Bush’s Korea Sellout Rolls On

[Update:   Not Washington, but San Francisco, to meet with (presumably friendly) NGO’s,  and New York, to meet Chris Hill for bilateral talks.  I wonder if they mean this NGO, or this one.  We may soon test the old adage that all publicity is good publicity.]

The chief nuclear negotiators of North Korea and the United States are planning to visit each other’s capital soon, a diplomatic source in Seoul was quoted as saying in a South Korean news report on Thursday.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan was likely to go to Washington first. The visits would be part of an effort to improve ties after a breakthrough deal this week on shutting down the North’s nuclear arms program, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper said.  [Reuters]

Not since April of 1975 have we betrayed friends and rewarded enemies at such a breaktaking rate.  All who had invested their hope and trust in us have gambled and lost. 

Japan is faced with hard choices on North Korea with its hardline stance leaving it the odd man out after a compromise deal on the communist state’s nuclear programme.  Japan has ruled out any funding for the agreement, reached Tuesday in six-nation talks that included Tokyo, until it resolves a row with North Korea over its past kidnappings of Japanese civilians.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who built his career campaigning on the emotionally charged abduction dispute, told parliament Wednesday that the issue “is our top priority.” But Japan is increasingly alone. Its chief ally, the United States, has compromised with the state which US President George Bush once derided as part of an “axis of evil.”

“The deal seems to be the result of a change in US policy to stress dialogue instead of pressure on North Korea, which means Japan is isolated in the six-party talks,” said Masafumi Iida, a researcher at Japan’s National Institute For Defence Studies.  [AFP]

All who had conspired to betray us (South Korea and China) and to murder us (North Korea) have been rewarded.  Both Koreas will continue to receive U.S. taxpayer largesse for their duplicity and mendacity.  Both have moved a step closer toward extinction — the slow, repressive extinction in the North, and the lackadaisical surrender of freedom, independence,  and prosperity in the South.  But for now, both are  content to  decide how they will spend your money.

On Thursday officials from the two Koreas prepared to hold talks aimed at reviving a high-level dialogue and possibly open the way for major aid shipments.

Seoul’s delegation, led by Lee Kwan-Se, an assistant unification minister, left for Kaesong early Thursday for the one-day working-level talks, Yonhap news agency reported.

“We hope to make substantive progress not only in a solution to the North’s nuclear weapons programme, but also in the government’s policy of peace and prosperity by resuming the cabinet-level talks,” Unification Minister Lee Jae-Joung told the team.  [AFP]

What can possibly be said in defense of this?

Bush defended the deal against critics, including from his key conservative base, who said that offering aid and other guarantees to North Korea in return for disbanding its nuclear network was rewarding “bad behavior” and a sign of US weakness.

Among the agreement’s vocal critics was Washington’s former envoy to the United Nations,  John Bolton, who called it “a very bad deal” that shows US weakness at a time when Washington is challenging Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

It also “undercuts” UN sanctions resolutions against North Korea, Bolton said.

“I strongly disagree, strongly disagree with his assessment,” Bush said, however.

If I had wanted a president who would betray all of the principles our country stands for, I would have voted for John Kerry.  I have never been so profoundly disappointed for having supported this president.   After years of indecision,  and then the belated adoption of a strategy that was working, he  whored  away principle for political expediency.  He did  it  for the sake of a deal  as amorphous, vague, and malodorous as flatulence itself. 

Bush also promised to step up food aid to impoverished North Korea if Kim Jong-Il’s regime took “verifiable measures” to end its nuclear weapons program.

You can be sure that in the “new dynamic” Bush speaks of, there will be no demands that North Korea actually account for where that food aid will go.  That means that the food we give will be just another weapon for the North Korean regime to use against its own people.

As for the laundered drug and counterfeiting money, all of that, too, will be resolved in 30 days.  There will be a quick payoff and all will be forgotten until the proceeds are aimed at us.  Meanwhile, here’s a question that no one has asked — by giving them back that money, won’t we be violating the very U.N. resolutions that we just rammed through?

14 Comments

  1. Everything Bush has said and done prior to this in support of NK freedom — and for that matter even Iraq, one might even say — are now suspect. Especially with Bolton and Rumsfeld gone, the truth is coming out, isn’t it?? Unbelievable and I actually voted for this guy twice and believed in him.




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  2. Ah yes, the Dear Leaders. Good one, it’s in and you’re linked, thanks!

    .
    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe thinks
    keep building your bombs

    always threaten the world
    get them to send you money
    .




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  3. Your point about Japan is excellent. I hadn’t thought of that, but it is clearly true.

    Japan has stuck by us through thick and thin in more ways than one over the years. They really didn’t have much of a choice considering how they are despised in their own region, but they have been a good source of support much like the UK.

    And we did just paint them into a corner – for no particuarly good reason – actually – for some pretty bad, stupid ones you outlined.

    It really makes no sense to cut this deal – even from a purely political standpoint:

    The first nuke deal was at least cut when the chess match had escalated to the (surface) point of war. I still refuse to believe Clinton would have ever pulled the trigger, but all the news was about how we were a hair’s breath away from bombing North Korea.

    I can also excuse Clinton’s toying with the idea of visiting Pyongyang in the heady last days in office. It was a gigantically stupid idea, but he would have gotten such glowing press about it on his way out of the White House, it had to be tempting.

    What does Bush get?

    He and crew had to know his critics were not going to give him much credit for a deal. They had to know some supporters would blast the deal.

    If I had to guess, I’d guess this deal agreement by the Bush team is more a sign of battle fatigue (on many fronts) than trying to look good by cutting a deal.

    Whatever the case, if we unfreeze their bank accounts without something like those machines used to fake dollars being handed over and destroyed, I’ll go balistic.

    If we only ship this one small load of fuel oil, fine enough.

    If we go through with the deal much more than that without major moves on Pyongyang’s part, it will be a crying shame…




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  4. I’ve been ‘somewhat involved’ with the North Korean human rights issues for, I guess, about 10 years.

    … been to Seoul, Prague and Warsaw.

    And I have to say that, right now, I could just … throw up.




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  5. While I’m not crazy about the deal, the administration has claimed to be working towards a “diplomatic” deal for years and has been criticized for not doing so “sincerely.” Scuttling this deal would have made the administration look the liar.

    Let’s say that North Korea actually does shutdown Yongbyon – if they don’t move on past that “first step” towards actual denuclearization soon thereafter, the banking sanctions can go back on practically overnight.

    And I think that it’s too soon to get upset about the far reaching effects of this considering the North’s track record; they’ll balk at the uranium program, or at allowing inspectors to X (you name it), or won’t come back into the NPT on-time/fully, or something. They’re going to screw it up, on purpose.

    In the end, it’s better to look like you tried – and in this case actually done so – before the hammer falls.




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  6. It is all about Iran. When the coming showdown with Iran’s nuclear program comes up, President Bush can say that the US negotiated diplomatically with both Libya and North Korea to solve nuclear disputes.




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  7. I don’t want NK to get its hands on the millions that are frozen.

    Next, I don’t think a showdown with Iran will happen.

    We have Bush being fought now by members of his own party. Heads have rolled since the last election, the Dems smell blood, and so do the Reps who are jumping ship. Bush is in the lame duck part of his tenure – which could either give him freedom of action or hem him in, depending on which path he decides to take, and I would bet it will be the hem in result.

    And after the 2008 election, it is now unlikely anything serious will be done with Iran or North Korea.

    You can guage the flow of things right now by all these resolutions condemning the troop surge.

    You have states crawling out of the woodwork to draft resolutions condemning the war and the surge. You have Obama and others saying they will pull troops out if elected.

    You have people of influence in the media and the media’s eye calling for funds to be cut to force a withdrawal time table.

    We aren’t going to go into Iran in this environment.

    The future of the US global position in a significant way sinks or swims with Iraq. I thought that going in, but I sense it even more now that the foundations for being sucessful in Iraq have been shattered pretty much.

    If Iraq can be salvaged from the direction it is heading (and by this I mean the idea of Iraq in American thought and so on too) — if a stable, fair democracy takes off and Iraq gets the chance to use its oil wealth to speedily build up its economy – the US will be in a significantly better position than it was in pre-Iraq War II.

    Iraq’s sucess can be a beacon to the peoples of other nations, but just having a friendly, stable, rich Iraq in that region will be a big help.

    If we pull out of Iraq before the above is accomplished, we will retreat into an isolationism that isn’t really of choice. If we fail, it will be due to lack of fortitude on the part of American society as a whole, and we will then likely forfit our standing to the will of our allies in Western Europe. (and the likes of South Korea).

    What I mean is – Euro-think will be the coin of choice in our own foreign policy thought.

    France will be the litmus test of whether we do something (that’s nobel) or not do something (that’s too John Waynish).

    It might end up looking something like most of the 1990s, but it will be worse than that.

    In the 1990s, we held leadership at arm’s length more out of Cold War fatigue than anyting else. One side of the debate dropped out, and the Euro-think was left in a stronger position (oddly enough after losing in the Cold War internal dialog in Western society).

    Now, we are moving to tuck our tail and accept what others say of us after a major, major global push.

    We have taken on global terrorism and took the fight to two nations who were our enemies.

    And it now looks like we did not have the stomach for it.

    Many in the world —- including among our allies —- will take note and see a chance of advantage.

    Pulling out of Somolia (which I agreed with) showed us to be weak willed. Bosnia and Kosovo did nothing to change that view point. It even gave it a little support.

    If we pull out of Iraq as a failure, it will be even more a sign to certain groups and nations that we are a paper tiger, because what will force us out of Iraq will be a significant lack of faith among the American population.

    And this will spell trouble for the world as a whole.

    I am not saying the US is a savior or anything.

    I am saying that there will be little to no leadership with the US backing out. France has pretended it wants to lead since the days of DeGualle, but Bosnia and Kosovo proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the rich Western European nations will not lead without the US providing the bulk of the muscle and cash for their lead.

    And without leadership from the Western democracies, and nations that have followed their path, like Japan and South Korea, the future will belong to the Irans in some significant ways.

    Pulling out of Iraq and it failing with be the final chapter of the Cold War. It will be the chapter that defines the aftermath of it.

    The US will have shown great courage and fortitude in out lasting the Soviets, but it will have shown it could not sucessfully navigate the momentum of victory. And it will be the same for what we might call The Western Way – the democracies.

    And the failure to use the momentum of victory for positive gains (both for the US and the democracies) will stem in large measure to internal dynamics of the democracies themselves.




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