Tag Archives: nuclear

Japan Struggles To Define Relationship With Obama

Prime Minister Taro Aso indicated he seeks to establish solid working relationships with the new Obama adminsitration, but he will have problems in achieving that goal. The Japanese prime minister had close working connections with Bush and is unclear as to whether Obama’s policies in Asia will be in line with his goals. Obama needs to focus on rebuilding the American economy, and Japan has enough of its own financial crisis to be of much assistance. Japan is still very much concerned about the kidnapping by North Korea of its citizens, but there is little likelihood this will be of much concern to the Obama administration. Obama wants to end North Korean nuclear programs and will undoubtedly make that his priority, which means he will regard lesser issues of no importance and will avoid dealing with them if they hamper achieving the goal of ending nuclear weapons in North Korea.

The Japanese government has displayed an inept approach to many issues such as the manner in which the history of WWII is taught in its schools which has resulted in anger by Chinese and Korean officials. It is time for Japan to confront issues of the past, put them to rest, and move ahead to focus on contemporary issues. Aso’s buddy, George Bush is history, so begin making history with Obama

Congress May Oppose US-Russia Nuclear Agreement

Members of Congress may decide to vote against an agreement hammered out between former President Putin of Russia and George Bush regarding both nations agreeing to cooperate in the area of nuclear development. Congressional leaders are upset at the refusal of Russia to assume a more proactive stance towards Iran and believe a message must be sent to Russia. President Bush will undoubtedly reject any effort by Congress to halt the proposed program since he regards it as an important step in developing positive relations with Russia.

Given the Bush effort to construct missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic which Russia regards as a hostile action, any positive reaching out to Russia is important. Congress has a right to feel upset at Russian refusal to be tougher on Iran, but preventing a positive program in nuclear development makes little sense.

US Train And Iranian Train Headed For Collision!

Two trains are headed toward one another on the same track, each driven by an out-of-conrol engineer who is convinced the other train will somehow get out of his way. One is driven by a religious fanatic, Ahmadinejad, who has been confused by praise from the Muslim world, into believing he can actually triumph over the United States in a war. The other is driven by Dick Cheney and his sidekick, George Bush, who do not intend to go down in history as allowing Iran to become a nuclear military power. Renaud Giraud, writing in Le Figaro, raises these metaphors to illustrate the madness now enveloping the United States and Iran. He cites three factors as propelling Bush/Cheney: their fear of Iran’s military capabilities in the future, strong bipartisan support in Congress for tough action against Iran, and Saudi Arabian and Israel lobbies which emphasize the dangers of Iran to Middle East stability.

The ironic aspect of the current conflict is that in 2001, Iran publicly condemned the 9/11 attack and in 2001 gave quiet assistance to American military forces in their Afghanistan campaign. The Iranian government in December, 2001, supported American efforts at the Bonn conference to implement political and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan. After offering these supports, President Bush in January, 2002 listed Iran as one of the “axis of evil” threatening the world. The recent resignation of Larijani both as negotiator on nuclear issues and as secretary general of the Iranian Security Council reflects growing strength of hard liners.

A sad aspect of the current presidential primary campaigns is failure on the part of any Democratic candidate to articulate an intelligent Iran policy. They fear being accused of “weakness” just as they feared in 2003 of refusing to back the Bush invasion of Iraq. America need voices of reason about Iran, but they appear muted in the face of media taking them to task for being weak. On the other side, Ahmadinejad is bewitched by his seeming popularity for standing up to America and may have come to the wrong conclusion about Bush and Cheney. They will resort to military action regardless of the cost to their nation. After all, isn’t Ahmadinejad doing the same to his country?

Six Party Talks On North Korea Moving Forward

The Six Party group working to ensure North Korea halts its nuclear weapon program is making progress. The United States has finally halted its rhetoric of anger toward North Korea and agreed to focus on solving problems instead of worsening them. Chinese delegate Wu Dawei noted “we are faced with a new season of harvest” by working together in a problem resolution manner. Christopher Hill, representing the United States, says he will shortly present a new plan leading toward denuclearization of North Korea.

The apparent success of ending North Korea’s nuclear weapon program is an example of focusing on solving a problem rather than playing to the crowd with wild rhetoric. It is unfortunate that President Bush doesn’t use this approach in dealing with Iran.