06 July 2006

Damn it feels good to be a Dictator

It turns out that appeasing Kim jong ill all these years has simply motivated him to continue doing his dictatorial worst. As former US presidents gave lipservice to enforcement, the diminutive dictator just kept making more and more demands. And thanks to a lack of action by, notably and not surprisingly, Bill "Slick Willy" Clinton - we now find ourselves playing Nuclear War brinkmanship with an unstable and dangerous asian regime.

Michael Rubin on North Korea:

Both North Korea and Iran’s nuclear diplomacy are testaments to how Western diplomats reward intransigence. Take North Korea: During a June 30, 2006, American Enterprise Institute panel, Danielle Pletka pointed out the pattern: On August 31, 1998, Pyongyang fired the Taepodong-1 missile over Japan. Three months later, U.S. officials held the first round of high-level talks in Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il demanded to be rewarded for ceasing his provocations. He was. The following year, U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry visited North Korea to offer normalized relations and a lifting of economic sanctions if Pyongyang froze and eventually dismantled its long-range-missile program and stopped its missile exports. On September 17, 1999, President Clinton eased sanctions against the north. Two months later, a U.S.-led consortium signed a $4.6 billion contract for two Western light-water nuclear reactors for the Stalinist police state. The Clinton administration began shipping food aid to the famine-ridden north, which Pyongyang used to grease its war machine even as ordinary citizens starved.
Having been given everything it had asked for, Kim Jong Il decided he wanted more. On July 1, 2000, he threatened to restart the nuclear program if Washington did not compensate it for electricity lost by delays in plant construction. Pyongyang then threatened to reverse course on its missile test moratorium. It did. On July 2001, it conducted a Taepodong-1 engine test.
All the while, Kim Jong Il cheated. The Bush administration did not initially agree to accept North Korean smoke-and-mirrors. In October 2002, the Bush administration announced that Pyongyang had operated a covert nuclear-weapons program in violation of its 1994 agreement. Diplomats may celebrate treaties. Many who helped negotiate the 1994 Agreed Framework have meritorious service certificates framed on their wall. But agreements are meaningless if not adhered to, and seldom do autocracies stick to agreements if they gain more through noncompliance.

Bush needs to get tough and committ some actions to rein this nitwit in before it is too late.


Anonymous said...

It was a mistake by President Clinton to lift sanctions on North Korea. But from where I'm sitting,the Bush administration hasn't done any better.At least we had better diplomatic relations with the rest of the world under Clinton.Having said that,I'm not sure what this administration or anyone else can do to curb Kim Jong Il.They aren't really listening to their communist brothers in Beijing.The Russians won't be any help.They secretly enjoy the fact that Pyonyang is a thorn in our collective side.The European Union has been useless in this endeavor.I personally wonder about the sincerity of both France and Germany in particular.The South Koreans won't be any help either.They fear angering the North.It's not a military secret that our military is spread "paper thin." If the North crossed the 38th parallel we'd be unable to give the South much in the way of military assistance.The best way to deal with North Korea in my opinion is a complete and total blockade.Just like soviet era Russia,North Korea is nothing more than a military-industrial complex.with the exception of weapons,they have nothing to trade to the rest of the world.Agraculturally,they are in crisis.Wihout food aid from South Korea,China,and the west,the majority of the country would starve to death in months.(maybe weeks.)Civil unrest would grip the region.Either a military coup or a revolution not unlike what happened in France when a starving,angry populace stormed the Bastille.But for a blockade to be succesful,the entire U.N. Security counsel would have to collectively agree.With the sorry state of U.S. diplomatic relations with the rest of the world,it ain't gonna happen.The sad fact is the North Koreans know the world is divided on how to deal with them.So what they'll do is skillfully play both ends against the middle and get some of what they want if not all.The same goes for Iran.The genie has been let out of the bottle.Nuclear proliferation by third world nations is enevitable in the 21st century.The "Doomsday clock" is ticking that much closer to midnight.Sorry about being so long winded,but the thoughts and opinions came pouring out.

Rue St. Michel said...

Wow. You get the prize for longest post on this blog.


When Clinton was in office he was much better at giving away information that many regimes benefited from us but Clinton actually hurt our security by providing nuclear secrets to China (which no doubt funnelled down to N. Korea). Clinton's era was artificially "peaceful" because slick Willy ignored much of what was going on in the world.

Thanks for the thoughtful commentary.

Anonymous said...

The missle tests by N.Korea has created a disturbing side effect;The government of Japan talking of militarization. The Japanese have become surprisingly hawkish when talking about dealing with the N.Koreans. Pyonyang having ICBM technology does not sit well with the Japanese. A rearmed Japan with their technological and industrial strength would rival only China in the Pacific rim. This is not something China would like to see or deal with. Maybe now Beijing will be more forceful and persuasive in their talks with N.Korea. While stationed in Japan on the island of Okinawa,I have had the oportunity to work and train with the JDF (Japanese Defense Force) I found them to be competent,professional,and highly motivated. If I were the N.Koreans,I would think twice about provoking the Japanese. As of now, expeditionary forces are a violation of Japan's constitution. If they decide to change that, the Pacific would become a very volitile region.