If you think the last three years have been rough, just wait a few months. Compounding the lethal threat of Islamic terrorism, 2005 will be the year of decision for the world on what to do -- or not do -- about quickly nuclearizing North Korea and Iran. In the month left before the presidential election, the American people have a right to demand to know from both George Bush and John Kerry precisely what they will or won't accept and do about these appalling developments.
Two news stories in the past week bring the danger into better focus. Last Friday, the Associated Press reported that: "Amid heightened concerns of a North Korean missile test, a U.S. destroyer has started patrolling the Sea of Japan in what officials say is a first step toward creating a shield to protect the United States and its allies from a foreign missile attack." North Korea responded to the news by asserting that "The U.S. should clearly understand that a preemptive attack is not its monopoly."
Two days later, Reuters reported that Iran rebuffed a proposal by John Kerry to supply them with nuclear fuel if they agreed to give up their own fuel-making capacity. "We have the technology (to make nuclear fuel), and there is no need for us to beg from others," Reuters quoted the Iranian government.
Regarding the North Korean threat, Jim Hoagland, the Washington Post's esteemed and balanced foreign affairs columnist, wrote over the weekend:
Thursday night's fragmented argument over Kerry's championing of bilateral talks with North Korea and Bush's insistence on the value of multilateral talks ? illustrated the triumph of ? verbal dexterity over reality.
Kim Jong Il is interested in nuclear bombs, not in a particular format for talks. His covert betrayal of the nonproliferation agreement struck with a trusting Democratic administration and its overt belligerent defiance of Bush's tougher approach make that clear. But neither Kerry nor Bush could voice that inconvenient reality Thursday night.
The same could be said about both candidates' public comments regarding Iran's nuclear objectives. They both debate various modalities of working with Britain, France, Russia and the United Nations to induce Iran to stand down from her nuclear aspirations.
The grim reality is that neither country would appear to have any intention of backing down. Thus, very soon (if not already) the world will be faced with two new nuclear powers, one led by a lunatic, and the other led by fanatical Islamists committed to rolling back the advance of Western Civilization and wiping out Israel.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.