I’ve been sequestered from the real world the last couple of days at a fascinating environmental conference with my pals at PERC in Bozeman, Montana, (featuring, among others, the fabulous Matt Ridley), so I’m behind on the news. I’ll have some exclusive video from the conference in a couple of days after I get home and edit the footage.
Meanwhile, I had to be amused at one squib on the network news stories last week about Obama’s debate face plant, where an Obama supporter wondered whether he might be distracted by a “crisis in the Middle East” or something. This, about the “lightworker” who famously said in the 2008 campaign when John McCain wanted to beg off the first debate because of the financial crisis that “a president ought to be able to do more than one thing at a time.”
But more to the point—just which Middle East crisis might be bothering Obama? Libya, Iran-Israel, Egypt, or Syria? The alarming and candid speech from CBS’s Lara Logan has already been widely noted, and this morning the Wall Street Journal notes that NATO has announced that it stands ready to defend Turkey from any escalation of Syrian attacks. But in one of those little details that my old teacher of strategic thought, Harold Rood, would have said merited more attention, note the news that South Korea is extending the range of its missiles so that they will now be able to reach any point in North Korea. Previously South Korea had limited the range of their missiles at the behest of the U.S. as a unilateral sign of “restraint.” This sounds typical in the age of Obama’s foreign policy weakness:
The decision comes after a year of public pressure by President Lee Myung-bak and other South Korean conservative heavyweights on the U.S. government, which formed the agreement known as the Missile Technology Control Regime in the 1987 to slow the spread of missile technology.
Hmmm. Love to know more of the story behind this. I suspect it isn’t good.