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This video comes from a site called ShieldAmerica.org, which is a project of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (better known as Frank Gaffney’s partners in the dilapidated push for Iran divestment).
The leaders of the project and other fringe activists are on a campaign to raise public concerns about the threat of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) after a nuclear detonation, and they point to Iran as the most likely culprit to use this dastardly tactic on the United States.
Forgetting for a moment that the consensus opinion of all 16 US intelligence agencies declared that Iran has no nuclear weapons program; and ignoring the fact that Iran has absolutely zero ballistic missile capability that threatens the US; and forgetting also that a nuclear attack on the United States would guarantee a massive retaliation that would destroy the whole of the Iranian leadership and much of its civilization…forgetting all of that, why is it so important that the American people become terrified that their electronics won’t work after their city gets hit by a nuclear weapon? Isn’t a nuclear detonation scary enough for these people?
Without getting too much into the science of things, everytime a nuclear explosion occurs, the shockwave sends out an EMP so powerful that it knocks out every electrical device within miles. Usually this doesn’t matter, though, because electrical devices don’t often stand up to a nuclear explosion.
So forgive me if I’m puzzled by an organization whose mission is to stoke irrational fears about Iran–and to advocate for hawkish policies to address those fears–choosing to focus its efforts on such a bizarre and outlandish threat.
What is the benefit from doing this? Either way, a nuclear attack on the United States would be a bad thing. Whether it’s because of the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in an instant, or if it’s because of *cough* massive power outages, the US has an interest in preventing a nuclear attack. And if there are those that think Iran poses the greatest threat to the US, then policymakers should focus on the most realistic way to reduce that threat.
On that, there is nearly universal consensus: start talking to Iran now.

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