it ;)

    2. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

      A joint operation?

      >Might as well name one U.S.S Twat while they are at it.

      http://uk.ebid.net/for-sale/twatt-air-force-base-orkeny-island-scotland-uk-64088189.htm

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A joint operation?

        Can I be a spelling-ponce and suggest that actually the one with the nice roadsign is called "Twatt" with 2 "T"s which actually I think makes it even more offensively hilarious. However, where are these "Orkeny" Islands that they speak of on the website, are they near the Orkney Islands? ;)

        And to be super-pedantic I feel the need to point out they have weird placenames because of the Nordic influence thereabouts, not long since the islands belonged to Norway, in historical timeframe anyway, plus Orkney means "whale islands" as far as I know.

        There is also a rather splendid village called "Tarty" in NE Scotland ...... with roadsigns.

        TTFN

      2. Alan Firminger

        Re: A joint operation?

        http://maps.google.com/?ll=59.096408,-3.277102&spn=0.025435,0.084543&t=m&z=14

        and the road running west is named, no, if you are interested in silly names see it to believe it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Does this mean the chief sailor on the vessel gets to say at cocktail parties "I am the Commander of the Ponce" ;) Or perhaps that is Kelly Rowland's job ;)

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: "I am the Commander of the Ponce"

        I believe it may be even better than that, I was once involved in a multi-national exercise based out of the USN base in Norfolk, Virginia. Whenever a Captain visited one of the US vessels they'd announce over the ship's tannoy 'Portland arriving' where Portland was the name of the visiting Captain's ship, presumably as a mark of respect/to make sure every on-board wasn't caught by surprise. One can only assume whenever the CO of the Ponce visits another USN vessel they pipe "Ponce arriving"...

        Not to mention their habit of addressing other captains by the name of their ship, e.g. "Ahh, Hello Ponce".

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Snafu 2

    Hmm..

    [need a 'quote' mechanism in the comments!]

    "By Iain Thomson in San Francisco

    Posted in Hardware, 14th July 2012 00:29 GMT

    "The US is deploying a fleet of robotic submarine mine clearers to the Middle East to counter threats by Iran that it will close off the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of world oil supplies travel."

    OK

    The Sea Fox submersibles, [...] units are 1.3 meters long and weigh about 43kg, with an operating depth of 300 meters.[blah] The Sea Fox goes after mines in a kamikaze mission

    "One downside of the Sea Fox is that the destruction of target mines also destroys the submersible, and at around $100,000 a unit it's an expensive way to clear obstacles. While this is not as expensive as seeing a warship or supertanker holed and sunk, with Iran claiming it has thousands of mines ready to deploy the final bill for any conflict could be high."

    So there's a potential x000 X x000 cash escalation (notwithstanding manufacturing times & testing, remote detonation (underwater or surface) for the failed drones/devices in case of that 0.0001% chance of the failed drone picking up on (say) a fishing ship hull, etc..IIRC this is one of the most heavily-trafficed waterways, along with the Panama Canal & the English Channel, in the world

    "The US has refitted one of their older warships, USS Ponce, to act as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) for the Sea Fox fleet and it has joined eight minesweepers and a fleet of MH-53 Sea Dragon helicopters in the Gulf. The US now has several carrier groups in the region and dispatched a squadron of F-22 stealth fighters there in April."

    Team America - Yay!!

    "Closing the Strait of Hormuz is such an easy job for the Islamic Republic of Iran's armed forces," he said. "It's actually a basic capability of the navy." ®

    MRDA

    Lewis, if you're not busy writing a 'go-go' article to accompany this, as many of your detractors are likeky to suspect, I'd really appreciate some sort of balanced 'you can all f-off' response to this drivel

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Team America

      I believe the interjection popularly employed is "fuck yeah!"

  4. Tank boy
    Mushroom

    So scared

    "Closing the Strait of Hormuz is such an easy job for the Islamic Republic of Iran's armed forces," he said. "It's actually a basic capability of the navy."

    Read: It is the only capability of the Iranian Navy.

    1. Snafu 2

      Re: So scared

      If they are mine dropping, that's a lot less to laugh about. They _can_ effectivley close off this channel, which means huge consequenses for international shipping..

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: So scared

        Don't know why someone would mod you down for what you said. High-ranking people in the US navy have said the same. It's pretty much accepted that if the Iranians want to close shipping there, then they can. I'm almost surprised they haven't given that the USA has bludgeoned other nations into not trading with Iran causing significant economic harm to its people and they have seen their scientists assassinated by foreign agents. What else? Oh yes, a laughable attempt to frame Iran for an assassination plot which no-one in the Intelligence sector believes for a second but which made good headlines for a few days. Incursion of air-space with US spy drones. Oh, and US congress (under Bush, and continued under Obama) has approved large amounts of funds and granted the CIA permission, for the explicit purpose of trying to ferment rebellion and discontent in the country. All on record, all provable. One can only imagine how a more warlike country such as the USA or Israel would react to foreign-assassinations of its citizens or state sponsored efforts to over-throw their government. Unlike some other countries, Iran has a long history or not starting wars. Last big one they fought was when Iraq invaded Iran without declaration or war, back in 1980 (we supported Iraq, as did the USA in a more complicated way) and the West ignored the unilateral use of WMD (chemical weapons) against Iran by Iraq. We know Iraq had them because we still have the receipts.

        So whilst Iran needs to brush up on its human rights, it's not a belligerent country in this matter. We are. Given the heavy provocation the West and Israel is placing on them, I'm almost surprised they haven't closed off shipping. Many other countries would have including the USA and Israel (zero doubt). Similarly, there's no real doubt that if Iran wants to close off shipping, they can. And that would have a devastating effect on the world's current, shaky economy.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Re: So scared

          "....a laughable attempt to frame Iran for an assassination plot which no-one in the Intelligence sector believes for a second....All on record, all provable....." Yes, and your proof is where? Rattling around in your tinfoil hat?

          ".....Iran has a long history or not starting wars...." Except that whenever the UN gets too interested in Iran, the Iranian puppets in Hezbollah and Hamas start shooting rockets at Israel. Lets not forget their post-invasion meddling in Iraq, including their support and guidance of al-Sadr and his fanatical Mahdi Army.

          ".....I'm almost surprised they haven't closed off shipping....." Because the previous attempts the Iranians made ended with a large portion of the Iranian Navy being sunk (read up on Operation Praying Mantis). The US also exposed the strategic weakness of the Iranian economy to attacks on their oil platforms (Operation Nimble Archer). The Iranians can close the Gulf temporarily at great cost to themselves, they dare not do it unless their backs are against the wall.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: So scared

            "Yes, and your proof is where? Rattling around in your tinfoil hat?"

            Sorry, I mispoke. Everything else I listed (and which you did not challenge) is provable. I should have listed this one separately as it's only that almost everyone familiar with it considers it to be a bogus claim by the US. The "assassination attempt" is this one:

            Iranian "Assassination" Plot on Saudi Ambassador

            Unlike all the other items, I cannot prove this one. However, pretty much every expert on Iran, including senior US defense officials, have expressed from significant doubt to outright disbelief that this plot, if it is real, was actually tied to the Iranian government. It makes no strategic sense, no material or political gain, is incredibly amateur. The "plot" is almost custom-made to be a political disaster for Iran whilst gaining them nothing. Iran is not that stupid, no-one thinks they are that stupid, no-one has demonstrated any benefit to Iran and the US has failed to provide any corroborating evidence. Sure, you expect them to want to keep some details close to their chest to protect intelligence sources, but there's nothing remotely credible provided by them to convince any other government or even their own citizens. It has false flag written all over it in the opinion of the intelligence community.

            "Except that whenever the UN gets too interested in Iran, the Iranian puppets in Hezbollah and Hamas start shooting rockets at Israel. Lets not forget their post-invasion meddling in Iraq, including their support and guidance of al-Sadr and his fanatical Mahdi Army."

            Last time Hezbollah got uppity it was because Israel had sent troops into Lebanon. That's hardly a result of the "UN getting too interested in Iran." Hamas are in a near-constant state of having their leadership imprisoned or assassinated by the Israeli military. No-one can make the argument with a straight-face, that violence in Palestine is down to the "UN getting too interested in Iran". Hamas are not mindless "puppets" of Iran. They're actually the political party that the Palestinian people elected, but Israel and the West subjected Palestine to economic war (seizing Palestinian assets abroad) and cut off food and medical supplies to the country until their preferred party was able to seize power. How you can look at such things and say these are the result of UN interest in Iran, I don't know. Basically, you couldn't find a good example of Iran actually attacking anyone (unlike numerous other nations I could mention) so you had to find foreign groups that have loose affiliations with Iran and try to make a case that they are proxies for Iran. Ties? Yes. Iran's secret army? Hardly.

            "Lets not forget their post-invasion meddling in Iraq, including their support and guidance of al-Sadr and his fanatical Mahdi Army."

            Wow. Now that's pot calling the kettle black. USA and the UK fly and ship hundreds of thousands of troops thousands of miles around the world to invade and occupy Iraq for best part of a decade, to supply billions in cash to their favoured political groups whilst arresting or killing political enemies; and when the country that actually shares a border with Iraq is courted by some ethnically similar militants from within Iraq, resulting in the possible supply of some weapons and the odd over-zealous Shi-ite crossing the border, it's "meddling". Incidentally, Muqtada al-Sadr that you mention? He was actually a very popular community leader in Iraq who the US targeted for assassination because of his popularity. The US began the violence with al-Sadr. They had little choice. If they had allowed him to simply participate democratically, his popular support would have seen them rapidly ousted from the country by popular vote. During the US devastation of Fallujah, al-Sadr sent medical support to the citizens there. Small wonder that the US didn't like him.

            "Because the previous attempts the Iranians made ended with a large portion of the Iranian Navy being sunk (read up on Operation Praying Mantis)."

            That was an attack in Iran in response to a mine. It says very little about whether Iran could close the Strait to commercial shipping which they very easily could. The incident was condemned by the UN incidentally, who said the USA did not have cause to attack Iran to protect themselves.

            "The US also exposed the strategic weakness of the Iranian economy to attacks on their oil platforms (Operation Nimble Archer)"

            And here you make my point even further - the Iranians are not the belligerent party in this matter.

            "The Iranians can close the Gulf temporarily at great cost to themselves, they dare not do it unless their backs are against the wall"

            And at great cost to the fragile European oil-dependent infrastructure too. So yay - let's push their backs even further against the wall as we are doing. If they strike back, it's their fault.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Re: So scared

              LOL, that was so funny! What, you were actually serious? Wow, now it's even funnier!

              "....Everything else I listed (and which you did not challenge) is provable...." So please provide the proof linking the US with the assassinations of the Iraqi nuke scientists. Again, no point in holding my breath because you can't. Busted! Again. Go on, just for fun, see if you can make it three fails in a row.

              ".....Unlike all the other items, I cannot prove this one...." But you can't prove any of them, it's just paranoid guessing and conspiracy theories, not an ounce of proof anywhere.

              "....Last time Hezbollah got uppity it was because Israel had sent troops into Lebanon...." The last time Hezbollah got uppitty was in 2006, when Hezbollah launched an unprovoked attack on Israel, including firing rockets at civillians and attacking a border patrol so they could kidnap two soldiers. It was only the latest in a long sequence of attempts by Hezbollah to kidnap Israelis in 2005 and 2006. Israel responded by sending in troops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Lebanon_War). Yes, you're just wrong again. Yet again. Don't you ever get tired of being shown up for such a know-nothing?

              "....The US began the violence with al-Sadr...." Wrong again! The Mahdi Army started the violence in 2004 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muqtada_al-Sadr), and al-Sadr had no interest in joining the diplomatic process until it was made clear to him he wasn't going to be able to impose his own Islamic revolution.

              "....It says very little about whether Iran could close the Strait to commercial shipping which they very easily could....." Wrong yet again, again! It was an attempt to close the Gulf to tankers carrying Kuwaiti and Iraqi oil, and it failed. During what was known as the Tanker War of 1984-1987, the Iraqis attacked Iranian tankers and merchant ships, but the Iranians attacked any and all non-Iranian shipping, including Kuwaiti and Saudi tankers. And as for your anti-Yank hysteria, the first nation to come to the aid of the other Gulf states in facing down the Iranians was Soviet Russia when they sent Soviet-flagged tankers to Kuwait in 1987. It was only later that the US sen their own tankers, and then it took the Iranian attack on the USS Stark to get the Yanks fired up. But they still didn't retaliate until the Iranians attacked the US-flagged tanker Sea Isle City, whereupon the USN started escorting ships under Operation Good Will. The Iranian response was more Boghammer attacks and mining the water in an attempt to close the Gulf to non-Iranian shipping. It failed, a simple historical fact. You might know some of that if you actually tried reading up for yourself instead of being spoonfed.

              "....And at great cost to the fragile European oil-dependent infrastructure too....." Which is why the current US and European sanctions include stopping imports of oil from Iran. The Saudis have stepped up production to fill the gap, meaning Iran cannot threaten the West with an oil embargo now. You are wrong yet again, in fact so wrong there is not one thing you have posted which has been proveably right. Major, epic fail. Back to school for you!

            2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: So scared

                "1337sp33k name and general probability of being a troll aside"

                "Harmony" was taken. I used a few letter substitutions. You used a "1" after your name. In both cases, it's just a way of using one's name when it's already registered by someone else. I'm old enough that I remember l33tspeak beginning. My username is hardly a reason to criticise what I say. And no, I am not trolling. I would be much happier if people nodded at what I say rather than got outraged as a couple of people have. (If I were a troll, I would presumably be going for lots of downvotes whereas my original post seems to be getting a lot of upvotes so I'm actually speaking in accord with a lot of the people here, apparently).

                "while we're on the subject of what a wonderful and just beacon of peace Iran"

                If you have to invent entire arguments on the other person's side in order to score points off them, you should re-evaluate your own position. It's called strawmanning. Nowhere have I described Iran in such glowing terms. What I have done is rightly point out that Iran has far from got the history of aggression that the USA and the UK and Israel have and this is a matter of historical record. I pointed out that Iran has long been on the receiving end of Western aggression as indeed it is right now with extreme sanctions and outright threats of military attack by Israel, the latter of which has been explicit publically about considering bombing Iran.

                "to the dirty Jewholes and so on"

                You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to play that card against people . Nowhere have I shown any signs of anti-semiticism nor will I, because I am not anti-semitic. I even corrected another poster and drew attention to the fact that despite a lot of Israeli propaganda to the contrary, Jewish != Israeli. Plenty of Jewish people are sick and tired of the Israeli government playing that card, thankyouverymuch. If you can't distinguish between criticism of the Israeli government and Jewish, then it is you that think someone's attitudes and values depend on their ethnicity (a racist idea), not me. My attitude to "Jewish" has always been consistent - it means almost nothing, everyone is the same as everyone else when it comes to heredity. It's utterly irrelevant to someone's value as a person or their rights. No-one should be treated better or worse because of their race or ethnicity.

                For you to try and put racist slurs in someone else's mouth is disgusting both for the propagation of racist slurs and for the resorting to demonisation of people you disagree with instead of just addressing their argument.

                "and since you keep bringing up Lebanon..."

                Actually, Matt Bryant asked for examples of US participation in Israeli military conflict. I pointed out that in the 2006 conflict with Lebanon, the US refuelled Israeli jets and restocked them with guided missiles.

                "Maybe you'd like to justify mentioning Iran's wonderfulness, Lebanon, and a distaste for country's meddling in the affairs of others with a straight face?"

                Again, this inability on your part to understand someone arguing against Western war-mongering without thinking they are praising the defending country as "wonderful" or to resist putting words into someone else's mouth in order to mock their point of view. As to justifying Iran's "meddling in Lebanon", I no more have to justify it, than any American politician is forced to justify how the IRA got more of its funding from the USA than anywhere else. I do not have to justify it because it is not my job to paint Iran as whiter than white. Hezbollah has some ties to Iran. As does Hamas to a greatly lesser extent. In both cases however, they are hardly proxies for Iran - they have both arisen independently as a response to Israeli action and have naturally courted the most powerful player in the region that is not aligned with Israel (i.e. Iran) for support. Which in dribs and drabs they have received. Iran is a very old, considerably powerful nation. I merely pointed out the gross hypocrisy of calling the occasional sale of arms or turning a blind eye to exchange of expertise "meddling in the affairs of others" when the USA and the UK sends hundreds of thousands of troops half-way around the world to invade and occupy other countries, engages in financial warfare, stations military bases in other countries (Saudi Arabia), trains up foreign forces (Qatar, UAE) - thus keeping in power non-democratic governments, carries out targeted killings (Israel has made numerous assassination attempts on Palestinian leaders, the USA has assassinated people by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen at least). If Iran's spotty relationship with Hezbollah is what you call "meddling in the affairs of others", then I would be delighted to learn what you call the behaviour of the USA, UK and Israel.

                My sole point is that Iran is not the belligerent party here. We are. I need no "justification" of any negatives of Iran to make that point. I am not trying to argue that Iran is "wonderful". These are your words. But "beacon of peace"? Yes, they are the defensive party in this and have yet to strike back in the face of economic warfare that is harming their citizens, foreign-funded efforts to subvert their elected government and overt threats of military action. So again, yes, it's significantly down to the reluctance of Iran to fight a war that we still have peace there because they've certainly been provoked beyond the point at which Israel or the USA would keep the peace. We also have the US to thank in a round-about way because they've been doing everything they can behind the scenes to find alternatives to military action. The US no more wants to go to war with Iran than Iran does. But unfortunately, the USA will likely (a) stand by Israel if Israel starts a war and (b) does not want to give up being the pre-eminent power in the Middle East, because that is the oil centre of the world.

        2. Kevin Turvey
          Headmaster

          Re: So scared

          "trying to ferment rebellion" - i think you mean "foment rebellion"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So scared

            They could always send some beer ;)

          2. h4rm0ny
            Pint

            Re: So scared

            "trying to ferment rebellion" - i think you mean "foment rebellion"

            Iran is a muslim country. They lack expertise in exactly what should be fermented and what should not. ; )

        3. JohnG

          Re: So scared

          "...whilst Iran needs to brush up on its human rights, it's not a belligerent country in this matter."

          Iran is under sanctions because they are in breach of the NPT, which they freely chose to sign.

          Iran signed the NPT so they could have access to nuclear technology from other NPT signatories (e.g. Russia) but have been and continue to be in breach of the treaty. Under the NPT, all NPT signatories (including USA , Russia, etc.) have to submit to inspections by the IAEA - Iran has not fully complied with such inspections. Signatories without nuclear weapons are not entitled to develop nuclear weapons but are entitled to obtain nuclear technologies for peaceful purposes. With their previously secret underground nuclear facilities now exposed, even the Russians now acknowledge that Iran is breach of the NPT.

          India, Israel and Pakistan are not signatories of the NPT and are not entitled to obtain nuclear technologies from NPT members but they are not under any constraint as to their own development of nuclear weapons.

          Although North Korea has withdrawn from the NPT, they are under sanctions because they were members of the NPT when they were found to be in breach of it.

          Israel and others now expect Iran to have viable nuclear weapons in about 2 years. As other countries in the region feel threatened by Iran (it isn't all about Israel), some of them are likely to want to match Iran's capability, probably starting with Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

        4. Psyx
          Stop

          Re: So scared

          "So whilst Iran needs to brush up on its human rights, it's not a belligerent country in this matter. "

          It kind of is, but due to capitalism.

          Iran's oil ain't cheap. They need international oil process high in order to be able to make a decent margin. It's in Iran's best economic interest to sabre rattle regularly. Not enough to garner full sanctions, but enough to make it seem possible that they might throw their toys out of the pram, and hence enough to keep oil prices artificially high.

          It'd be cheaper for everyone if Saudi could pipe output to a safe port, well away from Iran.

  5. Snafu 2

    Damn! Can't find the edit button: should read 'Team America - World Police Yaayy!!"

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Police?

      More like the ranting moustachioed corporal threatening to hoover up a few neighbours. This time the guy in charge is black and is pushed on by the dudes who pretend to have been enslaved by a Pharaoh. History is bizarre.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: Police?

        You think you could clarify that a little?

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Police?

          The "guy is black this time" is obviously a reference to Barak Obama though race is really irrelevant and I think that's the point being made: that the leader of America happens to be Black this time but the actions and behaviour are the same. (Neither agreeing nor disagreeing, but interpreting the point as you asked).

          The pushed on by people who pretend to be imprisoned by a Pharoah is obviously a reference to the rather shaky historical record of modern-day people who call themselves Jews. You will note if you look into it that Jewish as "race" actually covers multiple ethnic groups, the overwhelming historical evidence of which suggests that none of them (and certainly it's impossible that it's all of them) are descended from ancient Hebrew tribes that were enslaved in Egypt. Indeed the only modern-day group that can make credible claims to be descendants of these people are the "Black Jews" who ironically, had to fight hard to be accepted into Israel and still face discrimination for their skin colour there today. A good book on the subject if you're interested is "The Invention of the Jewish People" by Shlomo Sand.

          As to Barak Obama being "pushed" by Jews, firstly, it's incorrect to say "Jews" - it's one of the greatest foundations of Israeli propaganda to pretend that Israeli == Jewish and vice versa. Israel does not speak for all Jewish people and criticism of the Israeli government is not anti-semiticism much as the Pro-Israeli lobby likes to pretend both of these. But if you substitute Zionist for Jewish, then the statement becomes more accurate. The USA has been frantically pursuing all sorts of diplomatic and non-violent means behind the scenes to placate Israel and prevent them launching unilateral attacks on Iran. Because if Israel starts a war, it is almost certain that the USA will get dragged into it on Israel's side, and the USA actually doesn't want such a war. Hence things like the sanctions are actually a result of the USA saying: "look, Israel, we're doing this, you don't need to attack". So the statement was wrong in that it referred to Jewish, not Israeli (and if the poster wants to be taken seriously, they'll not make that mistake in future), but otherwise had a lot of truth to it.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Re: Police?

            ".....Because if Israel starts a war, it is almost certain that the USA will get dragged into it on Israel's side....." More hysterical claptrap. Please supply one example of US troops participating in an Israeli war. I won't hold my breath 'cos I know you can't supply an answer. Fail, as usual.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Police?

              " Please supply one example of US troops participating in an Israeli war. I won't hold my breath 'cos I know you can't supply an answer. Fail, as usual"

              Well you should first list the actual wars Israel has been involved in. They're mostly shorter skirmish style wars involving border disputes and lasting months or less. If you're talking about an actual war with a large nation such as Iran, then I see no more reason for you to take this line of argument that the USA wouldn't get dragged in than I would see why a commentator in 1913 should say "there's never been a world war, ergo there cannot be a world war". Certainly US international diplomacy has been structured around the belief that if Israel started a war with Iran, that they would get dragged in so it seems the White House doesn't agree with you. But if you want actual US involvement in Israeli military conflict then, as an example, during the 2006 military conflict with Lebanon, the USA refuelled the Israeli jet fighters and re-stocked them with guided missiles. Prior to this, much of that military hardware was supplied by the USA in the first place as Israel receives top-of-the-range jets, tanks, attack helicopters and is invited into joint weapons development programs with the USA. It's a level of military inter-cooperation that goes way beyond the way the US may occasionally deign to sell some of its outdated hardware to lesser-favoured countries.

              The USA provides $1.8bn dollars annually to Israel in specifically military aid and has done since 1987. How's that for participating in Israel's war effort? You'll note that you re-phrased what I wrote into your own, narrowly constructed rhetorical question, but US military support for Israel is massive and demonstrable and if Israel actually was stupid enough to start a major war in the region, it is near certain that the USA would be forced to become an active participant.

              "I won't hold my breath 'cos I know you can't supply an answer. Fail, as usual."

              I doubt you will be satisfied with it, but I have answered your post. Regarding the "fail as usual", there is no reason to be rude.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Re: Police?

                "....Well you should first list the actual wars Israel has been involved in...." What, so you can still go on not being able to provide a single case of US soldiers getting involved in an Israeli war? All you evasions, all your frothing, but you just can't admit you were wrong (yet again, again). You posted a piece of complete male-bovine-manure and got called on it. Come on, man up for once and admit your failure. Believe me, it would only raise your standing in this forum, because everything else you post at the moment is just making you look sillier and sillier.

                "....But if you want actual US involvement in Israeli military conflict then, as an example, during the 2006 military conflict with Lebanon, the USA refuelled the Israeli jet fighters and re-stocked them with guided missiles...." Really? And you have irrefutable evidence of this direct US involvement on the ground? Not some loon conspiracy site, not some pan-Arab nationalist propaganda whining, but real evidence from a respected journalist source (I know, bit of a contradiction in terms, but I suppose there are some more respectable than others) of US military personel refuelling Israelli combat aircraft in the 2006 war. Guess you're going to evade on that one as well. Oh, by the way, when you were being told what to bleat did your herders tell you that Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen were killed fighting for Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006? I'm betting not. AFter all, your claim of US military being directly involved in fighting for Israel collapsed into the standard whining about how much money Israel gets form the US. Fail!

                "....but I have answered your post...." Nope, you haven't. I really hope you don't work in education because if you think that was an answer then your students are going to be very poorly educated.

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: Police?

                  "What, so you can still go on not being able to provide a single case of US soldiers getting involved in an Israeli war?"

                  I said that the USA would almost certainly get dragged into a major war between Iran and Israel and that they don't want this. You responded demanding to know when the US had ever been involved in Israel's war. I pointed out that this wasn't what I'd claimed but helpfully did point out that they had refuelled Israeli jets and re-supplied them with guided missiles during the conflict with Lebanon in 2006. Also that they provide $1.8bn in specifically military aid along with supplying advanced hardware that they wouldn't dream of supplying to anyone else and did that count as military support in Israel's conflicts? (There are other examples if needed). You have now narrowed it down to specifically USA soldiers fighting on behalf of Israel. I don't suppose you accept supply of Intelligence to Israel by US military forces as participation either? Exactly how long do you expect me to humour you in your ever narrowing questions when none of them actually refute the point I am making in the first place?

                  "All you evasions, all your frothing"

                  Why must you use characterisations of me as part of your argument? I assure you, I am quite calm as I type this. It is your own posts with their repeated accusations of hysteria, frothing, etc. that stray from reasoned debate and into pejoratives and emotive language. Just drop this aspect perhaps, instead of telling me what will "raise my standing in the forum" and to "man" up. (Why is admitting one's faults considered a male trait, btw?)

                  "Really? And you have irrefutable evidence of this direct US involvement on the ground?"

                  Why must you keep re-phrasing what I write? I wrote that the US refuelled Israeli jets and provided guided missiles. That's even the part that you quote before responding with the above. But I will provide you with evidence to support what I say. And no, it wont be some "loon conspiracy site". Unless of course you consider the New York Times such, which is your prerogative:

                  NYT Article. The source I would actually quote would be Jane's Sentinel, but unless you are in the defence industry you are unlikely to be a subscriber. Unfortunate as they will have more detail, but hopefully you will accept the New York Times in the interim. I have no doubt I could find more detailed public sources if needed but it seems that you are only interested in demanding answers to your own contrived questions, so I shall leave it at that for now.

                  "Guess you're going to evade on that one as well"

                  No, not really. ; )

                  Incidentally, on the subject of evading, you seem to be entirely missing the point that I am making in favour of trying to set up strawmen about Iran being perfect or demanding evidence for every little thing, rather than engaging with what I am actually doing which is contrasting at best, minimal "meddling" (your words) by Iran in states it borders with, to the epic interference in other nations that is the USA, Israel and the UK playing ruler to nations half way around the world. It's never been my contention that Iran is perfect nor have I ever hinted that it was. My point is that Iran is the defensive party in this matter. Something you have repeatedly "evaded" (your words) in favour of micro-questioning what I write or heading off on tangents of your own choosing and demanding that I defend them.

                  "Oh, by the way, when you were being told what to bleat did your herders tell you that Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen were killed fighting for Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006? I'm betting not. AFter all, your claim of US military being directly involved in fighting for Israel collapsed into the standard whining about how much money Israel gets form the US. Fail!"

                  I made no such claims. They came from you so that you could say that they were false. And no-one has told me "what to bleat". I see no reason for the repeated unpleasant attacks. They are the recourse of a weak argument. You should evaluate your own position to see if it is actually impartial, imo, to be honest.

                  "Nope, you haven't. I really hope you don't work in education because if you think that was an answer then your students are going to be very poorly educated."

                  I don't work in education. I taught maths for a short time and went back to industry because I could earn three times the salary. Thanks for ending your post with one more insult. I felt that your post did not contain enough of them already, but this completely unprovoked addendum helps redress the balance.

                  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                    FAIL

                    Re: Re: Police?

                    Keep piling on the fail! I read the NYT article and nowhere does it mention the US refuelling Israelli jets, so was that just the vocies in your head speaking? The articel is about the Israellis taking up an option on an already approved arms purchase, nothing more. Come on, you made the statement, you have failed to back it up in any way at all, yet you keep repeating it. You are the pinnacle of sheepleness, shamelessly and stupidly bleating the same falsehoods even when your lies have been repeatedly exposed.

                    1. xperroni
                      Thumb Down

                      Re: Police?

                      I have been skimming through this discussion, and it's not like I agree to h4rm0ny's every point – but damn it boy, are you even paying attention? The opening sentence of that NYT article reads:

                      The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday.

                      So while it may not confirm the point about refueling jets, it does confirm the bomb shipments, which is just as damning.

                      I have to say that your tendency to mockingly disregard contrary arguments as "fail" whenever they don't address your every single little point is rather unnerving. So now it's all down to whether the US refueled Israeli jets or not? And when that is confirmed by some not-easily-disregarded source, what else?

                      I agree to h4rm0ny's main point that were Israel to get itself into a war (and by that I mean a proper war, not a three-week skirmish) with a major Middle East country, be it Iran or whoever else, it would be hard for the US to not be dragged into it – not out of any particular love for the nation, but rather due to economical, political and yes, military ties. You can point that it never happened, but then again, I don't know that Russia had ever come into any war in order to support France before 1914 – but when it did it set the world in flames.

                      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                        Boffin

                        Re: Re: Police?

                        h4m0ny stated that the US would be dragged in to any war between Israel and Iran. When I challenged him to provide a historic exmaple of US military forces getting directly involved in such a shooting war, on the ground, he frothed and evaded and spewed out some rubbish about the US re-arming and refuelling Israelli jets during the 2006 Lebanon War. When challenged to show evidence of this he failed again. Supplying munitions on a revised timescale to a previously approved order is NOT the same as US military forces even re-arming and refuelling jets, and definately does not constitute US forces getting directly involved in an Israelli war. In short, he lied and got called on it.

                        Any war between Israel and Iran would be a very drawn out affair as neither side has much options for directly attacking and occupying the other, they are too geographically separated. The best Iran can do is fire missiles at Israel, which will hopefully be largely defeated by Isrealli defence SAMs as the Iranians will be shooting at cities of civillians. The Iranian air force is too weak for a bombing campaign, and would have to overfly other Gulf states which would probably shoot down the Iranian jets before they got close to Israel. The Iranian option of using Syria as a forward base for the Iranian jest is starting to look unlikely as that country falls into civil war. Likewise, the Israellis have a limited chance of bombing Iran after the first attack and probably not many cruise missiles they can launch from their Dolphin subs, so it will probably resolve into a lot of posturing along with attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah. If things get too messy the Israellis could strike the Iranian oil terminals, but if EU and US sanctions have killed Iranian oil exports then there is not much point. The US is unlikely to get involved in a fight with Hamas or Hezbollah as Israel doesn't need help on the ground for either, the only US involvement may be arms shipments to Israel like the one in the NYT article, so the whole idea of US having to send young Amercians to die fighting for Israelli is just male-bovine-manure of the silliest and deliberately alarmist kind.

          2. Arthur 1
            Facepalm

            Re: Police?

            I'll leave the historical record stuff to the other commenters and just touch on the antisemitism.

            "You will note if you look into it that Jewish as "race" actually covers multiple ethnic groups, the overwhelming historical evidence of which suggests that none of them (and certainly it's impossible that it's all of them) are descended from ancient Hebrew tribes that were enslaved in Egypt."

            This is false and easily proven false. There was an genetic analysis of Jews from around the world concluded in 2010 as part of the human genome project and published in Nature under strict peer review. It concluded that Jews around the world are genetically linked and "a race" by the definition people like you care about. A quick Google will find you plenty of supporting material.

            Jew is an ethnic group/race/whatever you like to call it. It's not impossible for people of the same ethnic lineage to now have different skin and accents, despite your no doubt expert opinion on the matter.

            Further, the pyramids were built 4000-5000 years ago, the genetic dispersal of the Jews certainly makes it likely they were all in the same place around then.

            " Indeed the only modern-day group that can make credible claims to be descendants of these people are the "Black Jews" who ironically, had to fight hard to be accepted into Israel and still face discrimination for their skin colour there today.""

            This is total horseshit.

            First off, thank you for mentioning the "black Jews" (their proper name is Beta Israel btw, show some respect). Not only did you get everything about them wrong, but they're pretty much the fatal blow to your argument that would show someone less familiar with the topic just how wrong you are.

            There is a Y-chromosome marker shared by Cohens throughout the world, black, white, green, spotted, whatever. It uniquely identifies them all as having come from the same paternal relative several thousand years ago. All of those people, regardless of skin colour, share the same ethnicity (Jew) and a family tree that goes back to a certain priest group. And guess what, the Beta Israel have it (as well as many other genetic markers linking them to other Jewish populations, and those populations to one another).

            Second of all, Israel hates the poor false victim group you're trying to create so much, that Operation Moses, Operation Sheba, Operation Solomon, etc.

            You did get right that there's a shaky historical record of Jewish presence in Egypt at the time, but proverbial broken clock and all. No points for trying to use a minor historical detail to belittle an entire race, either.

            Now have whoever's reading this to you tuck you back in so you can masturbate crying into your Adolph Hitler bedsheets, you're pathetic.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Police?

              "I'll leave the historical record stuff to the other commenters and just touch on the antisemitism."

              Saying that Jewish "race" is no different to anyone else's race in any way that matters or should matter, is not anti-semiticism. It's about as non-prejudiced as you can logically get. PLEASE stop throwing around such nasty ad hominems. I don't know what your issue is but nowhere have I said anything that is remotely anti-semitic and nor will I. You're just nasty in throwing around these accusations. The whole reason we are discussing "Jewishness" is because I pointed out that someone was wrong to say "Jew" when they should have said "Israeli". Just drop these pathetic, offensive ad hominem attacks,

              "This is false and easily proven false. There was an genetic analysis of Jews from around the world concluded in 2010 as part of the human genome project and published in Nature under strict peer review. It concluded that Jews around the world are genetically linked and "a race" by the definition people like you care about"

              I assume by "people like you", you mean people who have an interest in anthropology? I am roughly familiar with the study you refer to. It tested around 220 people I think? Truly a representative sample. The study actually showed, for what it is worth, as much genetic similarity with non-Jewish ethnic groups (such as Italians) than different Jewish ethnic groups had with each other. At any rate, the study was well-received by people who thought it corroborated elements of the Bible. In contrast to that, we have historical records going back to the Roman times of mass conversions to Judaism - they were actually quite alarmed by the wave of evangelism. With entire nations converting in some cases (the Khazar kingdom in the 8th century converted, again a matter of historical record) it is plain that few if any modern day Jews are actually descendents of any tribes imprisoned by the Pharoahs (the original description someone made). At least any more than any other group that doesn't call itself Jewish is. The study you refer to showed that due to inter-breeding, non-Jewish ethnic groups such as Italians, are as much related as most Jewish ethnic groups. Despite the small number of subjects and the attempts to represent the results in a certain way, I'm actually glad you brought it up as it makes my point to some extent. I don't think the results really show what you think they show.

              I am away from my reference books at the moment, but I recommend you read the book by Shlomo Sand that I linked to earlier. As well as being a good collation of the various arguments, the interesting part is the degree to which his well-researched work (he is a professor of history in Tel Aviv) has upset politically motivated believers in the idea of direct descent from the biblical Hebrew tribes. Because there is (as evidenced by opposition to his research) very major political movement to pretend that Jewish people are a "race" when the majority of evidence is against it.

              I don't know what motivates you to reject this argument. It is certainly not an anti-semitic argument: the conclusion is that Jewish people are just the same as everyone else.

              "Jew is an ethnic group/race/whatever you like to call it. It's not impossible for people of the same ethnic lineage to now have different skin and accents, despite your no doubt expert opinion on the matter."

              Well I am expert enough at least not to use ethnicity and race interchangeably as you do. At any rate, I've addressed the above. There are lots of different ethnicities under the umbrella term "Jewish". If you think Jewish is all the same ethnicity then you are showing a staggering ignorance of Jewishness. If you think that a single race cannot include both Jewish and non-Jewish people, then again, you are very ignorant of Jewish populations. I defy you to spot the difference between a Mizrahim Jew and the racially identical Arab. Jew can also refer to a practioner of Judaism of course, but I assume you are discounting those.

              "Further, the pyramids were built 4000-5000 years ago, the genetic dispersal of the Jews certainly makes it likely they were all in the same place around then."

              This makes no sense. There's no causal connection here.

              "This is total horseshit"

              Which part? That the Black Jewish people have the best claim to be closest related to the biblical jews? It's my understanding that this is so, but I could be wrong. Or that Black Jews had to fight hard to be accepted into Israel and that they still face prejudice today? That part can be confirmed just by asking any of them, if you care to. And you can check historical records to see how much resistance there was to accepting them as eligible to become Israeli citizens. Despite their practicing Judaism as a people for a very long time.

              "First off, thank you for mentioning the "black Jews" (their proper name is Beta Israel btw, show some respect). "

              There's nothing disrespectful about calling someone Black, thanks. It's nothing to be ashamed of. And when I said Black Jews (I relish your attempt to try and out-respect the person you are arguing with in order to try and make them look bad). Beta Israel is a bit of a loose term. Properly it should refer to the Ethiopian Jews and their direct descendents. However, it has been somewhat usurped by American Black Jewish people who are definitely converts (of about five generations maximum) and have no direct relationship to the ancient Jews. The Ethiopian Jewish people seem to have the most plausible claim to direct descent to me.

              "There is a Y-chromosome marker shared by Cohens throughout the world, black, white, green, spotted, whatever. It uniquely identifies them all as having come from the same paternal relative several thousand years ago"

              I think you have fallen for some politically motivated science here. I will need you to link to the actual study, but my first instinct is to ask how many non-Cohens share this marker also, how many "Cohens" do not share the marker, and how many markers are commonly shared by other people sharing the same family surname. Secondly, people with the surname Cohen present only a sub-faction of Jewish people. Does the study say anything about these non-Cohen people? Basically, there are so many suspect things with just the abstract you have presented, that I'm going to have to ask you for a link to the study for this to even be considered as evidence.

              "Second of all, Israel hates the poor false victim group you're trying to create so much, that Operation Moses, Operation Sheba, Operation Solomon, etc."

              "Israel" is a nation. Not a race. I personally am sick am tired of having to distance Jewish from Israeli in the face of people such as yourself who continually conflate the two. And if pro-Israeli types hate the "poor false victim group", then perhaps you can stop trying to classify any criticism of the Israeli government's foreign policy with anti-semiticism.

              "No points for trying to use a minor historical detail to belittle an entire race, either."

              Ethnic group, not race. And where have I belittled anyone because of that? My whole position, articulated quite clearly, is that I don't think Jewish is any different to anyone else! How can you simultaneously criticize me for not believing that Jewish is genetically distinct from other people in any relevant way and also claim that I am belittling people because of their race? It does not make sense to me.

              "Now have whoever's reading this to you tuck you back in so you can masturbate crying into your Adolph Hitler bedsheets, you're pathetic."

              And again, the insults, the ad hominems and the putting of words into other people's mouths. I don't know if there are any Reg guidelines about repeatedly demonizing people you disagree with as racists, but if so, you have gone way beyond them repeatedly. Ad hominems and strawmen are the sign of a weak argument.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sea Fox Repurposed

    These things sound easy to hijack and re-purpose. Locate Sea Fox, send in SCUBA divers, follow fiber-optic cable away from the Fox for a safe distance, cut the cable, wait for a (possible) self-destruct ka-boom, if no ka-boom, take home your new pet Fox.

    Spend time with it, train it, and use it for your own nefarious purposes.

    "America... Fuck, Yeah!"

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Sea Fox Repurposed

      And you think that the support team which has launched said fox will be twiddling their thumbs. On a second thought - yeah, why not, even more stupid things have happened in the military.

      In any case, it should be possible to improve this thing so that more of it is reusable (detachable warhead, etc) if it has to be used en-mass. For a limited deployment 100k military list pricing is not that bad - f.e. a modern torpedo costs north of 10k.

    2. Vic

      Re: Sea Fox Repurposed

      > Locate Sea Fox, send in SCUBA divers

      Scuba diving to 300m is possible, but it is not a trivial undertaking...

      Vic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sea Fox Repurposed @Vic

        Since the Persian Gulf and the straits are at most a couple of hundred feet deep that's not going to be a problem. Moreover, floating or moored mines will be at the surface, or within seventy feet of it. However, the Iranians would be able to float sufficient mines that there wouldn't be the resource to SCUBA them, or use these submersibles.

        For those that are interested, there's plenty of (public domain) detail on the Iranian "threat" in this link:

        http://csis.org/files/publication/120711_Iran_Gulf_MilBal.pdf

        The sponsoring institution is a US political think tank, but before anybody dismisses it on that account, read the document - it is in fact very balanced, with some excellent discussion of the positions and thinking of both sides. There's a second volume on the same site looking at the nuclear and non-conventional threats, if you can get through the first one!

        1. Vic

          Re: Sea Fox Repurposed @Vic

          > the Persian Gulf and the straits are at most a couple of hundred feet deep

          Max depth in the Straits of Hormuz is 90m.

          90m is a non-trivial dive on Scuba.

          > that's not going to be a problem

          How many dives have you done to 90m? How many to " a couple of hundred feet", for that matter?

          > Moreover, floating or moored mines will be at the surface, or within seventy feet of it.

          But a submarine would not. It would approach at depth, then rise to meet its target. To do otherwise is to make it an easy target.

          Vic.

          1. Psyx

            Re: Sea Fox Repurposed @Vic

            "90m is a non-trivial dive on Scuba."

            If navy divers baulk at 90m dives, then they ain't navy divers!

            1. Vic

              Re: Sea Fox Repurposed @Vic

              > If navy divers baulk at 90m dives, then they ain't navy divers!

              Nobody mentioned baulking at anything.

              What I'm trying to point out is that a 90m dive is non-trivial, and you don't just plonk divers in willy-nilly.

              Trying to take out a mini-sub with using divers is a non-starter.

              Vic.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sea Fox Repurposed @Vic

            Why the willy waving about how far I've SCUBA'd? I was making the observation that the 300m deep comment was irrelevant, as it the fact that I've done zero SCUBA diving. If you think you're a diving hero, good for you, but that's irrelevant to the debate as well. I was pointing out that it would be possible to use SCUBA as proposed *but* it wouldn't help very much. You can argue the first half if you really want, doesn't make any difference to the second half.

            And the fact that subs can go deeper, so what? Conventional subs are useless in the Gulf because it is too shallow for safe and undetected operation. The exception is the Iranian mini-subs. which are something of an unknown quantity in modern warfare.

            But suffice to say that the Iranians have fistfuls of options to close the straits, and those who would keep the straits open have to counter any mix of mines, missiles, torpedoes, and bombs, launched from shore, fast boats, ships, mini subs, aircraft, helicopters, even drones, and they've got the option of a few Zeebrugge style scuttlings, given the shallow depths involved. A credible threat will mean that the tanker owners won't have insurance cover - the oil states involved could offer cash coverage, but after the first sinking would the crews be willing? So (as with the proverbial terrorist) the Iranians only need to get lucky once; their opponents need to be lucky all day, every day.

            As far as I can tell, we agree that the Iranians can close the straits, but shall we keep trying to argue anyway?

            1. Vic

              Re: Sea Fox Repurposed @Vic

              > Why the willy waving about how far I've SCUBA'd?

              It's not willy-waving. It's an attempt to get you to think about the depths you're talking about. Your "at most a couple of hundred feet deep" comment indicates that you have no understanding of the logistics of getting men to that depth and keeping them there for sufficient time to be able to do anything useful.

              > I've done zero SCUBA diving.

              I suspected as much. It might be a good idea to bear that in mind when discussing the viability of underwater attack at any great depth.

              > I was pointing out that it would be possible to use SCUBA as proposed

              And I was pointing out that it *wouldn't*.

              > shall we keep trying to argue anyway?

              Depends. Are you planning on continuing to talk complete tosh about diving?

              Vic.

      2. JeffyPooh Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Sea Fox Repurposed

        300m ?

        If Iran lays mines 300m deep in the Persian Gulf, they're not going to have much effect on shipping - what with being buried at least 210 m under the seabed and all.

      3. Steve Renouf
        FAIL

        Re: Sea Fox Repurposed

        I don't think there are likely to be many mines deployed at that depth - the ships would be able to quite happily sail/steam past them. (I don't know of any ships with that draft!)

      4. Psyx
        Stop

        Re: Sea Fox Repurposed

        It's entirely moot. The Straits are far shallower than 300m.

        I've outlined far more damning reasons not to try the stunt elsewhere, though.

    3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: cut cable?

      Well, duh, that's easy: "Carrier lost - self destruct sequence initiated."

      I want to see you locate and then splice an optical cable underwater whilst moving, so you can data tap before cutting the original connection. You also have to keep the original signal going at the same time. That's even hard in laboratory conditions, let alone underwater at a depth which is bloody hard to get to without special kit.

      1. Number6

        Re: cut cable?

        Especially when Chuck Norris isn't on your side.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: cut cable?

        As destruction of said sea fox is almost as good, from the diver's point of view, as getting it back home, I fail to see your point. The mine is still there and it just cost the US the price of a small house when everyone knows they have trouble paying groceries right now.

        1. Don Jefe
          Meh

          Re: cut cable? - Groceries

          Having trouble paying for groceries? I'm not sure what you've been reading but the U.S. Has plenty of money & their debt service load is still among the lowest on the planet.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: cut cable? - Groceries

            "Having trouble paying for groceries? I'm not sure what you've been reading but the U.S. Has plenty of money & their debt service load is still among the lowest on the planet."

            Maybe the country has. But an awful lot of the awful lot of unemployed people are struggling!

    4. Psyx
      FAIL

      Re: Sea Fox Repurposed

      Errr... several problems with that.

      1) It works in tandem with sonar. sonar can see divers in the water. You can't just sneak up on it.

      2) It does six knots. Have you tried swimming at six knots with SCUBA gear for any period of time?

      3) How do you take it home?

      4) How do you even get near it in SCUBA gear? How far are you going to ask your divers to swim? The idea of swimming even 'just' ten miles is a little insane. So Iran needs a method of getting divers in and out of the water in an area being operated in by the USN. Are they just going to drive a dive boat up and plop off the side?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Move along - nothing to see here

    Pah! UK has been using SEAFOX for the last 6 years

    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Seafox_For_The_Royal_Navy.html

    Wake me up when some interesting news comes along

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

      Re: Move along - nothing to see here

      Yeah. We've got them. Maybe half a dozen.

      1. Graham Dawson

        Re: Move along - nothing to see here

        We also had the RG-31, the vehicle that would have saved so many of our armed forces lives in Iraq if only we'd used it instead of the bloody landrover, before the Americans had even heard of the concept of using V-shaped monocoque hulls for better mine protection - and then we sold them off and went back to the landrover because... well, nobody actually knows.

        This doesn't prove anything related to the article, except the MoD and the military top brass are fuckwits who will probably sell off our mine-sweeping capabilities just when the government decides that we really need to do something in the gulf and the Iranians decide that yes, they will start mining the strait of hormuz from coast to coast.

        1. Chimp

          Re: Move along - nothing to see here

          Nothing wrong with a landy, in the right place, and at the right time. The wrong time, obviously, is when a load of composition B goes off under your arse.

          1. Kevin Turvey
            Gimp

            Re: Move along - nothing to see here

            I find it most disagreeable when a load preparation H goes off under my arse!

            1. Arthur 1

              Re: Move along - nothing to see here

              Frankly, I don't want any loads in my arse.

              Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  8. Richard 12 Silver badge

    $100,000!? Fail!

    Come on, if you want to do it this way then your foxes have to be a similar cost to the number of mines each can destroy.

    Otherwise it becomes an economic battle that you will lose.

    That is why mines (sea and land) are effective, after all. Very cheap and fast to deploy, extremely expensive and slow to clear.

    I am wondering why they think this is better than the traditional methods though, as it's slower and costs more.

    I suppose kamikaze robots sound cool, and it is a logical evolution of the torpedo. Which probably answers the question. You don't torpedo mines...

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: $100,000!? Fail!

      The Seafox is just one weapon available. It is meant to save the lives of divers that might otherwise have to dive into a dangerous area to place demolition charges on mines that might themselves be boobytrapped. It is also meant to save the crews of US mine-hunting helicopters that might otherwise have to go into an area covered by enemy SAMs, and an MH-53E is a lot more than $100,000, especially when you factor in the human cost of the crew.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: $100,000!? Fail!

      One would have though a more effective mine clearing technique would be to fly overhead with a c130 and dump thousands of cannonball sized electro-magnets out of the back. Sure it's not exactly environmentally friendly but then again, neither are mines.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: $100,000!? Fail!

        Several tons of iron filings probably do the same job, again not very environmentally friendly, but effective.

    3. Psyx

      Re: $100,000!? Fail!

      "Otherwise it becomes an economic battle that you will lose."

      No: It becomes an economic battle where the US are using $100k weapons and Iran are using $5k ones. That isn't *automatically* a losing battle for the US, remember.

  9. Christoph Silver badge

    "at around $100,000 a unit it's an expensive way to clear obstacles"

    Or: It's a profitable way to flog yet more weapons for yet another war.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      On the upside

      It's nice to a non American company stiffing Uncle Sam for large chunks of cash on a regular basis.

      No doubt the USN will start a competition for a US version which will (naturally) be won by LockMart or BAe

  10. Mikey
    Trollface

    Let's see... 100k a pop, to a German arms manufacturer, several thousand mines... Isn't this just a sneaky way to financially prop up the failing euro?

    1. Dave Harris 1

      Propping up the Euro?

      No, 'cos it'd still only add up to a few billion at most - a drop in the ocean.

      BTW, take anything you read about the Sea Fox's capabilities with a large pinch of salt - the publicly available info on these things is very rarely the truth.

      BTW2, does Iran really think the USN - and any others who happen to be in the vicinity - are going to just sit by and watch them mining the sea before starting to take action?

      1. Arthur 1

        Re: Propping up the Euro?

        >BTW2, does Iran really think the USN - and any others who happen to be in the vicinity - are going to just sit by and watch them mining the sea before starting to take action?

        I was wondering this too. The small surface boats idea is a non-starter, and even if the mini-sub thing does work once, the strait is so shallow and sonar is very good nowadays. People would find out damn fast, and at that point you can start shooting at incoming ships or just blockading their ports and inspecting. There's not really a lot of water to cover, which benefits the USN at that point.

        Then wait for the Iranian propaganda machine to tell us that deploying 7 mines at the cost of their entire navy and thousands of lives was a "great victory". Maybe they'll actually hire Sasha Baron Cohen to read the press release.

        1. Psyx

          Re: Propping up the Euro?

          Whereas the US using $100k drones to sink $5000 mines is a great victory for the West?

          As regards getting them in the water... just drop them off the side of fishing or leisure ships. Weather them first to get them nice and tarnished, and let them drift, then claim they were twenty years old and not the fault of the modern regime. The USN can scream 'but that's bollocks' as much as they like, but if reasonable doubt is sown, it might put enough of a question over the matter to prevent a full-scale retaliation.

          And if Iran is really sneaky and want to evade eyes-in-the-sky, then just modify the hulls of fishing boats to sneakily drop mines out the bottom, to avoid the humiliation of some Whitehouse spokesman shining a laser-pointer at a nice press-conference picture of burly Iranian sailors plopping their hefty payload over the side (or even of them putting mines in the water...!)

  11. Dave Perry
    Stop

    Rayguns

    Wouldn't they be more cost effective, or would the light refraction distort the beam direction too much? If I remember my physics, can't you calculate the necessary angle?

    1. A 11
      FAIL

      Re: Rayguns

      Too much energy absorbed by the water.

  12. Flash_Penguin

    Wasn't the RN the USA minesweeping force?

    Things have changed since I left obviously. The spetics didn't used to muck about with that difficult minesweeping stuff, instead contracting out to the RN tupperware fleet to do it for them. Maybe we are so busy with the olympics we cant spare the time. It would be a shame if we have lost our edge in this important arena.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wasn't the RN the USA minesweeping force?

      Due to budget cuts our RN is now really made of tupperware bowls armed with pea shooters

  13. Earth Resident

    I have to say from the outset that anything that encourages or makes an attack on Iran anything but a disaster for the US and/or UK is insane. Look at what happened in 1941 when the US backed the Japanese Empire into a corner by cutting off their oil supply among other sanctions -- the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    That is what I believe the Obama administration and the congress (and the EU sadly enough) are trying to do... corner the Iranian government to the point where they do something rash or stupid.

    That having been said, here is another example of the incredible inanity of the war budget. They can spend $100,000 to take out a $2,000 (who knows) mine because money is no object. What a bargain, same price as murdering an innocent American teenager in Yemen with a drone strike.

    What would make more sense is autonomous surveillance and active counter-mining drones that would map the mines' positions and set charges where possible. Then, if needed, the charges could be exploded all at once to create pathways that allied ships could use strategically.

    Blowing up Iran's defenses willy-nilly beforehand will just increase the pressure and the volatility in an already tense situation.

    Which, coincidentally, is the entire purpose for this weapon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "That is what I believe the Obama administration and the congress (and the EU sadly enough) are trying to do... corner the Iranian government to the point where they do something rash or stupid."

      Well... yes. 'Stan is winding down and didn't go too well, and so the US needs to justify defence budgets and prop up all those nice lobbying war-mongering defence businesses with a nice, new war.

      It's like when you play Civ and build up a nice, big army to sort out someone who annoyed you. You do the job, and you still have this really big army, and it needs something to *do*...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They seem to forget there are TWO reasons why the world is in a crisis

    The world is in a crisis as a direct consequence of their sensitivity to whatever stupidity the US can come up with.

    The crisis had TWO causes: (1) Wall Street and (2) incessant warfare. Warfare is the fastest way to convert your tax money in nice pocket filling for a selected few (those who make the weaponry) and conveniently lacks any decent control over spending.

    Remember kids: every time it says "Bang" somewhere, the costs of a school of hospital has just been spent by adults who should know better. It also conveniently foments the hatred that keeps the wars happening again and again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They seem to forget there are TWO reasons why the world is in a crisis

      You forget that terrorists have no clue or conscience. If you're an Iranian planning to try and stop free international ship travel you have a Death Wish.

      The sad reality is terrorist want to die as martyrs and they hope to kill as many innocent people as they can in the process. If we could negotiate with terrorists, we'd be sitting at the negotiation table, not preparing to remove mines from international water ways...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They seem to forget there are TWO reasons why the world is in a crisis

        "The sad reality is terrorist want to die as martyrs and they hope to kill as many innocent people as they can in the process."

        Keep swallowing the propaganda! That's not really true at all.

        Humans don't just go out and try to kill innocents and die for no real reason. They have to be motivated. Every horrific murderer who straps on a suicide vest does it for a reason. Often those reasons are akin to "A US bomb dropped out of the sky from nowhere and killed my entire family" and a suicide vest seems like retaliation in kind. War and hatred breeds war and hatred, and just writing off Iran as 'terrorists' and poo-pooing the idea of negotiating with 'animals', rather than seeing them as aggrieved human beings with often legitimate issues (albeit from a differing viewpoint) is essentially the kind of mentality that can lead to a massive loss of life.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: They seem to forget there are TWO reasons why the world is in a crisis

          "....Humans don't just go out and try to kill innocents and die for no real reason....." An excellent point. But, as has been pointed out many times before, even at the UN, even the "moderate" Paletsinian Authority has been guilty of teaching children from a young age to hate Jews as part of their school curriculum. It's even worse in Gaza, with Hamas using their childrens' TV shows to glorify suicide bombings and eradicating Israel (examples here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi-c6lbFGC4). The nasty truth is that this is not exclusive to just the Palestinian Arabs but is common across Arab countries and Iran.

          1. Psyx
            Thumb Up

            Re: They seem to forget there are TWO reasons why the world is in a crisis

            Not wrong of course, but it is still a very distinct and not-human thing to do to strap on a vest, rip a chord and take your own life as well as a bunch of women or children... no matter what you've been taught to believe. It goes against the very nature of man to do so, and even soldiers sometimes neglect to pull the trigger on armed combatants because of it.

            I personally doubt any of us would kill another human just because our favourite childhood cartoon characters from childhood used to do it. I loved Wile E Coyote (now sadly remembered more for his failures than for his amazingly authentic art depicting tunnels), but I don't think it's morally ok to dynamite blue ostriches.

            Having spent time in the Gulf, there really isn't a blanket hatred of the West that we seem to be getting told about. And speaking to people who are aggrieved to various extent (everything from "decadent westerners have got all the money and keep people who sell them cheap oil in power, who then brutally oppress us" through to far more extreme situations), most of them would still never dream of killing an innocent child over it. You've got to be both very messed in the head (but remember: Psychopaths are self-centred, not suicidal) and to have a serious grudge in order to be driven to suicide attacks.

            Ultimately, most people have a fairly valid grudge of some sort from their perspective (just try telling someone that their child was acceptable collateral damage in a war over cheaper oil used to make plastic for a new 42" colour TV), and labelling them as simple 'terrorists' isn't going to help find a solution. For an IT-angle, let's throw in the words 'Root Cause Analysis'. Maybe if that drone's warhead had been a little smaller it wouldn't have made someone an instant widower with a grudge, for example.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: They seem to forget there are TWO reasons why the world is in a crisis

              "....it is still a very distinct and not-human thing to do to strap on a vest, rip a chord and take your own life as well as a bunch of women or children... no matter what you've been taught to believe. It goes against the very nature of man to do so...." Trying to judge and predict the actions of non-Westerners by using Western values is exactly the type of fail exposed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18897772.

  15. Magani
    Mushroom

    Why not just eliminate the problem?

    If closing the Straits of Hormuz is going to be a problem (and it will), why not eliminate the need for all these mega tankers to go into the Gulf at all?

    Solution: Build a pipeline from somewhere safe in the Gulf to somewhere like Sohar on the northern Omani coastline totally removing the need to go through the straits. Then the Geraniums will have lost any blackmail potential and can go back to rattling sabres at Israel. Maybe even the insurance companies will drop their exorbitant rates for vessels who enter said waterway.

    No idea about the cost but it can't amount to more than a few days' production from the Gulf oil states.

    Icon is what would be a worst case scenario. :-(

    1. Earth Resident

      Re: Why not just eliminate the problem?

      Why not just honor the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and just allow Iran to generate nuclear power? They are signatories -- unlike Israel to whose nuclear weapons we purposely ignore and India to whom the US sells nuclear fuel. According to the language of the treaty, members are obliged to encourage the peaceful use of nuclear power... along with encouraging nuclear disarmament which seems to have been forgotten.

      Funny, when you treat other peoples (and your own citizens) with respect suddenly they have less of a reason to cause you harm.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Re: Why not just eliminate the problem?

        "Why not just honor the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty....." Because the Iranians are in breach of their NPT obligations, as decided by the UN (see here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_program_of_Iran#Iran.27s_nuclear_program_and_the_NPT).

        "....when you treat other peoples (and your own citizens) with respect suddenly they have less of a reason to cause you harm." Yes, so when the Iranian regime make statements about wiping other countries off the map, lies to the UN and IAEA, funds terrorist groups like Hezbollah, the Mahdi Army and Hamas, and are directly involved in terrorist bombings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_AMIA_bombing), then you may start to understand why others seem the Iranian regime as less than trustworthy and unworthy of respect.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Flame

          Oh Matty

          Israel's opponents are "Terrorists", but what is the Israeli Army ? They support "settlers" when they steal arable land from Arab families (which they owned for dozens of generations) by pointing guns at those Arabs. If they don't go away they will shoot them. How the heck do you call that ?

          I offer

          A) Apartheid

          and

          B) State-Terrorism.

          Pick one or both, Mr Matty. Btw, how is Itanium doing ?

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Oh Matty

            ".....They support "settlers" when they steal arable land from Arab families...." Strange, never a peep from you handwringers about all the Jews that used to live in the West Bank before the 1948 war. Or the ones that got evcited from their homes in East Jerusalem when the Jordanians controlled the area. Did you ever stop to wonder how come there are so many Jewish religeous sites in the West Bank if all the land was always owned by Arabs? Or how about the 600,000 Jews that got evicted from surrounding Arab countries after the 1948 war, but were welcomed in Israel, whilst the Palestinian Arab refugess that went to neighbouring Arab countries were herder into refugee camps and kept destitute? I guess you just think that Jews aren't as worthy of frothing as Arabs.

            "....how is Itanium doing ?" We installed a nice new Superdome 2 just last month, thanks, part of our ongoing program. Overall Itanium sales do seem down according to The Reg but still a lot healthier than Sun's. But are you just trying to skip off the the issue were you've just been exposed as an anti-semite?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Flame

              Yeah, "Anti-Semitism"

              The Third Reich killed lots of Jews and therefore they are entitled to steal Arab land at gunpoint ? I guess that is "Zionist Algebra".

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                Re: Yeah, "Anti-Semitism"

                Well, apart form the Mufti of Jersualem (Arafat's uncle, IIRC) being a personal friend of old Adolph, there was also the certain all-Muslim Bosnian SS division that the Mufti was very keen on. The Mufti was very happy with Hitler's efforts to exterminate the Jews. But I guess that wasn't on your herder-approved reading list, little sheep.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Magani Re: Why not just eliminate the problem?

      "Build a pipeline from somewhere safe in the Gulf"

      There's no such place. Pipelines are "physically vulnerable infrastructure". They are subject to sabotage and destruction. Unless you've got military units covering the entire length of the pipeline, it's fully-vulnerable to physical attack.

      "Maybe even the insurance companies will drop their exorbitant rates for vessels who enter said waterway."

      Heh. You seriously think that? If so, I have a bridge to sell you...

      1. Magani
        Meh

        @AC 14:22 Why not just eliminate the problem?

        " "Build a pipeline from somewhere safe in the Gulf"

        There's no such place. Pipelines are "physically vulnerable infrastructure". They are subject to sabotage and destruction. Unless you've got military units covering the entire length of the pipeline, it's fully-vulnerable to physical attack "

        It may have escaped your notice, but the Gulf states are actually chock a block full of oil and gas pipelines and they take their security rather seriously as it's in their interests to do so. From memory, I can't recall one being sabotaged recently (Saddam's last gasp in Kuwait notwithstanding).

        ""Maybe even the insurance companies will drop their exorbitant rates for vessels who enter said water way."

        Heh. You seriously think that? If so, I have a bridge to sell you..."

        Guess you missed the implied cynical tag. I'll pass on the bridge offer, but thanks anyway.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: @AC 14:22 Why not just eliminate the problem?

          Looks like the UAE has taken up the idea - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-18848986. Al-Fujayrah is just north of the UAE-Oman border and outside the Straits of Hormuz.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Why not just eliminate the problem?

      Because the Iranians would simply blow up the pipeline. Oh, sorry, I meant to say some Shia fundamentalist group, completely unconnected with the Iranian government, would blow it up. Wouldn't want anyone to apportion blame incorrectly.

      1. Psyx

        Re: Why not just eliminate the problem?

        It's still be cheaper to police such a pipeline with 24/7 UAV, AWACS and foot-patrols than it would be to do the same to the Strait, though.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Re: Why not just eliminate the problem?

          Just as long as there aren't any Nigerians working nearbye....

          http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/6209845.stm

          /kaaaaaBLOOOOIIE!!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why not just eliminate the problem?

            Yeah, I heard they were into drilling for petrol.... from pipelines..... most unfortunate!

  16. Number6

    All in one go

    Clear the straits of shipping, drop a couple of nuclear depth bombs and the shock wave will probably encourage all the mines to join in the general explosion. Added bonus of also disrupting the minelaying effort by sinking the minisubs. Further added bonus of effectively dredging the channel. Downside is the 'nuclear' part,

    1. Fibbles

      Re: All in one go

      When the British sent a task-force to retake the Falklands in the 80's the HMS Sheffield was allegedly equipped with nuclear depth charges. Although they were hounded by a German made Argentine submarine throughout the operation, only conventional depth charges were used for fear of the precedent it would set. This despite the fact a nuclear charge would have almost certainly destroyed the submarine.

      Are you seriously suggesting the US start using nuclear weapons against a country that they're currently castigating for supposedly trying to develop said weapons? Couple this with Iran already fearing for it's very existence in the shadow of Israel's undeclared nuclear armaments and you're setting up a situation where the Islamic Republic is backed into a corner with nowhere to go and they're only option is death or glory tactics akin to the Japanese in the 40's.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: All in one go

        From a child hood spent studying the literature and cinematic output on this topic - it's obvious that any German submarine technology can be countered by an officer that looks like the captain out of TinTin and a couple of chirpy cockneys that unaccountably speak like an upper class dick van Dyke.

      2. wayne 8 Bronze badge
        Stop

        Re: Japan's peaceful Pan-Asia Imperial Racist ambitions circa 1940

        "backed into a corner with nowhere to go and they're only option is death or glory tactics akin to the Japanese in the 40's."

        These comparisons are ridiculous given what the Japanese were doing in China, Korea, and their plans for all of SE Asia, the Phillipines, etc. The Japanese were building a Japanese empire based on worship of the Emperor, an empire based on the racial superiority of the Japanese. Then the mean old USA came along and backed Japan into a corner, distracting Japan from raping China, Korea, etc. and forced the Japanese to go to war, oh wait, the Japanese were already at war, with fellow Asians nations and the British Empire.

        Give this dead horse up. It has been beaten enough.

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Japan's peaceful Pan-Asia Imperial Racist ambitions circa 1940

          You're concentrating on the wrong part of the 40's there. I was drawing a comparison to when the US was storming across the Pacific retaking captured land and building up to an invasion of the Japanese home islands. The Japanese were prepared to fight down to the last man rather than surrender and I suspect Iran will be much the same should it actually come to war.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          @wayne 8

          You kindly forget that it was US warships "opening" Japan to trade in the 19th century. By pointing their guns at the helpless Japanese of course.

          The Japanese concluded that their strategy of isolating themselves from the shitty and uncivilized world of Anglo-American colonialism had failed. They reckoned that only a powerful navy and an aggressive colonial policy like the Anglo-American would ensure their freedom.

          At Pearl Harbour, America was paid back that injustice - the sons died the death for the sins of their grand-grandfathers.

          With Iran it is almost identical - America eliminated a democratic Iranian government because Anglosaxon economic interest of the was threatened. They set up the nasty dictator named Shah and backed his even more nasty secret police, who killed dissenters in scores. The Iranians finally got rid of the American Dictator and now you have an enemy who hates you from the depth of their soul.

          Think about that when you marvel at the shit out of a Tom Clancy novel. All the shit you mete out will one day be slapped in your own face or the face of your son or grandson.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Stop

            Some Yank Education Here

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammad_Mosaddegh

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Japan#End_of_seclusion

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    simple.....

    isn't this a case of the classic old joke about America and the USSR one spends millions making a pen work in space, the other uses a pencil...

    perhaps im being a bit dim and I have no previous knowledge of this subject out side of history books so its quite likely I am, but is it not possible to employ something like Churchill's Funnies to take care of them, some kind of low keel plastic boat dragging something heavy, and magnetic behind it....

    That's assuming they are using contact or magnetic mines I suppose but still, even if that got blown up it would cost a lot less than 100k

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      If You Are A Proper Engineer

      ..you will take a standard torpedo, a raspberry PI, some electrically actuated valves, some cheap hydrophones, a nitrogen bottle and an empty fire extinguisher. You will combine all of these into an "intelligent" mine which lies on the seabed and which will listen for ship's propeller noises.

      Software will determine course and distance of the target ship and if it is close and slow enough the valves will open, the torpedo will float towards the surface and the motor will start. It will turn towards the target and start running fast. I can assure you, an RPI is all the "intelligence" you need.

      I am not sure they have this capability, but I would not rule it out.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is a good opportunity...

    ...for pilots and gunners to practice sinking terrorist Iranian boats. Night time practice should prove to be the best training. The only good terrorist is very dead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Interesting To See Propaganda WORK

      You know what good Mr Hitler told the boys he sent to the eastern front ? "Enemies of European civilization lurk behind the eastern border of Germany. It is your duty to save Europe from this Bolshevist threat by war."

      Nowadays they use a bit different wording, "Bolshevism" has been replaced by "Terrorism" and "WMD". Maybe you look up who made the current Iranian government, who runs an Apartheid state suppressing Arabs and who is the 200-nuclear-cruise-missile-on-most-modern submarines Gorilla in this game.

      Here are some links for you, boy:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolphin_class_submarine

      http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimona#Atomreaktor_bei_Dimona (use translate.google.com)

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Interesting To See Propaganda WORK

        I call Godwin! You lose, even before you got started frothing.

        ".....who runs an Apartheid state suppressing Arabs...." Are you talking about the Lebanon, which will not allow Palestinian Arab refugees to register as Lebanese, or have proper jobs or benefits, having done so in breach of international refugee laws for over sixty years? Or about the Palestinian Authority, which has made it illegal for Jews to own land in the part of the West Bank the PA controls, illegal (on pain of death) for PA Arabs to sell land to Jews, and wants to evict all Jews from the West Bank? That's also called ethnic cleansing. Please do go on regurgitating the standard handwringer FUD because it is very easy to debunk.

      2. Arthur 1

        Re: Interesting To See Propaganda WORK

        Using hate terms like "Israeli Apartheid" pretty much torpedoes your own argument from the get-go.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Flame

          Oh It is a "hate term", when it comes to Zionism

          Could you please elaborate why treating black-skinned people like shit is Apartheid, while treating less dark-skinned people of Muslim or Christian faith like shit is what ? "defence" ? "regaining territory promised by our malicious $deity" ?

          What they do clearly is a Flavour of Apartheid and it will tremendously hurt their own long-term security interests. Other Arabs are rightly furious about Arab people being stolen their land and being made right-less refugees on their own territory. Iran is rightfully supplying those Arabs with weapons to defend themselves from these egregious crimes.

          If the current Israeli leadership were not a bunch of muppets they would strictly stick to their side of the wall they have erected. They trade some petty advantages for a long-term threat to the very existence of Israel.

          Before you ask, I am German and I am not a Muslim and I hate the Bullcrap from the mainstream media and the mainstream church and their priests who can rationalize every shitty action powerful people can concoct.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Stop

            Sigmar Gabriel Also Thinks it is Apartheid

            See: http://www.focus.de/politik/ausland/spd-chef-sorgt-ueber-facebook-fuer-aerger-gabriel-wirft-israel-apartheidspolitik-vor_aid_724483.html

            and how the Zionist are trying to silence him. Mr Gabriel is the top SPD man, one of the two largest parties in Germany.

          2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Oh It is a "hate term", when it comes to Zionism

            Young Crow is obviosuly too young to have done any form of history classes.

            "....What they do clearly is a Flavour of Apartheid...." Total and immediate fail. In Israel, Israeli Arabs can vote, own property, and marry who they wish. In the PA-controlled West Bank, Jews cannot own property, cannot vote and cannot marry a Palestinian Arab without that Arab being killed by their own family or clan. Guess you just need to learn the meaning of the word "apratheid" before you start slinging it around. Total, complete fail.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Flame

              @Lame Matt

              Yes, Israeli Arabs do have some rights. But I was writing about the Arabs in the west bank and gaza. They don't have property rights, they can't trade with other nations, they cannot travel. So your petty argument is half-true - if you have an Israeli passport your basic rights might be respected, but if you are just a "conquered person", your rights are the same as those of a black man in South Africa circa 1980.

              Jewish "Settlers" can kill you, take away your land and all they will get is a slap on the wrist from the Israeli "Army". Actually, a bunch of Terrorists, not an Army who respect the international laws of war.

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: @Lame Matt

                "Yes, Israeli Arabs do have some rights...." Only some? They have the same as Israelli citizens of other religions.

                "....But I was writing about the Arabs in the west bank and gaza. They don't have property rights...." Gaza has not been under Israelli occupation since 2005, so that point alone shows up the complete fallacy of your arguments. And even before then the Gazans could own and buy or sell their property as they liked. As for the West Bank, there is plenty of land owned by Arabs there and they can sell it as long as they don't sell it to Jews, unlike in Israel where an Israelli Arab can by land from any other Israelli. You fail again.

                ".....they can't trade with other nations....." And why not? Did you ever stop to ask why the Israellis started to build the barrier and control their borders? To stop terrorist attacks on Israelli civillians. Before the Intifada, the prime employer for West Bank Arabs and Gazans was actually companies in Israel, especially in the construction and agricultural industries. Fruit and flowers and other produce from the West Bank and Gaza was shipped out internationaly. After the barrier went up and stricter controls came in, the Israelli companies were scrabbling around for people to make up for the loss of Palestinian Arab employees, having to import cheap labour from the Far East, and the majority of the Palestinian Arabs were left with no employment. Which explains why more than 50% of the Gazans are completely reliant on EU and US handouts. Even more ironic was the fact that the Intifada made other Arab states less likely to employ "troublesome" Palestinian Arabs, particulalry in Jordan which had suffered two attempts by the PLO to take over the country. Palestinian Arab terrorism screwed the Palestinian Arabs, but then that was what countries like Iran wanted as unemployed, depressed people make for better suicide bombers.

                "....but if you are just a "conquered person"...." ROFL! The Arabs had the chance to accept the UN partition plan in 1947 that would have given them the majority of the Palestine area now in the internationally-recognised country of Israel, on top of the three-quarters already set aside as Transjordan which was to be Arab-only. But the Arab leaders - especially their religious leaders - baulked at the idea of any Jews having any land in Palestine, despite there being a proven Jewish presence in Palestine for thousands of years and long before the rise of Islam. Fast forward sixty years and the Palestinian Arabs are suffering from that Arab greed and prejudice. Your frothing is even more amusing as the "refugees" in Arab countries like the Lebanon or Syrai have LESS rights and LESS opportunites for education and employment than those in the West Bank, and nowhere near the rights and opportunities afforded Israelli Arabs.

                All you are displaying is your complete lack of knowledge on the subject.

              2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: @Lame Matt

                "....Jewish "Settlers" can kill you, take away your land and all they will get is a slap on the wrist from the Israeli "Army"...." The Israelli Army regularly evicts Jews from illegal settlements that are built without the proper authorisations in the West Bank or that are seena s confrontational with the Arabs (here are just a few examples; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7764984.stm, http://updatednews.ca/2012/06/26/west-bank-jewish-settlers-leave-ulpana-outpost/). Jewish settlers that are caught assaulting Arabs or plotting terrorisr acts are tried and convicted (such as this case; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3151930.stm). Palestinian Arabs that assault or kill Israelli civillians are hailed as heroes by the Palestinian Arabs (examples; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalal_Mughrabi, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahya_Ayyash). Even those that murder the youngest of children are "heroes" to the Palestinian Arabs if they kill Jewish children (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samir_Kuntar).

                The evictions of Jewish settlers by the Israelli Army and Border Police can be violent, just like when the Israelli Army had to evict settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and from the Sinai in 1979-1982. Both of those latter events were when Israel WITHDREW from land seized during wars resulting from Arab aggression, and in both cases it was because Israel wanted peace. The Arab response was to kill the Egyptian premier that had negotiated peace with Israel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_El_Sadat). Given the Palestinian Arab response of more and more terror attacks, it is hardly likely the Israellis will give up any more land so trustingly.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh It is a "hate term", when it comes to Zionism

            ‘The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.’

            —‘Die Deutschen werden den Juden Auschwitz nie verzeihen.’ Henryk Broder quoting Zvi Rex in ‘Der Ewige Antisemit: Über Sinn und Funktion eines beständigen Gefühls’ (1986), p.130.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is a good opportunity...

      "The only good terrorist is very dead."

      People who wear uniforms, drive flagged boats purchased under a host nation's defence budget, operating in national waters, aiming to destroy military vessels are by very definition NOT TERRORISTS.

      If they are, then what the hell does that make the guy with his finger on a UAV's pickle switch, dropping a Hellfire into a village out of nowhere, hoping to get one guy, and considering any family members or bystanders as to be justifiable collateral damage?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Countermeasures?

    Although the Sea Fox can operate down to 300 meters, it will be deployed at the depth of the Iranian mines. And since they are targeting shipping traffic, they will be shallow.

    Since the Sea Fox is tethered to its destroyer mother ship with a fiber optic cable, all that one needs to do is to snag that cable with a hook towed from a speedboat. Possibly even an unmanned boat. It will either be cut or, worse yet, wrapped back around the destroyer.

    I hope these things don't have a self destruct mode.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Countermeasures?

      The USN operating in the Gulf also advises all craft to maintain a set distance and to not interfere in their operations. Any speedboat getting close enough to interfere would be reduced to wreckage in very short order.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Me confused re optic cable

      The article says the SeaFox might be dropped from a helicopter... how does that work with a tether?

      Does the 'copter hover about in the vicinity til the sub finds a mine?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy solution

    Country X says it's going to block the Strait of Hormuz with mines.

    Sink all of country X's mine ships before they get the chance.

    No need to waste more money on Sea Foxes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy solution

      Can't do that... It's politically unpopular to attack terrorists until after they kill innocent people.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    great name

    If it had to dock in say, Newcastle, England, could it be renamed for the nonce? ;)

  22. DougS Silver badge
    FAIL

    Stupid design

    If it is going to be destroyed by the mine anyway, why does it need the shaped charge? Don't mines detonate when something hits them? All the sub needs to do is run into it. Hard to imagine something that just changes depth and moves slowly controlled by a fiber optic cable needs to cost anything like that. I wonder if there are hobbyist minisubs similar to the hobbyist RC planes, helicopters and boats? Bet those could ram the mine for much less than $100K!

    Perhaps this won't work because the mines require a substantial amount of force (as with a heavy and/or fast ship) to detonate? If that's the case, then you should be able to have the minisub attach a shaped charge to the mine with a timed fuse and get away to a safe distance before it blows. Or once it verifies the mine, back away to a safe distance and hit it with a mini torpedo with a shaped charge in the head (OK, a minisub that shoots mini torpedos surely costs more than $100K, but unless those mini torpedos are very expensive you'd still come out ahead)

    Unfortunately the DoD currently has essentially no cost constraints, as thousands of minisubs at $100K doesn't even add up to a billion dollars. This is a rounding error in their budget. The guys making the thing have some obvious incentives to design it stupidly like this so you need a new minisub for every mine cleared!

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Stupid design

      ".....Don't mines detonate when something hits them?...." You are thinking of the classic horned mine which relies on contact to explode and can be easily detected and sunk. Modern mines are often more intelligent, mostly sitting on the bottom so they are a lot harder to find, and use a detection system such as sonar or magnetic anomalies to trigger the main charge. Some are actually tethered torpedoes so they can attack a detected ship at range. The most sophisticated mines can cost millions of dollars and have a pressure hull so they can sit on the bottom at greater depths, so a shaped charge is required to punch a hole in them. Compared to those top-of-the-line mines, a $100,000 is not that much.

      1. Arthur 1

        Re: Stupid design

        Magnetic anomaly detection isn't that much better, just get something with a large magnetic field and run it across the surface, watch all the mines come up. Seems like it shouldn't be too hard to engineer if you know the exact parameters of the mines, and I'm betting the US knows exactly what Iran has.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          Oh , Yeah , Rah Rah

          "and I'm betting the US knows exactly what Iran has."

          They also knew exactly about those "Weapons of Mass Destruction" in Iraq. Maybe the Iranian mines are developed by a competent group of Linux people who actually care about security, instead of running $ware from M$ and $iemens.

    2. Vic

      Re: Stupid design

      > Don't mines detonate when something hits them?

      That depends on the mine. Modern ones are somewhat more capable that the contact-spike things you see in war films.

      Modern sea mines are typically looking for specific accoustic or magnetic signatures. This is why clearance diver kit is closed-circuit (to eliminate bubbling) and has all the chrome stripped off the brass bits (regs etc.)

      CDBA is very, very expensive. But if you went in with a 5 grand unit like mine, it's pretty much guaranteed to blow up in your face.

      There's bound to be a cheaper way to hunt mines and get them to explode than sending in $100K submarines. And it probably involves a Rasberry Pi...

      Vic.

      1. jon 72
        Devil

        A cheaper way..

        The Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS) has been operational since 2008 with the USN, for those not familiar with this little gem it uses LIDAR to detect floating or shallow water mines down to 150 feet and dispatches them with 30mm super-cavitating rounds.

  23. Anonymice

    @Matt Bryant

    Whilst I'm not entirely well versed in the peculiars of Middle East politics, your arguments have had several shortcomings.

    1) You dismissed suggestions that the US was involved in any sort of proxy wars allied with Israel, as no US Army clad soldiers set foot on those lands, yet have repeatedly pointed the finger at Iran for supporting proxy wars via supposedly linked organisations.

    Why can the US shirk responsibility when it (officially) funds & supplies Israeli military actions, yet Iran can't (allegedly) do the same?

    I point out I'm not giving any justification for either, but you have been using contradictory arguments in what appears to be your uncritical support of US actions.

    2) You've so far provided little justification for Israel's actions other than "because the other side did similar".

    Two wrongs make a right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @Matt Bryant

      Sir, unfortunately you have yet to realise that Mr Bryant is the sort of chap who could quite easily have a prolonged and heated argument in an empty room.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Matt Bryant

        Matt B. has not initiated a single argument—on this thread at least—but only has responded to posts by others. So your post, AC@13.46, is simply in the grand old liberal tradition of offering insult instead of argument. Do you wish dissenting opinions banned?

        Anonymice’s post is simply the moral equivalence fallacy. Israel is the sole democracy in the Middle East—a Western-style social-democracy with the flaws common to modern social-democracies, and as imperfect as any creation by imperfect men. Where Israel has annual Gay Pride parades, Iran hangs homosexuals. While women enjoy complete equality before the law in Israel and have reached the highest political offices (e.g. Golda Meir), Iranian women have discrimination codified in law—veils are mandatory, young girls can be forced to marry adult men, etc.—women are even banned from attending sporting fixtures featuring male athletes.

        A person’s attitude to Iran is a useful measure of their true opinions—someone can hardly claim to oppose religion while supporting a rigid theocracy; one cannot claim to champion women’s rights while supporting a state that denies them; one cannot claim to support Gay rights while supporting a state that executes homosexuals; one cannot claim to oppose capital punishment while supporting a state that mandates it for a wide range of offences, including homosexuality and female (but not male) adultery.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Flame

          South Africa Was A Democracy, Too in the 1980s

          And All White People Were Created Equal. Blacks were shit, as much as Arabs in the West Bank or Gaza are to the present day. You are full of excrement, NFI.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: South Africa Was A Democracy, Too in the 1980s

            The old liberal canard of comparing Israel to Apartheid South Africa… and abuse too. (Once upon a time there was a liberal who debated with courtesy, employing fact and logic… but enough of the fairy stories.)

            1. As of 2011, the Israeli Knesset has 13 Arab members (one also a female, Hanin Zoabi)—how many non-whites were elected to the South African parliament prior to Apartheid ending?

            2. So far, there have been two Arabs appointed to the Israeli Supreme Court (Abdel Rahman Zuabi and Salim Joubran)—how many non-whites were appointed to Apartheid S. Africa’s Supreme Court or any other court?

            3. Arabs represent Israel abroad as diplomats, e.g. Ali Yahya, who has been Israeli ambassador to Finland and Greece or Ishmael Khaldi, the Israeli consul in San Francisco (2006–9)—how many non-white diplomats represented South Africa in their embassies during Apartheid?

            4. Apartheid S. Africa prohibited interracial sexual and martial relations—no such restrictions exist under Israeli law.

            5. Arabs have attained the highest ranks in the Israeli Defence Forces, such as Major-Generals Hussain Fares and Yosef Mishlav—how many non-whites were even commissioned as officers in the Apartheid-era S.A.D.F.?

            6. Arabs similarly suffer no restriction in the Israeli police, and Jamal Hakroush was promoted to the rank of Deputy Inspector-General in 2011—how many non-whites attained such high rank in the Apartheid-era S.A.P.?

            Incidentally, Gaza is no longer Israel’s responsibility having left in 2005; if Arabs there are ‘s**t’ as you so repellently phrase it, then take it up with the Palestinian Authority and their Hamas representatives as they are the ones in charge.

            Israel is far from perfect, a typical Western social-democracy with all the flaws that implies (they even abolished capital punishment—a stark contrast to Iran who Amnesty reported executing at least 600 people between January and November 2011); but it is far better than the medieval theocracies that liberals have embraced.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @NFI

          One doesn't "initiate an argument" quite in the way you describe on a comments thread, except possibly in a case of indisputable trolling for a reaction. Some commenters have simply made statements as to their opinions or beliefs.

          Others (such as Matt Bryant) then CHOOSE to argue WITH them. Without a retort / response, there is no argument.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @NFI

            So you are suggesting, AC@11.33, that your opinions should never, ever suffer counter? That you have some Gaia-given right to proclaim your views while those who disagree must remain silent?

            If you want an echo-chamber, start your own website.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: @NFI

              No, I was not suggesting anything of the sort. My message was quite concise and clear, I have no idea how you managed to twist it into something completely unrelated. It seems you are somewhat confused, I'm not sure whether you erroneously associate some of the previous comments with my authorship?

              You are obviously incapable of understanding simple assertions or engaging in any constructive communication, so I shall attempt no further to make you familiar with the intended point.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @NFI

                AC@11.33&15.00. You wrote clearly above: ‘Some commenters have simply made statements as to their opinions or beliefs. … Without a retort / response, there is no argument.’ Well obviously if no-one disagrees then ‘there is no argument’; and apparently your problem is that people dare to express disagreement.

                If someone expresses an opinion in a ‘public’ forum, then others have every right to offer rebuttal (notwithstanding rules set by our host, The Register®).

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: @NFI

                  Sir, the problem here resides entirely with you.

                  Sad, really.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @NFI

                    A condesceding reply from a liberal that is otherwise devoid of content? Surely not!

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: @Matt Bryant

      ".....1) You dismissed suggestions that the US was involved in any sort of proxy wars allied with Israel, as no US Army clad soldiers set foot on those lands, yet have repeatedly pointed the finger at Iran for supporting proxy wars via supposedly linked organisations....." There is a major difference - the US supplies Israel but ISrael makes its own policies, and when Washington doesn't like them they withold funds. Teh Iranians not only fund groups like Hezbollah but actively direct them.

      "....2) You've so far provided little justification for Israel's actions other than "because the other side did similar"....." Wrong. Your fruitloop firend posted that Iran is non-aggressive bit that Israel was, yet the historical evidence shows exactly the contrary.

  24. Muhammad Imran/mi1400
    Paris Hilton

    US = iran

    1st ... Iran is NOT an Islamic/Muslim country (what it says on the the tin is not always true)

    2nd ... US and Iran are just showing off .. and later US will say O' shit they got nuclear weapons despite our efforts... Saudi Arabia either will start then an uphill battle to starts its own deterent which US wont let or Ask Pakistan for warheads (KSA already has 1-division of Pak Army at its 24/7 standby/disposal).

    3rd ... From Iraq war the most benifit any country has obtained is iran... shite govt (but wont last long)

    4rth ... From Afghanistan war the most benifit a country has obtained is iran... Northern Alliance is persian speaking, anti taliban ppl...10-20% minority.

    5th ... Because of slavery agreements with Iran .. Pakistan cannot drill oil from its own land of Balochistan.... reason !?! iran says its our oill flown onder pakistani land becasue of its lower sea level ... apply this reasoning to stop iran from getting nukes.... :)

    So US infact wants iran to acquire nuclear weapons ... pretending it does not want to

  25. Mr Young
    Go

    No mention of agw?

    Is a mine like one thousand cow farts or what? Hippies need reports etc

  26. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  27. auburnman
    Mushroom

    Hopefully Sea Fox will be deployed as a 'last line of defence' option, i.e. only deployed after less sacrificial mineclearing methods (like shooting them from a helicopter as mentioned above.) For my money, my first choice would be converting a couple hundred crappy dinghies into remotes and deploy them in pairs dragging a net between them.

  28. Luke McCarthy
    Facepalm

    Hilarious

    Spending $100K to clear a mine which cost Iran a fraction of that.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Hilarious

      Simple contact mines do not require Seafox, they can be cleared by cheaper means, as pointed out already in this thread. More complex mines, which can cost several million dollars and sit on the seafloor, do require either divers or some form of submersible to help deactviate them. Seafox is about reducing the risks to US divers from boobytrapped mines, beacuse the US actually cares about their personnel, unlike the Iranians and their suicide tactics. The US can afford plenty of $100k Seafoxes, but the Iranians do not have the money or sources to buy lots of million dollar smart mines.

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