Saturday :: Mar 1, 2003

Bush Angles for War in North Korea as Well

by Steve

And while Bush blows himself up over Iraq, (see below) he intentionally sets up another invasion scenario in North Korea while stifling all talk internally about dialogue with Pyongyang. According to the New York Times today,

Mr. Bush's top intelligence officials have begun to depart from the White House effort to play down the North Korea problem in public, describing the situation as a "crisis." The director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, said this could be "the most serious challenge to U.S. interests in the Northeast Asia area in a generation."

The urgency of the threat has sharpened a behind-the-scenes struggle within the administration over how to deal with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il. A parade of current and former officials — including Gen. Brent Scowcroft, the national security adviser in the first Bush administration, and former Defense Secretary William J. Perry, who was special envoy for the Clinton administration on North Korea — have warned in recent weeks that the current White House approach is failing, and that time is not on Mr. Bush's side.

Several of these officials have approached top Bush administration aides, including Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, to warn that the administration will ultimately have to negotiate directly with the North — a step Mr. Bush has refused to take, unless North Korea begins first to disarm.

Mr. Armitage, who has long experience with North Korea, used his testimony in Congress to try to expand that strategy, and his efforts left Mr. Bush "off-the-wall angry," said a senior administration official, whose account was corroborated by several White House officials.

Mr. Armitage praised President Bill Clinton's 1994 deal with North Korea for preventing earlier bomb-making by the North, and he endorsed "a bilateral discussion" with the country under "a multilateral umbrella, of any sort."

Mr. Armitage's testimony led to a meeting at the White House at which Mr. Bush directed Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and other officials to ban all public discussion of one-on-one talks with the North. North Korea has so far refused to sit down with any broad group of nations.

The result is that while North Korea is accelerating its nuclear programs, there is virtually no conversation under way. "We're at the point," said one official involved in the internal debate, "where nothing is happening — and no one knows how we will respond when the bomb-making starts."

Yet the Bush Administration is taking steps to prepare for a preemptive strike against the processing facility, even though such a move would require the support of neighboring allies, who will not go along. Again, Bush is in total command here, and he is responsible totally for this situation getting out of hand and heading to a military resolution. As such, any harm to our forces, our allies, and our country is his responsibility, and his alone. We are well past the time of blaming a nutcase regime when you know full well how to resolve it peacefully, and chose not to.

Irony of ironies, note that Armitage actually praised Clinton’s approach, which must have driven Bush into the tank again.

Steve :: 1:10 PM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!