If there really are four U.S. Navy aircraft carriers deploying to the Taiwan Strait (See previous post), this is a startling development. Just today "U.S. negotiators presented the first detailed American proposal Wednesday on resolving the standoff with North Korea, offering the North energy aid and a security guarantee in exchange for dismantling its nuclear program."(Reuters) (Hardly the stance you'd expect us to be taking if we were planning a preemptive attack.}
This is a reversal from the standing U.S policy of not "rewarding" North Korea by negotiating before they freeze their nuclear program. Now, we're willing to give them food aid, fuel oil and give assurances we won't attack them. It is strangely enlightened and reasonable. Quite a departure from the treatment most "Axis of Evil" countries receive and a long way from Undersecretary of State John Bolten's ham handed bull in a china shop approach. I'm suspicious.
Either the Bush administration has taken Colin Powell's advise, finally, to resume the Clinton administrations policy of engagement or, any back talk from the North will be used as an excuse to end talks and start the war.
Deja vu all over again?
In 2003, during the last crisis with North Korea an article in the Scotsman described what may turn out to be d?j? vu all over again:
"The US military assets now being sent to the region could stage air and missile strikes against the nuclear plant at Yongbyon and other sites where the North may have concealed production facilities for, and stockpiles of, nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
Strikes would also target the production and launching sites of North Korea's growing ballistic missile programme.
But the odds are not good for the US. According to its own estimates, one million casualties could be expected in the first 24 hours of a war.
Even though much of North Korea's hardware is old, its army is nearly a million strong and more than half of its soldiers are deployed within 100 miles of the demilitarised zone with 8,000 artillery pieces. It is estimated that North Korea could fire 300,000 shells an hour on to targets in the south.
In addition, it is believed to have about 5,000 tons of chemical and biological agents, including sarin, anthrax, smallpox and the plague."
The fun bunch
It would be nice to think this bunch in the White House wouldn't be insane enough to even consider such a reckless idea, but we know better, don't we? Forget about four more years, how about no more years!
Additionally, according to Global Security.com (Not to be confused with globalsecurity.org)
"President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader's state of mind.
In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as "enemies of the state."
Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.
"It reminds me of the Nixon days," says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. "Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That's the mood over there."
(the article is reminisent of the Weekly World News, so I'm not vouching for the accuracy of the piece)
Posted by bushmeister0 at 2:36 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 24 June 2004 11:10 AM EDT