American Elephants

The World Doesn’t Stop Being Dangerous Just Because We’re Having an Election. by The Elephant's Child

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released their long-awaited report on Iran’s nuclear program today. It has confirmed that suspicions are well justified. Iran has made substantial progress in their nuclear weapons program.. Their quarterly report concluded:

The Agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. After assessing carefully and critically the extensive information available to it, the Agency finds the information to be, overall, credible. The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.

That’s fairly politically correct language, but of course Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already denounced the report, and claimed that “The Americans have fabricated a stack of papers and he [IAEA Director General Yukiaya Amano] keeps speaking about them.” The report called for Tehran to clarify, and Iran has continued to spurn all calls for clarification.

While previous IAEA reports have focused on Iran’s efforts to produce fissile material that could fuel a reactor or a weapon, this report cited evidence that Iran has experimented with the components of a nuclear weapon and worked on engineering studies for mating a nuclear payload into Iran’s Shahab 3 ballistic missile.  An attachment covered Iran’s contacts with foreign experts, Iran’s procurement activities and the preparatory experiments for conducting the test of a nuclear device.

In theory, this new report should jumpstart some sense of urgency into the Obama administration about Iran’s speedup in nuclear efforts.  The administration has seemed to be sleepwalking through the possibilities.  Complacency reigns, and they have promoted the idea that the stuxnet virus has dealt Iran’s efforts a decisive blow.  Others see a growing and dangerous threat.  Obama is still wallowing in the celebration of the executions of bin Laden, Ghaddafi, and American born al-Awlaki. Those are supposed to be the proof of the success of the Obama foreign policy.

Today’s liberals don’t like war, or guns or violence. They don’t want funding to go to the military. Defense Secretary Robert Gates launched an “efficiency” campaign in 2009, and we have since cut over half a trillion dollars from our armed forces. Defense spending accounts for less than 20% of our federal budget, yet it has absorbed about half of our deficit-reduction efforts since 2009.

Now the budget super committee is operating under a mandate that holds the military hostage if the committee members cannot agree on $1 trillion in cuts from the huge federal budget. If they cannot agree, an automatic trigger will slash $500 billion from defense along with $500 billion from some other part of the budget.

This is a typical Democrat trick. They are well aware that Republicans are very resistant to extreme defense cuts. President Obama is building his 2012 campaign on the idea of uncooperative and unpatriotic Republicans who will not do what is necessary to save the economy.

Since Obama has already cut and run in Iraq and Afghanistan, and bolloxed-up negotiations with those countries, the outlook is not good. America is perceived as weak and unreliable.  The Taliban is stepping up their attacks. Iraq is quite conscious that when the Americans go home, they are left with Iran and Syria as next-door neighbors. We may have sacrificed, once again, a lot of hard, hard work by our brave military men and women, their enormous accomplishments, not for the good of the country, but for a political campaign.

Americans always seem to think that any war is the last one. We will have peace and we don’t need to worry about that nasty military stuff anymore. In 1933, the year that Adolf Hitler became Chancellor,  the U.S. Army was 16th in the world at 137,000 men. After Pearl Harbor, it was over 6 months before we could strike back at Midway with old outdated equipment, tremendous courage and sheer luck. After the boys came home at the end of World War II, we were totally unprepared for the North Korean invasion of South Korea less than five years later, both in men and equipment.  And we have never been prepared for the other wars, police actions, or challenges that are part of the real world and real human nature.

Let me repeat, failure by the 12-member Joint Committee of Congress to come up with $1.5 trillion in cuts, would trigger an automatic across-the-board process that would make half the cuts at the expense of the defense of the nation.

The idea that they cannot find places to cut in the bloated federal government is so absurd that it doesn’t pass the smell test.  Democrats will not agree to cut the obscene growth rate of entitlement programs — where the real problem lies.  The Department of Defense is not where the problem lies. It’s a dangerous world out there. The supercommittee seems unprepared to deal with reality.


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