By Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (RET) ~
In his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush used the collective tag of the “Axis of Evil” to describe three of “the world’s most dangerous regimes…(threatening) us with the world’s most destructive weapons.”
Of those three Axis members – Iraq, North Korea and Iran – the latter two remain committed to destabilizing a world order America seeks to maintain. For them to be successful, America must be destroyed. While one Axis member looks to play the role of an accessory to this evolution, the other looks to be the hit man.
Evil nurtures evil. We saw this during World War II. Two ideologically diverse dictatorships – Japan and Germany – were able to come together to form the Axis powers (along with Italy) to combat Western democracies. The Axis powers only failed after the Free World came to understand and defend against the threat.
We see it happening again today. An incompetent President Barack Obama ignores it at great risk to U.S. national security.
With Pyongyang’s recent claim it conducted its first successful test of a hydrogen bomb, the plot thickens and the threat to the U.S. increases.
Some experts doubt Pyongyang did successfully test a hydrogen bomb. However, a ground disturbance, registering at 5.1 magnitude and initially believed to be an earthquake, was detected by international seismic monitoring stations just before North Korea made the announcement. Those seismic characteristics have led others to give Pyongyang’s claim credence.
Needless to say, the White House – which has proven incapable of recognizing threats from the Islamic State to a nuclear deal with Iran that it has already violated – downplays the North Korea threat as well.
But, if Pyongyang did test a hydrogen bomb, it is most disturbing as such a weapon is a hundred times more powerful than an atomic bomb.
While Obama seeks to dismiss the test’s low-kiloton yield and relatively small seismic wave, an expert on electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons, Peter Vincent Pry, does not.
Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, Pry warns the test may well have been something to cause us major concern – a Super-EMP weapon.
EMP is created either by nature – i.e., severe solar storm activity striking the Earth – or by man – i.e., a high-altitude detonation of a nuclear device. Regardless of the source, an EMP’s impact would be devastating.
A strategically detonated nuclear weapon above the U.S. could kill 90 percent of the population. Most deaths would result, not from the explosion, but from its after-effects – destroying our electrical grids and causing critical infrastructure failure. Recovery could take four to 10 years, costing $2 trillion for the first year alone.
Pry has previously warned about North Korea’s development of an EMP weapon – and that it is being assisted in this effort by the Russians.
Were such an EMP weapon in North Korean hands, the news would be both good and bad.
The good news is, it is highly unlikely Pyongyang would use it to launch a first strike directly against the U.S. The bad news is, Pyongyang would sell the weapon to Tehran, which would.
The two Axis member nations have long been working together on a nuclear arms program and potential delivery system. Iranians previously attended both missile and nuclear tests conducted by North Korea. In fact, it has been speculated Iran may be outsourcing some nuclear weapons development to Pyongyang.
And, lest there be doubts Shairah Law might bar the use of EMP weapons, Muslim scholars have ruled otherwise, justifying usage as electronics, rather than people, are directly targeted. A secret Iranian military handbook, obtained by U.S. intelligence, endorses EMP usage as well.
Earlier North Korean/Iranian collaboration led the former to surreptitiously build a nuclear reactor in Al Kibar, Syria, on behalf of the latter – obviously funded by Tehran. However, before the reactor became operational, Israel destroyed it in a September 2007 raid. Most telling was the fact the Syrians chose to maintain a low profile on the matter, quickly razing the site without allowing international inspectors access beforehand.
Cash-strapped, Pyongyang is willing to sell anything to anybody who has the money to pay for it. Obama’s ill-advised nuclear deal with Iran will now put more than $100 billion in Tehran’s coffers, giving it the ability to pay North Korea whatever its asking price for an EMP weapon may be. Thus, we may well be sowing the seeds of our own demise.
U.S. intelligence officials reported while they were not “strategically” surprised by the North Korean test, the specific timing of the detonation did catch them off guard. This brings into question U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s assurances about our ability to monitor any nuclear mischief by Iran.
The two Axis of Evil members share a common goal – only seeking to play different roles to achieve it. Pyongyang seeks to provide a nuclear bullet; Tehran seeks to use it.
During the Cold War, a nuclear exchange never occurred as both sides’ actions were restrained by the theory of Mutual Assured Destruction. Ironically, the thought of one side launching a nuclear attack that would trigger a similarly devastating retaliatory strike provided both sides with a level – albeit an uneasy one – of comfort.
But this theory’s comfort level is lost on Iranian mullahs whose apocalyptical beliefs leave them with thoughts of sexual “sugar plums dancing in their heads.” They would welcome a devastating retaliatory nuclear strike sending them on their way to an afterlife of milk and “honies” – the latter an endless supply of “eternal” (recycled) virgins – as promised by Prophet Muhammad. Thus, they have no fear in launching a first strike.
Obama’s failure to grasp this mindset was evident in his final State of the Union Address on January 12 when he boasted, “No nation attacks us directly or our allies because they know that’s the path to ruin.”
With the purported successful testing of a hydrogen bomb by North Korea and an apocalyptical eagerness by Iranian mullahs to get just such a device in their hands, the U.S. president responsible for protecting us should be getting nervous. We should be getting nervous that he is not.
A version of this piece previously appeared on http://www.theblaze.com/
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret.), is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of “Bare Feet, Iron Will–Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam’s Battlefields,” “Living the Juche Lie: North Korea’s Kim Dynasty” and “Doomsday: Iran–The Clock is Ticking.” He frequently writes on foreign policy and defense issues.