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Dealing with Rogues By: Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, April 24, 2009

The good news is that the Obama administration decided that talk alone was not enough in dealing with the Somali pirates who had taken Captain Richard Phillips hostage and threatened to kill him.  He allowed the Navy to take these rogues out with precision shots.  It turned out that these particular pirates were mere kids in their teens, but their threats to kill the captain could not be ignored.  With the Navy Seals’ successful mission and President Obama’s demonstration of his willingness to use force to stop piracy backing up his words with action, he had credibility when he said afterwards that “we are resolved to halt the rise of piracy in that region.”

It’s too bad that the Obama administration is following the opposite course with the rogue nations of North Korea and Iran by treating them with kid gloves. They are obviously a far greater threat to this nation’s security than a bunch of pirates. 

For example, we did nothing of consequence before North Korea’s rocket launch on April 5th to try and stop them – not even to convene the UN Security Council preemptively and issue a collective warning for the record, much less to take out the launch facilities.  After the launch, the Security Council met in emergency session at the request of Japan and did nothing at all for a week.   Finally, the Obama administration came up with a compromise that is worse than nothing at all – all talk and no action.  The Council issued a non-binding statement criticizing the launch and calling for tighter enforcement of the existing sanctions that had been ignored for almost three years.  That was it.   

Even this mildest of rebukes infuriated North Korea, which promptly condemned the Security Council statement as a "brigandish," "wanton" and "unjust" infringement of its sovereignty.  To show what it thought of any further dialogue concerning its nuclear and missile programs, North Korea announced that it will restart its plutonium factory and "never participate" again in the six-country nuclear negotiations that had already been suspended for months anyway. 

Meanwhile, it also looks as though Iran’s refusal to back off of its uranium enrichment program even temporarily, as a condition for the United States to participate in multi-party negotiations, is about to pay off.  According to a report in the New York Times on April 14th, the “Obama administration and its European allies are preparing proposals that would shift strategy toward Iran by dropping a longstanding American insistence that Tehran rapidly shut down nuclear facilities during the early phases of negotiations over its atomic program”. 

“Our goal remains exactly what it has been in the UN resolutions: suspension,” one senior administration official told the New York Times.  That’s all fine and dandy except for one thing – not even one day of suspension will happen under this new appeasement approach of unconditional negotiations with Iran. 

Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, supports appeasing Iran.  He commented that President Obama has little choice but to accept the reality that Iran has “built 5,500 centrifuges,” nearly enough to make two weapons’ worth of uranium each year.  “You have to design an approach that is sensitive to Iran’s pride,” said Dr. ElBaradei.  That way, he believes, Iran will open up its nuclear facilities to full UN inspection. 

Every day that passes brings Iran closer to its prize – a nuclear arms capability with which to terrorize its neighbors, and ultimately Europe and our own homeland.   North Korea’s uninterrupted long-range missile program will certainly help Iran if successful because it is likely to sell Iran the means for delivery of its nuclear payload, given the robust trade relationship between Iran and North Korea.  Neither of these rogue countries has any more interest in genuine negotiations than Hitler did. For them negotiations are all about buying time while they proceed apace with their militarization programs.    

Obama nearly awarded Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a plum award: administration officials suggested attending the Durban II, UN-sponsored anti-racism conference, at which Ahmadinejad made headlines by delivering another virulently anti-Israeli speech. Had Obama attended the conference, he would have increased the audience, and prestige, of the speech.

This follows on the heels of the Obama administration’s decision to join the UN Human Rights Council which has organized the conference. The UN Human Rights Council is run by some of the world’s worst human rights abusers and dominated by the Islamic bloc of member states.  The Council has spent the majority of its time bashing Israel and trampling on the right of free expression in order to defend Islam from any criticism under the banner of “defamation of religions” resolutions.  Obama’s decision for the United States to join this travesty will only serve to legitimize it.

We are witnessing a replay of the kind of global test foreign policy that prevailed during the Carter and Clinton presidencies.  It didn’t work then and it will not work now.  Dealing with rogues requires decisive action like President Obama displayed with the Somali pirates.  Such decisive action, which we have yet to see, is far more important if the rogues are terrorist sponsoring countries intent on pursuing their nuclear weapons and missile programs.  

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