The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

If at first ...

It has been my position in this blog that negotiations with psychopaths and liars is a bad policy. In general, it amounts to nothing more than kicking the can down the road, hoping that bribes from our side and empty promises from theirs will delay any real action until that action becomes someone else’s problem. But as time passes, a bad situation gets no better. In fact, it usually metastasizes into something that can be much, much more dangerous and nearly impossible to fix.

Today, the Bush administration announced that a deal had been negotiated with North Korea. Their efforts follow in a long line of US negotiations with Kim Jong Il and his father (both bona fide psychopaths). Over the years, the Kims have signed treaties with the US and with Russia, promising to not build nuclear weapons. The Russians built the NoKos a nuclear reactor in the late 1980s in exchange for a nuclear non-proliferation promise from the NoKos. The NoKos reneged.

In the early 1990s under the Bush-41 administration, the US removed tactical nukes from the Korean peninsula in return for a NoKo promise not to build nukes. We pulled the weapons, and the NoKos pulled out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1993.

The Clinton administration took the reigns and negotiated a “framework” that provided food and fuel and two nuclear reactors if only the NoKo would stop their drive toward Nukes. In 1994, Bill Clinton, promised that "North Korea will freeze and then dismantle its nuclear program." This spectacular peace of diplomacy is still in effective (oops, forgot to mention that the NoKos tested a nuke in 2006 … oh, never mind.)

But wait, we spent hundreds of millions in “humanitarian aid” to the poor starving NoKos. That a good thing, but the starvation has been caused by Kim -- a leader spends billions on a million man army and has no problem whatsoever starving more than 1 million of his own people to death. Certainly a worthy partner for negotiation.

That brings use to the present. Now it appears that the Bushies have cut a deal with the NoKos. Same general terms -- we bribe, they promise, we act resolute, they proceed as they like.

In an article that provides a more complete treatment of this epic saga of diplomacy, John Podhoretz comments:
… it appears that the Bush administration has now gone down the same path as everybody else - paying Kim a bribe in exchange for promises of change. We'll hear a lot about how this deal will be enforced with great determination. But it probably won't be, because Kim has the whip hand. Everyone is sure he's crazy, and everyone is fearful he will start a regional war in Asia if he doesn't get his way.

Why on earth should Kim keep up his end of any bargain? He's running one of the most successful extortion rackets in the history of the world. Why would he give up now?

And for those who still believe that we should negotiate with Iran, just remember that Kim’s extortion racket will look like child’s play when compared to the games to be played by the Imams in Tehran.

But hey, the NoKo negotiations have gone so well over the past 20 years, what the heck. Let's talk!