President Obama today urged Iran’s government “to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people”, saying the “world is watching”.
What exactly will he do if they don’t?
Is he prepared to take stern, serious, concrete measures against the regime if it continues to act ‘violently and unjustly’? This is a very important question as the regime is going to do precisely that.
If not, the perception of him as someone who talks a good game but is unwilling to back up the rhetoric with action will be reinforced. This will encourage zealots and despots around the world and would do enormous harm to the United States and it’s allies. Why not take on the U.S. if the U.S. won’t take you on in return?
The world may be watching the events in Iran, as Obama has said, but you can be sure that Kim Jong- il and many others are watching him with every bit as much interest. How he reacts as events unfold could very well determine, for example, whether or not North Korea will launch a missile toward Hawaii on or around July 4, as it has threatened to do, or whether or not Israel decides to act unilaterally against the Iranian nuclear threat because it believes American intransigence gives it no other choice.