Monday, October 09, 2006


In the 2002 State of The Union Speech, Bush outlined the so-called "Axis of Evil" and his approach to these varying threats. Here is what Bush said:

FICTION-Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens. . . .

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic. . . .

We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.

FACT- North Korea has tested a nuclear weapon and can build perhaps 13 more.

Contrast Bush's rehtoric unmatched by followup actions with this prescient statement from Howard Dean, that bedwetting Democrat that probably sends Happy Ramadan Cards to Osama Bin Laden, Mullah Omar and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

From a speech at Drake University in February 2003:

We must remember, though, that Iraq is not the greatest danger we face today. Consider, to begin with, North Korea.

The Administration says it is wrong to draw a parallel between the situations in Iraq and North Korea, because those situations are quite different. I agree.

Iraq has let UN inspectors back in. North Korea has kicked them out.

Saddam Hussein does not have a clear path to acquiring nuclear weapons. North Korea may already have them - and is on a clear path to acquiring more.

Saddam Hussein has missiles that can go 40 miles farther than the 90-mile range allowed by the UN. North Korea has tested a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile that might be able to reach California, Oregon, and Washington.

I marvel at the discipline of this Administration in sticking to its message - that Saddam is the greatest danger - regardless of world developments.

We have the most dangerous situation in East Asia in a decade - perhaps in five decades, and the Administration is treating it as a sideshow. The reason is that North Korea doesn't fit into any of the Administration's preconceived little boxes.

They haven't wanted to talk to North Korea because a solution requires negotiation - and sitting at the bargaining table is something Bill Clinton used to do. They do not see themselves as negotiators; they see themselves as pre-emptors. But preemption on the Korean Peninsula is a much different proposition than it is in the Persian Gulf. . . .

In recent weeks, it has become clear that the North Koreans have broken the agreement. They have begun moving the fuel rods to a new location, and threatening to unseal them. They could also re-start their reactor and produce more and more plutonium.

Within months, North Korea could become a confirmed nuclear power. Unlike Iraq, it has an advanced missile program, which would make its possession of nuclear arms even more dangerous.

The Administration's response to all this has been to say that "every option is on the table." Now, I have been in public service for quite awhile, and I'll let you in on a little secret. When government officials say, "every option is on the table," it's because they haven't got a clue what they intend to do.

It would be unfair for me to suggest that negotiating with North Korea is a simple matter. By all accounts, it is extremely difficult. No one can guarantee a successful outcome. But you can guarantee failure if you do not even try. And this administration has not tried.

Instead of a serious policy, they have wasted time, alienated our allies and engaged in a pointless war of words with Pyongyang.

Even now, the Administration seems to want to avoid anything that would shift the world spotlight from the dangers of the Persian Gulf to the even greater perils of the Korean Peninsula.

I think we can do better. . . . You would not know it from the Administration's approach, but time is not on our side. North Korea will be far easier to contend with as a threatening power than as a declared nuclear power.

Together with our allies, and others in the region, we should challenge Pyongyang to return the fuel rods to their previous location, and allow international authorities to inspect and re-seal them. North Korea must also continue its moratorium - secured by President Clinton, I might add - on tests of long-range missiles.

In return, the U.S. can pledge to take no military action against the North and agree to resume direct, high-level talks. Both sides should agree to maintain these pledges as long as talks are ongoing. The discussions should be wide-ranging and designed to give North Korea a chance to reduce its isolation and begin moving in the direction of a normal society. North Korea is a far greater danger to world peace than Iraq.

The Bush/Cheney administration, with few good options, instead chose its most commonly used option. Talk tough, blame Clinton, blame anything, but do nothing.



At 10:07 AM , Blogger V3x0rg said...

This is kind of fantasy land here. All anyone has done (Bush I, Clinton and Bush II included) is talk. North Korea is different because of it's tight relationship with China, and the fact that sanctions, the only real tool the UN has to use, don't work with NK. The people are mindless robots, absolute zealots in seeing Kim as a god, like his father. They don't want, long for, or even seem to dream of anything else. The elite still get their perks, so what does it matter.

I am curious what the finger pointers suggest to be done. You can't force people in a safety bubble to do anything, they just laugh at you. What should we do to NK to get them to change their ways? I am with the critics of all the last few presidents when it comes to NK, they have done nothing but placate.

Outside of war (something we don't do very well because we worry too much about hurting someone to actually fight to a final solution) what is there? Kim has millions of human shields he is more than willing to use in any economic war. A few thousand dead kids, dead from starvation, doesn't bother him in the least as long as he can get his DVDs and his booze. How do you work with a guy like that. He never stopped doing anything, even for Clinton, he just stopped talking about what he was doing so he could get another basketball.


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