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Thursday, December 18th, 2014
One of the major tenets of American military philosophy is that we leave no man behind. It’s not just an empty slogan, it’s a moral obligation to our men in uniform.
As our commander-in-chief, President Barack Obama has an obligation to follow this tenet. However, his inattention to the case of Amir Hekmati proves that Obama is derelict in his duty.
Amir Hekmati is a former marine who served honorably. He’s been held prisoner by Iran by over three years because of his service to our country, out of a total of ten that he’s been sentenced to.
Iran’s immigration laws are such that they won’t recognize the American citizenship of someone whose parents are Iranian citizens.
Hence, during a family visit back to Iran, he was charged with fighting for a foreign military. Originally sentenced to death, public outcry led to his sentence being reduced to ten years in prison.
President Obama has been largely silent on the case of Hekmati, doing little to pursue his release in public. Indeed, the president seems more concerned about capitulating to Iran on their nuclear program than pursuing the release of a man who served his country honorably.
Hekmati spoke out through a letter he dictated from prison, in which he chastised our president for his abandonment of an American veteran. (H/T Controversial Times.)
“As you are well aware, I have been detained in Evin Prison in Iran for more than three years. In fact, my mother informs me that as of today, December 15, 2014, it has been more than 1,200 days. One-thousand and two-hundred days, which have included solitary confinement and mistreatment. I remain confined without a fair trial and no idea or understanding of what is to be my fate,” Hekmati wrote.
“Every day, I wake hoping that there is news of my release. Every night, I go to sleep disappointed to mark another day that I am still behind these prison walls, away from my family, friends and meaningful human contact. Away from my father who is gravely ill. There is no end in sight.”
“I hold on to my innocence and the knowledge that I was wrongly imprisoned. I plead my case to all who will listen. But, unfortunately, my pleas fall on deaf ears. As hope fades, I remain alone and weakened.”
“With no answer in sight, I am deeply concerned that my future has become tied to the nuclear negotiations with Iran, with which I have no connection, influence or leverage. I can draw no other conclusion, as each opportunity for a legal or humanitarian remedy is ignored, delayed or denied,” Hekmati continued.
“I ask that you not forget me, Mr. President. I understand that there will be additional dialogue this week on the nuclear subject. I ask that you make it clear that my case is unrelated and should be resolved independent of your talks. I ask that your team impress upon the Iranian officials that more than three years without resolution is simply too long. My punishment has already far exceeded the charges brought against me, charges that I continue to contest to no avail. I know that the climate between the United States and Iran is delicate. But I should not fall victim to it.”
“I am a son, a brother, an uncle and a man. I am an American who deserves basic human rights and his freedom.”
“Instead, I feel as if I have been left behind. I ask you, Iran and those who read this letter, in particular the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei and the Minister of Intelligence Hojjatoleslam Alavi, to work to ensure my immediate release and return to my country of birth – The United States of America.”
While Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs are all the rage these days, the most dangerous nuclear threat facing the world continues to go largely unnoticed.
Namely, China and India are both on the cusp of deploying multiple independently targetable reentry (MIRV) vehicles on their ballistic missiles, a development that is likely to have profound, far-reaching consequences for the region and beyond.
MIRVed missiles carry payloads of several nuclear warheads each capable of being directed at a different set of targets. They are considered extremely destabilizing to the strategic balance primarily because they place a premium on striking first and create a “use em or lose em” nuclear mentality.
Along with being less vulnerable to anti-ballistic missile systems, this is true for two primary reasons. First, and most obviously, a single MIRVed missile can be used to eliminate numerous enemy nuclear sites simultaneously. Thus, theoretically at least, only a small portion of an adversary’s missile force would be necessary to completely eliminate one’s strategic deterrent. Secondly, MIRVed missiles enable countries to use cross-targeting techniques of employing two or more missiles against a single target, which increases the kill probability.
In other words, MIRVs are extremely destabilizing because they make adversary’s nuclear arsenals vulnerable to being wiped out in a surprise first strike. To compensate for this fact, states must come up with innovative ways to secure their deterrent from an enemy first strike. This usually entails increasing the size of one’s arsenal, and further dispersing to make it more difficult for an enemy to conduct a successful first strike. For example, when the U.S. first deployed MIRVed missiles in 1968, the Soviet Union had less than 10,000 nuclear warheads. A decade later, however, it had over 25,000 (of course, the Soviet Union deploying its own MIRVed missiles incentivized expanding the size of its arsenal since more warheads were needed per missile).
With regards to China and India, then, the introduction of MIRVed missiles could have profound consequences of both of their nuclear postures. One of the most remarkable aspects of every nuclear state not named Russia or the United States is they have relied on an extremely small nuclear arsenal to meet their deterrent needs. This is especially true of India and China who have generally maintained minimum deterrence and no-first use doctrines. With the introduction of countervailing MIRVed missiles, however, there will be strong incentives on both sides to vastly increase the size of their arsenals if any to guard against the threat of a first strike by the other side.
Of course, the consequences of China and India acquiring MIRVed missiles would not be limited to those states alone. Most obviously, India’s acquisition of MIRVed missiles would immediately threaten the survivability of Pakistan’s nuclear forces. In the short-term, this will probably result in Islamabad further dispersing its nuclear arsenal, which in general will leave it more vulnerable to Islamist terrorist groups in the country. Over the long-term, Pakistan will feel pressure to expand the size of its arsenal as well as acquire MIRVed capabilities of its own.
The same pressures will be felt in Moscow. Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russia has relied on its vast nuclear arsenal to compensate for its relative conventional weakness. In the eyes of Russian leaders, this will only grow more necessary as China continues to modernize its conventional military forces. Currently, Russia holds vastly more nuclear warheads than China, which is a source of relief for Moscow. As China MIRVs its missiles, however, as well as likely builds up the size of its arsenal, Moscow will see its nuclear superiority over Beijing rapidly erode. It can be counted on to respond by abrogating its arms control treaties with the United States, and expanding its own arsenal as well. In such a situation, a U.S. president would come under enormous domestic pressure to meet Russia’s buildup warhead for warhead.
Thus, while the prospect of North Korea and Iran acquiring operationalized nuclear arsenals may be concerning, China and India’s MIRVed missiles present far greater threats to the world.
The parents of a high school student in Farmville, North Carolina, are seeking answers regarding a Common Core-aligned vocabulary assignment given to their child that they claim is essentially Islamic propaganda.
The assignment was reportedly given to seniors at Farmville Central High School and included several pro-Islamic messages.
The worksheet reportedly read: “In the following exercises, you will have the opportunity to expand your vocabulary by reading about Muhammad and the Islamic word.”
The assignment used the words astute, conducive, erratic, mosque, pastoral, and zenith in sentences about Islam.
“The responses to Muhammad’s teachings were at first erratic. Some people responded favorably, while other resisted his claim that ‘there is no God but Allah and Muhammad his Prophet,” one sentence read.
A parent, who asked to remain anonymous, told the news outlet that it was “very shocking” to read the religious material.
“I just told my daughter to read it as if it’s fiction. It’s no different than another of fictional book you’ve read,” she said.
One of the students who was reportedly in the class in which the assignment was given told FoxNews.com that she was “caught off guard” by the content.
“I just looked at it and knew something was not right – so I emailed the pages to my mom,” the student added.
A Pitt County Schools spokesperson reportedly confirmed the assignment is from a state-adopted workbook that meets “Common Core standards for English Language Arts.”
“Our school system understands all concerns related to proselytizing, and there is no place for it in our instruction/ However, this particular lesson was one of many the students in this class have had and will have that expose them to the various religions and how they shape cultures throughout the world,” the district said in a statement.
Really? Seriously?? Get over yourselves, Just suck it up and get the F*ck over it already. Will everyone now stop breathing because they are afraid of offending a muzzie becasue they just ate freakin bacon. Unbelievable
Harvard University’s dining service has removed labels from soda machines in its facilities over concerns that merely reading them could damage the fragile psyches of university students.
The root of the problem, like so many other campus food fights, is Israel. Until last spring, Harvard Undergraduate Dining Services (HUDS) purchased water machines from a firm owned by SodaStream, an Israel-based firm that operates a plant in the West Bank.
According to The Harvard Crimson, those purchases have stopped after activists on campus complained that the machines were offensive to students of Palestinian origin. Nor did HUDS stop there, as they even stripped SodaStream labels from machines they already owned in order to minimize any potential psychic harm to students who oppose the company.
BRACE YOURSELVES -- THIS IS JUST TOO FUNNY!
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