I'd bet my next paycheck that back during the 2008 Presidential Campaign, when Barack Obama pledged to sit down with Iran without any pre-condidtions, that the governments of Iran and North Korea were listening very intently even if the voters who voted for Barack Obama were not.
In fact, recent developments lead me to believe that the governments of Iran and North Korea took their current actions precisely because of what Obama promised.
First, North Korea tested more nukes and the missiles necessary to deliver them, most likely as a test of the how strongly the Obama administration would respond. From Reuters:
|The nuclear test was a major diplomatic challenge to Obama at a time when he is facing a global economic crisis and working to curb Iran's nuclear enrichment program, which the West fears is aimed at producing nuclear arms but Tehran says is for energy.|
Obama vowed when he took office to extend a hand to troublesome countries "willing to unclench your fist" but so far he has had little success with North Korea or Iran, which have continued to advance their nuclear programs and showed little interest in renewed dialogue.
And then the Iranians decided to flex their naval "muscle" in the Gulf of Aden, yet another test of Obama's resolve to stand-up to regimes that oppose the goals of the United States. From Fox News:
|The deployment is "a signal of military strength, resolve and continued defiance to U.S. and U.N. Security Council efforts to end the impasse over Iran's nuclear program," said Jim Phillips, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the Heritage Institute.|
"What's very important here is the timing of this move — and this naval muscle flexing comes after Iran's missile test earlier this week, which was saber rattling that was meant to send the same signal as this naval dispatch."
Phillips said Ahmadinejad was using the opportunity to thumb his nose at the U.S. and U.N. to advance his own popularity in Iran ahead of the country's hotly contested June 12 election.
A coincidence that these things are happening on the watch of an American President whose international policies are soft on terror? I think not. These were calculated moves. It now remains to be seen whether or not Obama has his nation's best interests at heart, or the interests of those who want to see the U.S. weakened and even attacked again.
I'm willing to bet that Obama will put politics above the national interest.
You can access both articles on-line here:
Obama Says North Korea Nuclear Test A "Grave Concern"
May 25, 2009
Iran Sends 6 Warships To International Waters In 'Saber Rattling' Move
Fox News (from Reuters)
May 25, 2009