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Hullabaloo


Friday, June 27, 2008

 
Wrong About Everything

by dday

Boy, the wingnuts really don't know what to do about this North Korea situation. It's really a foreign concept based on "diplomacy" and "incentives for compliance" and other fantasyland hippie stuff they must have come up with on the pot-smokers lawn in the Haight-Ashbury. Real men know that such multilateralism is excessively dangerous and will cause all of us to be blown to bits.

HEWITT: By the way, I -- I'm still trying to find two tickets to the Ohio State-USC game. And none of the USC people will give up their tickets to me. I'd pay fair price. They -- they know Ohio State's gonna slaughter the Trojans. They know that they're gonna slaughter the Trojans, and therefore they do not want me there at the bloodbath, since it's probably the last football game we'll ever get to see before the United States gets blown up by the Islamists under Obama.


But this foreign policy decision was made by the Dear Leader himself - W., with a big assist from envoy Christopher Hill - and they just don't know what to make of that. Leading to the most amusing 30 seconds of Sean Hannity's career.

HANNITY: North Korea has finally handed over a long awaited accounting of its nuclear program to Chinese officials, fulfilling a key step in the denuclearization process. Although North Korea’s declaration is six months later than their deadline, the news today brings a clear foreign policy victory for the Bush administration. But will the press report it that way? Joining us now for analysis, former ambassador to the U.N. and a Fox News contributor, John Bolton. What do you think this means?

BOLTON: I think it's actually a clear victory for North Korea. They gain enormous political legitimacy....In return, we get precious little. I think this is North Korea demonstrating again that they can out-negotiate the U.S. without raising a sweat.

HANNITY: Boy I tell you they've done it time and time again, and I'm sorta perplexed, Mr. Ambassador, to understand why we keep going back to the well knowing that they haven't kept the agreements in the past. Whatever happened to Reagan's "trust but verify"?


That's fair and balanced all from the same guy.

Not even Fourthbranch, the Barnacle himself, could outmaneuver the State Department on this one, and he's not happy:

WASHINGTON — Two days ago, during an off-the-record session with a group of foreign policy experts, Vice President Dick Cheney got a question he did not want to answer. “Mr. Vice President,” asked one of them, “I understand that on Wednesday or Thursday, we are going to de-list North Korea from the terrorism blacklist. Could you please set the context for this decision?”

Mr. Cheney froze, according to four participants at the Old Executive Office Building meeting. For more than 30 minutes he had been taking and answering questions, without missing a beat. But now, for several long seconds, he stared, unsmilingly, at his questioner, Steven Clemons of the New America Foundation, a public policy institution. Finally, he spoke:

“I’m not going to be the one to announce this decision,” the other participants recalled Mr. Cheney saying, pointing at himself. “You need to address your interest in this to the State Department.” He then declared that he was done taking questions, and left the room.


The Barnacle froze because it's one of the few things that could be considered a foreign policy triumph in the history of the Bush Administration, and it happened because mindless warhawks like him were finally sidelined. Bush's North Korea policy began with a series of mishaps and belligerence, just as the neocons wished, and it led to Kim Jong-Il getting the bomb. Precisely when the State Department started guiding the policy and Christopher Hill was given leeway to negotiate in the six-party talks, the situation changes, leading to today's destruction of their nuclear facility at Yongbon. The world is still a more dangerous place because of all of the delays, and the DPRK still has about a dozen poorly-designed nuclear weapons as a result.

But the facts are that as soon as the neocon "my way or the highway" approach was abandoned, progress was made. And that's because the neocons have been wrong about every single foreign policy decision for well over 50 years, and their attitude with respect to North Korea made no dent in that unbroken record. I don't have to tell you the position John McCain has held on this issue since 1999, do I?

McCain repeated this trope throughout the speech, drawing on his personal history and adopting the rhetoric of moral seriousness about the consequences of committing American forces. But awareness of the consequences was, for McCain, no reason to avoid starting a war [...] In his view, efforts at conflict prevention are fundamentally misguided. He told the Kansas State audience that notwithstanding the Clinton administration's efforts, Korea's leaders "remain quite capable of launching in their country's death throes one final, glorious war. But now, they are much, much better armed." In short -- war is inevitable, so better to get it over with as soon as possible.


I hope I'm not surprising anyone by saying that on foreign policy, John McCain is basically to the right of George W. Bush.


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