North Korea caught smuggling missiles though Panama Canal?

July 16, 2013
"I've got some bad news, boss..."

“I’ve got some bad news, boss…”

Couldn’t be. I’m sure there’s an innocent explanation:

A mystery with potential international ramifications is unfolding in Panama, where authorities discovered military equipment hidden inside a North Korean-flagged ship that originated in Cuba.

Cuba has long been at odds with the United States, and North Korea is banned by the United Nations from importing and exporting most weapons because of its nuclear ambitions. Suspicions were further raised when the ship’s captain suffered an apparent heart attack, and then tried to commit suicide, Panama’s president said.

These facts were sufficiently intriguing for President Ricardo Martinelli to travel to the port and examine the ship himself.

The president tweeted a photo of what he saw — a green octagon-shaped tube with a cone at its end and another similar-looking piece of equipment behind it.

Is it a missile, a reported asked?

“Maybe,” Martinelli said. “I am not familiar with that, but it would be good if such things didn’t pass through Panama, which is a country that loves peace and not war.”

The Panamanians originally became suspicious when they heard there was a load illegal drugs on the ship (North Korea regularly raises money through the drug trade). Boarding the ship, instead of heroin under all those bags of brown sugar, they found something a lot more worrisome. President Martinelli has asked the UN to examine the cargo to determine what it really is (I suppose they could be massive cigar humidors), but you can bet the CIA will be all over it, too, working quietly in the background. Don’t be surprised of this cargo spends a long time in a Panamanian warehouse because of “customs irregularities”  –long enough for us to dismantle and examine the missiles– before the rest of the cargo and the ship are released back to North Korea. This happens whenever the weapons of one power fall into the hands of another.

(And can you imagine what will happen to that crew when they do get back to North Korea? Consider this guy’s fate.)

Aside from the likely intelligence boon for us, though, this discovery raises several questions: Where were the missiles headed? North Korea? Iran? What was Cuba’s role: a transit point, or are they cooperating with the Norks on missile development, something that would concern us greatly? How long has this been going on, and is anyone else, such as Cuba’s client Venezuela, in on the operation?

This incident has given us a brief glimpse of the deadly-serious game being played behind the scenes between the United States and its adversaries, something we don’t often see because the MSM is covering what’s truly important, such as Kim Kardashian’s baby and Wendy Davis’ shoes. It’s a game the other side is playing for keeps.

Which makes it a good thing we have President Lead-From-Behind in charge.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Good news! Another Islamist government wants ICBMs! Huzzah!

July 25, 2012

Via Claire Berlinski, in case you were sleeping too easy at night:

The Turkish Armed Forces have begun working on a project to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), broadcaster NTV reported on its website today. 
A decision to launch the project was made in a July 17 meeting of the Defense Industry Executive Board, headed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel. Erdoğan had previously requested that the military develop missiles with a 2,500-kilometer range.
The board decided to form a satellite launch center that would have a two-fold effect on Turkey’s aerospace and military endeavors. First, the center will enable Turkey to place its own satellites in orbit, and second, the center will allow the Turkish military to launch missiles that can navigate outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. Attaining an ICBM launch capability is reportedly the chief aim of the satellite launch center.

Far from being the moderate Muslim leader the Obama administration fools itself into believing he is, Prime Minister Erdogan, head of an openly Islamist party, is Antisemitic, anti-American, anti-democratic, and an Islamic supremacist.

And he wants ICBMs. If anyone wants to bet that he and his supporters will refrain from trying to tip those with nuclear warheads, you’re on.

The Turkish sultan was for centuries also the Islamic caliph, spiritual leader of the world’s Muslims, and the revival of the caliphate is the dream of Islamists, everywhere.  A Turkish leader with nuclear missiles would have a strong claim on the leadership of a new caliphate, one that would have a hard time resisting the call to jihad.

There are regional geopolitical issues to worry about, too. Iran has its own nuclear and missile program and, while Iran and Turkey currently enjoy cordial relations as fellow Islamic supremacists, they have been rivals for hundred of years, fighting several wars with each other over influence in the Middle East and Central Asia. Those rivalries are buried, not dead, and Turkey has reason to want nukes if Iran gets them, too. And with its former province of Syria falling into chaos, Turkey is in a position to extend its influence over its ancient dominions in the Fertile Crescent. Possession of nuclear missiles would give it an edge over Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The same can be said with regard to Russia and the belt of Turkic language speakers ranging from Europe to China, over which Turkey has long dreamed of exerting influence and leadership. Much of this area used to be part of the Russian Empire and the USSR, and Moscow still thinks of it as its “sphere of influence.” Who wouldn’t want to see a nuclear-armed and angry Russia squared off against a newly-nuclear, inspired-by-jihad Turkey?

It’s been said that, if Iran gets nuclear weapons, other nations in the region will rush to get their own. That goes double if both Tehran and Ankara get the Big Firecrackers.

Sleep well, and hope that the next administration revives our missile defense program.

UPDATE: Think I’m exaggerating about Erdogan’s Islamism? Check out who’s visiting him at home.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Another Iranian peaceful nuclear facility goes *BOOM!*

December 1, 2011

Once is an accident. Twice may just be a coincidence. But when bad things happen over and over?

Someone’s gunning for you. Someone who plays for keeps:

AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran’s military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was “no doubt” that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was “no accident”.

The explosion at Iran’s third-largest city came as satellite images emerged of the damage caused by one at a military base outside Tehran two weeks ago that killed about 30 members of the Revolutionary Guard, including General Hassan Moghaddam, the head of the Iranian missile defence program.

Iran claimed that the Tehran explosion occurred during testing on a new weapons system designed to strike at Israel. But several Israeli officials have confirmed that the blast was intentional and part of an effort to target Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Gee, I wonder how the Israelis would know it was intentional and part of a larger plot? They couldn’t have anything to do with it, maybe by helping internal resistance groups, could they? Just because someone’s also been whacking Iranian atomic scientists and unleashing targeted computer viruses at the Mullah’s pet weapons program, and now has escalated to blowing up their missile bases just when the program chief and his North Korean advisers were visiting? And just because Iran has frequently threatened to rain nuclear fire on Israel? Surely it’s a coincidence.

As I like to say, “Oh, those wacky Jews.”

Go, Mossad!

PS: a word of caution about the source from Michael Totten.

A source I trust just told me that the journalist who broke this story has a dubious track record. That doesn’t necessarily mean the story is wrong, but these kinds of stories are sometimes goofed at the outset even by journalists with good records, so we shouldn’t assume we have this all figured out yet.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Stuxnet a joint US-Israel project…

January 17, 2011

…started by Bush, and accelerated by Obama. Well done to both men, and to our Israeli partners!

I love it when we do cool stuff like this:

The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel’s never-acknowledged nuclear arms program, where neat rows of factories make atomic fuel for the arsenal.

Over the past two years, according to intelligence and military experts familiar with its operations, Dimona has taken on a new, equally secret role — as a critical testing ground in a joint American and Israeli effort to undermine Iran’s efforts to make a bomb of its own.

Behind Dimona’s barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran’s at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and helped delay, though not destroy, Tehran’s ability to make its first nuclear arms.

“To check out the worm, you have to know the machines,” said an American expert on nuclear intelligence. “The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out.”

Though American and Israeli officials refuse to talk publicly about what goes on at Dimona, the operations there, as well as related efforts in the United States, are among the newest and strongest clues suggesting that the virus was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage the Iranian program.

Be sure to read the whole thing; it’s a fascinating story. One item straight out of science-fiction: the virus was designed to record what normal operations looked like, then play it back so Iranian scientists would think everything was fine while Stuxnet was quietly wrecking their centrifuges. Genius!

Of course, there’s a dark lining to every silver cloud… or something. What we and the Israelis have done to the Iranians could be done to us by a hostile power. (Hello? China?) Let’s hope the DoD and the rest of the government are taking computer security seriously. At least, let’s not make it so easy for the next Bradley Manning, okay?

That downer aside… Ain’t this cool?

RELATED: At Blue Crab Boulevard, Gaius thinks Stuxnet was way overbuilt and wonders what other capabilities it’s hiding.

Good news! Another wacko state wants to go nuclear!

January 5, 2011

What could go wrong?


Now the military junta that rules Burma wants the Bomb:

But there is near-smoking gun evidence to substantiate reports of a Burmese nuke project. A major in the army, Sai Thein Win, has defected to the Democratic Voice of Burma, delivering into its hands hundreds of secret documents and photos. The materials reveal the construction of a huge network of underground facilities dating back to 1996 and costing at least $3.5 billion since 2001. This evidence is enough to convince Robert Kelley, a former director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, that Burma’s junta is working on uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing capabilities with North Korean assistance.

The Strategic and Defence Studies Centre of Australia has published a study reaching the same conclusion. The authors interviewed two defectors who independently confirmed the building of a secret nuclear site, nearby the public site constructed with Russian aid. One defector testified to the presence of about 60 North Koreans at a secret site, which the authors describe as similar in design to the Syrian nuclear reactor destroyed by Israel in 2007.

The materials obtained by the Democratic Voice of Burma also show that a series of meetings took place in North Korea from the 22nd to the 29th of November in 2008 — meetings that included the Burmese military chief. One cable released by Wikileaks notes that a Burmese official mentioned the chief’s 2008 visit to North Korea in a slip of the tongue.

The organization has put together all the intelligence it has on Burma’s secret nuclear weapons program in the form of a documentary available to the public. For now, the junta is able only to mine uranium and produce yellowcake. One defector says that the regime hopes to be nuclear-capable by 2020. But the authors of the Australian study say Burma could go nuclear by 2014 in the absence of major problems. Rudimentary though it may be, the West should not dismiss Burma’s role in the nuclear Axis of Evil. The junta is in a position to fill one of the gaps in Iran’s nuclear effort. According to one defector, in February 2004 he met with an Iranian intelligence officer and nuclear scientist and received a sample of yellowcake. If this testimony is true, then Iran has already turned to Burma to help relieve its critical shortage of raw uranium.

Moreover, the UN has already confirmed that North Korea is shipping nuclear materials to Burma and using “links with overseas criminal networks to carry out these activities.” Next, corrupt Burmese officials might sell nuclear materials to criminals or terrorists. A September 2008 cable describes a Burmese civilian’s threat to U.S. diplomats to sell uranium-238 to Thailand, China, or other countries if the Americans themselves declined to buy. Claiming he already had 50 kg of Burmese uranium in a barrel, the civilian boasted that he could sell up to 2,000 kg. Another cable from January 2007 describes a suspected shipment of 112 metric tons of uranium ore to China by the Burmese government.

So, not only is Rangoon playing patty-(yellow)cake with North Korea and Iran, but private parties are getting involved. And, similar to the danger of a nuclear arms race in the Persian Gulf if (when) Iran gets its Big Firecracker, a Burmese nuclear capability would give incentive to Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia to get their own… “just in case.”

Not to mention making nuclear-armed India feel surrounded.

And, speaking of rational state-actors,  have I mentioned that the rulers of Burma use astrology to make key national decisions?

I think I need a drink.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Tehran bombings target nuclear scientists?

November 29, 2010

Gee, who could be behind this?

Two separate explosions killed a nuclear scientist and injured another in the Iranian capital Monday morning, official news outlets reported.

Both scholars’ wives and a driver were also injured in the attacks, according to the news agencies. The slain scientist, Majid Shahriari, was a member of the nuclear engineering team at the Shahid Behesti university in Tehran, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency, or IRNA.


The assassins, riding motorcycles, tossed bombs at — or attached them to — vehicles of the two Shahid Behesti University professors as they drove with their spouses en route to work between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m..

“A Pulsar motorbike drove close to Dr. Shahriari’s car and stuck a bomb on his car which after a few seconds exploded,” Tehran police chief Hossein Sajednia was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

The article also mentions another Iranian nuclear scientist assassinated last January.

But, who’s ordering the hits?

Let’s consider: Iran, an aggressive and terroristic nation, is developing nuclear weapons, which no one in their right mind wants them to have. They have repeatedly threatened to drop those weapons on a certain small country nearby, the government of which lives by the motto “Never again” and has been known to deal harshly with enemies who threaten its people.

I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

Via Instapundit.

LINKS: Gateway Pundit has video. Also Hot Air.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

We are officially wimps

January 2, 2010

Under George W. Bush, we were the ones who gave deadlines to others: first the Taliban, then Saddam Hussein. Now, under President Obama, our threats have so little meaning that our enemies set deadlines for us:

Iran warned on Saturday the West has until the end of the month to accept Teheran’s counterproposal to a UN-drafted plan on a nuclear exchange, or the country will start producing nuclear fuel on its own.

The warning was a show of defiance and a hardening in Iran’s stance over its controversial nuclear program, which the West fears masks an effort to make nuclear weapons. Teheran insists the program is only for peaceful, electricity production purposes and says it has no intention of making a bomb.

“We have given them an ultimatum. There is one month left and that is by the end of January,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said, speaking on state television.

Yeah, I know our diplomacy toward Iran grew ever more feckless under Mr. Bush in his second term, but under Obama it’s become positively feeble. The Iranians know they can do whatever they want, for the United States is lead by administration even more wedded to soft power appeasement than the Europeans. And it gets better: even the French president is tougher toward those black-robed fascists in Tehran than President Obama.

This Iranian ultimatum is a joke. They know we’ll do nothing. They’re laughing at us.

There is only one response:

Oh, the shame!

(via Legal Insurrection)

Tuesday links fiesta!

October 27, 2009

Today’s a busy day, but I wanted to leave you some links to chew over. Just remember to chew thoroughly before swallowing…  Clown

The Jihadi War

Our enemies assert the absolute moral and spiritual superiority of Islam over the decadent Christianity, Judaism, and the West itself. But did you know that Islam has a 1,300 years-long history of taking and trading in slaves? Jihad Watch has posted a series of videos detailing the Arab Islamic trade in African slaves. (Here are links to part two, part three, part four, and part five.) I don’t know the background of the author or authors, but the videos are interesting. By the way, slavery continues to the present day in Islamic lands.

Here in Los Angeles, an Iranian Muslim woman who converted to Christianity has won her request for asylum, but doesn’t know it because she is on the run from Muslims who would kill her for the crime of leaving Islam – apostasy.

The brave, brave jihadis of al Qaeda have struck again, this time murdering over 160 Iraqis in their quest to restore the Caliphate and return the world to the seventh century.

More information on the officially unexplained FBI raid on a Muslim slaughterhouse in Illinois. Just why did the Bureau need over 100 armed agents, plus snipers and helicopters?

Finally, Ed Morrissey awards the Captain Louis Renault “Shocked, shocked!” award to Western leaders surprised to realize that Iran has been playing them for suckers.

Global Warming

I’ve mentioned several times before the interesting theory of Henrik Svensmark, the Danish scientist who argues that clouds are a regulator of the Earth’s temperature and that cloud formation -and thus the heating and cooling of the planet- is governed in large part by the ability of cosmic rays to reach the Earth. Now Svensmark has published a paper (PDF) that he claims validates his thesis. (via Heliogenic Climate Change)

A warming climate may actually stimulate the growth of the Pacific rain forests.

More Svensmark: the growth of trees may be linked to cosmic rays.

The humble midge provides more evidence of the Medieval Warm Period, when the world was likely warmer than it is now, all without those nasssty greenhouse gases.

Government policies meant to respond to a crisis that doesn’t exist may drive one-in-four Britons into poverty.

Meteorologist Roy Spencer argues that the Anthropogenic Global Warming theory has all the characteristics of urban legend.

Finally, do you really want to save the planet? Then stop eating meat, you selfish carnivore. Just don’t ask the prime proponent to do the same…. (For the record, they’ll take my steak the day they pry it from my cold dead hands.)


Maybe she’s learning from President Obama? Argentina’s President Kirchner has launched her own war against a free press.

William Jacobson sounds the alarm about the most monumental power-grab you’ve never heard about.  At the risk of repeating myself, there’s a certain book you should read.

Sarah Palin reviews the East Coast political races and reminds us why they’re important. And you might want to have a look at her forthcoming book.

Sister Toldjah rubs her eyes in disbelief as the Associated Press fact-checks the progressives’ smear of the insurance companies.

Power Line looks at the debate over nuclear power and decries reactionary American liberalism.

And, to end it all, California’s Democratic treasurer calls out the Democrat-dominated state legislature for being too far in the pockets of the unions to govern the state effectively. As Ed writes, if the state GOP doesn’t have this clip in a commercial soon, they’re more incompetent than ever suspected.

That’s it for today! Be good, and I’ll see you tomorrow.  Big Grin

When bullies whine

October 10, 2009

Forever playing the victim, Iran’s UN ambassador complains when Israel threatens to do something about Iran’s genocidal threats against Israel:

Iran: Israel’s threats inexplicable

Iran’s ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Khazaee, sent a letter of protest to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in which he wrote that “there is no explanation for Israel’s continuing threats against Tehran”.

He was referring to an interview given by former Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh to the Sunday Times in which he said that if Iran were not further sanctioned by this Christmas Israel would attack the country.

Sneh told the paper that if Israel were forced to attack the Islamic Republic on its own it would do so, remarks the Iranian ambassador deemed “irresponsible”.

Poor Iran. It’s always being picked on by those Western-Crusader-Imperialist-Zionist Lackey tools of the Jewish Conspiracy(tm). I mean, it’s not as if Iranian officials have:

You’re right, Mr. Ambassador. It’s totally unreasonable and unfair for the Israelis to threaten Iran over its pursuit of nuclear weapons aimed at Jews peaceful nuclear power.

via Jihad Watch

(Cross-posted at Sister Toldjah)

Obama’s disarming worldview

July 5, 2009

President Obama is off for Moscow this week to try to reset (again) US-Russian relations. One of his main goals is a treaty to further cut the two countries nuclear arsenals, and that has Jennifer Rubin, among others, worried:

Those who suspect the president is engaged in a bit of dangerous self-delusion and denial about certain unpleasant realities regarding the threats from rogue states won’t be heartened to read that his current non-proliferation fetish stems, at least according to the New York Times, from his college infatuation with the nuclear freeze movement. Apparently, youthful Obama did not focus on the results from Ronald Reagan’s refusal to buy into the fantasies of liberals –namely the fall of the Soviet Empire. That lesson has entirely eluded now-president Obama. Is it any wonder his critics find his posture fraught with peril and entirely out-of-touch with the threats we face?

Rubin makes the point that Obama’s view of the nuclear threat was formed during the opposition to American rearmament and the "nuclear freeze" movement of the early 80s – and never evolved past that. It’s a view based on the idea that weakness is strength and that, if only America and Russia got rid of their nuclear weapons, rogue states such as Iran and North Korea would abandon their nuclear programs. After all, if we’re not a threat to them, they’ll have no reason to develop nukes.

It’s the Hundred-Acre Wood foreign policy in action.

Obamas cabinet



Nuke Seattle?

June 1, 2009

I’m sure all us who use Microsoft products have found that a tempting idea at one time or another, but, for the first time since the height of the Cold War, it’s one of several scary but realistic scenarios. As the heritage Foundation points out, North Korea’s Taepodong-2 intercontinental ballistic missile has an estimated range of 6,000 miles, while Seattle is around 4,700 miles from the World’s Largest Prison Camp North Korea. At their web site, Heritage has provided a disturbing graphic of what one bomb the size of the one we dropped on Hiroshima could do:


(Click for the full-size version)

Given the real danger posed by having the western United States within reach of nuclear weapons possessed by a fruitcake like Kim, President Obama wants to cut missile defense? Tito? Where’s that clip from last year? Ah, good.

Some smart people, however, such as former Defense Secretary William Cohen, think this is a very bad idea.

Hmmm… I wonder if Mr. Cohen would want to return as Defense Secretary for a possible future president who takes the threat seriously? Thinking

RELATED: Mark Steyn is just disgusted with the Administration’s weakness: Speak Softly and Carry a Big Teleprompter


Axis of Evil watch

May 26, 2009

Are Venezuela and Bolivia providing Iran with uranium for its nuclear-weapons program?


Zeroing in on what really matters

May 25, 2009

North Korea explodes a nuclear weapon, catching the Obama Administration by surprise, and the "progressive" nitwit who called the only person to see it coming "crazy" is worried about not hurting the North Koreans’ feelings.

And the Left wonders why no one with an ounce of sense trusts them with our national security. Go figure. I dont know

(via Legal Insurrection)


He saw it coming

May 25, 2009

Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton last Wednesday predicted that the North Koreans would take advantage of the Obama Administration’s naiveté to conduct another nuclear test. For this, he was roundly attacked by the Left.

Yesterday, he was proven right.

Like William Jacobson, I’m curious to see if any of those who called him crazy will apologize. I’m not holding my breath. I’m even more interested, however, to see if this will drive the Obama Administration to "get real" about the nuclear threats posed by both North Korea and Iran, who are both playing the administration for suckers.

Sadly, I doubt it. The usual outrage is being expressed by the usual suspects, who are about to make the customary appeal to the UN Security Council, which in turn will wring its hands and issue some vapid statement of concern.

Followed by an offer of aid to North Korea, if only they’d behave. Doh

Meanwhile, sadly on the outside of government, we have people like John Bolton, who sees the North Koreans and Iranians for what they are and understands the danger they pose.

President Palin, your National Security Advisor awaits you.

(hat tip: Power Line)

UPDATE: The administration whines that North Korea gave them no warning. That will inspire confidence….


Quote of the day

March 22, 2009

Power Line’s Scott Johnson on "Why I am depressed:"

I feel utterly powerless to do anything about the fellow in the Oval Office who combines infantile leftism and adolescent grandiosity in roughly equal measures. It seems to me that every day he is responsible for assaults on the freedom and well being of the American people. I can’t keep up and I can’t stand to pay attention.

His aim seems to be to reduce us to government dependents. His inattention to rehabilitation of the financial system in lieu of vastly expanding the size and scope of the government is a dead giveaway, as is his lack of concern over the vast destruction of wealth his policies are working (and will continue to work).

Perhaps most depressing to me is the manifestation of his adolescent grandiosity in his stewardship of foreign policy and national security. He doesn’t understand that the government of Iran is intent on acquiring nuclear weapons it can put to evil purposes. He thinks he can sweet-talk them out of achieving this objective.

He doesn’t understand that the government of Iran is a tyranny that oppresses the Iranian people. He thus addresses the mad mullahs as though they represent the people of Iran.

Contrast the new year’s messages to the Iranian people promulgated by James Kirchick (the 25-year-old assistant editor of the New Republic) and of Shimon Peres (the 85-year-old president of Israel) with Obama’s palaver. By contrast, the president of the United States is disgracing us.

And that’s just part of it. Be sure to read the whole thing. Sad


Playing the sucker

March 20, 2009

President Obama sends a special message of peace and hope to the people and leaders of Iran, offering an open hand instead of a clenched fist:

Little Green Footballs has the transcript. The mullahs must be laughing their heads off at us right now. With PBO in the process of gutting the military and spending more time on domestic critics than foreign threats, the millenarian jihadists ruling Tehran know darn well we won’t do a thing to stop them while Chamberlain Carter Obama is on watch. Sad

LINKS: Claudia Rosett called this the reset video.


L’il Kim wants attention

March 8, 2009

North Korea claims it is planning to launch a communications satellite for "peaceful purposes." The nations most concerned with North Korean intentions, South Korea, Japan, and the United States, believe this is a cover for another test of an intercontinental ballistic missile. They have good reason for their suspicions: not only has North Korea violated it’s treaty commitments and developed atomic weapons (though the test was pathetic), it has also fired missiles "over the heads" of Japan and may even have aimed for the region around Hawaii.

Given that the possibility of a delusional hill bandit such as Kim Jong Il having both nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them is an unpleasant prospect at best, some American figures have suggested destroying North Korea’s missile test site. This is an action I once favored, but now oppose, because the possible North Korea response could devastate the South Korean capital, Seoul, with artillery fire. Japan, meanwhile, is considering deploying its own missile interceptor ships to the waters between the Home Islands and the Korean peninsula.

But, so far, the world’s reaction has been restrained, hoping that Kim will get bored or distracted by his country’s burgeoning cartoon industry (insert jokes as needed). Not yet, however, as Kim has decided the world still isn’t paying enough attention, and thus comes the predictable North Korean threat of war:

North Korea warned Monday that any move to intercept what it calls a satellite launch and what other countries suspect may be a missile test-firing would result in a counterstrike against the countries trying to stop it.

"We will retaliate (over) any act of intercepting our satellite for peaceful purposes with prompt counterstrikes by the most powerful military means," the official Korean Central News Agency quoted a spokesman of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army as saying.

If countries such as the United States, Japan or South Korea try to intercept the launch, the North Korean military will carry out "a just retaliatory strike operation not only against all the interceptor means involved but against the strongholds" of the countries, it said.

"Shooting our satellite for peaceful purposes will precisely mean a war," it added.

And war would mean the utter destruction of that prison camp he calls a country, an idea that I think even Kim understands.

This would be the perfect occasion for playing a YouTube clip of Kim singing "I’m so Ronery" in Team America: World Police, but it’s been pulled for copyright issues. (Killjoys. Phbbbttt ) So, you’ll just have to make do with a picture of Dear Leader:

barack obama capitol

Ooops! Wrong "Dear Leader." Doh

Let’s try that again…


That’s better. Big Grin

(hat tip: Reader Lance)


Anyone other than me think this is a Bad Idea(tm)?

December 7, 2008

African nations want to develop their own nuclear power. This on a continent legendary for poor government, corruption, mismanagement, religious and tribal warfare at genocidal levels, and crumbling infrastructure. South Africa, maybe. But Nigeria? Nailbiting

The only questions are which African locale becomes the next Chernobyl first, and which will be the first to sell material for a dirty bomb to terrorists.


Technorati tags: , ,

I’d laugh if I weren’t crying

September 25, 2008

The State Department under Condoleeza Rice is "bewildered" at North Korea’s breakage of its agreement to shutdown the Yongbyon nuclear plant.

Someone get John Bolton on the phone. There’s a lack of adult supervision in Foggy Bottom.


What she would have said

September 22, 2008

Sarah Palin was supposed to have delivered a speech today before a rally at UN headquarters to protest the appearance of Iranian fascist fruitcake in chief and Gilligan look-alike President Ahmadinejad. Her appearance was canceled when Senator Clinton backed out and the organizers then dis-invited Palin under serious pressure from Democrats – including threats to their tax-exempt status.

The New York Sun, however, has printed the text of Palin’s speech. In my opinion, it’s a must-read if one wants insight into the likely Iranian policy of a McCain-Palin administration. It’s an unequivocal denunciation of Iran’s worldwide role in terrorism, its vicious anti-Semitism and misogyny, and its overall barbarism. She also makes clear the threat Irans poses to the world:

Ahmadinejad may choose his words carefully, but underneath all of the rhetoric is an agenda that threatens all who seek a safer and freer world. We gather here today to highlight the Iranian dictator’s intentions and to call for action to thwart him.

He must be stopped.

The world must awake to the threat this man poses to all of us. Ahmadinejad denies that the Holocaust ever took place. He dreams of being an agent in a "Final Solution" — the elimination of the Jewish people. He has called Israel a "stinking corpse" that is "on its way to annihilation." Such talk cannot be dismissed as the ravings of a madman — not when Iran just this summer tested long-range Shahab-3 missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv, not when the Iranian nuclear program is nearing completion, and not when Iran sponsors terrorists that threaten and kill innocent people around the world.

The Iranian government wants nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran is running at least 3,800 centrifuges and that its uranium enrichment capacity is rapidly improving. According to news reports, U.S. intelligence agencies believe the Iranians may have enough nuclear material to produce a bomb within a year.

Yeah, I know. Not only our own, but intel agencies around the globe were wrong about Saddam’s WMD programs – though not his intent to restart them after the sanctions regime had collapsed. Less important is the time scale than the fact, which only a fool could deny, that Iran is devoting its national resources to the development of nuclear weapons and the systems by which to deliver them. Weapons which they could well pass on to their proxies.

As far as recommendations of what to do about the Iranian threat, Palin makes the usual statements in support of sanctions and international pressure, including measures against the financial resources of Iran’s rulers, all of which the current administration is doing. One hopes a McCain administration would be more forceful and consistent in their application, and would drop the farce of negotiations. Iran has been playing the so-called EU-3 nations (Britain, Germany, and France) like a fiddle for years now, negotiating only to buy time to create a nuclear fait accompli. If a McCain foreign policy is as strong as Palin indicates, then, come January of next year, we should tell Iran "Don’t waste our time," and then pursue a consistent, aggressive policy to thwart or change Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Such a policy needn’t involve war with Iran, though that should be an option if necessary. However, it can and should include moral and material aid to Iranian democratic resistance groups, and I was sorry not to see that mentioned in Palin’s speech. The mullahcracy there is brittle and vulnerable: their repressive measures indicate how much they fear their own people. Perhaps McCain and Palin were just being discreet and not mentioning this option for reasons of statecraft and electoral politics. Perhaps they plan to undertake such measures as part of a comprehensive Iranian policy. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, do take time to read the speech, and do ponder what it means when the Democrats engage in political thuggery to silence voices they don’t want heard.

LINKS: Phyllis Chesler, Hot Air.

UPDATE: It appears Sarah Palin may be underestimating the Iranians: There are serious indications that the Iranians may be as few as six months from being able to build a bomb.