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Bush on North Korea

  1. Oct 9, 2006 #1

    turbo

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    Bush has steadfastly refused to talk to North Korea after defining it as one member of the "Axis of Evil" and he has adamantly refused to seek broad-based diplomacy, choosing to "go it alone". It is interesting that he now calls for the "international community" to face up to North Korea. Where is this jerk coming from? He cuts our ties with the international community, alienates most everybody in NATO, appoints an interim embassador to the UN who wants to disband the UN, and then pleads for back-up? Bush is a joke! We need to elect a congress that will stand up to him, reject his "signing statements" and force him to obey the rule of law. We don't need a dictator running the US.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061009...W_waJKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--
     
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  3. Oct 9, 2006 #2

    Bystander

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    Who's walked out on bi-partite, tri-partite, and two or three combinations of n-party talks? Not the Russians. Not the Chinese. Not the South Koreans. Not the Japanese. Not the U.S..
     
  4. Oct 10, 2006 #3
    I may be mistaken, but isn't Bush the one who wants to continue the 6 party talks, while NK insists on 1 on 1 negotiations with the US?
     
  5. Oct 10, 2006 #4

    turbo

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    Do we reject diplomacy when the pool of participants is reduced to 2 parties? Why? To "save face" that would be lost by negotiating with an enemy that the administration previously swore they would not negotiate with? That is not sufficient cause. Is it to avoid the perception that the US and NK are negotiating as equal partners? That is absurd on the face of it and is not sufficient cause. If there is one good reason why our diplomatic corps should not negotiate privately with NK (if only to stop the proliferation of ballistic missiles), please let me know.

    This administration has firmly rejected diplomacy in many instances, leaving international sanctions or military action activity as their only options. The problem with the former is that the administration has squandered the good-will that we once enjoyed with the international community, making sanctions difficult to apply and enforce. I believe we all know the problems that accompany the latter approach.
     
  6. Oct 10, 2006 #5
    well, I'm playing devil's advocate here...

    I speculate that the administration's reasoning for not entering into 1 on 1 talks is that they want to maintain an air of legitimacy about the process. They could also want to avoid the appeasement policy that was tried in the past, and obviously failed. To be honest, I don't know the intentions and motivations of this administration, so these are my "best guesses" - first order approximations, if you will.

    I think you may have contradicted yourself. On the one hand, you state that Bush is adopting the go-it-alone policy on NK, yet in the other you state that Bush refuses to enter into 1 on 1 negotiations. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you.

    As far as what should be done... I'm not certain how sanctions will pan out. From what I understand their main source of aid is China/Russia - and I'm not convinced they will actually abide by internationally imposed sanctions.

    As far as our goodwill is concerned, you are correct in that we have squandered it. I don't think this will be a problem in this situation, as most countries recognize that it is in their best interest to keep nukes out of the hands of NK. Surely they will not go against their own interests just to spite the US.
     
  7. Oct 10, 2006 #6

    Astronuc

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    There are several reasons to avoid unilateral discussions with NK, with the biggest being it gives the appearance to the world that NK is on the same level as the US. Other reasons include the fact the NK is a neighbor of China and Russia, so its appropriate they be involved.

    The US cannot afford unilateral negotiations with every single nation - it is just too impractical. Unilateral discussions with Canada and Mexcio make sense only because both nations border the US. Even NAFTA involved multilateral discussion with Canada, Mexico and US.

    It is appropriate that the UN plays a role, since what NK does affects all nations.
     
  8. Oct 10, 2006 #7

    turbo

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    The go-it-alone policy is the standard Bush ploy. In other words, the the administration does not wish to compromise with NATO, the UN, or other global partners when pursuing foreign policy policy goals. Just rattle the sabre and rely on the US's military superiority to force compliance. That is a one-dimensional approach to foreign policy that is bound to keep us in war and in debt forever as real needs and grievances go unaddressed.

    The refusal of the US administration to have even private discrete 1-on-1 talks with NK is emblematic of the John Wayne approach in which overwhelming force can be brought to bear against any problem, no matter how complex and nuanced. Life ain't the movies, though.

    I would love for our allies and rival superpowers to forgive the slights of the Bush administration and join in meaningful negotiations with NK (and impose and enforce sanctions, if necessary), but the administration has got to make some conciliatory moves to our partners, and I don't see it happening.

    OT Note: I am WAY more socially liberal than the Democratic party and WAY more fiscally conservative than the Republican party, and have to hold my nose to vote for any of the candidates that the parties put up. I would very much appreciate voting for a candidate that would pursue diplomacy instead of war, pursue universal health care (so that families cannot be denied help because they are poor or be driven into poverty because a family member develops cancer), and will stay our of peoples' personal business. If we were to go to a fair taxation system, roll back the military spending and pork-barrel waste in Congress, etc, we could easily afford to fund SS and health care without running multi-trillion dollar deficits. Other industrialized nations do this - why is it impossible here? I cannot believe that somehow we are less capable, only that the powers that control our elected representatives are very successful in preventing legislation that would benefit the public to the detriment of their clients.
     
  9. Oct 10, 2006 #8

    turbo

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    It is a whole lot cheaper to send a diplomat, some translators, and support staff to have talks with the representatives of a country than to mobilize military force against them, or to bribe powerful people in our "allied" governments to stand with us. It is also a whole lot more humane, since it is less likely to end with human suffering. I would far rather pay for a large diplomatic corps staffed with career professionals (not political appointees) than pay for our bloated military. We should have the capability to protect ourselves, but it is a hell of a lot cheaper to prevent wars than to conduct them and pay for the aftermath. One of my dearest old friends was a Quaker, who died a few years ago. I learned a lot from that dear lady, and I miss her.
     
  10. Oct 10, 2006 #9
    A country can not have effective diplomacy without some sort of power (whether it be economic power, military power, etc.). Call it tribal. Call it primitive, but it's true. There is a reason why people listen to Condoleezza Rice. It is not because of what she says, it is whom she is saying it for. Mongolia, for instance, can probably train or hire diplomats of the same caliber as ones from the rest of the world, but Mongolian diplomats simply do not have as much authority backing them up.

    So even if a country's agenda does not include acts of aggression, it may still want to build up its military so it can posture itself advantageously at the bargaining table.
     
  11. Oct 10, 2006 #10
    State of Denial.
     
  12. Oct 11, 2006 #11

    russ_watters

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    What you are describing is not "reject[ing] diplomacy", it is setting the terms under-which diplomacy is to occcur.
    Again, when, precisely, did Bush swear we would not negotiate with North Korea? And the way you are saying that implies you think Bush said he wouldn't negotiate with Bush under any terms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  13. Oct 11, 2006 #12

    Gokul43201

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  14. Oct 11, 2006 #13

    Bystander

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    --- as do the Russians, Chinese, S. Koreans, and Japanese reject bilateral talks between N. Korea and the U.S.. This thread is NOT about N. Korea --- it's about Bush, as have half the threads in P&WA been about Bush. If the U.S. begins a bilateral negotiation, the "whine cellar" gripe is going to be that "Bush is 'John-Wayneing' it, and ignoring the interests of the other interested parties in the region." "Heads," the libs win, "tails," Bush loses.

    Somebody wanta close this train-wreck?
     
  15. Oct 11, 2006 #14
    Come now Russ, you know better than that.

    Where was this diplomacy when Israel was bombing lebanon?

    Where is it with Iran?

    Where is it with Syria?

    Where is it with North Korea?

    Where was it leading up to the war in Iraq? Ignoring weapons inspectors findings, and telling the world screw you, were going it alone. Very diplomatic.

    Diplomacy does not mean do as I say or else Ill bash your head in. That's not diplomacy, thats bullying, and the rest of the world isint going to take that crap anymore. The US has relations with plenty of other countries we dont agree with, so this whole notion that we cant talk to them is bull and we both know it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  16. Oct 11, 2006 #15
    http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/11/1430219

    Bruce Cumings is a professor of history at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books on North Korea, his latest North Korea: Another Country and Inventing the Axis of Evil. He joins us in the studio from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Welcome to Democracy Now!

    Yeah, Bush wants diplomacy, right....
     
  17. Oct 11, 2006 #16
    Bush has had six years to do something about NK.

    I can't say I am much impressed with his success, or lack there of.

    So what will his next step be?

    I shudder to even try and guess?
     
  18. Oct 11, 2006 #17

    russ_watters

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    turbo-1's statements were more general than that and they are self-contradictory. Ie, saying we want to "go it alone" while rejecting bilateral talks is self-contradictory. Bush is rejecting bilateral talks partly because we do not want to go it alone. We have a coalition and if we decide to do bilateral talks, we will be breaking that coalition to "go it alone".
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  19. Oct 11, 2006 #18

    russ_watters

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    What does that quote have to do with North Korea?
    What do those have to do with North Korea?
    It has been covered in the thread. Do you have an argument as for why the lines of reasoning already argued are flawed?
    Turbo-1, you really need to get off your soap-box and start paying attention to what actually happened. The US did negotiate multi-laterally with North Korea and a compromised was reachd. The next day, North Korea broke that agreement and demanded a nuclear reactor be provided for them before they would come back to the table. Like you said: that's not diplomacy, thats bullying. You're lookign at this issue backwards.

    Turbo-1, it really looks like you jumped-into a rant without even knowing the history of what acutally happened. Could you comment on that actual history (described above) so I at least know you are aware that it happened?
     
  20. Oct 11, 2006 #19

    russ_watters

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    Indeed - he's been busy dealing with a country that Clinton had 8 years to do something about, with little success. :uhh:

    edit: btw, that's three years (plus a few months) since the current situation started with North Korea pulling out of the NPT.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
  21. Oct 11, 2006 #20

    turbo

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    There are dymanics here that are important to NK but are glossed over in our press. Technically, we are still at war with them, and have not recognized them diplomatically. Engaging in one-to-one talks, even on a low level, will affirm that the US is dealing with them as a nation, not a rogue territory. This may be enough to gain some concessions at the outset - at least an agreement to suspend fuel-enrichment programs (whether they are effective or not).

    Anyone who has followed the tortured reasonings for and against particular diplomatic initiatives with Taiwan and mainland China might appreciate NK's position. At this point, the US treats NK as a rogue territory, with China as its main supporter, and China views Taiwan as a rogue territory with the US as its main supporter. There are similar alliances all over the world. If the present administration had any creativity at all, they would ask our main trading partner (PRC) to engage in productive one-on-one diplomacy with Taiwan in exchange for us engaging in one-on-one diplomacy with NK. Sometimes we have to give a little to get a little, and the Chinese and the North Koreans know this. It's better to be talking with these people than to be rattling sabres and throwing down challenges. The stakes are too high. Diplomacy and negotiation have critical roles in foreign policies, and the present administration refuses to use these tools. Sometimes, internal pressures in a country can be leveraged in a negotiation to the extent that the the country's leadership is pressured into accepting things that we want and that they adamantly oppose. Suppose that the US agrees to help ease NKs critical shortages of foods, medicines, etc, in exchange for their cooperation in curtailing nuclear programs and in converting their economic base to the production of consumable products instead of dumping all their money into the military? If the NK people knew of such an initiative, it would be hard for Kim to rally them against it. If we could help stabilize the Korean Pennisula, gain a trading partner, and reduce Kim's dictatorial stranglehold on NK, would we not all benefit?
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2006
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