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The Iranian Nuclear Threat in the Gulf of Mexico

On the November 1, 2015 Lisa Benson Show we asked ex- CIA director, Ambassador R. James Woolsey how easy was it for Iran to launch an Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack on the US?  He responded with the astounding revelation that the entire Gulf Coast of the U.S. had no X-band radar to detect a possible launch of a precision guiding missile with a nuclear warhead. Moreover, given Iranian threats to send naval vessels to the Gulf of Mexico, there would also be the threat of a cruise missile with a nuclear warhead that the U.S. Northern Defense Commander said in Congressional testimony was challenged to defend. Just refer to the stunning surprise of Russian vessels launching cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea that hit targets in Syria.

If Iranian nuclear weapons  could be exploded at any altitude ranging from 30 to 300 miles, the EMP  effect could take out the unprotected national electrical grid and 16 of the important infrastructures critical for running a modern technical economy.  He suggested three means by which Iran could do this. One option was launching a weather balloon with a nuclear bomb in a gondola capable of exceeding the 30 mile altitude. The second was through the launch of a nuclear device in a satellite from a southerly direction that both North Korea and Iran are currently capable of doing. The third means is through a ship borne launch of a Scud missile with a nuclear warhead from a container vessel using the Russian K-Club system that our colleague Ilana Freedman has written about.

The question arises is does Iran, despite the U.S. acceptance of the JCPOA, allegedly have that capability, already.  An August 2015 Washington Times article co-authored by Ambassador Woolsey and Dr. Peter Pry presented the view that Iran may already have several crude nuclear devices. Our colleagues Shoshana Bryen at the Jewish Policy Center and Ilana Freedman have also suggested that Iran could have evaded UN watchdog IAEA inspections by co-developing nuclear devices with North Korea.

emp attack gulf of mexicoAmbassador Woolsey in response to this question said that a nuclear detonation over the central US heartland would be a “hideous prospect.” He said it would put the US  back into the pre electrical agrarian era of the 1880s “with plowshares and seeds.”  It could  possibly resulting in millions of deaths from destruction of the electrical grid and disabling of our food production, distribution and  health care delivery infrastructure systems. Listen to Ambassador Woolsey’s responses to these questions on the November 1st, 2015, Lisa Benson Radio Show beginning at the 30 minute mark.

Ambassador Hank Cooper, a recognized expert in both EMP, and Missile Defense . He is the Former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative program . Cooper confirmed the absence of radar and anti-missile defenses on the vulnerable Gulf of Mexico coast in an email exchange with Lisa Benson, host of the National Security Radio Show.  He wrote:

Aegis BMD ships that are usually operating near the East Coast are inherently capable of defending against off-shore launched ballistic (and cruise) missiles—if the crews train to do so.  And if we had TPY-2 radar in Maine or somewhere in the Northeast, they also could defend against Iranian ICBMs—again if the crews were trained to do so.

Where we are absolutely naked is from launches from vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.  That could be fixed by deploying Aegis Ashore sites (like we are doing in Romania—operational this year–and Poland—operational in 2018) at bases around the Gulf.  I’d begin at Tyndall AFB near Panama City, the home for First Air Force, which is already responsible for the air defense of the entire continental USA and support for our TMD systems.

The difficulty of defending the Gulf Coast against a cruise missile threat followed from a 2013 missile defense exercise.  A Global Security Newswire March 2014 report, “Could the U.S. Face a Cruise Missile Threat from the Gulf of Mexico? noted US Senate Armed Services testimony of Gen. Charles Jacoby of the Northern Command:

A 2013 military exercise pitted systems such as Patriot interceptors, Aegis warships and combat aircraft against potential cruise-missile or short-range ballistic missiles fired from the Gulf. But the drill highlighted a particular vulnerability to cruise missiles lobbed from that region, U.S. Northern Command head Gen. Charles Jacoby indicated in congressional testimony.

He said the Pentagon has “some significant challenges” in countering these missiles, but is exploring “some opportunities to use existing systems more effectively to do that. Many detailed results of the Oct. 11th  drill conducted near Key West, Fla., remain classified, Jacoby said.

“The cruise-missile threat portion of that we are working on very hard,” the general added at the March 13, 2014  Senate Armed Service Committee hearing, in response to a question from Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

The Global Security Newswire report underlined the difficulties of combating the cruise missile threat from Russia and Iran noting:

Cruise missiles can be particularly challenging to defend against, as they can be more difficult than aircraft to detect on radar and are sometimes tricky to shoot down, according to military experts.

A 2013 U.S. military intelligence report forecasted that cruise missiles would spread into more hands over the coming decade. The document also hints at the ability to evade defenses designed against ballistic missiles.

“Cruise missiles can fly at low altitudes to stay below enemy radar and, in some cases, hide behind terrain features. Newer missiles are incorporating stealth features to make them even less visible to radars and infrared detectors,” says the 2013 assessment by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center.

Lisa Benson during the November 1st Radio Show asked  Woolsey if states should sue President Obama and U.S. companies doing business with Iran under existing sanctions laws authorized by the Federal 2010 Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Law.  Woolsey said that if sanctions are illegally lifted by the President on Compliance Day, December 15, 2015, members of the plaintiffs bar might be “licking their chops “at the prospects of suing U.S. companies.  We have written extensively about the ability of States with enabling sanctions laws bringing such a cause of action in the Federal Courts based on the professional assessments of noted Constitutional litigator, David B. Rivkin, Jr. of the Washington Law Firm of Baker Hostetler. See: Can States Prevent Release of Iran Sanctions Through Federal Litigation?

We launched a twitter campaign directed at the 27 Attorneys General of the Republican Attorneys General Association headed by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Ms. Bondi could file such an action with the Attorneys General of Alabama, Mississippi and Texas against the President. It could be filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Pensacola, Florida presided over by Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson.

The Dallas Chapter of the National Security Task Force of America (NSTFA) undertook a twitter campaign in October 2015  following the October 18th JCOPA Acceptance Date signing by President Obama.  Pam Brown and the Dallas Chapter NSTFA team tweeted information on the ability to sue the President Obama to Texas Governor Abbott, Attorney General Paxton and  125 members of the Texas Legislature.  She posted on the NSTFA Facebook this weekend of the continuing effort to contact Gov. Abbott at a meeting of the Texas Republican Women’s Conference in Lubbock:

Elena Blake, one of the team members, is in Lubbock at the Texas Republican Women Conference and Governor Abbott, our Texas governor, is in attendance. We produced a document that she hand carried with plans to present to Governor Abbott or his scheduler, whom she had just met at a meeting in Dallas on Wednesday. This is an example of jumping on opportunity that presents itself. The background story to our Twitter surge is that Governor Abbott and fourteen other governors signed a letter to President Obama [on September 8, 2015] about their opposition to the Iran Deal: “we intend to ensure that the various state-level sanctions that are now in effect remain in effect. These state-level sanctions are critically important and must be maintained. “. The other governors who signed this letter are from the states of Oklahoma, S. Carolina, S. Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Dakota and Ohio. The letter that Elena Blake took to Lubbock for Governor Abbott urges him to rally six other governors to sue Obama. (NSTFA has determined we only need six or seven to sue.)

An appeal to Gov. Abbott could be the spark to enlist Attorneys Generals in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida to file an action in the Northern District US Court in Florida to halt lifting of sanctions by Obama.   There is still time remaining to file such an action. The prod to do so are the revelations of Ambassadors Woolsey and  Cooper revealing how unprotected these Gulf Coast States and indeed all of America is against an EMP attack by a nuclear armed Iran.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Pope Francis Commemorates 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide — “The first of the 20th Century”

Turk_official_teasing_Armenian_starved_children_by_showing_bread,_1915_(Collection_of_St._Lazar_Mkhitarian_Congregation)

Turkish official teasing starved Armenian children by showing bread during the Armenian Genocide, 1915.

Pope Francis chose this Sunday to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide by the Young Turks of the waning Ottoman Empire.  He called it the first genocide of the 20th Century”. The AP reported, that Turkish President Erdogan called “hateful “and “unacceptable.”  He immediately ordered the recall of their Ambassador to the Holy See and had the Foreign Minister invite in the Papal Ambassador.  The AP wrote:

Pope Francis on Sunday called the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks “the first genocide of the 20th century” and urged the international community to recognize it as such, sparking a diplomatic rift with Turkey at a delicate time in Christian-Muslim relations.

Armenian President Serge Sarkisian, who was on hand to mark the 100th anniversary of the slaughter at a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, praised the pope for calling a spade a spade in an interview with The Associated Press. But Turkey, which has long denied genocide took place, recalled its ambassador to the Holy See in protest.

“The pope’s statement, which is far from historic and legal truths, is unacceptable,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted. “Religious positions are not places where unfounded claims are made and hatred is stirred.”

Francis, who has close ties to the Armenian community from his days in Argentina, defended his pronouncement by saying it was his duty to honor the memory of the innocent men, women and children who were “senselessly” murdered by Ottoman Turks.

“Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it,” he said at the start of a Mass in the Armenian Catholic rite honoring the centenary.

In a subsequent message directed to all Armenians, Francis called on all heads of state and international organizations to recognize the truth of what transpired to prevent such “horrors” from happening again, and to oppose such crimes “without ceding to ambiguity or compromise.”

[…]

Turkey’s embassy to the Holy See canceled a planned news conference for Sunday, presumably after learning that the pope would utter the word “genocide” over its objections. Instead, the Foreign Ministry in Ankara summoned the Vatican’s envoy, and then announced it was recalling its own ambassador to the Vatican for consultations.

In a statement, it said the Turkish people would not recognize the pope’s statement “which is controversial in every aspect, which is based on prejudice, which distorts history and reduces the pains suffered in Anatolia under the conditions of the First World War to members of just one religion.”

ravished armeniaOur NER colleague, Dr. Richard L. Rubenstein wrote a chronicle of the Ottoman pogroms and genocides perpetrated  against the Armenians in the late 19th Century and during World War I,  The Armenian Genocide as Jihad”  (January 2015)Dr. Rubenstein is the author of seminal works about the Holocaust and more recently, Jihad and Genocide.   Rubenstein’s opening stanza of his article recalls the appalling depredations wreaked by Turkish and Kurdish auxiliaries:

There is a 1919 silent film about the Armenian genocide, “Ravished Armenia,” originally produced in Hollywood using Turkish documentary footage. It was based on a book by a survivor, Aurora Mardiganian, who also starred in the production. The film originally consisted of nine reels, most of which have been lost. Recently, a twenty-minute clip was found that contains brief scenes of many of the incidents that took place during the genocide.1

Although low-definition, there is one terrible scene toward the end of the clip that is especially difficult to watch. Seldom, if ever, have I viewed a film scene that matches this one in sadistic obscenity. It is a crucifixion scene, but unlike Christian images of Christ on the cross that express symbolically the triumph of eternal life over evanescent human pain, this film’s crucifixion scene carried a very different symbolic meaning. There are eight crosses in a row to which are nailed eight naked, young Armenian women. After the film offers a panoramic view of all of the crosses and their victims, it focuses on a single sufferer. Nailed to the cross, she is helplessly alive. One could tell by her eyes and facial movements that her cognitive functions were unimpaired as she awaited the painful doom of her crucifixion.

The terrible scenes of the deportations, confiscations, sadistic brutality, rapine, outright murder of helpless Armenians, and the crucifixion of the Armenian maidens could not have been filmed without the involvement and consent of Turkish authorities.

The perpetrators took the most sacred symbol of Christendom and turned it into a blasphemous obscenity, symbolically proclaiming absolute Muslim dominance. Nevertheless, something else was involved: women are the child bearers. Their wombs carry the next generation. No words were necessary. The message was clear: “We express our utter contempt for you and your religion. We intend to destroy your future. You have no human rights. We can do with you whatever we wish.”

Nevertheless, shortly after the film was released, Turks apparently had second thoughts about what could be made available publically. Since then, for almost a century, Turkish governments have vehemently rejected the charge that Turks committed genocide against the Armenians. The most Turks have been willing to acknowledge is that both the Turks and Armenians inflicted wartime harm on each other, thereby arguing for moral equivalence between Turkish genocidal violence and rare instances of Armenian defensive action. Admitting that there were massacres, Turkish authorities have insisted that the number of Armenians killed has nevertheless been greatly exaggerated. Moreover, in spite of the publication of a host of well-documented eye-witness reports and testimonies, Turkish governments have used their diplomatic influence to prevent governments, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and others, from taking any action that would validate the Armenian claim that a nearly successful attempt to exterminate the Armenians of the Ottoman empire took place during the first World War.

In view of the fact that post-war German governments have acknowledged the role of National Socialist Germany in planning and implementing the extermination of Europe’s Jews, why have successive Turkish governments refuse to tread a similar path with regard to the Armenian victims?

[…]

This suggestion is in accord with the first words in Vahakn N. Dadrian’s magisterial study of the Armenian genocides. Dadrian begins: “As a first step toward a full analysis of the nationality conflicts [in the Ottoman Empire], it is necessary to examine Islam as a major determinant in the genesis and escalation of these conflicts.

Ambassador Henry Morgenthau Senior

Henry Morgenthau, Senior

The massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in the midst of WWI was largely met with indifference by the Christian world.  The exception was the American Committee for Syrian and Armenian Relief, now Near East Foundation that created refugee centers for Armenia orphan children. This despite information provided conveyed to the U.S. Statement Department by the American Ambassador to the Sublime Porte, Henry Morgenthau, Senior. President’s Wilson Jewish appointee who served in that post during the period from 1913 until his resignation in 1916. He   wrote a personal account in Ambassador’s Story, about his confrontation with Ottoman officials over eye witness reports he received from Consuls in Van and Aleppo of the heinous crimes committed by Turkish and Kurdish forces. those reports to his friend Aldolph Ochs, publisher of the New York Times.  His book has graphic photographs of the devastation wreaked upon the country’s Armenian minority.   Morgenthau also noted the indifference of the German Ambassador an ally of the Ottoman Turks during this great slaughter.  In a 1915 telegram to the US State Department, Morgenthau “described the massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as a “campaign of race extermination.”  In his book. Morgenthau wrote:

The real purpose of the deportation was robbery and destruction; it really represented a new method of massacre. When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact.  Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story pg. 309.

Ambassador_Morgenthau's_Story_By_Henry_MorgenthauAs noted by Dr. Rubenstein, this first genocide of the 20th Century was used by Hitler as justification for the Final Solution for the murder in unspeakable ways of six million European Jewish men, women and children.  The depredations committed against Jews during the Shoah were not dissimilar from the outrages perpetrated on Armenian throughout the Ottoman Empire, although with an important difference- the organization of a network of slave labor and death camps using technology.  The reports of the Armenian slaughter look eerily similar to those of the Islamic State against Orthodox and Assyrian Christians in both Syria and Iraq 100 years later.  During WWII it was left to the Ambassador’s son, Henry Morgenthau, Jr. ,President Roosevelt’s Treasury Secretary , who with his able staff , brought about  the creation of the War Refugee Board (WRB)  to save an estimated 250,000 Jews who fell into allied hands. The WRB enlisted the aid of Swedish businessman Raoul Wallenberg and others in the diplomatic community that used funds for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee  to safe house 90,000 Hungarian Jews in Budapest.

100 years after the Armenian Genocide Islamist President Erdogan perpetuates official amnesia conveying it as hateful to Turkish nationalism, when in fact it was a Jihad perpetrated by reformer predecessors of the Young Turks, Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha, Enver Pasha and Djemal Pasha.

Hitler, who admired Islam and Jihad, used the Turkish destruction of Armenians as the model for the Holocaust against the hated infidel Jews.  He reportedly  told his friend, the German Muslim convert Ached Huber, “The only religion I respect is Islam. The only prophet I admire is the Prophet Muhammad.”

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The below video is the 1919 film RAVISHED ARMENIA , the original movie was also known as  the Auction of Souls:

The following poster shows graphically what happened then and what is happening now to Christians in the Middle East. History tends to repeat itself…

armenian genocide girls crusified