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US & World

Life Imitating Netflix? Tensions In The Gulf On The Rise

Somebody send in Keri Russell …

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In the Netflix series ‘The Diplomat,’ actress Keri Russell (of The Americans’ fame) plays a newly minted U.S. ambassador to the Court of St. James whose tenure gets off to a frenetic start due to an international incident involving the Islamic Republic of Iran.

I won’t play the role of spoiler and reveal any plot details, but the fictitious geopolitical intrigue concocted by screenwriters took a sufficient number of engaging twists and turns during the show’s first eight episodes to warrant a second season.

‘The Diplomat’ was recommended to me by the spouse of an actual diplomat, and while its narrative flow occasionally wanes – its treatment of the increasingly wobbly western alliance in the aftermath of the War on Terror is instructive.

Is that why I watch? Um … yes?

Anyway …

While the screenwriters of ‘The Diplomat‘ work on their narrative elements for the second season (and costume directors try to one-up Russell’s red dress), they might consider keeping an eye on the Strait of Hormuz for material.

This narrow passageway between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman – 21 miles wide at its narrowest point – handles a third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and 20 percent of its oil, making it one of the most critical global commercial chokepoints in the entire world.

Last week, naval forces of the United States, the United Kingdom and the French Republic “launched an unusual show of force” as part of a “build-up of western military activity just off Iran’s coast,” according to Zero Hedge.

The website cited a news release from the U.S. Navy’s central command describing “increases the rotation of ships and aircraft patrolling the strategic maritime chokepoint.” Among them? The guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton (DDG-60) and the royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster (F229).

The flexing of western military muscle comes as Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is ramping up the seizure of oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz – capturing two boats within the past month. One of those vessels – the Advantage Sweet – was carrying crude oil for California-based Chevron.



“Iran’s actions are contrary to international law and disruptive to regional security and stability,” naval commanders said in a statement following the Chevron tanker seizure earlier this month. “Iran’s continued harassment of vessels and interference with navigational rights in regional waters are unwarranted, irresponsible and a present threat to maritime security and the global economy.”

That may be true, but last month America allegedly intercepted a vessel delivering Iranian crude oil bound for China. The Marshall Island-flagged ship – the Suez Rajan – was intercepted as part of Washington’s ongoing effort to isolate the Islamic nation.

“The United States will continue to enforce its sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products,” U.S. Treasury official Brian E. Nelson said last fall.

American neoconservatives (a.k.a. warmongers) have been pushing for conflict with Iran for some time – citing its affiliation with the terrorist organization al-Qaeda.

“They have hosted al-Qaeda, they have permitted al-Qaeda to transit their country,” former U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo said back in 2019. “There is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and al-Qaeda.”

“The United States does not – does not, I emphasize – seek conflict with Iran, but be prepared for us to act forcefully to protect our people.” U.S. president Joe Biden said back in March.

Biden issued those remarks after a “one-way unmanned aerial vehicle” launched by Iranian-backed militia hit a U.S. maintenance facility near Hasakah in northeast Syria. One American contractor was killed in that attack – and five U.S. soldiers were wounded.

An F-15E Strike Eagle refuels over Iraq after conducting air strikes in Syria (U.S. Air Force)

Biden’s administration responded to the attack with “precision airstrikes in eastern Syria” – a “proportionate and deliberate action” against facilities used by groups purportedly affiliated with Iran.

“No group will strike our troops with impunity,” U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement announcing the airstrikes.

As America elevates is presence in the region, it is important to note Iran has recently concluded naval drills with Russian and Chinese vessels in the Gulf of Oman with the goal of “deepen(ing) practical cooperation between the participating countries’ navies.” Iran has also increased trade with Russia and China as a result of ongoing American economic sanctions.

The best way to combat these moves? Not by upping the ever-escalating expenditure of American blood and treasure in the Middle East, but by making sure our nation doesn’t need Middle Eastern oil to keep its lights on and its motors purring.

As I noted in a recent piece about regional energy issues, one of the gravest dangers in transitioning too fast to renewables (or “carbon zero” power generation) would be undoing all the progress made toward energy self-sufficiency in the last twenty years. I am not saying the transition shouldn’t be undertaken, but carbon emissions have been declining in this nation over the past decade due to the proliferation of domestic natural gas as a bridge between dirty coal and renewables. Not because of renewables.

Why would we want to undo all of that progress and renew our reliance on fuel from such an unstable part of the world?



Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.



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1 comment

Nanker Phelge May 23, 2023 at 10:48 pm

ZeroHedge? Hahaha. Those suckers fell for the fake Pentagon explosion story.

There is no bottom to Fitsnews.


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