Good news: Iran now offers a missile umbrella to fellow Muslim nations; UPDATE


Of course this was going to happen (h/t: “Reza Khalili”).  The whole point of having theater missiles, for Iran, is being able to engage in deterrence.  What Iran will protect under the missile umbrella is not peace, harmony, and light, but the nation-torturing activities of the paramilitary Qods Force and Iranian-backed terrorists like Hezbollah and Hamas.

This move puts Iran in the aspiring-nuclear-power category of the former USSR and China – not that of Britain, France, India, Pakistan, or North Korea.  Iran is still in the “aspiring” stage, but has already revealed the scope of her ambitions for deterrence.  The radical Islamic regime has no intention of merely deterring a single neighbor, maintaining its independence inside a foundational alliance, or even just brooding dementedly inside its borders.  Revolutionary Iran aims to achieve regional dominance, and sees deterring the West as the first step.

Just to be clear, when Iran offers a missile umbrella to the Muslim nations of the Middle East, she means she can, and under certain circumstances will, launch missiles at the non-Muslim nations she can reach with her arsenal, which right now include Israel, Southeastern Europe, and Russia.  When the joint missile base in Venezuela is completed, Iran will be able to reach the territory of the United States with her missiles.    A secondary meaning is that Iran can threaten with missiles those Muslim nations that collaborate with the West (e.g., by hosting military forces), like Bahrain, Kuwait, and UAE.

The missile umbrella propounded by Larijani is precisely the form of deterrence employed by the Soviet Union in the Cold War.  The Soviet deterrent – to which the Russians still, to this day, refer as their “strategic deterrent” – was used as an umbrella to give cover to the Soviet oppression of Eastern Europe, and to Soviet support of Marxist insurrections further abroad.  It was a very successful deterrent, because it changed the most fundamental calculations of the United States about what was possible.

We took off the table, with NSC-68 in 1950, the possibility of doing anything so effective against Communist incursions abroad that it might incur a Soviet nuclear response.  We constrained ourselves instead to accept losses of territory, half-measures, and unfinished business that we would not have thought necessary in the absence of a Soviet strategic deterrent.  (I wrote more about this in February 2009, precisely apropos of Iran’s prospects for a nuclear deterrent.)

Our strategic deterrent did not deter the Soviets from supporting and fomenting Marxist insurgencies and civil wars in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  The Soviets’ strategic deterrent did deter us, until the Reagan presidency, from pushing back decisively against those insurgent efforts.  The latter is the lesson learned by Iran’s current leadership.  Iran has revolutionary cadre making trouble abroad already; it’s the deterrent umbrella she has lacked.  The Larijani statement has been made before the Iranian missile umbrella becomes a nuclear one – but that will come soon enough.  We can’t say we didn’t see it coming.

*UPDATE* Daled Amos steps into the fray with an interesting twist.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air’s Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, and The Weekly Standard online.

42 thoughts on “Good news: Iran now offers a missile umbrella to fellow Muslim nations; UPDATE”

  1. —-“When the joint missile base in Venezuela is completed, Iran will be able to reach the territory of the United States with her missiles. “—-

    That’s a big” if” on the “when”, and the “able” is based only on possibilities, not on a likelihood.

    And don’t deny it, opticon.

        1. fuster,

          How’s my good buddy today?

          I see that you continue to overpower us with your ruthless, intellectual evisceration of the OptiCon on every subject on which she opines.

          It’s good that we have a contributor here that is willing to do yeoman’s work here in keeping her academically honest.

          “Witless” indeed! 🙂

          1. evisceration ain’t hardly the objective, jim.

            just trying to help her wipe away some of the stray scat she riffs around.

  2. Iran is about to lock in another cold war era and not many people have hope that it will remain cold.

  3. OK, what’s the take on this?:

    Seldom it is that the Russian Foreign Ministry chooses a Sunday to issue a formal statement. Evidently, something of extreme gravity arose for Moscow to speak out urgently. The provocation was the appearance of a United States guided missile cruiser in the Black Sea for naval exercises with Ukraine. The USS Monterrey cruiser equipped with the AEGIS air defense system is taking part in joint Ukrainian-US exercises, Sea Breeze 2011.

    More here:

    1. What the Russians are objecting to is that this cruiser is a “BMD” equipped unit — that is, specially equipped for theater ballistic missile defense. All Aegis cruisers can perform “point” defense against missiles, but only the ones with the BMD upgrade can defend against medium-range ballistic missiles in the mid-course phase of their trajectory.

      This deployment doesn’t mark the official inauguration of Obama’s alternative BMD scheme for Europe, the one he decided to go with when he scrapped the NMD site in Poland. The alternative scheme won’t be ready for implementation until 2017 or so.

      But the scheme will incorporate Aegis BMD ships, which will, on order, assume defensive stations in the Eastern Med and Black Sea. The concept assumes a missile threat coming from Iran toward Europe.

      Russia objects to the whole idea, no matter how we implement it — and even though the Obama plan provides no defense for North America in future years, when Iran could have a global ICBM capability. (That form of defense would also be able to intercept ICBMs launched across Europe from Russia.)

      Besides the fact that the cruiser in the Black Sea is a BMD unit, Bulgaria just agreed a couple of weeks ago to host the early warning radar we (NATO) were originally going to put in Turkey. Turkey decided to only accept the radar if the Turks were to have total control of its use and any associated BMD forces. That wasn’t acceptable to NATO, so we’ve been looking for an alternative, and Bulgaria stepped up to the plate.

      1. Good post J.E. Clear and concise. This is new information for me.
        Turkeys’ turn to the East and the past is troubling.

      2. Can’t help but wonder what the US response would be to a Russian cruiser taking part in a Canadian exercise in Lake Huron or even the waters off British Columbia.

        1. It’s a reasonable question, cm. The US and Russia basically have two different perspectives on this kind of issue. Ours is that world seaways should be free and open for transit to all, and that that includes the Black Sea (and Baltic Sea) as well as the Mediterranean, the Gulf Mexico, the Caribbean, etc.

          We have been consistent with this posture throughout the history of our relations with Russia. The Russians do deploy warships to waters in the US “sphere” (if today much less than during the Cold War), and we track them but don’t issue diplomatic protests. There have been Russian intelligence collection ships off the US East coast and in the Gulf of Mexico in the last 10 years. In late 2008, the Russians sent a naval task force and a detachment of strategic bombers to conduct exercises with Venezuela and Cuba. If you look up the US government response, you find that we said we thought the change in posture was worth tracking, and might be of concern, but that it wasn’t militarily dangerous. And that was it: no protests, no public anger, no threats about pulling out of treaties.

          The Russians see things differently. They feel that their security depends on being able to exercise a de facto veto over what comes into the Black Sea and Baltic Sea. For us the analogous waterway would be the Gulf of Mexico. We don’t have the same history as Russia, and in this way we’re simply a different kind of people: we don’t get our knickers in a twist if Russians enter the Gulf of Mexico (we track and report, usually quite overtly), and it’s unthinkable to us that a major global sea be effectively controlled with the veto of a single power.

          We see security in having freedom of movement and action; Russia sees security in preventing it for others. It’s a good bet that if a Russian cruiser came to Vancouver and conducted a big exercise with Canada, Japan, and South Korea, but not us, we’d simply go to Yokosuka and conduct the bigger exercise, with Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines, that we’d been planning for the last 18 months. That’s the “response” that resonates with our national personality. Russia only makes that kind of response rarely and with great effort, because it’s not a natural desire on Russia’s part.

  4. I’m still smarting from that whole deal when Obama (and our Senate) capitulated to the Ruskies. And then there was that whole planeload of Poles mysteriously going down. I never bought that. Megatron remembers.

  5. Regarding the update: I remember Stalin’s words when Operation Barbarossa began: “Did we really deserve this.” Or something like that.

    Will history repeat since Islam is essentially fascism?

    And Barry Rubin’s comment regarding Saudi Arabia joining an alliance against revolutionary Islamism: What? Who the heck is funding revolutionary Islamism in our colleges and in mosques?

    One last word: I have two wonderful friends that immigrated to the United States when Czechoslovakia was still communist and one said with regard to the lost Polish plane: “They know how to do these things.” Other things they say: “Oh my, America just doesn’t know.” They arrived here, broke, without a job, and in four years had bought a house. He is a maintenance man; she a housekeeper. Nothing fancy, just hard work and invest in the future.

    For Obama they have nothing but disgust and fear.

    1. —-“Will history repeat since Islam is essentially fascism?”—-

      interesting thought. is there meaning to it? how is Islam fascism?

      1. In a word, YES – Islam IS fascistic; hence the dreaded word, “Islamofascism” – which is understood on the Right, but not, of course, on the Left.

        Sadly, I see that fuster, who makes the least important, interesting or informative contributions to this site (esp. with OptiCon’s superior intelligence knowledge, wisdom and experience), is still around. I thought that scab had healed long ago, but I guess he still gets off on being tedious and too smart-alecky by half…

  6. I’ve heard the same about Obama from every immigrant I’ve encountered or listened to or read from a communist or former-communist country. They all pegged him early on as an authoritarian collectivist, and warned that he would be like the dictators in the countries they came from.

    Certainly puts in perspective the similarities between the political patter of the Western left and the propaganda themes of Marxist authoritarians.

    1. “pegged ….as an authoritarian collectivist”

      Normally I just disagree with your silly opinions. After all, they are only silly opinions.

      But this is not an opinion – it a statement of purported fact.

      By good luck, I am a regular traveller in Eastern Europe ( Before retiring I worked for a company that was involved in upgrading power-transmission systems in that part of the world, and I maintain friends and contacts there. So you could say that I am pretty much up to speed on Eastern European opinion, and the way the people of Eastern Europe look at the world)

      Now, the one thing you can say about opinions is that they are subjective and relative to the opinion-holder’s own experience. Eastern Europeans, living in nations that are actually post “authoritarian-collectivist” (to use your term), would no more apply such a description to Obama (or even Swedish social-democrats a mile to the left of our president) than fly in the air. This phrase is straight out of the imagined world of a particular strain of extreme rightwing American. It is not remotely like anything a European – East or West – would say – even someone who didn’t much like Obama.

      The reality is that Europeans (both East and West, Old and New) would regard Obama as not very authoritarian at all. In fact, Europeans ( Eastern Europeans in particular) would associate authoritarianism with the “security” rather than the “economic” intrusion of the state into the lives of the citizen. They would see Bush (and the Republican right wing) as far more authoritarian than Obama. As for “collectivist” – this is something Eastern Europeans would associate with Stalinist 5 year plans, farming collectives, and the centralized economy. To infer that Eastern Europeans (who know a thing or two about these things) would associate the word “collectivist” with a politician who is a mile to the right of the centre of gravity of European politics is complete fantasy.
      Europeans (including Eastern Europeans) generally have a high regard for
      Obama whom they see as a centre-right and middle-of-the-road American leader trying hard to get the largest capitalist economy in the world back on its feet from an economic crisis he inherited from his predecessor.

      And not to put a tooth in it: the phrase you ascribe to Eastern European opinion of Obama is your very own little made-up invention. It has a ring of falsity which only someone who hasn’t a clue about how the post-communist Eastern Europeans see the world would fail to see.

      1. If you want to call someone a fabulist on no more than a hunch that not one of more than a hundred million might have expressed the opinion that the opticon relates, you gonna sound like you’re braying.
        she’s most obviously not going to suggest that many or most Eastern Europeans feel that way abut Obama, and only ascribes it to one or more people that she’s come across, perhaps at tea parties or other konclaves sh’e attended.

          1. the “every” is, of course, limited to those she’s encountered in her sphere and those whose writings she might have read.

            small sample size, and very far from random.

            and fershiftsure, there’s no reason to accuse her of lying. how the heck you can think that there aren’t bunches or Eastern Europeans thinking in ways that would give credence to the opticon’s claim is hard to fathom.

            Eastern Europeans are just as asinine, awful, bigoted and plain stupid as any other enormous group.

            there are people born and living in the United States who would agree with the opticon’s opinions. why not Europeans?

            1. You are an intelligent person.
              You know as well as I do what the respective liklihoods of what she claimed was an invention on the one hand or the truth on another.

              However, I’m not disagreeing with your other proposition that her horizons are very limited indeed.

              1. Here’s a challenge: name five Senators to the left of Obama’s senatorial record. It sounds like the Eastern Europeans of Paulite’s acquaintance are either uninformed or living in fantasy land to ascribe center-right (ahh, centre-right) ideology to Obama.

              2. vinnie, there are not now, and almost never has been post-WWII, anybody in the Senate who was a radical leftist.

                there hasn’t been anyone who comes close to that description since Eugene McCarthy.

                that there isn’t anyone to the left of Sen Obama when he served tends to show that he wasn’t really a lefty more than it might show that he was.

                leftists simply don’t get to the Senate.

              3. Obama’s Senate record has been a matter of very varying opinion – depending on your viewpoint and the criteria used. However, since he was elected president he has done what almost every president in recent memory has done – he has governed from the centre. With the exception of Romn……oh sorry!….Obamacare he has done more or less what any (electable) Republican president would have done – particularly in his management of the economy. In fact the only bit of ideological policy-making perpetrated by Bush was to let Lehmans go down the flusheroo, and we know what happened because of that. After that salutary lesson, Bush scuttled back to the centre.

                But Obama’s position in the US political spectrum isn’t the question here. The question is more to do with where European and American political opinions are relative to each other. Given that there is a consensus among all mainstream european parties – conservative and leftwing – to preserve their universal healthcare and the social-democratic “settlement” it is fair to say that European opinion is somewhat to the left of the US. Even the British Conservative party (the party of Churchill and Thatcher) has pledged itself to preserve and strengther the NHS (The British free at the point of delivery health-system). Obama is far to the right of Euro-conservatives, Cameron, Sarkozy, or Merkel.

                One very interesting contrast between Americans and Europeans is in their concepts of freedom from political serfdom. Europeanss see it more in terms of freedom from encroachment by the police, police-powers, security legislation, and the military. Given the historical context, this is hardly surprising. On the other hand, Americans are more inclined to see freedom in economic terms. The one exception is that private property rights are more jealously protected from state interference in Europe (particularly Western Europe) than in America.

            2. So we agree, fuster, that there isn’t anybody in the Senate more lefty than Obama, and there hasn’t been for decades. Since the Senate is a broadly representative body, calling the most leftward member “centre-right” still seems like a stretch. Obama’s could claim centrality from the perspective of the 1960’s politburo, though.

              1. we agree that Obama’s record in the Senate put him on the liberal side of Senators serving with him.

    2. Probably more like either a Chavez wannabee or a Chavez-in-waiting (although Chavez’s hold on Venezuela is so far, at any rate, not absolute). But this Manchurian Candidate/Pygmalion is warming to his insulated and protected role; and, like the puppet dolls in Dr. Miracle’s workshop, he’d love to take on a life of his own, but understands that he needs the infrastructure of his Regime to protect him from harm – and, perhaps, reality…

  7. Note for Fuster concerning no left wing Senators since World War II blah-blah-blah.
    Bernie Sanders
    Chuck Schumer
    Russ Feingold
    Frank Lautenberg
    Barbara Boxer
    Dianne Feinstein
    Pat Leahy
    The President fits in perfectly with this crowd.

    1. note for reed: these folks represent the left side of the center.
      they”re liberals (and some not very), not leftists.

      how many of the people that you list would have supported McCarthy against Nixon, given McCarthy’s stance that we should close most all of our overseas military bases and stop being the world’s policemen?

  8. All of them. By the way Bernie does campaign and serve as a socialist. Pat Leahy did not quite bring off The Truth Commission. Orwell would have been proud. All of them obviously Big Government Big Spenders.
    If these people are slightly to the left of center, the center has a different meaning for you.
    You do realize JE wrote about Iranian missiles. It is fun following you around in the weeds. Regards

    1. you seem to live in the wreeds. and yes, she did write about iranian missiles, but, on her own hook, decided to mention that her EE contacts peg Obama for “an authoritarian collectivist” akin to EE “dictators”.

      not that she would agree with that sort of bullshirt, of course, or have it attributable to her ownself, but she like to sling it .

    2. Good point, Wreed – the Left just sees the world differently than the rest of us. And who objects to the used of the word, “Leftist?” If it quacks like a duck, etc. etc. Of course, to the Leftist/Regressive, the Right is “the Far Right,” and “Conservative” has an even darker meaning than true Conservatives would ever recognize! When we can’t agree on basic definitions, is it any wonder that we can’t agree on anything else?

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