A great man once said, "Politics is inherently stupid." That great man was me.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What nukes?

Plenty of praise for the former US president here, especially in the comments section where much is made of the benefit of Clinton's method of 'soft diplomacy'. Much is also said about North Korea's nuclear program.

Unfortunately, not much is said about Mr. Clinton's legacy of 'soft diplomacy' that ultimately led to North Korea's agreement not to develop it's nuclear program in the late 90's.
You remember, of course - the agreement where Kim Jon Il promised Clinton that the North's nuclear program was done for good? The one that led to massive re-establishment of international aid?
Well, some of you will recall that North Korea never actually stopped the program. Years later, we learned that it had been moving forward forward all along, and that the North had been playing everyone for fools - for years.

Let's be clear - everyone is glad that the imprisoned reporters are free, and we should all be happy for that. But the reality is, North Korea has scored yet another victory here.

Need some attention from the west? Arrest a few reporters, then act magnanimous when a former president of the U.S. comes calling by freeing said reporters - gaining a photo op and some measure of twisted diplomatic 'legitimacy' from appearing with a former leader of the most poweful nation in the world. And we are supposed to eat it up in the west, chalking it up to some sort of strange diplomatic victory. I am sure this will be heralded as 'progress' by some, and evidence that talking with dictators accomplishes something. Some will see this as evidence that the north is open to discussion.

Normally when a child misbehaves, you punish them, not accede to their demands by bribing them when they give you your car keys back. Kim Jong Il is interested only in playing everyone for fools and this is yet another part of that agenda - stall, stall, stall - until the North is permanently nuclear and can bully its way into getting what it wants.

So much for Clinton's diplomacy.

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