The Iranian and North Korean regimes are giving President Obama an opportunity to reassert American moral authority and reestablish foreign policy credibility.
Five months into his presidency he has angered and disappointed a great many Americans, of all political stripes, by continually demeaning American values and achievements and presenting them to the world as far less than they are. He has also failed to speak out forcefully against demagogues and despots whose actions are anathema to the United States and has in fact consorted with several of them. Obama can rectify both by unequivocally condemning the regimes in Iran and North Korea, by instituting stern, serious, concrete measures to prevent them from continuing on their destructive paths and by telling the world clearly and proudly that he believes the American narrative is second to none and an inspiration to people everywhere, despite it’s warts.
The President must also make it crystal clear that it is completely unacceptable to the United States for Iran and North Korea to possess nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them and that the U.S. will do everything in it’s power, starting immediately, to eliminate their weapons programs. In North Korea’s case Kim Jong-il must be told in no uncertain terms that America will retaliate on a massive scale instantaneously if he launches a missile toward Hawaii on or about July 4, as he has threatened to do. Obama must then do so if North Korea does launch.
President Obama seems to think that being an apologist for America, refusing to stand up to those who are actively working to bring down the U.S. and it’s allies and refusing to support and encourage the people of Iran in real terms makes negotiation and peace more likely. This is utter nonsense. The opposite is true. The regimes in Iran and North Korea and others of their ilk cannot be negotiated with and anyone who believes they can be is naive in the extreme, even if that person is President of the United States. In the end they must be contained or removed and either can only be done by exercising strength, not through weakness and contrition. The American President cannot be a passive spectator in this….he must be vociferous and uncompromising and most of all he must take the reins and lead because if he doesn’t the consequences are entirely predictable and disastrous.
American moral authority and foreign policy have taken a real beating since President Obama came into office. This must be turned around very soon or the world is going to pay a terrible price. President Obama has the wherewithal to do so but whether he has the backbone or understands the pressing need to act remains to be seen.
The moment is now Mr. President. Wake up and seize it!