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October 11, 2006

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maryrose

Jimmy Carter {also worried about his legacy as the worst President ever} is in revisionist history mode. He's trying to make it look like Clinton actually did something about North Korea. The sad truth is his mission was an abyssmal failure and has brought us to the place we are today. Hil Bill and Jimmuh all have to spin this story to their own political benefit because they all dropped the ball and ignored the problem. In 02 President Bush had it right;Iraq,Iran and
I would only add Syria and North Korea are and still remain the axis of evil and we will take them out one at a time unlike Clinton who fiddled while NK burned nuclear power.

Terrye

Alzheimers.

Bob

What a pathetic POS this man has always been. And this just proves he's never going to change. What a moron!

RichatUF

Why couldn't Lil'Kim feed Mr.Peanut to the sharks instead of Mr. Hans Blix

RichatUF

Paul

It's horrifying that the Gramscian rot has so penetrated the fabric of our society that perhaps a third of the nation agrees with this traitorous bastard.

PeterUK

Amazing Carter never questions why this dirt poor country,where the population is starving to death,so poor that they even steal the trains that bring aid,needs nuclear power.A bit like putting a jet engine on the outhouse.

Bob

PeterUK... cause he's a dumb penunt farmer, that's why!

Bob

PeterUK... cause he's a dumb peanut farmer, that's why!

Bill Arnold

Have the NKs actually produced enough highly enriched uranium to build uranium bombs? I know we assume they have but is there any evidence beyond worst-case estimate?

If they haven't, then Carter's history holds - if the current NK weapon program is from plutonium from spent fuel, then the open question is pretty much whether there was any significant chance the NKs wouldn't have left the NPT and looted the spent fuel rods, if the Bush adminstration (and the chinese and other players) had negotiated differently or dealt with the NK program differently.

TexasToast

It isn’t revisionist history if the history hasn’t been written yet. Both sides are trying to furiously write the history for political purposes. It is just like the 9/11 blameorama.

Okay, ignore all the above and just blame Bush. Or Cheney. Or the neocons. Or whatever lame excuse you want to come up with for domestic political gain.

.And who is to blame for this?
George Bush.
Not Kim Jung-il. Not the regime itself.
But Bush.
And someone here asks why we call it "Bush bashing"?
Amazing.
...

What is so amazing? The number of posts on this board blaming Clinton for everything from 9/11 to the NoKo nuke to moral decay to potholes might make an interesting comparison. The search for cloak and dagger “democratic operatives” who timed the Foley matter is a case in point. The blame game is, frankly, unstoppable. Lie detectors? Be careful what you wish for.

Bush is the current president. He was the President when 9/11 happened. He is the president who launched a war of choice in Iraq that we are losing. He is the President that 86% of Americans think is “hiding something” or “lying” about Iraq.

He is also the President now that NoKo has set off a nuke – a plutonium based nuke, if what I understand is correct. Plutonium was being monitored and would not have been available if the Agreed Framework were still in place. A large number of people, a majority if one believes the polls, disagree with how he is handling, or not handling, our foreign policy. When his policies result in bad outcomes, of course these same people are going to blame him. A large group of other people are going to blame Clinton, or Kerry, or the “Kumbaya crowd” - anybody but Bush. Which is the greater “leap of faith”?

TexasToast

Sorry - 83% think he is "mostly lying or hiding something" about Iraq.

Bob

"What is so amazing" Well in some ways I can see why it would be amazing to a moonbat that Clinton wasn't to blame for 9/11... I think the answer was down Sandy Berger's pants.

The liberals heroes Jimmy Carter, Mad Albright and Clinton struck a ridiculous deal with NK, and it failed miserably... face it they own that baby!

Pofarmer

Well Bill, here's the deal. If they were so worried about the Plutonium, why was it left there in the first place? Move the damn stuff out!!! Really, why rely on a treaty that they won't use the stuff they have lying around?

Same deal with Iran. Either you totally control their program or you let them do whatever the heck they want. Anything in the middle is just foolish.

What is so amazing? The number of posts on this board blaming Clinton for everything from 9/11 to the NoKo nuke to moral decay to potholes might make an interesting comparison.

Nobody is blaming Clinton for Potholes. The rest of it you got about right though.

Harv3

Howdy; Your link leads to an NYT story that doesn't contain the text quoted in your blog item; waz'up?

Harv3

found it, my bad!

Jane

What is so amazing? The number of posts on this board blaming Clinton for everything from 9/11 to the NoKo nuke to moral decay to potholes might make an interesting comparison..

I daresay no one would bother at all with Clinton if he, and his brawny wife didn't spend so much time lying. And now we have sandy Burlar piling more lies onto the pile.

Poor Clinton, so concerned with his legacy, which I predict will be nothing but trash when history gets there, does everything he can to make it worse.

Dee Allred

Jimmy Carter is a sad, little, bitter, old man. He is trying to rewrite history for his own benefit, but to the detriment of his country.

He hasn't learned anything since being president and continues blaming the wrong person. Most people progess as the experience life and become a better person.

Dee Allred

Good Captain

As bad as Carter was, I think the all time worst presidency was probably Buchanan's. Carter is still in the running for the worst president however as his post-presidency extends onward with similar disastrousn results for our country.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Actually, the North Koreans had been inviting Carter to come to see them during Bush I. But, he had the sense to tell Carter to stay home.

The Clintons didn't know what a snake Carter really was, and he simply took control away from the State Dept by announcing to Wolf Blitzer from Pyongang what the deal was going to be. As a private citizen.

Even the Clintonoids were calling him a traitor.

Bill Arnold

PoFarmer,
Well Bill, here's the deal. If they were so worried about the Plutonium, why was it left there in the first place? Move the damn stuff out!!! Really, why rely on a treaty that they won't use the stuff they have lying around?
They didn't use the stuff, didn't move it out of storage (I presume at the bottom of cooling ponds") until they exited the NPT, kicked out the inspectors, and broke the seals. Agreed, that it would have been better to remove the stuff, but nobody really wants to (a) move spent reactor fuel, (b) take possession of it. Both (a) and (b) could have been resolved, but they would have complicated the negotiation tremendously. I suppose we could have bombed it; we made a credible threat to bomb it prior to the '94 agreement.

This is all very weird to me. As a partisan Democrat, I'm fully willing to blame BClinton for the Pakistani nuclear weapons program and the arms race on the subcontinent in general. (With GHWBush getting a small amount of credit as well.) The NK nuclearization happened on GWBush's watch, close to 6 years into it, and is at least arguably the result of mishandling negotiations with a fruitcake, and with no substantive action to replace the lack of serious negotiation. If the administration seriously thought negotiation was useless, why allow the NK program to continue?

MayBee

The NK nuclearization happened on GWBush's watch, close to 6 years into it,

By nuclearization, do you mean the test? Or do you mean the whole process leading up to the final test. If you mean the former, that's true. If you mean the latter, I think you are wrong.

and is at least arguably the result of mishandling negotiations with a fruitcake, and with no substantive action to replace the lack of serious negotiation.

There was negotiation. Negotiation does not= getting people to do that which they are unwilling to do. Kim wants us to financially support him while he does what he wants to do. He's basically a blackmailer.

If the administration seriously thought negotiation was useless, why allow the NK program to continue?

Because destroying it militarily means 1,000,000 dead in Seoul in about 30 minutes.

Other Tom

We have a word for people like Texas Toast: "Loser." One of the hallmarks of losers is that, when confronted with any sort of difficulty, including murderous regimes led by madmen, they instinctively look around for one of their own to blame.

Bill Arnold

MayBee:
If you mean the former, that's true. If you mean the latter, I think you are wrong.
The NK plutonium-based weapons program dates from when they left the NPT. There was a clandestine uranium enrichment program as well, and it is unknown to me whether it produced any significant amounts of HEU. We worst-case assumed it did, which is reasonable.
There was negotiation. Negotiation does not= getting people to do that which they are unwilling to do.
There was lousy negotiation, which looked at the time to me to be intended to anger the NKs enough that they would break out of the NPT. There was also a debate about BMD at the time. Your interpretation may have varied. In any event, the line I keep hearing about how it's useless to negotiate with some people is just wrong IMO, since it is a pure judgement call whether negotiations are useless with them. We negotiate, on a smaller scale, with crazy people all the time.
Because destroying it militarily means 1,000,000 dead in Seoul in about 30 minutes.
This is a strong argument, but again, it's a judgement call. (Also a lot of American troops would die.) It's truer now, assuming they didn't fake the recent test.


NeilS

There is no contradiction between Carter and the NYT report.

Using the already processed plutonium was the fastest way to go nuclear. The agreement that Carter negotiated kept NoKO away from this plutonium. It bought time, but didn't solve the problem.

NoKo then pursued using centrifuges to enrich uranium. This is much more difficult and would take more time to achieve.

It is a clear violation of the agreement and shows that NoKo cannot be trusted. But then we already knew that. However, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't negotiate, just that everything must be verifiable.

I think that NoKo is a pathetic, dirt poor country that was/is trying to use the threat of nuclear weapons to shake down the US. It is a shame that it has gotten as far as it has. Now national pride is at stake for both the US and NoKo.

We're going to have to try something different, because the only policy worse than that which Clinton pursued is the that of the Bush administration.

Paul

Because destroying it militarily means 1,000,000 dead in Seoul in about 30 minutes.

"This is a strong argument,"

No shit.

maryrose

A sniper rifle to take out Kim would be my suggestion and I nominate Texas Toast to be the person for the job. I believe we would have a positive result.

Seixon

Joshua Marshall tries his hand at the same revisionist history.

Sigh. It's as if they are basically admitting by doing this sort of thing that they are liars covering up for Clinton.

Neo

France said outright for the first time Wednesday that North Korea's proclaimed nuclear test produced such a small blast that it must have failed

maryrose

Seixon:
"Liars covering up for Clinton"
Sounds about right to me.

Pofarmer

Bill

The problem is that the Norks technical programs didn't stop just because the fuel was sealed. All the technical work just continued underground. Ditto with their missle programs. They didn't just all of a sudden put this stuff together. They had been working on it for years, and were probably looking for a good reason to pull out and give er a try. At least now we know they are up to no good and don't have to rely on the CIA to guess for us. You don't just all of a sudden realize how to put a bomb together, although it looks like they still ain't got it right.

MayBee

In any event, the line I keep hearing about how it's useless to negotiate with some people is just wrong IMO, since it is a pure judgement call whether negotiations are useless with them. We negotiate, on a smaller scale, with crazy people all the time.

Well, it is useless to negotiate with some people. I wouldn't say it was useless to negotiate with N Korea, which is why we have been. I'm saying that when you are dealing with some people, you can't judge the quality of negotiations on the results obtained. You can't make someone do that which they will not do.
As a Democrat and a thinking person I know you know that. What could I say to make you decide to be a right-wing evangelical?

Because destroying it militarily means 1,000,000 dead in Seoul in about 30 minutes.
This is a strong argument, but again, it's a judgement call. (Also a lot of American troops would die.) It's truer now, assuming they didn't fake the recent test.

But it has never been just our decision to make. We've agreed to protect Japan and S Korea, who not only have very different ideas on how N Korea should be handled, but also don't really care for each other. Whatever we would have done, or do in the near future, affects them much more than it affects us.

buck smith

Didn't Carter run for president saying he would withdraw US troops from South Korea? Funny thing is Bush and Rumsfeld (or the next admin Dem or Rep) may do it. Given South Korea's policies I think that is the best deal for the US. We can use those toops in the Afghanistan, Darfur, Iraq or the tribal regions of Pakistan. Our policy toward NoKo should be, if a nuke explodes in a US city we will assume it theirs and retaliate overwhelmingly.

NeilS

buck smith --

About a month ago the US announced that troops numbers in Korea would be reduced.

I'm assuming that this turn of events will change that.

Reid

The libs just don't get it. We do not want to be paying protection money to prolong the abomination that is the DPRK. It is not only immoral to aid those thugs in their incredibly brutal oppression, but it is insane to think you can buy gangsters off indefinitely while they continue to build up their offensive weaponry.

This has got to end, and it has got to end now, before it goes too far. We do not seek a modus vivendi - we seek the end of this odious regime. THAT is what is wrong with what Clinton and Carter did, whether you imagine the gangsters could be permanently appeased or not, it is WRONG to pay tribute to thuggish murderers. How utterly bereft of conscience do you have to be not to see that?

danking70

The NK cheaters wouldn't have detonated a bomb if we didn't confront them on their cheating.

Agreed Framework 1993-2000: "All Sweetness and Light"

Nice Fantasy

Semanticleo

"Jimmy Carter {also worried about his legacy as the worst President ever}"

Soon to be eclipsed by 'you know who'.

Ever seen a hostage negotiator at work
when the guy with the gun is a nutjob?

Think he say's things like 'Hey, nutbag.
We're coming in there to get you shortly'?

Yeah, you probably WOULD approach a volatile
situation with a similar attitude.

A xenophobic national paranoia needs to
be ratcheted up to the next DEFCON, don't
it? It's the only way to deal with a psychopath with a gun.

Or maybe you might starve him out. You know, BUY TIME?

Nah, maybe not.

Pofarmer

I'm assuming that this turn of events will change that

I wouldn't assume that at all. This event has been a long time coming, and really isn't all that much of a surprise. I think the powers that be would rather not have our troops as sitting ducks to a NK nuclear attack.

Pofarmer

Or maybe you might starve him out. You know, BUY TIME?

Too bad the past presidents didn't really do that. We gave them heating oil and food aid. In return they continued clandestine nuclear programs. Do you think taking the fuel rods out of storage was one of the first steps or one of the last steps in a nuclear weapons program?

Will be interesting to see if a blockade can be made and held. If China is in on it, it won't take too long.

By the way. This isn't a hostage negotiation. The guy has a gun pointed at you!! Makes the situation a little different, don't it?

NeilS

"...our troops as sitting ducks to a NK nuclear attack."

US troops are already sitting ducks for conventional attacks. North Korea doesn't need atomic weapons to be threat.

"...This has got to end, and it has got to end now, before it goes too far. We do not seek a modus vivendi - we seek the end of this odious regime. "

This is just a lot of hot air, and if you ask me, its just what Bush has been doing: speaking loudly and carrying a little stick.

Semanticleo

"The guy has a gun pointed at you!! Makes the situation a little different, don't it?"

Nope, the metaphor still applies. He's a nut with a gun and it would behoove me to humor him until he can be taken so that I don't get
my testosterone bloated carcass blown away because I was too cavalier about the drama.

Bill Arnold

Reid:
The libs just don't get it. We do not want to be paying protection money to prolong the abomination that is the DPRK.
What's your alternative? Seriously? We are all agreed here about the nature of the NK regime. (of the members of the "Axis of Evil", it was the only one that was truly to the core evil.) How would one have handled it differently? At worst, the Clinton/Carter initiative delayed the NK bomb program by 10 years. With careful care and feeding, the delay could have lasted a lot longer than it did. (and perhaps with occasional sabotage; I've often wondered about the couple of large Mystery Explosions in NK in the last several years.)

Now there are no good solutions. Blockade, and/or freezing and starving the population by cutoff of energy/food aid, and perhaps talking the Chinese into cutoff of all trade, are the reasonable alternatives. Once they get bombs-that-work and long-range-missiles-that-work (neither of which they have now) blockade will be a practical necessity, even though it is an act of war. The regime has nothing else to sell, except counterfeit U.S. currency.

MayBe: But it has never been just our decision to make. We've agreed to protect Japan and S Korea, who not only have very different ideas on how N Korea should be handled, but also don't really care for each other. Whatever we would have done, or do in the near future, affects them much more than it affects us.
I agree. Though we may underestimate how much wrecked SK/Japanese economies would affect us.

SteveMG

Toast:
If you, by chance, get to this.

Tu quoque is not an argument.

Try again.

SMG

Pofarmer

He's a nut with a gun and it would behoove me to humor him until he can be taken

Whether the metaphor is apt or not, we've been hooven for 50 years. It's time to take him already. Face it, the road we were on wasn't getting us any closer to getting rid of the Norks. Change isn't always bad.

Bill Arnold

PoFarmer:
Do you think taking the fuel rods out of storage was one of the first steps or one of the last steps in a nuclear weapons program?
If they bought a decent design or two, then several years is plenty of time to assemble plutonium weapons.

The expertise gained in a uranium-enrichment-based program is related, but only some of it would be transferable.

Pofarmer

At worst, the Clinton/Carter initiative delayed the NK bomb program by 10 years. With careful care and feeding, the delay could have lasted a lot longer than it did.

So what? What did the delay's get us? We got to spend billions on a couple reactors, fuel and food aid. During this time the Norks were secretly working on the technical aspects of their nuke and missle programs and working on enriching uranium, in direct violation of the treaties. I ask again. Do you think taking the Plutonium was one of the first or last steps to building a working bomb?

Pofarmer

Sorry Bill

I posted right after you posted your answer.

danking70

"He's a nut with a gun and it would behoove me to humor him until he can be taken"

Meanwhile, this nut is selling missle and nuke tech to other crazys and counterfeiting our currency.

Kimmie's not starving.

MayBee

Whatever we would have done, or do in the near future, affects them much more than it affects us.
I agree. Though we may underestimate how much wrecked SK/Japanese economies would affect us.

I don't underestimate that at all. I do think it's easier to recover from financial ruin than death, however.
I admit I'm a bit biased, as I currently live in Tokyo.

JM Hanes

Bill Arnold:

"Now there are no good solutions."

There are no fast solutions. In this case, as Bush realized almost from the start, there are also no unilateral solutions which can be implemented by the U.S. alone; there never were. It's quite inaccurate to say that we are not negotiating with N.Korea. We have refused to enter into two-party talks, because they would severely undercut everything we're working for in a six party context. I'm not sure why so many people fail to grasp that concept -- especially those who seem to be hot for multi-party solutions everyelse (apparently with the mind boggling exception of Iran as well). I commented on the Administration's regional strategy at some length in a post to D. Maxwell on the previous thread.

I believe you've left a key player out of your vague "if only" list of folks who might have negotiated the problem of NK differently. If you haven't already seen it, Quando has a fairly succinct timeline of the IAEA engagement which preceded N.Korea's renunciation of the NPT. (Scroll past the first couple of excerpts.)

The effect of Bush's rhetoric is dramatically overstated by folks who are really working from western assumptions without realizing how fundmentally Chinese & N.Korean negotiating styles & tactics differ from our own (and yet again, from that of the Japanese as well). They also tend to leave Colin Powell out the equation. I don't think he was quite as lousy a Secretary of State as M. Albright, but he came pretty darn close.

Apologies if the thread has covered any of the above, I'm just now reading through it and posting as I go.

JM Hanes

Semanticleo:

"He's a nut with a gun and it would behoove me to humor him until he can be taken..."

Taken....by whom?

nichevo

Semanticleo writes:

"Ever seen a hostage negotiator at work
when the guy with the gun is a nutjob?

Think he say's things like 'Hey, nutbag.
We're coming in there to get you shortly'?"

No, genius, they lie like dogs. "Yeah, I know just how you feel. The man is keeping you down...Sure, the money will be ready in an hour. The jet's being fueled and we have three of the five supermodels you requested. Your pizza is ready too, we'll trade it for a hostage or a nuclear warhead...yadda, yadda, yadda..."

So Bush or the Administration can lie to achieve policy objectives when *you*, Semanticleo, permit it? I trust they wouldn't have to put up with the liar-liar-pants-on-fire-impeach-everybody schtick we're always getting from people like, oh, Texas Toast?

My answer, actually, would be "Perhaps assassination would be worth considering? Discuss."

But you would get upset about that too. In fact it might not be the best idea on a pragmatic basis, but you would never get to that, your train stops at "BUSH EEEEEEEVIL!" And yes, there is IIRC a law or something, blah blah blah. Remember though that hostage-takers are as likely to get their brains blown out by a police sniper at the first opportunity, preceded by the aforementioned lying.

What typically you don't do, is give them the million, the jet, and the hostages, let them kill a bunch of people, then get away.

jerry

Looks like that Fitzgerald is a patient fellow, more indictments in Illinois:

http://talkleft.com/new_archives/016016.html

Bandit

It's incredible that after Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton solved all the world's problems that we're still in such a state of woe. Oh...you mean they're lying?

Grateful

I just love the complete blindness and ignorance which has permeated this thread. Clinton did this, Clinton did that, who freakin cares! He is no longer the pres. and hasn't been for six years, get over it already. The bottom line is this for all you neo con nut bags, Bush has failed us, deal with it! Is it really this hard for you to look at your pres. objectively? My little brother is a Marine SGT. in Iraq who does not want to be there. He will tell you the people do not want us there. He will tell you we are not seeing the casualties in our media nor hearing the true opinions of our troops due to direct orders handed down to the soldiers from the brass. They are supposed to smile and tell us everything is great! I really cannot believe that people are so unaware of how our gov't is working. North K. should have been dealt with back in 02, but that's right we just went into Iraq, isn't that great! Why are we there, oh yeah that's right, for Israel, nothing more nor less. We give Israel 15 million dollars a day for no other reason but to appease the religious right in this country. (I find it odd that Christ said "Love your enemies" and this country always fails to do just that yet claims to be christian). Yet the same people call it foolish to be sure to not starve children who are completely innocent in all of this. This is the biggest problem because this type of policy creates resentment which festers into hatred in turn creating more terrorists.
Until you neo cons surrender to logic and start taking a more realistic approach to problem solving, the US will remain buried in it's own self created muck. You can point fingers all day but the truth is out, Bush needs impeached (oops I forgot, he didn't sleep with an intern, he just cost us three thousand troops lives)..........Grateful

BTW....."taking out" a country is exactly why we are the number one target for hate groups now dumbass!

Cecil Turner

Clinton did this, Clinton did that, who freakin cares!

Apparently Jimmuh does, or he wouldn't feel the need to dissemble about it.

He will tell you we are not seeing the casualties in our media nor hearing the true opinions of our troops due to direct orders handed down to the soldiers from the brass.

Oh, right. What we need is more selective airing of enemy propaganda. Good plan.

North K. should have been dealt with back in 02, but that's right we just went into Iraq, isn't that great!

We "dealt with" the DPRK in '94, and that's a large part of the problem. And now the Dems apparently want to "deal with" them again.

You can point fingers all day but the truth is out, Bush needs impeached . . .

Ah, that'll fix everything. (Nice pithy slogan, too.)

section9

There's something that no one is considering that you can bet Bush, Rice, and Rummy are considering.

While Hillary and the Crats are running around trying to tell you how Marvelous the Agreed Framework to Hell was, Mr. Ronery was working on the NoDongs and Tae Po Dong series rockets.

As Dr. Strangelove remarked, "The whole point of the Doomsday Machine is lost if you keep it a secret. Why didn't you tell ze world!"

Mr. Ronery's test was a dud, but he's working on it. Texas Toast should go back to school. Mistah Kim is working on a rocket mountable version of Little Boy, if I know my atomic bombs. Little Boy is a rather simple, foolproof device. Hell, they didn't even have to test it. It's 61-year old technology. If Kim can mount it on a Tae Po Dong, he could conceivably threaten Pearl Harbor, Seattle, or San Francisco with a 12 to 15 kiloton device.

This is what the IMPEACHBUSHNOW crowd hasn't quite figured out in the middle of their BUSHLIEDTHEYDIED reverie.

12 to 15 KT? What's that? A tactical nuclear weapon? Right? Sounds like small beer, right? But there were three planes on August 6th, 1945, the ENOLA GAY, THE GREAT ARTISTE, and NECESSARY EVIL. Between them, they were able to deliver one uranium rifle bomb, with 12.5 kilotons of yield that destroyed an entire Japanese medium-sized city and ruined everyone's day. It doesn't have to be a hydrogen device.

Kim's plan is simple. Freeze the Americans and give him a free hand in the South.

The Chinese are the silent partners. They just figure that Kim can be held back from the invasion thing. South Korea can be turned into a prosperous Tribute Kingdom. A nuclear Kim that pins the Americans back with an atomic threat can distract and pin down the Americans without the overt effort by the PLA. Tokyo can also be pinned down this way.

The Chinese hand will never be seen. KJI would never have gotten as far as he had without the assent of the men in Beijing.

I suspect Bush and Rice are quite on to this, as it is so obvious. We began to disengage from the Chinese last year with the strangling of the regime that began with the Treasury Department's campaign against DPRK currency forgeries. We know the Six Party Talks are a scam. We know the Chinese will never truly strangle their own client regime.

The path now is towards slow-motion military engagement. This is tough because of all the artillery tubes aimed at Seoul. Basically, we have no choice but to start the PRI protocol. Were the DPRK to open up on the south, especially with a murderous artillery barrage on the city, the U.S. would find itself with no choice but to unleash tactical nuclear weapons on North Korean formations to end the war quickly. So it's iffy. Kim will be defanged, but slowly, his pieces pulled off the board one by one.

But there is a danger that both the Chinese and the mind-numbingly clueless Clinton Democrats haven't foreseen that was put into stark relief last July: Kim his Bad Self. The Tae Po Dong test that went bad was apparently aimed at the Hawaiian Islands. The United States cannot continue to tolerate a situation in which its homeland is used as a dartboard for North Korean missile tests. Now that the bomb has been tested, going forward, the President will have to adopt a much more muscular, much more retaliatory based stance on NK missile tests.

No matter what the consequences for the South.

This is a question of American national security. To freeze Kim in place, we may have to go to Launch on Warning protocol that covers Japan, the CONUS, and the ROK. We have at least two SSBN's on patrol in the Pacific at any one time that could enforce this protocol. Kim would be given pause, as would his Chinese patrons. Otherwise, Kim's pirate regime will continue to terrorize his neighbors at will, with the silent consent of his Chinese partners.

What angers and confuses me no end is the stance of national Democrats, as they refuse, for partisan reasons, to learn the lessons of Munich and eagerly call for negotiations with this extortionist.

The notion that there are "tough Democrats" is a fiction of Thomas Friedman's mind. It is nothing but a lie. The last few days have proven that the Democrats are useful for governing the French Third Republic, perhaps, but not ours.

Clyde

Grateful, your Bush Derangement Syndrome is showing.

Bob

Yeah grateful I love the way you moonbats say forget about it!

You wonder why I'm having a hard time forgetting that Clinton and his goons gave - that's a freebie, not a dime - NK 5 Billion Dollars and 2 Nuclear Reactors and then agreed not to inspect them for 5 years!

Should I also forget that Clinton and Gore took how much money from the Chinese for their '96 election. Then Clinton let his buddy Bernie Schwartz of the Loral Corp. sell the Chinese missile technology that now helps NK get their nukes closer to home... ooops!

The only thing I can see is why you liberals would be "grateful" if we all just learn to forget like you!

Bob

OT but this is just another example of the Democrats hypocrisy

So Grateful... I guess we should all just forget this little transgression from the http://www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Oct-12-Thu-2006/news/10183532.html>Leader of the Hypocrites!

Reid should immediately resign from office!

Pofarmer

I gotta wonder about one thing that grateful put out. O.K. that ain't exactly true. But, anyway. If things are so bad in Iraq, and everybody knows it, why are guys reenlisting at all time high rates? Why are recruiting numbers up to the extent that they are? Yes, somebody has on blinders, that's for sure.


It's amazing that the left would be able to give up, 3,000, or 10,000 or 1,000,000 more civilian casualities, in attacks on the American homeland or elsewhere, to prevent be seen as "bad people" or whatever. I think that's a tad short cited. You have to assume that a)9/11 was the big one. b)it was really no big deal c)what we had been doing was working perfectly.

What these goons don't realize is that the Bush policy was the change. Why is that so hard? We tried it the Dems way for 50 years on Korea. I think it's time for a new tack. We tried it the Dems way for 35 years on Iran, time for a new tack. Tried it the Dems way for about the same on Iraq. Time for a new tack. Let's face it, what we were doing wasn't working. O.K.?

maryrose

Grateful:
Please thank your brother for his service to our country and please remember be he a guardsman or a regular soldier he VOLUNTARILY enlisted to defend our country.

Bob

maryrose,

It doesn't sound like gratefulls "little brother" signed up for being a "real soldier". He sounds like another one of those guardsman that only wanted the pay and the benefits... never thinking that one day they just might actually have to defend this country. A lot like their hero JF'n Kerry!

If he's not man enough to live up to his half of the agreement, then he should at least be man enough to live by his convictions and leave the armed forces. But whining about his personal bias view of Iraq is telling.

Maybe Cindy Shehan should adopt him!

Cecil Turner

Pretty good overview from strategypage (H/T Instapundit):

South Korea's "sunshine" policy -- intended to nudge North Korea toward modernity -- has failed. Kim's July missile volley ended Japan's policy of public quiescence and private uneasiness. Likewise, U.S. diplomacy, aimed at ending North Korea's emerging nuclear threat, has failed. The Clinton administration attempted to buy the nukes with economic carrots, the Bush administration (with its six-nation talks) tried to pry the nukes loose using a diplomatic "squeeze." Neither gambit worked, because both strategies to be effective relied on steady Chinese cooperation.
The only winge I have with that assessment is that China obviously acquiesced to the DPRK's nuke program (and continues to support the regime with aid, especially in energy). Still, he is obviously correct on the need for PRC involvement in any talks (which is why six-party talks make sense, and direct negotiations do not).

If he's not man enough to live up to his half of the agreement . . .

Criticizing the civic responsibility of a warfighter in country (Reserve or Regular) is not on. If I were convinced he wasn't a hypothetical, I might even get strident on the point.

The Unbeliever

I just love the complete blindness and ignorance which has permeated this thread. Clinton did this, Clinton did that, who freakin cares! He is no longer the pres. and hasn't been for six years, get over it already.

You know, if the BDS crazies and the Democratic leadership had kept their heads, and had not gone off on an "OMG it's Bush's fault NK has nukes!" spin, you probably wouldn't hear much of the (well-deserved) Clinton bashing from the right. But when you get crap like grateful's "it's time to impeach Bush", or like Carter's editorial--which, if you'll recall, is what sparked this whole thread in the first place--then you can damn well expect us to stop being polite about the root cause of the NK situation, and lay blame where blame is due. Saint Bill was utterly incompetent when it came to foreign policy in any arena (NAFTA aside), and while it may sometimes be nice to gloss over that for the sake of civility, I see no reason to hold back when the other side of the aisle goes off on a paranoid rant.

David

The summit talks resulted in South Korean President Kim Dae-jung earning the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for his successful efforts to ease tensions on the peninsula

Amazing what smuggling $500 million of Hyundai's money and handing it over to a viscious tyrant will get you. Suprised Carter didn't mention that part. Not.

Syl

Who watched the Bush press conf yesterday?

So many questions from reporters re how negotiations with Iran and NoKo are failing why aren't we taking the military option?

LOLOL

Like the press flacks REALLY support military options! LOL

They're just trying to peel away their perception of Bush's base as war mongering lunatics. The press is thinking 'if we show Bush isn't serious about using the military option, his base will run away'.

Idiots.

Bush didn't bite.

His base knows the score. The military option is always on the table but not 4 weeks before an election. LOL

Anyway, as pointed out above, it's a bit more complex than simply using the military.
Bush'es base is a heckuva lot more sophisticated than the shallow partisans of the press.


Bob

OT

Grist Magazine’s staff writer David Roberts called for the Nuremberg-style trials for the “bastards” who were members of what he termed the global warming “denial industry.”

http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=264568>NUREMBERG-STYLE TRIALS PROPOSED FOR GLOBAL WARMING SKEPTICS

Yup that's right... if the Dems get in expect to see more things like this on top of their "things to do" list!

TexasToast

SMG

When you suggest that it is “amazing” that people would “blame Bush”, it is not a tu quoque argument to point out that blaming is a universal phenomenon – i.e., not at all amazing. It would be tu quoque if I were instead saying that the fact that your side blames as well speaks to the issue of whether or not that blame was deserved. The fact that everybody does it is not relevant to the truth of falsity of the underlying premise – whether or not either or both of Bush and Clinton deserve blame.

OtherT

Loser? All the signs seem to be pointing the other way this year. Your insinuation that I would “abandon my own” in response to a threat from “madman regimes” is risible. Disagreement with the policy of this government in time of war or any other time, and the expression of that disagreement, does not make one the traitor that your language implies. It is this kind of thinking, the kind that demonizes those who think differently than you do, that leads French politicians to criminalize the denial of Armenian genocide.

MaryRose

A sniper rifle to take out Kim would be my suggestion and I nominate Texas Toast to be the person for the job. I believe we would have a positive result.

Um, assassination is a war crime, and is prohibited by US law. I am neither a traitor nor a war criminal, so I’ll decline.

Pofarmer

the kind that demonizes those who think differently than you do

Uhhhm, ya mean like the example right above your post?

Nobody is demonizing Clinton or Carter. I don't think the same can be said for Grateful, or certain crunchy Texas critters.

Dudley Smith

Bill Arnold

You make an interesting argument. If I understand it correctly, you are saying that the Carter Agreed Framework banned the development of plutonium for weapons purposes, and that the Norks held to this agreement, but on the side started a uranium enrichment program. When we discovered and confronted the Norks on the unranium enrichment program in 2002, they kicked out the IAEA who were supposed to verify that the Norks weren't developing the plutonium, and in the last four years their restarted plutonium project produced the bomb they detonated over the weekend. Have I stated your argument right so far?

Even if all of those assumptions are true, and it seems many of them may not be based on some of the subsequent comments by other posters, how does that history lead one to the conclusion that Bush should have engaged them in more unilateral talks over the last four years? They've clearly shown that they can't be trusted to keep any agreements we make with them, and that their goal is to get a nuclear device by any means they can, be it plutonium or uranium. It's the classic "fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me" scenario.

section9

Some of the big fans of the fact that Plutonium work was stopped need to realize that one of the ways to get a supply of plutonium is uranium enrichment.

Mr. Ronery decided to build the Rifle Bomb first. The Hiroshima bomb works well, works every time, and doesn't need to be tested! Oppenheimer's design was foolproof.

Just a hunch, but I suspect that they weren't trying to test a uranium bomb in NK. They were trying to test a small Pu238 implosion package. BTW, you can make a rifle bomb out of Pu as well, but it's much longer and unwieldy. That's why they went the Fat Man route.

MalcolmH

After Carter "saved the day" back in '94, Bob Dole (If I recall correctly) served up the most cogent critique, saying:

"Well, it's easy to make a deal when you agree to give the other side everything."

And it's amusing to recall a couple of things:

1. How Carter beamed about how well-stocked Pyongyang's stores were - beside the fact that 500,000 to 2 million North Koreans starved (to death) in '94 and '95.

2. Carter commented how vibrant and healthy Kim Il-sung was (The great, dear dad croaked a few weeks later).

On second thought, not that amusing......

JM Hanes

section 9:

"Kim's plan is simple. Freeze the Americans and give him a free hand in the South

The Chinese are the silent partners. They just figure that Kim can be held back from the invasion thing. South Korea can be turned into a prosperous Tribute Kingdom. A nuclear Kim that pins the Americans back with an atomic threat can distract and pin down the Americans without the overt effort by the PLA. Tokyo can also be pinned down this way."

I have no quarrel with this basic assessment, but you lose me after that. The Chinese hand doesn't strike me as the least bit obscure, and I think the 6 party talks are less scam than part of a complex dance which involves upping the pressure on multiple fronts. That includes prep and pressure militarily, but I'm not at all convinced such measures necessarily signal that "The path now is towards slow-motion military engagement." In that regard, could you explain your reference to the PRI protocol? Is it an acronym I should recognize?

Similarly, I don't read recent U.S. maneuvering as disengagement, more the opposite. Regardless of one's opinion on the U.N., for example, the fact that a Chinese veto is no longer automatic is not just a function of Kim's behaviour, but also the result of concerted, multi-channel engagement on the diplomatic front.

I do share your frustration with Democratic superficiality on foreign policy issues, though, almost across the board, whether the subject is N. Korea or the tenability of protectionism in a global economy.

Cecil Turner

I have no quarrel with this basic assessment, but you lose me after that.

I'm not sure what Kim is thinking, but any plans to invade the South are likely to be extremely short-lived. The ROK's modern, well-equipped, and well-supplied 650,000-man force would make short work of the DPRK's larger but ill-equipped counterpart. (The <30,000 US ground forces are mostly symbolic . . . our primary contribution is air power.) The ROK could've taken over the DPRK long ago, except for the inevitable destruction of Seoul (within range of the considerable DPRK artillery force along the border) and the likely PRC response. And as the strategypage link above asserts, a couple of nukes doesn't really change the big picture.

As far as the Chinese game goes, I don't have much confidence in assessments that they are embarrassed by this. Obviously they have the capacity to bring Pyongyang to heel, and have not done so. I suspect they view the DPRK as a useful foil to counterbalance the US Asian presence . . . though how much actual control they have, or whether they support any particular DPRK action is of course speculation.

Bill Arnold

Dudley Smith:
Have I stated your argument right so far?
yes

They've clearly shown that they can't be trusted to keep any agreements we make with them, and that their goal is to get a nuclear device by any means they can, be it plutonium or uranium.
The argument is that we (i.e. the current GWBush administration) could have done a better job of delaying the first test explosion (assuming that that is what it was). The historical excerpts at QandO.net are interesting, but blithely brush aside the effects on NK decision making that may have been caused by the obvious-at-the-time runup to the Iraq war. As far as agreements are concerned, the Soviets had a clandestine bioweapons program in direct violation of treaty (the excuse being they thought we were violating it too). There were indications that this was the case. That didn't stop us from negotiating to downsize the nuclear arsenals or otherwise negotiating with them. And eventually, the FSU collapsed.

kentuckyliz

PRI stands for Public Radio International. *grin*

Economic sanctions won't starve the DPRK general public any hungrier than they already are. Li'l Kim directs the food aid to the military, not the people. Don't take on the blame America first perspective and overlook the tyrant dictator who knows that armies run on full tummies.

Cecil Turner

The historical excerpts at QandO.net are interesting, but blithely brush aside the effects on NK decision making that may have been caused by the obvious-at-the-time runup to the Iraq war.

That would be a good point, except it's obvious the DPRK never stopped working on nuclear weapons programs. From the 1999 "Perry Report":

Yet, despite the critical achievement of a verified freeze on plutonium production at Yongbyon under the Agreed Framework, the policy review team has serious concerns about possible continuing nuclear weapons-related work in the DPRK. Some of these concerns have been addressed through our access and visit to Kumchang-ni.

The years since 1994 have also witnessed development, testing, deployment, and export by the DPRK of ballistic missiles of increasing range, including those potentially capable of reaching the territory of the United States.

They admitted to the program in 2002 after the evidence became overwhelming, but the contention it started then is risible.

As far as agreements are concerned, the Soviets had a clandestine bioweapons program in direct violation of treaty (the excuse being they thought we were violating it too).

That might've been the excuse. The reason was that they were reasonably confident we'd actually abide by it, and thus they'd be able to garner an advantage by signing and flouting the treaty. In fact, Soviet bioweapons programs expanded greatly, as a direct result of the treaty:

Before the convention, the assumption had been that any progress made by the Soviets would simply be matched by the Americans. After the treaty, the Soviets — and several other nations, most of them also signatories of the 1972 treaty — saw an opportunity to steal a march on the United States.

Not only did the Soviets expand their stocks of traditional biowar agents such as tularemia, brucellosis, and anthrax, but they undertook extensive new research into creating especially lethal and virulent strains of smallpox.

Similarly, the 1994 "Agreed Framework" provided an incentive to the DPRK to maintain a program that they were being rewarded handsomely for. The endless carrot approach is part of the problem, not the solution.

Bill Arnold

Li'l Kim directs the food aid to the military, not the people.
Food is fungible. (ewwww). Without food aid, those soldiers would have their bellies filled some other way. (Cannibalism, maybe? :-)
(Interesting article found by searching on "food is fungible")

Bill Arnold

Cecil:
They admitted to the program in 2002 after the evidence became overwhelming, but the contention it started then is risible.
Different program. I'd expect the plutonium bomb program to be based on purchased designs, with some skills transfer from the HEU program. 4 years is plenty of time to build to an established design. Don't know much about nuclear weapons programs though. If it was a homebrew design, then the earlier clandestine work may have been more helpful.
That might've been the excuse. The reason was that they were reasonably confident we'd actually abide by it, and thus they'd be able to garner an advantage by signing and flouting the treaty. In fact, Soviet bioweapons programs expanded greatly, as a direct result of the treaty:
I don't see any evidence in the article, just an assertion. Is there evidence of this, e.g. interviews? Just asking.

Similarly, the 1994 "Agreed Framework" provided an incentive to the DPRK to maintain a program that they were being rewarded handsomely for. The endless carrot approach is part of the problem, not the solution.
Two points; (a) military options are rather more expensive, (b) what were the alternatives? Seriously?

Cecil Turner

Different program.

As different as Fat Man and Little Boy . . . same effect, though. The point is that the diplomatic agreement didn't accomplish the mission (and in fact provided an incentive to further proliferation efforts).

Two points; (a) military options are rather more expensive, (b) what were the alternatives? Seriously?

In both cases, inaction would've been preferable to a bad treaty. (I'd thought the fascination with treaties for paper's sake had gone out with Chamberlain, but apparently not.) And there are several levels of negative sanctions that can be applied in most scenarios. In the case of the DPRK, they range from trade to blockade (though most rely on PRC acquiescence, and thus the diplomatic pressure might more profitably be directed there).

VDH has a superb article on the subject.

boris

don't see any evidence in the article, just an assertion. Is there evidence of this, e.g. interviews?

So unless they admit cheating on purpose, the fact that they did cheat is not evidence that it was a deliberate strategery?

O o o o o k a a a a y ... logic challanged ...

People who put lives on the line prefer to make sense of an opponents behavior rather than unilaterally always giving their intentions the benefit of any and all doubt.

Bill Arnold

boris:
People who put lives on the line prefer to make sense of an opponents behavior rather than unilaterally always giving their intentions the benefit of any and all doubt.
I'm asking a historical question here. There is surely an answer by this time. (The question is why the FSU (and others) cheated on the bioweapons treaty.)

boris

The question is why the FSU (and others) cheated

The surest answer is the one that makes the most sense. Given the choice between:

  • By Accident

  • On Purpose

Makes the most sense to go with the second.

Bill Arnold

Cecil:
inaction would've been preferable to a bad treaty.
? We would have had a nuclear armed NK by the late 90s with no treaty/agreed framework. 9/11 could (small possibility but impossible to discount) have been nuclear.

boris

9/11 could (small possibility but impossible to discount) have been nuclear.

At the time, before 911, allowing box cutters on airplanes was somewhat understandable, but small nuclear bombs ??? not so much.

section9

Hanes: wrong acronym: PSI, "proliferation security initiative", means by which U.S. Navy, Nihon Kaigun, RN, and Aussies stop and board DPRK ships. Somewhat dicey, as it probably involves shooting up DPRK diesel electrics that try to interfere and send them to the bottom of Davey Jones' Locker.

My take is that we're the ones who are engaged in slo-mo military engagement. We have to be. We need to take down the Chia Pet before he can mate Bomb to Missile.

Your analysis of Chinese grand strategy matches mine. No argument.

Rick Ballard

Section9,

It gets really dicey if Iran sends subs to do pickups from the Norks.

Bill Arnold

boris:
Makes the most sense to go with the second.
Of course it was on purpose. One doesn't have a secret program with 10s of thousands of people involved by accident. The question is motivation.
At the time, before 911, allowing box cutters on airplanes was somewhat understandable, but small nuclear bombs ??? not so much./i> LOL. I was thinking more in terms of containers (or drug shipments :-).

Bill Arnold

close italics oops

boris

Italiacto!

Bill Arnold

close italics oops

Cecil Turner

? We would have had a nuclear armed NK by the late 90s with no treaty/agreed framework.

Prove it. The incentive for the current program was energy and money from the West. Diplomacy through the PRC might well have worked in the 1990's. Instead, Jimmy Carter tried the endless carrot approach, with the current, predictable, result.

Is there evidence of this, e.g. interviews?

Not asking for much, eh? Just interviews from the most secret (and illegal) weapons program in the Soviet Union? As it happens, there was a defector:

Ironically, the impetus for expanding the Soviet program was the bioweapons treaty. The Soviets believed that the United States would continue its offensive biowarfare program despite its official renunciation. As a result, the Soviet program not only caught up with but surpassed the U.S. program to become the most sophisticated biological weapons program in the world. [4]

Bill Arnold

close italics oops

Bill Arnold

close italics oops

Bill Arnold

close italics oops

boris

Ok then ... On Purpose because ...

If the USSR cheats and US does not = USSR leaps ahead.

If the USSR cheats and US cheats = USSR does not fall behind.

Which incentive is more likely? It seems slightly more complicated than a strict prisoner's dilema. The first motive provides the most incentive to deceptively enter into the treaty in the first place. The "morally equivalent" mindset would favor the second.

The winner ... "Incentive enter into the treaty."

Beats the snot out of "morally equivalent".

Bill Arnold

No idea what happened with the close-italics-bot.
Beats the snot out of "morally equivalent".
The quote Cecil found favors "morally equivalent".
This is getting off-topic though.

Prove it. The incentive for the current program was energy and money from the West. Diplomacy through the PRC might well have worked in the 1990's.
I fail to see this (though getting the PRC more involved would have been good). There was a reactor, in place, on NK soil. The obvious choices were (a) do nothing, and let the NKs build plutonium weapons, (b) agreed framework or something like it, (c) somehow talk the NKs into allowing the reactor to be dismantled and fuel rods shipped out of country. (c) doesn't seem a winner. (While we're at it, (d) vaporize the reactor core with a tactical nuclear weapon, (e) invade, etc.)

boris

If the USSR cheats and US does not = USSR leaps ahead.

Since that's the one that actually happened it really counts as evidence that it was the intent, or the main intent. Downplaying deception on the basis of "equal" plausibility from the POV of a particular mindset is not reasonable.

Having this intent for entering the treaty would they tell themselves that they only cheated because they believe the US would as well? Sure, human nature.

Would they assume the US had this intent from the getgo? Semms unlikely since the US was already winning that arms race.

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