If you’ve been following the news coming from the Middle East, you are aware that a week ago an Israeli-owned oil tanker, the Mercer Street, was attacked by drones while sailing in the Arabian Sea in international waters off the coast of Oman.
The owner of the tanker is a well-known Israeli shipping magnate, Eyal Ofer.
The drone attack has been traced back to Iran. Wow, what a surprise? [Nobody else in that part of the world possesses and operates explosive unmanned aerial vehicles that can be outfitted with explosives for a one way delivery, so it wasn’t the most difficult bit of sleuthing. Plus, the Iranians have been attacking shipping in that part of the world for a decade.]
Two tanker crewmen —
one British national (ex-military member of the ship’s security team),
the other, the Romanian Captain of the ship,
— were killed in the attack.
Clearly, the Iranians targeted the leadership and management of the ship — the crew — rather than the cargo. Look at the ship and see how easy it is to figure out where the crew is located.
The American Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, and his British counterpart, Dominic Raab, condemned the move and hinted there would be consequences, but a week has gone by and nothing but crickets.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, today issued a more direct threat: “We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran.”
Why now, Big Red Car?
Iran has a newly-elected President, Ebrahim Raisi, a hard liner who previously sent more than 3,000 Iranians to their death back during his stint as q member of Iran’s Prosecution Committee in 1988.
The committee was called the “Death Committee” and they wiped out — a not so gentle euphemism for “murdered” — a great number of dissidents. See in countries like Iran when they have dissidents, they kill them.
Why is this important, Big Red Car?
Here is what I think the calculus looks like:
1. The Israelis have had enough Iran, enough attacks on their people with missiles provided to Hamas by Iran, enough attacks by Iranian explosive UAVs on their shipping to last several lifetimes.
The first post-Bibi regime is going to bend over backwards to ensure nobody thinks they are “soft” because, well, because they are soft.
They, the Israelis, are angry — rightfully so, no? — and they tend to default to action.
They also feel the United States, the Biden admin, does not have their back anymore, so they are tempted to go it alone.
2. Iran is emboldened and the new hard line leader is still angry about the US killing their terror leader, Qasem Soleimani, with an explosive UAV.
The new guy, a long-term, hardcore bad boy, is looking to regain Iran’s groove at the expense of Israel — they did supply Hamas with 6,000 rockets that Hamas promptly shot into Israel.
3. Seemingly small things — like World War I and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austro-Hungarian Empire on 28 June 1914 — often spiral out of control and create huge disruptions in The Force.
I smell a huge disruption in The Force coming up in the Middle East.
4. The United States’ pulling out of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan — coupled with a new admin that seems unlikely to effectively deploy US military power against Iran for a myriad of reasons — has left a power vacuum and shitheads always exploit a power vacuum.
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
Keep your eye on Israel and Iran. The Israelis are getting ready to go “ugly on an ape” and it will be a shooting war.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.