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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Trump rattles seaborne saber at North Korea, but his fleet was in wrong ocean headed the wrong way


The USS Carl Vinson, a US nuclear powered aircraft carrier, is seen in Hong Kong waters on December 27, 2011.   The USS Carl Vinson, which was commissioned in 1982, is in Hong Kong for a three day visit.  AFP PHOTO / AARON TAM (Photo credit should read aaron tam/AFP/Getty Images)
Where in the world is ... our 100,000 ton 1,000' long aircraft carrier?
Great powers never bluff. They just lie outright about the location, direction, and intent of entire carrier groups. As the New York Times reports, a few ships are not where the Trump White House said they were.
As worries deepened last week about whether North Korea would conduct a missile test, the White House declared that ordering an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would send a powerful deterrent signal and give President Trump more options in responding to the North’s provocative behavior.
Because nothing comforts people and soothes international tension like reporting that you’re bringing in a fleet of warships. However, in this case, there’s an issue other than bringing in some ships to show the flag.
The problem was, the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the four other warships in its strike force were at that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.
They … lied about where the ships were, where they were going, and what they were doing? Didn’t they think that someone might notice when a 100,000 ton ship that’s better than 1,000 feet long and carrying a crew of 5,000 didn’t show up?

Actually, it appears that the Trump regime wasn’t so much lying about the ships. They just screwed up—in pretty much every way you can think of.
White House officials said on Tuesday they were relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there describe a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from a premature announcement of the deployment by the military’s Pacific Command to an erroneous explanation by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — all of which perpetuated the false narrative that an American armada was racing toward the waters off North Korea.
Well then. Wouldn’t it have been hilarious if Trump had ordered some action confident that the Vinson and her companions were on hand to support his play? And how much better can it get in the “Showing North Korea we’re really serious this time” category than threatening them with ships that were sailing in the other direction?

Next up: Trump orders Navy to stop taking pictures so no one will know when he’s wrong.

Your reminder for the day: This is not normal.

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