Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bush Draws New Line In Sand On What He Will "Tolerate" From North Korea

There's a 1949 Bugs Bunny-Yosemite Sam cartoon, Bugs Bunny Rides Again, in which Bugs draw a line in the desert dirt with his foot, and says, "I dare you to step across this line."

Yosemite Sam does, and that leads to a sequence, "Well, I dare you to cross this line. ... and this line ... and this line ... and this line," until finally Bugs draws a final line, Yosemite Sam crosses it ... and falls off a cliff (complete with the requisite Warner Brothers whistling descent sound).

In a way, that sums up the Bush Administration's policy toward North Korea, with two exceptions: Bush is falling off the cliff, and there's a chorus of conservatives saying that's just how Bush planned it.

Let me show how the "Yosemite Sam Strategy" is working:

In 2003, during a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi, Bush said:

BUSH: On the threat from North Korea's nuclear program, the Prime Minister and I see the problem exactly the same way. We will not tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea. We will not give into blackmail. We will not settle for anything less than the complete, verifiable, and irreversible elimination of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Now that North Korea has apparently crossed that line, Bush said yesterday:

BUSH: The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States, and we would hold North Korea fully accountable of the consequences of such action.

The line has moved. Why? The short answer is that North Korea ignored Bush's "tough talk." What happens if the Bush Administration "stays the course" with its current failed policy, and North Korea does try to sell material to terrorists? Will that also be met with scorn ... and little more?

***

Meanwhile, there was the typical "this is how we planned it" re-writing of history from the White House. At today's press briefing, Tony Snow had this exchange with NBC's David Gregory:

Q Tony, in 2003, the President said very clearly that we will not tolerate North Korea with nuclear weapons.

SNOW: Right.

Q And here we are in 2006 operating on the assumption, as the government is, that, in fact, they tested a nuclear devise. So what went wrong?

SNOW: I'm not sure anything went wrong.

I'm sure Snow will continue to say that if North Korea ignores Bush's "tough talk" again.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Clinton Administration's way of giving North Korea money and nuclear technology didn't work. The Bush Administration's way of wanting more countries at the table of negotiations isn't working. So what is the next step? Outside of arming South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, how does this get resolved? Could it be we have to go back into our playbook and do it the Reagan way? Sounds damn good to me.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

What's the Reagan way in this particular instance? Explain.

As for Clinton's way, they didn't "give" them nuclear technology. They were going to build light-water reactors (which don't build bombs) in exchange for them not using plutonium. But those things didn't even get built, so it's a moot point.

Either way, the Clinton approach was somewhat less than successful and Bush's approach was a miserable failure. Clearly we've got to find a way to work this out somehow.

8:43 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

By the first post and others on this blog, the Republicans are predictably playing the "blame Clinton" game again.
Never in history can I recall such a weak-kneed failed president as Bush who's only feather in his and his apologists' cap left has been to blame other administrations for his unspeakable failures and then to spin history to support those lies.

Fact: The record shows Clinton policies prompted N. Korea to hold back on nuclear tests for eight years. Fact: Bush policy or lack thereof have encouraged N. Korea to resume tests.
Fact: Clinton believed in negotiations with enemies and negotiated at least a long-term solution to deal with the threat of N. Korea.
Bush rejected everything Clinton had developed for handling N. Korea. Bush opted for a do nothing "talk tough" policy in the name of only negotiating with friends not enemies has been a catastrophic failure.
Fact: Bush was obsessed with Iraq and allowed N. Korea to resume the plutonium production Clinton had successfully stopped.
Fact: Kerry detailed a take action policy he would have implemented had he been elected president. Bush after the election sat on his hands allowing N. Koreans nuclear weapons capabilities to proliferate.
Fact: as for the claim Clinton paid N. Koreans money, perhaps many are not aware that Bush had himself funneled $95 million payment in 2002 to N. Korea as an incentive for them to stop the country's nuclear program.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/1908571.stm
I'm exasperated at this point. It appears the only hope for America is to wade out this current howlingly incompetent administration the best we can for the next two years, UNDER THE HOPES WE ARE NOT BLOWN TO SMITHEREENS IN THE MEANTIME.
God help us all.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um TWOT, I said yesterday that this is no time for playing the blame game but I guess your reading comprehension skills are not up to par.

Dave, I know you find this hard to swallow, unlike Monica, but Clinton was a bigger failure than Bush. He was duped and made a fool of.

Specifically the US agreed to arrange for the financing of two light water NUCLEAR power plants in North Korea and for annual shipments of 500,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil as an alternate source of energy until the new reactors came online. What a great job BJ did.

Dave, you may be able to lie and spin in order for your little minions to keep swallowing your bullshit but it wont work with me.

It amazes me with you people. Bush cant do anything right and Clinton was never ever wrong.

10:06 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

anonymous, the simple math is that north korea had 0 nuclear tests while clinton was in office, and has had one nuclear test while bush is in office.

it's not that bush can't do anything right -- it's that he does a lot of things wrong. LOL

10:09 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Watch video of Bush stumble and stutter his way at attempts at answering legitimate question from a CNN reporter: Why shouldn't the U.S. say the North Korean nuclear policy (under Bush) has been a failure.
http://tinyurl.com/eaw43
Bush resorts to describing how the U.S. has initiated six nation talks with N. Korea (without stating the obvious in that the action was not taken until N. Korea already had tested a nuclear weapon). Then Bush unconvincingly disputes intelligence showing that N. Korea has increased nuclear capabilities since he took office.
More state of denial.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

Anonymous, I asked you specifically what you meant by "the Reagan way." That was actually a serious question.

As for the rest...
Specifically the US agreed to arrange for the financing of two light water NUCLEAR power plants in North Korea and for annual shipments of 500,000 metric tons of heavy fuel oil as an alternate source of energy until the new reactors came online.
Yes. He did arrange for this financing. But the plants were never built. That's a key fact you seem to be missing. They didn't build the bombs with those plants, because they don't have those plants. You also can't use fuel oil to build nuclear bombs, as you probably know (or perhaps don't).

Dave, you may be able to lie and spin in order for your little minions to keep swallowing your bullshit but it wont work with me.
Of course it won't work with you, because you can barely form compound sentences.

It amazes me with you people. Bush cant do anything right and Clinton was never ever wrong.
Actually, I believe I said Clinton's policy here wasn't exactly a success, but it did enough to hold off N. Korea from building a weapon. They shuttered the plutonium enrichment under the threat of a war and between 1994 and 2002 didn't build any plutonium bombs. Now they have a plutonium bomb. So did Bush do well here?

Most of us are perfectly willing to concede that in many areas, Bill Clinton was not a success, and not perfect. A good president, hardly a great one.

But Bush is a disaster. Unmitigated disaster. He rejected Clinton's plan and instead did, what? nothing is what he did.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reagan way. Peace through Strength. And yes Dave those plants wer ebuilt. Stop your lies.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clintons plan? What plan was that? The only thing that was done by Clinton and North Korea was North Korea took our money and continued to build nukes. I realize you libs arent too smart and think thing can get done in months, like the attack on 9-11, but it takes years if not decades to come up with a nuclear program. Sorry to pop you bubble.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

yeah, anonymous, you have that absolutely correct. (rolls eyes)

your absoluate hatred of clinton makes any conversation with you meaningless.

11:43 AM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Anonymous is parroting the nonsense Bush stated in the press conference yesterday, linked above, while ignoring the above posts.
When Bush and his apologists are cornered on the failures of his various foreign policies they seem to always resort to the Rove-authored GOP talking point: "Well it takes years to (insert action Bush failed to accomplish)."

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Virginia Dare said...

He's the laughing stock of the entire world...
We'll be lucky if we can recover from the debacle he has made of our foreign policy.

12:06 PM  
Anonymous cmt928 said...

great analogy!

I have always thought dubya had acted like a 12 yr old anyway...

a spoiled brat 12 yr old, who worries more about others' "behavior" rather than his - it is always everybody else who behaves badly, somebody to blame!

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

The Reagan way. Peace through Strength.
Ok, but what next? Explain what you mean. I was actually attempting a dialogue here.

And yes Dave those plants wer ebuilt. Stop your lies.
Anonymous, find me a source that says the plants were built. They weren't built. Period. The plan was to build them, and they weren't built.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I am right rob. You all just cant deal with facts or reality. The reality is NK took our money, (I thought you libs like it when people take other peoples money) and kept on building nukes. It cant be disputed. Try as you might, you cant. I am done with you libtards on this. Can we get back to gay sex with 21 year olds or maybe some more Macaca?

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

It's ok, man. Facts dont matter in your world. We understand. Perhaps maybe you just need to lie down for a while with a cold compress on your head.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

On the macaca front, The New Republic found two more "friends" of Allen's who said that when playing poker (I think in the 1990s) Allen would refer to bad clubs and spades as the "N-word."

As JABBS would say, "You Can't Make This Stuff Up."

LOL

1:32 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

From the NY Times website:

Bush Sees No Need to Change N. Korea Policy
By DAVID STOUT 6 minutes ago
The president reaffirmed his faith in tough, multinational diplomacy to deal with North Korea and said that the U.S. had no intention of invading.

>>>

Seems like JABBS' article is dead-on accurate, at least in terms of Bush's response to North Korea's "provocative" measure.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Widget said...

Robbed of a Brain,

Make up your mind.

President Bush is wrong with you whatever he does.

We get attacked by Middle Eastern Islamic terrorists on 9/11, and he's wrong for being in Iraq.

We don't get attacked by N Korea, and he's wrong for not invading or bombing N Korea.

Sorry that dog wont run

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

It amazes me you get out of your house without injuring yourself, widget.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

I never said we should invade North Korea. Quite the contrary, I'm advocating we actually try one-on-one diplomacy, and iron out a "tough" agreement that makes sense for both sides. I'm asking Bush to be a leader, rather than hide behind the failed six-country talks, which North Korea walked away from.

And yes, I think it was wrong to go to Iraq. I thought it was wrong four years ago. Al Qaeds attacked us. Not Iraq. We should have dealt with Al Qaeda first, and then worried about possible future threats. Al Qaeda continues to be a threat today, as evidenced by Bush's remarks, as well as the London, Madrid, Riyadh, Istanbul and Bali attacks.

And sadly, the Bush Administration has repeatedly said that capturing Osama is not essential to the war on terror. It's amazingly stupid.

3:43 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

Way up above anonoymous said: "Um TWOT, I said yesterday that this is no time for playing the blame game but I guess your reading comprehension skills are not up to par."
Then in the remainder of the very post he goes on to do just that, play the Clinton blame game.
Moron.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

--Then in the remainder of the very post he goes on to do just that, play the Clinton blame game.--

Because that’s all they have. It’s the only card left in their hand to blame others for their own failurres so they can’t do anything else. I think it’s interesting that Anonymous hides behind his own anonymity while the other posters are confident enough in themselves to use real logins and some of us even our names.

-Joe

5:56 PM  
Blogger thewaronterrible said...

I would use my real name, Joe, but like others here, I am a journalist by trade and have to hide my political leanings away from my editors and readers or else they might believe my objectivity could be compromised. When I had used my full real name for a brief period when starting out blogging in JABBS some years back, I discovered my JABBS post were coming up using search engines.

11:08 PM  

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