Sunday, April 05, 2009

Ex-Bush diplomat: North Korea is (another) Bush failure...

Of course North Korea (DPRK) launched a ballistic missile.  This is one of the most telegraphed provocations to date.  They have launched before, they have said they would do it again, they had placed the weapon on the platform on display for all the world to see via Google Earth (at left).  It's been an ongoing situation for at least five years.

The threat to the United States is not immediate and, in fact, is only theoretical.  Even under perfect circumstances, the Taepodong missile could barely reach Hawaii from North Korea.  The real threats are that DPRK would destabilize Asian allies, or more worrisome, that the economically challenged regime would sell the technology to Iran or terrorist groups that are hell-bent on attacking us or our allies.

This situation will require astute diplomacy since China has been the enabling big brother to Kim Jong Il and would not be thrilled with US military action on the peninsula.  Yesterday, before the launch had taken place, John Bolton* (at right), who served as the US Ambassodor to the UN under George W. Bush, was interviewed by Greta Van Susteren of Fox News on this very topic. 

The fact is, I don't think the Obama administration knows much what to do. I think their reaction will be in the U.N. Security Council. I think that's going to be entirely inadequate. North Korea, by launching this rocket, is already violating several Security Council resolutions, so I don't think they pay much attention to what happens in New York.
[Note: Obama has said that the act is a violation of UN resolutions and that he will engage our allies in the region.]
And when pressed for an answer on what should be done, Bolton added:

 I don't think the U.N.'s going to do much of anything. I think it's very unlikely they'll get a stiff sanctions resolution. The sanctions that were imposed in 2006, when North Korea tested missiles and a nuclear device, obviously haven't not stopped them.

I think the real pressure has to be applied on China, which gives North Korea 80 to 90 percent of its energy and a substantial amount of its food and other humanitarian needs. China's got the capability to stop this nuclear program. We've just never applied adequate pressure to them.

And then... change of subject.

So there you have it.  Bush's own ambassodor admits, 1) this incident is a threat to US interests, 2) China needs to be engaged on the issue, 3) the Bush administration "never applied adequate presure."  We do not know exactly what President Obama will do in this situation, but if history is a guide we do know what President Bush would do.  After the North Korean missile launch in 2006, Bush did... nothing.  He ignored it, did not engage China or the UN or garner adequate allied pressure on the regime... which I suppose is better than the alternative plan which would have been to attack and invade Australia.

Thank you, Mr. Bolton, you may now drift back into the obscurity which you so richly deserve.  (And the next time you get the urge to take an ad hominem swipe at the current administration which is charged with cleaning up the shitstorm left by your previous boss, please just STFU).

*It is also importatnt to note that Bolton has been a lifetime critic of the UN, not of any specific policy of the UN mind you, but rather of the entire notion of an institution of United Nations.  So, in effect, Bush's appointment of Bolton was really just giving the finger to the UN.

My prediction:  Right wing pundits will immediately wet their pants and then they will busily voice all their inane fears and empty concerns and feel the need to tell us how they are "scared" and "worried"... yada, yada, yada.  Count how many times you see or hear those words on websites and Fox news in the coming week.

1 comment:

Delilah said...

Bolton needs to crawl under Cheney's rock and the two of them should stay there. Every time they slither out and open their mouths, I get a migraine. Since he endangered multi-party talks on nuclear disarmament with his perjorative, vituperative and destructive rhetoric, he should never ever be given an ounce of credibility on any issue related to global security or international diplomacy.

North Korea aside, Bolton was the very person who said that if the UN building lost ten stories it would make no difference. That he was Bush's pick as US ambassador to the UN is a disgrace.


I must say that I did love your hypothetical action of Bush invading Australia as his action against North Korea... I chuckled loudly after reading that one.

Perhaps Bush's inaction (which The Grand Moustache has indicated is part of the problem) was actually a blessing. As I have said before, it might have been better if Bush spent the entire eight years clearing brush in Crawford while on vacation...