Iran’s ability to launch several hundred missiles into Europe prompted the White House to begin overhauling the U.S. missile defense program. In a U.S. intelligence briefing, Defense Secretary Robert Gates informed cabinet and congressional members that Iran was getting very close to procuring 100s of missiles capable of striking most European nations.
The United States will begin work on the “phased adaptive approach” or the intergraded sea and land-based missile installations placed around the European allies.
At a congressional meeting on Thursday Gates suggested new intelligence is behind the new push for a more targeted approach for defense missiles.
“One of the elements of the intelligence that contributed to the decision on the phased adaptive array (approach) was the realization that if Iran were actually to launch a missile attack on Europe, it wouldn’t be just one or two missiles, or a handful,” he said. “It would more likely be a salvo kind of attack, where you would be dealing potentially with scores or even hundreds of missiles.”
Secretary Gates said the updated missile interceptors the defense department was developing would give the U.S. the ability to protect American interests abroad as well as our closest allies.
However, Gates pointed out that the new missile interceptors would not be in place until 2020.
“I think by 2020 we may well see it from other states, especially if we’re unsuccessful in stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons,” he explained.
Gates attempted to placate Russia who will always hate the U.S. missile defenses because they cannot match America’s missile defense technology.
“There is no meeting of the minds on missile defense,” Gates told the panel. “The Russians hate it. They’ve hated it since the late 1960s. They will always hate it, mostly because we’ll build it and they won’t.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State said the Russian’s statement noted the Russian government’s right to withdraw from the New START treaty if it feels threatened by the expansion of American defenses against ballistic missiles Iran is building.
“But that is not an agreed upon view. That is not in the treaty,” Clinton told the Armed Services Committee.
In the meantime the U.S. will keep 720 deployed weapons: 240 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (distributed among 14 submarines); 60 heavy bombers, and up to 420 single-warhead Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at their current three U.S. bases, Gates explained.
Newly-minted Senator Scott Brown (R-MASS) expressed his concern that Russia and France’s conflicting interests with Iran and said the fact they are maintaining commercial relationships, perhaps, helping Iran circumvent international sanctions regarding their nuclear program.
“Russian leadership have all made this statement that this treaty is contingent on the United States not changing, or qualitatively or quantitatively building up, missile defense systems,” Gates said. “That is bound to be worrisome to anyone. The Russians can say what they want. If it’s not in the treaty, it’s not binding on the United States.”
In the meantime the Obama administration will continue their pacifist foreign policy programs, cross their fingers and hope it works.
Tea Party organizers have found their voice, grown exponentially and have exerted their political will into both parties. Many of these grassroots organizations are now celebrating their first anniversary, but one thing is certain, they won’t rest until Washington politics is restored to its roots and begins to live within its means.
According Dylan Ratigan at MSNBC the Tea Party movement has “no coach, no game plan, and did we mention, the tea party has a bit of an integrity problem, as everybody from birthers, to open racists, to outright Nazis are actually on the team. And no one involved, including its leadership, seems to mind the fact.”
Ask the millions of everyday Americans who attended political rallies for the first time in their lives about main stream media view of their cause and you get something along the lines of “sticks and stones.”
While the mainstream media continues to mock the grassroots movement, the Tea Party folks look at the swelling ranks assuring their value in the political process.
“There are two things I have discovered during the course of the past year regarding the media. First, San Diego is blessed to have very engaged and fair-minded local news organizations. Second, in terms of national coverage, Tea Party participants rely mainly on the internet, Facebook, and Twitter and we really don’t expect much out of the beltway/New York media organizations,” says Leslie Eastman founder of the Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition.
The chance to usurp a new movement may prove more difficult as the Tea Party remains leaderless. However that won’t stop the left trying to discredit a movement that is clearly resonating with a large majority of Americans. “What they still don’t understand is that this is a leaderless movement, this is a ‘We The People…’ movement. Our new website is a chance for ‘We The People’ to stand up and say that ‘I Am The Tea Party Leader,’” Eastman said.
“As a registered Democrat, and a co-founder of the Tea Party organization, I am taking a few moments to review information that has been setting citizen activists across the country abuzz. There are NO designated Tea Party Leaders,” Eastman explained.
Over the weekend the movement learned of a new clandestine attack against the Tea Party organizers. Recent upset victories in blue states have the Clinton political machine operating in overtime researching activities by Tea Party organizers. The man expected to head the full-frontal assault against the Tea Party crowd is none other than James Carville.
Big Government reports, “that Clintonistas are plotting a “push/pull” strategy. They plan to identify 7-8 national figures active in the Tea Party movement and engage in deep opposition research on them. If possible, they will identify one or two they can perhaps ‘turn’, either with money or threats, to create a mole in the movement. The others will be subjected to a full-on smear campaign.”
Responding to the attacks from the left, Tea Party organizers across the country have begun a counter-offensive. On their new website ‘I am the tea party leader’ the group posted a response to the attempt to discredit the grassroots movement.
“It is un-American and morally wrong for a former president to attack Americans who have gotten involved in the political system. It was Thomas Jefferson who said, ‘when the people fear the government there is tyranny.’” The website encourages tea party activists across the country o post a short video explaining why they are a leaderless movement and rebuff attacks.
According to Tea Party Patriots, “Our leaders are tea party organizers, patriots that make phone calls and send emails to their elected officials, bloggers, and activists that take time out of their lives to attend tea parties, the list goes on and on. We are the sleeping majority that has awakened.”
No matter the name calling the Tea Party movement likens itself to a starfish with many legs, “you cut one of us off and another will grow to take their place.”
“We patriots know that we are fighting for the principles that our freedom loving nation was founded on. We are just ordinary people reclaiming America’s founding principles. We are a diverse group that comes from every walk of life and ethnic background. We all have one thing in common and that is we love freedom – economic freedom and freedom from big government and massive government deficits,” says Tea Party Patriots.
In an effort to make it easier former President Clinton and James Carville to identify Tea Party leaders the group established the new web site. “We hope to collect videos from thousands of patriots telling former President Clinton and James Carville that they are Tea Party leaders. The videos are filmed at home, soccer fields, grocery stores and other locations that are indicative of the diversity of the tea party movement,” the organization contends.
When asked about former President Clintons attempt to get involved in discrediting Tea Parties, Eastman admits she is angry.
“I have mixed feelings. Anger, because the Tea Parties are comprised of average Americans exercising their First Amendment rights who should not be personally targeted by political elites. I feel sadness, because I voted for President Clinton in 1992, so he obviously valued my opinion then – should it count less now? And I feel mystified, Clinton has a legacy of a sound economy and being flexible enough to change course after the 1994 election – why should he interject himself now in this way and potentially damage any remaining relevancy and credibility he has,” Eastman said.
When it comes to marring the movement or trying to paint the Tea Party actions into some sort of racially negative movement Eastman warns the left-leaning media to be careful.
“It is the opinion of every Tea Party participant that if any attempt is made to target one of us, then the rest of us will rally and become more active. A good example of this is the new I am a leader website,” Eastman concludes. Link here; http://www.iamtheteapartyleader.com/
It doesn’t matter if the media or political talking heads agree or disagree with the Tea Party movement, what is important is that ‘we the people’ are seen in every town across the nation ready to make a difference on election day November 2010, according to the millions of Tea Party leaders.