Unfortunately, the Obama reset hasn't worked at all -- and Putin didn't need any privately delivered message from his lackey Dmitry to tell him that. Putin has been playing Obama as Yo-Yo Ma plays the cello. And now, thanks to what happened in Seoul, everyone can hear the music. The indelibly corrupt regime in Moscow has spurned every effort at improving relations with the U.S. and repeatedly used its veto threat in the United Nations Security Council to pre-empt any onerous sanctions against its clients in Iran and Syria.
Despite repeated entreaties from the White House to endorse Obama's naive hope for "a world without nuclear weapons," Putin is proceeding to quietly modernize Russia's own arsenal -- while we do not. Notably, Putin has spurned an invitation to the May 20-21 NATO summit in Chicago, where ballistic missile defense is on the agenda.
The fallout from the fiasco in Seoul is undoubtedly good news to the ayatollahs in Tehran. Buoyed by the precipitous withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq last November and talk of an early pullout from Afghanistan, Iranian advocates for pressing ahead with their nuclear weapons program just gained further evidence that the American president is a paper tiger with a big mouth but no teeth.
The day after he bared his political soul in Seoul, Obama tried to make light of the matter. As he walked into the summit meeting, he clowned for the world press by placing his hand over the microphone on the dais and said, "Is the mic on?" They all laughed.
But it really isn't a laughing matter. Who can imagine Ronald Reagan saying or doing such things anywhere -- much less at a summit of world leaders -- on or off mic? Can any of us recall Reagan in 1984 talking about "my" election? He knew it wasn't his; it was ours.
We shouldn't want a clown for a president. We ought to have a commander in chief who knows that his primary job is to protect the American people from harm. We deserve a head of state who will bow before God Almighty and no one else. And we need a chief executive who will tell the truth to our allies, our adversaries and, most importantly, the American people. It would be good to remember all this, particularly these dangerous diplomatic deceits, in November.
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.