Iran Just Shipped Missiles to Venezuela. Hello? Is This Thing On?
Recent revelations about hostile incursions into South America have raised alarm in those who care about U.S. interests and security, particularly in America’s hemisphere. They have also raised questions about whether the Monroe Doctrine -- America will tolerate no hostile incursions in her own hemisphere -- is dead. These revelations have been, for the most part, ignored by those who care little for American sovereignty and security, such as the MSM and apparently the Obama administration.
Among the two most alarming revelations is the already completed sale and delivery, to Venezuela by Russia, of nearly 2,000 advanced, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles capable of hitting aircraft as high as 19,000 feet. Equally and perhaps more alarming is an October agreement between Iran and Venezuela. The agreement establishes a joint ground-to-ground missile base on Venezuelan soil and calls for the sharing of missile technology and the training of technicians and officers. In addition, Venezuela may use the missiles as it chooses for “national needs” and in case of “emergency.” Several types of missiles will be deployed, giving Venezuela the ability to strike targets throughout South and Central America and throughout the U.S.
The dangers arising from the Marxist, cult-of-personality rule of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez are many. These weapons are only the largest and most destructive purchased or finagled by Chavez. He has also purchased an enormous number of Russian assault rifles -- the real thing, fully automatic military rifles, not the non-existent “assault weapons” of gun control imaginations and press releases -- and related weapons and ammunition.
Keep in mind that these are only the sales and transfers about which American authorities and the public are aware.
With these weapons, Chavez can dominate the region. The consequences for U.S. and hemispheric security should be obvious to those who care about such things, but again, seem to entirely escape the Obama administration. But there are more direct, immediate threats.
Several pundits have suggested that Venezuela’s shoulder-fired ground-to-air missiles might be carried into the U.S. if they were broken down into smaller pieces. Nonsense. Such weapons are self-contained and come complete with their own hardy, weatherproof hard cases which are easily small enough to be smuggled across the southern border without further disassembly. Anyone familiar with the vast size and wildly varied terrain of our southern border, compared to the small number of Border Patrol officers assigned to guard it, understands that smuggling anything across the border, including entire vehicles and thousands of people, is in many places merely a matter of walking across. Many are unaware that environmental regulations prevent the Border Patrol from doing what they are charged to do -- patrol -- in large areas. Also little known is the federal land grab the Democrats hope to sneak into law in the current lame-duck session of Congress that would greatly increase the number and acreage of federal lands and related environmental restrictions, making even more of the border region off limits to the Border Patrol -- but certainly not to terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal aliens.
So out of control is the border that in some areas of Arizona, the federal government has posted signs advising Americans that drug cartels and human smugglers have taken control, warning that they should stay out for their own safety. To date, the Obama administration’s primary response, apart from surrendering control of American territory, has been to sue Arizona for daring to try to protect its citizens by passing a law that mirrors federal law. A few hundred troops have been sent here and a few hundred there, but these troops are not armed for battle and empowered to capture those who would harm us.
It must be assumed as fact that Chavez is not only able but more than willing to equip terrorists and drug cartels, organizations with whom he has long-standing relationships, with weapons including shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. His agreements with and public embrace of Iran, the single most active state sponsor of terrorism already responsible for the loss of an untold number of American lives, leaves no room for doubt. It would be surprising if such weapons, accompanied by terrorists, were not already on American soil.
American commercial airliners are uniquely vulnerable to such weapons. Most vulnerable on takeoff and landing, slow-moving aircraft are easy targets, targets that will crash in the heavily populated suburbs surrounding most modern airports, racking up even higher death tolls. A few individual attacks could all but completely paralyze American commerce and wreck an economy already brought to its knees by two years of Obamanomics. Coordinated, simultaneous multi-city attacks could easily exceed the 9/11 death toll and would not require the attackers to become martyrs.
Designed to be used by conscript troops in the field with little training, such missiles can be prepared, shouldered, and fired within seconds. A terrorist might simply step out of a vehicle along the periphery of an airport, shoulder and sight the missile, fire, and step back into the vehicle. By the time the missile strikes its target, he would already be driving away from the area, alive and ready to strike again.
We have been fortunate that the FBI has recently intercepted a number of homegrown terrorist bomb plots. However, missile attacks need not involve anyone currently living in America. A sufficient number of terrorists could simply slip across our southern border and drive to their assigned points of attack. Such attacks would be virtually impossible to intercept. In addition, the Russian missiles now in Venezuelan hands are so common as to render it very unlikely that an attack could be traced back to Chavez. The same would be true of any small arms smuggled across the border to be used in attacks at shopping malls, theaters, schools, or other places where large numbers of potential targets congregate.
Medium-range ground-to-ground missiles based in Venezuela are another matter entirely. Armed only with conventional explosive warheads, there would be little motivation for Venezuela or Iran to use them, as even under Barack Obama, massive retaliation would be at least possible. The equation is swung more in favor of use with biological or chemical warheads. But with nuclear warheads, use becomes even more likely. What is almost certain is that nuclear warheads would allow substantial blackmail capability, giving Iran and Venezuela a free hand not only in South and Central America, but in the Middle East as well. And all that is apparently keeping Iran from producing such warheads is a computer virus.
We have missile defenses, but in this situation they cannot save us.
One of the advantages for America, so to speak, of a Soviet missile attack was the 30-minute time from launch to impact, providing substantial time to detect and several opportunities to destroy an incoming missile. The shorter the time frame of missile flight, the fewer the opportunities. Ideally, missiles should be killed during the boost phase while still over enemy territory by such means as airborne laser platforms, platforms for which the Obama administration has cut funding. After the boost phase, missiles become harder still to locate and shoot down -- but we do have limited capability to do this. As they are falling back to Earth, we have substantial capabilities, such as the land-based Patriot system and various shipboard systems. But unfortunately, their range is limited. They are area defense weapons. If they’re not in the right place at the right time, no defense. Most such systems are currently protecting our troops and allies.
And of course, Mr. Obama has all but ended advancement in design, testing, and deployment of missile defense systems.
The obvious response is to locate and obliterate as many of Venezuela’s anti-aircraft defenses, including shoulder-fired missiles, as possible and as often as necessary. Any attempt to build military installations in concert with Iran should likewise be met with utter obliteration. The chance of this occurring under President Obama is essentially zero -- that is why we are facing a growing crisis, one barely mentioned by the MSM and apparently ignored by the Obama administration.
Weakness invites war; strength deters it. Never has America been stronger, with greater and more overpowering war fighting technology, and never has she had weaker, more ineffective leadership. Were this not so, what nation would dare America to repeat, even exceed, President Kennedy’s response to the Cuban Missile Crisis? If Barack Obama allows such blatant threats in America’s backyard, what if anything could possibly provoke him to act in her defense? Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad believe the answer is nothing.