Archive | 8:40 pm

The Chauvinists’ Burden

21 May

Actually, I’m not sure , or the entire Bush administration since January 2001. But, for now, there’s .

I agree, firstly, that I can’t explain this outburst as nothing less than the electrical detritus resulting from a stroke translated through desperate fingertips:

Third, we now face the nagging question whether there are other secret side deals beyond BDA. Of course, the BDA agreement was not so secret that Kim Jong Il was barred from knowing about it, by definition. Most troubling, however, is that State apparently thought it too sensitive to share with the American people until the February deal broke down in an unavoidably public way. But even this was not enough for North Korea, which, sensing U.S. weakness, continues to press for more. Although conflicting stories abound, North Korea may be seeking not just the return of the BDA funds, but something much more significant: guaranteed access to international financial markets, even through an American bank. Indeed, this week Wachovia Corp. confirmed that it had been approached by the State Department to assist in the transfer of funds.

As for BDA, I long ago gave up trying to understand the Bush administration as a coherent organization. I expect nothing more but errors to come from the executive branch until 2009.

But, I don’t like this:

Ok, so I am not convinced that North Korea won’t cheat on this deal as they have on others, or that they will freeze their nuclear program when they get that BDA money. But, compromise with NK is an option that needs to be tested. We need to know whether the NK nuclear program is at least somewhat negotiable on these terms.

Budging on $25 million is not a step so publicly conciliatory as to be forever irreparable in the eyes of future bad guys. Actually, I think the public nature of the “concession” on BDA could be a plus if NK does end up cheating. Members of the 6-Party Talks and other states would be able to see that a compromise approach was attempted but did not work. They may be more willing to accept and and a harsher approach if it becomes necessary.

There’s that unilateralist delusion that has landed us in this mess.

Meanwhile, is ruining the party.


Different Bear Worlds

21 May

KAL's Cartton (The Economist: Subscription-Required)

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