After decades of shifting through every scrap of information he could find on Iran’s military, Paul Andy McKinney just couldn’t take it anymore.
So he wrote a book.
Now, he’s hoping the book will help alert people to the grave danger posed by Iran’s shrewd military buildup and dangerous quest to build a nuclear bomb.
On Saturday, Dec. 4, he’ll sign copies of “The Armed Forces of Iran” at East West Exchange Bookstore off Longhorn and talk from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on one of the most deadly dilemma’s facing the U.S. — how to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons it just might share with some of the terrorist groups it already supports.
The book offers staggering detail on nearly every weapons system in Iran and then ponders the implications of those details.
For instance, the book provides the specifications of Iran’s fleet of tiny submarines, which seem intended to sink enough oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz to cut off about 20 percent of the world’s oil supply. He also provides details about the Sajil-2 missile system, with a range of 2,500 miles. If Iran does develop a nuclear warhead, a Sajil-2 missile could not only wipe out Tel Aviv, but also reach many capitals in Eastern Europe.
But despite his deep fears about what Iran might do with a nuclear warhead, McKinney says the U.S. has few viable ways to stop such proliferation.
“It’s a very, very difficult problem. The best thing we can do is isolate them and prevent them from importing additional military goods. But no one in their right mind is going to bomb them — and no one is going to invade them.”
Even if a strike by Israel or the U.S. could delay the country’s nuclear program, only an invasion to change the government could ultimately stop them.
Such an invasion would be a disaster, given the country’s stated defensive strategy of all but halting oil exports from the region and fighting a “deep and terrible” guerrilla war against any invader that would be “Iraq on steroids,” said McKinney.
Perhaps even more interesting than the 300 pages of exhaustive detail in McKinney’s self-published book is the drive and fascination that compelled him for years to obsessively collect every published detail he could find on Iran’s military.
McKinney, 64, moved to Payson about five years ago, after spending 30 years working on the Alaskan oil pipeline. Once here, he took up writing and more recently political activism.
“I’d love to write a novel, but I figured I’d start with this,” said McKinney.
A published movie reviewer, he’s also working on a book that reviews pretty much every Zombie movie ever made, which somehow seems an interesting companion piece to a book on the Iranian military.
Then again, Iran’s a lot scarier than your average zombie, McKinney concluded.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “has some genuinely scary religious beliefs.”
He said Iran might well decide to provide a nuclear bomb to several of the anti-Israeli groups it actively supports. The world has avoided nuclear disaster for decades because nation’s like Russia and China were never irrational enough to invite destruction by using their own nukes.
“You have to wonder whether Ahmadinejad is the sort of person who will be deterred by his own death or even the death of his country. I think that’s an open question.”