No End to Evil – by Matt Gurney

Mexico Arsenal Seized

Even with Iraq safely in American hands, the other members of the Axis of Evil – Iran and North Korea – are still hard at work. And the threat they pose to the West may be greater than ever.

For all the concern about Iran’s drive for nuclear weapons, the Islamic Republic’s past support of military proxies makes it clear that a direct attack on America or Israel is not necessarily the most likely threat posed by the regime. Along with North Korea, Iran is part of a thriving international arms smuggling network, one that seeks to destabilize America and her allies while minimizing the risk of direct retaliation.

For proof, look to Thailand. It was there last Tuesday that Thai officials detained a transport aircraft and its crew on suspicion of transporting weapons. (Thai officials have since confirmed that American intelligence played a part in the interception.) The weapons, once inspected, were found to be of military-grade and were brand new. They included rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and guided missile components. While many of the weapons were of Soviet-design, they had been recently manufactured in North Korea.

North Korea has a well-known history of exporting weapons. It played a major role in furthering Pakistan’s ballistic missile programs, in exchange for help developing a nuclear arsenal. It was also responsible for the construction of a secret military nuclear facility in Syria, destroyed by an Israeli surprise aerial assault in September of 2007. Thus, the capture of North Korean weapons in transit was not at all surprising. All that remained to be discovered was the weapons’ destination.

It is now being reported that the final destination of the aircraft and its 35 tons of weapons was Iran. The plane’s flight plan was clearly designed to confuse. After its refueling stop in Thailand, it was also scheduled to refuel in Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Ukraine, only then heading for Iran. The flight crew denies knowledge of their cargo, saying instead that they believed that they were hauling spare parts of oil drilling machinery (the cargo containers were indeed labeled as such).

What did Tehran intend to do with the weapons? While it is impossible to say with certainty, Iran is as notorious as the North Koreans for their export of weapons to groups hostile to Western interests. Israel has witnessed this again and again, in the form of terrorist attacks by Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Many of the missiles, rockets and bombs used by the terrorist groups against Israel were provided by Iran.

Indeed, one of the main reasons that the Israeli Army encountered so much difficulty in their 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon was the extent of Iran’s secret assistance. Expecting to come up against poorly armed and ill-trained insurgents, Israel instead found itself in battle with an effectively trained and well equipped infantry force that fought in a far more conventional manner than was expected, using advanced tactics and powerful modern weaponry, even as it showed total disregard for the laws of war. Hezbollah’s anti-tank munitions proved particularly troublesome for Israel.

The sophistication of Hezbollah’s arsenal was shocking. While conducting operations off the Lebanese coast during the fighting, the Israeli warship Hanit was hit by an advanced guided missile, incurring heavy damage. Four sailors were lost and the ship was forced back to port. It quickly became clear that Iran had played a major role in the attack, at the very least by providing Hezbollah with the missile. Iranian officers may also have helped coordinate the technically complex attack sequence.

The incident was not the Israeli military’s finest hour — the Hanit was equipped with advanced defensive systems that were simply not turned on. That itself, however, shows to what extent Hezbollah’s arsenal caught Israel by surprise. They literally did not believe that Hezbollah would possess such advanced weapons.

That was three years ago. But as the interdiction in Thailand shows, Iran and North Korea are still busily distributing weapons around the globe. Once in Iran, where would the weapons have gone? Perhaps they’d have helped equip Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, busy crushing their own people, but they could just as easily be expected to fall into the hands of Hamas, Hezbollah, or any number of other terrorist groups. The rockets and missiles captured in Thailand are bad enough, but how long until it’s not merely high explosive being smuggled, but nuclear warheads?

Israel can cope with attacks by missiles and bombers. Likewise, America’s ability to retaliate is likely to deter even a regime that routinely pledges “death to America.” It’s by putting a nuclear bomb into the hands of Hezbollah or Hamas, or smuggling one into New York harbor, that Iran and North Korea will play the game. Alternatively, they could bring down North America’s power grid with an electromagnetic pulse. If it works, they’ve crippled the West. Even if it fails, they could escape retaliation, provided their tracks are well hidden.

It’s not an issue of “if” they can do it. We know that both Iran and North Korea can smuggle weapons. And for every plane captured in Thailand, one has to wonder how many more are never spotted.

Iran and North Korea never fail to capture the world’s attention whenever they test missiles and bluster about their illicit nuclear programs. The more urgent concern, however, may be what they are doing in the silence behind the scenes.

  • Robert Bernier

    Iran, the biggest danger to the Middle East and to the world.
    An irrational nuclear Iran in the region is not conceivable. A stable nuclear balance of power/balance of terror in the Middle East would be out of the question (nuclear proliferation in the M.E. could never create the same sort of stable equilibrium that was once obtained between the USA and USSR). ISRAEL MUST REMAIN THE REGION’S ONLY NUCLEAR POWER. Moreover, Iran’s program should not become a powerful proliferation driver, building on regional rivalry security concerns and one-upmanship. More at : http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2009/03

  • Robert Bernier

    Iran sponsors the world’s most vicious terrorist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah.
    They have murdered Iraqis, Lebanese, Palestinians, and other Muslims who have resisted Iran’s desire to dominate the region. They have persecuted countless people simply because they are Jewish. Iran is responsible for attacks not only on Israelis, but on Jews living as far away as Argentina. Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are part of Iran’s official ideology and murder is part of its official policy. Ahmadinejad should be held accountable for inciting genocide, a crime under international law. Not even Iranian citizens are safe from their government’s threat to those who want to live, work, and worship in peace. Politically-motivated abductions, torture, death by stoning, flogging, and amputations are just some of its state-sanctioned punishments. More about Iran and Hezbollah at : http://israelagainstterror.blogspot.com/2009/04

  • CowboyUp

    It's only 'fair' that we let them nuke us before we do anything, even though the mad mullahs have been killing Americans in Iraq since we liberated it from the bath party. Carter, meet your superior in stupidity, hussein.

  • Steve Chavez

    OIL PRICES SPIKED ON IRAN TAKEOVER OF IRAQ OIL WELL!

    Last week there was news that Iran took over an Iraqi oil well and thoughts of another Iraq-Iran war were in the news. The oil speculators were scared, AND HAPPY, as this was a reason to cause panic. Any mention of an Atlantic hurricane coming towards the Gulf of Mexico is another reason to be happy.

    Oil speculators, and Democrats, are the reason for $4-a-gallon gas prices. When the gas prices were rising in 2005, the Democrats promised to lower them if they were to take over Congress but gas prices went higher, people used their income to fill their tanks to get to work, and nothing left to buy products AND TO PAY THEIR MORTGAGES! Minimum wage went up, employers let workers go, then came the unemployed who couldn't pay rent, for food, and mortgages! THE DEMOCRATS CAUSED THE MISERY SO THEY COULD “PROMISE” TO FIX ALL! Then came the “create and save” slogan that came from their 24-7 Slogan Department which has turned out to be a farce!

    The Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, said that Iran should not be allowed to build a Nuclear weapon during the Bush reign. Lieberman was also a strong supporter of taking action against Iran. They talked tough which eased many of our fears of Democrat inaction. With the Dems in total power, they are focusing on domestic issues and turning away from international problems except for meaningless international gatherings like Global Warming. But if they cared about the HEATING OF THE EARTH, THEY WOULD FOCUS ALL ENERGY ON IRAN SINCE IF THEY ACQUIRE, OR BUY, A NUKE AND USE IT, A WORLD WAR FOUGHT WITH NUKES WILL REALLY CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING AND COULD END ALL LIFE!!! THE WHOLE MIDDLE EAST WILL BE TURNED INTO GREEN GLASS! (At Trinity Site here in NM, the sand was melted into green glass called Trinitite. I have some and I love to show it to WWII military reunions that I perform for. The glass was the reason for the end to the war.)

    WHERE ARE THE WORLD'S ANTI-NUKE AND ANTI-WAR PROTESTORS? Shouldn't they be in front of every Iranian embassy screaming “NO NUKES IN IRAN?” The Communist Party USA front groups are screaming “NO WAR ON IRAN” but if they don't want war on Iran, then they should stop the reason there is talk of war and that is Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon that they have declared will be used to “wipe” a country off the face of the Earth!

    THE POWERLESS IAEA, led by an Arab whose loyalities are questionable, cannot stop any country from making a nuke when that country is a “closed” country.

    North Korea's nukes, WHICH I BELIEVE WERE GIVEN TO THEM BY CHINA AND WERE TESTED BY CHINESE WORKERS SO SOUTH KOREA, AND BUSH, would end all action against them especially on news of Kim's death.

    THEREFORE, since any action against Iran would lead to OIL BLACKMAIL by Iran, Venezuela, AND THE OIL SPECULATORS, AND OBAMA'S PEACE PRIZE THAT THE DEMS/COMMUNIST PARTY CLOSET MEMBERS WILL BE SWINGING IN FRONT OF HIS FACE TO HYPNOTIZE HIM, ISRAEL WILL BE FORCED TO TAKE ACTION WHICH WILL LEAD TO ACTION AGAINST THEM FROM HAMAS AND HEZBOLLAH, BOTH FUNDED BY IRAN, AND THE UNITED STATES!!!

    There are also American groups like “End $30 Billion aid to Israel” which is run by Israel haters, who also side with Hamas and Hezbollah including their tactics like rockets, use of human shields, and suicide bombers, WHO WILL LOBBY THEIR FRIENDS IN CONGRESS WHO WILL BLAME ISRAEL FOR THEIR ACTION INSTEAD OF IRAN!!! OBAMA WILL AGREE AS HIS MIDDLE EAST SPEECHES BLAME ISRAEL! Obama's meetings with Israeli leaders have not gone well. OBAMA IS A CLOSET JEW HATER TOO!!! His Columbia and Rev. Wright brainwashing days surely made him a Jew hater. His fake support for Israel during his election campaign was not unmasked but again made many of us ease up on our suspicions but he fooled Ameican Jews who voted for him which is beyond my comprehension since the DEMOCRAT PARTY is full of ISRAEL AND JEW HATERS!

    2010 PREDICTION: “ISRAEL STRIKES IRAN!” THEY HAVE TO!!!

  • Steve Chavez

    I WROTE: “North Korea's nukes, WHICH I BELIEVE WERE GIVEN TO THEM BY CHINA AND WERE TESTED BY CHINESE WORKERS SO SOUTH KOREA, AND BUSH, would end all action against them especially on news of Kim's death.”

    China wants control of North Korea forever and giving them a nuke was a way to accomplish that goal. SO WOULD RUSSIA GIVE IRAN A NUKE TO TEST SO IRAN COULD BE IN RUSSIA'S SPHERE OF INFLUENCE FOREVER? IF RUSSIAN WORKERS TESTED A NUKE ON IRANIAN SOIL, WOULDN'T THAT END ALL TALK OF ACTION BY ISRAEL FOREVER?

    Aren't any meaningful sanctions against Iran vetoed by RUSSIA?

    Aren't any meaningful sanctions against North Korea vetoed by CHINA?

    CONNECT THE DOTS!

  • http://twitter.com/Fed_Republic Federated Republic

    Wrong picture, again! When are you people going to learn the difference between AMERICAN weapons and Chinese/Russian weapons. You talk about weapons that are NOT pictured above! You are beginning to look as IGNORANT as the A-wipes on the left and the Lamestream Media!

    Would you talk about Chevrolet's and then put up pictures of Chryslers. They are both vehicles but are very different! Wake and up and act you are not so lazy as to post and inappropriate picture with the article on Russian/Chinese/Korean weapon's proliferation!!!

    Not one of the weapons pictured above are of Russian/Chinese design NONE!

  • welldoneson

    Jimmy Carter laid the table for the current problems the world is having, by abandoning the Shah at the insistence of the West-hating hard left. Almost all post-Cold War flareups involve Iran. Look into it, inform yourself. The next time some dumbass tells you the U. S. was wrong to install the Shah of Iran, ask him if he thinks Iranians – and the world – are better off this way.

  • Steve Chavez

    THE ONLY SOLUTION:

    SUPPORT INTERNAL DISSENT! Iran is ready to blow. Give them the match! One small spark is all Iran needs.

    In North Korea, the death of the Dear Leader should be enough!

    In Venezuela and the U.S.? The only hope for the world is in 2012. Let's just hope the ballot boxes aren't already being filled!!!

    Imagine the world without Kim, Iran mullahs, Hugo and Fidel, and Barack Obama and Cohorts!

  • davidhorowitz

    Well Matt, a conspiracy minded Leftist couldn't have said it better than your opener:
    “With Iraq safely in American hands” (!). Talk about imperialism, wow. And what's up with the 'ooh scary' picture of military grade weapons, I thought the Right was fond of the right to bear arms. And just so you know, I saw AK-47s scarier than those right on the streets of West Oakland in the '80s, bro. And all the hoopla about the Axis of Evil 'exporting arms'. But of course they're exporting arms. Dude, did you not know that the U.S. is one of the world's largest arms exporters? Wow, what an article…

  • albin777

    The United States dropped the ball. MacArthur was absolutely right when he advised strongly to finish the job in 1945. I say this as a Canadian citizen, and our so-called leader, Pierre Elliot Trudeau took us to the knackers yard, so there is little resolve left in our country. A poem, written by one of our heroes, is never far from my thoughts these days:

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.
    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.
    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.
    — Lt.-Col. John McCrae (1872 – 1918)

    We HAVE broken faith, and I tremble at what is to come to countries. I tremble at our cowardly and foolish surrender.

  • Mr.E

    Why is an article about Iran and North korea illustrated with a photograph of American guns seized in Mexico?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1428407294 facebook-1428407294

    Maybe someone goofed but the picture above contains U.S. and European firearms.