“I know — I know there has been controversy about the promotion of democracy in recent years, and much of this controversy is connected to the war in Iraq. So let me be clear: No system of government can or should be imposed by one nation on any other.”–Barack Obama
Barack Obama has stayed suspiciously silent concerning the controversial Iranian presidential elections. Mr. Obama has managed to say that he is troubled by the situation and that Iran must determine its own leaders.
I would say to Mr. Obama that leaders lead. A leader does not wait for an outcome to become obvious. While Obama does not have to support the opposition candidate, he should indicate his support for an investigation and his support of democracy. By failing to insert himself in the dialogue he has guaranteed that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reelected. This may be his point; I am not privy to the strategy of the State Department. However, more often than not, silence is a sign of weakness.
It will be interesting to see how this situation resolves itself.
In the face of new UN sanctions imposed after weeks of renewed belligerence, North Korea is threatening to “weaponize” its plutonium.
I wish Obama would just talk to them already! Remember? Obama promised unilateral negotiations without preconditions during the election as a solution to Iran’s belligerence. Well, what about North Korea? Lets talk it out!
Has the U.N. ever stopped North Korea?
Personally, the U.N. is where the world talks about its problems, then tells America how many dollars it needs to fix them.
This weekend’s EU Parliamentary elections have shifted power from the center-left to the center-right, with several extreme-right parties picking up seats.
The results are interesting for several reasons. First, voter turnout declined again, continuing a 30 year trend. This is disturbing because it indicates that fewer EU citizens are voting, and those that are voting are sympathetic to nationalistic platforms. Second, in the face of the worst economy in decades, European citizens are punishing center-left parties by voting in market oriented center-right coalitions.
Watch for David Cameron in the UK to lead his Conservative party ahead of Labour. Amidst the UK parliamentary expense scandal–Ministers charging banal living expenses to tax-payers–the Tories have gained quite a bit of ground.
Keep in mind that European Right-wing parties are not the same as the American Republican party. Though many of the European right parties favor free-markets, they are also potentially xenophobic, and this particular facet may usher in the rise of new violent fascist movements as economic woes are blamed on immigrant workers.
In Obama’s big speech to the Muslim world yesterday, he said that “any nation — including Iran — should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”
Why then, is the U.S. not openly developing new nuclear reactors?
Why should Iran, Pakistan, India all benefit from nuclear energy, and the U.S. should not?