"With respect to the axis of evil," Steinberg said, "are you better off today than you were four years ago? . . . It's clear that the answer is we're worse off with respect to the nuclear proliferation problem in both North Korea and Iran than four to six years ago, and I would argue we're worse off in our overall security because of the situation in Iraq."This is the final sentence in the Washington Post analysis of Bush/Cheney foreign policy, Bush's 'Axis of Evil' Comes Back to Haunt United States.
Nearly five years after President Bush introduced the concept of an "axis of evil" comprising Iraq, Iran and North Korea, the administration has reached a crisis point with each nation: North Korea has claimed it conducted its first nuclear test, Iran refuses to halt its uranium-enrichment program, and Iraq appears to be tipping into a civil war 3 1/2 years after the U.S.-led invasion.Inspired by Cheney Bush has acted and sounded like a school yard bully for the last 5 years. With the invasion of Iraq both Iran and North Korea ramped up their nuclear research in large part out of fear of the madman in DC. With the administration's disdain for diplomacy and fixation with regime change who can blame them.
Each problem appears to feed on the others, making the stakes higher and requiring Bush and his advisers to make difficult calculations, analysts and U.S. officials said. The deteriorating situation in Iraq has undermined U.S. diplomatic credibility and limited the administration's military options, making rogue countries increasingly confident that they can act without serious consequences. Iran, meanwhile, will be watching closely the diplomatic fallout from North Korea's apparent test as a clue to how far it might go with its own nuclear program.
In Bush's 2002 State of the Union address, a speech designed to shift the political debate from a battle against al-Qaeda to a possible confrontation with Iraq, the president mentioned North Korea, Iraq and Iran and declared: "States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. . . . In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic."In the center of the North Korean nuclear program is our "ally" Pakistan. Over at The Moderate Voice Swaraaj Chauhan has some details.
All three issues came to a head in 2003: The United States invaded Iraq and discovered no weapons of mass destruction; North Korea began to obtain weapons-grade plutonium from fuel rods that had been under international observation; and Iran disclosed that it had made rapid progress with a previously secret uranium-enrichment program.
While the world leaders watch helplessly, and make meaningless noises, at the brazen manner North Korea has exploded the nuclear device, it is also time to jog our memories.Yes the same Pakistan that has just made a deal with the Taliban was instrumental in the North Koreans getting the bomb. And don't think both the Iranians and the North Koreans didn't notice that Pakistan became America's new best friend a few years after going nuclear.
For full five years the USA and the world leaders knew for sure about the major involvement of Pakistan in clandestinely exchanging nuclear and missile knowhow with rogue states. Why were they silent then? It is like encouraging child lovers to have sexual intercourse and then raising an alarm when the baby has been born!!!
Even the media was crying hoarse about the blatant manner Pakistan was nudging its star nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, to spread the nuclear virus among the rogue states.
So are you safer today than you were five and a half years ago? Have the neocons and Cheney made it possible for you to sleep better at night?