An aircraft carrier has been sent to join the little flotilla sailing up and down the Gulf of Aden, and the Obama administration is very adamant about what it’s there for.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted Tuesday that the US ships were “only” there to “ensure the shipping lanes remain open and safe”—and “not to do anything in terms of those Iranian ships.”

Regarding the premise that we intended anything serious in the waters off Yemen, like intercepting Iranian ships delivering weapons to their terrorists in Yemen, Harf was indignant:

That is blatantly untrue—so this discreet movement of US assets is for a discreet purpose.

President Barack Obama repeated the premise through his Press Secretary, Josh Earnest:

…the ships are in the region primarily to “protect the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce.”

No, the signaling is quite clear, and Iran has received the message. Obama is so desperate for his “deal” with Iran regarding the latter’s nuclear weapons program that he’s perfectly willing to watch Iranian arms shipments to terrorists in the Middle East from close up. He’s perfectly willing to put our sailors so close that they can see the Iranian sailors biting their thumbs at us.

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