Steve's Blog

Let’s Keep Our Eye on the Ball

The press and the American Left have been chasing their tails for some time now, trying to prove that the Russians elected Donald Trump president. Yes, Trump does seem to have an odd fondness for Putin, despite the fact that this former KGB operative is a thug and a murderer. Some have even called it a man crush (whatever that is.)

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The latest chapter in this saga occurred over the weekend when President Trump alleged that President Obama and his intelligence agencies had Trump Tower wire-tapped during the presidential campaign, presumably to prove some Trump/Russian connection. As usual, FOX News and The Right came to the Trump Administration’s defense in this flap, the mainstream media and The Left say Trump’s claims are irresponsible and outlandish and are a threat to democracy and all that is good.

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I think we should all calm down, and let the facts take us where they may. But more importantly, I am concerned that all the political infighting is a distraction from something far more important. Despite having signed an agreement with the previous Obama Administration, Iran recently fired several ballistic missiles, one with a message on it written in Hebrew that read “Israel should be wiped off the earth.” Iran then followed up several days later firing a number of Russian-made surface-to-air-missiles. And if this wasn’t bad enough, over the weekend, lunatic-led North Korea fired off four ballistic missiles, despite the rest of the world’s warnings not to.

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THIS is what we really should be focused on. We very well could be approaching a point where several rogue nations either have, or soon will have, the ability and the desire to deliver and detonate a nuclear device on American soil.

First, some history. During World War II, the United States and Nazi Germany were secretly racing to be the first to harness the power of the atom as a weapon. Fortunately the United States won that race, and used the fearsome device against our then-enemy, imperial Japan, twice, and thereby saved the lives of perhaps a million Americans, who would otherwise have been killed trying to take the Japanese homeland by force. Also fortunately, neither atomic nor hydrogen weapons have so far been used against a foe since 1945 (70+ years.) It is the world’s ultimate challenge to see that this remains the case.

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There have been a few close calls over the years. The Cuban Missile Crisis is one. The high-wire tension between India and Pakistan back in 1998, with both sides provocatively detonating test explosions is another.

Shortly after September 11th, President George W. Bush, in a speech before a joint session of Congress (I was there) famously declared that there was an “Axis of Evil” which had to be dealt with – Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. He obviously acted (some would argue over-acted) with respect to Iraq, and we saw the overthrow and subsequent execution of Saddam Hussein. But Iran and North Korea are still out there -arguably more dangerous than ever.

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With respect to Iran, I would argue that the Obama Administration completely blew it. First of all, shortly after taking office, Obama scrapped a deal the Bush Administration had reached with our Polish and Czech allies to locate anti-ballistic missile systems in each country, to protect the United States and our European allies from Iranian inter-continental ballistic missiles. The main reason Obama did this, was to avoid offending Russia – the very thing Democrats accuse Trump of.

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Then Obama entered into the very flawed Iran Deal, which virtually guarantees that Iran will have nuclear weapons in the not-distant future. It of course also allowed $150 billion to flow to the world’s chief supporter of terrorism, Iran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shakes hands on January 14, 2015 with US State Secretary John Kerry in Geneva. Zarif said on January 14 that his meeting with his US counterpart was vital for progress on talks on Tehran's contested nuclear drive. Under an interim deal agreed in November 2013, Iran's stock of fissile material has been diluted from 20 percent enriched uranium to five percent, in exchange for limited sanctions relief.   AFP PHOTO / POOL / RICK WILKING        (Photo credit should read RICK WILKING/AFP/Getty Images)

And as for North Korea, the Obama Administration left the Trump Administration a situation as dangerous as Iran, if not more so. North Korea has continued to move forward with a nuclear weapons program which will soon be able to hit the continental United States. North Korean leaders dismissed warnings by Barack Obama, just as they did from George Bush and Bill Clinton before him.

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Here’s my recommendation to the Trump Administration. The only country that has any real leverage with North Korea is China. The key is to convince China to use that leverage on North Korea. And the only thing I believe that will get China’s attention, is if China’s rivals in the region, Japan and South Korea, CONSIDER establishing nuclear weapons programs themselves. North Korea’s provocative actions certainly justify this. I would advise the Trump Administration to enter into talks with Japan and South Korea about the possibility of beginning such programs. It’s my opinion that such discussions would get China’s attention, and that China might finally put pressure on North Korea to back off.

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Interestingly, according to the New York Times, the outgoing president, Barack Obama, told the incoming president, Donald Trump, that North Korea would be “the most urgent problem” he would face. This is already proving to be the case.

And thank God that one of President Trump’s predecessors, Ronald Reagan, didn’t back down in the face of withering criticism from The Left and the mainstream press when Reagan proposed the development of an anti-missile defense system. Reagan called this bullet-hitting-a-bullet effort the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). His critics derisively referred to it as “Star Wars”, and said it would never work.

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Well, we’ve come a long way over the past 30 years in the development of this nuclear defense shield. It may just save Seattle, or San Francisco, or Los Angeles from a North Korean attack some day. And it probably already helped lead to the fall of the former Soviet Union, because our principal foe back then was unable to keep up with the cost of developing their own counter version of “Star Wars”, and imploded.

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The bottom line is, let’s not get distracted by the hysterics of the day (or the latest tweet.) Let’s instead stay focused on those things which are truly important. And protecting our nation from a nuclear-armed lunatic like Kim Jong Un, has to be at or near the top of the list.

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