Thursday, July 03, 2008

Right reaction to Yongbyon blast

What to make of President Bush's announcement that he would remove North Korea from the terrorism list and lift other economic sanctions, this following an earlier decision to provide North Korea with massive quantities of oil to meet the their energy needs?

Most of the media described this capitulation as "a triumph" because Kim blew up the already "out of commission" cooling tower at Yongbyon. Not so highlighted is the fact that North Korea did not develop its nuclear weapons at the plutonium plant, but in a parallel, underground program which made bomb fuel from enriched uranium. No one denies this.

The demolition of the tower was meaningless public relations photo-op to confuse the American people and help Bush save face.

The harshest critics of the new deal have been Bush's far-right supporters, like Claudia Rosett . Here's what she says: "The lesson to date is that America, faced with nuclear blackmail, will bow down, dignify and fortify tyrants, fork over loot, and celebrate the process as a victory for diplomacy."

Last week, former United Nations ambassador John Bolton blasted the agreement saying: “I think it’s actually a clear victory for North Korea.” They've gained enormous political legitimacy by being taken off our list of state sponsors of terrorism and out from under the prohibitions of the Trading With the Enemy Act. ... It’s a very sad day for supporters of the president. It's the final collapse of Bush's foreign policy."

The Wall Street Journal summed it up like this in an editorial on Friday: "Most troubling is the message all of this sends to Iran, or other rogue states. The lesson is that when you build a weapon, your political leverage increases. Play enough brinkmanship, and you can even receive diplomatic absolution without admitting to having the kind of nuclear device you exploded less than two years earlier. We understand that diplomacy often includes winks and nods, but it shouldn't require denial."

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