Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Sir, this horse is alive, sir! I think your N. Korea post is right on, and I don't think it's a dead horse. We've come pretty close to agreement on the Korea threat in the past, and I think our only real difference is that I think Saddam should clearly go first, whereas you seem to think that taking out Iraq before North Korea is akin to eating your vegetables first, so you can really enjoy your steak. There is an argument to be made for dealing with Saddam later and tackling the Korean difficulty now, but I don't subscribe. For one thing, Korea may or may not have the bomb. I bet they don't (we'll know when they do; I think they want us to know), but I wouldn't want to cover that spread. Saddam doesn't have one, and it seems reasonable that we not let him become another Kim. Also, Saddam has patience, something Kim can't afford, which is why Kim has been the little guy whacking at the bully. Let the impatient Kim do something foolish, so we have a good case for popping his cork. Besides, the policy we have now is working. Just a couple weeks ago, the South Koreans were babbling about scrapping the current SOFA. Rumsfeld says he's open to the idea, North Korea tests another missile, and suddenly South Korea is saying, "No, no, we're honored by the presence of your noble soldiers on our land!" (We should try this trick with the Germans.)

It's funny, we're damned if we do, damned if we don't. On Iraq, we're being too "unilateral." On Korea, the world wants to know why the hell we're insisting on a multilateral solution. America may be inconsistent, but so are her critics.

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