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The United States and North Korea

I originally published this post approximately three years ago. With North Korea in the news again concerning its nuclear ambitions, I think it is important to understand the background.

As soon as President George W. Bush took office in 2001, Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that he was going to continue the actions of the Clinton administration. Quickly, Vice President Dick Cheney and other neo-cons in the Bush White House worked to silence Powell and reverse the steps that the Clinton Administration took to freeze nuclear weapons production in North Korea.

I believe the way that the US-North Korea relationship has been played out in the media has been ridiculously superficial. Secondly, the American public has been led to believe that everything started with President Clinton. He is portrayed as a hero or a villain, depending upon your point of view. As usual, I think that the real picture is far more complex.

It appears that North Korea‚Äôs nuclear plans date back to the late fifties and early ’60s. Being a very small and somewhat paranoid country, North Korea began to send scientists to the Soviet Union right at the end of the Korean War. They did not believe that when push came to shove the Soviet Union would stand up for them. The Cuban Missile Crisis reinforced that belief. The Soviet Union, their ally, backed down when the US show of force and imposed a blockade around Cuba. North Korea thought that Russia would do the same if squeezed by the US. Also, in 1965, the US, Japan and South Korean signed a diplomacy agreement. This served to further isolate the paranoid country. North Korea fired up the first of its two nuclear reactors in 1967. (more…)

By |2013-04-02T21:00:05-04:00April 2nd, 2013|Bush Administration, North Korea|4 Comments

President Bush Jumping into Presidential Election?

President George W. Bush was addressing the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) today. Bush said: “Some seem to believe we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: ‘Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.’ We have an obligation to call this what it is — the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

Somebody please help me. Who said anything about appeasement? Pat Buchanan pointed out that the Bush administration negotiated with Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. He gave up his nuclear ambitions. We tried the hard line with North Korea and they made more nuclear weapons during the Bush administration than in their history. We tried the hard line against Iran and they are clearly stronger now than since the late 1970’s.

Barack Obama had a thoughtful statement: “It is time to turn the page on eight years of policies that have strengthened Iran and failed to secure America or our ally Israel. Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power — including tough, principled and direct diplomacy — to pressure countries like Iran and Syria.

It appears to me that Bush is trying to go out of his way to prove how bad his administration truly is. I’m not sure that he did Senator John McCain any favors.

By |2008-05-15T20:32:47-04:00May 15th, 2008|Iran, Israel|Comments Off on President Bush Jumping into Presidential Election?
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