A trailer for the Heritage Foundation’s forthcoming video on “the very real threat that hostile nations and rogue dictators now pose to every one of us” is available. Heritage bills the video, scheduled to come out in February 2009, as a “high-definition documentary.” It looks to me more like an infomercial for ground-based national missile defenses.
Starring, in order of appearance (partial):
- Edward Feulner, President, Heritage Foundation
- Robert Joseph, Undersecretary of State, 2005-2007
- Kim Holmes, Assistant Secretary of State, 2002-2005
- General Henry A. “Trey” Obering, Director, Missile Defense Agency
- James Carofano, National Security Analyst, Heritage Foundation
- His Excellency Petr Kolar, Ambassador of the Czech Republic
- Ken Alibek, Former Director, Soviet Weapons Programs
The trailer’s opening sequence (my transcription):
Mournful, Islamic-sounding music. Text flashes across the screen in ominous font: “Over 20 nations have ballistic missile capability.”
Cut to a wave heading to shore. The camera pans — the shore is New York City. Music fades out, cut to Heritage President Edward Feulner. “One of the most fundamental roles of government is to protect us from enemies. And right now, we are not protected.”
A montage of missile launches and storm clouds. A resonating bass note adds tension, urgency. Cut to Robert Joseph, Undersecretary of State, 2005-2007. “Hope is not a good foundation for a national security strategy.” Montage — more missile launches, Kim Jong Il. Cut back to Robert Joseph as the resonating bass note picks up and the Islamic-sounding music fades back in. “We need to recognize the threats that are out there, and the threat of ballistic missile attack is real.”
Text flashes across the screen, same ominous font: “A ballistic missile armed with a weapon of mass destruction.” Cut to Kim Holmes, Assistant Secretary of State, 2002-2005. “Americans need to know that we are completely vulnerable to a ballistic missile armed with a nuclear weapon.”
New text flashes across the screen: “Can reach the United States within minutes.” Voiceover then fade in to General Henry A. “Trey” Obering, Director, Missile Defense Agency. “The longest times are typically around 30-33 minutes, 34 minutes, and that would be for a long range missile that would be fired, for example, from North Korea to the United States, or from Iran to the United States.”
Cut back to Edward Feulner, interspersed with sped-up images from urban life—a bustling subway station, a busy sidewalk. “Less than 33 minutes away, their whole city, their whole life, could be annihilated.” Fade to countdown in red digital font, images of missile launches, then Dr. James Carofano, National Security Analyst, Heritage Foundation. “If an enemy of the United States had a ballistic missile they could basically use it to hold America hostage. Then someday there will come a moment when America wants to go forth in the world and do something good, and the enemy will say, ‘If you do that [cut to image of Statue of Liberty, image of Los Angeles, people on the beach], we’re going to shoot this missile at New York or Los Angeles or San Francisco’.”
Cut back to Robert Joseph. “It’s very difficult to guess the number of states that will have ballistic missiles in ten years. If one follows a straight line projection, the number gets quite large. It’s the type of state [images of Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the background to Joseph’s foreground] that acquires ballistic missiles that is most disturbing.”
Cut to more missile launches, fade into General Obering. “We’ve already seen the transfer of more short range rockets and missiles from a state to a terrorist organization. When you marry that with a weapon of mass destruction, even one, fired into an American or allied city, could cause tremendous devastation.” Music picks up.
Cut to image of mushroom cloud, then to Robert Joseph. “My number one concern today is a terrorist with a nuclear weapon.” Music picks up more.
Cut to His Excellency Petr Kolar, Ambassador of the Czech Republic. “For some crazy maniacs to attack us, harm us, and destroy our lives.” Cut to Ken Alibek, Former Director, Soviet Weapons Programs. “Biological weapons are mass casualty weapons. They can cause diseases in humans in animals, and kill them. We should expect not dozens, not hundreds, even not thousands. We should talk about tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties.” The music breaks into a suspenseful, up-tempo action movie-like theme as text flashes “The growing threat cannot be ignored.”