Monday, November 29, 2010

Axis of Evil: One Down Two to Go

There are few presidential slogans more reviled that President George W. Bush's "Axis of Evil" from his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002. Endlessly ridiculed, leftist media outlets argued such rhetoric "heightened dangers" while some claimed the speech came back to "haunt the U.S." in 2006. But President Bush stayed the course, and Iraq now boasts a democratic government that is unique among Arab states of the Middle East. See, "Seven Years Later, Iraq War Bearing Fruit." Unfortunately the Obama administration's precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces leaves a tenuous security balance between the Iraqi government and its long-time nemesis Iran. At the height of the insurgency Shiite power spread like an arc across the Persian Gulf and today Iran presses its claws on political developments in Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority, and even the Pakistani hinterlands controlled by the Qaeda-Taliban-Lashkar enterprise. See, "Obama's Lose-Lose Iraq Policy." Now we have not only an emboldened Iran but an increasingly bellicose alliance between Tehran and Pyongyang. And while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced the document release as an "attack on the international community," there's a demonstrable clarity to the nature of global threats today following the WikiLeaks disclosures. Even New York Times reporting occasionally concedes the dangers. See, "Iran Fortifies Its Arsenal With the Aid of North Korea."

I have called for regime change in North Korea. We'll hardly see a better time than right now. Japan has pressed the U.S. for a military response and Sen. John McCain argued for lobbying China on toppling Pyongyang. Continued soft-peddling will only bring more conflict on the Korean peninula, and more military and civilian deaths. It's time for American foreign policy to return to the animating vision of the early Bush years. President Bush's Axis of Evil speech identified the threatening storm of rogue regimes in the early post-9/11 period. Toppling Saddam in Iraq was costly, but the world benefits with one less leg of the rogue revisionist triad of terror. It's time to work on making the Axis of Evil two down and one to go.