Sunday, February 24, 2008

More about Reagan & the missile hit

Every word of this Investor's Business Daily editorial is worth reading. I add a few thoughts below the star line.

IBS begins - - -

Rarely is military technology put to so public a test with so much riding on its success or failure. With the whole world watching, a modified Standard Missile-3 was launched Wednesday night from a Navy cruiser in the North Pacific, its target a spy satellite in a decaying orbit headed to Earth full of hazardous hydrazine fuel.

Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey discounted any comparison with an anti-satellite test conducted by the Chinese last year. "This is all about trying to reduce the danger to human beings," Jeffrey said. Some say the U.S. was just using the situation to test its missile defense. We say, "So what?" This also is about reducing the danger to America.

This wasn't officially a missile defense test, though critics have tried to paint it as such — notably the hypocritical Chinese, who've conducted their own tests of anti-satellite missiles, and the ever-anxious Russians. The SM-3 was designed to intercept ballistic missiles, but the sensor and software modifications to hit a falling satellite are different from those needed to hit an incoming warhead.

Nonetheless, failure would have been met with relief in Beijing and Moscow, where the rapidly re-arming Russians and Chinese are turning out new ballistic missiles like sausages. Rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran would have celebrated. In the Democratic caucus, failure would've been met with unbridled joy, proof that the long-derided "Star Wars" was unworkable. Attempts to cut funding would be given new life.

But it worked. Once again the bullet hit another bullet. And the technology has progressed to the point where we can hit a particular spot on the bullet: The target wasn't just the satellite, but its fuel tank full of hydrazine. Bull's-eye! The fuel and satellite were vaporized in space rather than disintegrating over a city.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an expert on military space technologies, said the satellite and the kinetic kill vehicle collided at a combined speed of 22,000 miles per hour 133 miles above the Earth.

A video clip showed the spectacular impact. "We have a fireball," notes a smiling Cartwright, "and given that there's no fuel (on the tip of the SM-3), that would indicate a hydrazine fire."

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, recently said the operational tests before Wednesday were unconvincing. Over on the House side, seven Democrats, in a letter sent to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, complained of "tests that have been highly scripted."

This was a real-life, pants-on-fire emergency with potential loss of life. Neither the satellite's trajectory nor the potential impact point was known. Launch conditions, such as wave height, had to be taken as is.

Levin should be grateful that, thanks to President Reagan's dream of a national missile defense, a thousand pounds of hydrazine aren't raining on some neighborhood in Detroit. (emphasis mine)

We feel confident, as the military undoubtedly does, that we could have taken out an Iranian Shahab or a North Korean Topodong if we had to.

Someone should tell Barack Obama that it'll take more than "aggressive personal diplomacy" to defend America. He talks very well. We still prefer the big stick.

Thank you, Ronald Reagan.


Sen. Levin and his fellow Democrats have so much to worry about these days.

Things are improving in Iraq. The Russians and the Chinese didn't like the idea of our trying for the missile hit in the first place, and now they're upset because we've been successful.

The Dems worry about all of that. Poor souls. But the economy's slowing down, so at least they've got that to cheer them up.

I posted previously Reagan Made The Missile Hit Possible

It includes reminders of the savage ridicule President Reagan received when he first proposed what his critics - Sen. Ted Kennedy, the NY Times, and others - took to calling star wars.

How little Reagan's critics understood what he was talking about and their foolishness and partisanship.

In the Reagan Made ... post I said he'd want to praise and congratulate the crew of the USS Lake Erie, the Navy, our other serving forces who protect us and their families for the sacrifices they make and the service they render.

And so would almost all the rest of us.


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, walk softly but carry a big stick. Something Ronald Regan took from Teddy.

People forget what happened to the Iran hostages the day after Ronnie became president. It would be good to remember your points John, they are well made, and have historical backing.

I try not to get political in these blogs, I feel I am a true independent, but an Obama presidency is just what the Iranians and middle east zealouts want.

We need a strong economy (this is what brought down communist Russia), low taxes (which equates to a strong economy and private investment), a powerful military supplemented by innovative private industry (e.g star wars defense), privatization of social security (hell, its your damn money, why shouldn't you get it back, and why shouldnt your offspring get what you can leave them?).

As for the men in uniform.....Good shot guys, another incredible acheivement by our military and ingeniuos technology industry to shoot down a satellite moving at incredible speed !!

In response to your prior post, I am ashamed of the US media. They are as a group, irresponsible cowards who mislead Americans to foster their own political agendas. As Hippocrates once said, "There are in life 2 things, fact and opinion, the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance."

Keep up the good work John !!!


Anonymous said...

Thanks John...

...coming from a Reagan fan.