Thursday, May 28, 2009

Obama: What good IS diplomacy?

I was never a fan of Bush's foreign policy ("yeehaw!")...

But Obama is doing nothing about North Korea's test launch, then nuclear test.

We should have blown the test missile out the sky. We wouldn't have to invade, like Bush, but Obama, you should have shown them that we won't allow them to become proficient with long-range weapons.

Waiting on the UN or NATO? Not gonna happen. They've all but abandoned us in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The international community struck the usual poses that follow North Korea's periodic outrages. Obama said in a statement that the test would "serve to deepen North Korea's isolation." South Korea called for an "emergency meeting" of the United Nation Security Council (a wish that was granted, with a meeting schedule for later on Monday). The Japanese government said it would "not tolerate" such actions. Russia expressed its "concern." Even the Chinese, North Korea's alleged ally, said they were "firmly opposed" to the test.

None of that offered much hope for change. North Korea is already the world's most isolated country. The only thing that would meaningfully "deepen" that isolation would be for China to shut down trade entirely across its border — something Beijing has never given any indication that it's prepared to do. The idea that Kim Jong Il's regime even cares if its isolation "deepens" is dubious at best. As for the U.N., it met in emergency session just after the long-range missile launch in April, and gently tightened sanctions that were already having no demonstrable effect on North Korea's behavior on key security issues. Will another "emergency session" really produce painful sanctions that could conceivably make a difference? That, after all, is presumably what Tokyo has in mind when it talks about "not tolerating" the North's behavior. 

For a hint as to how effective the U.N. might be, talk to the Russians. Moscow is "concerned" — not outraged — by today's test. Don't expect much, in other words, from the Security Council, even if the test is as direct a violation as possible of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718, which calls on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program. The Chinese, like Obama, desperately want the North Koreans to return to the negotiating table in Beijing, where the so-called six party talks were held during the Bush years. But Beijing may be coming to the reluctant conclusion, if they haven't already, that North Korea means what it says: it intends to be a state armed with nuclear weapons, whether the rest of the world likes it or not."

And that is unacceptable. 

Obama, please step it up. You don't have to be a cowboy, but you do need to do more than talk.


Dave Miller said...

James, as you have previously stated that you believe in International norms, [treaties, Geneva Convention, etc.] what gives us a right to essentially attack preemptively another country?

And let's be honest here, it would be an attack. If there are any doubts about that, consider for a moment if another country shot down one of our missiles in the middle of a test.

Has North Korea attacked us? Are we under a clear and present danger? Is there a grave and gathering threat to the United States from North Korea?

Since I think an honest answer would yield a no response to all of those, what would be our basis or rational for attack?

And would we be willing to accept that rational if North Korea wanted to attack us?

Just a few questions to get you going.

James' Muse said...

Yes Dave, I do believe in international law.

North Korea has repeatedly violated U.N. Security Council Resolution 1718, which calls on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program. Both the nuclear test and the missile launch violate this resolution.

It would not be an attack to shoot it down once it left North Korean airspace, being that the international community has essentially outlawed it.

So it would not be an attack unless we bombed their facilities within their borders. But shooting down their missile once it left those same borders would be nothing more than enforcement of international law, and a message that we have the capability to stop their nuclear abilities were they to try to launch missiles at us.

Dave Miller said...

James, if someone did that to us, would you see it as an attack?

Besides, from where does the UN get it's authority?

What gives them the right to tell a sovereign what to do?

Israel has also violated UN Security resolution 242 which calls for retreat to pre 1967 War Borders.

If we are to be the UN policemen, why should we also not bomb Israel to ensure their compliance with UN directives?


James' Muse said...

But Dave, I'm not calling for bombing N. Korea. I'm saying we should have knocked their rocket out of the sky once it left their airspace. When the international community says, hey, don't launch that missile into our airspace, and a sovereign does so anyway, someone should be able to knock it down.

Let 'em do what they want within their borders. But start shooting into international waters? Knock it down. Remind them that the world is bigger than one sovereign.

Dave Miller said...

James, you still did not answer my question. If someone did that to us, how would we see it?

In the past, we regularly tested missiles that ended up over, or in international waters.

If someone shot down one of our tests, don't you think we would be screaming bloody murder?

Also, as for space, I am not sure we have clear sovereign borders in that realm.

Dave Miller said...

Hey, do you like my other picture? It'll be on my AIL blog once it is ready.

James' Muse said...

I do like the picture. Send me the link when AIL's blog is up.

James' Muse said...

As for your question:

Yes. We would be ticked. But as a SuperPower, and one that has come to the rescue of many countries in the past, don't we deserve a little respect in the world community?

Plus there aren't any UN Resolutions barring us in the first place, especially because we are most of the firepower behind the UN. The UN was formed to stop totalitarian regimes from taking over again, like Hitler's did in Europe.

North Korea has shown that it is capable of doing just that: being an expansive totalitarian regime. I'm not saying we should invade, but we should stop their expansion outside of their borders.

bluepitbull said...

Here is the least for now, Mr. Miller:

They are a communist state being torturing their people and beating their chest and exporting weapons-grade nuclear material to other dangerous countries.

We are a nation that has constantly for 100 years or more saved the weak from annihilation at the hands of dictators.

You're moral relativism has no place outside of the classroom in which you learned it.

What James is proposing is not wrong. It would send a signal to the North Korean idiot-in-charge that we will not tolerate their saber rattling.

If you really want to get to know how North Korea deals with loyal party members, Dave, read "The Aquariums of Pyongyang" by Chol Hwan-Kang.

Maybe you might learn that the world isn't all rosey and happy with people dancing on Maypoles in these dictatorships.

bluepitbull said...

Also, Mr. Miller, I've seen one of your blogs which means you signed in on the wrong one. Why is the other blocked? So that conservatives can't comment?

James' Muse said...

Blue, the other blog isn't a political blog. Dave is a full-time missionary friend of mine.

That blog you refer to is the one for the ministry which hasn't been launched yet.

bluepitbull said...

No problem,

But when he basically calls us robots spewing talking points, he comes under my scrutiny.

Also, I think he can speak for himself.

James' Muse said...

I don't believe he is calling all conservatives Robots. I believe he was referring to those that blindly follow Rush (and they are all over the blogosphere)...

As for speaking for himself, yes, but this was something I have personal experience in, so I thought I'd speak up.

bluepitbull said...

Dave Miller said...

Still no comments. James, I think the conservatives are waiting for their marching orders.

For a preview, check out Bits by Bob.

That isn't calling conservatives robots? There is nothing wrong with Rush, James. Just because you don't agree with him doesn't make him the antichrist.

So far, Dave makes his comments unaccounted for, but still aggressively pursues anyone that doesn't answer his questions immediately as was even the case with you in the post.

He seems to feel that North Korea is some innocent place.

Dave, if you really want to do some missionary work, go to North Korea. Oh wait...that's probably can't get in.

Dave Miller said...

Blue says:

No problem,

But when he basically calls us robots spewing talking points, he comes under my scrutiny.

Also, I think he can speak for himself.

You're moral relativism has no place outside of the classroom in which you learned it.First off Blue, where did I say, imply, infer, or even remotely intimate anyone here was spewing talking points?

And you're right, I can speak for and defend myself. But James was accurate regarding my other blog. It will be a once a month posting on the issues facing people involved in short-term missions in Mexico, a place I spend almost half my year annually.

Once it is up, I'd love you to take a look, and maybe even subscribe.

As for Korea, the reality is that we have a big problem. And it is nothing new. Neither of the previous admins. chose to deal effectively with them so now we are in this mess.

So let's say we do hit their missiles in flight. If, as James pointed out, China is not ready to act, what do we do if they decide to invade So Korea?

We do not have the man power, and I'm guessing the American people also do not have the stomach to step in and defend them.

It is a crappy place, but it is where we are.

I am totally with you on the holding them within their borders, and I think there is a pretty large international coalition doing that on the seas.

As for moral relativism, I fail to see how seeking consistency can be seen as relativistic.

The United States loses credibility amongst our allies if we do not try to publicly live the values we preach to the rogues around the world.

And that is where we have fallen down in recent years. We will not persuade the hardcore anti American people out there.

But we must take care not to alienate our allies in our zeal. I think former President Bush put is best when he said "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us; if we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us"

Dave Miller said...

Blue, my comments here on conservatives were meant as a joke to for James.

Since his last post, I was afraid he had lost some of his commentators, which would have been a shame.

I was particularly afraid he had lost you, as he has enjoyed the back and forth with you.

As for North Korea, who knows, maybe one day.

I had a daughter of a North Korean serve with me for a couple of summers. In getting to know her, I learned first hand how horrible the government there is.

I am not sure what the solution is on this. They certainly are not the only government who does this to their own people.

How do we, as a country, make the decision as to which horrible place we will save?

If Korea, why not Sudan? Somalia?

I wish we could, or would, make a decision to step in and help everyone.

I do believe it is within our power to do so.

Dave Miller said...

As for Bits by Bob, he called Sotomayor an intellectual moron.

You can disagree with her, but anyone who graduates top of the class from both Princeton and Yale is not an intellectual moron.

That is what's wrong in political discourse today. There is a lack of ability to disagree agreeably.

There used to be a level of civility between the partisans that enabled people of both parties to be friends.

It seems that we have lost that in the rush to say the worst we can, the loudest, and thus be heard.

For the record, I like Rush. His show is good and it is entertaining. I do not always agree with him, but there are times he is spot on.

Not always, but sometimes.

I also Mark Levin and Mr. Savage about once a week when I am in the states.

James' Muse said...

Just because you don't agree with him doesn't make him the antichrist.
Exactly. I don't think he's the antiChrist. I don't agree with him.

But look: that's what many conservatives are doing to Obama. They don't agree with him. So they do anything and everything to portray him as something akin to the AntiChrist.

bluepitbull said...

We don't decide who gets saved and who doesn't. The world seems to help us decide, don't they?

We didn't invade Iraq alone, if you remember correctly. Nor did we invade France, Germany, Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan, or even Bosnia alone.

As much of Sotomayor's stuff thats been overturned, you could very well make a case for the lowest bidder. Intellectual moron? no worse than some of the comments on here.

bluepitbull said...

Yeah, well the difference between Rush and obama is pretty great.

1. Rush doesn't have the power to change anything.

2. obama is trying to remake America...his words.

3. The greatest increase in spending since FDR's New Deal, and LBJ's Great Society.

Rush is a political educator, not just an entertainer. Apparently, you don't listen to him, or you would know that.

obama obfuscates things and calls it transparency. We still haven't seen the long form for his birth certificate, why not? Transparency my foot.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Dave Miller: "It [North Korea] is a crappy place, but it is where we are."

When I first read about North Korea's nuclear test, my initial reaction was along the same lines as James. There is something especially galling about the conduct of this regime; but these thoughts end here when one takes into account the inherent risks of engaging in brinksmanship. Here are the reasons:

Population of Seoul, City - 10,421,782
Density - 44,597 people per square mile
Population of Metropolitan area - 24,472,063

The distance between Seoul (SK) and Pyongyang (NK) is a mere 120 miles.

Given the size of the population at risk and the close proximity between the northern and southern capitals, any provocation resulting in war would have disastrous consequences. A war would result in millions of casualties and the devastation of one of our closest trading partners in Asia.

The North Koreans know this, and that is why they can be belligerent with impunity. Consider it the ugliest form of blackmail imaginable. And that is why we must tread carefully.

As Dave says, [North Korea] is a crappy place, and we are left with a crappy situation, but that is basically where things stand. Our best hope: North Korea implodes from within ... just the former Soviet Union and East Block did almost twenty years ago.

bluepitbull said...

I don't think that the government of South Korea is capable of absorbing North Korea's population or infrastructure if the north implodes.

I also do not think that Kim Jung Il would be man enough to admit that he was having problems, anyway.

If the north does start to implode, I am pretty sure that there will be war as Mr. Kim sees no way around it with his narcissistic personality and he being the last stand for a Stalinist regime that refuses to accept what capitalism can offer his country.

Why would South Korea want to absorb the north anyway? The costs of modernizing and feeding the northerners would be astronomical, like our deficit.

No, given what I've seen the three years that I was in the ROK, even the media doesn't truly want reunification.

We can handle a military role in a North Korean invasion. They have people, but how long can you go when you barely have enough fuel to run your armor and enough rations to keep your troops going for two days? These are things a military commander has to keep in mind when beating the drums of war, and Mr. Kim has not done so. These are, of course, estimates based on people who have escaped this totalitarian regime, but, given their population and infrastructure, I am inclined to agree with the estimates.

Pamela D. Hart said...

James: I admire your ability to view Obama objectively and admit that he could be making a mistake. That's refreshing, to me anyway.

I'm not up on all this N. Korea stuff, so I can't comment intellectually enough to debate all you guys, but I can say that I'm truly frightened. I would like to bomb them off the face of the planet; however, I know that's not the answer. Maybe someone could give me a few links to read so that I could learn a few things?