Wednesday, October 11, 2006

the North Korea problem, exacerbated

Why say Clinton's policy was a flop? The purpose was to get some handle on the plutonium that was being used to develop a weapon program. To that end, the Clinton policy worked. It's true that North Korea found a loophole and started to collect uranium instead of plutonium. Is it really fair to say that this is Clinton's fault? In any case, the question then is: what do you do about this discovery? The Bush administration's response was to throw away the progress Clinton had made and leave a status quo where North Korea was developing either a uranium program or a plutonium program with no oversight whatsoever.

And the Clinton plan was a flop?

In response to Shakespeare's Sister:

Unless you are prepared to go to war with North Korea, you have to negotiate with them, and you have to accept the reality that any progress made may be somewhat less than you want. Bush hasn't had a plan at all of how to deal with North Korea. His negotiating tactics are straight out of a juvenile's playbook. The current administration views "talking to a country" as a reward, and thinks that diplomacy of any sort at all is seen as a sign of weakness.
And yet they have no other plan.

It's been alleged that Bush's actual goal in all of his policies is simply to exacerbate the situation. Certainly the tabloids fall right in line with this. I saw one two days ago with a picture of Kim Jong Il and the massive headline "Be Very Afraid". The fearmongering is no longer very subtle or hidden. There is an old saying: you either part of the solution or part of the problem. Bush has seemed to find a third way: not only to ignore a problem, but to actively make it worse, since fear is his only electoral strategy.

p.s. See William Perry's take on this matter.

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