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Romney on Iran: "They have to understand that we will take military, kinetic action if they continue to pursue a nuclear option." The phrase "kinetic military action" is Obama legal speak for "war we don't want to get permission from congress to prosecute."

Aw, someone told Mittens to use a big-sounding glam-national security catchphrase. And bless his heart, last Friday on the Rick and Bubba Show the failed liberal un-Governator from Massachusetts actually threw caution to the wind, managing to awkwardly salvo the boilerplate that his advisors so painstakingly - probably for hours - maybe days, weeks - labored and toiled with him over blood, sweat, and tears so he would lob it properly at the enemy. And like a Russian nesting doll of foreign policy FAIL, the term itself reveals the tragic ignorance of whoever brandishes it. Indeed, his advisors probably spent hours, days, weeks, even years, learning raptly, uprearing, and canonizing this one precious phrase from the Obama administration (the RINOs' Good Shepherd is always the liberal Democrat, you know) along with countless other focus-group-tested buzzwords and - as Beltway Confidential dubbed them, "ungainly euphemisms":

Near as I can figure, "kinetic action" is redundant - like "wet water."  But Harvard Law professor and former head of the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel Jack Goldsmith thinks there's a reason the Obama administration is at, er, "kinetic military action" with the English language here.

Gene Healy went on to quote Goldsmith as saying it was a means to avoid congressional authorization in Libya and who knows where else next (Romney-endorser John McCain is hovering like Gollum over his list this very moment). You could imagine the monody that rose from the catacombs where Romney's venerated "advisors" dwell. How will we ever again enjoy the bountiful fruit of presidency-by-proxy if these advisors cannot manage to imprint on Willard a single Hogwartsian phrase properly turned to unlock the heart of every blushing American voter. 

But the voter has to wonder, is this what we can expect from Romney: poorly repackaged retreads from the administration his entire campaign is ostensibly predicated on replacing? Romney does deserve some credit for realizing Iran has to be stopped - that's more than we can say for his wingman Ron Paul - but his complete and utterly excruciatingly embarrassing amateur hour with every facet of American National Security policy as a theory and as carried out within the context of even the most recent administration, and the tactical as well as the philosophical foundations that underlie how it is implemented, paint a picture of a man who is not built for president. This is by no means his first inexpert blunder or only crucial foible - and we're just in the talking phase where it's still considered easy. This type of pantomiming is like a knock-off of a poorly-made replica of a designer handbag, with its logo askew and poorly-stitched vinyl already coming apart in the shop. Unseriously dangerous. It reminds America once again that there is only one statesman in the room competent, capable, steady, learned, and set for the task, and that is Speaker Newt Gingrich, Ph.D., who for years has taught strategy and the art of war to our top generals. Given the delicate times into which we're entering, with whom would you rest easier knowing he were in charge of such a crisis? The answer is clearly the former Speaker. And that you should remember when you vote.



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Martin is a master's student in national security studies and is the executive director of Samizdat International, a genuine human rights concern. He currently serves with the Newt Gingrich campaign as Texas Chair for Students with Newt (posts at Blogbat are personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the campaign). Martin undertook his internship with the London-based Henry Jackson Society in the summer of 2009 and misses the irradiated sushi at his favorite sushi haunt Itsu. He hates the Turabian style format.


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Is Iran a Threat?

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It's hard to believe but there are still some who discount the threat posed by Iran to the West once the regime acquires and readies nuclear weapons. But why is Iran a threat? To answer that question we must ask some others:


  • Would Iran like to see the West destroyed? Yes
  • Is Iran willing to take action to bring this about? Yes
  • Is Iran currently taking action to bring this about? Yes
  • Would the end of this course of action legitimately threaten the West? Yes
  • How seriously could Iran hurt us? A single nuclear weapon detonated above North America would emit an electromagnetic pulse capable of frying our electrical grid and nearly everything utilizing electronics. This could literally lead to the extermination of 90% of the population within a year.
  • Can Iran be deterred? No
  • Can the threat be defended against or mitigated? Not yet. The technology exists but it has not been implemented.
  • What is being done to defend and mitigate? Too little
  • How long before Iran's nuclear capability is operational?  Estimates vary from a few months to a couple of years at the optimistic end of the spectrum.
  • How long before defense and mitigation techniques are operational? A few years.


As you can see, there is already a frightening gap between when many believe Iran will possess nuclear weapons and when we will be able to defend against them or reduce their impact.

Iran has already promised to "wipe" the US and Israel off the face of the earth. Newt Gingrich makes a very good point on this, as well. If a person believes it is a good idea to blow himself up with a suicide vest in order to kill just a few of his enemies, why wouldn't he want a nuclear bomb and be willing to accept the consequences of retaliation after launching a devastating attack on his enemies? But the threat is even worse than that of a single - or even a few - cities being destroyed by nuclear attacks at ground level. Presently, Iran's nuclear weapons program is being developed in conjunction with missile tests that include delivery systems being detonated at apogee to simulate an EMP attack. A single EMP event over North America could be sufficient to knock out our entire electrical grid, which may take up to a decade to replace.

Within the first year after such an event due to starvation, dehydration, and disease, up to 90% of the US population would be dead. That's from a single EMP from a single, fairly low-yield bomb, and Iran's leadership has talked openly both within political circles and internal military white papers and other documents about the desire to make an EMP strategy their top priority.

Furthermore, there is no deterrent as there was with the Soviet Union because the official form of Islam propagated and adhered to within the regime believes that they will herald in the era of the 12th Imam (their messiah) once Armageddon begins; furthermore, this is also the same belief system that glorifies the suicide bomber as a martyr for Islam.

The Iranian regime is willing to accept heavy losses by any retaliation and they believe it is their God-given purpose to obliterate the United States, and soon they will have the capability to do so. Furthermore, the US would be so badly weakened - if it exists at all - that retaliation and certainly any sustained conflict with Iran and its axis partners would be impossible from a resource standpoint. The best we could do is drop a few nukes on Iran, which Iran is willing to accept. I would say that is quite a real threat.

We must begin to accept reality on its terms rather than how we wish it to be, and in so doing ensure that no attack from Iran, its axis partners China and Russia, other allies or terrorist groups will be capable of inflicting serious damage.


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Martin is a master's student in national security studies and is the executive director of Samizdat International, a genuine human rights concern. He currently serves with the Newt Gingrich campaign as Texas Chair for Students with Newt (posts at Blogbat are personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the campaign). Martin undertook his internship with the London-based Henry Jackson Society in the summer of 2009 and misses the irradiated sushi at his favorite sushi haunt Itsu. He hates the Turabian style format.

The Inevitable EMP: A New Holocaust

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As mentioned in my previous post, former China defense minister Chi Haotian called for the use of WMD to annihilate the US population in an act of ethnic cleaning never before seen in human history.

One such method of WMD attack - and also comparatively low-cost - that is gaining wider attention is the use of EMP (or Electromagnetic Pulse). China could employ this method through a proxy power such as Iran or North Korea or a non-state actor, thereby concealing the return address (or China may decide as it examines its cost-to-benefit ratio that such an attack is worth losses suffered during the response).

Here's how it works: A single nuclear missile is detonated at apogee above the continental United States, Europe, Israel, India, Japan or other target sending out several waves of energy toward everything within line-of-sight. Power grids, unshielded electronics such as your computer, transportation (cars, delivery trucks, ambulances, aircraft, etc.), radios and TVs would all be fried. This would have devastating consequences, as you might well imagine.

I believe this is one of the most crucial issues facing the world from a security standpoint. In fact, an EMP has the potential to kill up to 90% of the affected population within a year after the event due to the natural die-off resulting from infrastructure collapse.* It normally takes about ten years to replace major power transformers - and that's under the most ideal conditions. During that time, there would be no way to get food, water, medicine, and other essentials to market; there would be no means of transporting the sick, no method for regulating the indoor climate in hospitals and nursery homes or disposing of waste. Disease, starvation, and the elements would take their toll. And many of the illnesses and accidents treatable today would also become fatal. Refugees would also swarm the countryside, overwhelming those who believed their isolation and self-sufficiency would sustain them.  

If any regime deserves to be taken seriously in its threat to annihilate an entire population, that regime is surely CCP China, which has murdered over 70 million of its own people and counting, making it the most genocidal regime in human history. This is also a regime that makes no effort to diminish the cruelty of death, as we see from its harvesting of organs from living dissidents and the practice of filleting others alive. The regime has also built a vast network of mysterious and pristine cities across its country, which are completely uninhabited, as well as massive underground bunkers. It seems reasonable to assume these serve a strategic purpose and it is clear that it would be strategically useful for a regime intent on initiating - and winning - a nuclear confrontation with an enemy.

As is widely known, Iran has already tested the idea of detonating a missile at apogee and is presently acquiring both missile and nuclear technology from China, Russia, and others within that axis.

However, even if we were to eliminate all nuclear weapons and other man-made sources of EMP tomorrow, of grave concern also is the threat posed by solar events such as the Carrington event of 1859. Such an event - which occurs about every 100 years - would be global. Without hardened infrastructure from the electrical grid to transportation and communications, we are all literally sitting under the gun. That is why the best first strategy for ameliorating this unthinkable threat is to increase our survivability, as mentioned above. The next solar event is inevitable and is also arguably already overdue, and the reduced benefit of a first strike will also deter potential aggressors who seek to use a man-made event to score a quick win.

Without the will to develop new and more secure technologies, there is very little we can do to mitigate such an event, be it naturally-occurring or as the result of an attack from China directly or one of its proxies. So it is key that we understand that the moment to act is now. Otherwise, the inevitable will come. It will either be man-made or sun-caused, but at the point at which it occurs, civilization will suffer a severe downgrade and millions - possibly billions - of unique human beings with hopes, dreams, and aspirations will slowly and agonizingly vanish from the face of the earth.


*Forstchen, William R. One Second After. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 2009.


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Martin is a master's student in national security studies and is the executive director of Samizdat International, a genuine human rights concern. Martin undertook his internship with the London-based Henry Jackson Society in the summer of 2009. He hates the Turabian style format.

Some Thoughts on The Norway Terrorist

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I find it interesting that mass-murdering terrorist Anders Behring Breivik's closest apparent political leanings would be along the lines of United Russia, Vladimir Putin's political party (and similar to Vidkun Quisling's National Unity Party).

I also find it noteworthy that two separate Islamist groups tried to take responsibility before realizing that gig was up. This further demonstrates that with their shared hatred for Israel and love of blowing things up, Anders and the Islamists he claims to also detest are actually natural allies.

I suppose there is some irony here, particularly with the aforementioned antipathy for Israel shared by Anders and the Islamists, but also Norway's Labor Party. Incidentally, Labor also has "declared war on radical Islam." Of course, radical Islamists hate Labor and Anders, too. That the three of them are at each other's throats is noteworthy no matter how you look at it. As the saying goes, "haters gonna hate", and all three seem to hate each other and everyone else, for that matter.

I'm also rather curious if Anders had any connection with the "Anonymous" movement, which is allegedly supported by "Russian interests". Russia not only has a long history with active measures throughout Europe in both Soviet and post-Soviet days, it also has a considerable one in Norway.

Speculation aside, what we can gather about Anders at the moment is that he is a fairly educated and intelligent sort of terrorist. He doesn't seem the type to be led around by the nose of one ready-made ideology, but might well hand pick the things he likes out of both right and left baskets. Just another speculation, of course, since we truly know so very little about him yet. Some have made some great points about the fact that had Norway's gun laws not been so strict, camp counselors could have been able to possess firearms and thus could have stopped Anders much earlier on in his murder spree. That would have especially been handy in this case, because authorities took an hour and a half to respond. Another travesty of the socialist dystopia? It is likely that Anders will only get 21 years for his unspeakable carnage. 21 years? Seriously?

Some great analysis and links to those who've really been digging into this can be found here, here, here, and here. Bonus: Far-Left Wikipedia has already linked Anders to the American Tea Party Movement.


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Martin is a master's student in national security studies and is the executive director of Samizdat International, a genuine human rights concern. Martin undertook his internship with the London-based Henry Jackson Society in the summer of 2009. He hates the Turabian style format.


It appears the plot has thickened in the horrific Norway massacre that involved bombings and shootings at two separate locations that claimed the lives of close to 100 innocents yesterday. Unlike many on the left, it made no difference to many of us what color the shooter's hair or eyes were; there only began to prove to be a strange twist when rumors of his worldview began to swirl around. It was only then that he began to appear to be a bit of a departure from the norm. After all, he would not have been the first European Islamist we've captured in the past ten years. But we one thing seems unchanged: he agrees with Norway's labor government's - and the Islamists' - anti-Semitism, and he agrees with the far left that terror and oppression are the only useful tools in governing a society.

At present, Anders Behring Breivik seems to be the sole suspect, contrary to earlier suspicions - mine included, as well as those of the BBC and other left-of-center media and government officials - that this was a coordinated Islamism attack. Of course, the BBC dutifully began filling the air almost entirely with speculation that it was Norway's almost non-existent role in Afghanistan and Libya that was the culprit and all but ignored the growing Islamist movement in Norway and how PM Jens Stoltenberg's government has chosen not to deal with it (when it wasn't supporting it, which was quite rare).

But of course, all of that talk may have become moot as more details seem to have surfaced. So naturally, conservatives will seek to fall back and suggest that perhaps this will become the exception that proves the rule, while the left will most certainly suggest the opposite: that this is the rule that proves the rule. In one sense, the left is right. When you begin to look at it a little deeper, you might begin to think this is the rule that proves the rule.

But what rule? While early reports suggest he was an ultra-nationalist รก la Alex Jones-with-hand-grenades (though we do not know the philosophical basis of this or his mental health - so it is yet too early to determine what is at the root of his rampage) we do know that Europe has a long history in which the balance of power has either shifted toward the violent left or the violent right - a "right" quite alien from how we define it here in the US. Historically, this battle has not given much voice to the average, peaceful person living in the Old World. Marx or Hitler was your choice, so you were screwed either way. Over the centuries what started out as contests among nobility has evolved into what began to be known as leftist versus rightist in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Regardless of the name of the fashionable political philosophical candy du jour, this clash of titans remained one of the principle reasons so many fled to America.

Of course, much of the media in the US and the world today counts itself among the combatants in the Old World sense, so it will seek to make up for the Loughner that got away in its quixotic cultural quest to finally vanquish its ancient nemesis as well as put away this new post-1776 foe: the "third option". As you recall, before the blood had even dried on the pavement, MSM sought to paint Jared Loughner as a right-wing terrorist and then pin him not to the Alex Jones extreme but to the Sarah Palin mainstream. This was until Loughner's rantings on YouTube and testimony from those who knew him surfaced and it became clear he was a radical atheist and quasi-neo-Marxist. Loughner was also determined to be mentally unfit to stand trial, so the crestfallen media was able to quickly let the story drop with cover. The Obama administration was also forced to wait for another opportunity to push its anti-America class narrative.

If anything, yesterday's tragic incidents in Oslo and Utoya should serve to further support the reality that the traditional American conservative is the true "centrist" in the world body politic. While you still have at one extreme the deranged Hitlerites and at the other the genocidal Maoists, in the very exceptional and sane middle, you can still find the rational pro-America, pro-Israel constitutionalist. This third option is only option that has ever truly empowered the people. "Centrist" not so much in the more popular sense today; many see political actors such as John McCain and Jon Huntsman, Jr. as timid leftists. Rightly so, because these faux moderates seek to join their more radical comrades in turning back the clock on America to the old days, when we were subject to top-down governments and the kind of extremist clashes eternally ongoing in Europe.

Of course, the likely policy response in Norway and in other NATO countries to yesterday's attacks will most likely prove counterproductive and will also neither solve the growing and very extant Islamist threats nor the actual violence or the anti-Semitism that continues to thrive in Norway. Nor will it provide anything of use in dealing with the nascent and already very serious China threat. Instead, it will surely provide further cover for ignoring them. It will likely, however, encourage Janet Napolitano to grope Americans a little bit more. This incident will no doubt play right into the narrative Napolitano and the Obama administration have been working on more feverishly in recent days, which in itself makes for an exceptionally convenient set of circumstances in Norway. This will in turn play into the narrative of the Alex Jones sect, who will seek to continue to hijack what is truly American while the extreme left seeks to help the hijacking so they can be rid of us, the peaceful, civil American voter - and the exceptional idea of America - once and for all.

So you neither have in Anders the nail in the coffin that proves that ordinary people trying to live their lives are actually terrorists who should be locked up, nor the exception to the rule that all terrorists are Islamist - which isn't true at any rate. What we do find in Anders, if early reports turn out to be true, is that the rule that civil society is still caught between two extremes happy to use violence against innocents to attain their goals is still very much a reality. And we also see why our Founding Fathers were wise to want none of it in the US. At the end of the day, Anders serves as a reminder why we must divorce the kind of European thinking that has led to wars and so much suffering and loss of life around the world. It once again demonstrates that the idea that the Founding Fathers had was truly exceptional and that for democratic peace theory to work, there must be more freedom and power in the hands of the people, not less. The idea that "we the people", the civil society, oversee the affairs of state rather than the opposite and that differences are solved rationally through debate (at times impassioned) and elections rather than an endless cycle of oppression and uprising, tyranny and terrorism, is truly the most novel even some 235 years later; it is the best idea men have ever had and also the best in practice.


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Martin is a master's student in national security studies and is the executive director of Samizdat International, a genuine human rights concern. Martin undertook his internship with the London-based Henry Jackson Society in the summer of 2009. He hates the Turabian style format.




Norway has gone farther than many EU countries in appeasing Islamists to the extent of even persecuting Jewish visitors - Israelis and otherwise - and citizens. Islamists can't be appeased, but we could have told PM Jens Stoltenberg that before the Islamist bomb went off - and many indeed tried to warn his country.

In fact, the hate and violence have been building, proffering an ominous warning for those who would listen. YNetNews from just last month today, 22 June:


Earlier this month, a survey by the Oslo Municipality found that 33% of Jewish students in the town are physically threatened or abused by other high school teens at least two to three times a month. The group that suffered the next highest amount of bullying was Buddhists at 10%. "Others" were at 7% and Muslims at 5.3%. Furthermore, the survey found that 51% of high school students consider "Jew" a negative expression and 60% had heard other students use the term.



The story goes on to talk about Norwegian media's role in enabling the danger to build, too, by shielding Norwegians from criticism from outside their country about the dangerous trends that were clearly visible from afar. For instance, the YNet story points out, US Senator Samuel Brownback sought to warn the Norwegian ambassador to the US Wegger Strommen of the rapid rise of anti-Semitism as well as anti-Israeli sympathies in Norway.

But there's more:


A letter from the Simon Wiesenthal Center was appended and mentioned extreme negative actions of inter alia Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, as well as Ministers [Jonas Gahr] Stoere and [Kristin] Halvorsen. Also mentioned was Deputy Environment Minister [Ingrid] Fiskaa, who had stated that before she entered the government, she dreamt about the UN launching rockets against Israel.



YNet also makes mention of Norwegian diplomats being promoted by comparing Gaza to the Holocaust. But there was more:


In retrospect, it seems that the tipping point in exposing Norway abroad was Professor Alan Dershowitz' visit in March of this year. Three Norwegian universities refused his offer of a free lecture on Israel and international law. Dershowitz thereupon compared his Norwegian experience with a visit to South Africa under apartheid in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.




RELATED:


More horrific photos of the blast area. This is in Norwegian, so it helps if, like me, you know German, Dutch or something similar. Otherwise, just click the thing that most closely resembles "next".


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Martin is a master's student in national security studies and is the executive director of Samizdat International, a genuine human rights concern. Martin undertook his internship with the London-based Henry Jackson Society in the summer of 2009. He hates the Turabian style format.





 

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