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9/11 plus 15

Fifteen years ago today, 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four American planes, used them as guided missiles, brought down the World Trade Towers, severely damaged the Pentagon, and four terrorists were overpowered by Americans over a field in Pennsylvania. The suicide terrorist attacks killed 2,996, caused more than $100 billion in damages and stole America’s innocence.


According to a new Pew Research Center poll, the 9/11 attacks continue to be a powerful memory for Americans: 91 percent of adults remember exactly where they were or what they were doing when they heard about the terrorist attacks.

So how has the 15–year “war on terror” changed America? Looking back and forward, can Americans really believe they are safer?

First a bit of history, the “war on terror” rightly started in the tribal nation of Afghanistan. Brand-new President George W. Bush summoned his top advisors to the Oval Office and chose Cofer Black, former CIA whiz, to implement a devastating retaliation for the nearly three thousand deaths. Black offered no mercy and told the rookie president that this effort required a few hundred specially trained military forces, 110 CIA officers, direct firepower, a bunch of money and his plan would end with what Black called – using an old Angola War expression – “when this is all over, the bad guys are going to have flies walking across their eyeballs.”

After 10 weeks, Black and his stealth-fighting machine proclaimed victory. All the Taliban cities, as well as their government, had been toppled.

In a 2013 Men’s Journal interview Black was asked if he briefed the Russians about the impending attack and how the Ruskies responded to his plan. They said, “You’re really going to get the hell kicked out of you.” Black replied, “We’re going to kill them – we’re going to put their heads on sticks… and you know what, the Russians loved it! After the meeting was over, two senior Russian officials, whom I will not name, said to me, ‘Mr. Black, finally America is acting like a superpower!’”

The follow through earned Black and the US the respect that had been sorely lacking.

The success should have ended there. But as we know, it didn’t. Bush ensnared the country into an ill-defined and ill-conceived “war on terror” that continues today.

Whether you agree with the “war on terror” or not, the consequences are very real and very alarming. With the advent of comprehensive counterinsurgency, COIN or nation-building, thanks General Petraeus, the taxpayers have spent trillions of dollars in a region made up of tribal nations.

Case in point, in a recent interview, Commander of Afghanistan US and NATO Forces, General John Nicholson told PBS the war’s progress is tedious. “We’re trying to build an airplane while in flight, OK? So they’re fighting a war while we’re trying to build an army. This is very hard,” he explained.

It must be said that the “war on terror” falls under the asymmetrical category. The sneaky “stateless” armies must be defeated with clear goals and end-state solutions. It’s here where the most powerful armed forces on the planet have stumbled.

In his book the Field of Fight, retired Army three-star General Mike Flynn describes the best way to defeat marauding radical Islamic terrorists. Flynn says to win the battle against radical Islam we must destroy the jihadi armies, kill or capture their leaders, discredit their ideology, create a 21st-century alliance and must hold countries, like Saudi Arabia, accountable for supporting terrorism.

“The best plan gives you the most options at the last possible minute. Right now we don’t have the best plan. A real strategic discussion about what it is that we are trying to achieve. Is it the defeat of radical Islam? It has to be beyond that and that’s where an alliance of nations has to get it together,” Flynn said.

It cost Osama bin-Laden roughly $500,000 to bring down the Twin Towers and Pentagon. In return, the US has suffered tens of thousands of casualties and flushed away trillions of dollars into the Middle East black hole. Plus, hundreds of thousands of Middle Easterners have died and more than 12 million of refugees are now stateless. Newt Gingrich said this week the US has failed so badly in the Middle East that we are giving the number one state sponsor of terrorism, Iran, $1.7 billion in cash, just like a drug cartel.

“So 15 years after 9/11, we’re not winning.  We’re not winning in Afghanistan.  We’re not winning in Iraq.  We’re not winning in Syria.  We’re not winning in Libya. We’re not winning in Yemen,” Gingrich emphasized (mimicking Donald Trump). He’s right.

One reason for the protracted war may be the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. American arms and technology companies export, firearms, fighter jets, tanks, as well as Patriot Missile batteries.

The big winner in the Department of State’s 2017 budget includes $5.7 billion for Foreign Military Financing. The main recipients of the proposed budget will be Israel ($3.1 billion), Egypt ($1.3 billion), Jordan ($350 million), Pakistan ($265 million), and Iraq ($150 million).

While the Middle East tops the list, funding for Africa in 2017 will double from last year. Due to ISIS’ expansion into Africa, countries like Mali, Somalia, and Nigeria will see an influx of American weaponry. But why do American leaders want to militarize the African continent? Of course, the prominent argument is; “if the US doesn’t do something then other countries will do it.” However, no other country on the planet finances military sales like the US.

The US and its band of misfit coalition partners have implemented a massive military build-up on the Arabian Peninsula and Israel. Let’s take a look at the military arsenal provided to a few coalition partners, most of which are also classified as human rights violators according to the State Department (link to other FMS article).

For the last three years, the US has provided tens of billions of dollars in military weaponry through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the United Arab Emirates (UAE); population 5.6 million, Qatar; population 2.1 million, Kuwait; population 2.7 million and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA); population 27.3 million.

The US has also provided both offensive and defensive weapon systems – some are designed to protect against airborne missile retaliation and air attacks. For example, the US supplied Qatar ($9.9B), Kuwait ($4.2 billion), and UAE ($1.1B) with Patriot anti-missile systems and UAE also acquired a $6.5B theater anti-air defense (THAAD) system. This type of weaponry typically protects against missile attacks from such weapons as SCUDs and the MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket Systems) like the 880 launchers the Islamic Republic of Iran operates. The MLRS has a range of approximately 300 kilometers, making it easily capable of reaching any of the Gulf States of Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and even KSA.

America also sold KSA $6.7 billion worth of KC-130 aerial refueling tankers, the UAE $4 billion and KSA $6.8 billion of munitions including “bunker buster bombs,” (typically used to attack harden targets like nuclear facilities); Qatar a $1.2 billion early warning radar suite; KSA $1.3 billion for 30 patrol boats for use in the Gulf of Hormuz; KSA $4 billion to upgrade its national guard; Qatar spent $3 billion on Apache Longbow attack helicopters used for special operations insertions. The list also includes the Globemaster long-range air transport planes, Javelin missiles, F-18’s and F-16’s, and Sidewinder anti-air missiles.

Also for last few years, the US has been quietly aiding the rebel insurgency in Syria trying to overthrow the Iranian-backed government of Bashir al-Assad. There have been multiple news reports, (including this report) that the US provided weapons collected from deposed Libyan Dictator Qaddafi and moved them through its CIA clearinghouse in Turkey to supply al-Qaeda-linked extremist groups opposing the Assad regime. It’s worth pointing out that both Qatar and KSA have been major supporters of the anti-Assad insurgency that evolved from a national rebellion and morphed into a major jihadi operation.

Details of this massive military build-up can be found on the Department of State (DoS) website. The DoS oversees Government-to-Government defense transfers through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program and is implemented through DoD’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

Interestingly, “(I)n addition to FMS, the Department of State also issues export licenses to US companies providing defense articles and services through our Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) efforts, usually after an intensive interagency review to ensure that exports further US foreign policy and national security interests,” a State Department official said. However, “Export license information is not disclosed by the Department due to restrictions under the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations, but general information is released from DCS.”

According to the State Department, in the case of either FMS or DCS, the United States takes into account political, military, economic, arms control, and human rights conditions in making decisions on the provision of military equipment and the licensing of direct commercial sales to any country, in accordance with the Conventional Arms Transfer Policy, the Arms Export Control Act, and relevant international agreements

“Review and monitoring are an integral component of the process for US- origin defense articles delivered to any recipient nation. This is to make sure that those articles are being used in the manner intended and are consistent with our legal obligations, foreign policy goals, and values,” a Senior State Department official said.

And both State and Defense argue that Middle Eastern countries have agreed to work toward US security interests and abide by President Obama’s foreign policy doctrine.

However, looking at the current Middle East conflicts finds every country focused on sectarian protectionism, especially since the Obama administration has seemingly checked out. It is essential that this high-tech arsenal provided to foreign nations by US defense contractors be carefully monitored. The consequences of equipment falling into the wrong hands can be deadly, as it was for flight MH17 in Ukraine.

As the impact of ISIS’ offensive continues to sink in, US intelligence officials contend ISIS did not just randomly explode on the scene in 2014, they claim to have been reporting to high-level government officials the rise as well as the expansion of ISIS since 2012. This murderous organization is largely fueled by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk testified before a Committee claiming, “The ISIS’ operations are calculated, coordinated and part of a strategic campaign led by its Syria-based leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”

“This was a very clear case in which the US knew what was going on but followed a policy of deliberate neglect,” said Vali Nasr, the Dean of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and a former State Department adviser for the Middle East. During its assault in the region, ISIS received protection from KSA and Qatar. Both nations warned the US not to interfere with ISIS’s march to conquer northwestern Iraq and its turn west toward Syria and Jordan. America obeyed and ISIS gobbled up the region and spoils of war that included American tanks, helicopters, and artillery.

Many military experts said the opportunity to strike ISIS came and went when the 7,500-man Islamic Army crossed the wide-open Damascus-Baghdad Highway.

Military generals said the terror group was vulnerable to air attack with minimal collateral damage concerns. In the end, ISIS got its free passage from Mosul to eastern Syria with US inaction, which was tantamount to acquiescence.

“We oppose all foreign intervention and interference. There must be no meddling in Iraq’s internal affairs, not by us or by the US, the UK or by any other government. This is Iraq’s problem and they must sort it out themselves,” Saudi Prince Mohammed told the UK Telegraph. Just in case that bad intel was on the horizon, the Saudis immediately moved 30,000 combat troops to protect its border with Iraq.

Many Middle East policy experts say the Sunni’s view of ISIS as an Iraqi Sunni revolution against their Shiite oppressors is myopic and portends a broader Islamic war between Sunnis and Shiites.

From the US perspective, the ISIS campaign presents a myriad of conflicts. Qatar and KSA are major recipients of billions of dollars worth of US weapons through FMS, yet their direct support of ISIS, a terrorist group, means Qatar and KSA meet the definition of state sponsors of terrorism and should be banned from participation in the military program. Nevertheless, the end user certificates and export licenses are routinely approved by the State and Defense Departments, including an $11 billion sale to Qatar. (The Pentagon has refused multiple efforts to release the end-user agreements to this reporter as requested under FOIA.)

Furthermore, Qatar, KSA, and Kuwait are listed as Tier 2WL (Watch List) and Tier 3 under U.S. anti-trafficking in humans reports, which require a waiver by President Obama stating the sale is in national security interests. To the outside world, the US ostensibly appears to be violating its own anti-terrorism and anti-trafficking laws to provide sophisticated weapons systems to these human rights violators.

The infusion of military-grade weapons in the region only portends much more war. The war between the Sunnis and Shiites has grown more contentious due to the dysfunction of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of May 1916. Essentially the Agreement drew a twentieth-century map that granted control of Syria, Lebanon and Turkish Cilicia to the French and Palestine, Jordan and areas around the Persian Gulf, Baghdad to the British. That was followed by the 1919 Paris Peace Conference that outlined a “Kurdistan” as an entity by Şerif Pasha, who represented the Society for the Ascension of Kurdistan (Kürdistan Teali Cemiyeti). That promise was never kept and it’s doubtful the Kurds, who are Caucasian or Indo-European and not Arab, will wait another 100 years to establish their own country, one that will control its destiny through its own oil and revenues from oil pipelines from the Caspian Sea.

The complexity of the middle east  today reflects Winston Churchill’s description of Russia in October 1939: “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” Perhaps Russia is the key to the Middle East today.

Neither agreement ever took into account the tribal nature of the region that will continue to dog the Middle East until new maps emerge, or complete Armageddon is achieved. Until that day, America will continue to find itself under the threat of attack from a region that really doesn’t offer the US much. So are we safer after 15 years of war? Stay tuned!

© Copyright 2016 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved

Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama declares war against Libya

With his $1.6 million peace prize in his pocket, President Barack Hussein Obama launched an aggressive onslaught of U.S. cruise warfare missiles into a sovereign nation, Libya, who has an internationally recognized leader in Moammar Qaddafi- a tyrannical leader to be sure, but a leader none-the-less.

Now America’s young and globalist president has taken the helm for America’s third Muslim country war. As such, Obama has further solidified his place, “in a war of his choosing” by involving America in another blurry-eyed Middle-East quagmire.

America’s latest foray into hostilities, with its NATO allies Britain and France is aptly named operation “Odyssey Dawn.” The president said he was reluctant to commit American resources to another war, but added it was the Arab League’s approval for a ‘no-fly zone’ that reassured his administration it was the right thing to do.

Needless to say it only took 24 hours for the military endeavor to draw criticism from the very leaders the president relied on. The Arab League complains that the U.S. tomahawk missile airstrikes are responsible for killing innocent Libyan citizens.

Amr Moussa, spokesperson for the Arab League, claims military operations have gone beyond what the Arab League backed; “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone. What we want is civilians’ protected not the shelling of more civilians.”

Moussa’s proclamation suggested many of the 22 Arab League members have been taken aback by the U.S.’s aggressive bombardment. Moussa’s statement also implies that some leaders are regretting Western military intervention and fear that Muslims may look like they are accepting of Western countries.

This response is ironic since many of the region’s leaders generally look down on Qaddafi, as a non-traditional dictator, most of Libya’s neighbors want the eccentric leader removed from power.

America’s ‘shock and awe’ military capability has also drawn criticism from Russia (who abstained from the vote on United Nations Resolution 1973 which authorized a no-fly zone in Libya). Russian diplomats are now calling for the immediate halt of all air strikes into the North African country.

With skepticism growing around the need for military involvement, many Americans are left questioning why the president committed the military to another conflict. Why is the U.S. government investing more blood and treasure into another unpopular Middle Eastern war?

Perhaps it has something to do with the ‘King of Tripoli,’ Qaddafi, who poked the eye of American families who lost loved ones in Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland. On December 21, 1988, flight 103 was destroyed in-flight by a bomb that was planted on the aircraft by a Qaddafi intelligence operative. The terrorist-engineered airplane crash killed 270 passengers, including 189 American citizens.

Just over a year ago the only person convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdel baset Al-Megrahi was released from a Scotland prison for compassionate reasons. It was believed the terrorist had only a few months to live and Scottish officials allowed him to return to Libya where he received a hero’s welcome from Qaddafi.

Is this payback?

Most likely not, but President Obama (the man the Nobel Peace Prize committee said would bring peace to the region) has brought more death and warfare.

Sources on the ground in Libya say the U.S-led attacks have left at least 50 civilians dead and are blaming the American military strikes. Where is the Arab League? Why aren’t they using their own troops and military arsenal (that the U.S. gave them) to defend their own neighborhood?

In a pre-empted move the disgruntled Libyan leader has taken to state radio and characterized the raids from the West as “acts of terrorism.” The Obama Administration is dancing on thin ice and would like nothing more than to rid the world of Qaddafi.

As a result of foreign aggression, Qaddafi says he has opened his country’s weapon depots so Libya’s people can defend their nation with automatic weapons, mortars and bombs. “We will not leave our land and we will liberate it,” Qaddafi said. “We promise you a long war,” he said in a radio address.

However, President Obama explained the importance of targeting Libya’s air defenses; “We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy.”

Qaddafi returned the favor and addressed President Obama in a letter in which he tried to explain why he has reacted to the rebel’s uprising. “If you had found them taking over American cities with armed force, tell me what you (Obama) would do?”

While Obama currently enjoys support from both sides of the political aisle regarding the Libya offensive, many security experts question why the United States would even consider a third war in the Middle East.

“This is an absurd situation; there is absolutely nothing of interest to the United States in Libya,” said former head of the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit Michael Scheuer. “If all the Libyans killed each other for the next week, what difference does it makes to life in the United States.”

However Obama explained it was America’s “unique capabilities at the front end of the mission (that would) protect Libyan civilians, and enable the enforcement of a no-fly zone that will be led by international partners. And as I said yesterday, we will not – I repeat – we will not deploy any U.S. troops on the ground.”

To which the CIA front man said; “Air power never wins anything … air power will not resolve the question and we will ultimately be faced with another incursion of U.S. forces on the ground. It is an extraordinarily irresponsible thing for the president to do – he should have said from day one: ‘The U.S. cavalry is not coming.’ If the Europeans want to go, let them go.”

Yet the President’s team waded into the coalition war anyways. “I am deeply aware of the risks of any military action, no matter what limits we place on it. I want the American people to know that the use of force is not our first choice and it’s not a choice that I make lightly. But we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy, and his forces step up their assaults on cities like Benghazi and Misurata, where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.”

In spite of what Obama wants, Qaddafi removed, there is executive order 12333 signed by President Ronald Reagan and upheld by every administration since that stipulates; “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States government shall engage in or conspire to engage in assassination.”

Obama’s declaration for Libya intervention continues; “we must be clear: Actions have consequences, and the writ of the international community must be enforced. That is the cause of this coalition.”

Despite his Nobel Peace Prize, Obama has opened himself to criticism.

Over the weekend Louis Farrakhan warned the president during a Chicago radio interview. “I warn my brother do you let these wicked demons move you in a direction that will absolutely ruin your future with your people in Africa and throughout the world…Why don’t you organize a group of respected Americans and ask for a meeting with Qaddafi, you can’t order him to step down and get out, who the hell do you think you are?”

Curiously, the Obama Administration stayed on the sidelines during the Egyptians quest to remove an equally brutal dictator President Hosni Mubarak. Even the threat of a takeover by terrorist sympathizers, the Muslim Brotherhood, wasn’t enough to get America militarily involved in the regional uprising that has swept the Middle East.

However, Islam Lutfy, a lawyer and Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt said his group is “opposed (to) the military intervention because the real intention of the United States and its European allies was to get into position to benefit from Libya’s oil supplies. The countries aligned against Libya are there not for humanitarian reasons but to further their own interests.”

With that presumption in mind, did the president abandon his Nobel Peace Prize for oil and war? And, unlike the UN resolution establishing a “no fly zone,” an end state was not mentioned in the coalition actions. So, what of the post war Libya and have our actions also committed the U.S. to rebuilding Tripoli?

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Warlords and Taliban fighters earn money from U.S. in the form of protection

A new report titled “Warlord, Inc., Extortion and Corruption along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan” was published by Congressman John Tierney (D-MA) in June. The report details the millions of dollars spent to protect U.S. military supply convoys in Afghanistan- the majority of the money is paid out from the Department of Defense through the use of defense contractors and often finds its way into the hands of shady characters.

The eye-opening report comes at a time when Afghan President Hamid Karzi is making a stink about U.S. private contractors operating in the warzone and has now set a four-month timetable for their withdrawal.

The dilemma for the private contractors is that U.S. and NATO members operating in Afghanistan, as well as civilian organizations and news media, use private contractors to get around a country with little infrastructure.

But according to the Congressional report, there are only 114 U.S. citizens (Department of Defense Private Contractors) inside Afghanistan – the remaining private contractor personnel is 13,916 from local or host country and 409 are various third country nationals.

If the Karzi government really wants the U.S. contractors out of the country they could load them up on a single plane in a couple of hours, says a former DoD contractor. Karzi complains that private contractors travel throughout the country with guns prominently displayed and disrupting traffic, yet the majority of the security detail comes from Afghanis the president is complaining about.

One must also look to the reason why U.S. and NATO allies require protection in the first place. Taliban fighters and tribal leaders look to the supply line convoys as a source of income; however outsourcing to these contractors has significant unintended consequences.

The Host Nation Trucking (HNT) contract fuels warlordism, extortion, and corruption, and it may be a significant source of funding for insurgents. In other words, the logistics contract has an outsized strategic impact on U.S. objectives in Afghanistan, according to the Congressional report.

The report also contends that the “Department of Defense has been blind to the potential strategic consequences of its supply chain contingency contracting. U.S. military logisticians have little visibility into what happens to their trucks on the road and virtually no understanding of how security is actually provided. When HNT contractors self-reported to the military that they were being extorted by warlords for protection payments for safe passage and that these payments were ‘funding the insurgency,’ they were largely met with indifference and inaction.”

Even Secretary of State Hilary Clinton acknowledged the supply line corruption activity during a December, 2009 Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting and said, “One of the major sources of funding for the Taliban is the protection money.”

According to the report, the principal private security subcontractors on the HNT contract are warlords, strongmen, commanders, and militia leaders who compete with the Afghan central government for power and authority.

“Providing ‘protection’ services for the U.S. supply chain empowers these warlords with money, legitimacy, and a raison d’etre for their private armies. Although many of these warlords nominally operate under private security companies licensed by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, they thrive in a vacuum of government authority and their interests are in fundamental conflict with U.S. aims to build a strong Afghan government,” the Congressional inquiry explains.

Currently the HNT contracts are a $2.16 billion dollar boondoggle that provides indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts to provide ground transportation in Afghanistan for over 70 percent of Department of Defense goods and materiel, including food, water, fuel, equipment, and ammunition.

The large infusion of U.S. cash into Afghanistan should raise eyebrows because a good number of these warlords and Taliban fighters are also connected to the production of poppies (the illicit opium trade). And according to recently leaked documents from WikiLeaks there are billions of dollars flowing out of Afghanistan that remains unaccounted for due the country’s rudimentary banking practices.

This reporter will begin a series of stories delving into the black-ops, shady bookkeeping and misused money the war in Afghanistan is guilty of and hopes to shed some light on a very unpopular war.

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To bomb or not to bomb Iran, America’s most fateful decision

World leaders continue to focus on the global economic crisis, the fragile peace talks in the Middle East and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while the biggest threat to society remains unchallenged- Iran’s unfailing goal to annihilate America and Israel.

The goal of Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad remains undeterred and everyday that passes without world attention amounts to another day closer to their goal of nuclear proliferation.

As a defiant Iran barrels toward nuclear technology, the iron-fist ruler Ahmadinejad cracks down on those seeking to protest the current regime and their wish to join the rest of the Western world. While the Obama administration turns to the United Nations to seek resolutions, the leadership of Iran laughs at their attempt to level tougher sanctions.

The cat and mouse game plays into the rulers’ of Iran hands and many predict time is running out. A sit down with war-hero General John Singlaub and Roger Chapin produced alarming details about Iran’s capabilities and the need to act first or risk America’s very existence. This is General Singlaub and Chapin’s theory.

To bomb or not to bomb…

In spite of the indisputable fact that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons puts our nation’s very survival in dire peril, this all-important life and death issue is barely part of the public dialogue. And although Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has vowed to “annihilate Israel” with nuclear weapons while envisioning “a world without America,” our President and key national security advisors have signaled their unwillingness to preemptively destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. Yet this incredulous tolerance for living under the cloud of a nuclear doomsday has yet to engender hardly a word of protest from political leaders made paranoid over the prospect of being labeled warmongers.

It is nevertheless critical for us all to weigh in on the wisdom of Obama’s national security policy positions and to better understand the utterly catastrophic consequences for our nation that they could have. And most important, what are the chances of such consequences actually occurring and why.

But first let us realize that a single nuclear missile, fired from a freighter off any of our coasts and detonated some 300 miles above our heartland, could send our entire country back into the early 19th century. The explosion would generate what is called an electromagnetic pulse effect (EMP). It would render most of our computers and electronics inoperable and thus knock out most of our electric grid system, leaving the vast majority of the country without light, heat, power, running water, communications, mechanized agriculture and transportation, according to the congressionally authorized EMP Commission report. The Commission chairman estimated between 70 to 90% of the entire U.S. population would die from starvation and disease within one year – at least 200 million Americans!

An EMP attack could also be coordinated with chemical and biological attacks which would further devastate an already prostrate nation. Additionally, nuclear bombs could be detonated aboard freighters or yachts in a multitude of U.S. ports and along major inland waterways, causing massive loss of life and destruction.

And while President Obama is doing nothing to prevent or deter an EMP or other catastrophic attack on the U.S., he is also failing to deploy a single Aegis anti-missile ship along our coasts to intercept enemy missiles. Nor are we beefing up our infrastructure to mitigate the effects of an EMP attack, such as shielding vulnerable hardware and storing hundreds of hardened, super transformers (manufactured overseas) as backups for our electric grid system. By failing to very meaningfully improve our survivability we are leaving ourselves wide open to if not inviting an EMP attack.

If we received reliable intelligence that the chance of an attack by Iran or a surrogate was 100%, it’s hard to imagine we wouldn’t launch a preemptive strike. And even if the chances were 50%, very few of us would willingly risk a nuclear doomsday. So what about 25%? Surely one in four is still too high a risk to accept when our national survival is on the line. Even a 10% risk would be considered too high by most rational-minded Americans. In an effort to assess a realistic percentage of risk, it’s imperative that we fully understand the true mentality and goals of the radical Islamics.

According to their own pronouncements, the radicals are irreversibly dedicated to establishing a so-called Islamic Caliphate – with its repressive theocracy and Sharia law, throughout the Middle East and around the globe. We in the West cannot begin to grasp how fanatically and fervently the radicals are committed to achieving their goals – no matter what price they must pay.

Radical Islamic leaders such as Iran’s fanatical Ahmadinejad see progress and reform as ultimately marginalizing their influence and displacing their hate mongering, murderous regimes. They view the very existence of freedom and western civilization as an irrepressible force that will corrupt their people and eventually transform their countries. They know a largely backward, authoritarian society cannot indefinitely remain as it is in today’s fast-changing and shrinking modern world. Thus from their warped perspective, there can be no compromise, no in-between and no room for negotiation – it’s either them or us. It’s an irreconcilable war to the death in which radical Islamics believe the West hasn’t got the fortitude or the staying power to prevail.

Note what the Al-Qaeda charter says: “There will be continuing enmity until everyone believes in Allah. We will not meet (the enemy) halfway and there will be no room for dialogue with them.”

Not only is Ahmadinejad a totalitarian despot, but he is also a fanatical religious zealot and mystic whose overriding messianic mission is “to wipe Israel off the map” and engineer the downfall of the Great Satan (the United States), if not all western civilization. By bringing about such an apocalyptic event, Ahmadinejad believes he can satisfy the necessary cataclysmic preconditions to “pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam” or Mahdi and a new, chastened world in which radical Islam is supreme. In his address to the United Nations Assembly in October, 2007, Ahmadinejad closed with a prayer imploring God to hasten the return of the 12th Imam: “When that day comes, the ultimate promise of all Divine religions will be fulfilled with the emergence of a perfect human being (12th Imam) who is heir to all prophets and pious men. He will lead the world to justice and absolute peace.” The Shiite Muslims believe the 12th Imam was the last saint in the line of succession from the Prophet and was descended from him. The 12th Imam is said to have disappeared in 914 AD.

While some dismiss all this as the rantings of religious zealots, many other war-weary Americans oppose military force to stop Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons because they believe Iran would never use them against us for fear of their own obliteration. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Bernard Lewis, a leading authority on radical Islamics, pointed out the Iranian radicals are undeterred by the notion of mutual assured destruction (MAD). Even if they fail in a terminal struggle with the West, they (Iranians) will have gained eternal life and martyrdom for their families. Either way, in their minds, they will be the victors. Lewis adds, “For people with this mindset, MAD is not a constraint; it is an inducement.”

While no one can be sure of Iran’s timetable, one unalterable reality is working to greatly increase the early likelihood of what can only be thought of as a nuclear doomsday. Given Iran’s vow to annihilate Israel, the Israelis have no rational choice but to preemptively destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. For Israel to fail to strike first in the absence of a U.S. preemptive strike would almost certainly be tantamount to their committing national suicide. This stark reality changes everything.

An Israeli strike on Iran, even if not as destructive as a U.S. strike, would eliminate any hope Iran has of accomplishing its goals. So from their radical leadership’s perspective, they would have lost everything without having gained anything in return. Facing such a grim and humiliating prospect, the radicals would quite likely preempt an Israeli strike by nuking Israel first. And, being fully aware of the disastrous consequences this would have for Iran, they would simultaneously hit the U.S. with an EMP or other nuclear attack, and most likely Western Europe as well.

While this would doubtless result in a horrific U.S. retaliation that would devastate Iran and kill many of its 70 million people, one can assume the mullahs would have provided for their own survival. We say this because one should also assume that the mullahs will have had clandestinely reached an understanding with the Chinese and the Russians to ensure their own continuing rule and the reconstruction of Iran’s key infrastructure in exchange for long-term access to oil and gas reserves. And since the vast majority of Iran’s population would still be alive and more dependent than ever on the regime, a deal may also be cut to rebuild the military and use it to ultimately gain control of the Middle East’s vast oil reserves, giving China and Russia a choke hold on much of the world’s energy supply.

And who would be there to stop them? With the United States and Western Europe no longer viable powers, the Chinese and Russians would be in an unchallenged position to attain world economic domination, and at the very least, huge political influence. There would, of course, be some enormous trade-offs for China, but in the totalitarian world we should not forget that politics always trumps economics and that in the long-term China may well be able to have its cake and eat it too.

It’s not hard to see how before long the Chinese and Russians could totally reorder the world, with the once high and mighty United States and western civilization largely relegated to the history books. However, this is only one scenario for the outcome of our allowing Iran nuclear weapons.

Alternatively, it’s quite plausible that the Iranians would choose to try and cover their tracks by leaving the dirty work of nuking the western world to Al Qaeda, whose very purpose is to destroy western civilization. Under this scenario, the Iranians, knowing how weak and naïve Obama is, may miscalculate and believe that by hiding behind Al Qaeda they could somehow escape U.S. retaliation.

It is, of course, entirely possible that Al Qaeda could obtain nukes directly from North Korea, as could the Iranians, or perhaps from Russia or China. If the latter were at all worried about the consequences of a radical Islamic EMP attack on the U.S., why are they presently helping to facilitate Iran’s nuclear weapons development?

The Iranians might also buy one or more nukes from an above-mentioned source and then explode one in the desert so as to brag to the world that they have joined the nuclear club. Since the Iranians know this would doubtless provoke an Israeli preemptive strike, they would then, in their minds, have an excuse to retaliate against not only Israel but also the U.S. This is but one more scenario for how a nuclear doomsday could occur, and very possibly by the end of this year or in 2011.

For those who would still be willing to gamble our nation’s survival on their misplaced belief that murdering, barbaric radical Islamics can be trusted to act rationally, consider the following possibilities if they’re allowed to have nuclear weapons:

1. Iran attempts to blackmail the U.S. by threatening a nuclear doomsday if the U.S. refuses to withdraw all its forces from the Persian Gulf region.

2. Iran invades Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and threatens a nuclear doomsday if the U.S. intervenes.

3. Iran demands Israel unconditionally cede the entire West Bank and part of Jerusalem to the Palestinians and threatens both Israel and the U.S. with a nuclear doomsday if Israel fails to comply.

Given these and other very plausible scenarios that could lead to a nuclear doomsday, do we really want to risk putting ourselves in a position where our very national survival depends on whether or not the maniacal radicals are bluffing – especially when we have irresponsibly and irrationally opted against a viable missile defense? Let’s make no mistake about it, this is the gut question.

If we’re not willing to take on an Iran without nuclear weapons, when by no stretch of the imagination can it begin to threaten our survival, why would anyone believe we’d risk – under almost any circumstances, a major confrontation with a nuclear-armed Iran when the result could be our own demise?

In light of what would clearly appear to be the overwhelming case for destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities ASAP, let’s explore the validity of the opposing arguments:

1. Iran would attack the Gulf States’ oil production facilities and mine the Strait of Hormuz, dramatically driving up oil prices.

Answer: Even if oil prices doubled or tripled in the short-term, the temporary cost to our economy would be miniscule compared to the entire country being shut down indefinitely by an EMP attack. To lessen the impact on oil prices we should make every effort to increase the size of our emergency reserve.

2. Iran would call on Hezbollah and Hamas to launch massive attacks on Israel.

Answer: Anticipating this, we should fund the immediate individual recruitment and training of a large force of mercenaries (100,000 to 250,000) under Israeli command, who could be used to clean house on Hezbollah and Hamas if necessary. This might also discourage an attack by them in the first place, as it would then be suicidal while not serving any useful purpose.

3. An attack on Iran would destroy any hope for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.

Answer: Nonsense. If anything, such an attack would burst Iran’s bubble in the Arab world and eliminate its ability to any longer support Hezbollah and its allies. This would make peace much easier rather than harder to achieve.

Whether we like it or not, the wild card in all this is Israel, for our fate is inextricably tied to theirs given the very real possibility if not the likelihood of Iran preemptively nuking both of us. If Obama and Netanyahu will recognize this, the way should suddenly become wide open to a grand bargain, for they need each other like never before. Both have powerful chips to play.

Obama desperately needs Netanyahu’s cooperation to have any chance of achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement. Yet Obama must understand that Israel can’t take the kind of risks they’re being asked to take vis-à-vis a Palestinian state unless Iran is put out of business. Otherwise, with Iran’s continued ability to prop up Hezbollah and Hamas, the latter will see a Palestinian state as making it that much easier for them to ultimately mount a massive assault on Israel.

Therefore Obama should be prepared to give Israel, at the very least, all the help it needs in neutering Iran. Additionally, the U.S. should guarantee to defend Israel against any outside attack. And, of course, any deal must require the disarming of Hezbollah, Hamas and all other Arab militants in the area.

Conversely, Netanyahu should be prepared to support the kind of deal that gives the Palestinians a fair opportunity to develop a viable, demilitarized, democratic state, but whose continuing independence would be conditional on its responsible behavior. This is the only way to achieve a genuine long-term peace between the parties.

We should add that because of the strong likelihood Iran will soon engineer a massive assault by Hezbollah and Hamas designed to cripple Israel’s ability to preemptively attack Iran’s nukes, the U.S. should immediately issue the following warning:

Any major attack on Israel by Hezbollah and/or Hamas or the use of any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons against Israel shall be deemed an act of war by Iran and Syria and will trigger massive reprisals by the U.S., possibly nuclear. And further, an intense effort would be initiated to displace the Iranian regime.

Such a warning would greatly help to ensure that Israel retained the all-important capability to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, especially so in light of our own unwillingness.

4. The radicals would unleash a wave of terrorist violence against the U.S. and other westerners.

Answer: While this could very well happen in the short-term, it would nevertheless be a small price to pay as compared to Iran bringing about “a world without America.”

Terrorist attacks on any significant scale would serve only to again awaken a sleeping giant to the terrible menace the radicals pose and strengthen our will to finally crush them once and for all.

5. An attack on Iran would poison our relations with Muslims, both friendly and unfriendly, and the U.S. would lose any chance of somehow reconciling with the Muslim world.

Answer: Wrong again. By clenching our fist and stopping our senseless appeasement of the radicals – along with cutting the jugular of Iran, their main benefactor, we would embolden the moderates to push harder for reform and thus actually improve our relations in the Muslim world.

6. By acting unilaterally we could anger our so-called “allies” and make securing their closer cooperation in the War on Terror even more difficult.

Answer: So what! They’re only allies when it suits their convenience and they may finally be prompted to realize that continued appeasement doesn’t buy anything but more trouble when dealing with the radicals.

7. Dissident forces within Iran will be able to engineer the downfall of the present regime and remove the need for an outside attack on its nuclear facilities.

Answer: Given the already demonstrated relative strength and ruthlessness of the regime and the unlikelihood of any real assistance from the outside, it’s wishful thinking to bet our own survival on the success of the dissidents.

8. Because some of the Iranian nuclear facilities are deep underground and their location unknown, we won’t be able to be at all sure about the effectiveness of our attacks, which in any case are only likely to set back Iran’s nuclear program for a few years or less.

Answer: If necessary, the U.S. should use nukes to better ensure mission success. And even if we were to only set back the Iranian program by a few years, that’s certainly vastly better than letting them have nuclear weapons. Depending on how much damage we did initially, we could expand our attacks country wide until Iran finally caved in or resume them periodically if and when Iran tried to rebuild its nuclear program. At the same time we should assist the dissidents as much as possible in their efforts to displace the regime.

If naysayers and doves are so worried about the problems a much-overrated Iran can cause if attacked, then that’s all the more reason to do what we should do anyway in preparing for such an attack per the following:

A. Urgently undertake a massive build-up of U.S. air and naval power, including the huge stockpiling of conventional and nuclear munitions. Unlike the Army and Marines, U.S. air and naval forces are not being unduly stressed by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

B. Given the already strained deployment of U.S. land forces, urgently begin the individual recruitment and training of a very large supplemental force – at least 1,000,000 or more, of ex-military from around the world to operate under U.S. command. They would not only be available to help deal with any problems caused by Iran or its proxies, but more important, they would serve as a warning to Iran that, if provoked, we are prepared to displace their regime. The force could also be utilized wherever needed in the War on Terror. The cost of this force would be but a small fraction of the consequences of doing without it. The contemplated attack on Iran’s facilities would not be delayed until the supplemental force was ready.

While we realize our proposed force is going to take a lot of selling, the American public’s discomfort with U.S. casualties in the War on Terror may well preclude us from ever decisively defeating the radical Islamics and winning the war without such a force. Why should so much of the struggle for worldwide freedom and security fall on the backs of our own young people?

We would add that the U.S. must do whatever top military authorities believe is necessary in order to ensure mission success in destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities. If bombs alone could prove insufficient to get the job done, then we must begin now to prepare ourselves for such an eventuality. But with the survival of the world’s most powerful nation soon to be at serious risk, it is ludicrous to argue that the U.S. could not become fully capable of destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities. America should have no higher priority.

And no matter what else, we must by our actions and our words make it crystal clear that any retaliation by Iran or its proxies in response to a U.S. and/or Israeli attack on their nuclear facilities will result in massive destruction to Iran well beyond those facilities.

But in any event Iran should know that if it’s necessary for us to destroy their nuclear facilities, we will also destroy their retaliatory capabilities irrespective of the collateral damage it may cause.

Contrary to our years of bluster, empty threats and ineffective sanctions, this time we must follow through with any and all demands and threats against Iran and its proxies – with or without the U.N.’s blessing. We should also make clear that the only way Iran can escape disaster is for them to take the following steps:

1. Allow U.S. supervised international inspection teams to have unrestricted and unannounced access to all parts of Iran indefinitely.

2. Allow U.S. teams to destroy all facilities capable of producing or assembling the necessary components of nuclear weapons.

3. Cease the manufacture and import and export of all military weapons and hardware.

4. Cease all assistance and sales of any kind to Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban and any other terrorist group or country as demanded by the U.S.

Any future violation of the above would result in the regime’s removal from power.

However, we must not stop with Iran because North Korea also represents a major threat to our national security, whether it is by direct attack or by their transferring nuclear weapons to Iran, Al Qaeda or other terrorist entity. Once we deal with Iran, let North Korea know they’re next on the list.

The point is that under no circumstances can the U.S. ever afford to risk allowing Iran or North Korea to continue developing nuclear weapons or to transfer such weapons to Al Qaeda or other terrorist ally.

Taking everything into consideration relevant to the percentage prospects of a cataclysmic nuclear attack on the U.S. in the very near future, we think it’s fair to say that, at the bare minimum, the risk is 10% and much more likely between 25 to 50% or higher. Contrast the possible consequences of this unacceptably high risk to those resulting from even the worst case scenario of a preemptive attack on Iran, which, once again, would in no way begin to threaten our national survival. For indeed, there can be absolutely no justification for our failing to eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat.

To needlessly put our nation’s destiny in the hands of history’s most dangerous fanatics in the blind and baseless hope that they will suddenly change their behavior, is not only unthinkable, it is incredibly naïve and totally irrational, irresponsible and reckless. President Obama and people of this mindset are the same people who would have ignored all Hitler’s warnings in the 1930’s and written him off as a harmless rabble-rouser – though a tyrant later responsible for the deaths of 60 million people. And this was before the age of nuclear and biological weapons. They are like the people who ignore all the statistics and insist on letting murderers and child molesters out of jail even though two of every three will commit more dastardly crimes once released. The fact is they just don’t get it and never will. Very likely their DNA is programmed to make them incapable of responding emotionally in a way that reinforces logic. In their heart of hearts they cannot accept the dark side of human nature for what it is. So for all practical purposes their decision-making process on matters involving unsavory human behavior is too often disconnected from reality. They simply don’t want to believe or accept what their eyes and ears are telling them. This doesn’t mean they’re not good people, but given the world we live in it should mean that they’re not fit to serve in Congress let alone the White House.

In a nuclear age there is no longer any margin of error for dangerously flawed human judgment. Our leaders’ serious miscalculation of our enemies’ intentions and likely behavior can very quickly lead to the end of western civilization. There will be no second chances as there were after Pearl Harbor.

With this in mind, compare how we handled two grave threats to our national security. In the days preceding Pearl Harbor we never seriously considered that the lowly Japanese – in spite of their mindless butchery in China, would ever dare attack us because they’d be committing national suicide. So we left Hawaii totally unprepared and undefended. We all know how horribly wrong we were.

Conversely, when confronted with the Cuban missile crisis, our national leaders had the good judgment and intestinal fortitude to force Russia to withdraw its missiles – a show of strength which could very well have precluded nuclear blackmail and/or a nuclear war.

Today, with our worst national security risk actually the President himself and the risk of a nuclear doomsday far greater than it was in Kennedy’s time, hardly a single national leader – and many know better, has the courage to stand up and sound the alarm about Iran. How pathetic it is that we have learned nothing from the terrible lessons of history.

It is because our leaders have their heads so far in the sand and are so preoccupied debating issues that, while obviously important, won’t matter a wit if we get nuked with an EMP attack, our citizenry must themselves step up to the plate and make their voices count.

For starters we must initiate a national dialogue on this the most fateful issue of our time. We spent an entire year engrossing ourselves on healthcare but without much talk about Iran. It is unbelievable that a similar debate would not take place on national security before it’s too late. Let us therefore resolve to begin now to educate the American people about the perils we face and the urgent need to demand that the White House and the Congress act appropriately.

Apart from all the obvious, one communications tool that could be particularly effective would be a televised mock trial possibly entitled “Dereliction of Duty… The President’s Unpardonable Failure to Protect America Against a Nuclear Doomsday.” It could ignite a prairie fire of outrage across our country that could possibly prompt President Obama and his allies in Congress to reconsider his un-American and frightfully misguided conduct of our national security.

More to the point, it is so beyond the pale of common sense and so utterly insane to intentionally leave our nation virtually defenseless against a missile attack while at the same time allow Iran to build nuclear missiles, that it can only be labeled as sheer madness. But it gets worse. The intellectual geniuses who concocted these absurd policies have just become the champions of “Can You Top This?” with their totally ludicrous new Nuclear Posture Review. As Greta Van Susteren likes to say, “You won’t believe this!” If millions of Americans die from a biological and/or chemical weapons attack, and the attacking nation is in compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, President Obama has now pledged that we will not retaliate with nuclear weapons. So Obama has just put our best deterrent against such an attack in the closet. How stupid can this be?

President Obama and his fellow far-out liberals are deaf, dumb and blind to our most critical national security requirements. They are what might best be described as “Triple A’s” – apologists, accommodators and appeasers of the evil enemies sworn to destroy us. They believe that a one-way demonstration of brotherly love and meekness on our part will somehow miraculously transform these enemies from wolves into lambs. And they naively believe that even a strong U.S. missile defense would send an unfriendly message to those who are racing to develop a long range nuclear missile capability – thus supposedly damaging our efforts to persuade them to abandon their evil pursuits. Because of these and many other similar, incredibly flawed and dangerous beliefs – which defy all historical precedent, President Obama and his advisors are surrendering our own national security in a desperate attempt to try and buy what at best can only be a phony and short-lived peace with Iran.

Every citizen and every business must be educated to understand that they have a huge personal stake in this issue. Simply put, once we know the pros and cons, each of us must decide whether we want to gamble our own life and the lives of our loved ones on trusting the radical Islamics with nuclear weapons. Because the vast majority of informed Americans would weigh in with a resounding no, this issue, like none other, has the potential to blow away a liberal and gutless Congress in November and hopefully bring some sanity to Washington. If we fail to recognize and act on this then we will be as responsible for the disaster awaiting America as President Obama.

For indeed, the nuclear doomsday clock is ticking and there is precious little time for Americans to come to their senses and do what we must to ensure our own survival.

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The cost of freedom is often silence

Old Glory flying proudly, the sound of taps dancing in the air and memories of silence embrace the most solemn U.S. national holiday – Memorial Day. It is one day set aside to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our liberty.

Perhaps our first president, George Washington said it best, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.”

We don’t often talk about the real meaning of Memorial Day. Most think of it as the opening day of summer. Some head to the beach, others barbeque with friends or watch the Indy 500. Most get a paid holiday and the ability to sleep in. However, few take the time to cherish what this day offers. It offers a chance of remembrance for those who lost their lives fighting in abhorrent conditions in a country far away – away from their loved ones, away from their home.

As America inches further away from the horrors of September 11th, we seem to ponder less of wartime and more about ourselves.

“We are a nation of patriots,” President George W. Bush said after the World Trade Center attacks. “The attacks of September 11th, and the attacks that have followed, were designed to break our spirit. But, instead, they’ve created a new spirit in America. We have a renewed spirit of patriotism. We see it in the countless flags that are flying everywhere in America. We hear it in familiar phases that move us more deeply than ever before.”

Liberty is not free. Liberty often means the sound of silence, the loss of life. Since 9/11 the call to freedom came and thousands of everyday Americans heard the call. Let us not forget them, let us hear their silence.

In an era long ago President Abraham Lincoln said on the battlefield in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” We will never forget.

Every American generation has heard the call, all have fought honorably and some lost it all. We will never forget.

“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty,” John F. Kennedy said.

Our great nation doesn’t often get the praise it deserves. But let us not forget that we are that shining beacon of hope. We are the most compassionate nation. Let’s remember what our Founding Fathers wanted when they embarked on their New World experiment. They wanted freedom and liberty for all.

“A people free to choose, will always choose peace,” said Ronald Reagan. “Democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man.” We will never forget.

It seems that our modern-day wars are fought in honor of allies. Americans give their lives and treasure to bring liberty to those who are unable to attain it on their own. “Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government,” Thomas Jefferson said. We will never forget.

“We must remember that many who served in our military never lived to be called veterans. We must remember many had their lives changed forever by experiences or the injuries of combat. All veterans are examples of service and citizenship for every American to remember and to follow,” President George W. Bush said, Oct. 30, 2001.

Indeed we are Americans. We sing a National Anthem and say our Pledge of Allegiance with a heart-felt passion – always remembering – never forgetting.

“Let freedom ring, let freedom ring,” says Martin Luther King Jr.

We will remember their silence.

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