Monday, April 13, 2009

Let's not forget N. Korea

Not that the adorable first dog isn't newsworthy, but there is this little thing called a missile launch last week by N. Korea.

You remember that right? Sec. of State Clinton warned N. Korea there would be "consequences." And afterward Pres. Obama declared N. Korea "must be punished."

Some are not impressed with our response:

Moreover, the Obama administration through the Pentagon imposed a news blackout despite having erected an elaborate system of missile tracking radars, computers, and communications in Japan, the Aleutians, Alaska, Hawai'i and California, U.S. and Japanese warships at sea, and satellites above the Pacific Ocean. That cost the taxpayers $56 billion over the past seven years.

The Pentagon's Northern Command, with headquarters in Colorado, which is responsible for the defense of the U.S. homeland, published a terse press release with few details, concluding: "This is all of the information that will be provided ... pertaining to the launch."

In contrast, after a missile defense test in December 2008, the Pentagon produced Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, director of the Missile Defense Agency, to open a press briefing: "What I would like to do is go over exactly what happened this afternoon." The Army general proceeded to do just that.

In the North Korean case, rather than inform the citizens the Pentagon is paid to defend, it withheld information evidently for one or both of two reasons:

1) Political: The Obama administration, having decided there would be no response or retaliation for the defiant missile shot, calculated that it would be best to divert public attention by ignoring it.

2) Technical: Something went wrong in tracking the North Korean missile in this first realistic test of missile defense; other tests have been staged. Rather than admit failure, the Pentagon ducked.

Remember the whole "transparency" thing?

The U.N.'s response is accurately referred to here as "tepid." But it's what we have come to expect from the U.N.

UNITED NATIONS, April 12 -- A week after North Korea shot its missile over Japan, the UN Security Council is poised to adopt a tepid Presidential Statement calling the "launch" a "contravention" -- and not violation -- of a 2006 Council resolution. Japan had said it could live with no less than a resolution, but it is not getting one,

Obama proclaimed in his major policy address in Prague just hours after the missle launch:

"Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something. The world must stand together to prevent the spread of these weapons. Now is the time for a strong international response."

This is what I like to refer to as the "teleprompter Pres. Obama." He says what what he knows we all want to hear. But the "real" Pres. Obama does what he really believes:

The very next day, his defense secretary announced drastic cuts in missile defense, including halting further deployment of Alaska-based interceptors designed precisely to shoot down North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles. Such is the "realism" Obama promised to restore to U.S. foreign policy.

What Obama knows is the press, who loves him so dearly, will report his words much more readily than his actual deeds.