John McCain's blogging debut
However, McCain nailed the North Korea issue:
We have talked and talked about punishing their bad behavior. They don't believe we have the resolve to do it. We must prove them wrong....Do you hear that, Bill? Jimmy? Madeleine?
Eventually they will have the technology to put warheads on missiles. That is a grave threat to South Korea, Japan and the United States that we cannot under any circumstances accept. North Korea also has a record of transferring weapons technology to other rogue nations, such as Iran and Syria.
The worst thing we could do is accede to North Korea’s demand for bilateral talks. When has rewarding North Korea's bad behavior ever gotten us anything more than worse behavior?
I would remind Senator Hillary Clinton and other Democrats critical of Bush Administration policies that the framework agreement her husband's administration negotiated was a failure. The Koreans received millions in energy assistance. They diverted millions in food assistance to their military. And what did they do? They secretly enriched uranium.
Prior to the agreement, every single time the Clinton Administration warned the Koreans not to do something -- not to kick out the IAEA inspectors, not to remove the fuel rods from their reactor -- they did it. And they were rewarded every single time by the Clinton Administration with further talks. We had a carrots and no sticks policy that only encouraged bad behavior. When one carrot didn't work, we offered another.
Just like 9/11, the Clinton administration's attempts to appease and ignore our enemies (all the while taking credit for a domestic economy whose success they had little to do with) did nothing but prolong the inevitable, forcing the successor to implement a tough foreign policy and fix the mistakes. Hillary can rewrite history by blaming Bush, but the reality is that Bush is trying to clean up the mess her husband left. It was Jimmy Carter and Madeleine Albright who naively relied on diplomacy, when it was obvious to us cynics that North Korea was pursuing nuclear weaponry anyway.
Did North Korea withdraw from Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and kick out the IAEA inspectors because Bush included North Korea in the "Axis of Evil," as Carter claimed? No: this is another confusion of cause and effect, also known as the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy ("After this, therefore because of this"). North Korea withdrew after Bush's accusation, but for years it had been pursuing nuclear technology anyway, in spite of its two-faced committment to any treaties or agreements. What really happened was that Bush and his foreign policy advisors grew tired of pretending: they were going to call a spade a spade, and North Korea realized it had to do something. By protesting the accusation, by pulling an Iran and claiming it's the United States' fault for making them do it, it could dupe the gullible Carter-esque diplomats and stall things for a few more years. Had Bush agreed to bilateral talks, Kimmy would have found a new excuse.
The problem with liberals is that they demand "a chance for diplomacy to work," never learning from history that it's letting diplomacy run for years that exacerbates conflicts in the enemy's favor: Nazi Germany (Chamberlain was a Conservative Party member but a credit to modern U.S. Democrats), Saddam's Iraq and now North Korea.
At least, though, Britain didn't give money, energy and food to Hitler, unlkike the massive American aid that indirectly financed North Korea's nuclear ambitions. There's an old term "guns and butter," illustrating the concept of tradeoffs. In North Korea's case, until now they haven't had to worry about spending any national income on butter: they've been able to spend most of it on guns, because the U.S., Japan, China and others have been stupid enough to supply the butter. That has to end, but it will take more than a mere embargo -- that would have the same success as ours has had on Cuba.
It will take a full-scale blockade to cripple North Korea to where it will beg for terms, including freezing any assets we can that belong to nations that continue doing business with North Korea. Anything less, such as Japan's new punitive sanctions, will cripple North Korea but also push it toward selling nuclear weapons for cash -- and I say North Korea would be pushed sooner, not just pushed. Kim is a madman, and I'm convinced he's had the idea from the start to sell a bomb or two to Iran, Syria or other terrorist states. What's to stop him, especially when harming a common enemy can yield a few dinars profit?
That, of course, would mean war. But instead of wringing our hands and asking how much worse we're making things, let's stop deluding ourselves into thinking North Korea really wants peace. You cannot remonstrate, placate, appease or use "please" with this type of enemy: the time is nigh to cast off our Neville Chamberlain Syndrome.
Labels: North Korea