Wednesday, September 21


From the beginning of his presidency, Bush Jr. and the Rethugs have argued that Clinton's deal with the North Koreans was an "exercise in appeasement." Dubya likes to sling around the ol' tough-cowboy rhetoric, and he didn't spare Kim Jong-il any of it. In the 2004 presidential debates, John Kerry pointed out that as long as Clinton was president we had cameras in the reactors and we knew where the fuel rods were. Bush refused to talk to North Korea for two years after he became president, and during that time the cameras came out and Kim had the opportunity to build up his weapons program.

Now, though, it appears that the Bush administration is negotiating a deal similar to Clinton's. It's the right move, but don't you know it's just KILLING Dick Cheney to have anyone draw similarities between any aspect of his foreign policy and that of He-Who-Is-The-Root-of-All-Evil (better known to us as The Big Dog). From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Perhaps most important, though, a number of experts said, was that the Bush administration abandoned its hard-line position toward the insular communist government in Pyongyang and took several steps it had long refused to consider.

The White House said it was prepared to normalize relations with a government the president had earlier condemned as a member of "the axis of evil"; it agreed to consider construction of a civilian power reactor in North Korea; and it dropped its earlier insistence that North Korea had to completely dismantle its nuclear program before the United States would offer any economic aid or other benefits.
In 1994, the Clinton administration signed what was called the Agreed Framework, a deal that promised to provide North Korea with fuel oil, food assistance and, eventually, two civilian power reactors in return for a halt to its weapons activities.

That arrangement was produced under intense pressure; the Clinton administration was so worried about the weapons program that, officials have said, it drew up preliminary plans for a military strike against North Korea.

With the deal, tensions eventually cooled. But then the arrangement collapsed in acrimony early in the Bush administration, with each side claiming the other had reneged.


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