Sunday, June 14, 2009


When President Bush in his 2002 State of the Union speech labeled Iran, Iraq and North Korea the "axis of evil," he was derided by lefties, European leaders, academics and other wackos. Never mind North Korea's aggressive threat of war, perplexing the Obama Administration, the United Nations--and jailing journalists. Or that Iran's uranium enrichment centrifuges still spin. For progressives, Americans, not despots, endanger the planet.

Still, this surprised me: Venezuelan thug Hugo Chavez wished Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a hearty good luck and, with Ahmadinejad apparently wining re-election as Iran's President (possibly through fraud), Chavez sent his congratulations. Buddies in evil at least. Not that progressives pay attention. Besides, the President's busy bullying Israel.

(via The Corner)


Michael Yourshaw said...

and he had eight years to do something about Iran and North Korea

OBloodyHell said...

Having eight years of time does not mean having the political wherewithal to accomplish a deed.

He took care of one of the main threats, and the most immanent one.

Note: No Ko, while in some ways more immanent, had a bit of a problem with their proximity to China, I'd point out. And I'm willing to bet there was a lot of pressure placed on China to rein in their feral lapdog. I don't believe Obama has the "international street cred" to push China to do so again. Until Obama shows he actually has a spine and will stand up to bullies, he's going to get constantly pushed around.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

If Michael thinks that invading Iran might have been a better choice, he would have some company among neocons like Michael Ledeen. I don't recall many voices from the left advocating that in the early part of the century.

Unless you have some meaning about "do something" that involves more handwaving and talking?

Carl said...


Bush's policy turned one evil into a democracy, prevented others from joining the axis (remember Libya?) and helped (with French assistance) eject Syria from Lebanon in 2005.

As AVI says, the left was implacably opposed to action against Iran. And while Bush was severely criticized for his tough stance against the NoKos, Obama's era of hope and change has been greeted by increased North Korea aggression.

In politics, "everything is compared to what"--meaning, inter alia, assessing the costs of inaction. And so far, Obama's hand-wringing is less successful than Bush's much mocked truth-telling.

OBloodyHell said...

There were three clear nations in the "Axis of Evil" -- Iraq, Iran, and NoKo.

Noko, as I noted, was clearly the most immanent problem, but also had a sticky issue, in that it is directly adjacent to China. It was presumably deemed more appropriate to pressure China to rein in their yappy little dog, and, indeed, that's what happened -- KJI was commanded to come to China, and did so, and, for a while, was a lot more subdued.

I'd argue that the resurgence here in bad behavior is entirely due to the fact that he, and his Chinese masters, have no concerns that Obama will decide that "regime change" is suitable for NoKo. I personally suspect that, even if NoKo was found to have supplied a nuke to some terrorist organization, that there would be nothing but whining and caterwauling from the Dems.

Oh, that and a good long talk with KJI about possible sanctions.

Iran was a serious threat, but it's clear that the assessment that they were not less than five years away from a nuke was correct. After all, it's been five years.

Iraq, on the other hand, was clearly believed to be much closer, and, with Saddam's bribes rapidly eroding the resolve of the UN to keep the sanctions up, was potentially a very short time away from being a credible threat and/or a major problem supplier of weaponry to guerrilla forces and terrorist organizations.

Indeed, Hans Blix himself has stated that, once sanctions were removed, Saddam was something like 90 days away from mass-produced botulin toxin, and 180 days away from mass-produced anthrax.

Assuming the sanctions failed within a period of two years, then, Saddam would have had botulin for almost 3 years and anthrax for two and a half by now.

I think it's clear that Iraq was the right choice.