During his 25 minutes Saturday, Ahmadinejad delivered what began as a sermon praising the prophets of Islam, Christianity and Judaism and then descended into anti-American vitriol, conspiracy theories and threats.
He expressed doubt that the deadly attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, were really carried out by terrorists. He said Americans had brought the devastation of Hurricane Katrina upon themselves and that the U.S. military was purposely poisoning its own troops in Iraq.
There were quotes from the Koran, angry finger pointing and attacks on Israel interlaced with talk of justice and tranquility. There was a staunch defense of Iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy, and to enrich uranium to fuel that program. There were no new proposals and little detail about old ones that were reoffered.
One hopes the international community will now get off its duff and do something about this growing threat. Sadly, I suspect that more denial, appeasement and delaying will be the results of this new "international awareness"--especially at the UN.
And on the second front of the Axis of Evil, we have this news:
BEIJING - North Korea on Monday agreed to stop building nuclear weapons and allow international inspections in exchange for energy aid, economic cooperation and security assurances, in a first step toward disarmament after two years of six-nation talks.
The chief U.S. envoy to the talks praised the breakthrough as a “win-win situation” and “good agreement for all of us.” But he promptly urged Pyongyang to make good on its promises by ending operations at its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon.
“What is the purpose of operating it at this point?” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill. “The time to turn it off would be about now.”
Of course, the really good time to have turned it off would have been in the late 90's when they first promised to do so. It brings to mind the old adage: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
Unless there are immediate steps on Kim Jong Il's part to demonstrate that he is in earnest, I think we should assume that he is lying, as he has done so many times before. I completely agree with Scrappleface on this issue.
The incredible naivete in the face of true evil on the part of the international community never ceases to amaze me. Don't expect that reasoned discussions, negotiations and "international sanctions" (if they could ever decide to actually commit themselves to such an action) will have much of an effect on either of these country's leaders. They are both tyrants, and react to such behavior with contempt and dissimulation, since they regard it as a sign of weakness which can be exploited and manipulated.
George Bush was spot on in his 2002 State of the Union speech:
Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.
Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.
Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens -- leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections -- then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.
States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.
With either Iran or Korea, the price of indifference--or naivete--will undoubtedly be catastrophic.
UPDATE: From Cox and Forkum - a perfect addition to the post above!
UPDATE II: Ah yes. I knew the North Korea story was too good to be true. Apparently they are demanding nuclear reactors before they quit their program. I believe this was the same ploy they used in the 90's. When they got what they wanted from us, they reneged on the deal. (9/20/05 10:04 am)