From “Lessons from North Korea for Israel and Iran” at PJ Media:
On January 20, President Obama told a New York reception that “we’re not going to tolerate a nuclear weapon in the hands of this Iranian regime.” Four days later, in his State of the Union address, he issued this declaration:
Let there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,
and I will take no options off the table to achieve that goal.
The words were as direct as presidential language gets: we will not “tolerate” an Iranian nuclear weapon and will take “no options off the table” — complete with Obama’s trademark preface, “Let there be no doubt.” In his Super Bowl interview on Sunday, Obama reiterated that “no option is off the table.”
But this is not the first time an American president declared he would not “tolerate” a nuclear weapon, insisted on dismantlement of a nuclear weapons program, applied crippling sanctions — and then declined to act after the regime violated an explicit presidential warning.
George W. Bush said it in 2003 with respect to North Korea; issued the warning in 2006; failed to act in 2007; and left office with an expanded North Korea nuclear weapons program in place, which expanded dramatically under Barack Obama.
The North Korea story is important not only in itself, but because of its obvious implications for the current face-off with Iran. As Iran evaluates President Obama’s seemingly clear words, it knows what happened — or didn’t happen — with respect to similar rhetoric in the case of North Korea. From the memoirs recently published by George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice, we can now piece together what occurred. The story places Obama’s recent words in a context that leads to an important conclusion.
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