June 19, 2014—Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave!

June 19, 2014—Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave!

High Frontier

Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder

High Frontier . . Building Truly Effective Defenses . . . Reagan’s Vision Lives!

E-Mail Message 140619

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave!

By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper

June 19, 2014

The quote “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” refers to how complicated life becomes when people lie. It originally referred to a love triangle in the 1808 play “Marmion,” written by Sir Walter Scott. It applies in spades to previous and current policies of the Obama administration, especially those ineptly dealing with existential threats posed by the explosive conditions in the Middle East and East Asia. So, will we pay attention or find ourselves entangled and captured by the web?  

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal published an important assessment by the father-daughter Cheney team, laying out details of the “Collapsing Obama Doctrine,” noting that “rarely has a President been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.  Too many times to count.” 

Actually, they are numerous and countable, as the Cheneys’ excellent article demonstrates.  But that’s a detail.  And like George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm, “All the animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”—some of Obama’s past and current errors are more important than others.

In particular, the dangers of the Obama administration’s current dealings with the unraveling conditions in Iraq are very troubling, though they seem to be little appreciated as the President continues his fund raising ventures, golf outings, and speeches on global warming.

Without elaborating further, consider a few facts, expanding on my last email message that lampooned Obama’s repeated false message since his 2012 campaign, “Bin Laden is Dead and al Qaeda is on the run!”

  • The Sunni Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)—sometimes referred to as the more expansive “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)” that also includes Lebanon, Jordan, Cyprus, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza—in just over a week has taken over several cities of Iraq in its march toward Baghdad. ISIS troops have ruthlessly shot and decapitated their Shia opponents as they have gone. ISIS now controls a large area of Syria and Iraq, perhaps the makings of a Sunni Islamic Caliphate—as is its objective. So far, President Obama has decided to send 275 troops to protect our Embassy in Baghdad.  Some folks see in the unfolding events a parallel to our last days in Vietnam, leading up to the U.S. withdrawal from our embassy in Saigon. Click here for a video of a helicopter arriving to evacuate our Saigon embassy in 1975. Are we setting the stage for a repeat in Baghdad?  Are we again “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?

ISIS Control in Iraq and Syria 6/16/2014

  • To counter these advances, the Obama administration apparently is seriously considering how to employ an alliance with Iran as a counter the ISIS advances.  Iran was designated by the U.S. State Department in 1984 as a terrorist state and has been our adversary on Middle East battlefields (and elsewhere) since 9/11. Since Iranian leaders are allied with the Shia leaders of Iraq against the Sunni ISIS, we apparently are considering how to play “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  But the Shia Mullahs of Iran are no friends. Indeed, they share with their Sunni jihadi enemies a common hatred of the “Great Satan” America.
  • As Reza Kahili pointed out last week, Iran’s Supreme Leader has observed that “the Islamic Messiah is coming soon to kill all the infidels”—and that includes us Americans. “The coming of Imam Zaman [Mahdi] is the definite promise by Allah,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech last Wednesday on the anniversary of Mahdi’s birthday at an exhibition of research and historical documents on the 12th Imam. Lest there be doubts that Khamenei’s intentions include destroying the “Great Satan” America, Kahili followed up with a second article noting that last Sunday, Khamenei all but said that negotiations over the Iran’s illicit nuclear program are over and that the Islamic Republic’s ideals include destroying America.
  • So, get used to the idea that Iran will likely have nuclear weapons—soon—and they want to kill as many Americans as possible. And we think we can consider them an ally in dealing with the ISIS? Hmmmmmm.
  • Some folks like to point out that Joseph Stalin was our ally in fighting the Nazis in World War II, and somehow this fact is supposed to justify making Khamenei an ally.  Since the jihadi terrorists are willing to commit suicide to kill Americans—and other “infidels”—I doubt that the deterrence strategy we applied in dealing with the Soviet Union during the Cold War will be of much use in dealing with our jihadi adversaries.  
  • Furthermore, Iran has already demonstrated at least three ways it could deliver nuclear weapons to be detonated high over the United States to produce an electromagnetic pulse (EMP): Intercontinental range ballistic missile (ICBMs) that could attack the United States from over the North Pole; Short to medium range ballistic missiles that could attack us from off our coasts; and a Fractional Orbital Bombardment System (FOBS) that could attack us from over the South Pole. We are actively working to counter only the first of these attack scenarios. Today, the other two attack strategies could likely shut down the electric power grid for an indefinite period.  Without electricity, our just-in-time economy would stall in place, and the resulting chaos and societal breakdown would lead to the death of several hundred million Americans

Bottom Line: WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE!!! 

Maybe, as some have suggested, we can work with the Saudis, Jordanians, Turks and selected others in the region to move toward a moderate and tolerant leadership for Iraq. Maybe we could support this effort in the same way we managed the rebuilding of Europe after World War II with a Marshall Plan-type effort, for less money than sustained military operations in the Middle East. But that seems far away from our current situation—and from our seemingly clueless leadership and the tangled web it is weaving.

In any case, we should support ways to reduce Iran’s dangerous influence in the region. And we should build truly effective defenses against Iran and its surrogates.

Defend America, Now!

We need to persuade the powers that be to move beyond their singular focus on defending against ICBMs that approach the U.S. from over the North Pole. In addition:

  • For our Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) ships that operate near our coasts, they need to be sure their crews are trained, awake and alert. They have the inherent, tested capability to shoot down short, medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles, if they are stationed appropriately.
  • To protect against an attack from the Gulf of Mexico (and other places South), we need other defenses because our Aegis BMD ships are not normally in the Gulf.  My recommendation is to deploy Aegis Ashore sites at military bases around the Gulf of Mexico. The Aegis Ashore system is being developed for deployment in Romania (2015) and Poland (2018), so there would be negligible development costs for sites around the Gulf of Mexico—just the deployment costs.
  • They should harden our electric power grid—using well known methods developed during the Cold War to harden our strategic systems and their supporting command, control and communication systems.
  • They should prepare our local and state authorities to deal with the EMP threat. DHS should provide scenarios for planning and exercising the infrastructure needed to support local and state authorities.

Not too much, if only we can get the Washington bureaucracy to do the right thing—and if our state and local authorities are prepared.

Stay tuned.

Near Term High Frontier Plans.

We will encourage “the powers that be” to make the Navy’s Aegis BMD system all it can be,” including to deploy Aegis Ashore sites around the Gulf of Mexico. 

We will continue our efforts to inform state and local authorities about the EMP threat and expand our work with the National Guard to help them gain knowledge and workable plans to help harden the electric power grid and counter the EMP threat. This work should go hand in hand with the efforts to gain support from State legislators to expand on the excellent work in Maine and Virginia, who have passed legislation requiring serious studies of the EMP threat and the needed countermeasures to protect the electric power grid.

The most recent bill passed in record time without single negative vote in Virginia can be used as a ready pattern.

We will continue working with South Carolinians to build a coalition to engage constructively with private citizens and their local and state representatives and other authorities to work with the SC National Guard in understanding and responding to this serious threat. We will expand this effort to neighboring and other states.

We are informing SC state legislators and senators about the threat and what can be done to deal with it—and hopefully they will follow Maine and Virginia in seeking to harden the electric power grid. We also expect support from Cong. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) whose district includes my SC farm—and who is a member of the Congressional EMP Caucus seeking passage of the Shield Act and the Infrastructure Protection Act, as well as other SC representatives.

We will be working with members of the EMP Coalition and others who are seeking to take our message across the country—especially with Bob Newman, a former Adjutant General of Virginia to help us link our SC plans more broadly and especially into Virginia and the National Capital region.

What can you do?

Join us in praying for our nation, and for a rebirth of the freedom sought, achieved and passed to us by those who came before us.

Help us to spread our message to the grass roots and to encourage all “powers that be” to provide for the common defense as they are sworn to do.

Begin by passing this message to your friends and suggest they visit our webpage, www.highfrontier.org for more information. Also, please encourage your sphere of influence to sign up for our weekly e-newsletter.

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