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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Friday, January 25, 2008

From Russia with love

(The Patriot Post) - The United Nations Security Council Permanent 5 (P5) + 1 (USA, Britain, France, China, Russia + Germany) announced on Wednesday that they had agreed on language for a new Security Council resolution on Iran’s nuclear program. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov couldn’t even wait for the joint press release before he broadcast the message that Iran had nothing to worry about: “Additional measures of influence on Iran are envisioned, but they are not of the tough or sanctionative [sic] kind.” The other P5 + 1 members all tacitly confirmed Lavrov’s statements, acknowledging that the new language ruled out any serious measures aimed at Iran’s economy. The draft reportedly calls only for monitoring Iranian financial transactions and certain military organizations. Attempting to put some lipstick on this pig, State Department rep Nicholas Burns said, “Iran had been predicting that the Security Council was no longer unified enough to pass a third resolution, and they were wrong.” We suppose it depends on what the meaning of “unified” is.

It is common knowledge that Russia and China have fought tooth and nail to water down the UNSC language, but observers should keep their eyes on three other known trouble-makers: Libya, Indonesia, and South Africa currently occupy non-permanent seats on the UNSC, and all three have backed Iran against the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the past. In November 2005 they were among five countries that abstained on an IAEA Board of Governors vote over whether to refer Iran to the UNSC. As if that wasn’t enough, the rotating UNSC Presidency will pass to Russia in March, just as the UNSC will likely get down to voting on the proposed resolution. Iran has thus far successfully gamed the IAEA and is within one year of waiting out the Bush administration, with a key assist from the very organization—the IAEA—that exists solely to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.


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