Monday, February 6, 2012

Yes, the Iranian mullahs really do want to kill us (or "Yes, Ron Paul is still an idiot.")

Caught this little tidbit via Israel Matzav:
Iran was working on developing a missile with 10,000 km range that would put America in reach of a potential Iranian attack, Strategic Affairs Minister and Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Thursday.

According to Ya'alon, the missile was based on a solid fuel propellant and would have been able to significantly increase Iran's offensive capabilities. In November, a mysterious explosion rocked an Iranian missile base near Tehran where Iran was working on developing this long range missile.


Ya'alon said that the Israeli government was committed to stopping Iran's nuclear program "in one way or another."

"We need a credible military option. The Iranians understand the West has capabilities, but as long as the Iranians don't think that the West has the political stomach and determination to use it they will not stop," Ya'alon affirmed. "Currently they don't think that the world is determined."

Ya'alon also stated that all Iranian facilities can be reached in a military strike. "Anything built by humans can be destroyed by humans... I say this from experience as a former IDF chief of staff," he said.

Ya'alon also said that Iran and Hezbollah were working with drug cartels in Mexico to learn how to smuggle materials into the US, a conduit that could one day be used to smuggle weapons into the country.


Ya'alon said that the West still does not fully understand the severity of the nuclear threat posed by Iran. "America is the larger Satan," he said.
B-b-b-but Iran is no threat to the United States. Ron Paul said so.

So why would they be developing an extremely long-range missile?  Maybe it's not a missile.  Maybe it's just a giant Roman candle.  Yeah, that's it.  That's the ticket.

Just like those Iranian centrifuges.  They're not being used for uranium enrichment. Oh, perish the thought! They're ... they're ... just ... little merry-go-rounds.  See? You people are just paranoid! And warmongers, too!

And so what if the mullahs are developing an intercontintental ballistic missile on which they plan to put a nuclear warhead?  They have every right to do that.  And they have every right to attack us, too.  After all, almost 60 years ago we deposed Muhammad Mossedegh, so turnabout is fair play.  We have it coming. 

(Let me be perfectly clear: that was sarcasm, though my guess is that it's not too far from what Ron Paul actually thinks.)

So, this story puts some more context into the mysterious explosion that ripped apart a major Iranian missile base a while back. The New York Times, surprisingly enough, has an interesting, lengthy piece about Israel's effort against the mullahs' nuclear program.  Israel may be preparing to take the action that the US likely will not

And why not has always befuddled me.  It's not just Obama, mind you.  It's George W. Bush, too.  And even the great Ronald Reagan, who stooped to selling the mullahs weapons in an effort to free some American hostages they had taken.  No one -- no one -- has stood up to the mullahs.  Even though they are at war with us.  And have been since 1979.

As Michael Ledeen explains:
To repeat:  the war is on.  It’s been on for three decades.  Ayatollah Khomeini declared war on the United States in February, 1979, and the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran have been killing Americans ever since.
When they demonstrate in the streets and chant “Death to America!” what do you think they mean?
When they call us the “Great Satan,” do you think that’s the opening gambit in a negotiation to “normalize relations”?  Iran and the United States had very warm relations before the 1979 Revolution, after all.  The Carter administration desperately sought warm relations with Khomeini et. al.
The Iranian regime was not interested then, and there is no good reason to believe they are interested now.  Yes, from time to time they are prepared to execute tactical retreats, but their war against us continues, yesterday in Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia, today in Afghanistan and throughout Africa (if our experts look carefully, they will see the Iranian claw at work in Nigeria, for example), and tomorrow in Latin America and within the homeland, in tandem with their friends in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, and others.
To date, we have had various documented responses.  On the battlefield, we have defended ourselves against Iranian-trained and -equipped terrorists and their IEDs and EFPs.  We have spent billions of dollars to try to thwart or mitigate the effects of these “roadside bombs.”  As a visit to a military hospital will demonstrate, we continue to see terribly maimed soldiers and Marines under medical treatment, so, while we have made some progress, this remains a very real problem.
Despite the oft-repeated mantra that Iran operates through proxies, in Iraq and Afghanistan they sent the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign legion — aka the Quds Force — to kill our guys.  By the end of the fighting in Iraq we had hundreds of them in military detention centers.  And sent them all back, via the Iraqi government, as part of the Status of Forces Agreement.  Cynics call this “the catch and release policy.”
Ron Paul either doesn't get it or doesn't care:
Paul imagines a world where there are no credible threats, and thus nothing worth responding to. He imagines that the Constitution of the United States is binding over the lot of man, regardless of whether they are citizens or foreign enemy combatants. Worst of all, he imagines no cultural distinction motivating the behavior of regimes like Iran’s:
I don’t know of anybody who can militarily threaten [Israel]. They have 300 nuclear weapons. Nobody’s gonna touch them…
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a multitude of imams and Islamist fanatics disagree. They don’t value life as Western civilization does. Indeed, they embrace death as a path to salvation. In their hands, a single nuclear weapon is a far greater threat to human life than the 300 held by a nation like Israel, which hopes never to use them.
Paul’s inability to make such an essential distinction has kept his support from rising above a particular ceiling. Yet, what support he has remains impressively stable, indicating that he speaks to some chord within many voters.
Too many, but fortunately not a majority, or even a plurality:
How far should the US go to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon?  A new poll from The Hill shows that 49% of Americans would support military action by the US to stop Iran from developing or acquiring a nuclear weapon, with only 31% opposed:
Nearly half of likely voters think the United States should be willing to use military force to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, according to this week’s The Hill Poll.
Forty-nine percent said military force should be used, while 31 percent said it should not and 20 percent were not sure.
Sixty-two percent of likely voters said they were somewhat or very concerned about Iran making a terrorist strike on the United States, while 37 percent said they were not very concerned or not at all concerned about it.
If that sounds like a rejection of Ron Paul’s campaign platform on foreign policy, well, it is.  The same percentage willing to take on Iran to stop them from getting a nuclear weapon also opposes military cuts as a means for deficit reform, although 40% approve of the idea, making it a little more close.


Of course, this doesn’t address the question of whether Iran’s nuclear program can be stopped through military action in the first place (a very big question), nor how the Iranian people — who are the biggest threat to the mullahs at the moment — would react to a foreign attack.  It also fails to address if and how such an action would destabilize the region, and whether the US has the resources to launch and maintain a war against Iran with our efforts next door in Afghanistan still ongoing.  But if the Obama administration put together a credible plan to end the Iranian nuclear program through military intervention, the US would at least be open to the idea.
It's hard to come up with crappier policies on defense and foreign affairs than Barack Obama.  But Ron Paul manages to do so.  Which takes talent ... I guess ...

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