The most ridiculous aspect of the progressives' fear-mongering is that there is no Muslim military power on the face of the earth. Iran is a medieval theocracy controlled by a small group of old stupid men, who could not direct the technological effort of the scope required by modern military techniques if their rule depended on it, which rule may, in the long or short run, so depend.

The Iranians have never touched off a nuclear weapon, let alone a modern fusion device. The have not tested any of their missiles in a way that might lead anyone to believe they work, and work accurately, and of course, as noted, one of the tasks that is quite beyond the ability of the mullahs is guiding the development of a nuclear device warhead that could safely and usefully be put atop a missile. Custom fitting a fusion device into a package small enough to be used in a missile requires the mobilization of enormous scientific and engineering expertise, and Iran is nowhere near such an effort. They can make as much plutonium as they like, but it will not magically transmogrify into a weapon system.

(Added after a helpful exchange with a knowledgeable friend:)

...the Norks...have I believe nothing in the way of missiles or warheads we need fear. Recall how as children it was possible for us to coat a CO2 cartridge with Duco cement, set the glue on fire and then quickly place over it an empty large tomato juice can with one lid completely removed and the other intact. Run like hell. That's the NK missile system as far as I can see.

Posted Mon Jan 6 15:33:50 2020

I just sent this out to my vast empire of devout followers:

From: Bob Bernstein
Subject: Those wacky Iranians
Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2020 12:09:34
User-Agent: Alpine 2.21 (DEB 202 2017-01-01)

Thursday afternoon (1/9/2020), as speculation grew around the Ukrainian "plane crash," I emailed a friend who had confessed to feeling anxious about the possible fallout ("war") from the kill-shot made at Baghdad airport, taking out the Iranian "general:":

"Just heard a story is now out suggesting the Uke plane was shot down by Iran "by mistake."

"Their clones of Russian antiAA/antiMissile weapons?"

I knew I had read some time ago the Iranians claimed to have cloned the Russian S-300 air defense system, and even touted their clone as superior to the Russian original.

I've located a pertinent article. I am not familiar with the source, and since it is long I have not read the whole thing. But it contains the key point, typical of the inane boasting we first heard from Baghdad Bob:

"The Iranian designed and built Sayyad 3 missile for the Bavar-373 appears to be the same size and shape as the S-300 missile and carried in similar canisters. Iran insists that Bavar-373 is superior to the S-300. Now that Russia has delivered S-300s Iran will be under pressure have to reveal if it believes its own propaganda about which system is superior."

"Our noble republic, founded by free men with a cold-eyed appreciation of human weakness, has fallen to smiley-face happy talkers bleating sentimental cant...Idiots!"

John Derbyshire

Mark Levin has suggested, as an update of "Baghdad Bob," Tehran Nancy.

Posted Sat Jan 11 12:46:04 2020

I began this post about an hour ago. Then I came across something strange. I believe the AP story (linked below) as presented on the WWW may have been edited to remove any mention of "jamming" radio signals around Tehran.

When I first read the AP story this was mentioned, but, as everyone knows, every civilian flight bears a "transponder" -- a radio device that constantly emits a signal identifying the plane and the flight it is on.

I went to cite this passage from the AP story, and it is poof gone! Here is how I began this first version of this post, and you can see where I broke off typing to retrieve the AP story language mentioning jamming of radio signals:

Although Drudge has notoriously taken a hard turn left-ward, he gets props and a h/t for linking an AP article on the debacle of the Iranian shoot-down of a civilian flight out of Tehran's airport. AP, in its turn seems also to have done the right thing, and written a piece of informed news reporting, rather than the partisan cant they seem unable to avoid these days. The article brings out this fascinating fact:

The question of the transponder has not however been lost. From the NY Times:

The Tor software relied on radar and visual identification of a plane as well as the identification signals from the transponder, John Cox, an accident investigator and former pilot who is the chief executive of Safety Operating Systems, said. If the identification is incorrect or absent from the plane, Mr. Cox said, the system "will declare it a threat."

"Tor" is the code-name for the Iranian anti-aircraft system that was evidently in play. I suggest we all stay tuned for more on this question of transponders and "jamming."

Found this tonight.

Still going through the comments but transponders do not appear to figure prominently in the speculation.

Posted Sun Jan 12 13:56:42 2020

A discussion of transponders on Forbes' website. The suggestion is made that perhaps the flight crew was changing the transponder "squawk" code and had thus momentarily disabled that device. But it's late, and I haven't read the whole article.

Posted Tue Jan 14 01:10:25 2020

Be sure to watch the video clip on this page.

Posted Wed Jan 22 18:19:05 2020

I am a radio guy. Always have been. I would lie awake and listen to Jean Shepherd live bouncing his powerful New York City AM signal off the ionosphere. It came in just outside of Boston like a ton of bricks. "Five by five" to use the military jargon (which I hope I am using correctly).

Check this out, courtesy the lovely Tara Granahan, Providence's morning talk-babe and all-around good egg:

Which raises the question: when did the Weather Channel become a communist propaganda outlet?

Posted Wed Jan 29 12:52:23 2020