Saturday, May 28, 2005


Bush League's Cynical North Korea Policy

The Bush Administration's suspension of the recovery program for Korean War MIAs (just before Memorial Day) isn't a "mixed message." W and his Bush league minions think they can win by "getting tough" with North Korea:
Even as top officials have affirmed a commitment to dialogue, the Bush administration this week suspended a long-running and successful joint search with Pyongyang for missing American servicemen from the Korean War and deployed Stealth fighters to the region for training.

It also forced out the executive director of a U.S.-led international consortium created to implement a nuclear energy deal with the North, underscoring plans to shut down the operation by year's end.
Retired Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser to President Bush's father, concluded in a Wall Street Journal article this week that Pyongyang "has gained effective control and pacing" of the nuclear crisis.
Critics said the suspension had a political message. "It will interpreted by the North as a step toward possible U.S. military action," one U.S. Senate critic said.
Source: Washington Post U.S. sends mixed messages in N. Korea nuke dispute, May 27, 2005
We can either stay in Iraq or go fight North Korea - not both. Is this El Busho's Iraq exit plan - trigger a crisis with North Korea?

There are two possibilities:
(1) Mr. Bush doesn't think North Korea realizes the US armed forces can't fight Iraqi insurgents and an all-out North Korean invasion at the same time; or
(2) Mr. Bush realizes North Korea knows the US can't attack North Korea and is just trying to obstruct negotiations.

I vote for #2. Mr. Bush must know he can't bluff North Korea into backing down by acting tough - he just doesn't want successful negotiations resolving a world crisis. Kim Jong Il will probably respond by conducting a nuclear test, thus heightening tensions and harming chances for negotiations. Each despot gets what he wants: an evil foreign government with which to frighten his respective citizenry while distracting them from their troubled domestic economies.


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