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By Geoff Metcalf

February 27, 2007

�Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.� --Rita Mae Brown

Vice President Dick Cheney is hanging tough on his disagreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over conflicting Iraq policy positions and he is right to do so. However, he has also blinked over North Korea, and on that issue, he is flat out critically wrong.

Everyone makes mistakes. When you or I make a mistake it is usually inconsequential. When those who inhabit the lofty reaches of Olympus err, the consequences are inevitably more epic. Success and the judgment of history are mitigated by the ability to learn from and correct mistakes.

The spitting match between Cheney and Pelosi is �business as usual� partisan rancor. Pelosi�s ire at Cheney over his having said, ��If we adopt the Pelosi policy, we will validate the strategy of al Qaeda.� is empirically correct. The bad guys are counting on a campaign of hearts and minds attrition. They know they cannot win militarily�and don�t have to do so.

The US won every battle in Vietnam, and after the bloody Tet offensive in 1968 the North Vietnamese generals �thought� they had lost the war. The Tet Offensive was a major tactical defeat for the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong. However, once Walter Cronkite suggested otherwise his words metastasized like a cancer and American civilian morale went in the toilet and eventually contributed to our withdrawal/defeat. Tet was a turning point our contemporary enemies hope to replicate and Pelosi and company are well on the way to helping our enemy snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Her offense at Cheney�s disagreement and her claim it is �beneath the dignity of the debate� is just so much more petty partisan pus seeping from a festering wound. Cheney said, �She accused me of questioning her patriotism. I didn�t question her patriotism, I questioned her judgment.�

He is spot on, and should be commended for not folding to the Speaker�s sniping. Attaboy!

It is also �interesting� that the top Democrat in the House would go ballistic over having her judgment questioned when the nexus of the Democrat contemporary political philosophy seems to be �Bush�s bad judgment� on EVERYthing (Iraq, Iran, Energy, N. Korea, the U.N., Global Warming et al).

In other words, in an apparent effort to personify hypocrisy, it is okay for Democrats to questions the judgment of the administration, but if their judgment is called into question, it is �beneath the dignity of the debate.� Hey, Nancy may be the Queen Bee but even she really can�t have it both ways (that�s Hillary�s gig). Oh she can try�and he has�but such partisan whining is insufficient to silence the debate.

However, speaking of �judgment,� the Vice President made a huge whoops in defending the recent nuke deal with North Korea. �Bad dog!�

The deal in question provides North Korea with energy help supposedly in exchange or them closing their Yongbyon nuke plant. Hell-o!??!

North Korea has routinely lied and reneged on past agreements. They will certainly break this deal as well�and Cheney knows it. Even former UN Ambassador and Cheney buddy John Bolton has called the deal �a huge mistake.�

Carrot and stick diplomacy only works when rewards and concessions are reciprocal. To reward North Korea before they give up their nukes, is counter intuitive. We have �been there/done that��and have been hosed�

Steve Bowers has a good chronology worth revisiting.

"I think the decision that we made to try this approach is the right one," Cheney said. "If you're going to be able to squeeze North Korea effectively to get them to change policy, China is in the best position to do it. And China is a part of this agreement. Now, can I guarantee it's going to work? Of course not." You damnbetcah...he KNOWS it is not going to work. It is yet another effort by North Korea to buy time so they can continue to develop bigger, badder, more efficient nukes, and become more significant a threat.

The decision is NOT the right one. Cheney is correct that China is the key. China has always been the key, but frankly it is not in China�s best strategic interest to have North Korea and the US make nice.

China LOVES the fact their allegedly errant relative has the U.S. in such a tizzy. China could stop the consternation in a New York minute�but they won�t.

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This administration has the entire failed Clinton administration relationship with N. Korea on which to focus 20/20 hindsight. For Cheney to defend the indefensibility of this most recent N. Korea deal is disingenuous and duplicitous and it is contrary to his performance and strong principles demonstrated previously.

� 2007 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and 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. Visit Geoff's

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The decision is NOT the right one. Cheney is correct that China is the key. China has always been the key, but frankly it is not in China�s best strategic interest to have North Korea and the US make nice.