Tuesday, January 28, 2003

N. Korea & Iraq: Yes, I think your average peasant knows little but his cabbage plot, but don't discount the samizdat that pops up in these places. The chic young Muscovites were wearing Levi's in 1985, and it wasn't for the comfort and durability. They knew what was in style in the west. Meanwhile, the Koreans polish the statues because they don't want to be shot. As for the Axis of Evil remark, I think it's a hard construction to spin, but I'll try. Okay, Germany, Italy, and Japan were all "Axis" powers in WWII. But one got firebombed, one got nuked, and one got a purely strategic (but hard fought) invasion. Collaborators like Quisling and the Vichy government were ignored, although they were technically the enemy. In the end, you want to keep your options open. By make moral equivalents of N. Korea and Iraq, Bush himself raised the question of why we should have differing attitudes toward diplomacy in the two situations. A mixed bag, coining that phrase, but the phrase has stuck. (By the way, Iran's on that "Evil" list, too. What will we do with them?)

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