Photo courtesy of Reuters
“Now, the president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer and as a part-time senator, and as a full-time candidate, all that experience, still no accomplishment to date with North Korea and Iran.” Sarah Palin, speaking at SRLC, April 9th, 2010
President Obama is hosting 47 world leaders in Washington, D.C. for a two day summit on nuclear non-proliferation and terrorism. It is the first summit of its kind in more than 50 years, and it has already borne fruit. The Ukraine has decided to eliminate its nuclear material. This is a real policy victory. Former Soviet republics like the Ukraine, have an abundance of enriched uranium, shining like a beacon to terrorist organizations seeking such to craft a weapon. The crux of the summit is to secure world cooperation in eliminating the threat of nuclear material falling into the hands of terrorists–and ultimately reducing the threat of nuclear warfare.
This is most admirable, even if it may not be totally achievable. Does the president have the will and experience to tackle such a difficult subject? Let’s take a closer look into the president’s work on nuclear non-proliferation. While doing so, please keep the above quote from Sarah Palin in mind.
This is from Daniel Pipes, National Review Online columnist:
I do not customarily offer advice to a president whose election I opposed, whose goals I fear, and whose policies I work against. But here is an idea for Barack Obama to salvage his tottering administration by taking a step that protects the United States and its allies….
…This poor performance has caused an unprecedented collapse in the polls and the loss of three major by-elections, culminating two weeks ago in an astonishing senatorial defeat in Massachusetts. Obama’s attempts to “reset” his presidency will likely fail if he focuses on economics, where he is just one of many players.
He needs a dramatic gesture to change the public perception of him as a light-weight, bumbling ideologue, preferably in an arena where the stakes are high, where he can take charge, and where he can trump expectations.
…He failed to deliver on employment and health care, he failed in foreign-policy forays small (e.g., landing the 2016 Olympics) and large (relations with China and Japan).
Such an opportunity does exist: Obama can give orders for the U.S. military to destroy Iran’s nuclear-weapon capacity.
The Presidential election in Iran was/is fascinating to me. The number of voters that allegedly participated was staggering, meaning the electoral process, and the fervor for democratic changed seemed to have inspired people. If you are to believe what you hear, there were polls before the election that suggested that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad enjoyed a comfortable lead over reformer candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. However, based upon the sheer number of new voters, and young people fully engaged in the process, Mousavi was seen has having a strong chance to pull the upset. The state of the country’s economy, and image throughout the world due to Ahmadinejad’s dangerously loose talk and brashness also contributed to Mousavi’s rise in the polls.
So, what is the truth? Did the president actually claim his victory fairly? Does Mousavi have a legitimate argument in assessing this election as fraudulent? I certainly cannot say with any certainty what took place. What I can say is that what we witnessed in Iran was a new glorious moment developing on the political horizon. We witnessed the burgeoning growth of real democracy. What? How is this possible, given the results of an election that most across the globe see as being pre-determined? The results in this instance, don’t matter. What matters is the pathway of the process. What matters is the millions of Iranians, young and old, who were energized by the possibility. The possibility of affecting change peacefully. This is the true application of democracy. And this could be its result.
In a way, it does not matter if Ahmadinejad proves to be the winner. Even now in the bloody aftermath of democratic protests in Iran, the political and technological crackdown by the religious ruling leaders trying to quell dissent, does them harm, and loosens their tight grip on the reins of power. The people are speaking, and every day they are making Ahmadinejad’s voice less powerful and more irrelevant. A small step is a step nonetheless. President Obama is wise to hold his cards close during this process. He must be certain that he maintains his authority to negotiate with whomever comes forward as Iran’s leader, and not be seen as overreaching in helping to settle Iran’s affairs. Letting the election recount (if it happens) play out. Some in the United States, like Senator John McCain, are so appalled by the disputed outcome they have spoken out more forcefully than the president. Others call for a more measured approach here and here. This later tact is the way to go. The United States must play vigilant, not vigilante.
It is important to stay the course, and fight for peace strongly. What we see in Tehran is positive, despite the appearance of illegality and subterfuge. The winds of democracy blow. It’s only a matter of time before they lift the veil of the unjust to reveal the will of the people.
It’s been barely two weeks since the first tests, and the little ego-maniacal mushroom Kim Jong-Il is allegedly prepping his soon to be parking lot of a nation for another nuclear missile test. Even under the cloud of severe sanctions that are about to drop from the UN security council, Jong-Il thumbs his tiny nose at us. There has never been a set of stones bigger on any man in recorded history. I sure hope the “dear leader” manages to dig them out of the rubble that is soon to be his palace in Pyongyang.
The fish tank is pretty cool though.