“Iran is a small country,” our president sagely tells us. “They could not possibly defeat us.” The small and shrinking number of knowledgeable Americans know that he is wrong, and surely he must know that.
EMP stands for “electromagnetic pulse.” Since the dawn of the nuclear age, scientists have known of the vulnerability. Though many have tried to warn the American people of the danger, in the modern age of party-controlled media, the message still has not broken through.
In an August 12, 2014 commentary by former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and Peter Vincent Pry, a member of the 2008 Presidential EMP Commission, the Wall Street Journal tried to sound the alarm bell. Woolsey and Pry wrote:
In a recent letter to investors, billionaire hedge-fund manager Paul Singer warned that an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, is “the most significant threat” to the U.S. and our allies in the world. He’s right. Our food and water supplies, communications, banking, law enforcement, etc. all depend on the electric grid.Yet until recently little attention has been paid to the ease of generating EMPs by detonating a nuclear weapon in orbit above the U.S., and thus bringing our civilization to a cold, dark halt.” [Emphasis added.]
The 2004 presidential EMP Commission explains, “High altitude EMP results from the detonation of a nuclear warhead at altitudes of about 40 to 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.” A map in that report shows that a single nuclear explosion miles above Chicago would wipe out all functioning electricity over 70 percent of the USA, just from one explosion.
Think about everything in your life that operates on electricity. Not just the lights, your computer, your cellphone, your television, your radio. Car and truck batteries would be fried as well. Get used to walking to the grocery store?
Why bother? The food there would all be gone in a day. And with no functioning trucks, or railways, or planes, no new deliveries would be coming any time soon. Surely the military would be delivering rescue relief promptly, right? But even America’s military operates on electricity. So does America’s agriculture.
Your only hope would be that you have stored some seeds. Clear a field, plant them, and pray for rain. Indeed, put out some water receptacles and really start praying. America’s water supply runs on electricity as well.
If you or a member of your family needs medical help, you can kiss them goodbye. No ambulances would be working either. But no hospitals or doctors’ offices would be open anyway. They are not getting new supply deliveries anytime soon either. If you rely on prescription drugs for any treatments, don’t expect any new deliveries.
Here’s how this cataclysmic catastrophic end to America could unfold. A nondescript, ramshackle shipping vessel launched from the Third World drifts toward the American coastline, harboring within its structure a single nuclear missile. Just a few miles off our coast, the missile is launched. Rocketing up 40 to 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, over the geographic center of the United States, the nuclear explosion is triggered. Three results are activated that naturally worm their way deep into the technological heart of modern America, and plunge the fatal dagger deeply inside.
First is a free-field energy pulse that works instantaneously, within a billionth to a few billionths of a second. That knocks out electronics-based control systems, sensors, communications systems, protective systems, computers, rail switches, street lights.
Second, at the speed of lightning, comes a second surge speeding past all the protective measures against lightning strikes now knocked out by the first effect. Any power plants still functioning after the first effect are shut down now, with all protective and control features of those facilities also now knocked out. The gas company and all gas distribution lines are going to be down too by now.
The final act is a slower-rising, direct current, longer duration pulse that gets into any now completely unprotected base equipment, and finishes modern America off. Welcome to the 18th century. Woolsey and Pry write, “The EMP Commission, in 2008, estimated that within 12 months of a nationwide blackout, up to 90 percent of the U.S. population could possibly perish from starvation, disease and societal breakdown.”
Fix it? The 2004 EMP Commission report stated that “unprecedented cascading failures of our major infrastructure could result. In that event, a regional or national recovery would be long and difficult and would seriously degrade the safety and overall viability of our nation…. It is possible for the functional outages to become mutually reinforcing until at some point the degradation of infrastructure could have irreversible effects on the country’s ability to support its population.”
Woolsey and Pry further explain:
Recent declassification of EMP studies by the U.S. government has begun to draw attention to this dire threat. Rogue nations such as North Korea (and possibly Iran) will soon match Russia and China and have the primary ingredients for an EMP attack: simple ballistic missiles such as Scuds [primitive Iranian missiles] that could be launched from a freighter near our shores; space-launch vehicles able to loft low-earth-orbit satellites; and simple low-yield nuclear weapons that can generate gamma rays and fireballs.”
Woolsey and Pry also note:
In 2004, the EMP Commission met with senior Russian military personnel who warned that Russian scientists had been recruited by North Korea to help develop its nuclear arsenal as well as EMP-attack facilities. In December, 2012, the North Koreans successfully orbited a satellite, the KSM-3, compatible with the size and weight of a small nuclear warhead. The trajectory of the KSM-3 had the characteristics for delivery of a surprise nuclear EMP attack against the U.S.
Iran is in close collaboration with North Korea now. Moreover, Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran clears the way for Iran to get a nuclear bomb after about ten years, even without any cheating. Once it is clear that Iran will get nukes, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey will have to do so as well. That will make five nuclear programs in the volatile Middle East, counting Israel’s.
Bottom line: Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran makes such an EMP attack/nightmare/death for America all the more likely, indeed, if not probable, by enablingIran to develop nuclear weapons, to put on top of the ballistic missiles Iran is perfectly allowed to build under the Obama/Iran deal! Indeed, with the Obama nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East, we can’t even guess which terrorists may get to the front of the line to EMP America first. Iran may have to get in line to do it.
During the Cold War, Russia and China threatened us with EMP attacks as well. But the focus then was the threat of nuclear holocaust, not slow death by an energy blackout/shutdown. Moreover, the threat now is from madmen with a terrorist mindset, who think global annihilation would bring about the Second Coming of the Muslim Savior, establishing heaven on earth. Deterrence will not work against such thinking, all the more so because the blow can be delivered by non-State actors not transparently involving any state sponsor. As the EMP Commission report in 2004 stated:
What is different now is that some potential sources of EMP threats are difficult to deter—they can be terrorist groups that have no state identity, have only one or a few weapons, and are motivated to attack the U.S. without regard for their own safety. Rogue states, such as North Korea and Iran, may also be developing the capability to pose an EMP threat to the United States, and may also be unpredictable and difficult to deter.
We can still act now to prevent this national catastrophe nightmare. Woolsey and Pry explain how we can “harden” our electric grid against EMP vulnerability:
Surge arrestors, faraday cages and other devices that prevent EMP from damaging electronics… have been used by the Defense Department for more than 50 years to protect crucial military installations and strategic forces. These can be adapted to protect civilian infrastructure as well. The cost of protecting the national grid, according to a 2008 EMP Commission estimate, would be $2 billion.
More costly, but now so obviously necessary for our national defenses, despite silly, ignorant, outdated criticisms from liberal Democrats, is the complete, maximum, build-out of strategic missile defense, that would have a fighting chance of knocking out any such attempted strike. Before Barack Obama’s fundamental transformation of America, these are among the reasons why our national leaders solemnly swore that Iran could not be allowed to have nuclear weapons.
President Obama asks who are we to tell Iran they cannot have nuclear weapons? But the duty of the President is not to be fair to Iran, but to maintain the national defenses of the United States. Lucky for him, dereliction of duty to the point of a catastrophic EMP attack against the American people would make the issue of impeachment moot.