City Narrowly Escapes
Bungling Bomber's Plot
What Are We Doing
To Protect the World
From Nuclear Iran?
By Henry J. Stern
May 5, 2010
New Yorkers have thought a great deal this week about the attempted bombing in Times Square. Our narrow escape from death and destruction in the heart of the city reminds us of the police work that frustrated the July 1997 plot to explode bombs on the New York City subways. That attempt came four years after the first attack on the World Trade Center, and four years before 9/11. There was also a conspiracy in 2009, when a New York immigrant trained by the Taliban in Pakistan bought supplies in Colorado to attack the subway system here. An imam may have tipped him off that he was under surveillance.
It should now be apparent that, in recent years, there have been a number of plots aimed at wreaking havoc in the City of New York. We generally write about policies and practices of and state government. We do believe, however, that plans to detonate explosives which could demolish buildings and immolate their inhabitants (actions which have been attempted at least five times over the past 17 years) would have a significant effect on the city government, its economy and its viability as a place in which people would want to live and stay alive. That is the assertion of relevance, which prompts us to offer the following thoughts, some of which lead to conclusions of one sort or another.
Herewith our observations:
First is that, if not for the incredible incompetence of the bomber, the Times Square plot would have succeeded.
Second, if the bomb had gone off, it would have attracted enormous worldwide attention, disproportionate to the physical damage that it would have been caused. It would have shown that one of the nation's most famous and crowded places was vulnerable to deadly attack by one individual.
Third, if enough other would-be bombers attempt the same or similar assaults, one or more will eventually succeed.
From there, we proceed to the greater danger:
Fourth, the proliferation of nuclear weapons would make the outcome of such an attack devastating rather than symbolic.
Fifth, although there are now nine nations which have nuclear capability, none of them has proclaimed its commitment to the destruction of another country.
Sixth, Iran's president has repeatedly proclaimed his ambition to destroy Israel, which has done no particular injury to his country, nor has had any territorial disputes with Iran (as Iraq had during their eight years of warfare, which included the use of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein).
Seventh, Iran is developing nuclear weapons as rapidly as it can, and anyone who does not believe that to be true is incredibly naive.
Eighth, (and this is the difficult one to accept), the United States is enabling Iran to become a nuclear power by making speeches denouncing Iran which have no effect, and trying to enlist other nations to support sanctions, measurers which are not in those nations' immediate self-interest
Ninth, the United States appears to be quite reconciled to Iran as a nuclear power. Since Iran is already supplying Hezbollah and Hamas with advanced rockets and other weaponry, it is reasonable to consider the possibility that Iran's nuclear weapons, or the technology to manufacture them, will somehow fall into appear in the hands of non-governmental entities.
Tenth, President Obama said on May 18, 2009 that "by the end of the year, we should have some sense whether or not these discussions [with Iran] are starting to yield significant benefits, whether we are starting to see serious movement on the part of Iranians." It is now May 2010, and the only movement seen has been increased activity by Iran in nuclear development.
Eleventh, the physical protection of the City of New York has been capably managed over the years by the New York Police Department. But its protection from weapons of mass destruction is a Federal responsibility, which means the national government is obliged to do what it must to prevent a nation which believes war is a religious duty does not get the opportunity to put that principle into effect at the cost of the lives of our citizens
Twelfth, national leaders must understand that, just because they want peace and justice, others may still want to kill them and the citizens they are sworn to protect, either as a result of religious fantasy of zeal, or the simple desire for universal hegemony that characterized Hitler and his followers.
As usual, we invite your comments, and we expect some disagreement with our views. Please feel free to express yourself by e-mail, whatever your opinions. This, of course, is far more than the people who would bomb and destroy us permit to those whose opinions differ from theirs.
God bless America, and God preserve the City of New York.
StarQuest #665 05.06.2010 795wds