by John Hawkins | February 11, 2005 9:56 pm
Question: “1. Aside from the diplomatic measures, what do you think the administration has planned for Iran and North Korea?” — BoilerFox04
Answer: In North Korea, because we have Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan on board, I expect to see us reach a diplomatic solution. With their cooperation, we have the option of putting a squeeze on the Norks so tight that we could leave most of the country starving to death in the dark.
Because of that, in the end, it’s likely that we’ll end up cutting a deal where the North Koreans verifiably dismantle their whole nuclear program in return for goodies from us and/or the other countries involved in the talks.
Unfortunately, I doubt if it’ll be that easy with Iran. The Islamo-Fascists who run that country seem hellbent on getting nuclear weapons and I don’t believe any amount of diplomacy, sanctions, or bribes are going to change their minds. Of course, we will try to persuade them with the “help” of the UN & Europe, but I consider the chances of success to be very small.
This puts us in a real pickle, because it would be madness for either the US or Israel to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Therefore, the Bushies are going to have two far less than perfect options available to them. The first is trying to encourage a rebellion.
Iran’s populace is very dissatisfied with the mullahs and a revolution is not out of the question, but trying to predict that sort of thing is difficult and if anything, Iran looks further away from revolt than it did this time last year. While I’d be surprised IF WE AREN’T already funneling large amounts of money & material to anti-government forces in the country, the chances of an Iranian uprising happening before the mullahs get the bomb don’t look all that great at the moment.
That means that either Bush or Sharon will likely end up having to send in the bombers to take out their nuclear facilities. That probably means bombing multiple sites, taking out Iranian planes, facing long range missiles fired at our troops in the region or at Israel, and alienating the Iranian people, who are relatively friendly towards the US now.
My guess is — and I hope I’m wrong — that it’s going to come down to bombing Iran. Whether we’ll do it or the Israelis will, I don’t know. But Iran must be stopped from getting nukes by any means necessary…
*** Update #1***: “John,
I love your blog, it’s a daily “must read” for me. However, I must ask, what makes you think the Chinese are “on board” against the NORKs? Outside of Bill Clinton & Al Gore, I think the most likely source of any nuclear technology Long Dong Il may have is the Chicoms. The Chinese, like the Soviets before them, have abolutely no record upon which to base any trust in their good intentions. They, like the EUnuchs, have the humbling, and ultimate defeat of the US as their long term foreign policy. I don’t think they would think twice about pretending to be “on board” with us on the NORKs while simultaneously (to paraphrase the Nobel Committee when awarding JC the Nobel Peace Prize)kicking the US in the nuts. It seems to me that it is in the Chicoms interest for us to spend “blood and treasure” on the NORKs rather than on them.
Also, starving and living in darkness appears to be the SOP for the NORKs. Nightime satellite pictures show a big, black hole where North Korea should be, and there are reports that “the people” in the People’s Republic are eating tree bark and grass to get by. Long Dong Il doesn’t give a crap about the “people”, as long as the Chicoms do good job supplying “The Great Leader” with what HE needs.
Finally, I think it is time to allow both Japan & South Korea to defend themselves. That way at least 3 of the “multilateral” parties involved will have a real interest in what happens in North Korea that isn’t antithetical to US interests.” — sgwilson
You made some good points that I thought deserved a response.
At first, I was concerned that the Chinese were just stringing us along as well, but I’ve become convinced that they’re concerned enough about the fallout from a possible war and the fact that long-term, a nuclear North Korea means a nuclear South Korea & a nuclear Japan, to actually work with us to bring the Norks in line. Besides, who wants a poofy-haired kook like Kim Jung-Il on their border? The Chinese are our enemies, but it’s to their advantage to work with us on this.
I agree also that Kim Jung-Il couldn’t care less if his people starve. But at a certain point, things will get so bad that he’ll have to fear a military coup or an uprising. People aren’t going to sit in the dark & eat tree bark and grass forever.
Last but not least, once we get the nukes out of NK, I’d love to see us draw down in SK, move the troops out, and let them handle their own defense or just sign a defense treaty with them.
As far as Japan goes, there’s a lot of bad blood between Japan and its neighbors and I really don’t want to see a fully rearmed Japan stomping around the region and making trouble. That’s why I’d prefer to keep defending them.
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