Iran Sucessfully Launches Satellite: Ballistic Nuclear Missiles Not Far Off

As morally evil as the Iranian regime is, I have to hand it to them: they have been playing a naive and appeasing Barack Obama the way a master violinist plays a Stradivarius.  At every single turn, they have fooled him, blocked him, tricked him, or stalled him while they have just continued feverishly working on developing a full-blown nuclear capability.

And now here we are, on the verge of a truly dark and terrible development in world history:

Iran’s Satellite Launch a Signal of Missile Progress, Analysts Say
By Turner Brinton
Space News Staff Writer
posted: 12 February 2009

WASHINGTON – Iran’s launch of a satellite into orbit last week will likely give U.S. and European leaders greater cause for concern that the Islamic republic is approaching the ability to field long-range ballistic missiles while its nuclear program continues to progress, analysts here agreed.

The Iranian government-sponsored Islamic Republic News Agency reported Feb. 3 that Iran had launched a research satellite called Omid into orbit aboard a Safir-2 rocket. This is Iran’s first domestically produced satellite to reach orbit and the first to successfully launch on an Iranian-built launch vehicle, according to Press TV, an Iranian government-sponsored news outlet.

The U.S. government, while not explicitly confirming Iran has launched a satellite, has expressed concern that Iran’s development of a space launch vehicle establishes the technical basis to develop long-range ballistic missile systems.

“Iran’s ongoing efforts to develop its missile delivery capabilities remain a matter of deep concern,” U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Wood said in a Feb. 3 statement. “Many of the technological building blocks involved in [space launch vehicles] are the same as those required to develop long-range ballistic missiles. … We will continue with our friends and allies in the region to address the threats posed by Iran, including those related to its missile and nuclear programs and its support of terrorism.”

Satellite watchers using orbital data provided from U.S. Strategic Command’s space surveillance network said the satellite is in an elliptical orbit that ranges from 242 kilometers to 382 kilometers in altitude, at an inclination of 55 degrees relative to the equator. Ted Molczan, an amateur satellite observer, said the satellite and part of the rocket that took it to space are both cataloged by Strategic Command and in similar orbits. The satellite appears to be tumbling, as its brightness in the sky changes rapidly, indicating the satellite’s likely lack of a stabilization or attitude control system. Both the satellite and rocket body are likely to begin to deorbit this summer, Molczan said.

“Dear people of Iran, your children have sent Iran’s first domestic satellite into orbit,” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Press TV. “May this be a step toward justice and peace. Iran’s official presence in space has been added to the pages of history.”

Meanwhile, Iran continues to develop its nuclear program, which it says it has the right to develop for peaceful civil uses as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Iran argues it needs nuclear power and will not use the technology to make weapons. The United Nations Security Council, which includes permanent members China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and the United States, has urged Iran to suspend the program numerous times to no avail.

“This [Iranian satellite launch] I think highlights the dual-use issue again, just as the nuclear issue does, and that is technology can be used for peaceful purposes or for weapons that can threaten other countries,” said Ted Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, a think tank here. “In terms of any kind of direct missile threat [to the United States], it’s likely to be many years before they could have that capability. The people worrying more are others in the Middle East and Europe.”

Carpenter said perhaps even more unsettling than the Iranian satellite launch are recent media reports that North Korea is again preparing to launch its three-stage Taepodong-2 missile, which some believe will have the range to reach U.S. territory. North Korea tested one of these missiles in 2006, but it failed shortly after launch and broke apart in the air.

“North Korea poses a much more direct threat to the United States because if it is true North Korea is planning to test an advanced version of the Taepodong-2, that could put Alaska and the U.S. west coast in range,” Carpenter said.

Thomas Donnelly, a defense and security policy analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, said the United States and Europe ought to be concerned about the progression of Iranian technology. He argued that Iran is more of a threat to the United States than North Korea, based on Tehran’s backing of insurgents in Iraq.

“That has been a capability we have seen Iran developing, but the fact that it now has actually happened is a jarring punctuation mark,” Donnelly said. “Given what we believe about their nuclear program, it seems pretty clear they’re very close to having a complete, deliverable weapon that would have the ability to reach out to Europe.”

Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution here, said though the Iranian satellite launch may not show an increase in the physical range of Iranian weapon systems, it is perhaps a more impressive display of technological prowess than a missile test launch would have been.

“That suggests a certain amount of control and guidance mastery,” O’Hanlon said. “You’ve got to hit a fairly narrow band to put something in orbit, and the simple act of firing a missile doesn’t tell you anything about how close the missile landed to its target.

“It demonstrates more sophistication than I would have assumed, but I am not surprised they did this.”

Too few Americans (and for that matter Europeans) comprehend the magnitude of this development.

Israel certainly does, given the fact that Iran has repeatedly vowed that “Israel is a cancer” which they one day intend to “wipe off the map.”

The fact that Ezekiel prophesied some 2600 years ago that Iran (Persia) would one day attack Israel in the last days along with a coalition that looks eerily like the one being assembled today.

About a quarter of Israelis have said that they would leave Israel if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, which would literally mean the death of the Jewish state.  Israeli leaders cannot possibly allow Iran to become a nuclear power.

And time is running out on them.

But it’s running out on the United States and Europe, also.

If Iran has nuclear weapons – and particularly if they have an intercontinental ballistic missile delivery system – they will be immune to attack.  Do you believe that Barack Obama would attack a nuclear-armed Iran?  I submit that Obama won’t dare attack a NON-nuclear armed Iran.  And no American president would attack a nation at the cost of one or more major U.S. cities.

If Iran gets its nukes, it will be able to do a number of things: 1) attack Israel, assuring Israel that if it uses its nukes against Iran, Iran will use its nukes against Israel; 2) shut down the Strait of Hormuz, which would immediately drive up oil.  The cost of gasoline in the U.S. would soar above $15 a gallon; 3) dramatically increase Iranian-sponsored terrorism worldwide.

If you don’t believe that a nuclear-armed Iran would pick a minimum of one of these options, you’re just nuts.

What we are seeing with Iran developing nuclear weapons and the means to project them is akin to the armament of Nazi Germany during the 1930s.  Many immediately recognized the threat the Nazis posed, but those in leadership were appeasing weaklings who were more interested in “transforming” their own societies than they were confronting genuine evil abroad.  The result was the Holocaust and the meat-grinder of World War II.

Democrats who are demagogues at heart will assert that George Bush allowed Iran to develop nuclear weapons as will.  They are liars: George Bush TRIED to persuade the U.S. to strongly confront Iran, and Democrats in Congress shrilly attacked him for his prescient knowledge of the Iranian threat.  Democrats claimed that Iran had suspended its nuclear program, and that the regime no longer posed a threat.  They couldn’t have been more wrong.

I wrote something about Iran’s nuclear program in May of 2008, and I stand by it:

Finally, the dilemma of the Iranian nuclear program serves as a sober reinforcement of the rightness of President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq. As with Iraq, we have in Iran a closed, totalitarian society that our intelligence cannot reliably penetrate. How will we know for sure when and if Iran develops nuclear weapons? Do we simply choose to allow them to do so? Are we willing to suffer the consequences of the world’s largest terrorist state and supporter of terrorism to have nukes? Are we willing to give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – who has publicly described his belief in an apocalyptic figure known as the “Twelfth Imam” who will come into the world via an act of global catastrophe – a nuclear trigger to place his finger upon? Are we willing to put nuclear weapons into the hands of someone who has repeatedly vowed to “wipe Israel off the map“?

If Iran gets nuclear weapons, you can pretty much figure that World War III is coming soon. For one thing, the country is led by apocalyptic religious fanatics who will likely either use the bomb to attack Israel, or else will smuggle it into the hands of terrorists who will do the job for them. For another, a nuclear weapon in Shiite Iran will trigger a nuclear arms race in the craziest region in the history of the world, as Sunni states feverishly work to build their own bomb to balance the power.

Meanwhile, we find both Democratic presidential candidates vocalizing longstanding opposition to the Iraq war, and promising a swift pullout if elected. The question is this: how can a president who claimed that the United States was wrong in attacking Iraq over legitimate concerns that it possessed weapons of mass destruction proceed to threaten to attack Iran over legitimate concerns that IT possesses nuclear weapons? And conversely, as the United States attempts to prevent Sunni Arab nations from developing their own nuclear weapons programs to balance Shiite Iran, how will a president – who refused to honor the American commitment to stand by Iraq – proceed to succeed in convincing Sunni countries that we will stand by them against any threat posed by Iran?

If we say that the United States was wrong to attack Iraq, then we tacitly affirm that it will be wrong to attack Iran even as it feverishly works on creating enough centrifuges to have the type of refined uranium it needs for one and only one purpose.

I also repeatedly pointed out in that three part series that countries such as Russia and China had protected Saddam Hussein by blocking every single United Nations resolution that could have prevented the Iraq War:

There was a process that the United Nations ostensibly provided by which two nations in material disagreement could come to a fair resolution. But what should have been an honest process was interfered with and corrupted by powerful member nations and by the United Nations itself. If we are going to blame anyone for the invasion, then let us blame countries like France and Russia, as well as the corrupt and grossly incompetent and negligent United Nations. They made it impossible for any just solution to prevail. In Saddam Hussein’s own words and thoughts, their protection and interference gave him the idea that he could defy the United States and keep the inspectors at bay without any meaningful consequence.

Those same countries are now protecting Iran the SAME exact way.  They are opposing sanctions and resolutions against Iran the SAME WAY they did against Iraq.  Since both countries are permanent veto-wielding members of the United Nations Security Council, they can absolutely shield Iran from ANY resolution as they choose.  And Barack Obama would have no choice but to go it alone if he wants to stop Iran’s nuclear program the same way Bush had to choose to go it alone.

But Obama WON’T DO THAT.  Which means Iran will have its nuclear capability during his watch.

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