By Carol Devine-Molin
Our dreaded nuclear showdown with Iran is at hand. America must now respond to this fundamental question: Do we let a lawless regime, which is the foremost state sponsor of transnational terrorism, get hold of nuclear weaponry? Clearly, the answer is no. The world's only remaining superpower, led by President George Bush, is not about to let the crazed Islamofascists of Iran make pixie dust out of Western civilization.
If left to their own devices, what can we anticipate from this fanatical bunch in Tehran? Once nuclear-armed, Iran would undoubtedly ratchet up the bluster – not much of a stretch, given its already wildly out-of-control rhetoric – and quickly proceed to torment the West with nuclear blackmail, a host of demands, and an orchestrated campaign of non-nuclear terrorist attacks, all calculated to break the will of the West. Things would only escalate. There would be no appeasing this terribly irrational and malevolent regime.
Inevitably, Iran's leadership would work itself up into a full-fledge tizzy, launching nuclear attacks on its own, or in tandem with one of its surrogate terrorists groups to share in the dirty work. Cities such as Washington DC, NYC, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv and London would be at the top of Iran's hit list. The question many might ask is this: Are these radical Islamists concerned about retaliation? Not really. At its root, radical Islam is an apocalyptic death cult. They'll kill, and they're prepared to be killed. But more about that later.
By its own admission, the leadership of Iran is hell-bent on bringing the West to its knees, starting with the destruction of America and the tiny nation of Israel, the latter being the lone outpost of the West in the Middle East, and surrounded by a sea of enemies. Iran, led by a patently deranged extremist, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and his mullah cohorts, won't be deterred from acquiring nukes. Significant diplomatic efforts by "The Big Three" European powers (France Germany and the UK), and more recently Russia, have failed to persuade Iran to abandoned its nuclear ambitions. It would be fair to say that the Iranians were always gaming us, stringing us along, with no intention of engaging in serious and constructive negotiations.
And what of the UN? After two years, "The Big Three" have concluded that diplomacy is at a "dead end", and they're calling upon the International Atomic Energy Agency (the UN's nuclear watchdog) to refer Iran to the UN Security Council for possible economic and diplomatic sanctions. UN sanctions are really all about symbolism and "feelgoodism". It's a show of unity that permits the global community to pat itself on the back with one hand, and wag its finger in the face of the offending nation with the other hand. But will the UN sanctions effectively pressure Iran into mending its ways? Or will Iran blow-off condemnation of its nuclear breach as just more empty words from the UN ivory tower? You can bet, it's the latter. When it comes right down to it, the Iranians are well aware that UN sanctions have no teeth.
And here's some other food-for-thought about the UN: First, knowing these worthless apparatchiks and terrorist sympathizers at the UN, it's highly doubtful that anything substantive will be accomplished at that venue. Second, when have UN sanctions ever really worked? Sanctions only hurt the common man in any given society, while the corrupt elites, who know how to work the system, find ways to manipulate or circumvent sanctions in order to survive and even thrive. A perfect case in point is Saddam's Iraqi regime. The UN Oil-for-Food program was initially developed to counter the debilitating effects of sanctions upon the Iraqi people after the Gulf War and prior to Saddam's ouster. Instead, Saddam and his cronies co-opted the UN Oil-for-Food program, and used it as their own little slush fund. The inept and corrupt UN was part and parcel of those shenanigans.
Now let's examine the Iranian leadership more closely: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahocracy (Teheran's "revolutionary" ruling class comprised of hundreds of mullahs – Muslim clerics – who are in pivotal political positions) have made no bones about the fact that they're committed to targeting America, the "Great Satan", and Israel, the "Little Satan", which are deemed intolerably decadent and worthy of destruction by Radical Islamist standards. There's no denying that the hard-line leaders of Iran are a bunch of lunatics, particularly Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who might very well be one of the terrorists who held the American hostages during the famed 444-day episode at the American Embassy in Tehran, circa 1979-1981. Several of the former hostages have come forward to identify Ahmadinejad as one of their captors, and if confirmed, demonstrates that Ahmadinejad has bona fides of long standing within the realm of terrorism. Let's just say there are many other disturbing allegations regarding Ahmadinejad's past floating about.
But there's so much more that's disconcerting about this bizarre individual who is obsessed with a messianic figure from antiquity and an apocalyptic cult. Ahmadinejad believes that he's paving the way for the "second coming" of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi, who will usher in a new era. Ahmadinejad is no saintly John the Baptist. Rather, the Iranian leader appears bent on perpetrating chaos and destruction.
Sadly, Ahmadinejad is not alone in his wacko beliefs; Other Iranian elites share Ahmadinejad's end-time vision and proclivity to embrace "pave the way" activism to help bring about the annihilation of the West. Reportedly, Ahmadinejad has assigned devotees of this "mystical 12th Imam" cult to his cabinet and various governmental spots. Worse yet, it wouldn't be a stretch to characterize Ahmadinejad as out-of-touch with reality. He's not only delusional, but experiences hallucinations as well. And this is the Iranian leader who wants to control nuclear weapons? If it weren't for the monumentally high stakes, Ahmadinejad would be considered just another pathetic figure. Instead, the first word that comes to mind when discussing Ahmadinejad is "dangerous".
According to Iran expert and author Ken Timmerman: "When Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations in New York last September, he suddenly felt himself surrounded by light. It wasn't the stage lighting, he said. It was light from heaven… Ahmadinejad's "vision" at the UN could be dismissed as political posturing if it weren't for a string of similar statements and actions that suggest he believes that he is destined to bring about the "end times" - the end of the world - by paving the way for the return of the Shiite Muslim messiah. Given that Iran continues to pursue suspect nuclear programs, which could bring the Islamic Republic dangerously close to a weapons capability, a leader with messianic visions is worrying. After all, this is the same man who recently pledged to use Iran's newfound powers to "wipe Israel off the map" and to "destroy America."
One key question we should ponder is this: How would a nuclear-armed Iran, with a growing delivery capacity (courtesy Russia, China, and others) play out in the real world? There are no certainties in this life, only educated guesses. That's precisely why the Pentagon is always running war games, which examine possible threats to our national security and help in the development of contingency plans to address whatever comes down the pike. For example, Iran might decide to engage in simultaneous nuclear attacks upon Israel and its vital ally, the US, for the two-fold purpose of disabling the US and thwarting its ability to come to the defense of a stricken Israel. Another scenario being bandied about has Iran utilizing a nuclear bomb to create a high-altitude nuclear burst - an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon - which has the capacity to cripple America's electronic infrastructure.
According to a July 2004 report in Jane's Defence Weekly, "The US armed forces infrastructure, and American society at large, remain vulnerable to a debilitating attack by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) generated by a high-altitude nuclear blast, a senior-level, congressionally appointed panel has warned." In effect, an "electronic blanket" would knock out electrical grids, all communications, computers, appliances, cars, trucks, train tracks, etc. Telecommunications and all types of advanced computer technologies are particularly vulnerable to an EMP attack. Although the American populace would survive an initial blast of this sort, it could potentially deny the populace access to electricity, news/information, modern day transportation, and basic supplies such as food, water and medicine for a considerable period. In such a scenario, starvation and illness would be rampant, and numerous casualties would ensue. In other words, a devastating nuclear EMP attack would lead to slow death of a populace, making it an especially insidious type of warfare.
EMP weaponry (e-Bombs) can be both nuclear and non-nuclear in nature; it's an open secret that the US military's highly classified research facilities have been working on a new generation of weapons for many years, including sophisticated non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse technologies and lasers. The US military has been drawn to e-bombs because of its non-lethal aspects that would damage an enemy's technologies with precision strikes, but minimize collateral damage and preserve civilian lives.
There's extensive information readily available about EMP weaponry on the Internet, but one good source that's relatively easy to grasp is at www.science.howstuffworks.com. The website notes that "The U.S. military has been pursuing the idea of an e-bomb for decades, and many believe it now has such a weapon in its arsenal...Much of the United States' EMP research has involved high power microwaves (HPMs)." Now, it's doubtful that this new weaponry under development is ready for prime time. However, when it's eventually deployed, and that still could be years away, it will revolutionize the way in which the US conducts military strikes.
Now back to the Iran crisis at hand: In all likelihood the US military, in cooperation with the Israeli military, will be required to engage in surgical strikes upon Iranian nuclear facilities in order to stop the lawless regime from going nuclear. Reportedly, our military is prepared to hit pivotal nuclear sites at Bushier, Natanz, Arak, Isfahan, among others, with cruise missiles. According to Fox News, "F-117 stealth fighter jets could take out a radar system by firing missiles and anti-aircraft guns at Isfahan or surface-to-air missiles around the Bushier reactor. B-2 bombers carrying eight 5,000-pound laser-guided bunker busters would hit buried targets like the Natanz enrichment site or the deep tunnels in Isfahan."
And this point has to be underscored, because the political Left – which is given to histrionics and overreaction - always gets it wrong. There will be no ground war in Iran, no soldiers in the mud. Any thinking person understands that the probability is literally zero-nada-zilch that the US military is going to conduct an all-out assault with ground troops. Is that clear enough?
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.
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