Friday, October 02, 2009

"When France Chides You for Appeasement, You Know That You Have Hit Rock Bottom."

On September 24, 2009, for the first time in history, the President of the United States presided over a meeting of the United Nations Security Council. As recounted by Charles Krauthammer in his current column at, "Unknown to the world, Obama had in his pocket explosive revelations about an illegal uranium enrichment facility that the Iranians had been hiding near Qom. The French and the British were urging him to use this most dramatic of settings to stun the world with the revelation and to call for immediate action." Indeed, French President Nicolas Sarkozy had included a discussion of the grave implications of the Qom discovery in his own address to the Security Council, assuming that he would be able to demonstrate support for an Obama call to action.

However, President Obama remained silent. He delayed disclosure of the discovery of the secret Iranian nuclear facility until the following day at the G-20 summit. President Sarkozy was forced to scrap the Qom portion of his U.N. speech.

Why didn't President Obama take advantage of the high-profile setting of the U.N. Security Council meeting to make the explosive disclosure, and perhaps even urge a Security Council resolution? Mr. Krauthammer reports:
Because Obama wanted the Security Council meeting to be about his own dream of a nuclear-free world. The president, reports The New York Times citing "White House officials," did not want to "dilute" his disarmament resolution "by diverting to Iran."... "The administration told the French," reports The Wall Street Journal, "that it didn't want to 'spoil the image of success' for Mr. Obama's debut at the U.N."

In other words, to President Obama, chairing a meeting of the U.N. Security Council wasn't about stopping the Iranian nuclear weapons development program; it was all about President Obama and enhancing the Obama international image. To actually initiate action to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, real ones, would have tarnished the pristine beauty of President Obama's declaration of his dream of a nuclear-free Planet Earth.

President Sarkozy reportedly was incredulous, as evidenced by his own comments at and following the meeting. While he did not himself mention the Qom plant, Sarkozy remarked at the council table, with Obama at the chair, that "we live in a real world, not a virtual world." He explained: "President Obama has even said, 'I dream of a world without (nuclear weapons).' Yet before our very eyes, two countries are currently doing the exact opposite." And the clincher: "President Obama, I support the Americans' outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing."

As Mr. Krauthammer notes, when the President of France accuses the President of the United States of appeasement, it is time to recalibrate American foreign policy.


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