October 21, 2002
Notwithstanding the protestations of blind democrat sycophants, former President Bill Clinton was a foreign policy disaster. The consequences of his geopolitical myopia and epic penchant for doing exactly the wrong thing are personified in the recent acknowledgment of North Korea.
So they lied...and North Korea IS working to develop nuclear weapons. You got a problem with that?
Arguably one of the worst foreign policy screw-ups since FDR sat down with Stalin in Yalta, North Korea fessed up to their nuke work. Work, which would have been highly unlikely, had not the Clinton regime showered billions of dollars in foreign aid throughout the 1990s and earmarked a chunk for North Korea's nuclear energy program. In 1994 Clinton/Gore earmarked aid primarily for the construction of nuclear reactors worth up to $6 billion.
In the 80s Iraq tried the "we need a nuclear plant" finesse with the help of the French. Iraq is awash in oil. They needed nuclear power like a moose needs a hat rack. Hussein wanted the nuke plant to expand his nuclear program. And he DID. When I interviewed Khidhir Hamza (former head of Saddams nuclear weapons program) http://www.geoffmetcalf.com/qa/26032.html he admitted it. Iraq wanted a nuke plant to manufacture nuclear fuel. Fuel, which could be used in a for real nuclear weapon. Fortunately, despite U.S. posturing and table thumping, the Israeli's did the world a favor and destroyed Iraq's French nuclear power plant.
So now in what many are calling one of the worst foreign policy blunders of the postwar era North Korea's admits that it's working to develop nuclear weapons. WHOOPS!
Come on guys....the Clinton administration poured billions of dollars in foreign aid into the scoundrels throughout the 1990s - and earmarked a substantial portion of that aid for North Korea's nuclear energy program. In fact, according to a congressional study, Clinton gave more foreign aid to North Korea than to any other country in the Asian-Pacific region. . And NOW it comes back to haunt us.
By the way, the tenuous Korean truce continues but despite the July 27, 1953 Armistice....the war has YET to end. A congressional report says, "The U.S.-funded light water reactors in North Korea will accumulate plutonium in spent fuel at the rate of about 17,300 ounces per year, enough to produce 65 nuclear bombs a year."
Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., defends the indefensible.
"First, those numbers at the end are absolutely untrue - scientifically impossible. Not from a light water reactor. The Cox report [on Korea] is much discredited, by the way. There are other reports that contradict it which have been put out."
This is classic "don't confuse me with facts that contradict MY previously conceived opinions and prejudices."
Ackerman went ballistic himself in a radio debate with Rep. Dan Burton, over charges Clinton gave North Korea the bomb. He became so 'frothy' Sean Hannity had to 'bleep' his curses off the air.
Burton poured salt in the Ackerman denial. "During the time that Clinton was in office the security was so lax that almost every one of our nuclear secrets was stolen by the Chinese Communists." He added, "So now every American man, woman and child is more at risk than they've ever been before...The blunders that took place in that administration were legion and I don't know how Gary can defend them." Hey Dan...I'll send you the 'Scorpion and Frog' story.
Meanwhile, some have noted the Bush Administration has continued to maintain an apparent double standard in its "war against terrorism". There is an uncomfortable dichotomy at play.
First let me acknowledge that I DO support military action against Hussein. It is long overdue. When Saddam 'can' he WILL use weapons of mass destruction. That is not a 'might' or a 'maybe'...you can take THAT to the bank. However with the administration mission to wage war only against Iraq because it might be a threat and might be developing weapons of mass destruction, etc., exposes the administration to a harsh reality check. Is Bush cherry picking his bad guys?
How can we ignore another country in the original "Axis of Evil," (Bush's words) North Korea, after they have already announced to the world that it has and is developing nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction?
Words have meaning. Before the dust had settled on 'Ground Zero' and the Pentagon, POLICY became "not only those who commit acts of terrorism but those give them aid and comfort". Tough 'talk' but the 'walk' has a limp. And, oh yeah...even our resources are finite.
Reality tends to challenge absolutes. If one abandons the gray scale for the polarity of black and white/good and evil...reality will give you a wedgey.
© 2002 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
Geoff is a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Metcalf has hosted his radio talk show on the ABC/Disney owned and operated KSFO and in worldwide syndication. www.geoffmetcalf.com