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Syria-Lebanon-Iran
Why Iran Needs Hundreds of IRBMs
2006-03-10
March 10, 2006: Iran is believed to be increasing production of it's Shahab 3 IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile.) This missile is basically 1960s technology, with the addition of GPS guidance. Russian and North Korean missile technology has been obtained to make the Shahab 3 work. This has resulted in a missile that apparently will function properly about 80 percent of the time, and deliver a warhead of about one ton, to a range of some 1,700 kilometers, to within a hundred meters of where it was aimed. By world standards, this is a pretty effective weapon.

Iran is believed to have been building Shahab 3s since 2004, even though they continue to refine the design, and conduct test firings. Iran is believed to have 50-100 Shahab 3s, and is building about one a month. But there are rumors that production is being increased, to as many as 7-8 a month. Israel appears to be the main target. Iran has threatened Israel with destruction, rather openly of late. Shahab 3's could be fired with high explosive warheads, and hit, with enough accuracy, to kill mostly Jews, and not Israeli Arabs or Palestinians.
Not that they'd care very much if they did

Israel has threatened to retaliate with nukes if Israel is hit with chemical or nuclear warheads. Israel has Arrow anti-missile systems that can stop Shahab 3s, but only a few at a time. If Iran launched a dozen or more Shahab 3s simultaneously, some would get through. If Iran had several hundred Shahab 3s, they could launch most of them at Israel, using high explosive warheads, and do a lot of damage. Israel could respond with its own Jericho II missile, but this system was designed for use with nuclear weapons, and Israel apparently only has 20-30 of them. Israel could respond with air strikes, and cruise missiles from submarines in the Persian Gulf or Indian Ocean. But, again, this would appear as a limited response to massive Iranian missile attacks. An Iranian attack with nuclear warheads would kill a large number of Moslems, and even radical Iran might be put off by that, because Israel would likely respond in kind.
Likely? It's a given they would vaporize Iran, the only question is how many other Arab capitals they'd take down with them.
A large number of IRBMs could also be used to intimidate nearby Arab countries, as these missiles could damage oil production facilities.
If you are the Israeli government and see Iran launching a hundred Shahabs at you, do you wait till they impact and check what type of warhead they used, (and risk losing your missiles)or do you launch on warning?
Posted by:Steve

#35  Fuck Yoooooooouuuuuuu

Howard Stern Rules
Posted by: Bite My Nuts   2006-03-10 17:06  

#34  We can only speculate what will be done to squelch the Mullah threat, but don't assume either that the status quo is acceptable to the Bush Administration, or that they are weak to the point of impotence.

LTD, where have I ever said anything remotely resembling any of the above? The only thing remotely resembling acceptance of the status quo is Bush's willingness to permit Iran's retention of nuclear technology. Despite Iran being a signatory of the NPT, their genocidal rhetoric should and must disqualify them from participating on equal terms with the global community. If Bush's appeasment of Iran is merely dissembling on his part, it is an atrocious choice of times to do so. His message is not clear cut in this respect, when it needs to be most.

To address something that trailing wife mentioned; I do not expect Bush to be "perfect" when it is far more important that at least "good" steps up to the plate. What has put me off my kibble is Bush's willingness to constantly inject religious doctrine into his administration's actions. The Office of Faith Based Giving, his well-publicized stance on Intelligent Design being taught in public schools, his support for a discriminatory constitutional clause disqualifying gay marriage all represent significant tampering with the very foundations of our nation's legalistic bedrock.

That we should be spilling precious Ameican blood abroad fighting theocratic regimes while simultaneously eroding the vital separation of church and state at home is more than I am willing to accept. The Patriot Act and other counter-terrorism measure faze me not a whit. I fully support what is being done to combat global terrorism. Never have you seen me anywhere drink the Kool-Aid of BusHitler, war crimes charges or impeachment. All of that is ripe steaming horsehockey. Tampering with the separation of church and state is not. That single feature of our constitution is among a very few essential rights that have propelled our nation to rightful supremacy in this world. I cannot and will not countenance even the slightest molestation of it and view such meddling as nothing short of treason. Ergo, my dissatisfaction and concern about just how influential a role religiosity plays in the executive branch of our nation.
Posted by: Zenster   2006-03-10 22:50  

#33  Frank, I take your views seriously, you should know that from the emails we've exchanged. I also attended a Christian Academy while growing up. I've had Christian girlfriends, business partners and co-workers. I've made a point of studying this world's various religions.

Back when I would spend the weekend at my Christian business partner's home, I made a point of attending his church service on any Sunday I ended up at his home. I could have just as easily driven off in my car. I wanted to have a better understanding of my friend.

It is not only just the "Iranians nutjob" that eagerly awaits the second coming. I have talked to a Christian businessman who told me he "wanted the second coming to happen tomorrow" even if it meant the world's destruction. And if the end times are some "time in the far future in 99.9% people's minds", then their relevance, save as some sort of metaphor, becomes dubious.

My Christian fundamentalist next door neighbors refused to get a dog right before Y2K, citing how they feared that pet food production might be interrupted. They truly believed there was a strong chance that the second coming would be timed to our incredibly arbitrary Julian calendar. So, please don't tell me how so many people do not take this issue seriously.

To make things perfectly clear. I do not think that Bush is planning foreign policy around his own immediate vision of end times. I am concerned that in his fundamentalist thinking, he may not be able to comprehend how Ahmadinejad's vision of the apocalypse is entirely mismatched with his own. That is a valid concern and one that is based in fact. All of it derives from just how extreme of a threat Iran is and that Bush seems incredibly blind to consider allowing Iran to possess nuclear technology of any sort.

I welcome arguments to the contrary. Throwing Iran, even a symbolic bone, in the shape of access to nuclear technology is the exact wrong message to be sending these dangerous lunatics. And yet, that is the message emmanating from the Oval Office.
Posted by: Zenster   2006-03-10 22:33  

#32  Frank, I thought you were not for the "kill em, kill em all" philosophy? I guess it all depends on whose world view is being discussed.
Posted by: Constitutional Individualist   2006-03-10 22:31  

#31  Zenster:
The President hears the same redundant "Death to America" chanting that you do. Enforcing the Bush-Doctrine (pre-emptive war against terrorism, that is: aggressive Islam) requires constant threat analysis, strategic positioning, operational flexibility and tactical silence. We can only speculate what will be done to squelch the Mullah threat, but don't assume either that the status quo is acceptable to the Bush Administration, or that they are weak to the point of impotence. The President is both subject to political influence from security hardliners, which includes Dems like Senator Liberman, and recipient of intelligence that speculators could only dream of. I think GWB will do the right thing on Iran, and bring the Euros on-line.
Posted by: Listen To Dogs   2006-03-10 22:20  

#30  Zen - rather than watching someone else's film, I've lived it. Is that not close enough for you to take my observations and views seriously. I don't need to hear from a single filmmaker to say that in my 46 years, no Catholic has said or hinted that they'd hope to be swept up in "Rapture/End times" soon, if ever. The Revelations are ome time in the far future in 99.9% people's minds. Only the Iranians nutjob welcomes the coming of teh 12th mahdi. I just don't think he'll realize it was U.S. GPS enabled, and he doesn't say much past the fury, flash, and light of a JDAM. Even less if the message is in hebrew - the atomic particles garble the way to hell, but he'll find it, eventually
Posted by: Frank G   2006-03-10 22:01  

#29  I think there is a substantial difference between being a leader who is a Christian that believes that there will be 'End Times' when God decides the 'End Times' are upon us and being a Muslem leader who wants to be the guy who pushes the button to bring about those 'End Times.' Don't you, Zenster?

Absolutely, and that should already be clear. If not, please see below.

And many Christians, myself included, believe the second coming is on a personal level (in other words accepting Christ) and not a physical manifestation.

I can only wonder how many Christian theologians would argue that your definition, no matter how reasonable, is a cafeteria approach.

Frank, I can only hope that you've viewed the splendid documentary work by Frontline dealing with both the apocalypse and the life of Christ. They are 'From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians' and 'Apocalypse!'

I have watched the 'From Jesus to Christ' series with my Christian friends and they were very impressed and approving of it. So, please do not think my knowledge is derived solely from bumperstickers. On my bookshelf at home is the Oxford Annotated Bible which traces every passage back through Latin to ancient Greek and even into Aramaic where necessary.

That Jesus will return with judgement _is_ one of the central tenets, of course.

Unless you’re going to go all cafeteria on me that means you’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of Christ on this earth. His advent is generally considered to portend the end of life as we know it. So, rapture or not, this is an apocalyptic approach to faith. If you look into it, the apocalypse has been predicted dozens of times ever since the destruction of the Temple Mount, if not about fifteen minutes after Christ’s crucifixion. This not something that you just happen to have penciled in as a possibility for next summer’s vacation. It is an event that is central to your religion’s doctrine and deeply hoped for.

For some of us that's a hopeful doctrine: things won't always be this hellish of a mess.

That’s a nice sentiment, but it does not change how Christianity desires arrival of the end times. To the majority of this planet’s believers, namely Animists and Buddhists, a desire for this world’s demise might come off as, shall we say, a little odd?

When the rapture gets here it will and man cannot make it come sooner

While you may have such a reasonable approach to the second coming, not all Christians do. Nor does Iran’s Ahmadinejad. He fully believes that he can precipitate his Mahdi’s arrival by initiating a catastrophic war so dire as to summon forth divine help. Therefore, it is entirely reasonable to be concerned about just how well Bush is able to discriminate between his (probably) more benign observance and the much more alien intent of Ahmadinejad. If Bush is so hidebound in his own observance that he is unable to comprehend how someone else’s vision of the apocalypse might vary drastically from his own, then we have a problem of doctrine overshadowing a situation where reason would serve better. I’d say that’s a very justifiable concern.

And finally, this bit of bull’s pizzle:

Zenster takes every occasion to bash Pres. Bush--I think it's because Zen is a homosexual …

Why I’m bothering to respond to such baseless and factually incorrect drivel, I don’t know. After being labeled a troll and being subjected to baiting like only a professional troll is capable of, I can only laugh.

Gosh, perhaps you missed the “Iran sez they got a killing field waiting for the US” thread where I posted the following:

“My dislike for Bush is well known hereabouts, but this I vow. I will oppose any impeachment attempt based upon Bush attacking Iran, with or without congressional approval. I will demonstrate in the street and employ whatever speaking skills I have to persuade everyone I know with respect to this vital issue. America at large continues to be relatively blind regarding the threat we are confronted with. If Bush can summon the wisdom to unilaterally dismantle Iran's clandestine nuclear weapons program, he will have my full support and defense from any repercussions in any way I can.

As I have said many times before, Iran obtaining nuclear weapons would go down in history as one of the most catastrophic events of this new century.”

Yeah, sure, that’s me taking “every occasion to bash Pres. Bush”. As to all the other trollery, it can only be explained by someone who blindly attacks another person without ever bothering to actually read that person’s writings. I’ll leave it at that.

I hope this clears things up a bit. Please remember that I vigorously support freedom of religion. If that means nothing to you then there really isn't much to be said.
Posted by: Zenster   2006-03-10 21:36  

#28  er....agreed, but that was almost Joe M-like...slow down :-)
Posted by: Frank G   2006-03-10 21:08  

#27  Frank G:
There is nothing in Islam that is parallel to Augustine's two-cities concept (Holy Jerusalem v Worldly Babylon in early Christianity). I have become convinced that the original civil-plan of Koran nation-building was implemented in Taliban Afghanistan. Every major Wahabi Sheik fatwahed on Taliban' authenticity to Koran prescriptions. When that model failed, educated Wahabi ignoramuses turned to the nominal "Andalusian" model, which in reality was Judaeo-Christianity with minarets. However, Muslims are being peddled a vision of a modern Khalifate, where there is peace and prosperity, once the Kafirs and Munifiquns (fake-Muslims, AKA: Shiites if one is a Sunni, and vice versa), are laid waste. A Muslim Reconquista ideology aptly describes the current aggression against the Euro-surrenderist dhimmocracy.
Posted by: Listen To Dogs   2006-03-10 20:46  

#26  And many Christians, myself included, believe the second coming is on a personal level (in other words accepting Christ) and not a physical manifestation. The predictions of the end in the bible (ie. the destruction of Jerusalem) actually did happen in 70AD, as predicted within that generation.
But I will agree there are some who believe otherwise. So be it. I'm not going to tell people what to think.
Posted by: gwlnt   2006-03-10 20:40  

#25  attributing religious belief by bumper-sticker is not me sense of "investigation". Most, if not all Christians are happy where they are, not hoping for death. The point is, is when it happens (your death, more likely than "rapture") - you wanna be right with God and teh world. I find that a societally beneficial attitude, whether you're Christian or not. I, frankly, have more to do here on earth before welcoming my way elsewhere, but if it happens, so be it. That's the majority attitude. To say different due to extremists is beneath you
Posted by: Frank G   2006-03-10 19:37  

#24  Zenster, read the 10 commandments and then you'll have a much better idea of what I believe most Christians are striving for. The ones I associate with certainly are.
Posted by: RJB in JC MO   2006-03-10 19:23  

#23  Let me add my voice to the others echoing that "the Rapture" is *not* a "central tenant of Christianity".
Posted by: Crusader   2006-03-10 19:15  

#22  Zenster, you're way out of your knowledge base when you try to talk about Christian doctrines. If you feel compelled to try to interpret US foreign policy in terms of Christianity, please take a little time to educate yourself first.

'apocalypse' - from the Greek meaning the revealing of hidden things.

'eschatology' - having to do with End Times
Posted by: has some theology   2006-03-10 19:09  

#21  I think there is a substantial difference between being a leader who is a Christian that believes that there will be 'End Times' when God decides the 'End Times' are upon us and being a Muslem leader who wants to be the guy who pushes the button to bring about those 'End Times.' Don't you, Zenster?
Posted by: Scott R   2006-03-10 17:26  

#20  Right, James.

Listening to Zenster's attempts to enlighten us about what Christians do or do not hold to, is like expecting extremist Moslems to lecture accurately on the finer points of mediation and dispute resolution.

Example: "Is the rapture not a central component of the Christian faith, or are all those "In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned" bumper stickers just for grins?"

FYI, the "rapture" (that believers will not go through the great end times suffering) was an early false doctrine that crept into the some of the church, which, like gnosticism, was defined and refuted as heresy by Orthodox Christianity. Some still hold to it, usually because they don't know any better.

Since DAY 1, Zenster takes every occasion to bash Pres. Bush--I think it's because Zen is a homosexual and has a chip on his shoulder regarding mistreatment of homosexuals by religious people, and the Pres. is religious, or some such thing--and he vehementantly opposes what he calls "faith-based" policy, probably for the same reason. (Feel free to correct on this Zen, but this is my take on your communications over the past couple of years.)

What's nutty is that everything has been readied for the Jerusalem Temple to be rebuilt, including training of the priests, the altar, the curtain, the stones are all cut, etc., etc., and they're just waiting to begin the building process. But, the Arabs and the mosque seem to be in the way at present. Also, the return of Jews to Palestine (Israel) was not believable a century ago. It seems we're witnessing a history which was recorded ahead of time, as it were.



Posted by: ex-lib   2006-03-10 16:33  

#19  Zenster I like some of the stuff you say, but you got warp things about religion. I am a religious and most religious people I lnow don't sit around hoping for the rapture. When the rapture gets here it will and man cannot make it come sooner
Posted by: djohn66   2006-03-10 16:17  

#18  FWIW Zenster, a rapture isn't a central tenet of Christian faith. The central tenets you can check out pretty quickly in one of the creeds. There's a bit of disagreement on some of the "extras." That Jesus will return with judgement _is_ one of the central tenets, of course. For some of us that's a hopeful doctrine: things won't always be this hellish of a mess.
Posted by: James   2006-03-10 16:07  

#17  Frank, what I have said is not anti-Christian. Do you mean to say there are large numbers of Christians who do not eagerly anticipate the second coming of Jesus? Is the rapture not a central component of the Christian faith, or are all those "In case of rapture, this car will be unmanned" bumper stickers just for grins?

Do you not recall objections issued by the Saudis with respect to their own concerns that Bush might be driving a Middle East crisis in order to achieve his own particular vision of the end times? Are you not familiar with how a significant number of Christians contribute support to Israel solely for the purpose of ensuring that they are around to be converted in the final days and thereby fulfill the ultimate requirements of the apocalypse?

What part of eschatology do you not understand? It's a central tenet of your own Catholic faith. Like it or not, it will tend to rub non-Christian or non-apocalyptic believers or people in general the other way. However much Christianity is focused upon mankind's salvation, there are ten to one thousand times that many people who are more concerned with humanity's continuing existence and not its demise.

If I am so anti-Christian, how is it that I have bothered to gather and gain some remote comprehension of its belief structure and goals? If I am so anti-Christian, why do I so vigorously advocate freedom of religion and, to this day, maintain that it is among the foremost reasons behind the economic success and military supremacy of America today?

I'd have thought you knew me better than that.
Posted by: Zenster   2006-03-10 15:53  

#16  Zen - that is just anti-christian crap and you know it. You think W walks around hoping for the end times and rapture all day? Does anybody? Jeebus. Get a grip. I thought you were better than that. Guess I was wrongf
Posted by: Frank G   2006-03-10 15:31  

#15  Hundreds of high explosive IRBMs could serve as a decoy screen against the arrow and let them sneak some Nukes through.

If there are 30 arrows and 100 irbms - well one somewhere in the mess with a nuke should get through.
Posted by: 3dc   2006-03-10 15:00  

#14  tw, by definition, all Christian sects are apocalyptic. They unanimously await the second coming which largely connotes the destruction of our world as we know it. This is the definition of end times and for those who do not share such a vision, it can be truly disturbing to talk with someone who is so hell-bent (as it were) on the rapture that they could care less (except when it comes to proselytizing) about who does and does not make the cut. This sort of eschatology, especially when it emmanates from top leadership (be it Ahmadinejad or Bush), doesn't tend to set well with others who are more concerned with the continuation of our species instead of its putative salvation.
Posted by: Zenster   2006-03-10 14:04  

#13  The Methodists are apocalyptic? I realize I'm not up on the more obscure Christian sects, but is this a new development?
Posted by: trailing wife   2006-03-10 13:34  

#12  I don't think they plan on holding onto them for very long.

Yup, RC. This gets back to the apocalyptic aspect of Ahmadinejad's particular flavor of Islam. It concerns me that Bush, also a member of an apocalyptic faith, may not entirely appreciate how ardently the Iranians seek a rather precipitous culmination of their religious vision.

The Iranians are essentially in pole position awaiting the first glimmer of a green light on the Christmas tree. Massive missile capability or nuclear weapons both give them a go-ahead to wreak total havoc. So long as Israel perishes, there is no down side for Iran. I fear that Bush is incapable of abandoning his own more (likely) benign view of end times in order to fully comprehend the immediacy of the looming danger that Iran represents.
Posted by: Zenster   2006-03-10 13:03  

#11  Just having hundreds of IRBMs doesn't mean much unless you have the capability to keep them operational.

I don't think they plan on holding onto them for very long.
Posted by: Robert Crawford   2006-03-10 12:28  

#10  Just having hundreds of IRBMs doesn't mean much unless you have the capability to keep them operational.

I wonder if the muckety mucks realize this or if the worker bees even bother to tell them. Like a lot of countries, Iran has tried to do prestige stuff on the cheap (e.g., the Khomenei airport).

Posted by: mhw   2006-03-10 12:14  

#9  the only question is how many other Arab capitals they'd take down with them

Perhaps it's time for Israel to read the riot act to its hostile neighbors. There is no down side to a nuclear attacked Israel glassing over the entire Middle East in its death throes. I wouldn't bet a plug nickle against them already having a target configuration that specs all of the major Arab capitals.

Some bright individual needs to produce a Middle Eastern version of the old "The Day After Tomorrow" video showing what sort of scenario would result from a single Iranian missile launch. They could even over-ride Al Jazeera's prime time broadcast and do a "War of the Worlds" news report-style broadcast of the footage. I'd wager 90% of the Arab world would wet sh!t itself ... twice.
Posted by: Zenster   2006-03-10 11:36  

#8  BK. You nailed it. Israel has to launch on warning. It is illogical to do otherwise once a nuke is a possibility (ie now)

Absolutely right. Since Iran has seen fit to both pursue nuclear weapons and declare its intention of wiping Israel off of the map, Israel is now entitled to assume that any missile arriving from Iran is nuclear tipped.

Iran must be made to realize the consequences of its bellicose posturing. Such poor stewardship of nuclear technology carries a price tag of suspicion and those worries force the targets (Israel and America) to adopt doctrines of pre-emptive and overwhelming response.

This needs to be pointed out to Iran in no uncertain terms. One single missile lift off with a launch track towards Israel, Iraq or any American naval group earns them a shot at being the Windex King™.
Posted by: Zenster   2006-03-10 11:28  

#7  Likely? It's a given they would vaporize Iran, the only question is how many other Arab capitals they'd take down with them

This hadn't really occured to me but there really is little downside for Israel. I mean they'll be hated anyway for destroying Iran (civilized nations don't do such things old chap) even if Iran deserves it. So why not take out Damascus or Mecca or target-x while the world is in shock and the Islamoids are getting ready for some good Jew hating.

I'd have plans to expel the Pals (for their own safety, don't you know) into Jordan and Egypt ready to go in case of nuclear blasts from Iran. Oh, and the Al Aqsaqa Mosque would of course be levelled by fallout from whatever Iran launched even if the missiles came nowhere near.
Posted by: rjschwarz   2006-03-10 11:21  

#6  Anybody have some iodine pills? I feel a chill coming on.
Posted by: Perfesser   2006-03-10 11:19  

#5  BK. You nailed it. Israel has to launch on warning. It is illogical to do otherwise once a nuke is a possibility (ie now).

They need to announce the doctrine for their own protection. Of course, we do not want them to declare being a nuclear power.
Posted by: JAB   2006-03-10 10:48  

#4  If they're not careful we'll use the Earthquake Ray© on them again...
Posted by: Howard UK   2006-03-10 10:39  

#3  If nuke, about an hour.
Posted by: .com   2006-03-10 10:31  

#2  it it going to be the 6 day war all over but on a much larger scale. me thinks so.

You think it will last as long as six days?
Posted by: Robert Crawford   2006-03-10 10:30  

#1  it it going to be the 6 day war all over but on a much larger scale. me thinks so.
Posted by: bk   2006-03-10 10:09  

00:00