- The Washington Times - Monday, February 4, 2013

Al Qaeda now threatens France, Denmark and the United States with attacks that will be “strong, serious, alarming, earth-shattering, shocking and terrifying.” North Korea plans a new nuclear test and further long-range rocket launches that it would feed into an “upcoming all-out action” targeting the United States, “the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”

Iran is merely up to monkey business, at least for now, with the flashy launch of a monkey, which it says returned safely to earth, raising concerns about Tehran’s development of ballistic missiles capable of firing nuclear warheads against Israel.

How is President Obama responding to these serious national security threats? By not responding at all. Preoccupied with immigration reform, gun control and other delights, leaving the foreign aggressors to target where they may, we don’t know what he thinks about the most recent bluster from al Qaeda, North Korea and Iran. He appears to be settling in for a confrontation over sequestration that guarantees little good news.

The only strong voice about Iran’s threats comes from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), as usual more worried about animals than people. Said the spokesman for the monkey: “We are appalled by photos of a visibly terrified monkey crudely strapped into a restraint device in which he was allegedly launched into space.”

Good for the monkey. He got a thrilling ride, after all. Not so good for the rest of us, concerned about a nuclear Iran with launching capabilities. The modified sequestration will cut discretionary defense spending by 7.3 percent. So why is the president insisting again on leading from behind? “I’m concerned about sequestration kicking in,” Sen. John McCain says. “My greatest concern of all is the president of the United States being missing in action. The president of the United States during the campaign said ‘the sequester won’t happen.’ Well, what’s he doing about it? His own secretary of defense has said that it would be devastating to national security, and I agree with that.”

The new threat from al Qaeda emerged as French troops took a rebel-held airport in northern Mali that had been in the hands of Islamist insurgents. The threat from North Korea emerged when it succeeded in putting a rocket in orbit. Last year a similar effort came to a bad end, when a different rocket flew for less than two minutes before its booster failed and it crashed. Iran lobbed its new threat after Israel launched an air strike in Syria against a “high value” target and weapons for Hezbollah.

The strapped and bound monkey looked petrified, and why not? He was shot out of this world. But this is no time for monkey business.

The Washington Times

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