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August 11, 2008

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Hi Eric,

This one I don't believe.

Firstly, the original article by "Lord Stirling" doesn't have a single source to cite or link to imbed for it's claims.

Secondly, "Lord Stirling" himself is a fake, a fraud, a mountebank. I'm Scottish, he's not. I'm not a noble - neither is he. There hasn't been an Earl of Stirling for 300 years and Burke's Peerage has no listing for the fellow. He comes from Indiana. If he'll lie about that, his veracity in other, unsourced, matters cannot be trusted.

Regards, C

Thanks C. Duly noted.

It's just a Naval exercise, and they are common. Operation Valiant Shield in 2006 was a huge Pacific Fleet exercise, and there were even Chinese observers. It didn't mean that World War III was looming with the communist nation.

Figures. Thanks LT.

I'm from the government and here to help. =)

"Lord Stirling" himself is a fake, a fraud, a mountebank. I'm Scottish, he's not. I'm not a noble - neither is he. There hasn't been an Earl of Stirling for 300 years and Burke's Peerage has no listing for the fellow. He comes from Indiana.

I suspect that "Lord Stirling" is a pseudonym based on the American general during the Revolutionary War who laid claim to the title (apparently without much right)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Alexander_%28American_general%29

Operation Brimstone was an exercise.

Is the conjunction of three carrier groups in the Gulf a scheduled exercise, one that's been planned and announced for some time?

Reality check:

The Lincoln carrier group was in the Mediterranean last week. If it hasn't gone through the Canal, then it's not "in the Gulf area" as the story has it, but it may have. The Mediterranean - to - Arabian Sea is a regular deployment.

The Reagan group just left Japan, after having visited Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Korea. Doesn't sound to me as if they're heading to the Indian Ocean, much less the Gulf; this was the same sequence as their last deployment. But we'll see.

The Roosevelt group might be relieving the Lincoln group in the Mediterranean, if indeed it is continuing eastward after the Brimstone exercises.

As far as I can tell there is not currently a carrier actually in the Gulf, as there was for much of 2005-2007. The Nimitz, Stennis, Truman, Enterprise, Eisenhower, and Washington are all in their home ports or almost there.

That piece also claims this: "DEBKA, the Israeli strategy and military site, states that Israeli military officers are advising the Georgian armed forces in combat operations and that 1,000 Israelis are in-combat on the side of Georgia at this time."

Apparently they're invisible Israelis.

"Is the conjunction of three carrier groups in the Gulf a scheduled exercise, one that's been planned and announced for some time?"

Yes. All exercises are scheduled long in advance. They have to be, because otherwise there's no way to get everything coordinated in time, making sure all the groups are fit and ready, that all the sailors and soldiers are prepared, etc.

Brimstone has been wellpublicized. The Roosevelt is said in that video to be heading afterwards "to the Middle East."

My question was not about Brimstone, which was obviously named and planned ahead of time, but about the alleged Arabian Sea/Persian Gulf exercises.

My greatest fear is for what might happen shortly after the election.

Carrier exercises in the next month, given recent developments in the administration's relationship with Iran (opening of an interest section office, etc.), might just be domestic political cover for talks.

The Georgian government is fueling the perception of Israeli involvement.

Jonathan Edelstein, whose Head Heeb blogging I miss, in comments at Helena Cobban's:

the reason this is getting so much play in the Israeli media is that Israel has large Russian and Georgian immigrant populations. The Israeli government has tried to stay friendly with both sides, but needs Russia more; the Georgian ambassador's praise of Israel may be intended to prevent the sale of Israeli arms, which was limited last year, from being limited further or cut off altogether.

This came in response to the citing of a Ha'aretz article that begins:

Jewish Georgian Minister Temur Yakobshvili on Sunday praised the Israel Defense Forces for its role in training Georgian troops and said Israel should be proud of its military might, in an interview with Army Radio.

"Israel should be proud of its military which trained Georgian soldiers," Yakobashvili told Army Radio in Hebrew, referring to a private Israeli group Georgia had hired.

This clarification to the minister's statement that the training is provided by a "private Israeli group" (technique for deniability) is not likely to be provided by many other news sources.

The Ha'aretz article does not provide any information on what Yakobshvili is minister of; Y. sounds very, very like the Iraqi Minister of Information on April 7-9, 2003.

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