Posts Tagged ‘ nuclear weapons ’

Why the desire to pull the troops out of Iraq in the first place?


In the Australian today:

NO sooner did President Barack Obama welcome home American troops from Iraq and laud that country’s stability and democracy than an unprecedented wave of violence across Baghdad and elsewhere revealed the severity of Iraq’s political crisis.

Unfortunate, yet hardly surprising, even to the most casual of observers.

And whilst I can understand (yet not agree with) the Left’s position not to send troops into Iraq in the first place – an argument, largely moot, for another day – what I don’t understand is their fervish desire to pull the troops out.

It always smacked of idealism, ideology, rather than hard-nosed practicality.

After all, what was so bad with having a US troop presence there to help maintain Iraq’s fragile democratic stability?

One could argue that I am biased because a) I am centre-right politically and b) because I live in South Korea, a nation that has had a US troop presence – some 37,000 28,000 or so currently – since the armistice between North and South Korea and have seen what a permanent US troop presence looks like.

I am happy to accept those labels and can gladly tell you that such a presence ain’t that bad.

By and large,  US bases in Korea – and Japan for that matter – haven’t been a problem.

Sure, issues pop up from time to time, but if one looks at the big picture, then a strong US presence here can only be seen as a good thing, a safe option, a pretty darn good insurance policy against North Korea trying anything major on.

Almost 60 years we’ve had US troops over here without any major problems. In fact, many major problems (a full-scale Nork attack comes to mind) have arguably been averted thanks to this presence.

So, why the rush to leave Iraq essentially free of any US military  before even a decade is up and before, as is clear now, the job is done?

OK, so perhaps it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges. US troops in Korea, aside from those stationed at the DMZ, aren’t on active duty as they were in Iraq.

However, it’s not a completely dissimilar situation. Perhaps a good analogy would be to compare mandarins and oranges.

US troops not only provided safety and stability in the fledgling democracy that is Iraq – a country still steeped with sectarian and tribal rivalries – but surely they also provided a deterrence to anybody or any groups who want to destabilise the nation.

What takes years to build can take mere seconds to destroy, and I fear a lot of hard work is being undone on the whim of a flawed, feel-good, ideology.

So why?

The only practical reason that I can see for Obama pulling his troops out of Iraq is that with an Iranian confrontation looming which includes action needed in Syria, Iraq frankly isn’t important enough any more or at best, an impractical option for a potentially over-stretched military.

Of course, Obama – a man of the progressive Left – can’t actually come out and say that but it is reasonably well-known to those who don’t just get their news from the MSM that Obama is actually more of a war-time president than Bush was, having committed more troops to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and for a longer period of time.

So whilst the MSM might play along with the “bringing the troops home” narrative, the evidence indicates this simply isn’t the case.

Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian* and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.
Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).

(*BTW, I don’t recall Aussie PM Gillard highlighting that one.)

And this:

As the US and Israel carried on bickering over the right time to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile’s military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were to be seen this week cutting eastward through the skies of Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years.

Add into this mix reports that China will reportedly help Saudi Arabia build a nuclear bomb, and that both China and India have started paying Iran for its oil in gold thus helping thwart current US/UN sanctions (more of which were recently thwarted by Russia and China), then we see a stage set for a showdown and we see the reality that rhetoric aside, Obama won’t be bringing many troops home at all.

To someone who doesn’t know any better, it’s as if Russia, India, and China – all wannabe first chickens to the trough – are ganging up on America.**

PS Who wouldn’t love to be a fly on the wall listening in to what the US is really saying about China? Their ever-expanding use of soft power is in many ways, stuffing it all up for America. China must surely be becoming an ever-increasing pain in the neck.

This leaves Australia in an interesting position. Our main export partner is China. Our main ally is the US. We send China our goodies to help them get rich and rival America. We practice shooting our guns with America to help keep America on top.

And yet China and America are also so deep in each other’s pockets. America buys China’s goods. China buys America’s debt.

Fun times.

** I highly recommend reading The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. Part of the book talks about the pecking order of nations.

As Iran inches ever closer to the bomb…


Not the best news for a Sunday…

Tehran media trumpeted the news Sunday, Jan. 8 that Iran’s deep underground uranium enrichment site at Fordo near Qom goes stream soon, thereby crossing another line in its faceoff with the West on its weapons program. The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Fereydoun Abbasi Davani told the Kayhan daily: … 20 percent, 3.5 percent and four percent enriched uranium can be produced at this site.” debkafile’s military sources report that 60 percent is equally feasible, just one step before weapons grade.

And once it’s online, we can’t attack it. Something had better be done pronto before it’s too late.

We waited too long with North Korea and now look where we are.

Meanwhile, South Korea is wise to reconsider its dependence on Iran’s oil.

UPDATE

Ex-military bloke JM Heinrichs in comments says there would, actually, be a few ways to render even a deep underground facility ineffective.

UPDATE II

The situation is ramping up.

Iran launched a military maneuver near its border with Afghanistan on Saturday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported, days after naval exercises in the Gulf increased tensions with the West and pushed up oil prices.

And this:

Tension in the oil shipping lanes of the Gulf looks set to intensify amid indications that Iran, Israel and the US will hold military exercises designed to test weaponry and tactics.

“no accident”


The middle east is a volatile enough region as it is. What an even bigger headache it would be if Iran ever fully realises their nuclear weapon capabilities.

AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran’s military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was “no doubt” that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was “no accident”.

Indeed; turning the screws.

And some of the fallout from the new sanctions imposed on Iran?

Britain has evacuated all its diplomatic staff from Iran, Western diplomatic sources told Reuters on Wednesday, a day after protesters stormed and ransacked its embassy and a residential compound.

UPDATE (via JM)

A decent look into what could happen to oil prices – various scenarios – in the event of a war with Iran.

Israel to strike Iran’s nuke facilities by Christmas


That’s according to the latest intelligence (so er, we’ll see)

Israel will launch military action to prevent Iran developing a nuclear weapon as soon as Christmas, intelligence chiefs have warned.

A report by a UN watchdog into Iran’s nuclear ambitions ‘completely discredits’ the Islamic nation’s protestations of innocence, according to Foreign Secretary William Hague.

The International Atomic Energy Agency found that Iran is developing a nuclear test facility, nuclear detonators and computer modelling for a nuclear warhead that would fit on an existing missile.

Sources say the understanding at the top of the British Government is that Israel will attempt to strike against the nuclear sites ‘sooner rather than later’ – with logistical support from the U.S.

A senior Foreign Office figure has revealed that ministers have been told to expect Israeli military action, adding: ‘We’re expecting something as early as Christmas, or very early in the new year.’

Officials believe President Barack Obama would have to support the Israelis or risk losing vital Jewish-American support in the next presidential election.

Oh, so that’s why. Re-election. Never mind that Iran has a leader who wants Israel “wiped of the map” in order to help usher in his fantastic idea of the 12th Immam, that Iran, China and North Korea are trading missile technologies and that possessing nukes could destabilise the US vital oil supllier, Saudi Arabia.

Never mind that, Obama. You just concentrate on getting yourself re-elected.

“I can’t stand [Israeli PM, Netanayu] any more, he’s a liar,” Mr Sarkozy said in French.

You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day,” Mr Obama replied.

Fills you with confidence, doesn’t it?

H/T & H/T

One step closer to a nuclear Middle East


This doesn’t bode well for Bob Brown’s dreams of a one world government.

LONDON — Iran has carried out secret tests of ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload in breach of UN resolutions, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday.

Hague’s comments came a day after Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said they had fired 14 missiles in an exercise, one of them a medium-range weapon capable of striking Israel or US targets in the Gulf.

In a statement to lawmakers, Hague said: “Iran has also been carrying out covert ballistic missile tests and rocket launches, including testing missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload in contravention of UN resolution 1929.”

He said Iran had also announced plans to triple its capacity to produce 20 percent enriched uranium, adding: “These are enrichment levels far greater than is needed for peaceful nuclear energy.

Yet another example of the UN not working on the side of Freedom, and why would it considering so many of its member states.

Meanwhile, the Saudi’s are saying that if Iran builds nukes, they will too. Sooo, it looks like the Saudis will have nukes some day. I wonder who’ll help them with the technology. This guy?

H/T

UPDATE

Rudd underlined Iran’s outstanding position in history and civilization, and called for continued consultations between the two countries.

Meanwhile, how about that season’s worth of cattle and a refugee policy?

Wikileaks nukes ‘em again!


Am still in two minds over what Assange is doing, but this info is gold, and to be honest, we the people should have been told about this one before the exposé.

BURMA is believed to be building a secret nuclear program with the help of North Korea, in a move that could pose a major threat to regional stability.

Classified US government documents released by WikiLeaks disclose a series of suspicious events in Burma since 2004 that indicate a clandestine joint military program with the maverick nuclear-armed North Korean regime.

The documents reveal that the US embassy in Canberra was told in November last year “something is certainly happening” in relation to military and possibly nuclear co-operation between the two dictatorships.

One cable refers to Australia’s ambassador to Burma, Michelle Chan, trying to verify the accuracy of a report she received that the regimes of Kim Jong-il and Than Shwe were “engaged in peaceful nuclear co-operation”. Another cable said that a source in the Burmese military government had said General Shwe had visited North Korea in 2008.

This certainly makes the case a lot clearer and more certain for taking North Korea out should they be stupid enough to provide another pretext. It was reported two days ago that South Korea is setting up a plan for precision missile strikes should the North do that.

With this new nuke info, why stop there?

But back to Assange. Apart from the delicious irony that these leaks – released because Julian has it in for America – have made the good guys (us) look better and the bad guys look even worse, and keeping in mind this has hurt US diplomacy, will cost lives, and because of such, the US will be hampered in their ability to protect us; keeping all that in mind, it’s impossible to get too riled up about the bloke.

Let’s see what a wiser, more knowledgeable head has to say. Christopher Hitchens:

The Australian today reprinted a column originally published last Monday in Slate. Well, basically Hitchens says he wouldn’t have done it, it’s against journalistic standards (essentially what Andrew Bolt said too on MTR) and that Assange “is plainly a micro-megalomaniac with few if any scruples and an undisguised agenda.”

Yeah, perhaps so, but the Burma/Korea thing, I’ll reiterate, is something we had a right to know. It’s one thing being a journalist, it’s another being a gatekeeper.

No, it’s not really “right” what Assange is doing, but he isn’t the real bad guy here.

UPDATE II

Wiser heads? Iowahawk’s take. :lol:

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