Friday :: Sep 30, 2005

Opening The Thousand-Year Egg

by pessimist

Considering the prevailing winds flow from west to east, one has to wonder why the stench of this major foul-up by Bu$hCo hasn't flowed from East to West and offended the olfactory nerves of internationalists everywhere. Despite every effort by several countries - particularly China, Japan, and South Korea - to ease the atomic tensions of North Korea, leave it to Bu$hCo to blow it:

Vigilance against U.S. Attempt for Preemptive Nuclear Attack Called for

The DPRK cannot remain indifferent towards the U.S. attempt at a preemptive nuclear attack and will steadily strengthen its war deterrent to defend national sovereignty and security with supreme vigilance. The DPRK is proud to see how wise it was that it has strengthened all its deterrent force in line with the Songun policy to cope with the U.S. moves for a nuclear preemptive attack against it.

Pyongyang has reasons for concern, and their response to this report plays into the Chickenhawks like Congressional Democrats play into the Republican agenda.

A draft "doctrine for joint nuclear operation" was made public by the U.S. Department of Defense on Sept. 10. According to it, the field U.S. army commanders may request the U.S. president to allow the use of nuclear weapons in different 'emergency case' for mounting a preemptive attack on 'enemy' weapons of mass destruction, countering dangerous conventional weapons, putting an early end to war and the like.

This article explores why this doctrine is so open.

What is all the more serious is that the first target of the doctrine is none other than the DPRK. Clear is the ulterior intention of the U.S. talking about settlement of the nuclear issue through dialogue under the pretext of the six-party talks. In a word, it is to disarm the DPRK and stifle it with nuke (sic).

The U.S. attempt to amend the doctrine is a climax of its open nuclear threat and moves to stifle the DPRK. But the DPRK stands squarely against any U.S. nuclear threat. It is fully ready to decisively control a preemptive nuclear attack with a strong retaliatory blow even if the U.S. commits it any moment.

Considering Pyongyang hasn't yet been transmogrified into glowing dust particles to be windblown over Japanese cities, about the only solid thing accomplished by Bu$hCo has been to upset and realign the power centers of the Far East in China's favor:

Kim Jong-il Back to the Game of Cat and Mouse
By Jacques Amalric
September 29, 2005
Original Article (French)

Despite the momentary glee at the close of six-party talks, after three years the participants had achieved only a flimsy deal that looks likely to result in a more isolated North Korea - playing China and South Korea against Washington. What’s more, according to this op-ed from France’s Liberation, the situation in Iran is almost equally as dire.

Despite the recently announced success, nuclear proliferation has beautiful days ahead of it. .... The tentative conclusion of this episode: the game of cat and mouse that the United States and North Korea commenced since suspicions emerged that Pyongyang had violated agreements concluded with the Clinton Administration in 1994, will resume next month - if Kim Jong-il condescends to send his representatives to the next meeting of the Six Party talks [slated for November].
The North Korean dictator can all the more count on the discrete support of China and South Korea (which want to avoid American military intervention at any price) as Bush struggles with his Iraqi quagmire and domestic difficulties.
All of which explain the less-intransigent attitude adopted by Condoleezza Rice since taking over at the State Department and sending John Bolton, upon whom negotiations with Pyongyang no longer depend, to the United Nations. It is more than likely that this new American realism will be interpreted as a sign of weakness by Kim Jong-il and as an incentive to isolate his country even further.

China's 'success' in dominating the Six Party Talks will inspire them to attempt other diplomatic ventures elsewhere:

The things are hardly better with regard to Iran’s nuclear programs. European mediation having failed, Germany, France and the United Kingdom agreed to America’s long-standing request for referring the issue to the Security Council for the purpose of sanctioning Teheran for supposed violations of the NPT. The request had to be postponed due to the opposition of Russia and China.

This opposition is significant:

The first [Russia] is committed to a civilian nuclear partnership with Teheran. The second [China] 'is constrained' by the need to acquire large amounts of Iranian oil, the purchase of which has multiplied many-fold over recent years. Result: if the Board of Directors of the IAEA is to send the issue to the Security Council, a new vote will have to confirm the decision. Until that moment and to evade that fate, Teheran will openly use the weapon of gas and oil; and far more discreetly than it wields influence over the Iraqi Shiites.

Such moves by Teheran would have effects that hit home in the United States, where gasoline prices recently reached record highs:

The Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took the opportunity to hammer in the first nail by stating, "Economic links are just a step away from political links." The secretary of Iran’s powerful Supreme National Security Council, Ali Larijani [See Video Below] was even more explicit when he stated: "If certain countries that have economic interests, in particular oil, do not behave in a spirit of responsibility; the Supreme Council has decided to treat their participation in our energy sector accordingly." This message is aimed particularly at the United Kingdom and France, or in other words Royal Dutch Shell and Total, who are poised to sign significant contracts with Iran.

I've written before about the natural gas pipeline project involving Iran and US 'allies' India and Pakistan. Russia and China both declared that the area holds 'strategic interests' (read: energy resources) that require them to closely monitor all activites in that region. The US worked India like a trout on a taut line, and the cracks in the deal began to show, causing concern in India's energy and business communities. Iran also noticed, and issued a warning to India:

India is also in Teheran’s sights: although New Delhi has concluded a contract for the purchase of significant quantities of Iranian natural gas over the next 25 years, of, she voted for the first IAEA resolution against Iran. In response, a spokesman for the Iranian Ministry for Foreign Affairs declared, in an effort to avert such a stance from New Delhi in future: "what the Indians have done is quite strange to us and we are very disappointed."

Welcome to Bu$hConomic$! Nobody expects The Bu$hCo Imposition!

But this move against Iran through India by Bu$hCo isn't just upsetting Indian business interests. American business interests are also wondering what the hell the Crawford Cocaine Cowboy is up to now:

The "Wrong Signal" On Containing Nukes?

These days, playing hardball with Uncle Sam has few downsides, and not only North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is doing it. Iraq's insurgency has dashed the Bush Administration's hopes that both North Korea and Iran would take a lesson from the toppling of Saddam Hussein and bow to demands to give up nuclear ambitions. Instead, Pyongyang and Tehran seem emboldened as they face a President undermined by Iraq and the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. In the end, Washington may have to live with two new nuclear players.

Beijing, which is getting high marks for hosting the Six Party talks, also comes out a diplomatic winner for keeping them alive. China wrangled compromises from Washington and Pyongyang -- a sign of its growing influence. "Bush needs this treaty," says Yan Xuetong, director of Tsinghua University's Institute of International Studies in Beijing. "The U.S. has no energy to deal with North Korea militarily."

Such concessions could have repercussions for Washington's overall effort to combat proliferation. They "send a wrong signal to Iran and other states aspiring to become nuclear powers," warns Lee Jung Hoon, a professor of international relations at Seoul's Yonsei University.

Iran is already thumbing its nose at America by resisting curbs on its nuclear activities. The U.S. position is made more awkward by its July deal to give India access to nuclear fuel. In contrast to Iran, India has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and has tested bombs. Iran could well prevail over Uncle Sam, since China and Russia oppose Security Council sanctions.

The U.S. may be the lone superpower, but it's becoming clearer how limited its clout can be.

It is becoming so clear that this situation in North Korea is bad for bu$ine$$ that former Carlyle Group Senior Advisor and Managing Director George H. W. Bu$h has been called out of retirement to go to Pyongyang and save his $on'$ $orry @$$ one more time:

Bush Senior Could Visit Pyongyang

Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush may head a special mission to North Korea to ensure the success of six-party talks on the country’s nuclear program, the president of the Korea Society of New York Donald Gregg said Tuesday. It is difficult for President George W. Bush to make the visit himself or meet with North Koreans at the November APEC summit in Busan, Gregg said, but the president’s father could make the trip instead.

That's a cute little cover story, but one has to remember that thanks to the spy plane incident, the Chinese have to have no respect whatsoever for George Warmonger Bu$h. But luckily for the Carlyle Group, and the many other business organizations who have interests in the region, the Chinese still have warm regard for former US ambassador to China and ex-President George H. W. Bu$h - at least enough to treat with him on a serious basis, knowing that he understands from experience how they think and negotiate.

This knowledge is very important considering China's growing international political control and diplomatic influence on a basis equal to that once enjoyed solely by the United States - at least before Dumbya stole the steering wheel and drove us over a cliff.

Fortunately for the New World Order, China is openly (for them) expressing acceptance of Poppy as their negotiating party:

Sino-US ties to progress well if handled with care

China's attitude towards the United States is an important part of its foreign policy. This policy is founded on a very deep understanding of the Sino-US relationship.
However, the two countries have different social systems and ideologies, and both must handle the relationship with each other well if they want to develop their mutual interests and resolve such matters as human rights.
Improvement or deterioration of this relationship is increasingly influencing regional and international arenas. China is worried that the United States, in order to sustain its dominant position, is bent on obstructing China's development. This has helped heighten the importance, complexity and sensitivity of the relationship between the two countries.

[S]ince the beginning of this year, Sino-US conflicts have been on the rise once more. Apart from the intensification of economic and trade conflicts, friction has also appeared in the political and security arenas.

The matters in question touch on the European Union lifting the arms sale embargo on China, ... and China increasing its status and influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Although friction has intensified, particularly in commerce and trade, the two countries have generally maintained stability and the pace of development in bilateral ties. The Bush administration has adopted an even policy.

Sino-US relations are far more different from the Soviet-US relations in the past. .... China and the United States have gone through several major ups and downs, but both countries have accumulated a great deal of experience in handling conflicts between them.

After all the happy talk and compliments extended to the Bu$h family through compliments directed toward the Oval Office (which is how they indicate their acceptance of Poppy in the coming talks), the Chinese present the situation as they understand it:

[T]he United States is increasingly worried that China is curtailing US influence in East Asia, as well as the whole of Asia, and is attempting to exclude the United States from the region altogether. It is an undeniable fact that China's influence is increasing in the region, but it is definitely not China's policy to exclude the United States.

The Chinese Government has explicitly stated that it welcomes the United States to undertake a positive and constructive role in regional security. China and the United States have worked well in multilateral forums such as the Six-Party Talks. China will not object to the US-Japan alliance as long as it does not affect the sovereignty of other countries. China is willing to work with the United States to promote regional peace and stability.

Having stated the US issues as China understands them, China proceeds to list its own issues:

[E]nergy is a new problem for China and the United States. Many people in both countries realize this can only be resolved through dialogue and co-operation, and the potential of Sino-US co-operation in this regard is great indeed. China's effort to strive to achieve an energy-efficient society is of great importance in resolving this clash.

As to the questions of sustaining peace and stability in oil-producing regions and maintaining smooth passage on maritime routes, there exist common interests.

The meaning of this becomes clear in the next statement:

Lastly, the Taiwan question is very important for both sides across the Straits. The reduction of tension across the Taiwan Straits is conducive to steady development of Sino-American relations.

What this means in American is that Chinese maritime routes include some that skirt Taiwan, an area of contention long before Chang Kai-shek escaped Mao's forces there, and held out - thanks to the dominance of the US Seventh Fleet. The last thing the Chinese want is to have to concentrate their relatively meager naval forces to counter the US forces in the area. Thus, it is in their interests to come to some kind of an agreement over North Korea in particular - and by extension, Iran - as this last paragraph indicates:

Should a framework for peaceful and steady development of the Sino-US relations be formed, this will accord precious time for China and the United States to increase co-operation, resolve differences and gradually build strategic mutual trust.

Taiwan, understandably, is uncomfortable with their new role as bargaining chip for Washington, and in the recent past have been feeling the winds of change as China gains more and more influence over Foggy Bottom. The price for what they ask is incredible:

Opinions are free, so is Taiwan

C. P. Scott, the celebrated Manchester Guardian editor, has a very apt dictum for journalists the world over. He says: "Facts are sacred, but opinions are free."

Similarly, everyone else is entitled to his opinion, and a group of independence activists - including the Taiwan Defense Alliance, Civil Party, Farmers' Party, Taiwan Independence Party and foreigners' rights advocate Richard Hartzell - is exercising that freedom of speech by urging the United States to take over the island militarily.

That's all we need - yet another place to tie down dwindling US military manpower!

But I digress.

The activists bought a US$70,000 advertisement in The Washington Post on last Tuesday to call on the Pentagon to send U.S. Marines to Taiwan to impose a form of military government as a midway station to a truly independent, sovereign state. They are threatening to sue Washington for failing to do so.
Inasmuch as international law is concerned, Taiwan belongs to the Republic of China, not an unincorporated military territory of the United States. Of course, the independence activists are absolutely free to advocate and advance their idea of how to solve the current stalemate between Taiwan and China. The chances are one in a million that they would succeed in getting Washington to lend an ear.

Considering that China has seen its stake in the U.S. government more than triple since 2000 to $242 billion, a million isn't very big to start with.

Thus, there is much more incentive in the bu$ine$$ community for guiding Washington toward keeping that bigger egg from cracking and releasing an even more foul stench than the ones already permeating the world. It would really kill the profits 'earned' from selling weapons to the participants in the little wars that abound along tense borders. As these profits are huge, it behooves Carlyle to call upon its pet silverback to protect itself and its hard-won warbux from the screwups of 'Unka' Dick's Organ Monkey.

Luckily for us, the effort necessary for our survival just happens to coincide with this. Woe betide us if Owwer Leedur does something that doesn't coincide! That stench would be indescribable.

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pessimist :: 2:38 PM :: Comments (8) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!