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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Real Korean Aberration

Instead of "madman," how about "ruthless dictator with a relentless determination to achieve his clear strategic aims"? The phrase doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, but still: What benefit is to be derived by continuously framing North Korea's leader as a mental health aberration? The aberration is believing meaningful bargains can be reached with the likes of Kim Jong-il through dialogue that leads to signatures on pieces of paper. This was Bill Clinton's approach to the problematic person of Korea's great North. Clinton did what liberals love to do: reach agreements based on supposed common ground. "We all inhabit this global village together, there's enough tofu and bean sprouts for everyone," is the popular version in my northern California neighborhood, where you will meet people who actually believe the Soviet Union collapsed not because Ronald Reagan's buildup of American military might forced the USSR into an unsustainable race to keep up, oh no. The Soviet Union imploded because corps of "citizen diplomats" from America paid visits to Moscow and engaged in dialogues (Kum ba yah, my Lord, Kum ba yah, Kum ba yah, my Lord, Kum ba yah Kum ba yah, my Lord, Kum ba yah Oh Lord, Kum ba yah...) that enabled ordinary citizens from both countries to identify common human ground. As a result, the communist dictators and their military officers just decided to throw in the towel. (You didn't get the memo on this at the time? Be sure to update your address or you'll miss out on other important developments in the galaxy of delusional thought. Now, let's return to Earth.) Dealing directly with the North, team Clinton produced the Agreed Framework, a fraud that the North Koreans began cheating on, in the words of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, “as the ink was drying.” Madeleine Albright, who negotiated the agreement, later offered this strangely candid assessment of her diligence-driven naivete: "What they [Kim and company] were doing, as it turns out, they were cheating." Albright made clear that she was surprised by Kim's duplicity, much as a famously naive one-term president named Jimmy Carter in 1980 appeared stunned that the Soviet Union would commit such an act as the invasion of Afghanistan, declaring that his perception of the character of the USSR had dramatically changed. This being the same Jimmy Carter who had said his fellow countrymen had an irrational fear of communism; who stopped B-1 bomber production; who lifted U.S. citizens’ travel bans to Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia; who pardoned draft evaders; who believed the Ayatollah Khomeini, a Muslim exile in Paris, would make a fairer Iranian leader than the Shah because Khomeini was a religious man. The same Jimmy Carter who today travels the globe lecturing foreign audiences condemning the policies of the incumbent president of the United States. Anyhow, Kim agreed to freeze North Korea's nuclear program in exchange for two light-water nuclear reactors and fuel deliveries. Immediately, however, he set up a secret uranium-enrichment program and obstructed inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency. When the U.S. blew the whistle in 2002, the North confessed, evicted IAEA inspectors, retreated from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and escalated its nuclear quest. Here's David Zucker's video overview. Thinking of all of this as a great success, the perennial-dialogue crowd now wants to keep going down the same road to Yammerville. "At least they were talking," says John Kerry, adding that team Clinton "knew full well they didn't have a perfect agreement." Agreed. Trusting Kim to keep his word turned out to be less than "perfect," except perhaps in a world where liberal good intentions (and continuous liberal self congratulation about same) is all that counts. Here's the best part. Kim wouldn't have the bomb today, or be close to getting it, if Bush had simply held bilateral talks with the North. Bush's mistake was his insistence on taking a six-party approach. In short, Bush behaved like a (get ready) internationalist, and the left faults him for it. This being the same left that faulted Bush for supposedly not acting like an internationalist toward Iraq. What's a poor cowboy from Crawford to do, with mixed signals like these?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Melanie Morgan's Moment

I generally don't talk about my personal life here, but the time has come to fess up about something that happens in my bedroom several times each week. I wake up with Melanie Morgan. Mondays through Fridays this striking, articulate blonde begins my morning with some variation on the following: "Just when you thought liberals couldn't be more stupid, get ready to hear about this morning's latest outrage from the hate-America left..." Melanie Morgan is half of the highly rated Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Show on KSFO in San Francisco. Her resume describes Melanie as a successful broadcast journalist for nearly three decades, but those who have witnessed her political skills in action know her as nothing less than a force of nature. Melanie spearheaded the successful drive to recall Governor Gray Davis, arguably the most corrupt politician in twentieth century California politics — and the list of contenders for that title isn't short. Like me, Melanie's a former midwestern liberal, a parent, and a journalist-turned-commentator, many of whose friends and family members can't quite figure out why we said goodbye to the left. You can find out more about Melanie's views at her Website. And on October 19 you'll be able to get a copy of my new book Leaving the Left, a memoir that describes the stages and steps by which I got clear about the reactionary political and cultural movement which, in the best tradition of delusional thinking, proudly proclaims itself "progressive." Melanie and her award-winning coauthor Catherine Moy have written a book called American Mourning, the story of two families — the Johnsons and the Sheehans — that lost sons in the war on terror, best friends since they first met at Fort Hood in Texas, though their two families have little else in common. Kathleen Antrim, columnist for the San Francisco Examiner, offers this overview:
For over two years, Moy and Morgan researched and investigated the stories of Casey Sheehan and Justin Johnson and the impact their respective deaths had on their families. This book follows Joe Johnson from Georgia to Iraq. And, with shocking twists, it exposes the real Cindy Sheehan as she parlays her son’s demise into fame from California to Crawford, Texas, and on to Washington, D.C. “American Mourning” hits directly at the heart of America. It’s an important chronicle of America’s pain as we fight an enemy that threatens our very existence.
Count me delighted that Melanie's platform is about to get a lot bigger. This is excellent news for Americans committed to exposing the crucial common ground shared by self-loathing leftists, whose self esteem thrives on the very thought of U.S. setbacks in Iraq, and virulent global jihadists who can only feel perverse apprecation for the American left's useful contempt for the country in which they reside but steadfastly refuse to defend.