Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, February 10, 2005

And Then There Were Eight

North Korea announced publicly last night that it has developed nuclear weapons. They pulled out of the six-party talks. The U.S. estimates they may have 8 bombs. Right now, they can't put them on a missile. North Korea claims that the belligerence of the Bush Administration forced their hand. I tend to agree.

It is difficult to see how not having a nuclear arsenal would be preferable for North Korea--and that's the problem. If the U.S. had provided sufficient incentives and guarantees, or conversely sufficient threats, that could have tipped the balance in favor of not having nukes. But by pursuing both strategies half-way, we have found ourselves in the worst of worlds.

This is yet another dramatic failure of leadership from the Bush Administration. They abandoned Clinton's approach and let North Korea fester. They refused direct talks. They called them names but made it clear they weren't about to go to war. They assumed that North Korea was somehow being a "bad actor" by wanting nuclear weapons, ignoring the right to self-defense--even pre-emptive self-defense!--that Bush so vocally advocates for himself.

The Nuclear Club now contains eight acknowledged members: the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Israel has it but won't admit it. Iran may have it soon, if they don't already. South Africa used to have it, but got rid of it. Japan has a somewhat suspicious nuclear program using unnecessary "fast breeder" reactors. And South Korea has been caught peforming unusual experiments. As Tom Lehrer asked, "Who's Next?"


Raised By Republicans said...

"We'll try to stay serene and calm when Alabama gets the bomb!"

But seriously, I think the lesson the Bush administration has taught the world is that if you have nukes you're safe from invasion but if you don't have nukes, you're vulnerable. This is a bad lesson to teach from the point of view of non-proliferation.

"Who's Next?" I think the smart money would be on South Korea and Japan. Also, I would think that Vietnam would be very interested in getting a nuclear deterrant capability as would the rest of South East Asia who may feel threatened by China.

The Law Talking Guy said...

RBR is dead right. The Republicans think that showing military force will cow our enemies and show that we are credible in negotiations. Actually, the manner in which they did it (lying to justify an invasion they would not be deterred from no matter what) teaches the lesson that negotiating with the USA is actually pointless. It teaches, in fact, the lesson that we used to say of the the USSR: that they only understand the language of force and power. How sad is that.

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