War & WikiLeaks
"A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events which will
never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the
breasts of benevolent enthusiasts."
-- James Madison
the overall tenor of these leaks is like the last, which confirmed just how wildly Lancet and other activist-captured bodies had exaggerated the death toll in Iraq. They tend to confirm that the perils the US confronts are real, and the claims made by its enemies tend to be false.
In this case we get further evidence that the Saudis indeed are financing al Qaeda; that Iran and North Korea are indeed are in an axis of evil, trading missiles; that Iran really is using Red Crescent ambulances to ferry arms to Hezbollah, as Israel has long claimed; that Iran is seen as not only a threat by the West, but the Arab world; that China was a conduit for the arming of Iran; that Russia is in a new authoritarian phase, and that China is sabotaging computer systems in the West and hacked into Google’s.
Like it or not, the world is still a dangerous place. Even Rachel Maddow agrees.
Strip out the gossip and the diplomats-as-spies and the please-attack-Iran parts, and what you get from Wikileaks's latest is the very scary news that the Iran probably has the weaponry it needs to attack European cities.
Which is why the non-response of of the U.S. president to cross-border murder by North Korea is so dangerous, since it says to the world’s many potential aggressors of today that they will meet no serious opposition from this occupant of the White House.
We can recall how Neville Chamberlain’s agreement to back down over Czechoslovakia famously emboldened Hitler and led to world war. We might recall how (not quite to famously) US ambassadorial assent to turn a blind eye to Saddam Hussein’s view that Kuwait was really a province of Iraq emboldened that aggressor, and led to the First Gulf War. So how to take Obama’s response to North Korea’s unprovoked attacks on the U.S.’s military ally, which barely amounts to a stiffly-worded memo.
How did the White House respond to North Korea's shelling of South Korea [asks columnist Paul Greenberg]? Our president is said to be 'outraged' -- according to his spokesmen. That'd be a first. For has Barack Obama ever shown more than Thoughtful Concern on any matter, foreign (Iran's nuclear program) or domestic (the national debt)?
Early on Tuesday morning, as the Koreans were collecting their dead, the president's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, issued a statement calling on North Korea 'to halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the armistice agreement' signed in 1953. ...
Dispatches from Washington Tuesday evening said President Obama wasn't planning to speak publicly about the shelling on the peninsula, preferring to issue a written statement later on.
Why rush? It'll doubtless be neatly typed.
Can you imagine a Harry Truman, or, for that matter a Reagan or Kennedy or Eisenhower or either Roosevelt just having an aide issue a press release when an ally comes under fire? Isn't it time for the current occupant of the White House, officially acclaimed a great statesman by the Nobel committee, to say something to both enemies and friends to assure the peace? Or do we have to sit through another yawner from his soporific press aide? ...
As I write these lines, the current occupant of the White House remains silent, as in Silence Gives Consent. In this case, to war…
[Hat tip for James Madison quote to the Patriot Post]