Tuesday, October 10, 2006

David Frum on North Korea

In his article "Mutually Assured Disruption", David Frum (former speechwriter for George W. Bush) wrote that the North Korean atom bomb test signals the failure of diplomacy to rein in North Korea's ambitions:
It is, alas, an iron law of modern diplomacy that the failure of any diplomatic process only proves the need for more of the process that has just failed.
I guess it's bad science to argue that correlation implies causality, but North Korea refrained from going nuclear during the years in which diplomacy was attempted (the Clinton years). On the other hand, we have had no meaningful diplomacy with North Korea for the last 6 years, and North Korea went nuclear. So how does this show that diplomacy can't work?

What is Frum's approach to dealing with North Korea? Among other suggestions, Frum offers this bullet:
  • Encourage Japan to renounce the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and create its own nuclear deterrent.
He also recommends cutting off all humanitarian aid for North Korea, and using sanctions to precipitate a humanitarian disaster.

Maybe I'm not giving his ideas a fair chance, but it seems to me that he is INSANE. Completely, stark-raving mad. The reason we care at all about North Korea going nuclear is that (1) It might lead to an arms race in the region, which could lead to conventional or nuclear war, and (2) Cash-strapped North Korea might be tempted to make money by selling their nuclear technology to unsavory groups such as Al Qaeda. What does Frum's plan do, other than make these two most horrible consequences much more likely?

I think conservatives have gone over the edge. They can't remember from one day to the next whether their goal is to protect the world, or to blow it up.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correlation vs. causality?
Maybe all we are seeing is that Beloved Leader has been playing us for 6 years. Played Clinton. Played Bush. Now he's got a nuke. Diplomacy shmaplomacy.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Kyle McCullough said...

"I think conservatives have gone over the edge."

I think that is litterally correct--and to be expected. People go over the edge when all of their plans have failed and they can see no rational plan that can turn things around.

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Ian Sutherland said...

I agree that encouraging Japan to go "nucular" is not a good idea. As for cutting off humanitarian aid, I don't know that what humanitarian aid being given to North Korea is currently reaching the people for whom it is meant. Any idea? Finally, any ideas on what should be done about North Korea (or should we do nothing?)?

12:45 AM  
Blogger RichM said...

I still think we should be killing these dictators with kindness - sending them container-loads of Xbox 360s and the like to attack their society from within. That's better than sending them money, since how many Xboxes can Mr. Kim play with anywah?

1:56 PM  

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