full speed astern
In the latest
headlong retreat shift from its hard-line stance on Korea, the Bush administration has indicated that it would reconsider suspended food and energy plans for North Korea if it agrees to shut down its nuclear arms program.
I certainly agree that North Korea giving up its nuclear ambitions is a vital US interest, and I applaud the US action. Given that this
crisis situation erupted in October, it seems to me, though, that the Bush administration could have avoided the collateral damage to US credibility inflicted by its evident lack of a coherent policy. And hardline rhetoric hardly enhances US prestige when it proves hollow.
As Kevin Drum put it, "The Bushies sure have had a steady hand on the tiller during this whole Korea deal, haven't they? Remember when Winston Churchill said: "We will never parley; we will never negotiate with Hitler or any of his gang. We shall fight him by land; we shall fight him by sea; we shall fight him in the air, until, with God's help, we have rid the earth of his shadow and liberated its people from his yoke." See, the difference is that he actually meant it. But with the Bushies it's always just about playacting, and someday it's going to catch up to them."
Not surprisingly, Joshua Marshall has more to say on the subject.