Some Congressional Republicans really want to set up an East Coast missile defense shield to protect the Atlantic Seaboard from Iranian rockets, Mother Jones reports.
If this sounds familiar — like a throwback to Reagan-era Star Wars shenanigans — that’s because the plan is just like missile defense schemes of the past.
“You cannot open a newspaper or turn on a TV…without seeing a story of the rising threat from Iran and North Korea to mainland United States. With these emerging threats it is inevitable that an East Coast site will be necessary in order to ensure we have the ability to lessen the threats from both Iran and North Korea,” Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio), House strategic forces subcommittee chair, told reporters.
The project would cost $100 million and take four years to build.
Now, we’re not debating that the country’s regime is cooky. And nobody (sane) wants a nuclear-armed Iran. Based upon the evidence, however, it doesn’t seem like the biggest immediate menace to the East Coast would be from intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Indeed, there appear to be more eminent threats.
As the Christian Science Monitor has pointed out, there have been at least nine foiled terrorist plots since Sept. 11, and they don’t seem altogether that Iranian missile oriented.
“The terrorists involved hoped to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge, to blow up financial institutions, to smuggle explosive materials into the city, to detonate explosives on the subway, to release cyanide into the subway system, to ignite an airport jet fuel pipeline and to collapse commuter train tunnels at ground zero.
The most recent attempt came last May, when a Pakistani-American man, Faisal Shahzad, tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square. Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison in October.”
The Voice has reached out to New York’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to see whether it even considers Iranian missiles to be a realistic threat. We’ll update when we hear back.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 10, 2012