Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Obama Test

Some time also, prescient Vice President Joe Biden predicted that the Obama administration would be “tested,” presumably by someone other than Rush Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney, within his first few months of office.

A few days ago, North Korea’s wacky president and film buff Kim Jong-il, who reportedly is ill, set off an underground nuclear explosion that is said to have rivaled the A-Bomb explosion at Hiroshima. The president, so full of apologies, has yet to bend the knee to the Japanese on that one.

The analysts, according to a report in the British Guardian have it all figured out: “Analysts believe the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, hopes to use the test to shore up support from the military amid mounting speculation that he is about to name one of his three sons as his successor.

“Kim, 67, appears to be re-establishing his grip on power since reportedly suffering a stroke last August. Today's test is a direct challenge to attempts by Obama to engage the North and stem the spread of nuclear weapons.”

President Barack Obama and his erstwhile Vice President were rather hoping that a little diplomacy would persuade Kim to give up his testosterone filled hopes of a nuclear tipped North Korea. But no such such luck, says Kim Myong-chol, a fellow who is said to be “close to Kim” and the executive director of the Centre for Korean-American Peace in Tokyo: “North Korea doesn't need any talks with America. America is tricky and undesirable. It does not implement its own agreements.

"We are not going to worry about sanctions. If they sanction us, we will become more powerful. Sanctions never help America; they are counter-productive … We don't care about America and what they say.”

Kim is not the sort of dictator who is brought low by a silver tongue.

And neither is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s Pot Pol.

Der Spiegel OnLine, a news organization that is miles ahead of any US publication has just reported on a breakthrough on the UN’s Tribunal investigation of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, murdered by, so it was thought at the time, of the wily coyote of Syria, President Bashar Assad.

Citing sources close to the investigation, Spiegel points out that Iran, not Syria, is the international culprit in Lebanon’s Shakespearian drama:
“SPIEGEL has learned from sources close to the tribunal and verified by examining internal documents, that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn. Intensive investigations in Lebanon are all pointing to a new conclusion: that it was not the Syrians, but instead special forces of the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah ("Party of God") that planned and executed the diabolical attack. Tribunal chief prosecutor Bellemare and his judges apparently want to hold back this information, of which they been aware for about a month…

“This leaves the question of motive unanswered. Many had an interest in Hariri's death. Why should Hezbollah -- or its backers in Iran -- be responsible?

“Hariri's growing popularity could have been a thorn in the side of Lebanese Shiite leader Nasrallah. In 2005, the billionaire began to outstrip the revolutionary leader in terms of popularity. Besides, he stood for everything the fanatical and spartan Hezbollah leader hated: close ties to the West and a prominent position among moderate Arab heads of state, an opulent lifestyle, and membership in the competing Sunni faith. Hariri was, in a sense, the alternative to Nasrallah.”

Two of the legs of George Bush’s “evil empire” have now proclaimed them selves resistant to diplomacy, Amadinijad, the international co-conspirator in assassination who recently challenged Obama to a “debate” at the UN, recently having declared that its nuclear program will not be a part of any negotiation with the United States.

Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that the Obama administration is living off the fumes of the Bush administration’s foreign policy.

As the future stretches out before us, the fumes of success in Iraq will dissipate.

And the test predicted by Biden will not be long in coming.
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