VodkaPundit

A Senatorial Fisking

Oh, boy.

Today we have Presidential candidate and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in The Washington Post with a campaign commercial — er, op-ed piece — on what to do with North Korea. He was given a chance to write something fair, impartial, beneficial to our national security and to his national campaign should he win the nomination.

Instead, he plays to his base, and plays badly:

The Bush administration’s reported decision to meet again with North Korean officials looks like a positive development. But the administration’s erratic handling of the North Korean nuclear crisis over the past year leaves it little room for error. It first ignored the threat because it was preoccupied with Iraq, then played it down — thus leading Pyongyang to think we would accept a nuclear North Korea — then proposed a dialogue, but steadfastly refused to talk directly with the North Koreans. All this served only to create confusion and put North Korea’s despotic leader, Kim Jong Il, in the driver’s seat.

I hate to accuse a United States Senator of lying, but I don’t know what other word fits. Let’s take this one, ah, prevarication at a time.

The Bush administration’s reported decision to meet again with North Korean officials looks like a positive development. But the administration’s erratic handling of the North Korean nuclear crisis over the past year leaves it little room for error.

Erratic? Hardly. While I can’t say what’s going on in the minds of the President and his Secretary of State, their policy has hardly been erratic. Have there been ducks and weaves? You bet — that’s how the game is played. But the overall effect (and, apparently, goal) has remained the same: To keep North Korea isolated, under increasing diplomatic and economic pressure, and to hope the regime implodes before it can explode a nuclear bomb.

Anyone who can read the papers knows all this. So I’m assuming Kerry can read the papers when I say he’s lying.

“Looks like a positive development?” Please. North Korea caved completely on the talks, probably due to pressure from their last remaining ally. And having China come even partly to our side is almost certainly our best bet for resolving this thing peacefully.

John Kerry must know this, too. Kerry must be lying.

[The Administration] first ignored the threat because it was preoccupied with Iraq. . .

Unless someone can quote me a story where Bush & Co. ignored Korea, then we’ll chalk this up as another lie.

. . .then played it down — thus leading Pyongyang to think we would accept a nuclear North Korea. . .

Ditto. Furthermore, Li’l Kim’s nuclear ambitions have never relied on American acquiescence, else he would never have agreed to (then cheated on) the 1994 Agreed Framework. Another lie.

. . . then proposed a dialogue, but steadfastly refused to talk directly with the North Koreans.

The Administration never proposed a “dialogue,” because a dialogue occurs between two parties. Bush asked for — and North Korea repeatedly refused — multilateral talks. Any refusal we made was to talk to the North Koreans on their terms, terms we knew they would never live up to. Two phrases, two lies.

All this served only to create confusion and put North Korea’s despotic leader, Kim Jong Il, in the driver’s seat.

The little sadist who doesn’t have complete control over his military, who rules over a starving populace, who is reduced to making nuclear threats against the world’s mightiest nation, who is facing enormous pressure from his “allies” in China, who is desperately short on money and material and, most importantly, time. . . this man is supposedly “in the driver’s seat?”

That’s a big fat whopper of a lie.

And the rest is no better. Here are two more easily-demolished statements:

Since the end of last year, North Korea has moved quickly to restore its capacity to produce nuclear weapons.

There is no evidence North Korea ever seriously curtailed its abilities.

If the coming talks are to be more than show, however, the Bush administration must commit itself to negotiate directly with the North Koreans. . .

Not a lie, but sheer stupidity. North Korea has never lived up to anything its agreed to, making direct negotiations pointless. What is required is pressure, and China is in the best position to apply it. And China can’t be made to do so if we’re taking full responsibility (as indicated by bilateral talks) for the outcome.

George W Bush, so long as he continues to spend recklessly, support the USA PATRIOT act, oppose full rights for gays, keep John Ashcroft, and enable our destroyers in Riyadh, is begging me to support a Democrat in 2004. But if today’s piece is a fair example of John Kerry’s veracity and national security policies, then Kerry isn’t the Democrat I’m looking for.