The United States of America, arguably the most powerful nation on Earth, just caved to Stalinist North Korea. There is no other way to describe today's "agreement," besides surrender or betrayal.
We will all see and hear a lot of false praise for the Bush Administration's ability to get SNK to agree to "shut down" its nuclear power plant in exchange for fuel oil; none of it is deserved. The President began these negotiations almost four years ago insisting the Stalinists' entire nuclear weapons program be dismantled before they received one cent of aid. Now, not once cent has become one million barrels of fuel oil.
First, let us focus on what this deal will not do: the Stalinists do not have to destroy the nuclear weapons they already have; they will not have to dismantle their uranium nuclear program; they will not have to make any amends to Japan for the numerous Japanese abducted by SNK in the 1970s and 1980s. All of these issues have been "left for later discussion" (BBC), i.e., future opportunities for the Stalinists to extract more bribes.
Now, let's see what the Stalinists will get: the aforementioned fuel oil, talks on "normalizing relations" with both the U.S. and Japan with no strings attached, and - get this - a pledge from the Administration to take SNK off its list of international terrorists, this less than one month after reports of Stalinist aid to the Iranian mullahcracy on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
This might very well be worse than the 1994 Agreed Framework fiasco. At least back then, the Stalinist North had neither nuclear weapons nor a partially developed ballistic missile. Now they have both - and they get off the terrorist list.
How could the Bush Administration, which has shown such resolve and toughness in the Middle East and Central Asia, completely wilt in Eastern Asia? The answer reveals the one flaw that has damaged this Administration from the beginning (and, to be fair, both of its immediate predecessors): its support for "engagement" with Communist China.
Like his father and his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush apparently believes Communist China is a potential American ally, rather than the enemy it really is. That was evident throughout this incredibly sorry episode, in which the Communist regime was given complete trust to "pressure" its de facto colony. Said "pressure" never came to Pyongyang, but Beijing applied plenty of pressure to Washington, and it worked.
Communist China had and has no interest in making Stalinist North Korea a decent member of the world community; it instead used the Stalinists as a tool to wear down American resolve. The result is a deal that enables the Stalinist North to keep its nuclear weapons and receive international aid, all while getting off the terrorist list.
Does anyone think that the Iranian mullahcracy, Communist China's best friend in the Middle East, isn't paying attention? John Bolton believes the mullahs are, saying the deal "sends exactly the wrong signal to would-be proliferators around the world." Exactly.
I've talked about how to deal with the new, post-non-proliferation world before, but the correct policies flow from one simple premise: Communist China is the enemy the free world, and has proven it by aiding the enemies we fight even now in the Wahhabist-Ba'athist-Khomeinist War.
We must work with our allies (Japan, Taiwan, India, Georgia, Afghanistan, etc.) - including providing them with nuclear weapons if they wish - to make clear to the Beijing-Tehran-Pyongyang alliance that we will not tolerate its presence, let alone its increasing power. We must economically isolate them as much as possible. We must make it abundantly clear to the Communist regime that we will hold it (along with the perpetrators, of course) responsible for every future act of nuclear terrorism against the free world.
Finally, we must make clear that our policy is liberation (preferably without military force, but with force if necessary) for Iran, North Korea, and China. We will never be secure until the peoples suffering under these regimes can take their respective countries back from the tyrants. Until we do these things, the Second Cold War will never be won, and the W-B-K war itself will be in doubt.
It hurts to write these words, especially since this Administration has worked so hard - and endured so much undeserved criticism - in its attempt to make America safe in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, the fact is, its pusillanimity in Beijing has made the world less safe, and the fact that its political opponents would have done little different is no comfort. America will never be secure until Iran, North Korea, and China are free.