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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bolton: Congress must act despite Obama

Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton warns against the meltdown of American foreign policy in light of President Obama's failure to stand up to Iran and North Korea, and urges Congress to take action to re-assert the United States' interests.
As Tehran and Pyongyang can plainly see, President Obama's nonproliferation strategy is intellectually and politically exhausted. But U.S. exhaustion will not lead to stasis. North Korea and Iran will continue their nuclear and ballistic missile programs in the face of our feeble policy.

So are we consigned to two more years of growing danger? Not if Congress and opinion leaders take steps without White House leadership, beginning with these three initiatives:

First, they must demand increased intelligence collection on the North Korea-Iran connection. Where possible without compromising sources and methods, this information should be disseminated to increase public awareness.

Pyongyang has been a major proliferation player in the Middle East for some time, selling missiles and technology throughout the region. For over a decade, Iran has done extensive ballistic missile testing on its behalf. Pyongyang's reactor in Syria—destroyed by Israel in September 2007—was likely financed by Iran, and other joint programs may still be underway in Syria and Burma.

Although North Korea and Iran may be slipping off the front page, their nuclear and ballistic missile cooperation is almost certainly progressing. These proliferation threats are not separate, and a better understanding of the level of joint activity would reveal a much more realistic picture for the U.S. and its allies. Stepped up intelligence gathering and enhanced congressional and public discussion might even awaken the Obama administration.

A second step is to increase political support for an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile facilities. Slowly, but now with increasing certainty, analysts have come to understand that Iran is going to become a nuclear-weapons state sooner rather than later. Arab states have understood this for some time and have hoped for a pre-emptive U.S. strike. But that will not happen under Mr. Obama absent a Damascene conversion in the Oval Office.

What outsiders can do is create broad support for Israel's inherent right to self-defense against a nuclear Holocaust and defend the specific tactic of pre-emptive attacks against Iran's Esfahan uranium-conversion plant, its Natanz enrichment facility, and other targets. Congress can make it clear, for example, that it would support immediate resupply and rearming to make up for Israeli losses in the event of such an attack. Having visible congressional support in place at the outset will reassure the Israeli government, which is legitimately concerned about Mr. Obama's likely negative reaction to such an attack.

Third, opinion leaders should prepare China for Korean reunification after Kim Jong Il. Kim's demise could lead to chaos. But with the right planning, his death could also set the stage for reunifying the Korean Peninsula. With the White House essentially mute on this subject, Congress and others must bring the discussion about post-Kim North Korea to the fore and highlight the opportunity it provides to topple the entire regime.
Read the whole thing.


At 2:01 AM, Blogger nomatter said...

I love Bolton. I wish he would run for president.

Make no mistake however, the Iran and N. Korea problem did not happen overnight.

Bolton had to know throwing toothless sanctions from the past administration would bring us to this point. So now what?

You are darn right, congress MUST ACT. Congress should act!! Sadly, they did not act despite Bush and they will not act despite Obama.

Weak kneed appeasement no matter where it comes from left or right, takes us to this very frantic moment of desperation.

Come on.
What were they thinking regarding Iran???

When will we learn?


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