ABC News reporters discovered that U.S. military commanders wanted it for "an urgent operational need from theater commanders."
Some politicos seem to think that refitting B-2 bombers to hold the MOP is a plot.
ABC started its online article with:
"Tucked inside the White House's $196 billion emergency funding request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is an item that has some people wondering whether the administration is preparing for military action against Iran.
"The item: $88 million to modify B-2 stealth bombers so they can carry a newly developed 30,000-pound bomb called the massive ordnance penetrator, or, in military-speak, the MOP."
ABC says that stealth aircraft like the B-2 wouldn't be needed to take the MOP to tunnel complexes on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, but that a stealth bomber would be useful in an attack at the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz.
I ran into a discussion on television this morning, where one politico was concerned about the White House trying to sneak in preparations for a raid on Iran's nuclear facilities, without consulting Congress.
Fair enough. Congress is supposed to be in the loop, where decisions like that are concerned.
I just hope that our leaders don't buy Iran's story about the Nantanz facility being "aimed at the eradication of deserts." It's about as likely to be true as Syria's claim that the Israeli jets blew up sand, an agricultural research station, an unused military building/warehouse, or (more plausible) nuclear reactor
It's just barely possible that Iran is run by nice people, and that Ahmadinejad's and other Iranian leaders' remarks about destroying Israel, their 'death to America' rallys and their habit of shelling Iraq are silly misunderstandings. Or, to use a currently popular word, misconstruings.
And, it's just barely possible that I'd buy a winning Minnesota Millionaire Raffle ticket down at Casey's today.
Serious matters can't be decided on the basis of wishful thinking and long odds. Well, they can: but it's a bad idea.
I think that the least-unlikely explanation for Iran's nuclear program is that Iranian rulers want nuclear weapons, and that they intend to use the things to make the world safe for Islam. Their version, that is.
If the leaders who follow in the steps of Chamberlain have their way, something like this could happen.
- America and other non-Islamic countries make resolutions, send delegations, and express concern, but do nothing to stop Iran's nuclear program.
- Ahmadinejad gets a Nobel Peace Prize for talking with the delegates (this is far from impossible: remember Arafat in 1994)
- Iran gets at least one nuclear weapon
- A city, probably in America, loses 10,000 or so people and several blocks of real estate, and has to evacuate the survivors.
Obliterating the desert eradication/nuclear facilities that Iran's tucked under Nantanz and buried elsewhere won't end the underlying issues, but it will at least delay the bomb-making program.
The problem is that doing the rest of the world such a favor will leave the benefactor with a serious question: Was saving thousands of people's lives the right thing to do; or would it have been better to act like the good guy in stories, and let the bad guy strike first?