Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Test a Dud? Doesn't Matter.

It seems to some experts that certain signatures of the "event" in North Korea indicate a failed rather than a successful nuclear test [link]. There was an exposion, radiation and a meaasurable seismic impact, but none of those was as big as it should have been. This is undoubtedly good news, for now, but we are unlikely to get much confirmation one way or another, since all parties concerned are served by the scare factor of a nuclear NK: Obviously Kim Jong-il want everyone to think he was successful—badly enough to blow up a giant pile of "dirty" TNT to claim a nuke? And on this side of the ocean, a high-profile pursuit of nukes by NK plays right into Bush's rhetoric, and will be a major plank for him in his bullshit platform supporting Congressmen for the rest of the election cycle—he certainly won't be walking the "threat" back. When all you have is fear, use fear itself...

If North Korea's test was a fake or a bust, you might expect me to calm down from my post yesterday. Not blood-y like-ly. Everything I wrote still holds true regarding Bush's failure, and even if the North Korean half of the equation is postponed, I'd just be writing the same post in another 12-18 months. Once the election passes, Bush will stop his tough talk and go back to fucking off in regards to North Korea, and no progress will be made as a result of this event.

This latest foreign relations "opportunity" will be a washout just like all the rest.

UPDATE: Title modified. Cartoon added to replace previous art.

9 comments:

Smitty said...

Of significant relevence is China's role. As far as I can see, Bush is essentially going to rely on China to solve the problem while we back some "tough" UN sanctions.

China certainly doesn't want to see the Kim Jong Il regime collapse, since that would flood China with refugees and create an aide catastrophe that they (and the UN) will have to deal with: several million people who need food and shelter running into China in search of....food and shelter.

Mr Furious said...

The window for reasonably addressing this issue is long since closed it would seem.

In my opinion, all KJi wants is attention and recognition as a player. The half-assed batch of sanctions he faces prevents him from feeling secure.

These tests are in all liklihood more cries for attention than actual progress of an effective weapons program. He wants bilateral talks, Bush refuses, the six-party talks will never really go anywhere, because it is too dependant on China, who is on a completely (and understandably) different page from everyone else.

Kevin Drum poses a good question this morning:

Of course, the part I've never really understood is our reluctance to give them the one thing they've consistently asked for over many decades: diplomatic recognition and some kind of security guarantee. After all, what's the downside? Treaty or not, if North Korea provoked a war we'd declare them in default of their obligations and then squash them. Recognition and security guarantees literally cost us nothing.

But ten consecutive presidents of both parties have declined to offer this, so there must be more to it. But what?

Mr Furious said...

BTW, Smitty, if you ever find yourself coming to Ann Arbor, shoot me an email...we can grab a beer.

Smitty said...

I would love to, Mr. F. Occasion may bring me down there in the next month or so anyway, so I'll drop you a note. Thanks!

Smitty said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sickofspin said...

Liberal denial is simply amazing!

Here's the truth:

We're now paying the price of Clinton policy
"North Korea cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb." - Bill Clinton, Nov. 7, 1993.


Spring 1992: North Korean dictator Kim II Sung allowed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors into his country. Tests indicated that North Korea had reprocessed massive amounts of plutonium, enough for several bombs. When the IAEA asked for access to nuclear waste sites to investigate further, North Korea said no.

1993: North Korea declared it would withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) unless certain demands were met: U.S. diplomatic recognition, the end of economic sanctions, one million tons of grain and a half million tons of fuel oil delivered per year, as well as the delivery of two light-water nuclear reactors worth over $4.5 billion. The North Koreans were very specific about the type of reactor they wanted.

1994: The Clinton administration sent in Jimmy Carter, who promptly dropped U.S. demands that UN inspections resume and that North Korea surrender its spent fuel rods. U.S. support for UN sanctions was left in question.

The United States gave in to North Korea demands, signing a pact on October 21, 1994 in Geneva. Nuclear reactors were pledged, as was 500,000 metric tons of fuel oil annually, as well as tons of grain....All in return for an empty promise to freeze all nuclear weapons ambitions......Remember, we're talking about a deceiving country, a country with a history of lying, a country with a history of cheating its own people.

Despite receiving tons of grain, North Korea experienced one of history's deadliest famines during the '90's. Newsweek reported that the grain was feeding the North Korean Army, not the people. Clinton looked the other way.

1995: The Clinton administration declared that "No country, other than the major declared nuclear powers, will develop or otherwise acquire a ballistic missile in the next 15 years that could threaten the contiguous 48 states and Canada."

1997: Madeline Albright officially shruggs off any concerns of North Korean deception, stating: "The framework agreement is one of the best things the Administration has done because it stopped a nuclear weapons program in North Korea."

August 31, 1998: North Korea launced a three-stage Taepo Dong-1 rocket, with a range of 1,500 - 2,000 kilometers, over Japan, landing off the Alaska coast.

1999: During a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, Albright dismissively admitted that the agreed framework with North Korea wasn't working stating, "We are also engaged in direct talks with North Korea on ways to resolve concerns regarding suspicious underground construction activities and long-range missile programs."

2000: Mounting evidence of the underground Kumchang-ri site forced the Clinton administration to acknowledge the possibility that the agreed to framework wasn't working. They asked Kim Jong Il to allow inspections. Kim Jong Il refused. So Clinton sent them 600,000 tons of grain.

June 2000: The Japanese and Chinese confirmed reports of ANOTHER underground uranium processing plant in Choma, about 17 miles away from Kumchang-ri.

October 2000: Token image building....Albright goes over to North Korea, clinks champaign glasses with Kim Jung Il. Nothing was accomplished. Albright told PBS's Jim Leher in an interview, "Basically, you know, we've had such weird stories about him, but it turns out that we had very good discussions...And he seems pragmatic....not hostile."

2003: In talks with the U.S., North Korea admits to pursuing a secret nuclear weapons program using enriched uranium (advances in technology courtesy of the Clinton administration) in violation of the 1994 pledge to freeze its nuclear weapons program, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The 'image is everything' faux policy of Clinton was inherited by the Bush administration, which found out quickly that Clinton pretty much ignored key elements of North Korea's activities.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Smitty said...

So, some half-cut-and-pasted, half-editorialized timelines make a factual argument that this is CLinton's fault? I thought your name was SICK of Spin, not Entrenched in Spin.

Way I see it, Bush has failed every bit as much as any other previous administration when it comes to how to handle North Korea. While certianly not seeking to exhonerate Billy, because that wasn't the point of this post, there is still a glaring quesiotn on the 2003 portion of the timeline. If Bush knew it because the lunatic in NK admitted it, why didn't he do something?

Could it be because of our realtionship with China? Who owns 50.6% of our debt?

Kim Jong Il wants a seat at the table. He wants food. He wants fuel. There are nation-wide blackouts in order to save fuel for his "people (military)." This dude is paranoid.

I said it before, the biggest worry here is not that NK gets a long-range rocket to deliver a big nuke. Just don't see it. My worry is that he sells his nukes...or huge dirty bombs, or whatever they are...to Iran, or whatever terrorist organization like Hezbollah, etc.

So....it is decent policy to send the looney some grain and fuel so he feels like he's being listened to and so he won't sell his nukes? Maybe so. It obviously hasn't fixed anything in the longer term. That's where the policy is lacking. For all the chest-thumping from Bush, I still see as much if not more of a lack of emphasis on dealing with the situation. So Bush says we won't tolerate this and that he's bad and that we completely cut NK off of any aid at all. Big whoop. That's a solution?

Sickofspin said...

Smitty,

You have no real clue what the Bush administration has done with this issue, and yet you comment on it in ignorance.

Amazing.

What don't you understand in that Clinton handed this issue off to Bush with a false 'A-OK' stamp? Clinton lied to us. What don't you understand in that Bush quickly found out that the framework Clinton supposedly established was nothing but a piece of image building paper and nothing was verified for compliance by Clinton? What don't you understand about Bush getting stuck with having to play catch-up on the intelligence that Clinton neglected? What don't you understand that it was Bush who after getting some real legwork done no thanks to Clinton got North Korea to fess up on its program? That's not failed policy you boob, that's exposing Clinton for some very serious neglect - an eye-opener to the world of just how evil North Korea is!

Your denial of the truth is pathetic! Clinton's direct talks failed, Clinton's 1994 agreement with North Korea was repeatedly violated well before Bush took office. So in response to a rogue nation with nuclear weapons technology, Bush puts together the six-party talks in which the United States, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia deal jointly with North Korea. And you bitch because now all of a sudden you WANT him to play cowboy? With you and your liberal ilk, Bush is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. You're party before country.

Your parrot bias is digustingly transparent and hypocritical.

Smitty said...

Awesome thrid grade name calling in your reply, sos. Getting called a boob really helps drive home an otherwise respectable retort. Were it not for your personal insults, I may not have been able to grasp the depth of your answer.

Six party talks were as much window dressing as anything Wild Bill ever did. They proved as much as Wild Bill's policies were ever meant to prove: NK just ain't gonna go with the flow. Whooppee...now we are all assured that KJI remains a nutcase. Now he's a nutcase with some sort of bomb.

All I'm saying is that if you ARE going to play cowboy...maybe you play it with the real bank robbers, not the old, tired former-outlaw.

So here we are, working our tails off on the diplomacy scene...solidifying allies, bringing reluctant parties on board...the cowboy is all of a sudden willing to play International Appeaser?

I eagerly await to discover how much more ignorant I am.