Saturday, November 27, 2010

Obama’s Nuclear Agenda Suffers from N. Korean Crisis, Sat. Nov 27th

Obama’s Nuclear Agenda Suffers from N. Korean Crisis

As a central theme of his presidency, President Barack Obama has set the goal of eventually ridding the world of nuclear arms, but North Korea's defiance and other recent setbacks have raised fresh doubts about whether his vision is achievable.

I believe Obama's nuclear agenda is in trouble in the US already and is being questioned abroad, Now it is questionable whether he can salvage credibility for U.S. leadership in dealing effectively with more immediate threats like the one posed by Pyongyang.

"It won't be enough to just hope for the best," said Christopher Preble, a foreign policy expert at the Cato Institute in Washington. "He's going to have to start prioritizing."
North Korea has suddenly jumped to the top of Obama's list with the disclosure of new advances in uranium enrichment at its main atomic complex and its shelling of a South Korean island Tuesday. It is not that he hasn’t been paying attention and it is simply a case of “the squeaking wheel gets the oil first” –and North Korea is good at squeaking.

Obama must try to balance hard rhetoric to intimidate and contain the North with diplomacy aimed at avoiding military escalation as he tries to rally the international community to ratchet up the pressure on the addlebrained dictators in Pyongyang.
I am not at all sure this kind of nuanced approach will be enough to bolster his longer-term push for global nuclear disarmament.

Those hopes have already suffered setbacks as Iran continues to flout international demands to curb its nuclear program and Obama's signature arms reduction treaty with Russia remains bogged down in the U.S. Senate.

Obama's approach actually appears to have helped embolden Iran and North Korea, which have largely spurned his diplomatic outreach and pressed ahead with their nuclear programs.

"The notion that self-weakening wins us foreign friends is flawed," said Joseph Carafano, a military expert at the Heritage Foundation. "The (nuclear-free) vision was unrealistic then and is just as unrealistic now."

While Obama has been credited with forging greater international solidarity on sanctions against Pyongyang and Tehran, such pressure has done little to halt their efforts (and in this case results count).

North Korean officials recently took a U.S. nuclear scientist to a plant at its Yongbyon nuclear complex where he saw hundreds of centrifuges.

It was the first public disclosure of the uranium enrichment facility — the second source of atomic bomb material in Pyongyang's program — and sparked fresh questions about the effectiveness of the Obama administration's carrot-and-stick approach. It also caused an epidemic of red faces at the CIA.

But, let’s face it, Obama's options are limited. International sanctions are believed to have just about run their course with impoverished North Korea, leaving China — the closest thing North Korea has to an ally but also wary of a crisis on its borders — the sole power with any influence over Pyongyang.

The approach I think Obama should take is simple. China is the key to controlling N. Korea so go after them. Start by going into talks with S. Korea and Japan to discuss the possibility of armed them with tactical nuclear weapons. China will hate that and will be forced to move more aggressively against North Korea’s nuclear program to prevent a nuclear armed South Korea and especially a nuclear armed Japan.


Artist has Digital Camera Implant in Head

A New York University arts professor might not have eyes on the back of his head, but he's coming pretty close.  Wafaa Bilal, a visual artist widely recognized for his interactive and performance pieces, had a small digital camera implanted in the back of his head - all in the name of art.  Bilal said Tuesday that he underwent the procedure for an art project that was commissioned by a new museum in Doha, Qatar, in the Arab Gulf.

Titled "The 3rd I," it is one of 23 contemporary works commissioned for the opening of the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art on Dec. 30. The exhibition is entitled "Told/Untold/Retold."  "I am going about my daily life as I did before the procedure," the Iraqi-born artist said in a statement.  Bilal, who is teaching three courses this semester at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, will wear the camera for one year. It is 2 inches in diameter and less than an inch thick.

The project will raise "important social, aesthetic, political, technological and artistic questions," he said. - Yeah, right.....
A Word About Wikikileaks

I don't know how everyone feels about this jackass at Wikikileaks releasing all these classified documents but I think he has more than crossed the line. I know the Administration is hung up on following the letter of the law and says they can not move against him because he is not a US citizen BUT - I think releasing these documents can damage US interests so much that they represent "A Clear and Present Danger". That means the President can take extraordinary action to protect American interests and lives. Obama should do that right now and take this guy and his whole network out.

On this day in history in 1095 Pope Urban II preaches 1st Crusade: in 1941 USSR begins a counter offensive causing Germany to retreat; and in 1985 Republic of Ireland gains consultative role in Northern Ireland
Job Interview

While being interviewed for a job, the personnel manager said to the Maguire brothers:

'We're going to give you a written examination. Ten questions. Whoever gets most right we'll hire.'

Papers were produced and the boys set to work answering the general knowledge questions. When the time was up the personnel manager collected and marked the papers.

'Well,' said he, 'you've both got nine out often, but I'm giving Mick the job.'

'Why's that?' asked Pat.

'Well,' said the manager, 'you both got the same question wrong but he had

'I don't know this' and you had 'Neither do I!'.

Live Long and Prosper.....

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