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Question for LeftLeaners about North Korea.....(37 posts)

Question for LeftLeaners about North Korea.....WCC
Mar 28, 2003 3:41 PM
We know pretty much how right wingers/left wingers stack up on the Iraq issue(for the most part). I'm curious as to peoples opinions on N. Korea. If you were president, what would you do??? I think this issue is more pressing/dangerous than any other we are facing now.

Not sure what the solution is.

RightLeaners welcome to chime in.
re: Question for LeftLeaners about North Korea.....Jon Billheimer
Mar 28, 2003 3:58 PM
Not sure, but I think I'd lean on China to keep N. Korea in line. I sure as hell wouldn't respond to their tactics of violating treaties and then trying to negotiate foreign aid from the U.S. as a reward/inducement to stop.
re: Question for LeftLeaners about North Korea.....PdxMark
Mar 28, 2003 4:49 PM
Agree that we need China to help solve the problem. Also agree about not being sure.... It would help if we'd drop the Cowboy rhetoric and talk with them rather than sticking our head in the sand. Bilateral talks toward multilateral talks seem much more productive than no talks at all...

As for aid... I think we need to balance not rewarding NK for breaching agreements with the realization that aid is the only leverage we have.

The problem is that GWB seems unwilling to agree with anyone in the world. We reject allies, new treaties, old treaties, and launch a war with minimal attempt to avoid it. GWB hasn't demonstrated that he can play well with the other kids on the block, unless they all play by his rules. The problem is that there is no military solution with NK, so GWB seems at a loss for what else to do.

Might Makes Right looks great in the Iraqi dessert, but it's useless with a nuclear NK. There's nothing left to do but talk.
North Korea can't be bullied or bluffed.czardonic
Mar 28, 2003 5:10 PM
Hopefully the current administration will realize this and back-burner the issue until a more statesmanlike president takes over.

Given way that Bush has been shooting his mouth off so far about evil and evil-doers, I don't see how he can he can make the diplomatic gestures and compromises necessary solve this problem without losing some serious face.
Well what would the last admin. have done?WCC
Mar 28, 2003 8:11 PM
Whats your thoughts on how to solve it?

I know blasting Bush is your favorite response to anything political posted. But come on, you have to admit that the last administration did grave damage in the area of selling missle technology.
Bush was a unilateralist before 9/11Me Dot Org
Mar 29, 2003 9:25 AM
In the first 100 days of his Administration, Bush:

Pulled out of talks started by the Clinton administration aimed at eliminating North Korea's ballistic missile development program and its missile exports.

For starters, I'd say that pulling out of talks with the North Koreans had more to do with precipitating a crisis with North Korea than anything Clinton did with China.
Bush was a unilateralist before 9/11WCC
Mar 29, 2003 11:40 AM
Unlike the Clinton Admn, the Bush Admn. didnt think normalizing relations with a Terrorist Nation(n korea) was a very good you?
Bush was a unilateralist before 9/11Me Dot Org
Mar 29, 2003 6:46 PM
"Normalizing" relations isn't the same thing as having talks with a nation. Clinton wasn't talking about establishing an embassy.

We can either talk or not talk with North Korea. Talking might help the situation. Not talking has not improved the situation. When we were talking North Korea wasn't firing up reactors.
Seems to me N.Korea was the real problem to begin withSilverback
Mar 28, 2003 5:16 PM
I'm not sure I'm right, either. But in terms of a threat to the U.S., Korea certainly seems more immediate than Iraq. That won't play in the U.S., though--I saw a survey yesterday that said 49 percent of Americans believe Iraq was directly responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks, and that's one reason they're behind the war.
By the way, whatever happened to Osama bin Laden . . .?
Bin Laden? The War on Terror was never about one man.czardonic
Mar 28, 2003 5:26 PM
I notice that Ari Fleischer is selling the same bull about Saddam too, in case they can't find him either.

So maybe Saddam or one of his sons escapes and has to live on the lamb with the mere $10-25 Billion in untraceable funds it's beleived Saddam has. They'd never give it to terrorists or anything like that. I'm sure they'll have learned that when you mess with the Bush, you get the thorns.
I know that not finding bin Laden is a real stunner for some...WCC
Mar 28, 2003 8:15 PM
..but i really dont find it that suprising. Not sure why people think it would be that easy. I do think we screwed up a few times, and probably could have had him at some point, but its not suprising that he could evade us.
I know that not finding bin Laden is a real stunner for some...Jon Billheimer
Mar 29, 2003 8:01 AM
We've all watched way too many James Bond movies!
what about Arafat?hycobob
Mar 29, 2003 8:26 AM
Whatever happened to bin Laden? Who the heck knows... Sooner or later he'll show up, and the UN will recognize him with statesman status like they did with Arafat; if he's still alive.
Nuke 'em before they nuke us?!rwbadley
Mar 28, 2003 10:22 PM
We have demonstrated our military power. What option would they jump for? Get us first?

I think if I were S Korea or Japan, I would be more nervous. I don't think N Korea yet has the delivery capability to the western US.

Any incident they may create will have huge ramification.

Will we create the incident first? Ignore it? Hope it goes away? Diplomacy from our elected officials? Hah!

Our administration has demonstrated an inability to negotiate to a peaceful solution. We have demonstrated repeatedly our refusal to act in a manner consistent with world mores.

In the end, there can only be unfortunate consequence.

I would love to see a light at the end of this tunnel.

Please tell me how the situation is improved with the current Iraq action, and how (so far)the Bush administration can claim to be on top of N Korea. Or Iran, which will be the next one. Or Saudi Arabia, held together by a thread.


Nuke 'em before they nuke us?!WCC
Mar 29, 2003 8:21 AM
1. I am under the impression they CAN deliver a missle to the Western US. I hope I am wrong.

2. I get tired of hearing how the Bush Admn. is unable to negotiate a peaceful solution. Another line from the leftwing testbook. The onus wasn't on the US or Bush admn., but Iraq. They had 12 years to comply but didn't. This is unarguable.

3. World Mores? Please. Who's mores? Russia? Who sold weapons technology to Iraq up until a few weeks ago? France? Who has done the same. Dont be fooled by the French peace Charade. What has France ever done that was motivated by Peace? They are/were completely motivated by the Franc/Euro, and our discovery of illeagal business. They were playing the geopolitical game, but I think that Chirac got a little too big for his britches. Sure, he had us in a sticky situation for a while, and probably had fleeting glimpses of real power that clouded his judgement when the time came to get on board for the final push. He should have gotten on board, but didn't. A real mistake on his part I think. Well, however you look at it, please dont think France was motivated by Peace.
Nuke 'em before they nuke us?!hatchetman
Mar 29, 2003 9:06 AM
I think you make a VERY good point about world mores. Whose mores are we talking about? I hear a lot of complaining about how the international community doesn't approve. Well, the word community has many definitions, but for the purposes of the 'international community' there is one that fits (from Mariam Webster Online)-community: a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic and political interests. It uses the term international community as an example.
However, all the nations of the world don't have a common history or common social, economic or political interests. Every nation has it's own interests, and may align with some nations that share many of the same interests (ie NATO, etc). Nations are gonna do what they want depending on their interests, and France and Russia definitely have interests in Iraq that they don't want to see damaged. Nations will hitch themselves to whatever horse they feel will be in their best interests either economically or even politically.
Nuke 'em before they nuke us?!Jon Billheimer
Mar 29, 2003 9:22 AM
Your point is well taken. By the same token the U.S. has flipflopped on Iraq as well over the years. And how our self-interests are defined is subject to revision by different administrations. In my opinion, the only coalition country that is really acting on principle is Great Britain. Although I don't agree with Blair I really believe that his stand is a principled one. Few politicians have his moral courage.
Nuke 'em before they nuke us?!hatchetman
Mar 29, 2003 10:16 AM
You're very right about flipflopping on Iraq. That's one thing about a democracy like ours...with constant elections it can change how we view and deal with things constantly, unlike a lot of thugocracies around the world where things may not change at all for many years. I think in a way it's a self correcting mechanism that allows us to adjust and fix things later on. There are a lot of people now who say we supported Iraq in the 1980's and we brought this on ourselves. Well, 20 years ago it seemed like the far lesser of two evils, and Reagan did what seemed like the right thing, and a lot of pundits went along with it. I thought it was the right thing at the time too. Iran was exporting Islamic fundamentalism and we didn't want them to win the Iran/Iraq war. I sure don't remember those complaining about it now complaining back then. I even remember reading articles (I guess you could call them 'puff pieces' the way they were written) in newsmagazines about how much Saddam had done for his people written by the some of the same people who now say we shouldn't have supported him.
No one can see in the future, and there are alliances we have now that in 20 years may not seem like a good idea anymore. Heck, in WWII we were allied with Uncle Joe Stalin even though he'd killed 20 million of his own people and had helped start the war with his nonagression pact with Hitler. When Hitler double crossed him and invaded the USSR, suddenly Stalin was our pal and many in the US even imparted sudden 'Jeffersonian' qualities in him. People were more than willing to suddenly look the other way as to his crimes. However, an evil regime is an evil regime, and we ended up bringing down the USSR 45 years later, just like now Huessein will end up being brought down. By the way, I think you started a good topic here and it's nice to post my ideas without getting called names and getting flamed, especially since I'm conservative and this site I think tends to tilt leftward.
Good points. My take on Iraq, 20 years post war.....WCC
Mar 29, 2003 11:53 AM
..or something like that. Although begrudgingly for this war, in the long run, i see bad things happening as far as US interests are concerned.

1. We win the war.
2. We install a democratic leader
3. Mulim fundamentalism increases in Iraq.
4. Democracy is overthrown by religious leaders.
5. Iraq is a fundamentalist state.
6. Vows death to the infidels

ed. - See 'Iran'
Nuke 'em before they nuke us?!WCC
Mar 29, 2003 11:48 AM
can't argue with that really....

in a nutshell, the World is a $hit sandwich and we all have to take a bite.
Nuke 'em before they nuke us?!hatchetman
Mar 29, 2003 12:32 PM
You're right...the world is and we all have to take a bite. You've got good points about Iraq potentially becoming another Iran. Yet another possiblity. Well, if that happens at least they shouldn't start with any WMD's. Of course, it's also possible when this is over and the dust settles it could turn into a brilliant move. We could probably write a thesis on possible outcomes.
I do feel that as long as we stick this out and finish what we started, I think the Arabs may actually think twice about what they do in the future. One thing the Arab world seems to understand is force, which is very unfortunate. After the past several years the wackos there have seen us put our tails between our legs and run at the first signs of casualties. Bin Laden is (was?) convinced of that, and he's said so (personally, I think he assumed cave temperature awhile ago). I think the Iraqi government believes we'll turn and run after too many casualties too. Just last night a car exploded and killed 5 3rd ID soldiers in a terrorist action. Plus, I think that thinking is behind the summary execution of US prisoners. We'll see more of this until the main war is over and possibly afterwards until things are settled. I really think that the long term consequences could hinge on what we do over the next several weeks. If we turn tail and run after casualties, we'll definitely destroy all our credibility in the Arab world and cement our reputation as a paper tiger, and there will be little fear of flying planes into our buildings, using Sarin in a NY subway, or even nuking a US city. It could also embolden other wackos outside the mideast (Kim comes to mind) to make more mischief.
Just like a bad dog...hycobob
Mar 29, 2003 12:36 PM
Some people think that war never much as we'ld like to believe this, but it does. Just like these same people say theres no such thing as a bad dog...there are. We may have supported Iraq in the Iran/Iraq war but that doesn't mean they have to keep up the "we're friends" act. And the direction Saddam took his country, and it has been "his country", shows that he doesn't want friendly relations with the USA.

As an example, if a nieghbor trains his dog to attack people and then puts it in my yard, he's in for a rough time indeed. I will not rely on the legal system...I will kill his dog and then I will hunt him down (however long it takes) and kill him!!!

Saddam has been shown to have provided training and compensation to terrorists. So like you would kill a bad dog, he needs to be put down too. And somebody has to inject the needle...did anyone actually believe the UN sanctions would ever work? Look at how the Iraqi people riot when the "humanitarian aid" trucks show up. We were letting Saddam sell oil for food...does it look like he bought any food/medicine for the Iraqi citizens? It looks more like he pursued UN banned weapons programs instead; from UN Security Councel members.

If there are chem/bio weapons used over there, we should give the citizens of Bagdad 24 hours to leave, period. Then at the exact second, 24 hours later, turn it into a skating rink. And to do this we don't need nukes. We could set up a perimeter around the city to interject any of Saddam's henchmen.
Miscellaneous Thoughts...Jon Billheimer
Mar 29, 2003 3:39 PM
As everyone party to these discussions knows (ad nauseam) that I'm against unilateral action in Iraq, I also believe that ultimately the U.S. is doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. Apropos to a lot of foreign policy/outcome discussions we've all engaged in, one ethical aspect no one has discussed is how the means can and do corrupt the ends. I'm surprised that Doug with all his philosophy smarts hasn't gotten into that one. But I do think that how we do things often has affects long term outcomes. Finally,the posters above unfortunately are right: Saddam never believed that the U.S. and Britain had the guts to get involved in a really brutal, ugly war much less hang in till it's won. Also the Arab "bluff and bluster" mentality really does dictate that once committed we have no option but to see this thing through. Otherwise we will have created a monster of unspeakable proportions---if we haven't already. For this reason I don't agree with the war opposition people who are advocating for a ceasefire and renewed negotations. That in realpolitik terms would be disastrous.
Miscellaneous Thoughts...WCC
Mar 29, 2003 4:12 PM
Jon, points well taken, but one..."renewed negotiations" When were there ever supposed to be negotiations? Not even the UN called for "negotiations". It was unconditional disarmament. Hell, if Hussein would have just done that alone, he would have held his power, anc could have continued the rape and torture of his nation. he chose not too...for the reasons mentioned, he didnt think we had the guts to do anything. This is where France really ticks me off. Maybe, just maybe, if they would have exhibited a little bit of pressure, he would have capitulated....
I was referring to...Jon Billheimer
Mar 29, 2003 4:40 PM
comments by some antiwar activists to the effect that a ceasefire should be called, inspectors sent back in and timelines for complete disarmament and disclosure negotiated with the Iraqi government. BTW, I don't think Iraq's behaviour would have been any different with or without a 2nd U.N. Security Council resolution.

The Europeans had their own political agenda which includes both selfish interests (e.g. France's and Russia's "business"interests) as well as a political price that they want to exact from the Bush administration for its unilateralism and bad faith with respect to several treaties and the ICC. Also, Europe is really scared of the neo-con agenda for worldwide U.S. hegemony.
Just like a bad dog...WCC
Mar 29, 2003 4:06 PM
"If there are chem/bio weapons used over there, we should give the citizens of Bagdad 24 hours to leave, period. "

Great idea, only I doubt the henchmen would ever let this happen.
my take-a bit from both sidesrufus
Mar 29, 2003 3:51 PM
n.korea will never launch a nuke at the u.s. or any other nation, for they know if they do, all that will remain is a smouldering pile of rubble. all this stuff they're doing now is political posturing, trying to blackmail the u.s. into giving them more food and oil.

i say to hell with them, let them start their reactors, and let them starve and freeze. under no circumstances can we trade oil or food for their promise to cease their nuclear program. we see how well they stick to their promises(almost as well as the bush administration honors treaties). at the same time, the dialogue has to remain open so they know where we stand, and the nations of the region have to become involved as well. and hopefully, this regime will be replaced by a more moderate voice.

of course the eventual solution will be that we give them food and oil if they cease their nuke program. and they'll simply do the same thing in the future.
Rufus, you're right on both counts. nmJon Billheimer
Mar 29, 2003 3:59 PM
my take-a bit from both sidesWCC
Mar 29, 2003 4:15 PM
speaking of know its bad when the NK's sneak into China because they are starving....that place is sick, sick, sick...
my nonsensical ramblings from a while ago.sn69
Mar 29, 2003 5:00 PM
sn69 "Bush's Press Conference - thoughts, opinions?" 3/7/03 7:14pm

I'm still mulling this one over, but I don't think we're going to war with NK unless Il hops the fence and comes south.

Just my $.06 (since the original post was in three parts).
still, if he does move against the southrufus
Mar 29, 2003 5:48 PM
what will the reaction of his troops be when they see the luxurious living standards that exist in south korea. all their lives, they've been preached to about how horrible democracy is, how it exploits the people, all that communist rhetoric. and yet, they are the ones starving and freezing, with an economy that barely stumbles along. how willing would they be to fight once they see that, once they see the comparative splendor the south lives in?
still, if he does move against the southsn69
Mar 29, 2003 5:58 PM
I suppose that would depend on the particulars of the assault. If they streamed south behind a massive artillery and missile barage, laying waste to many of SK's northern cities, it would take a while before the NK troops could take stock of what the South has/had. Likewise, I think they'd be well engaged with our's and SK's forces before they'd have the chance to stop and look around. Eventually, however, you might have a point.
still, if he does move against the southhatchetman
Mar 29, 2003 6:33 PM
Personally, I think in a second Korean War the NKPA soldiers would fight hard, even after seeing the wealth of the south. One thing we need to remember is that they've been brainwashed since they were born about Dear Leader and Great Leader. What they have (if you could say they have anything) in North Korea is all they know. You can find examples throughout history of poor nations or tribes overrunning and taking over wealthier neigbors and fighting hard in the process, such as the Germanic tribes overrunning Rome or even Iraq conquering Kuwait in 1990. Instead of questioning what was happening the soldiers looted and ransacked everything. It reminds me of a blind woman I knew several years ago. She'd been blind since birth, and I asked her once if she wished she could see. She told me she had no desire to, as she'd been blind since birth and it was all she knew. I think it would be a mistake to think the North Koreans would be any's all they've known. I've gotta quit writing these long posts...they're turning into editorials :)
Oh...this board specializes in editorials! ;-P nmsn69
Mar 29, 2003 6:55 PM
Not to mention that.....WCC
Mar 30, 2003 12:29 PM
....the NK military is kept fed, unlike the rest of NK's citzens.
re: I'm more upset with South Koreadasho
Mar 30, 2003 3:08 PM
We pretty much know that North Korea wouldn't dare start a nuclear war with us and all they are doing is posturing to get more food and oil. But I can't beleive how ungrateful the South Koreans are.

Their economy and freedom today is a result of the US fighting with them against the communists in the Korean war in which many of our soldiers lost their lives on Korean soil. Huge companies such as Hyndai (the largest shipbuilder in the world) got their start after the war as a result of contracts granted to them by the then new US/South Korean government. We have about 37,000 military personell in South Korea today helping to protect them against the menace to the North.

But because one of our tanks accidently ran over and killed 2 South Korean teenagers a few years ago and the crewmen were not prosecuted they want us to leave. At first the theory was that only a minority of South Koreans wanted us to leave but that all went out the window when they elected a new president that is staunchly anti-American and ran on the premise that he would ask the US to leave South Korea if elected.

Of course now that the North is making threats against the South they have sort of modified their attitude and their president says he doesn't think we should leave, at least at this time. I think we should pull out of South Korea ASAP. Let them deal with the North and watch their economy go to hell in a handbasket very quickly. We should not only withdraw our soldiers but our dollars by boycotting products by SK companies such as Hyndai, Kia, Daewoo, Samsung etc.
Ditto Kuwait. But then they've got oil.nmJon Billheimer
Mar 30, 2003 5:40 PM