Thursday, September 30, 2004

Derb Watch - North Korea

Ah Derb...

If you ask me to state my one biggest reason for voting Republican, here is the answer: "Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, Ed Muskie, Cyrus Vance." Those are the names of the last four secretaries of state in Democratic administrations. Every one of them was willing — nay, eager — to permit himself to be hung upside down and shaken till the keys to the store came tumbling out of his pockets by operators much less ruthless than Kim Jong Il. Secretary Albright, in fact, once distinguished herself by standing at Kim's side laughing and clapping along while a Nork dance troupe performed a number titled something like: "Drown the American Imperialist Pigs in a Sea of Fire!" Heaven preserve us from Democratic foreign policy.

And to remove any doubt!:

"And to those in Kim's slave camps, I say let them (not) eat cake!"

One of my friends brought up the point that he was disappointed in the fact that Bush hasn't done more to bring about the demise of the nasty Chairman Kim. I would agree that Bush could have done more, and nothing would have warmed my heart more than to see Kim's head on a pike on the road to Pyongyang. Unfortunately though, Bush's hands are pretty much tied. Even if we (and Japan) were to launch an amphibious assault on the North's coastline, there's little doubt that he would attack South Korea (and maybe even China) just to be an ass. I doubt that South Korea would get on board with any take down since that would mean, at the very least, severe damage to Seoul. I wish the situation was better, but this basically only leaves us with the mildest of methods.


TrappedinJapan said...

I think your views on North Korea need rethunk a bit and if that’s one of your biggest reasons to vote Republican then I would say you have been misled with the best of them. I’d like to know your views on solving the problem because realistic choices are quite limited and Bush has only served to limit them further and make an even bigger mess out of an already disastrous situation. Here is how the situation currently stands. This taken from CNN.

“According to U.S. think tanks and policy analysts, there are four ways of dealing with the nuclear deadlock.
• Hand out aid and security assurances if North Korea dismantles its nuclear program. Former U.S. president Bill Clinton tried this approach in 1994. That pact collapsed after the North violated the deal and pocketed handouts, blaming Washington for not fulfilling its obligations.
• Military strike. This could trigger a full-scale war, with missile attacks, radioactive fallout, economic turmoil and massive refugee flows. U.S. troops in Japan and South Korea could become nuclear hostages.
• Starve Kim Jong Il's regime of money, slapping sanctions and embargoes on the grounds the North is an outlaw of the nonproliferation treaty. Block the country's hard cash from illicit trade and cut off food aid. This is likely to worsen a massive humanitarian crisis on an economically isolated nation.
• Put up with a nuclear-armed North, and accept Pyongyang may export weapons. This could spark an arms race if South Korea, Japan and Taiwan became nuclear powers to defend themselves. Interdict suspected illegal goods through the 11-nation Proliferation Security Initiative, set up in May by Washington to allow the U.S. and its allies to search planes and ships.
The U.S. administration is divided on North Korea, not only because its partners in East Asia have all but ruled out the first option, but because it is not sure what Pyongyang wants.
Bargaining power
If Pyongyang is using its nuclear card as a bargaining chip to get attention, money, food and fuel from outside, then paying off the North would be the most likely option, analysts say.
But it would need to be conditional on the introduction of inspectors and international safeguards, with a package to boost investment and exchange with North Koreans.
On the other hand if Pyongyang is determined to become a nuclear power to defend itself, especially in the aftermath of the U.S.-led war on Iraq, then America and its partners have little bargaining power.
"They (the U.S.) could do nothing but wait until the regime collapses, or they could attack, which could be a very bloody war," says Dr. Andrei Lankov, a lecturer at the China and Korea Centre at the Australian National University.”

Those more knowledgeable about the situation than I am were repulsed when Bush grouped the already paranoid of a U.S. attack North Korean regime in with the Axis of Evil sparking a full speed ahead attitude towards their nuclear program from the regime. Bush in fact justified their efforts and encouraged them to become more of a threat. I believe that Bush is leaning more towards our fourth option of dealing with the North Koreas and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a few friends that might benefit monetarily from an arms build-up in Asia. How save would you and your children be then? Again I am not an expert in this area, but I have witnessed Bush manage to completely destroy an although not perfect at least existent relationship with North Korea. A relationship that I believe would have soon led to a slight opening of the country and a possibility of a merging of North and South many years down the road. North Korea is like a turtle closed up in it’s shell. Clinton urged it to stick it’s head out to the world and Bush has scared them back inside; to brood and worry and scheme against the world it feels will attack any day. Sorry my comments are so long, by the way.

Evil Sandmich said...

Fair points to be sure, I’ll see if my sleepy brain can better explain where I’m coming from…

It's worth noting on ‘point one’ that North Korea immediately ignored their part of the Clinton agreement. They also installed a load of hardened long range artillery that's pointed at Seoul. All this occurred under the auspices of the appeasement strategy favored by the left. Bush's speech just forced this fact out into the open. So ‘point one’ is trash, but that’s the path that Kerry wants to go.

I'd also like to point out that CNN missed a 'point' that’s often brought up in conservative circles that has to do with the resettlement of North Korean refugees. One of the things that helped hasten the fall of the Soviet Union was the rapid increase in the number of people running away from the communist dictatorships. The U.S. should further encourage South Korea to take these people in and the U.S. should offer to take in NK refugees from China. Resettlement on a piece of property in the U.S. might be enough all by itself to kill off Kim's regime. (As a note, developed nations having to take in large numbers of uneducated (and for us foreign) people sucks. But having Chairman Kim around certainly sucks more).

‘Point four’ would be the default point and would almost certainly end with a nuclear armed Japan. China especially has no interest in seeing this, but if they can't reign in the NKs then they'll get the situation they deserve.

Lastly, this issue by itself isn't a main motivator for me to vote for Bush, but it certainly gets added to the mix. Kerry has repeatedly stated that he would ONLY respond to a direct attack on the U.S. and has shown a predilection for gutting the armed services, this is simply unacceptable in this day and age (if ever). I would also like to say that many on the opposite side of the aisle think that conservatives find Bush’s approach good in and of itself, when in actuality we find that it’s the least crappy of a crappy set of options. It sucks that bullies only under stand bullying, but wishing it was different doesn’t make it so.

(As a side note, Chairman Kim’s regime can be associated much more closely to that of an evil crime lord in a slum than that of a turtle. By equating him to an innocent creature, one can think that he might have some pure motive. However, he most certainly does not. By some estimates he has about 10% of his population enslaved in horrid gulags. If that’s how he treats his own people then one can only imagine the care and concern he has for the other peoples of the earth).