Iranian General's Hare-brained Chutzpah
What do you suppose is it about the leaders, particularly the generals and admirals, of so many Middle Eastern nations, that leads them to be so boastful? Is it a cultural thing? Or is their psychological indoctrination as young officers so intense and irresistible that it overwhelms their common sense? One could almost wonder if Middle Eastern military academies include in their curricula such courses as Basic Battlefield Saber Rattling I&II, Advanced War Zone Saber Rattling and then perhaps post-graduate courses in Geo-Apocalyptic Saber Rattling?
We all remember Saddam Hussein's bravado prior to the Gulf War, him standing on balconies brandishing automatic pistols or assault rifles, firing them into the air above the heads of adoring throngs of loyal Iraqis who believed his boasts about destroying the infidel Americans in the "Mother of All Battles." He got his Mother of All Battles, alright, and it didn't go too well for his supposedly indestructible Revolutionary Guards, much less his lesser units. Proving that the ingrained tendency to bluster is undeterred by hard lethal lessons, Saddam repeated his public demonstrations of bravado preceding the Second Gulf War, the MoAB that resulted in the total destruction of his vaunted Guards units as well as his own ignominious execution by hanging.
Now here we are years later and similar braggadocio is coming from Saddam's old nemesis, Iran. Faced with possible military action by western powers to halt Iranian development of nuclear weapons, Iran's generals and admirals are boasting that they will rain death and destruction on the United States and Israel. This time the bluster is coming from the Iranian version of the Republican Guards, the Revolutionary Guards, one of whose generals seems just a bit brash:
The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Gen. Ami Ali Hajizadeh of the Revolutionary Guards as saying U.S. bases are in range of Iran's missiles and could be hit in retaliatory strikes. He referred to Israel as "occupied territories."
"Measures have been taken so that we could destroy all these bases in the early minutes of an attack," said Hajizadeh, chief of the Guards' air-space division.
All these bases, huh? The swaggering general, commander of the air wing of the Guards, is also confident that his command is a match for the U.S. Navy vessels now in the Persian Gulf:
Hajizadeh said the Guards also successfully test fired an anti-ship missile that could sink U.S. warships in the Gulf. Gen. Hajizadeh told state TV that the shore-to-sea ballistic missile, called "Persian Gulf," has a range of 300 kilometers (180 miles).
Someone should inform the general that test firing a missile is a tad different situation from deploying and using missiles tactically. My advice to General Ali would be to go to this official Navy website and scroll through the warfighting capabilities explained there, keeping in mind that the information is several years old, meaning, no doubt, that the technologies and capabilities revealed there are even more advanced and effective by now. He should pay particular attention to the defensive, anti-missile systems such as the Aegis BMDS and the Sea Sparrow. His naval counterpart, on the other hand, might be more interested in the shipboard anti-surface (anti-fast boat) weaponry such as the Phalanx Close In Weapon System (CIWS) or the new, remotely-operated Typhoon chain gun created by Israel's Raphael Corporation and now on many U.S. vessels. Of course, none of this even takes into account the hundreds of combat aircraft, both carrier-borne jet fighters and attack helicopters available to the admiral commanding the battle area.
Somehow, I don't think the United States Navy is breaking sweat over the warfighting prowess of the Revolutionary Guards. Many of our older Navy commanders are probably mindful of the supposedly invincible Republican Guards of Iraq and how most of them ended up. Do you suppose General Ali will still have such hare-brained chutzpah once his Revolutionary Guards have suffered a similar fate?
If he's still alive, that is...