Saturday, May 30, 2009

Appeasing North Korea

Regular readers of this blog (ha, ha, ha) know that I religiously scour the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal. It's a very enlightening activity. Even though it has the second best circulation of any U.S. newspaper (USA Today is number one), far too few people are aware of the valuable information in its pages. As I noted in a previous post , the WSJ accurately predicted our current economic calamity with two series of editorials - one on the Fed's loose money policies and the other on government endorsement of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subsidized subprime mortgages. More recently the paper has been giving former U.N. ambassador John Bolton a platform to condemn our diplomatic efforts at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions. Even Bolton's former boss, President Bush, has not been spared his scorn. So far, everything Bolton has predicted - missile launches, nuclear tests, belligerence - has come to pass. An editorial today (not by Bolton) gives a good, concise history of our futile appeasement of North Korea.

A more entertaining look at the issue is provided on NRO by, who else but Mark Steyn. A sampling.

If you’re American, it’s natural to assume that the North Korean problem is about North Korea, just like the Iraq War is about Iraq. But they’re not. If you’re starving to death in Pyongyang, North Korea is about North Korea. For everyone else, North Korea and Iraq, and Afghanistan and Iran, are about America: American will, American purpose, American credibility. The rest of the world doesn’t observe Memorial Day. But it understands the crude symbolism of a rogue nuclear test staged on the day to honor American war dead and greeted with only half-hearted pro forma diplomatese from Washington.
Pyongyang’s actions were “a matter of . . . ” Drumroll, please! “ . . . grave concern,” declared the president. Furthermore, if North Korea carries on like this, it will — wait for it — “not find international acceptance.” As the comedian Andy Borowitz put it, “President Obama said that the United States was prepared to respond to the threat with ‘the strongest possible adjectives . . . ’ Later in the day, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the North Korean nuclear test ‘supercilious and jejune.’ ”
The president’s general line on the geopolitical big picture is: I don’t need this in my life right now. He’s a domestic transformationalist, working overtime — via the banks, the automobile industry, health care, etc. — to advance statism’s death grip on American dynamism. His principal interest in the rest of the world is that he doesn’t want anyone nuking America before he’s finished turning it into a socialist basket-case.

Even if you disagree with the sentiment, isn't that delicious writing?

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