Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

February 13, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

NORTH KOREA WATCH....Over at The Corner, Andy McCarthy, who thinks the North Korea deal stinks, says:

Don't take my word for it. Take John Bolton's.

Um, sure. Still, maybe he has a point. Here's Bolton:

This is the same thing that the State Department was prepared to do six years ago. If we going to cut this deal now, it's amazing we didn't cut it back then.

The man's got a point. And six years ago this deal would have come without an already built stockpile of nuclear weapons. Perhaps there's a lesson there?

Kevin Drum 12:23 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (53)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

The lesson is, John Bolton is so dumb that when his bosses get fleeced in a deal, he comes out and tells the world they got fleeced.

No jobs for you, boyo!

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 13, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

For Bolton it stinks because it was Clinton's policy and everything Clinton represented and accomplished stank.

Bolton is so ideologically blinkered he can't admit Democrats made some important headway on critical issues.

Too bad for America we've wasted the last six years.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 13, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

This deal is an admission that the Clinton approach to North Korea was right, the Bush approach prior to now was wrong. Boy, have we learned our lesson: look what you can do when you negotiate with those people. Oh, about those nukes they have now...yeah, we're sorry about that. We'll try not to let it happen again.

Posted by: JJF on February 13, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

There's a lesson here, but the wingers won't learn it.

Posted by: RT on February 13, 2007 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Is the lesson don't elect anybody who would hire John Bolton?

Posted by: reino on February 13, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Oh, about those nukes they have now...yeah, we're sorry about that. We'll try not to let it happen again."

not exactly...I didn't hear any apologies. rules apply: 1) we never make mistakes, 2) we never admit mistakes (but see rule 1), and 3) anything clinton did is bad.

Posted by: supersaurus on February 13, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Just to be contrarian, here: it is worth noting that the Administration's policy of going after banks that launder NK money seems to be pretty effective. Every news story keeps mentioning how concerned the N Koreans are about getting the US off this bank in Macau. It's kind of striking that a subject like that is being specifically mentioned in these negotiations, and rather encouraging. If you want to get to a kleptocrat, apparently, you go after his money.

Anybody know where Mugabe keeps his?

Posted by: mattsteinglass on February 13, 2007 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Is the lesson that if Clinton had invaded North Korea ten years ago, John Bolton would not have to be such an embarassment now?

Because I'm not buying that. John Bolton can ALWAYS be an embarassment, and if he wasn't doing this, he would have lost North Dakota in card game with Canada or forced Costa Rica to start a nuclear program during heated banana trade negotiations.

Posted by: Mysticdog on February 13, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

I will reserve judgment until the details of the deal are known. The problem with the prior deal is that there was no inspection and no enforcement. NK simply went ahead with their nuclear development, while we propped up the evil dictator with economic aid.

If the new deal also lacks inspection and enforcement, then it will be just as useless as the old one.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 13, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Would someone please explain how the new arrangement differs from the '94 Agreed Framework?

Posted by: JM on February 13, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal, I was under the impression that the NK nuclear facility had been shut down as part of the '94 Agreed Framework; that the plutonium fuel rods were under IAEA-monitored lock and key; that there were IAEA inspectors posted in NK.

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Posted by: JM on February 13, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

JM, you are wrong in your belief that ex-liberal could possibly have any idea what he is talking about, or care.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 13, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

JM, you may be right. I know that NK cheated on the prior deal and continued nuclear development, but I don't know the details about that particular facility.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 13, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Exliberal - Get your facts straight. The reactors were locked down and under continuous surveillance. The surreptitious uranium enrichment program was an end run around the agreement, but making a bomb by uranium enrichment is technically far more challenging and would have taken the North Koreans a long time. Instead Bush scrapped the agreement entirely, the North Koreans went back to the preferred Plutonium option, and viola, a few years later we have Kim Jong-il with nuclear bombs. Great job, guys!.

Posted by: fafner1 on February 13, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin quotes Bolton: "This is the same thing that the State Department was prepared to do six years ago."

Not only that, it is essentially the same thing that the Clinton administration did in 1994.

ex-liberal: "The problem with the prior deal is that there was no inspection and no enforcement."

That's a lie, and a quite blatant and stupid lie at that, as even a brief look at the facts of the Clinton administration's arrangement with North Korea will show.

You are a deliberate liar, and every reader of these pages knows that you a deliberate liar. And all of your deliberate lies are just as blatant and stupid as that one. Your comments are, without exception, nothing but worthless garbage.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 13, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

How is it, "amazing we didn't cut it back then," when John Bolton was directly responsible for undermining negotiations. Steve Clemons back in April 2005:

After Bolton gave his uncleared speech, "A Dictatorship at the Crossroads," in Seoul on July 31, 2003, the North Korean leadership in turn called him "human scum."

By this point, Bolton's speech and commentary had seriously undermined the agreement reached with North Korea to launch the first meeting of the six-party talks in Beijing. All parties on the U.S. side of this arrangement knew that Bolton was off the reservation.

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/04/on_john_bolton.html#more

Posted by: Stygius on February 13, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "I know that NK cheated on the prior deal and continued nuclear development, but I don't know the details about that particular facility."

You are a deliberate liar, and every reader of these pages knows that you are a deliberate liar.

And you are doing what deliberate liars always do when their deliberate lies are exposed: pretend ignorance.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 13, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

In 94 we also gave them 2 reactors. This deal is cavein to blackmail. We should have withdrawn from the talks and from the peninsula. Let the locals resolve the local problem.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on February 13, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

So...regarding NK's nuclear weapons capabilities, we're potentially back where we were at the time George Bush took office, with the difference being that Kim Jong-il now possibly has a handful of plutonium-based nukes? Not too shabby for the Kimster! Although he could use a new haircut.

Posted by: JM on February 13, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Walter E. Wallis, not true. The Agreed Framework included 2 light water reactors as part of the deal. Those reactors were never actually provided to NK.

Posted by: JM on February 13, 2007 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

The lesson is that Bush can do something for which conservatives would excoriate a Democrat and Bush will still be praised by those same conservatives as a the best president on foreign policy ever.

Posted by: John McCain on February 13, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

"In 94 we also gave them 2 reactors."

Not only did we break the deal by not giving them the reactors, but you might want to do some research into why giving them reactors was part of the deal. Hint: the light water reactors we were going to give them, in contrast to the reactors they were to replace, couldn't be used to make bomb material . . .

"We should have withdrawn from the talks and from the peninsula. Let the locals resolve the local problem."

Kind of like Chamberlain's approach to the Sudetenland controversy. . .

Posted by: rea on February 13, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

No, Walter, you do not have to give your Garand back. Nor any photos of The French Battery saving your sorry rear end.

Shorter FAUXLib - Negotiations suck unless you are negotiating with a parking lot.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 13, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

rea: Not only did we break the deal by not giving them the reactors, but you might want to do some research into why giving them reactors was part of the deal.

Now watch while the facts just bounce off Walter's and ex-liberal's brain like BBs off a steel wall.

Posted by: Google_This on February 13, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

According to the New York Times's coverage, the current deal doesn't call for NK to stop its nuclear program. It only calls for them to close a particular reactor. The Times article says
Some experts doubt that the North will ever agree to turn over its weapons, which it considers its main bargaining chip with the West, and Kim Jong-Il’s only insurance policy against being toppled as the country’s leader.

So, under this new agreement NK doesn't even have to cheat to keep its nuclear weapons and continue its nuclear development. In that way it's worse than Clinton's deal. OTOH we're not helping NK to develop nuclear weapons by giving them nuclear reactors.

In sum, both deals were poor ones for the United States. We are propping up a bad regime while doing little or nothing to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 13, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "OTOH we're not helping NK to develop nuclear weapons by giving them nuclear reactors."

Another in the continuing stream of deliberate lies from the deliberate liar "ex-liberal" (whose very handle is a deliberate lie).

The US, under the Agreed Framework negotiated by the Clinton administration, never "gave them nuclear reactors".

And the two light water reactors which the Agreed Framework stipulated would be provided to North Korea for electricity generation by the US, which were never given to North Korea, were not suitable for "developing nuclear weapons" anyway.

So ex-liberal delivers two deliberate lies in a single sentence.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 13, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

So, under this new agreement NK doesn't even have to cheat to keep its nuclear weapons...

Right. They don't have to cheat in order to keep the nukes they've already got, since, like, they've already got them, so what's the point of cheating at this stage...oh, never mind.

In that way it's worse than Clinton's deal.

Well, except that under the Clinton deal, NK didn't have the nukes, you see...oh, never mind.

OTOH we're not helping NK to develop nuclear weapons by giving them nuclear reactors.

Well, except that if we had replaced their graphite-moderated reactors with the light-water power plants, they would have been less able to develop nuclear weapons...oh, never mind.

Posted by: JM on February 13, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

If the new deal also lacks inspection and enforcement, then it will be just as useless as the old one.
Posted by: ex-liberal on February 13, 2007 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

No - it's very useful. Because it puts off the problem to the next administration.

And think how much money the defense contractors will be making when we're forced to invade nuclear-armed NK! Another bonanza for the war profiteers.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on February 13, 2007 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

This is the same thing that the State Department was prepared to do six years ago. If we going to cut this deal now, it's amazing we didn't cut it back then.

Six years from now, we'll probably learn that this agreement hasn't done any more actual good than the 1994 agreed framework.

A slight difference: this was negotiated by all six parties. Presumably (though who knows) the other parties have some stake in seeing to it that all parties abide.

Posted by: spider on February 13, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hi mattsteinglass,
what about Bush's and Cheyney's money. I bet they have a lot outside of the US.
But if someone tried to get at their stash, he'd have to worry about the B52s.

Posted by: Jörgen in Germany on February 13, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

For Bolton it stinks because it was Clinton's policy and everything Clinton represented and accomplished stank.

Well, for Ted Olson everything Clinton did stank too, so he helped install Bush.

Then Barbara Olson got smashed into corpse-mcnuggets upside the Pentagon on 9/11. Ooops.

When are these idiots going to learn that they're wrong and that they're not good at anything other than character assassination on FOX News?
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on February 13, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

If there's a lesson here, "ex-liberal" will lie about it to carry water for his/her/its neocon cabal.

Posted by: Gregory on February 13, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

When are these idiots going to learn that they're wrong and that they're not good at anything other than character assassination on FOX News?

I have to say, I've always wondered about Ted Olsen. Bush's incompetence is directly responsible for his wife's death, and yet he's continued to carry water for this Administration. Mystifying.

Posted by: Gregory on February 13, 2007 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27c/457.html

I thought the above essay might be relevant, from map@economicdemocracy.org, 8/15/03, found at the above link, and entitled, "How Bush's Policies Make the U.S., both Koreas, and the World Less Safe."

During their first year, the administration must have threatened North Korea in December 2001 as a possible target of nuclear*first*strike--as identified by the Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Papers. Some interesting background in this piece. I just stumbled onto it.


Posted by: consider wisely always on February 13, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ex lib:

You state, "We are propping up a bad regime while doing little or nothing to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons."

-- careful, deciding what constitutes a bad regime (as opposed to a direct threat to the security of the US) is what got us in trouble in Iraq. Or, to be more precise, "regime change" became the rationale for unilateral war after the WMD-operational ties to al Qaeda lies were exposed.


Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 13, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

There's a lesson here, but the wingers won't learn it.

Perhaps not, but Iran surely will. And of course, idiots like unAmerican chickenHawk will proscribe the exact wrong policy for dealing with it. In that sense, he's actually quite useful.

Posted by: Edo on February 13, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps not, but Iran surely will.

As will every other nation on Earth, friendly or not: The Bush Administration's stupendously massive incompetence has made the acquisition of nuclear weapons the obvious act of national self-interest.

Posted by: Gregory on February 13, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: "The problem with the prior deal is that there was no inspection and no enforcement."
That's a lie, and a quite blatant and stupid lie at that, as even a brief look at the facts of the Clinton administration's arrangement with North Korea will show.

never-a-liberal lying? Get out of here, that must be a first.

Posted by: klyde on February 13, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.twn.org/nkFAQ.html

This article offers some insights.

The lesson might be good old fashioned diplomacy. President Clinton reached out, Jimmy Carter negotiated a peace in 1994,later Madeline Albright visited--relations with the US-North Korea were improving, BUT
it all came apart with the 2000 election of "I like to throw the words 'axis-of evil' around" President Bush...

Posted by: consider wisely always on February 13, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

The new, new right wing opinion: NK should have nuclear weapons, to fight the liberals in the South.

Should be available at RedState within a week.

Posted by: calling all toasters on February 13, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

RT: There's a lesson here, but the wingers won't learn it.

If you can't learn, you certainly won't learn.

Posted by: Doug Feith(less) on February 13, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

When a man of John Bolton's stature steps out of his well-earned retirement to denounce the treaty, America should take note.

Posted by: Al on February 13, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

...America should take note.

Uh...shouldn't that read the State Department? You know part of the Bush Administration? It almost seems as if you are criticizing the President, Al. During a time of war, no less. you may have to send in your secret decoder ring for this act of apostasy.

Posted by: Edo on February 13, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Look at it this way-Bush has dealt with 2 of the 3 Axis of Evil members in his usual inimitable own special way. Only one more Evil to screw up...

Seems like he's trying to leave a legacy of doing what he said.

Posted by: Neal on February 13, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

What this shows is quite simple. The Bush II Administration is cutting their losses and taking a deal it wouldn't have taken a year ago to take care of this issue so it can focus on Iran. One war at a time.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on February 13, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Do you suppose there's the slightest co-inky-dink here? On the same day that Congress begins the debate on Iraq, W pulls a DPRK deal out of the bag!

Posted by: eCAHNomics on February 13, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

One war at a time.

LMAO.

Posted by: Disputo on February 13, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"it's amazing we didn't cut it back then."

No, it's freakin' appalling, you dipshit.

Posted by: BroD on February 13, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

AI,

"Well-earned retirement"

Now THAT is funny. I totally agree with you there, he sure earned his ticket out of his last job, I tell you what...

Posted by: kokblok on February 13, 2007 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

the lesson here is that Bolton has had his head up his ass for six years (at least)and it's still up there. the lesson here is that this agreement took six years to work out BECAUSE of the interference of Bolton and his brain-dead brethren in the Bush Adm. So, now NorKor has its money AND nukes. F-ing brilliant.

Posted by: secularhuman on February 14, 2007 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

"...In sum, both deals were poor ones for the United States. We are propping up a bad regime while doing little or nothing to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons."
Posted by: ex-liberal on February 13, 2007 at 1:49 PM

This "bad regime" already HAS nuclear weapons. But we don't really care if they make a few more and are using us to get some handouts because we are using THEM to try to get the Iranians to blink.. don't forget that there will shortly be 3 carrier groups in the gulf. Hello, is anybody paying attention to the connection? We are trying to make the NK agreement look like the Libyan cave-in over nukes prior to the Iraq invasion.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 14, 2007 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Something good comes of $60/bbl oi,

Posted by: Eli Rabett on February 14, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

prescription pharmacy online prescription pharmacy online

Online Pharmacy cheap online pharmacy store

Posted by: best choice on February 15, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly