Iran begins war games in Persian Gulf, taunts U.S.
from Jihad Watch:
Saber-rattling and thumbing their noses at a weak president whom they know will not act. "Iran begins war games in Persian Gulf oil route," by Nasser Karimi and Lee Keath for Associated Press, April 22 (thanks to Choi):
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard held war games Thursday in the strategic Persian Gulf oil route, the Hormuz Strait, a show of its military strength at a time when the country's leaders are depicting President Barack Obama's new nuclear policy as a threat.
Ahead of the military maneuvers, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Washington of trying to dominate the world through its nuclear arsenal and vowed that Iran would not bend before what he called "implicit atomic threats."...
Iran has been holding military maneuvers, dubbed as The Great Prophet, in the strategic waters of the Persian Gulf annually since 2006 to show off its military capabilities -- and serve as an implicit warning of the consequences if the United States or Israel attack Iran's nuclear facilities....
On Thursday, the military unveiled a new attack speedboat, describing it as an "ultra-speed and smart" vessel called "Ya Mahdi." Iran also said 313 smaller speedboats with the capability of firing rockets and missiles would participate....
On Wednesday, ahead of the exercises, Khamenei spoke to a conference of nurses and denounced Obama's new nuclear guidelines. U.S. officials have said the changes aim to push Iran into cooperating with the U.N. on its nuclear program, but the supreme leader depicted them as dangling the threat of nuclear attack over his country.
"Implicit atomic threats against Iran will have no effect," he said. "The Iranian people will not submit to such threats and will bring those who make them to their knees." He repeated that Iran is not seeking to build a nuclear weapon.
"The nuclear powers, particularly the United States, are using their nuclear might to try to impose their authority over the world," he said....
Be sure to read the Comments
AND from Israel Commentary, April 21, 2010:
Nuclear posturing, Obama-style - A slump in an insane direction
By Charles Krauthammer
Palm Beach Post, April 14, 2010
Nuclear doctrine consists of thinking the unthinkable. It involves making threats and promising retaliation that is cruel and destructive beyond imagining. But it has its purpose: to prevent war in the first place. During the Cold War, we let the Russians know that if they dared use their huge conventional military advantage and invaded Western Europe, they risked massive U.S. nuclear retaliation. Goodbye, Moscow.
Was this credible? Would we have done it? Who knows? No one’s ever been there. A nuclear posture is just that — a declaratory policy designed to make the other guy think twice. Our policies did. The result was called deterrence. For half a century it held. The Soviets never invaded. We never used nukes. That is why nuclear doctrine is important.
The Obama administration has just issued a new one that “includes significant changes to the U.S. nuclear posture,” said Defense Secretary Bob Gates. First among these involves the US response to being attacked with biological or chemical weapons. Under the old doctrine, supported by every president of both parties for decades, any aggressor ran the risk of a cataclysmic U.S. nuclear response that would leave the attacking nation a cinder and a memory.
Under President Obama’s new policy however, if the state that has just attacked us with biological or chemical weapons is “in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),” explained Mr. Gates, then “the U.S. pledges not to use or threaten, to use nuclear weapons against it.”
Imagine the scenario: Hundreds of thousands are lying dead in the streets of Boston after a massive anthrax or nerve gas attack. The president immediately calls in the lawyers to determine whether the attacking state is up-to-date with its latest IAEA inspections. (Our response is then restricted to bullets, bombs and other conventional munitions.) However, if the lawyers tell the president that the attacking state is NPT non-compliant, we are free to blow the bastards to nuclear kingdom come. This is quite insane. Ws like saying that if a terrorist uses his car to mow down a hundred people waiting at a bus stop, the decision as to whether he gets (a) hanged or (b) 100 hours of community service hinges entirely on whether his car had passed emissions inspections.
Apart from being morally bizarre, the policy is strategically loopy. Does anyone believe that North Korea or Iran will be more persuaded to abjure nukes because they could then carry out a biological or chemical attack on the U.S. without fear of nuclear retaliation? The naiveté is stunning. Similarly, is the Obama pledge to forswear development of any new warheads and even to permit no replacement of aging components without the authorization of the president himself. This action is perpetrated under the theory that our moral example will move other countries to eschew nukes. To the contrary, the last quarter-century — the time of greatest superpower nuclear arms reduction— is precisely when Iran and North Korea went hell bent into the development of nuclear weapons.
It gets worse. The administration’s Nuclear Posture Review declares U.S. determination to “continue to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in deterring non-nuclear attacks.” The ultimate aim is to get to a blanket doctrine of no first use. This is deeply worrying to many small nations who, for half a century relied on the extended US nuclear umbrella. When smaller allies see the United States determined to move inexorably away from that posture — and for them it is not posture, but existential protection — what are they to think? Fend for yourself. Get your own WMDs. Do you imagine they are not thinking that in the Persian Gulf?
This administration seems to believe that by restricting retaliatory threats and by downplaying our reliance on nuclear weapons, it is discouraging proliferation. But the opposite is true. Seeing America retreat, they will rethink. And some will arm. There is no greater spur to hyper-proliferation than the furling of the American nuclear umbrella.
Charles Krauthammer’s e-mail address is email@example.com
(Some believe Mr. Krauthammer is being extremely kind to Obama. Rather than calling his “posturing in an insane direction” a “slump” some consider it a deliberate move to weaken the US militarily, weaken our position as the predominant world power and hasten our descent into the level of third world, despotic, dependent nations that Obama embraces with such warmth. Whatever mentality drives Obama in this direction is beyond rational thought. Evidently, analysis will have to be left to the musings of the psychiatrists of the world - just as they have had to muse and disastrously too late, on the mentality of other destructive individuals that have cursed this Earth).
Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman
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