Sunday :: Aug 8, 2004

Bush's Tough-Guy Policy Towards North Korea And Iran A Failure

by Steve

David Sanger of the New York Times ran a good piece this morning which summarizes the view of many national security and proliferation officials overseas and in the Clinton Administration that the Bush Administration “Axis of Evil” demonization of both Iran and North Korea has actually fostered each country’s progress towards working nuclear programs. In essence, while Bush and Cheney have talked tough and refused to engage either country while picking on the weakest and least-nuclear of the three Axis members, Iraq, the other two members of the Axis have gone nuclear right under Bush’s nose.

While the administration has refused to engage either country directly and has relied upon diplomatic pressure from other countries, it has refused direct negotiations for fear of looking weak and as if it was willing to negotiate or buy the compliance of Iran and North Korea. This approach has been an abject failure because both Iran and North Korea have business relationships with China, Russia, and Europe, so American isolation means nothing to Tehran and Pyongyang. Secondly, it is hard to deal with both countries when the nuclear cows have already left the barn, so to speak, because of assistance they received from Bush’s new friend Pakistan and their infamous nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, whom Bush didn’t stop when he had the chance. Lastly, every president except this one knows that you have to deal with lunatics and those you despise, and to deal with them early.

What’s very troubling in all of this is that the nuclearization of both countries could have been slowed or detoured if Bush was willing to get over his hatred for doing anything Clinton did and simply buy off or cut deals with both countries. For example, the plan laid out by Michael O’Hanlon of Brookings over a year and a half ago for a comprehensive North Korean solution could have been implemented a long time ago. And both countries have seen since the Iraq invasion that it is in their best interests to go nuclear in order to deal with the United States, since being a passive and sanctioned paper tiger like Iraq only ensures that Mr. Bush will strike. Those PNAC hardliners are loathe to do anything except act and talk tough in the hope that they can scare or wait out their opponents who aren’t invaded. Yet in the meantime, out in the real world, they have bungled their way into a more unsafe world.

Some of the same people who ridiculously hammered Clinton for dealing with North Korea in 1994 and who alleged that Clinton sold our national security down the river for Chinese campaign contributions in 1996 are now hypocritically silent about Mr. Bush allowing his ideological intransigence to let two more countries, both members of his own self-described Axis of Evil, to go nuclear right under his right-wing, tough-talking nose. His inept National Security Advisor says hollowly that we won’t allow Iran to go nuclear. Well, Mr. Bush, what do you plan to do about it, send the 145,000 troops tied down in your other foreign policy debacle over the border to fight a far tougher enemy? I didn’t think so. So shut the f**k up, and watch your out-of-control friend in the region Ariel Sharon bomb Iran's sites for you, while you have your troops on the ground next door as sitting ducks.

You know, if these two countries had gone nuclear under a disengaged President Gore, you would be hearing impeachment screams from the Mighty Wurlitzer. Yet all you hear from them now is the silence of hypocrisy.

Steve :: 11:09 PM :: Comments (3) :: Digg It!