EL PASO, Texas -- Nobody wants bad news during the holidays. But here, along the U.S.-Mexico border, and along the 38th parallel on the Korean Peninsula, there is very little good news this Thanksgiving. Fresh bloodshed along both "borders" (the boundary between North Korea and South Korea is a "military demarcation line" with a 2-kilometer demilitarized zone on each side of the line) reflects the ineptness of the Obama administration's national security "team" and poses significant risks to American citizens.
This week, North Korea's proud display of a previously secret cascade of uranium enrichment centrifuges and a deadly artillery barrage into South Korea swept bad news from our own southern neighbor off the front pages. Unfortunately, the drug cartels battling one another and the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderon along our southern frontier may prove to be as great a peril to the U.S. as the erratic regime in Pyongyang. Worse, the O-Team's response to each threat has proved to be equally feeble.
President Barack Obama, already infamous for kowtowing to foreign leaders and apologizing for the U.S. on every overseas visit, now has proved himself to be particularly inept at formulating a consistent national security policy. His naive offers to extend an "outstretched hand" to repressive, downright brutal regimes in Tehran, Damascus, Havana, Caracas and Pyongyang all have been rebuffed. Neither his romantic "reboot" overtures to Moscow nor his embrace of Beijing has produced promised results. The administration's decision to bully Israel while pandering to the Palestinian Authority has emboldened Hamas and Hezbollah. This summer, the O-Team held up more than $26 million in U.S. law enforcement assistance for Mexico's fight against narco-cartels that have killed more than 29,000 people. Yet when Arizona sought to protect its own citizens from drug-induced violence originating south of our border, the Obama administration sued the state in federal court.
Given this abysmal track record, it should be no surprise that neither President Calderon in Mexico City nor President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul appears to be counting on Washington's help in dealing with internal and external threats.
This week's artillery barrage on the Republic of Korea's Yeonpyeong Island, which killed two ROK marines and destroyed more than 60 buildings, was the fourth unprovoked North Korean military attack since Obama's inauguration.
In November 2009, Pyongyang initiated a naval engagement against ROK patrol vessels in South Korean waters. Washington counseled caution.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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