October 11, 2004

by Reb Yudel
More on Korea

Kevin Drum, writing in The Washington Monthly following the first debate:

John Kerry has by far the better of the argument here: we should have both multilateral and bilateral talks. What's more, all the other countries involved in the talks agree, because they understand the reality of the situation. But George Bush refuses. After all, that would be giving Kim Jong Il something he wants.

In the meantime, the multilateral talks have ground to a halt, North Korea is busily building nuclear weapons, and we've lost two years in which it's just possible we could have put a stop to it. Sure, maybe bilateral negotiations wouldn't have worked, but we'll never know because Bush stubbornly declined to try based on little more than personal pique.

In this, he's following the path of conservative hawks who have derailed progress with North Korea for the past decade. For the definitive story, read Fred Kaplan's "Rolling Blunder" from the May issue of the Washington Monthly. It's a grim recital of error.

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