From Baghdad To Pyongyang

One of the arguments most frequently used by the anti-war crowd prior to the Second Gulf War was that an invasion of Iraq would have long-term destablizing consequences from India and Pakistan to North Korea.

Now, it appears in the case of North Korea that the show of military strength towards Iraq has caused the North Koreans to stop sabre-rattling and start getting serious about a diplomatic solution.

Until only a few days ago, North Korea was making hostile noises, saying that the lessons from Iraq were that it must resist any attempts to re-admit the United Nations nuclear inspectors that it expelled in December; and that only a "tremendous military deterrent force, powerful enough to decisively beat back an attack supported by ultra-modern weapons, can avert a war and protect the security of the country." However, on April 12th, the country’s foreign ministry signalled a change of heart, issuing a carefully worded statement that North Korea would "not stick to any dialogue format" for discussions, so long as America made a "bold switch in its Korean policy for the settlement of the nuclear issue".

It is clear that Kim Jung Il realizes it could be his statues being toppled by an angry populace next, which is why he’s backing down now. The Koreans are facing pressure not only from the US, but from China and Japan as well – creating the kind of multilateral pressure that is far more likely to produce a real settlement and not act as a forum for North Korean propaganda.

This turn of events belies a fundamental point about international relations – if you want to get things done, you must lead from a position of strength. Had Bush backed down to UN pressure and not taken action against Iraq, the North Koreans would only have increased the pressure on the US in the hopes of gaining more leverage – a scenario that could have easily led to a devastating nuclear exchange.

Instead, the lessons of Iraq are clear – those states that sponsor terrorism or attempt to destabilize their regions cannot expect to be capitulated to by this Administration. That is precisely the kind of message that needs to be sent in order to prevent the disastrous spread of international terrorism.

2 thoughts on “From Baghdad To Pyongyang

  1. Meanwhile, back on planet Earth, India spoke out last week that now that the Pandora’s Box has been opened to wage “pre-emptive war” against one “potentially dangerous” Arab nation, they’d sure like to have a pre-emptive war of their own against Pakistan. Americans of course dismissed India’s suggestion, presumably based on the premise that “our bad guys are worse than your bad guys”. Gee, who could have seen this coming?!

  2. well Mark,
    as the US government stated it, the plan is doing fine, just as it was conceived. Part of this plan is: the more war there are, the more weapons we sell!!
    3 Billion of $ in missiles in 17 days of war in Irak.Just imagine what a great opportunity it could be to have a permanent global war(the US are protected with “Star Wars Program” anyway!!).
    Most people probably think that this cannot be true; that no one on earth could do that for money.It would be underestimating the power of free capitalism. No individual is doing that, it’s just “company policy”. A company is made to create money. Just like cigarettes brands putted some products to make smokers addicted to it, weapon producers need to keep the “target market” as big as possible.Just this time, if rebels are wearing the same T-shirts labelled “Target Market”, it’s gonna be a lot easier 😉

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