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January 11, 2009

Get In Touch With Your Inner Tom Clancy

With "The One" less than 10 days from assuming the office of President, it's nice to see that the ultranationalist patriots over at the New York Times are still doing their part to undermine The Last Days of Bush.

(Once again, "Stolen blatantly from Hot Air" - You know, if I'm going to mine them for information like I do, I should probably register to comment over there. Sort of like "giving the old reach-around"....it's just common courtesy.)

What I'd like to see is a Moron Thought Experiment. Give me your best Tom Clancy/Ian Fleming scenario as to how this is an indication of our "Intelligence" services pulling a full-on Keyzer Soze and getting over on the world. I'm looking for theories that give me a little confidence that the CIA isn't completely populated by bureaucratic ass-covering fucktards. Allahpundit (PBUH) has already covered the "This is incoming Obama staffers clearing the way for unconditional talks with Iran" angle, so let's take the other side and assume that SOMEONE in Washington knows their ass from a hole in the ground.

I'll start it out with two possible scenarios:

A.) Our government has decided that direct attacks on Iran are impractical and would generate too much backlash in Iraq, Europe, Russia and the rest of the Middle East. Accordingly, they've decided to go the covert op route, with Sub Rosa assistance from Middle Eastern countries who have fears of a nuclear Iran. With inside information on the location of separated portions of the program, the covert op will target selected portions of this program with tactical nuclear weapons. A small tactical nuke set off at any one of these facilities has three advantages:

It denies the facility and all it's products to Iran, regardless of how much of the facility is destroyed in the initial blast. If you have to cross a mile of highly irradiated blast zone in order to get back into your laboratory, the odds are that the efficiency of the facility is going to be significantly degraded. If you can't get the nuke into the facility itself, a good portion of the facility probably survives the attack, but a close ground blast from a nuclear weapon will poison enough area to set things back significantly. After all, the facilities are nothing without people working in them. Even if the tools and work product at the bombed facility could be salvaged, it requires that the Iranian government move in the open with their salvage operation. A hurried salvage operation in a poison atmosphere is going to be easy to watch with spy satellites and spy plane overflights, and any material leaving a facility like this would be susceptible to bombing attacks or capture by aggressive special ops.

It probably kills or incapacitates a significant portion of the staff working on this project. You don't have to kill their Oppenheimer or their General Leslie Groves to incapacitate the project. Take out the machinists working on this project, and you've taken out a big part of their capacity. Hell, take out the janitors and the facility guards and you're weakening the structure of their program. Remember, just because it's damn near impossible to infiltrate someone into their first string talent that doesn't mean that you can't get someone two or three steps away from working inside the program. All you've got to do is take out the people in front of them. As any person who watches the NFL knows, a team doesn't put a Hell of a lot of thought into who their 3rd string QB is, but if the first two go down in a game, that third stringer is going to have to sack up and get into action.

A tactical nuclear strike on a nuclear facility has plausible deniability. Sure, the Iranians would know that they've been hit, but they couldn't prove that it was a "misfire" to the rest of the world. Well, at least the rest of the world wouldn't hate the US and Israel any more than they already do. The attack would almost HAVE to be done by placing the device on the ground and detonating it there, instead of delivering it with a plane or UAV. If there are radar traces of a delivery device, then the US and Israel will immediately get the blame for this attack. The problem with this is that our side doesn't utilize suicide delivery systems. Unless we can talk Bruce Willis into drillling a hole next to the facililty and setting the nuke off himself, it would have to be detonated either through remote control or on some sort of timer. This works good on paper, but one misstep in the detonation process leaves Iran sitting on a FUNCTIONAL NUCLEAR DEVICE that they could either whip out in front of the UN or smuggle into Jerusalem (depending on their mood that day).

Yeah, using a nuke to prevent use of a nuke is serious stuff. I know that. I know that it's escalating the process, and that America hasn't used nukes since 1945 and that was to prevent the sure-thing loss of millions of Allied and Japanese lives - and even THAT decision has been subject to 63 years of secong guessing.

I also know that using diplomacy to stop Iran from using a bomb on Israel or Iraq is going to be about as effective as using diplomacy to stop rockets from raining down on Israel. Iran will develop nuclear weapon technology if they are allowed to continue down this road, and once they have a bomb, the only thing that will deter them is fear of retaliation. In case you haven't noticed, there's a significant portion of the Islamic faith that believes that nothing that happens in this world is significant, since Allah will reward those who do his bidding in the afterlife. It's not like we're negotiating a Wall Street takeover bid here, people.

The only question is this: Is it better to use a few tactical nukes now, or wait until Iran destroys Israel and bomb their country with multiple strategic "crowd pleasers" later?

B.) The other option available to our side is the use of the new experimental "Model 19, Mark 3 Liquid Metal Assault Unicorn". This new breakthrough in science is impervious to anything in Iran's arsenal (save industrial puddles of molten steel, but how likely are they to have one of those laying around when the attack occurs?), but deployment of this weapons system would probably be judged to be in violation of a good portion of the Geneva Conventions and the 1947 International Agreement on the Misuse of Magical Creatures.

Remember, this is a Moron Thought Experiment. It's purely hypothetical, so don't get your panties in a bunch about "Chairborne Rangers demanding that we kill them all & let God sort 'em out". Just drop your plausible strategy for eliminating the Iranian nuclear threat in the comments, and we'll announce the winner in 75 years or so when all the documents related to this crisis are finally declassified. Yeah, it's pointless and academic, but what's your alternative? Bitch about Obama's bailout plans some more?

(Look, if any gub'mint types are reading this and thinking that it's a "Three Days of the Moron" scenario where they've got to snuff the entire AoSHQ staff to keep their secrets buried - just remember that the Liquid Metal Assault Unicorn is just a myth right now. Any movement against proponents of wild theories will just draw attention to their theories and make them into martyrs (also known as "The Mulder Defense"). It's probably just easier to mock us and start a "These idiots think that fire can't melt unicorns" meme in the MSM.)

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posted by Russ from Winterset at 01:23 PM

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