May 11, 2007
Tauscher kills Iran missile defense
Are there any sane Democrats left on missile defense? Is there a Daniel Patrick Moynihan ready to protect the United States, anywhere in Congress? Rep. Ellen Tauscher, the Chair of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee, certainly wants to sound sane and sensible, so when she killed off two US missile defense bases this week she cited plausible reasons: Tauscher just wants to make sure those defenses really work before building them.
Now take a look at the bases Rep. Tauscher just killed. The Federation of American Scientists provides this stunning map of the flight path of Iranian missiles to the heart of Europe. Even today, Iran's Shahab-4 missiles can easily reach Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, not to mention Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and all the Sunni Arab nations of the Middle East.
They need only five or ten minutes' flight time, going less than the distance from Hawaii to California. The planned defense bases would have been situated in Poland and the Czech Republic, close to the flight path from Iran.
Israel has estimated that Iran may have a nuclear weapon by 2008 --- next year. The CIA thinks it will be longer, but the CIA has always underestimated nuclear developments. Putting together a "dirty nuke" is easy as pie You could do it with a car bomb and a quick raid on a hospital radiation unit.
Now effective defenses are important. But just ask yourself --- suppose those anti-missile systems only work ninety percent of the time? Or eighty? Would you rather have them anyway, against the unpredictable actions of the suicide cult in Tehran?
And then, the idea of a perfect defense is historically quaint. There are no perfect defenses.
Democrats have been sabotaging missile defense efforts for thirty years. Ronald Reagan thought that the MAD doctrine --- the logic of mutual suicide --- was simply immoral. But liberals have known for decades that exposing our bare throats to aggressors is the only way to make peace. Call it the "fetal position" defense. So the Left constantly looks for any excuse to block, defund, or cripple technology that may stop ICBMs. Do Democrats have any credibility left on national security today?
It looks like Rep. Tauscher has decided to gamble our safety to score political points with the Democrat Left. Maybe she wants to run for the US Senate from California, when Feinstein or Boxer retire. So Tauscher needs to look good to the pacificist fringe. But at what risk to the rest of the world?
Well, let's all hope that her gamble comes off, because if it doesn't, we won't be around to vote Rep. Tauscher out of office.
James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/