Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Two approaches

There are two approaches to dealing with murderous dictator thugs. One is to use diplomacy, negotiation, appeasement, and concessions to encourage them to do the right thing. For decades we have used this approach with North Korea. President Clinton gave them the nuclear reactor they are using to create the uranium to make nuclear bombs, in the hopes that they would use it for peaceful purposes. While diplomacy is the right approach to dealing with responsible nations, the fruits of years of diplomacy, compromises, and negotiation were seen yesterday when North Korea tested a nuclear weapon, the latest act in their effort to extort more money from us with their nuclear blackmail.

The other approach is to confront evil dictators head-on and prevent them from reaching a point where they can threaten the world with nuclear weapons. Here is something to ponder: has Saddam Hussein tested a nuclear weapon? Do you think that he will test a nuclear weapon next year? What about next decade? Will Iraq EVER threaten to nuke Israel if we don’t send them another twenty billion dollars in foreign aid? Did we avoid this threat by appeasing Saddam? No! We reached this point by strong military action. In 1981, Israel bombed the heck out of Saddam’s Osirak reactor, preventing them from using it to enrich uranium to make a nuclear bomb. Estimates are that Iraq could have produced one or more bombs by 1988 if that reactor had remained in operation. Then in 1991 we again set their nuclear program back a decade or more with our bombing campaign in the Gulf War. Finally, in 2003 we ousted Saddam, captured him, and put him in jail. We know that he had weapons of mass destruction under his control in the past. He used them no less than a dozen times, and he repeatedly tried to obtain a nuclear capability. We know that today he does not have weapons of mass destruction under his control, and he will never hold the world hostage with nuclear blackmail. It seems that this approach is much more effective. Maybe it is time to reconsider how we deal with Kim Jong-il.

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