Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Semester in Twenty Minutes

I can think of few more profitable ways to spend twenty minutes than to spend them reading this speech by David Horowitz given last Monday at the University of Wisconsin.

Last week was declared by Horowitz's organization to be Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week on campuses across the country, and he took criticism for that because a lot of people thought that this was a slur and attack against all Muslims. Horowitz clarifies this misunderstanding in the speech and along the way provides some wonderful lessons in world and Middle East history as well as a seminar in current world problems.

Reading the speech carefully is like getting an entire college course in less than half an hour. I urge you to invest the time. It's well worth it.


Bunker Busters

A little noted item in the Defense Department's budget request leads the NewsMax staff to conclude that another step toward a strike against Iran is now being undertaken. I think that NewsMax might be reading more into this than is warranted, it may just be a precautionary move, but, on the other hand, they may be correct. Here's the gist of the report:

The Defense Department has asked for $88 million to retrofit B-2 Stealth bombers so they can carry a 30,000-pound "bunker buster" bomb called the massive ordnance penetrator (MOP), which has the capacity to destroy deep underground targets. The Administration says the request is in response to an "urgent operational need from theater commanders."

Some observers might conclude that the Pentagon is seeking weaponry to strike Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida in their caves in Afghanistan. But as Gerard Baker, U.S. editor of the Times of London, points out in the New York Post, that would not require Stealth bombers.

"The Americans own the skies over Afghanistan and Iraq and could, if they wished, blanket the two countries with all manner of bombardment from a few thousand feet in broad daylight," Baker notes.

Instead, the more likely targets are the subterranean nuclear enrichment facilities in Iran, according to Baker, who writes:

"The debate in Washington about what to do with the increasingly recalcitrant and self-confident Iranian regime has taken a significant turn in the past few weeks. And the decision to upgrade the bombing capacity of the military is perhaps the most powerful indication yet that the debate is reaching a climax."

The Newsmax report revealed that Northrop Grumman, the Air Force's prime contractor on the B-2, would retrofit the bomber to carry the new 30,000-pound MOP. "The U.S. Air Force's B-2 Stealth bomber would be able to attack and destroy an expanded set of hardened, deeply buried military targets" using the MOP, the company said....

Despite the ominous overtones of this report it doesn't necessarily follow from the retrofit that the administration right now intends to attack Iran. It could be that this is just a precaution in case an attack on Iran becomes necessary sometime in the future. It's possible, in other words, that the retrofit is being done now so that a President Clinton can use B-2s to attack Iran once she takes over. Wouldn't that be ironic?