Posts Tagged ‘nuclear weapons’

This Week in Jihad for March 18, 2011

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Been one of those weeks, so this is a little shorter and later than usual:

  • Army reprimands 9 scapegoats for its own political correctness in Nidal Hasan’s Ft. Hood shooting.
  • U.S. resident Pakistani charged with illegally smuggling nuclear material to Pakistan. Lovely.
  • Stratfor on Saaudi Arabia’s intervention in Bahrain.
  • The UN approves imposition of a no fly zone over Libya, and Gadhafi announces a ceasefire.
  • “Less than an hour after the cease-fire was declared, there were reports that it was already being violated.”
  • Richard Cohen says the Bosnian no-fly zone was a sham to assuage the west’s guilt over genocide and asks: “Should President Barack Obama lead a coordinated, Arab League-backed Western military intervention in Libya to stop Qaddafi?”.
  • Over a dozen states are now on the anti-Sharia bandwagon.
  • Jihadists hiding bombs in books.
  • “Al-Qaeda has launched a women’s magazine that mixes beauty and fashion tips with advice on suicide bombings.”
  • Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Israelis seize Iranian ship loaded with weapons heading for Gaza.
  • Congressman King isn’t the one fomenting hysteria.
  • JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer on the King hearings.
  • Pam Geller thinks King blew it.
  • This Week in Jihad for December 16, 2010

    Thursday, December 16th, 2010

    Lots of Jihad news of note this week:

    This Week in Jihad

    Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

    I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. Now back to a less happy task: rounding up jihad-related news over the last week:

    (Hat tip: The usual suspects under “Jihad” on your right.)

    As a side note, I would be interested to hear if anyone actually finds these weekly roundups useful. I put these up and get very little feedback on them…

    This Week in Jihad for November 24, 2010

    Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    Sadly, Jihad doesn’t wait for American holidays, so here’s a roundup of related news:

    Symantic’s Extensive Analysis of the Stuxnet Worm

    Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

    Available here.

    My hacking skills are pretty much limited to writing “Hello World” in Python on a good day, but even a cursory glance shows that Stuxnet is a very sophisticated beast indeed. Let’s hope it delivered a critical blow to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

    The Stuxnet Worm: Set Pants to Brown Alert

    Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

    The Weekly Standard has an interesting piece on The Stuxnet worm. It seems designed to attack Iran’s nuclear program, was in the wild for more than six months before being detected, featured stolen digital signature keys (which may have involved actual physical espionage) and used an off-the charts four zero-day exploits, which is pretty much unheard of.

    We really, really better hope that we or the Israelis wrote this thing, because if not, there’s a team of scary-good black hat hackers out there (from the description of how large and sophisticated it is, and all the different things it does, makes me think it took at least ten really good hackers more than a year to create) that can physically destroy major infrastructure targets through code almost at will. You really, really don’t want a team of “non-state actors” to have those capabilities…

    I suspect we’re getting a glimpse of what the opening rounds of the next major war will look like…

    Obama Administration Gives OK to $60 Billion Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

    Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

    Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but I didn’t notice that the Obama Administration had approved a $60 billion (with a B) arms sale to Saudi Arabia until Instapundit linked to that Jonathan Tepperman piece.

    I have mixed feelings about the deal.

    • The Saudis are not our friends. The ties between the House of Saud and fundamentalist Wahabbist Islam go back over two centuries, and Wahabbism is (along with the fundamentalist Shia of Khomeinist Iran, and the teachings of Hassan al-Banna and his followers in the Muslim Brotherhood) one of the chief sources retrograde radicalism in modern Islam, an influence that the Saudis have continued to support with their petrodollars to this very day.

    • My impression (and if someone has any contradicting evidence, feel free to share it in the comments below) is that the Saudi’s continuing support for Wahabbism is one of manipulative cynicism rather than deep religious belief. The Saudi ruling class is happy to swill alcohol and enjoy other forbidden Western pleasures behind closed doors, but continues to support Wahabbism as both a means of controlling their own country’s populace, and of maintaining their influence in the Ummah, the worldwide community of Islamic believers. Whether this makes them more or less evil is a matter of interpretation.
    • Despite their outward hostility to Jews and ostensible support of Palestinian nationhood, one of the biggest open secrets in the Middle East is that the Saudis are in regular secret communication with Israeli leadership about matters of mutual interest. (Also, the Saudis, much like the vast majority of Arabs everywhere, don’t really give a rat’s ass about the Palestinians.)
    • Their biggest area of shared concern is a nuclear armed Iran, which both view as an existential threat to their existence (albeit it of different types). This is why, as the Atlantic piece notes, Israel hasn’t lifted a finger to stop the arms sale.

    On that basis, the arms sale should probably be approved. But it’s no substitute for actually taking out Iran’s nuclear program, or the mullahs pushing it.

    Israel’s Possible Strike on Iran: Reactions

    Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

    There have been a lot of reactions to the Jeffrey Goldberg piece on the coming Israel attack against Iran’s nuclear weapons program I talked about here.

    The issue is discussed with the ever-irrepressible Christopher Hitchens. Conclusion? If Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons, “I see no reason not to take out the regime.”

    As usual, Ezra Klein and Juan Cole are clueless.

    JournoList-founder Klein believes a strike would “make the Arab world in general, and Iran and various terrorist organizations, hate Israel even more.” The problems with this statement:

    1. Only for organizations already committed to Israel’s destruction and/or Iranian-backed groups (Hezbollah and Hamas), who will mainly be angry that Israel deprived them of far more potent weapons. A temporary increase in activity from the people who already want to see you dead seems like a good tradeoff for preventing a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic of Iran.

    2. Probably not for the majority of Sunni Arabs, most of whom regard Persian Shias with at best indifference and at worst racist xenophobia and contempt. Sure, they hate Jews worse, but beyond certain Muslim Brotherhood offshoots, there is very little in the way “Pan-Islamic Unity” in the Middle East.
    3. Ditto for for the Turks. Erdogan’s Islamist- and Iranian-leaning government would no doubt make a great deal of noise, but do very little in the way of concrete actions that they weren’t already pursuing against Israel, and the average Sunni Turk is likely to lose little sleep over an attack against Shia Persians.
    4. The leaders of most Arab countries seem to want the Iranians stopped as well. That would suggest that there will be very little response from those states beyond pro forma disapproval.
    5. Given that Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has already called for Israel to be wiped off the map, how much more could they hate Israel?

    For his part, Juan Cole (after the usual conservative-bashing and name-calling) says:

    Bibi Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, is for all his bluster far too personally indecisive to take such a major step (and certainly not without an American green light; Bibi thinks Clinton had him undermined and moved out of office for obstructing the Oslo accords, and does not want to risk the same fate for causing trouble for Obama in Iraq and Afghanistan)

    This ignores the fact that the Dovish wing of Israeli politics has all but disappeared since the Oslo accords, in the wake of Arafat’s intransigence, Hamas’ takeover of Gaza, the war against Hezbollah, etc. Kadima, Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu are the three largest parties in Israel, and none are going to bring down the Netanyahu government should he order a strike on Iran. Even Kadima, the leftmost of those three, considers Iran’s nuclear program an existential threat. Kadima leader Tzipi Livni sounds only slightly less firm than Netanyahu, stating that “the free world cannot afford Iran with a nuclear weapon.”

    Also, he ignores the fact that if it did come down to losing his job, or failing to prevent a nuclear holocaust against his nation, Netanyahu’s choice will still be pretty easy to make.

    Finally, former UN Ambassador John Bolton says Israel needs to strike within eight days.