Contributed by Chriss Street. Specialist in corporate reorganizations and turnarounds, former Chairman of two NYSE listed companies. His latest book, The Third Way, describes how to achieve management excellence and financial reward by moving organizations from Conflict and Confrontation to Leadership and Cooperation. He lives in Newport Beach, CA.
In a humiliating political act, North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb the morning before President Barack Obama is scheduled to present his agenda for the next four years in a State of the Union Speech to a Joint Session of Congress. The provocation follows North Korea’s December 12th launch of a long-range missile that placed a satellite into orbit and demonstrated that the North Koreans may be able to attack the United States mainland with a nuclear missile.
Hillary Clinton claimed in the Democratic Primary in 2008 that Barack Obama was too inexperienced to handle a 3 AM call at the White House about a nuclear crisis. With America in the process of being ejected from the Middle East, the North Koreans just put out the “You are not welcome here” sign in Asia. Now that he has literally gotten the call, the “whole world’s watching” for President Obama’s response.
According to Stratfor Intelligence Reports, prior to the launch of the Unha-3 missile, the North Koreans sought to fool western analysts by making it appear they were removing their rocket from the launch pad. In similar fashion, Pyongyang toned down warnings about conducting a public nuclear test just prior to exploding a bomb (though they apparently sent last-minute warnings to Washington and Beijing). The goal of the North Koreans seems to have been to create the most anxiety about its intentions.
Initial estimates suggest that a six- to seven-kiloton yield bomb was exploded, which is slightly larger than prior North Korean tests. It will take weeks before seismic signature analysis and air sampling from over the site will confirm the type of bomb. Western intelligence analysts suspected the North Koreans might try to detonate a uranium weapon after successfully exploding two earlier plutonium devices. Pyongyang and the United States signed an armistice in 1953, but are still technically at war. A successful nuclear test coming right after a successful missile test, confirms that North Korea now has offensive nuclear weapons as a strategic deterrence against the United States.
During the Presidential Primary in March 2008, Hillary Clinton ran her famous “3 AM White House Ringing Phone” ad to demonstrate she alone was ready for a nuclear crisis. To respond to Clinton’s campaign ad, Senator Barack Obama sent Susan Rice as his foreign policy adviser to discuss foreign policy credentials of both Democratic candidates to be prepared for an international crisis. According to Ms. Rice:
“Clinton hasn’t had to answer the phone at three o’clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready” … “They’re both not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call.”
Earlier this week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, under relentless Senate examination, admitted that President Obama as Commander in Chief was missing-in-action on the night of the attack on the U.S. Consulate and murder of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. According to Panetta, President Obama checked in at 5 PM with his military team early on during the attack, and then checked out for the rest of the night. The next day, he shifted blame onto a video maker and flew to Las Vegas for a campaign fundraising event.
As Barack Obama begins his speech tonight, the whole world will demand to know, where the President was last night, did he answer the late night call and what is he going to do about North Korean belligerence. Contributed by Chriss Street.
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