Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Panama seizes shipment of missile guidance equipment from Cuba bound for North Korea

RSN-75 Radar for SA-2 SAM

RSN-75 Radar for SA-2 SAM

From Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Cuba, long derided in international policy circles as a basket case and no threat to the U.S., has been caught smuggling weapons of war to North Korea in blatant violation of U.N. sanctions. This is a wake-up call.

Sharp-eyed Panamanian authorities, watching the North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang since June, received intelligence it might be shipping illegal drugs, something it had been caught doing before.

As the vessel lumbered into the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal from Cuba, Panamanian authorities cornered the 450-foot rust-bucket, battled a maniacally violent crew who slashed ship lines to make it hard to unload the ship, and then watched as the ship’s captain tried to kill himself before having a heart attack.

After subduing the crew, the Panamanians found no drugs buried beneath sloppily packed brown sugar, but did find defensive RSN-75 “Fan Song” fire-control radar equipment for SA-2 surface-to-air missiles.

The discovery, and the crew’s behavior, were signs of something big the North Koreans didn’t want known — weapons smuggling, a violation of both United Nations sanctions prohibiting all sales of weapons to North Korea and Panama’s own laws governing the canal.

“You cannot go around shipping undeclared weapons of war through the Panama Canal,” declared Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, a U.S. ally, who tweeted a photo of the illegal shipment for the world to see.

It’s significant that the enabler of this violation of international law was none other than Cuba, which has worked hard to convince the Obama administration to drop all travel and trade sanctions against it — and which is currently negotiating a migration pact with the U.S. It’s time to stop that right now, and sanction Cuba further.

The brazen shipment of Russian-made weapons through Panama signaled that little has changed in Cuba — a state sponsor of global terror that has in fact been trying to destroy the U.S. since 1962.

“This is a serious and alarming incident that reminds us that the North Korean regime continues to pursue its nuclear and ballistic programs, and will stop at nothing in that pursuit,” said House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. “It also illustrates that the Castro tyranny continues to aid and abet America’s enemies and continues to pose a national security threat to the United States so long as the Castro apparatchik holds control over the island.”

It’s also the work of a rogue state. And at just 90 miles away, one that is as chillingly close to our shores as it is warm and friendly to North Korea.

[…]Although it’s unknown why North Korea, a major weapons exporter, is importing weapons from Cuba right now, defense analysts speculate that the weapons may be making their way back to Pyongyang for an upgrade and return to Cuba.

That would be worrisome given that North Korea has said it means to strike the U.S. on its own home turf. What better launching pad could it ask for than Cuba?

Two weeks ago, North Korea’s military commander visited Cuba to a red-carpet welcome. The visit raises questions as to what the two discussed — and, given the threat we see now, whether U.S. intelligence was aware of it.

If there is one thing that the United States definitely should not do, it’s dropping sanctions against Cuba.

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Obama abandons Poland and the Czech Republic in order to appease Russia

The Heritage Foundation analyzes Obama’s latest foreign policy blunder.

Excerpt:

President Obama’s decision to abandon plans for basing elements of the U.S. missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic is entirely a political one – in order to appease Russia. This decision is a strategic victory for the Kremlin, which is determined to have a sphere of privileged interest in its near-abroad. It represents the shameful abandonment of two of America’s closest allies in Central and Eastern Europe, and in future, America’s allies will have cause to question the integrity and credibility of American promises.

It also leaves the U.S. and Europe more vulnerable to the threat of ballistic missile attack. The Third Site installations proposed for Poland and the Czech Republic – Ground-Based Midcourse Defense interceptors in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic – were cost-effective, proven technologies which offered protection from long range missile attack to both Europe and the United States. The alternative deployments which President Obama has said he will now pursue will not satisfy those criteria.

Neither has Washington secured any great concession from Russia.

[…]The decision – to concentrate resources defending against short range missiles and not field defenses against long range missile attacks – makes no sense. To be truly strategic about national and international security, the United States must defend against current and future threats. Presenting a choice between defending against short or long range missile attack is a false one. Ballistic missile threats can emerge with little advanced warning, and as Admiral Mike Mullen (chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) recently stated, Iran has already amassed sufficient uranium to build an atomic bomb.

Looks like President Chamberlain Obama is totally oblivious to the emerging threat from Iran. Not only is he abandoning Israel, but he’s leaving us open to long-range ballistic missile attack from abroad.

The Western Experience explains Obama’s “reasoning”.

Excerpt:

By taking on a non-confrontational role with Russia, President Obama hopes he can lure Russia into becoming a working partner with the U.S. against Iran and terrorism. Additionally, work closer on policy goals like disarmament. So the possibilities for President Obama, in his eyes, are win-win. But right now it looks more like a very huge gamble, if not a misguided attempt to secure cooperation through appeasement.

You’ll recall from my last piece that Russia is selling Iran S-300 defense systems that Iran will use to shoot down Israeli aircraft in the event of a pre-emptive airstrike against their nuclear facilities. And Obama has decided that the proper response to these developments is appeasement. What a surprise! The naive leftist sides against our ally, Israel.

The Independent records the reactions of our allies. (H/T The Western Experience)

Poland’s media bluntly summed up the feelings of the country’s political right towards President Obama’s axing of plans for an east European missile shield today: “Betrayed! The USA has sold us to the Russians and stabbed us in the back,” was the headline in one popular newspaper.

[…]In the Czech Republic, where the missile shield was also meant to be deployed, newspapers were similarly dismissive: “Obama gave in to the Kremlin,” commented the daily Lidowe Noviny.

None of this is surprising if you recall how Obama sided with tyrants in Iran and Honduras. The man has no moral sense.

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Obama’s naive foreign policy increases likelihood of war in Middle East

The Wall Street Journal explains.

Excerpt:

Events are fast pushing Israel toward a pre-emptive military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, probably by next spring. That strike could well fail. Or it could succeed at the price of oil at $300 a barrel, a Middle East war, and American servicemen caught in between. So why is the Obama administration doing everything it can to speed the war process along?

The article lists various elements of Obama’s weak stance against Iran, then continues:

[…]All this only helps persuade Israel’s skittish leadership that when President Obama calls a nuclear-armed Iran “unacceptable,” he means it approximately in the same way a parent does when fecklessly reprimanding his misbehaving teenager. That impression is strengthened by Mr. Obama’s decision to drop Iran from the agenda when he chairs a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Sept. 24; by Defense Secretary Robert Gates publicly opposing military strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities; and by Russia’s announcement that it will not support any further sanctions on Iran.

In sum, the conclusion among Israelis is that the Obama administration won’t lift a finger to stop Iran, much less will the “international community.” So Israel has pursued a different strategy, in effect seeking to goad the U.S. into stopping, or at least delaying, an Israeli attack by imposing stiff sanctions and perhaps even launching military strikes of its own.

How do you think Iran would respond to such an air strike? Their entire land force would be left largely intact. Do you think they are just going to take that and do nothing to retaliate? This is a nightmare.

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