It is a particularly amusing aspect of military intelligence analysis to note that the weakest and most militarily incompetent nations talk the biggest. Actual superpowers don’t have to advertise and, as Teddy Roosevelt said, they “speak softly and carry a big stick.”
Perhaps it’s the climate, but Arab and South American nations have been the main offenders in this manner, always promising to rain down fire and brimstone on an enemy about 36 hours before their entire military gets routed by units akin to two squads of the Oklahoma National Guard.
Nasser, Egypt, and various other Arab dictatorships promised in 1967 to “drive the Jews into the sea” just prior to having their armed forces wiped out by Israel in perhaps the most decisive military victory of the last century, The Six-Day War.
In the early 1980s the Argentinians told the British they would pay dearly if they tried to retake the Falkland Islands after the Argie invasion. Well, the caudillos of Argentina did not count on Margaret Thatcher and the bit of roar still left in the British lion. The paras and other British forces dispatched the befuddled Argies, once the fleet arrived, posthaste.
Let’s not forget Gaddafi’s “line of death” in the Gulf of Sidra. U.S. F-14 Tomcat fighters crossed over it with impunity and FB-111 fighter-bombers paid Muammar Gaddafi a visit in 1986. He was a tame boy after that.
And you may remember Desert Storm. Recall the threats that issued forth from Baghdad about the massive casualties that we would take if we dared to try and throw Saddam out of Kuwait. Then ponder the seven days it took for us to destroy his army and the “highway of death” that was the final act of that operation. So yeah, national punks speak loudly and carry a little stick. And that brings us to the Iranians today.
Hardly a day goes by when the mullahs in Iran or one of their scared as manure generals, at least after the Soleimani hit, make some laughable threat against the U.S., “The Great Satan,” or against Israel, “The Zionist Beast,” or indulge in some other wacky hyperbole that defies reality and historical evidence. Recall in January that their confused anti-aircraft boys blew a civilian airliner out of the sky over the main Tehran airport.
Notwithstanding ack-ack myopia, the mad mullahs would apparently plan to execute these threats with their military, perhaps even their navy. Well, maybe not their navy. This is the state of training and readiness of Iranian naval forces as of last week.
“Iran Navy confirms fatal accident aboard vessel ‘Konarak’ during exercise but not reports of friendly fire incident involving Anti-Ship Missile (AShM),” tweeted Joseph Dempsey, a defense analyst for the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Dempsey’s tweet also included photos purporting to show the damaged Iranian vessel.
#Iran Navy confirms fatal accident aboard vessel 'Konarak' during exercise but not reports of friendly fire incident involving Anti-Ship Missile (AShM) https://t.co/5QA2gdIXQz pic.twitter.com/QBninLlzZR
— Joseph Dempsey (@JosephHDempsey) May 11, 2020
Another analyst chimed in. “Iran Military now confirms Navy accident killing 19 and injured 15 of its sailors,” tweeted Joyce Karam, a Washington-based correspondent for the United Arab Emirates news outlet, The National. “Iranian Missile hit by mistake an Iranian ship in Gulf of Oman.”
#Iran’s Military now confirms Navy accident killing 19 and injured 15 of its sailors.
Iranian Missile hit by mistake an Iranian ship in Gulf of Oman: pic.twitter.com/xzc4VLS9da
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) May 11, 2020
And these are the forces we’re supposed to be afraid of? One wag even said, “I’m starting to think we’re playing ‘don’t hit yourself’ with the Iranians.” Not a bad line, as most good comedy has a basis in fact.