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July 10, 2006


The mistake is thinking for a second that North Korea is ruled by madmen.

They want to stay in power, and are willing to do most anything to maintain or increase that power. Their primary need is to get economic benefits since they have wrecked the ability of their own nation to provide the needed productivity. The risk that they will sell their nuclear secrets or weapons to terrorists is probably the biggest threat they represent.

The current situation is a direct result of the Bush decision to increase the threats against the regime as a device to influence their behavior -- the anti-Clinton doctrine. Except the threats have been hollow, and the North Koreans know it. They are waiting to see what they will get in exchange for ratcheting down their own belligerence.

The problem with threatening violence (the Bush doctrine) to coerce what you want means that you are out of tricks when your bluff is called -- unless you actually then start the violence. Given the course of events in Iraq, even if the Bush crowd wanted to go to the next level with North Korea, they cannot do so.

"However, this doesn't, at least to me, square with your disagreements with the Agreed Framework as well as your suggestions that we simply withdraw from South Korea (and presumably from Japan?) as well as withdrawing from the NPT. Either you want to defend SK and Japan or you don't, but I'd ask you not to invoke the threat to Tokyo merely as a debating point."

Part of my problem with South Korea is that they don't seem to want us there. I don't think I've ever said anything about Japan. And I don't see any reason to withdraw from the NPT, but it is clear that the NPT is irrelevant to the situation in North Korea. The UN doesn't want to bother making an attempt to enforce the NPT so it just doesn't matter.

One could suggest that this means a nuke in downtown Seoul is ok, but one in Tokyo isn't, though I'm sure you have a nuanced explanation.

Also, I can tell that there are a number of Japanese who don't seem to want us here (google Futenma or Kadena and protest)

Also, a situation where we would not want to defend SK, yet still have forward force projection in Japan, seems a bit forced.

CharleyCarp: The President was re-elected, which to some may well be enough to call the Iraq policy a success.

Since Bush lost the 2000 election, he couldn't be re-elected, and we have no idea who actually won 2004 election. But those who take for granted without question that Bush was "re-elected" probably overlap to a large degree with those who are certain either that Iraq is a success, or that it will be soon (because, after all, the Bush administration keeps saying that the turning point has been reached).

Jes, you know perfectly well what I meant. I've no doubt that I feel as strongly about the results of the 2000 and 2004 elections as you do, but I think we are in complete disagreement about what to do about it. 'Move on' strikes me as the only liveable alternative.

And yes, while I have plenty of blame for Bush's people for 2000, I think there's a special place in hell for the spoiled-brat lefty types who went around saying that Al Gore wasn't good enough, that there was insufficient difference between Bush and Gore, and that people should vote for Nader to send a signal. I don't think Bush 'stole' as many votes in Florida as Nader. (By stole, I mean deprived by various means). Continued harping about Bush's electoral 'victories' isn't the same as Nader 2000, but it's that philosophy's roommate. It does precisely nothing to help us win at the next turn of the wheel. (OK, I mean that in a 'net' sense).

CharleyCarp: 'Move on' strikes me as the only liveable alternative.

Only if you're prepared to live with a government chosen for you, not elected by vote. Given that the 2000 and 2004 elections were rigged, and the candidate on whose behalf they were rigged got in, and the people who rigged the elections got away with it... what makes you think they'll stop there?

Hi Andrew, welcome and I'm glad to see a rational reasonable right leaning poster as an addition to the ObwiHivemind :)

Due to personal circumstances I have no time to participate in the debate. So this is just a welcome comment.

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