Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Sometimes I Hate Being Right

The Neo-Cons are getting too predictable. I wish I had blogged this as proof. On Tuesday, I said to a friend at work that, because of the quagmire in Iraq, it was not likely that the Neo-Con hawks would push the Bush admin. to go to war with North Korea over their recent nuclear test (if there was one–scientists are still divided). Instead, I said, the NeoCons will push for putting U.S. nuclear weapons in Japan aimed at North Korea and then work with intelligence services to try to create an indigenous North Korean coup against the Kim Jong Il government. Sure enough, they are urging exactly that. Additionally, they are urging U. S. nuclear tests (breaking a moratorium imposed by Pres. George H. W. Bush in 1992) and the development of mini-nukes for use in “conventional wars,” refusal of renewed calls for direct bi-lateral talks with Pyongyang, and other steps that might ultimately lead to a U.S./North Korean war.

Never mind that it would take a change in the Japanese constitution to place nuclear weapons there. These folk play fast and loose with the U.S. constitution, so they aren’t going to respect “junior partners” on the world stage. (They have made it clear often that the role of U.S. allies is to take orders, period.) Nor do they care about China’s reaction to such a move or to U. S. attempts to start a military coup in North Korea, both of which could be severe. (China, which would surely see such moves as threatening, could call in all the U.S. debt it is financing, which would collapse our economy overnight.) The disastrous U.S. record of backing coup attempts is also no deterrent to the NeoCons.

If we want a sane foreign policy, characterized by just peacemaking processes that rejects the NeoCon ideology, we are going to need some regime change here at home. Step one happens on 07 Nov. 2006.

October 13, 2006 - Posted by | nuclear weapons


  1. So do you think that the U.S. should engage in bi-lateral talks with North Korea? Why? And why do you think North Korea refuses to engage in 6-party talks?

    Comment by D.R. | October 13, 2006

  2. This is an issue where I split completely with the NeoCons, but on conservative ideas. The US is/was theoretically far ahead of the rest of the world in computer simulation and modeling, so it was always in our interest to have a nuclear test ban in order to maintain superiority.

    Moving nukes closer to NK strikes me as pure insanity, especially if it is done in a way that provokes political conflict with Japan, South Korea and China.

    On the other hand, I don’t see what good having a powwow with Kim Jong Il will do, but it might have some entertainment value, so why not? I would, however, strongly oppose making any agreement with him if he can’t even make an agreement with his nearby neighbors.

    Comment by Looney | October 13, 2006

  3. Second question first: I think North Korea pulled out of the 6 party talks because, rightly or wrongly, they saw everyone else as go betweens for the U.S. Part of Pyongyang’s motivations, according to experts on North Korea, is a HUGE desire to be seen as a player that the U.S. treats with respect. Part of that respect is to deal face to face, no intermediaries.

    So, the answer to the first question is YES. Bush has said often and publicly that he regards direct negotiations as a reward for good behavior. So, he won’t talk with N. Korea or Iran because he doesn’t want to “reward” their bad behavior. (If someone applied that standard to the U.S. NO ONE would have spoken to us directly for 6 years!) Jesus regarded talking with enemies as a non-negotiable command, so I think a politician who talks about his Christian faith as much as Bush does, should have a different attitude.

    Face-to-face negotiations wouldn’t necessarily solve everything, at least not quickly. But Pyongyang said 3 years ago that what they most wanted was direct talks leading to a non-aggression pact between the U.S. and N. Korea–that’s their stated price for foregoing nukes. We should make that contingent upon VERY STRICT international inspections.

    I am NOT opposed to actions like inspecting every ship in and out of North Korea. I am not opposed to trying to form a NONVIOLENT indigenous pro-democracy in North Korea, difficult as that will be in a Stalinist country.

    But we also have to give China reassurances that a reunited Korea will NOT mean U.S. troops up against the Chinese border–something they greatly fear and one reason they block many actions against North Korea–even when North Korea’s actions harm Beijing. Any longterm plans for transforming Korea and getting a reunited Korean peninsula (worthy goals in themselves) will have to include a removal of U.S. troops and bases, etc. from the peninsula so that China can be encouraged to support such transformations.

    It’s tricky. NOTHING will be easy. It will take carrots and sticks–but the sticks CANNOT be military action when conservative estimates are 100,000 deaths in the first week and the possibility of nuclear war looms over everything.

    North Korea is a nasty regime. It is our enemy and the enemy of its neighbors. So, how to we seek its transformation? The NeoCon approach is madness.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | October 13, 2006

  4. Well, here we are, three years later and the Libtards are once again proven wrong by time.
    Now that Obama is president, the only leader in world history to bash his country on foreign soil, he has a new carrots and sticks approach. All carrots and no sticks. Our friends know they can longer count on America because of Obama’s weakness and our enemies are thrilled with Obama for the same reason.
    The Libtards complained that Bush acted unilaterally in Iraq while complaining that he didn’t act unilaterally with North Korea. The country that made a monkey out of Jimmy Carter when he went there on behalf of Clinton and returned proclaiming N. Korea has no nuclear weapons or nuclear ambitions. Actually, Clinton sent him there to get him out of his sight because Carter was undermining him the same way he undermined Bush. I bet they love Carter and Obama over at Common Dreams.

    Comment by Mike | May 5, 2009

  5. That rant was entirely fact-free. Thanks for playing, Mike.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 5, 2009

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