March 1, 2008

Iran: The penultimate step is now within sight

... "Knowledge, insight and extrapolations of realism have reasoned that the future brings risk; the theocrats aspire to dominance within the entire Muslim world. The penultimate step is now within sight, an action that will deliver empire underpinned as it will be, by nuclear hardware, a pursuit that remains non-negotiable my friends..."

After much deception and accommodationist negotiations that amounted to failed diplomacy, Iran officially went nuclear in 2012. On the 4th day of November 2014, Obama, Clinton or McCain are midway through their second term of presidency, “an Iranian missile is fired from a barge in international waters, and detonates over Kansas at 300 miles altitude. The resulting EMP burns circuits in America's electric and communication networks. Within milliseconds, at least 70 percent of America's twin electrical infrastructures are destroyed. America is plunged instantaneously into the year 1875. Recovery takes many months, perhaps more than a year. Thousands of lives are lost, but not instantaneously. Trillions of dollars in market value disappear. Iran threatens to destroy 5 Arab and 5 European capitals if the US retaliates...”

Continuing on the topic of one of this blogs stated goals; “intended to … highlight threats to”, I once again draw attention to Iran, a nation whose leadership and the ideology it champions, poses a danger of a magnitude at least as great as the potential threat that was the Soviet Union at the height of the cold war. Granted that the former only possesses but a minute fraction of the latter’s firepower, but America was always ready for Stalin, Malenkov, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, and finally Gorbachev. I fear is that she may not be ready for Ahmadinejad.

John C. Wohlstetter offers a provocative and disturbing scenario in a recent Frontpage interview discussing his new book, “The long war ahead and the short war upon us". Thoroughly examined is America's war on terror from two equally important standpoints. The Long War refers to the uncivilized merciless enemies who have little regard for life and place and seek to make use of use modern technologies for wiping out our societies. The Short War describes Washington’s race to deter a Weapons of Mass Destruction cataclysm.

The thrust of his argument is that while the longer war is winnable, made possible by the short sightedness and imperfections of radical Islam, the short war may be lost unless there is a major shift in domestic priorities including human and material resource investment. In his own words, the long war is, “a war against militant Islamofascist ideology in its several forms, one that it likely at minimum several decades in duration. It is a civilizational war of survival, but not Professor Huntington's famous "clash of civilizations," because our enemies stand only for death and destruction, while all civilizations, including the great Islamic ones, celebrate life and creation. It is, simply put, a war of survival between imperfect civilization and perfect barbarism. The Short War is a war of prevention, aimed at reducing to the smallest possible chance a successful WMD attack on American soil, or the soil of our allies.”

The Bush administration will claim that much has been achieved in securing homeland security since 9/11; indeed much has, but painfully more needs to be done, here Wohlstetter offers some suggestions:

“Impose severe, broad economic sanctions on Iran, going outside the UN, where Russia and China will veto any strong sanctions, and engage with Iran's human rights movements; condition suspension of sanctions on Iran's verifiably ending uranium enrichment. Strongly support human rights groups in any event (as we did vis-à-vis the USSR during the Cold War).”

“Broadly engage as many factions inside Pakistan as possible, so that America is not hostage to the fortunes of one party or leader; intensify Predator patrols over Waziristan, with delegated decision authority to take out senior al-Qaeda figures on sight or shortly after a sighting.”

“Significantly accelerate and expand defense spending across the board, increasing greatly both military manpower and modern equipment.”

“Accelerate missile defense deployment and take measures to secure our military and commercial satellites, and accelerate hardening of infrastructures against terrorist attacks”.

“Step up a non-apologetic public diplomacy that denies our adversaries free access to our media to propagandize, and covertly subsidizes moderate media organizations and leaders abroad (as we did during the Cold War).”

Read the whole piece here

Knowledge, insight and extrapolations of realism have reasoned that the future brings risk; the theocrats aspire to dominance within the entire Muslim world. The penultimate step is now within sight, an action that will deliver empire underpinned as it will be, by nuclear hardware, a pursuit that remains non-negotiable my friends.

Who does not abhor the surprise that was Pearl Harbour or shocks of the 9/11 variety? Events that bring that bring to mind that devastating feeling, the one that prompts the question, “How could this have happened”?

Thus foolish is the one who dismisses such reckoning dismissing it as none more, than the words of an attention seeking doomsayer. For the sake of its own, Washington must not refrain from re-visiting a “muscular unilateralist” position if events call for it. Least not, the world outside will provide a reason for it. My fear is that until external events validate that current policies are inadequate, there will exist little counterpoise within political circles to act.

See also: Iran's Nuclear Lunge for Power

Over to you

Photo credit: msnbc Feb. 26, 2008: TEHRAN, Iran - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that the research rocket Iran recently launched was built in just nine months without using any foreign models. Iran's launch of a rocket in early February provoked unease in an international community already suspicious over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program since the technology involved can also be used to deliver warheads.


Tapline said...

Otto, Outstanding post......My sentiments exactly, but what to do. Seems like a paper tiger all over again......stay well....

Right Truth said...

Excellent article and questions raised as to how we will respond to the long war and the short war. First the threat must be recognized and I'm not sure a lot of our politicians are doing that. They seem to be too busy saying and doing anything to get elected, and not enough time actually pondering what they will face IF elected, and how they will respond.

It is very worrisome.

Much has been done by Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, local law enforcement and also businesses and individuals, since September 11, 2001.

Wohlstetter is correct, we need to forget about the UN, Russia, China, because they are not willing to help us, they are looking out for themselves financially. Both Russia and China are connected to Iran's dirty deeds through their own war machine. He is also correct about Pakistan, but things are so shaky there this is very delicate.

Right Truth said...

Oops that was me, debbie of Right Truth

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

MathewK said...

It's funny how Iran seems to be coming up with a lot of missiles in the pursuit of their alternate 'energy source'!

The war with Iran started many decades ago, but we just kept walking away. Even today they are funding and aiding terrorism around the globe and still we won't touch them. One day we will be forced to, the only question is, how much are we prepared to lose before we finally decide that enough is enough.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Scary scenerio there Otto. Reckon there would be a staute of limitations on something like that?

Or would retaliation be fast and absolute?

I think Debbie has a great point - America Unbound. Unbound by the UN or NATO or the G8 or anything else.

Karen Townsend said...

Wohlstetter did a speech recently carried by C-SPAN and he spoke about his book. Really smart guy.

In this presidential campaign Obama and Clinton, especially Obama, are fond of accusing Republicans of using 9/11 to fearmonger for votes. They are so clueless, they are scary.

Jeff Wills said...

Great post, Otto. We really do have so many foreign policy challenges over the coming years. Should we trust them to someone like Obama? Iran really is our greatest threat. Israel may act militarily by the end of the year regardless of what we do, and we should covertly support them if we can't stop it. Barring Israeli strikes, the U.S. should be in the planning phase now for an eventual “shock and awe“ over the skies of Iran. If we don’t act to stop this eventually we will ALL be nuclear hostages to the Iranian Mullahs.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Excellen post. Iran is a powder keg waiting to explode. Their nuclear ambitions are neing treated as if it is a figmant of someones imagination and the Dems actually believe that they are capable of TALKING to Achmanutjob !

There comes a time when one maust take a stand for the betterment of everyone even if that stand is controversial and goes against some conventional wisdom.

The time to take a hard, tough and even military stand agsint Iran is now or come 2012 or maybe sooner you scenerio will be a reality!

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Tap: Wohlstetter states a number of things we can do, unfortunately not that many recognize the extent of the threat yet.

Debbie Right Truth: Correct, the Russia-China-Iran Axis has not featured in the present Presidential race, one where nearly every candidate is promising change but the change that may have the most impact over the next decade lies in Tehran not DC. The Iranian regime is extending its tentacles.

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

mk: Iran seeks greater power and regional dominance and will do what is necessary to achieve this. New missile development under the guise of energy security is one way. Watch Russia and China who are giving the Iranians some cover eve at the U.N. level thus allowing them to continue enriching under a cozy security blanket.

Great Satans Girl: Retaliation would be “fast and absolute,” it would have to be, more accurately it would want to be.

Unbound means dispensing with the constraints of the institutions you mention and doing what needs to be done.

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Karen: It amazes me that, in a post 9/11 universe, highlighting the aforementioned event is seen as fear mongering spin, they need to get real; clueless they remain.

Jeff: Exactly, you spell it out well. I think we can suggest with some confidence that “planning phases” to deal with Iran are on the cards, but that is as far as we can go. As I said, “my fear is that until external events validate that current policies are inadequate, there will exist little counterpoise within political circles to act.”

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth: Short of acting militarily, at least someone should be suggesting a policy of openly advocating a regime change policy with regards to the fanatical nation that is, today’s Iran.

Current policy is wholly inadequate. The U.S. must be bolder, current policy is scattered ... weak...

Jay@Soob said...

What, exactly, does the Iranian regime gain by lobbing a nuke at the US?

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Subadei: Thanks for commenting ... Cannot offer any intelligent and/or commonsensical reason for an attack on the U.S.

Who knows what may tinker inside the mind of fanatics and rogue elements of the Ahmadinejad machine...

Fanaticism: "Excessive enthusiasm, unreasoning zeal, or wild and extravagant notions, on any subject, especially religion, politics or ideology; religious frenzy."

Source: Webster Dictionary

Anonymous said...

somehow i missed that interview, but i'm up on it now. i did see his speech on c-span and it was also awesome.

he makes great points that all of our pols are busy trying to ignore. i believe the chief reason for their self-induced ignorance is their desire to be non-offensive to the muslim fanatics.

this whole scenario presented wohlstetter is made even more frightening in the wake of the iraqi president (jalal talabani) joining with mahmoud imadinnerplate in condemning and anti-iranian group operating in iraq - story here:,1,7102379.story.

this is not a good step forward for our long war and moves us closer to the short war. we are not prepared, even with the steps taken by our government. we will never be ready, nor fully willing, to act in the manner we need to so long as we are bound by the constraints of the world.

unbound, indeed. i'm with you courtney.

heidianne jackson

Brian H. Gill said...

Thanks for another post: this one a bit disturbing.

First, answering subadei's question (what would Iran gain?)- By killing many infidels (I believe a more appropriate term might be "kafirs" or "kafiri"), Iran would strike a blow for True Islam, or whatever they're calling their flavor at that time. The Great Satan would be weakened, and any internal SNAFUs would be less noticeable - for a while.

And, Iran would gain a great deal of respect in parts of the Islamic world.

I'm not so sure that Kansas would be a target of choice. It seems that the Islamic terrorists, Iran's Ayatollahs included, prefer high-profile, dramatic targets.

Kansas certainly does not qualify.

It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I think it's more likely that Iran would target a major city, probably one of the coastal centers. Who knows? They might even target Washington, DC, while Congress is in session. Survivors (there would be some: there are some pretty deep holes there) would, I think, find it difficult to forget that there are worse threats than a meaningful investigation into their personal lives, or restrictions on their ability to add pork to spending.

Although I think a nuclear attack is a low-probability event, it's certainly possible.

If the delivery system is a missile, the internationally-maligned test recently, involving the destruction of a crippled satellite recently, represents the start of a workable defense system.

Finally, as a sort of anodyne to that outburst of hopefulness, here's another scenario: A container ship, having picked up cargo from across the world, pulls into New York Harbor.

A member of the crew, or possibly someone on the wharf, dreaming of whatever martyrdom-happy Muslims dream of before committing mass murder, sends a signal.

The south few blocks of Manhattan are obliterated, down to the waterline. Port facilities in New Jersey are damaged: some beyond repair. Fires sweep Central Park as survivors swim to the middle of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, and - worst of all - the Britney Spears comeback tour concert at Madison Square Garden is canceled.

Sorry 'bout that - I got carried away.

Ottavio (Otto) Marasco said...

Heidianne: Hmmm, "self-induced ignorance is their desire to be non-offensive to the muslim fanatics." Not good. The whole purpose of circulating posts such as mine is to raise awareness. There is no logical reason for Iran to attack mainland U.S., but when you are dealing with these cultures logic matters less, if not little... Thanks for the link...

Brian: Thanks for addressing subadei's question. Yoo may be right about Kansas but when we are dealing with WMD any target turns dramatic. I completely agree that such a scenario remains a "low probabality event" but as you say it is possible...I see you present another scenario, just when I thught this blog is getting rather bleak, no not the port attack, Britney's comeback tour...Thanks for expressing you views here....

Progressive Pinhead said...

America certainly needs to be prepared to face a threat from Iran, however I do not think that Iran is likely to pose much of a threat to American interets in the future. The reason is not that Iran deos not have the capabilites, but rather the internal politcal enviorment of Iran is not favorable to the hard-liners.

Ahmadinejad, who was elected on economic and not foreign policy issues, is very weak. The conservative Iranians do control the top offices, but there influence cannot last for long in the face of a hostile populace. Khamenei is sick with cancer, Ahmadinejad's reelection prospects are bleak and the reformers are gaining in popularity. Either by the bullet or the ballot box the moderation of the Iranian people will eventually triumph over their government.

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