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Dear Leader Brings It On
By Robert Scheer
Tuesday 10 October 2006
Well, Bush showed them, didn't he?
Over the past six years, our "my way or the highway" president blew up a crucial nonproliferation agreement which was keeping North Korea's plutonium stores under seal, ended bilateral talks with Pyongyang, squashed Japan's and South Korea's carefully constructed "sunshine policy," which was slowly drawing the bizarre Hermit Kingdom back into the light, and then took every opportunity to personally insult the country's reportedly unstable dictator because it played well politically at home.
If you shun them, they will shape up - this was the essence of President Bush's non-diplomacy, as it was in regards to Iran, Lebanon and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The result? Cold War-style brinkmanship that has left the United States helpless.
Thank you, Mr. President. I feel so much safer now that we have a wannabe cowboy in charge of the free world.
In the ongoing story of Bush and Co.'s dangerous leadership, the North Korea chapter is one of the least understood - and potentially the most disastrous. And, as with the sordid saga of Iraq and the "missing" weapons of mass destruction, the devil is in the details obscured by the ugly glare of tyrants such as Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il.
Republican cheerleaders are now making the case that, as with every other problem in the world, this is all Bill Clinton's fault; the line is that former President Clinton caved to the North Korean communists, who then broke their agreements. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, what happened is that Jimmy Carter, on Clinton's behalf, had negotiated an historic deal back in 1994 to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to seal Pyongyang's plutonium in exchange for major energy assistance in the form of fuel-oil shipments and the building of safe nuclear reactors. (Incidentally, Donald Rumsfeld was a director of one of the companies that profited from the reactor deal.)
Clinton then followed the lead of Japan and South Korea in trying to lead paranoid North Korea into the world community through baby-step agreements.
Nearly a decade later, with the plutonium still safely under seal, however, Bush repudiated this approach, effectively driving North Korea to abandon all agreements and return to its pre-1994 pursuit of plutonium-based nukes. The White House rationale was that North Korea had broken the agreement by trying to enrich uranium enough to use it in weapons. However, not only are any such intelligence claims coming from this administration now highly suspect, but such a program would take a level of energy production and technical ability that seems to be beyond Pyongyang.
In any case, now Kim Jong Il and his scientists don't have to worry about the enormous difficulties posed by enriching uranium: They have back their far, far more dangerous plutonium reserves - thanks to Bush - with enough material to make between four and 13 bombs - and have missiles capable of carrying them into Alaska. Even worse, we know now that this rogue nation also benefited from key nuclear technology training provided by Pakistani nuke scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, who then inexplicably was pardoned by our "war on terror" allies in Islamabad and has never been made available to U.S. investigators.
What did tough-talk Dubya do in response to this international outrage? He dropped the sanctions previously imposed on Pakistan because of that country's nuclear weapons program.
Originally posted by Esoteric Teacher
I concede he shares in the blame, but certainly not all of it.
The confessed proliferation took place between 1989 and 2000, though it is suspected that proliferation activities to North Korea continued after that date. The network used to supply these activities is global in scope, stretching from Germany to Dubai and from China to South Asia, and involves numerous middlemen and suppliers