Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Another Bush Foreign Policy Triumph

Ah yes... it seems like just yesterday Bush was going to flex his man muscle and whip North Korea into shape. Great success, that. Suddenly he's a bit more interested in diplomacy.
Before getting too carried away, it should be noted that the Bush administration has a long way to go to even get back to the situation that existed with respect to North Korea's nuclear program when it took office. Early in the first term, then Secretary of State Colin Powell suggested continuing the negotiating framework that had been developed in the Clinton years -- a step-by-step approach that swapped moves towards dismantling the North Korean nuclear program in exchange for growing economic and political relations with the U.S.--Powell was immediately slapped down by the neo-cons. Within 48 hours U.S. policy had shifted to one of asking for major concessions BEFORE providing any benefits to North Korea (an approach that may sound familiar, as it bears a striking resemblance to the administration's current position vis-a-vis Iran).

Years were lost due to the Bush administration's intransigence, during which time North Korea tested a ballistic missile and a nuclear weapon, while accumulating enough bomb-grade plutonium to build at least nine nuclear bombs. In short, talking tough while refusing to negotiate was an unmitigated disaster.

Colin Powell wakes up every morning feeling:
a) bitter
b) angry
c) ashamed
d) relieved



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