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Posted Sunday, April 11, 2010, at 4:19 PM

Iran declared war against the United States in 1978 and has never retracted that declaration. No President, neither Republican nor Democrat, has taken this threat with appropriate seriousness.

In the mid-late 1970s, President Carter eased the way for the Shaw of Iran to step down and allow the Ayatollah Khomeini to leave his exile in France and return to Iran. The Ayatollah supported "radical students" taking American Embassy personnel hostage for 444 days, sold our F15 and F16 aircraft to the Soviets, and took a modern Persian society and lurched it back in time some 400 years with frequent firing squads to bring home the point.

Since then, Iran has fought proxy wars with us through Lebanon and Syria, Lybia, Afghanistan, and stateless terrorists such as Al Qaeda. Now the leader of the embassy takeover is the President of Iran and they are on the verge of developing their own nuclear weapons.

President Clinton set up conditions for North Korea to become a nuclear power and President Bush sat idly by and allowed it to happen. That was bad. Perhaps the only saving grace is that as godless communists, dialectical materialism (Marxist lingo for pleasure in this life) is of paramount importance and the genuine threat of annihilation is capable of bringing restraint.

Not Iran. To Iran, the U.S. is the "Great Satan." Israel is a disease spreading "rotting corps" infecting the Middle East. The president of Iran has stated repeatedly that it is worth the destruction of his nation and the death of his people to destroy these enemies. After all, he and his people will be rewarded in Paradise by God. Is there any reason why we should not take him at his word?

At some point in the 1970s, my mom asked me if I was genuinely concerned that there would be nuclear was between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. I said yes. A lot has changed since then. This week, our president signed a treaty with Russia to reduce our nuclear stockpiles. This would have been welcome news in the 70s and 80s. However, it seems like misplaced priorities today.

While there is much to debate about the merits and detriments of this treaty, the pressing problems of the day are being ignored. Iran and its agents are the 800 pound gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about.

The scary truth is that our enemies do not need intercontinental ballistic missiles or bombers to attack us with nuclear weapons. We are not presently prepared to shield ourselves from a modern nuclear attack.

Take a moment to think outside of the box. How could you make an asymmetrical nuclear attack on the U.S.? Remember, it was the failure to think this way that allowed us to be vulnerable to attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

Low-tech missiles, like Scuds, are easy to build "near ballistic" missiles. That means that they travel upward near the edge of our atmosphere before falling back to earth. That means that they have a range of up to a couple of thousand miles. Ballistic missiles go into orbit allowing them onto drop on any place on the Globe.

What would happen if is a nuclear armed scud were launched from a cargo ship or fishing boat 100 miles from our shores? Do we have the defensive posture to thwart such an attack at the present time? What if such a missile were launched with the intent to detonate it at the peak of it's trajectory causing an electromagnetic pulse to wipe out all of the computers under the blast? Would your car start without its computer? Would a tank or airplane? What would happen to our communication systems? What kind of asymmetrical attack could the military planners of Iran come up with?

In 2002 we toppled Afghanistan and placed our military there. That put us on the Eastern border of Iran. Shortly thereafter, we toppled Iraq and placed our military there. That put us on the Western border of Iran. We had them in a pincer and the Iranians were temporarily set back on their heals.

Since then, there have been many years of complacency. Since then, Iran has been emboldened. Iran has attacked our troops with "military advisors" in the ranks of our enemies and by arming the groups resisting our presence. By doing nothing with our strategic position and stunningly impressive victories President Bush cost us the best opportunity we have had since World War II to shape the Middle East. Now, by continuing to ignore the threat posed by Iran, President Obama risks the possibility of a devastating attack on us or our allies.

A Middle Eastern proverb states that if you intend to strike the head from a snake, it is better to do it when it is small. Atomic power is making Iran grow to enormous size.

It has been said that the Lord helps those who help themselves. If we won't see to our own security, if we won't properly address our enemies, who will help us?

Showing comments in chronological order
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Type in EMP attack. I think you will find the resulting lesson interesting.

-- Posted by karenmeister on Sun, Apr 11, 2010, at 5:26 PM

While much of the radical attitude of Iran's leader is well known, we must be careful not to make a sweeping assumption that all our AlQaida woes are from Iran. Even Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, who are technically our allies have produced their fair share of "crazy" fundementalist radicals and our blanket message of "approval" of the Israeli governments restriction of Palestineans into their patchwro of "ghetto like" islands of land, restricting them from sources of food, work, and family members already sends the middle east a very negative stereotype of us. This does not mean that all are that way. While we maybe should have been more prudent as the first President Bush was when it came to making the decision to invade or not invade Iraq, putting all the population into one definition brings on more stereotyping and that brings on fear mongering.

There are MANY middle Eastern proverbs, some more radical than others. It's like the meaning of Jihad. To a fundamentalist Muslim it means an external holy war against all things non Muslim but to the religious Muslim who is truly practicing the Islam of Muhammad [God's peace be upon him]Jihad is the inner struggle in one's daily life to do what's right.

It's this fact; that there are many people just like you and me in these countries with radical leaders, that brings so many of the western leaders into what you call complacency. we cannot paint them all with one brush just as those in Israel and even those in the US cannot be painted as such.

While our government does not always do things that I agree with, I hope that these other countries do not judge us completely by the actions of our government. I do not believe the moderates of other countries do...

I urge all to get to know a Middle Easterner on a personal basis; one on one. You will find that you have more in common than different. Then look at the actions our government has made in the past and judge them by what it would have done to all the people in that country and how that would have also reflected on how others with stereotypical views of us would think of us here working and living and striving for a secure life for our families.

Understanding is needed here, not putting any more emphasis on how different certain individuals in other countries are.

PS If you don't have the opportunity to get to know someone from another country on a personal basis, read Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. Son of a Lutheran missionary...It will chage your views forever and to better understand the age old feud between the Arabs and Jews, read Holy Land, Whose Land by ISU Professor Dorothy Drummond. Both of these books help to break down long time stereotypes that are counterproductive to our own personal "jihads" in our Christian consciousness.

Remember we have our own fundamentalists here...One group is called the KKK. If other countries judged us all by what it stands for, we would be in a real pickle. We must persevere to be sure that we point out the fact that while we might not like some things that other government leaders do we are not condemning the entire population.

Have good day.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Apr 11, 2010, at 8:26 PM

Dear Jenny,

Your thoughtful responses are always welcome and appreciated. However, I have to point out that you may have missed the mark.

I have visited roughly 35 countries. I have made friends in nearly all of them. I also have friends from several countries in the Middle East. But that is not relevant to the point.

The decision to wage war is made by the leaders of governments. It is an unfortunate fact that many good people die fighting wars. Given that fact, to paraphrase George Patton, I would prefer that the other dumb sucker die for his country than our brave men and women die for ours. Nuclear warheads do not discriminate between good and bad, military and civilian. Moreover, the leaders in places like Iran actually want to kill civilians.

America is a nation of immigrants. If any group of people are naturally inclined to be tolerant and understanding of other cultures, it is us. But again, that is not the point. We ignore dangers at our own peril. It is incredibly unwise to deal with other nations as we wish they would be rather than how they are. There actually are nations that despise us and desire to harm us.

The attitudes of the majority of the people are not relevant to the actions taken by dictatorial governments and their militaries. Iran has been in civil upheval for many months now. The Iranian government has decided to kill the dissidents. I don't think that they are particularly worried about innocent American lives.

Iran is a serious threat that needs to be taken seriously. If something is not done soon, rather than fighting a conventional war, we may be fighting a nuclear war. Conventional war is clearly the lesser of two evils.

Incidentally, the best book I ever read on the Middle East was "From Beirut to Jerusalem" by Thomas L. Friedman, a Pulitzer prize winner and a writer for the New York Times.

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Mon, Apr 12, 2010, at 10:00 AM


I went to the link you suggested. It was very interesting. Thanks for the recommendation.

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Mon, Apr 12, 2010, at 12:41 PM

So Mr Hear exactly what are you advocating? What is your suggested way of solving the problem?

Too many time we see and hear people railing against the way things are. Simply saying we should do "something" gets nothing done. We need concrete ideas so lets hear yours.

Please do not take this as a slam against you personally. I just get tired of reading "lets do something'.

-- Posted by BackHomeAgain on Tue, Apr 13, 2010, at 1:27 PM

Mr. Hear,

Well said, in both the article and response to Ms. Moore. I too have traveled to the middle east and you are right on the money. Ms. Moore, the government of Iran has two main goals the destruction of Israel and "The Great Satan" (that's us). They have proven since The Shaw was deposed that they have a willingness to commit terrorism against both countries.


While it would be easy for Mr. Hear or any of us for that matter to suggest a course of action, we unfortunately do not set the foreign policy goals of our nation. There are many actions that could be taken, however the current administration will most likely take no action (Just an opinion).

-- Posted by Localguy1972 on Wed, Apr 14, 2010, at 6:17 AM

Dear BackHomeAgain & LocalGuy

Playing armchair president or general is far different from the real thing. I do not have the information available that they do. Additionally, I do not suffer the repercussions that they do. That said, there seem to be some options.

We could be actively supporting the Iranian dissidents. Their government has not enjoyed popular support for quite some time. With that, we could bring public pressure on them to not kill the dissidents the way we did on the Soviets when Solidarity captured the hearts of the average Pole.

If I were going to guess, I suspect that the Israelis have at least several well thought out plans on how to disable the Iranian nuclear program. We could work with them, or at least offer them our support and give them a green light to go for it.

In the 1990's, President Clinton sent missiles into several countries with which we were not at war. Reagan sent in bombers and Carter, Nixon, Johnson, and Kennedy sent in tactical teams to take care of business. Those are all options that should be seriously considered.

Finally, we should not rule out the possibility of opening a full scale war. We could not possibly ask for better positioning than we presantly have. While war is a terrible thing, it is much less terrible when it is an away game than when it is a home game. The unfortunate truth is that we cannot always persuade people to not attack us or our allies. Sometimes we have to make a preemptive strike to make the inevitable less terrible.

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Wed, Apr 14, 2010, at 7:05 AM

Well I agree with Jenny Moore on this one....Our president (and past Presidents) have done the best they can...they have way more info then us common folk. This being said every country has their own problems ...look at ours ..but I am sure if the president or top officials felt we were in harm they would act...If every country (or person)went to war because a threat made and not carried out.... it would be world chaos...according to his rebuttle to the last comment made we should go into war over a threat made and not retracted years ago ....I am sorry Mr. Hear but if you feel this way about this ...I certainly cringe at you becoming prosecutor(my opinion) I see your point of view and i respect that and I also agree that there are other nations/countries that do despise us and want to harm us but to me that does not justify starting a war based on threats made regardless of whether other countries like us or not... If you think you have the solution then take action because i get tired of everyone having the answer while sitting in their office chair sipping soda ...This is just my opinion

-- Posted by mom of3 on Wed, Apr 14, 2010, at 11:41 AM

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