That wiley W. It’s like he knew. Do you remember George W. Bush’s Axis of Evil? At one time, the Washington Post considered it to be part of the 4th most important State of the Union address.
“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. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.”
The first State of the Union since September 11 — and Bush’s first as president –this speech set the tone for the rest of the Bush presidency, and made it clear that foreign policy in the Middle East was the administration’s new priority. And “axis of evil,” — which was originally written as “axis of hatred” until an edit changed the wording to the ubiquitous phrasing we know today — became the shorthand we used to reference that policy and issue judgment on the policymakers. As Washington Post reporters Glenn Kessler and Peter Baker put it in 2006: “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.”
Time called it one of the Top Ten SOTU moments. It was also one of the most prescient.
The countries in the Axis of Evil were Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Since then Iraq has sort of been turned into an ally. How Iran found its way onto the list can seen here. Despite barack obama’s pathetic obsequiousness toward Iran, Iran marches toward nuclear weapons while spitting in America’s eye.
In 2014 I wrote:
The Obama agenda for the next two plus years will be to avoid risk and delay any and all possible discomforting actions until Obama is out of office. As it always has been, Barack Obama’s number one priority in the world is Barack Obama.
That was exactly what happened. All the problems were papered over. Band aids were placed when sutures were needed. The bleeding has not stopped. To make things worse, barack obama drew his red line in Syria and then watched helplessly as Bashar al Assad called his bluff:
Obama decided the red line really wasn’t a line. Forget the punitive military strike. Instead, Obama embraced Vladimir Putin. Russia would take control of Syrian chemical weapons then move the weapons out of Syria and destroy them. This arrangement, however, didn’t alter his failed red line’s bottom line: the Assad regime had committed a war crime forbidden by America’s president, and committed it with impunity.
Now the world has to deal with a belligerent North Korea, led by the fat kid who was emboldened by the impotence of barack obama. Someone has to take the lead, and it seems Donald Trump is up to it. Trump seems to have convinced China that working together to stop North Korea is in the best interest all parties involved. National security adviser HR McMaster:
“There is an international consensus now, including the Chinese leadership, that this is a situation that just cannot continue.
Iraq was the message Bush sent to Iran and North Korea. The Tomahawks to Syria and the MOAB against ISIS were measured and appropriate actions. Trump now is wise in again holding his cards close to the vest, refusing to hint at what he might do next with North Korea. This is in contrast to barack obama who made clear what it was he had no intention of doing. North Korea has been making regular threatening overtures to the US- including nuclear war– and promised to continue missile tests weekly.
Two days ago a North Korean missile exploded shortly after launch. Fortunately, at the moment the greatest nuclear threat to North Korea is North Korea. Trump administration officials have been coy when asked if they had anything to do with the failure. It can be nothing but good for Kim to think we did.
It is hard to imagine that, while annoyingly bombastic, Kim Jong Un is suicidal. Kim would be far better off making believe he’s king of the world than being dead.