Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Backup! I’m about to get political again.

I’m very disturbed by the situations in Iran and N. Korea right now. They’re just rife with the potential to explode all over us – almost literally.

I harbor no illusions that the “re-count” in certain disputed polling places in Iran will have any impact on the election results other than to allow Amademajad to later use the re-count as further evidence of his supposed win.

What I find interesting is President Obama’s restraint. I have never been a huge fan of the man, though I do really like his emphasis on diplomacy over force and I really liked his Cairo speech a couple weeks ago.

As always, he has been very careful with his words in the last few days – condemning the violence but praising the protests themselves as the basic human right of people to voice their opinions peacefully.

John McCain has already stepped forward, suggesting that Obama has not been harsh enough with Amademajad and his government.

Hmmm….. Let’s think about this shall we? Amademajad hates the United States. He hates a lot of things, actually and has actively campaigned on an anti-Western platform. Fine. That’s his right. We can’t all agree. And let’s face it: they have reason to dislike us.

He has long complained about the United States’ interference in Middle Eastern affairs. It’s one of his favorite topics.

So, if Mr. Obama were to come over all forcefully chastizy and condemny, we’d be giving Amademajad exactly what he wants. He’d be able to say “SEE!!! I told you the Evil United States is trying to take over Iran just as they took over Iraq and Afghanistan!”

So it’s a fine line that Mr. Obama needs to balance on. He needs to promote human rights and a fair electoral process while being supportive of a sovereign nation’s right to manage its own affairs. And so far he’s doing a pretty good job of it. I hope he keeps it up.

As for North Korea…. I don’t have a crystal ball and I’m pretty bad at predicting the future, but I would not be surprised if someone on “our” side (like…. Biden) were to push Kim’s buttons just enough to force Kim to mount a face-saving isolated attack (probably against South Korea or a U.S. vessel) and then we’d be “free” to stage a full-on invasion of North Korea with the magical “They Struck First” card clamped tightly in our fists.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope our powers of diplomacy are stronger than the combined egos that are running amok here.

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