CVN 77 G.H.W. Bush Enters Persian Gulf As CIA Veteran Robert Baer Predicts September Israel-Iran War

Tyler Durden's picture

One look at the most recent naval update maps shows that in addition to global insolvency (courtesy of the broke European dominoes and a potentially technically broke US), a UK on the verge of a parliamentary scandal courtesy of a media baron whose empire is crumbling, and not to mention yet another downward inflection point in the global economic slowdown courtesy of the end of QE2 and no replacement yet, market watchers may have to start factoring in geopolitical risk yet again. While the fact that Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, and now Turkey, are ever more increasingly on edge is apparently something Mr. Market has managed to internalize, when it comes to geopolitics everyone stops to listen when renewed Iran-Israel rumblings reappear. Which may just be the case. As the most recently updated naval map from Stratfor demonstrates, the CVN 77 G.H.W. Bush has just entered the Persian Gulf, the first time a US aircraft carrier has passed through the Straits of Hormuz in months. What is also notable is that the LHD 5 Bataan amphibious warfare ship has just weighed anchor right next to Libya: this is odd since the coast of Tripoli had been left unattended for many weeks by US attack ships. And topping it all off is that a third aircraft carrier, the CVN 73, is sailing west from the South China seas, potentially with a target next to CVN 76 Ronald Reagan which is the second carrier in the Straits of Hormuz area. Three carriers in proximity to Iran would be extremely troubling, yet fit perfectly with the story of CIA veteran Robert Baer, the man played by George Clooney in Syriana, who as Al Jazeera reports, appeared on KPFK Los Angeles, warning that Israeli PM Netanyahu is "likely to ignite a war with Iran in the very near future." It gets worse: "Masters asked Baer why the US military is not mobilising to stop this war from happening. Baer responded that the military is opposed, as is former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who used his influence to thwart an Israeli attack during the Bush and Obama administrations. But he's gone now and "there is a warning order inside the Pentagon" to prepare for war." The punchline: "There is almost "near certainty" that Netanyahu is "planning an attack [on Iran] ... and it will probably be in September before the vote on a Palestinian state. And he's also hoping to draw the United States into the conflict", Baer explained." For the betting public out there, an September CL call may not be the dumbest trade possible...

First, the naval update per Stratfor:

And, courtesy of Al Jazeera and Haaretz, the full take from Robert Baer:

Earlier this week, Robert Baer appeared on the provocative KPFK Los Angeles show Background Briefing, hosted by Ian Masters. It was there that he predicted that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to ignite a war with Iran in the very near future.

Robert Baer has had a storied career, including a stint in Iraq in the 1990s where he organised opposition to Saddam Hussein. (He was recalled after being accused of trying to organise Saddam's assassination.) Upon his retirement, he received a top decoration for meritorious service.

Baer is no ordinary CIA operative. George Clooney won an Oscar for playing a character based on Baer in the film Syriana (Baer also wrote the book).

He obviously won't name many of his sources in Israel, the United States, and elsewhere, but the few he has named are all Israeli security figures who have publically warned that Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak are hell-bent on war.

Most former Mossad chiefs wary of Netanyahu

Baer was especially impressed by the unprecedented warning about Netanyahu's plans by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan. Dagan left the Israeli intelligence agency in September 2010. Two months ago, he predicted that Israel would attack and said that doing so would be "the stupidest thing" he could imagine. According to Haaretz:

When asked about what would happen in the aftermath of an Israeli attack Dagan said that: "It will be followed by a war with Iran. It is the kind of thing where we know how it starts, but not how it will end."

The Iranians have the capability to fire rockets at Israel for a period of months, and Hizbollah could fire tens of thousands of grad rockets and hundreds of long-range missiles, he said.

According to Ben Caspit of the Israeli daily Maariv, Dagan's blasts at Israel's political leadership are significant not only because Mossad chiefs, in office or retired, traditionally have kept their lips sealed, but also because Dagan is very conservative on security matters.

Caspit writes that Dagan is "one of the most rightwing militant people ever born here. ... When this man says that the leadership has no vision and is irresponsible, we should stop sleeping soundly at night".

Dagan describes the current Israeli government as "dangerous and irresponsible" and views speaking out against Netanyahu as his patriotic duty.

And his abhorrence of Netanyahu is not uncommon in the Israeli security establishment. According to Think Progress, citing the Forward newspaper, 12 of the 18 living ex-chiefs of Israel's two security agencies (Mossad and Shin Bet), are "either actively opposing Netanyahu's stances or have spoken out against them". Of the remaining six, two are current ministers in Netanyahu government, leaving a grand total of four out of 18 who independently support the prime minister.

In short, while Congress dutifully gives Netanyahu 29 standing ovations, the Israelis who know the most about both Netanyahu and Israel's strategic situation think he is a dangerous disaster.

But according to Baer, we ain't seen nothing yet.

There is almost "near certainty" that Netanyahu is "planning an attack [on Iran] ... and it will probably be in September before the vote on a Palestinian state. And he's also hoping to draw the United States into the conflict", Baer explained.

The Israeli air force would attack "Natanz and other nuclear facilities to degrade their capabilities. The Iranians will strike back where they can: Basra, Baghdad", he said, and even Afghanistan. Then the United States would jump into the fight with attacks on Iranian targets. "Our special forces are already looking at Iranian targets in Iraq and across the border [in Iran] which we would strike. What we're facing here is an escalation, rather than a planned out-and-out war. It's a nightmare scenario. We don't have enough troops in the Middle East to fight a war like that." Baer added, "I think we are looking into the abyss".

Another US war?

Masters asked Baer why the US military is not mobilising to stop this war from happening. Baer responded that the military is opposed, as is former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who used his influence to thwart an Israeli attack during the Bush and Obama administrations. But he's gone now and "there is a warning order inside the Pentagon" to prepare for war.

It should be noted that the Iranian regime is quite capable of triggering a war with the United States through some combination of colossal stupidity and sheer hatred. In fact, as Baer explained, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard would welcome a war. They are "paranoid". They are "worried about ... what's happening to their country economically, in terms of the oil embargo and other sanctions". And they are worried about a population that increasingly despises the regime.

They need an external enemy. Because we are leaving Iraq, it's Israel. But in order to make this threat believable, they would love an attack on their nuclear facilities, love to go to war in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and Iraq and hit us where they could. Their defense is asymmetrical. We can take out all of their armored units. It's of little difference to them, same with their surface-to-air missile sites. It would make little difference because they would use terrorism. They would do serious damage to our fleet in the Gulf.

Given all that, is it possible that the United States would allow Israel to attack when the president knows we would be forced to join the war on Israel's side?

"The president is up for re-election next year," Blair pointed out, and Israel is "truly out of control".

What happens when you see 100 F-16's approaching Iraq and there is a call to the White House [from Netanyahu] that says "We're going in, we're at war with Iran"? What does the President of the United States do? He has little influence over Bibi Netanyahu. ... We can't stop him. And he knows it.

It's a pretty frightening scenario, made infinitely more so by the fact that top Israelis (who have heard Netanyahu's thinking from Netanyahu himself) also see the future the same way. Those Israelis deserve a world of credit for sounding the warning bell loudly enough that we would hear it and do something about it - although it's impossible to know if the people who matter are paying attention.

Actually, only one person matters: the US president. If Israel bombed Iran tomorrow, Congress would forget all about their partisan differences and run, not walk, to the House and Senate floors to endorse the attack and call for unstinting support for Israel. That is what Congress always does, and will always do so long as the lobby (and the donors it directs) are the key players in making our Middle East policies.

And who knows what Obama would do? So far, he has not exactly distinguished himself when it comes to standing up to Netanyahu.

But an Israeli attack on Iran would be different. It would endanger countless Americans (in the region and here at home, too). It would kill off any economic recovery by causing oil prices to skyrocket. It would engulf us in another Middle East war. And it would threaten the existence of the state of Israel.

This is something the president needs to focus on instead of being forced to nickel and dime with the likes of Representative Eric Cantor and Senator Mitch McConnell. How incredible that these two, and their right-wing allies, have our government tied in knots in their incessant effort to elevate themselves by destroying the President of the United States. It is sickening.

h/t devaang

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Max Hunter's picture

A Black Swan is like unexpected anal

Followed by the disapproving fish eye?

mkkby's picture

Hey, watch it buster.  We black swans can bite, and it may even leave a welt.

Sudden Debt's picture

In the hope that everybody will forget a global default for a few more years.


I don't have a problem with Iran. I've never even met anybody from Iran.

I've never seen any real treath from Iran.

All I know is that it's a enemy of Isreal and Isreal like to stamp the feet of the Iranians.

And of course they have oil... plenty of it.



It really isn't!

Nobel price winner MY ASS!


This weekend, the Obligationteam from Deutche Bank made a very bold announcement. "The only way to solve the EU and US credit problems is by printing a Filthy Large Amount of money".

That will get the PM market swinging again in the next couple of weeks...

So instead of talking "tactics" and politics, those who haven't yet prepared for the shitstorm should concentrate on doing so. Erase CNN and CNBC from the channels of your TV. Keep that shit out of your head because it will be only mirages.



Cpl Hicks's picture

Nobel price winner

Is that how they determine the winner? Auction them off to the highest bidder?

Sudden Debt's picture

A "bring your own gold medal" event. I guess they didn't do a metal testing...


Cpl Hicks's picture

Maybe it's a sex test for the Peace Prize- if you have testicles you're automatically disqualified.

Sudden Debt's picture

I don't know...

He looks like a big dick so how do you explain your theory now?


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

LOL you guys...

Zero Hedge can be great fun as well as a place to learn.

monoloco's picture

Using D.C. logic, a war with Iran would be a good excuse to print even more shitloads of fiat and lower taxes.

mkkby's picture

Close, but not quite.  A war scare is precisely to make the point not to include miliary cuts in the budget battle farce.

oldmanagain's picture

We could take out Netanyahe first.

pesamystik's picture

That would probably be the cheapest option. 

Just wait until the Israeli Internet Defense Force sees this thread. Those goons will be here in no time.

HungrySeagull's picture


That was not a wise thing to say about taking out so and so.

I would not want to be anywhere near your place when they do come for you.

Tsukato's picture

I dont care who you are Hungry Seagull! I won't do it!!!! NEVER!!!!

Tsukato's picture

I'm coming clean Hungry Seagull! Don't any of you believe this bastard! He is not who you think he is. He's trying to destroy my life! He pretends to be a weak little bitch on the internet, and in real life, he pretends to be a go nowhere, but therein lies his genius! He hides everything like a master magician. He is running cocaine, meth, and weed from down south, and has amassed a fortune. He contacted me weeks ago from another site, and made me an incredible offer. Although he fancies himself a gentleman, he is nothing but a diabolical genius out to CHANGE THE WORLD THROUGH VIOLENCE! He paid me heaps of money to ASSASSINATE Ben Netanyahu, Obama, Biden, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and to BOMB an IRS bldg, and a GOLDMAN SACHS office! I will never do it! I am halfway to the Amazonian Basin, and you will never catch me before MOSSAD suicides your ass! Your penchant for the finer things including the bitches and cognacs, won't save you this time. I'm a good jewish boy. I appreciate the cash, but I will never do your bidding PSYCHOPATH!!!

Tsukato's picture

Benyanin Netanyahu is a real asset to the jewish people. You! Hungry Seagull want him and his entire family MURDERED! You are the DEVIL. All you want is to KILL, KILL, KILL! He is a good man, and I pray that evil Goyam like you never succeed! I have contacted the Israeli embassy regarding our transaction. I will be exonerated, but they will be paying you a visit very soon. Were the finer things in life worth it!?

JW n FL's picture

I Love You Man! Please Always Post from where ever you go! You are the best!


It was good of you to save Mr. 29 Standing Ovations Life!


SeaGull why are you trying to have the Jewish Leader Murdered for Money? are you a secret Nazi?

Tsukato's picture

Thanks for the kind words :) Yeah, that Hungry Seagull is one sick motherfuckin anti-semite! Hey, Hitler, if your reading this, don't attempt to find me in the Amazon. Me and some of my Yanomamo friends'll pop a poisonous dart in your ass!

cosmictrainwreck's picture got serious mental hygiene issues... wait, what's that smell? oh, just your brain rotting - never mind... carry on

Tsukato's picture

I know YOU! You're the original ZH anti-semite. Why are you filled with such hate? I'll never understand your kind...... PLEASE REMEMBER THE HOLOCAUST.

BigDuke6's picture


i'd like to call 'liberal sodomy' in on this conversation.

lolmao500's picture

Oil prices going up is bullish for the dollar... but not so much for the US economy... higher oil prices = more demand for dollars to pay for oil... So that's why the US government loves to bomb middle-east countries?

ToNYC's picture


We burn dollars; they use them to own us.

HungrySeagull's picture

Let it be done.


Good luck and good hunting!

HungrySeagull's picture

Junk junk and junk.

Must be those who don't wish the very best fortune and hunting for our Armed Forces.


Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Yes, and our military leadership gives a crap about the troops!?  That's why since they make them use depleted uranium ammo that will kill them all in decades.  Remember Agent Orange in Vietnam and The Gulf War Syndrome?  I wish the best fortune for our troops that's why I want them to discontinue being the unwitting pawns of the New World Order!


Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez

Tsukato's picture

I don't wish those bitches the best fortune you peabrained fuck hole. Fuck our armed forces! The only way I will ever support them is in a coup d' tat back home. Otherwise, they are just a big part of the problem!

unky's picture

What implications would a war between Iran and U.S. have on the PM prices and currency markets (I am specially interested in the EURUSD) ?

Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

There might be a run to the U. S. Dollar and/or U. S. Treasury Bonds in the short term with probable spikes in oil, gold and silver.  I would not be short any commodity at this point.  Crap!  This would be freaking WWIII!


Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

gold follows crude.

$ goes up if the US is winning the conflict.

This war is inevitable because Iran is an opportunity to secure more oil. China and the US would love to just carve it up. There is no better opportunity for Israel to demonstrate its nuclear deterrent without fear of nuclear counter attack.

motive and opportunity... just sayin'

RichardP's picture

This war is inevitable ...

Please note that this war has been inevitable almost since ZH opened for business.  It's a bummer that the time-frame in which the inevitable will happen is so murcky tho, isn't it.

InconvenientCounterParty's picture

gold follows crude.

$ goes up if the US is winning the conflict.

This war is inevitable because Iran is an opportunity to secure more oil. China and the US would love to just carve it up. There is no better opportunity for Israel to demonstrate its nuclear deterrent without fear of nuclear counter attack.

motive and opportunity... just sayin'

buzzsaw99's picture

must. not. troll. the. zio-muzzie. conflictardation. :grits teeth:

Cpl Hicks's picture

hey, +10 on the 'zio-muzzie conflictardation'!

If it were only just a problem as funny as that label...

buzzsaw99's picture

yeah, we're in some real pretty (ww3) shit now man.

Franken_Stein's picture


This is all part of the New World Order Agenda.


The plans for an attack on Iran are in the drawers since 1995.

Netanyahu must be impeached and declared unfit for office if necessary.


This madman must be stopped !


PY-129-20's picture

And 200 Leopard Typ (newest) 2A7+ tanks for the al-Sauds.

Battle of al-Jubail

Cpl Hicks's picture

They will have to go on a major recruiting drive in the Phillipines to crew them.

Sudden Debt's picture

Those tanks are a piece of shit beyond belief.

They are made in Belgium but they don't fire standard rounds.

In a conflict you don't want everything to fire special amunition. you want the to fire the same kind of rounds like the rest of your tanks. You're at risk of a logistical nightmare with stuff like this.


PY-129-20's picture

The Leopard 2A7+ is made in Germany (by KMW). It's one of the best modern tanks in the world. Only the M1A2 might be a better choice (just speaking of tanks) in combat.

The 2A7+ Type is a very strong one. Even the Russians would like to have German tanks. (,1518,756334,00.html (German)

pesamystik's picture

Pretty much anything made by the Germans is quality. They are a bunch of pacifists now and still they make some of the best weapons in the world. It's amazing they didn't win WWII. They had the best army and weapons of any armed force. The only problem was they were fighting on two fronts, did not have rich natural resources, and simply took on too many countries at one time. 

Caviar Emptor's picture

Spitfire, MarkV - P-51Mustang - Katyusha BM 13 N - 

pesamystik's picture

Yeah, those were nice planes, but towards the end of the war, the Germans were developing freaking jets. If the Germans had more time they would have won, they had the superior technology in almost every instance (with some exceptions). The Russians had some decent technology, but in the end, it was just the sheer amount of troops and their defensive position (plus Hitler's botched strategies) that enabled them to win. On a pure technological skill, the Germans had them beaten. 

vamoose1's picture

Dead right.

    When Monty was setting up  his setpiece battles,  he took one look at those Aryan brutes, looked at the opposing technology, viz... a Sherman tank vs. a panther compared them  to his undernourished cockneys and said i want a five to 1 plurality in  bodies or i ain't playing, and he needed every one of them.

FeralSerf's picture

Rosie the Riveter beat the Germans.  There was no end to the numbers of planes, tanks, ships, guns, ammo, etc. that came out of her factories.  She was impossible to beat.  Some of her stuff might not have been as well engineered as the German's stuff, but there was no end to it.

And then there were the Russians. . .  Endless columns of Russians.

The Germans didn't have a chance.

knowless's picture

the germans might appear austere, but they are by no means pacified. A country with an effeicent manufacturing base will always be able to raise an army to use the guns, which is why there are so many american eagle tears as of late.

baby_BLYTHE's picture

The German army was indeed the strongest military power of WWII

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

That is arguable.  The Russians were bad ass, the Americans fought great, the Japanese were tenacious, and yes the Germans had grit and machinery, but they had no oil, which is why they lost the war.