Friday’s announcement by President Obama that his nominee for president of the World Bank would be Dartmouth College’s President Jim Yong Kim (left) was a surprise, for a number of reasons.
First, Kim has little experience in or obvious connections with the usual coterie of bankers, insiders and political cronies that have served at the World Bank in the past. His expertise instead is in running Partners In Health (PIH), a highly regarded and effective enterprise in providing medical care to the poor around the world, including treatment for AIDS and tuberculosis.
President Obama has once again gotten caught speaking into a microphone, unaware that it was still on and recording his every word. This time he was conversing with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul on Monday, advising him that it would be best to hold off on NATO missile defense system discussions until after the U.S. elections in November, at which point he will have more flexibility.
Iran does not have a nuclear bomb, has not decided to build one and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead. Those are three things the United States, its European allies, and Israel all agree on, according to a March 23 Reuters report. The report, based on interviews with U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on nuclear-related activities in Iran, is in marked contrast to much of the talk about Iran's nuclear program, both in the United States, where talk of military action against Iran is often threatened or implied, and in Israel, where a potential preventive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities has been a hot topic of debate. Conflicting views on the subject still abound, but the consensus appears to be the threat of a nuclear armed Iran is not imminent.
Some critics have alleged that the Obama administration has been covertly preparing for war against Iran for some time now. There is perhaps no better proof of this than a statement made by President Obama on Sunday that suggested that the time to handle a nuclear Iran diplomatically is closing.
"I believe there is a window of time to solve this diplomatically, but that window is closing," Obama told reporters.
President Obama promised on Monday to pursue yet another controversial agreement with Russian officials to further slash both governments’ nuclear arsenals, saying the United States already controls more than enough atomic weapons. Speaking ahead of a global “security” summit in Seoul, South Korea, Obama also blasted the regimes ruling North Korea and Iran.