Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Kevin Drum
of Washington Monthly writes:

ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES....Glenn Kessler reports that senior members of the Bush administration, far from being shocked and appalled at North Korea's nuclear test, have been looking forward to the day it finally happened:

A number of senior U.S. officials have said privately that they would welcome a North Korean test, regarding it as a clarifying event that would forever end the debate within the Bush administration about whether to solve the problem through diplomacy or through tough actions designed to destabilize North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's grip on power.

...."This fundamentally changes the landscape now," one U.S. official said last night.

Let's recap: The Bush/Cheney administration took a bad situation with Iraq and made it even worse. They've taken a bad situation with Iran and made it even worse (see here, here, and here). They've taken a bad situation with North Korea and made it even worse (see Fred Kaplan here). At every step along the way, they've deliberately taken actions that cut off any possibility of solving our geopolitical problems with anything other than military force.

Once is a singular event. Twice might be a coincidence. But three times? That's a policy. Encouraging these "clarifying events" appears to be the main goal of the Bush administration. This is not the way to make America safer.


Today, a reporter asked if President Bush believes he has made any mistakes with respect to North Korea. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow responded, "Oh, my goodness…it's a silly question." Later, he called the question "gratuitous." Snow explained that "you need to give presidents the benefit of the doubt when national security is involved."

This is classic, quintessential Bush White House. A cursory glance at the administration's policy towards North Korea highlights just how wildly, dangerously unsuccessful it's been. If you'd like some kind of explanation for why the policy has failed so spectacularly, it's "a silly question." Of course it is; his "accountability moment" was two years ago.

And the very idea that Bush deserves "the benefit of the doubt when national security is involved" is, perhaps, the single most amusing thing Tony Snow has ever said. The whole idea behind credibility is someone earns it by demonstrating competence. Bush would probably have the benefit of the doubt on national security, if it weren't for Iraq. And North Korea. And Iran.

Does Tony Snow have an neural connections between his political flack machine and higher level brain functions?



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