- The Washington Times - Friday, October 18, 2002

Nobel strikes again

Perhaps those peace-loving Norwegians won't quite get the joke. They're not known for their sense of humor, after all. But isn't it delicious that just after Jimmy Carter gets the Nobel Peace Prize, the North Koreans admit they have developed nukes? Remember it was Mr. Carter who was directly responsible for changing the Clinton administration's more skeptical position toward the North Korean dictator in the mid-1990s. In case you forget, here's an extract from a New York Times piece of the time, October 1994, written by David Sanger:

"The agreement that Mr. Clinton announced today is perhaps the biggest turning point yet in a nuclear program that the United States paid little attention to in the 1980s, then could not stop in the early 1990s, and that over the past year has sometimes seemed on the verge of setting off a military confrontation. In June, the administration was on the verge of imposing sanctions against North Korea a step that would have required the commitment of thousands of American troops to Korea to reinforce the 38,000 already stationed there until former President Jimmy Carter invited himself to Pyongyang and negotiated directly with Kim Il Sung. Mr. Kim died just a few weeks later, but, to the amazement of American officials, the new tone set by Mr. Carter and the man known for four decades as the North's "Great Leader" survived."

Ah, that new "tone." Another word for it is being duped. Which, when it comes to brutal dictators, is Jimmy Carter's specialty.

Clinton strikes again

But, of course, full responsibility for the U.S. miscalculation must surely go to the Clinton administration. Every day, the consequences of his eight years in office become graver. Think of the mounting legacy: a dangerous economic bubble at home, whose effects have yet to be fully felt; and abroad, Saddam on the verge of nukes, North Korea with them, and al Qaeda thriving until the Bush team got serious. But the Clintonites never learn. Once again, let's go to the tape. Here's what the Clinton administration's top negotiator with North Korea told Jim Lehrer this January about President Bush's policy toward North Korea:

"JIM LEHRER: What about the idea that the president laying the law down to them, calling them and putting them in the same league with Iraq and Iran and calling them part of this axis of evil helps the situation or hurts it? Do you feel like it helps?

WENDY SHERMAN: I don't think it was particularly helpful.

JIM LEHRER: Why not?

WENDY SHERMAN: It was very understandable as a rhetorical device to rally the American people to cause against terrorism and to the cause against weapons of mass destruction, which none of us want. What I think was wrong about it in terms of North Korea is North Korea has negotiated successfully with us. We have a 1994 framework agreement that stops the production of fissile material, which is the plutonium, the kind of plutonium needed to build nuclear weapons. They agreed to that framework agreement. They have principally kept to that agreement and taken the steps that were necessary for it to take. It's not finished yet. We still have a ways to go, but they do and can follow through. We need to hold them to it. Our agreements have to be verifiable. They need to be tough but it can be done."

That's the key quote: "They can and do follow through." What a blithering fool.

Raines award nominee

For egregious liberal media bias:

Earlier this week, ABC News ran a spectacular piece of pure left-wing polemic. I don't mean the typical Jennings slant. I mean outright anti-war campaigning. The piece, by Bill Redeker, was titled "War Worries: Support for Attacking Iraq Begins to Wane Across the U.S." Not a single piece of evidence was supplied to support that headline no baseline to show how support has dropped or waned. The piece began: "'America speaks with one voice,' says President Bush. In Washington, Bush, having been empowered by both houses of Congress to use force, seems to face very little opposition on Iraq. On the streets of America, nothing could be further from the truth. Across the nation, in city after city, ABC News found voices of opposition, and many of them were from military towns." This isn't a mild qualification to the broad support for war, which would be a perfectly defensible story; it isn't skepticism; it's a declarative statement: "Nothing could be further from the truth." The piece cited no polls (they would have shown majority support for Mr. Bush). It included not a single pro-war voice. It wasn't bias. It was propaganda.

Sontag award nominee

For egregious anti-American and anti-Bush hyperbole in the context of war:

"When asked by worried friends and acquaintances whether the president was borrowing his geopolitical theory from the diaries of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, I assured them that the president didn't have the patience to read more than two or three pages of a Tom Clancy novel."

Lewis Lapham, editor of Harper's, in the print edition of the October issue.

I wonder if this old dinosaur has discovered yet that the Hitler diaries were a forgery.

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