Jewish World Review Oct. 30, 2002 / 24 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763

Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly
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Show North Korea we're serious: Polish off Saddam | The 1994 Framework Agreement is the rankest form of appeasement in which the United States has so far engaged. In it we, the Japanese and the South Koreans promised the North Koreans that if they halted their nuclear weapons program, we'd build for them two nuclear power reactors. While they were being built, we'd supply North Korea with food and fuel oil. As a result, we became the principal supplier of foreign assistance to the most repressive dictatorship on earth.

North Korea's perfidy reminded us of a truth of which we ought not to have needed reminding: Vicious mass murderers tend to be liars, too.

North Korea was imploding fast in the mid-1990s. Had we not provided the massive aid we did, this vile regime probably would have collapsed. Preventing a North Korean collapse was a subsidiary goal of the Framework Agreement. South Korea was worried about having to deal with a flood of starving refugees, and understandably jittery that a North Korean regime on the brink of extinction might choose to go out with a bang rather than a whimper.

A second Korean War in 1994 would have been a very bad thing. But North Korea in 1994 didn't have nuclear weapons, or a means of delivering them beyond the Korean peninsula. North Korea today has at least two nukes, and a ballistic missile that may be able to reach the West Coast of the United States. Dealing with a murderous dictator is like dealing with an infection. Neglect doesn't make the problem go away.

North Korea's perfidy is another powerful reason for concluding our business with Iraq as soon as we reasonably can. What was surprising was not that North Korea was cheating. The CIA said it was in an unclassified report last year, which was widely ignored by the news media. What was surprising was how brazenly they admitted it. Perhaps they think they can get away with more when our attention is focused on Iraq. China may also figure this is a convenient time to rattle the saber at Taiwan.

The antiwar left, grasping at straws, is attempting to use North Korea's deceit as an argument against President Bush's policy toward Iraq. How can Bush justify his concern about Saddam's pursuit of nuclear weapons when North Korea is cheating too?

The answers are simple. One war at a time. The most dangerous enemy first. There were no North Koreans among the hijackers on Sept. 11. It wasn't North Korea that tried to assassinate the first President Bush in Kuwait in 1993, or was implicated in the first World Trade Center bombing later that year. North Korea isn't providing shelter to al-Qaida terrorists, or financing suicide bombers in Israel. And it isn't North Korea that's in violation of 14 U.N. resolutions.

Saddam's goal is to control the oil resources of the Persian Gulf, which would give him a stranglehold on the world's economy. North Korea's imperial ambitions don't extend beyond the Korean peninsula. And South Korea is in a far better position to defend herself than are Iraq's Arab neighbors.

North Korea wants nuclear weapons chiefly to deter us from intervening vigorously in a possible future war between North and South Korea. A policy of deterrence is more likely to work -- or, more accurately, is less likely to fail -- against North Korea than against Iraq, where Saddam already has used weapons of mass destruction, against Iran and against his own people.

We must stop all assistance save food aid to North Korea, and put conditions on that. And we should seek to have the United Nations impose economic sanctions on the outlaw regime.

But the best way to make North Korea's leaders more cautious and cooperative is to destroy Saddam and his regime. That would make it clear there are consequences for defying the United States. And the faster we dispose of Saddam, the less likely it is that we will face war on two fronts.

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10/22/02:The squealing in the Pentagon is a proof of Rummy's effectiveness
10/16/02: The tactical challenge we face
10/10/02: Silence more despicable than seditious noise
10/08/02: Bu$h and the bu$ine$$ of war
10/01/02: Gore's calculated risk may well get him the Dems' nomination
09/25/02: Schroeder may find the fruits of victory sour
09/25/02: Making Saddam change his spots
09/19/02: Bush's resolve already has paid dividends
09/17/02: Courageous Iranians
09/13/02: If you never served in the military, you have no right to an opinion
09/10/02: Why the 'air marshals' will fail
09/05/02: Resurrecting the "Happy Darky"
08/31/02: Are Bush's inactions against Iraq calculated?
08/23/02: Dems can't take the minority vote for granted any longer
08/20/02: No proof of Saddam's wrongdoing? Yeah, right
08/15/02: Mineta's war on what?
08/13/02: When Gore said he wanted to be his 'own man,' what was he thinking!?
08/08/02: Picking a tree for Cheney's hanging
08/06/02: Fears about the Department of Homeland Security are misplaced
08/01/02: The greatest strategic deception since Eisenhower convinced Hitler the Allies were going to land at the Pas de Calais?
07/30/02: State Dept.'s anti-American actions
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07/23/02: Iran's is on the verge of a social and political explosion. So why is media ignoring it?
07/17/02: FBI isn't supposed to stand for Foolish, Blind and Incompetent
07/12/02: The ICC tramples on rights Americans take for granted
07/09/02: Was LA International Airport shooting, in fact, good news?
07/02/02: What the "intelligence community" can learn from Alexander the Great
06/28/02: Muslim link in Oklahoma City bombing revisited
06/25/02: A good environmental scare needs two ingredients - an impending catastrophe, and someone to blame for it
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06/12/02: Bush saw them and raised them, and he's holding the aces
06/10/02: Some heads need to roll
06/04/02: A new draft for the 'war on terror'?
05/31/02: So the FBI has finally caught up to our priorities?
05/29/02: Taking on common sense
05/23/02: Political terrorists
05/21/02: There is a great deal to fret about, but I've never been more optimistic
05/15/02: If there is a way for America to lose the war, Gen. Tommy Franks can find it
05/13/02: Impartial justice against Americans by the UN?
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05/03/02: An expanded NATO is needed as a counterweight to the UN and the EU
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04/23/02: Why peace in the Mideast is closer than ever
04/19/02: What the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank gained from the "peace accords"
04/17/02: Logical Muslim allies
04/10/02: How to guarantee an infinite Mideast war
04/08/02: Saddam's American friends
04/05/02: Arab winners and sinners
04/01/02: Why is the commander of U.S. Central Command not coming clean to the American people?
03/31/02: Dubya under attack by conservatives
03/26/02: Saddam watch coming to an end?
03/21/02: Get the Jews!
03/19/02: It's time pols and gov bureaucrats be held to the same standard of accountability we insist for corporate execs
03/15/02: Khaki Throat
03/12/02: Making foreign cheaters pay
03/08/02: Timidity and indecision by senior American commanders
03/04/02: Why 9-11? Ex-CIA officials come clean
02/25/02: Don't rule out a quick victory --- even if prez says otherwise
02/21/02: Saving our military from itself
02/19/02: Front Page fiction
02/15/02: Our European allies are like the fat kid who wants to play quarterback
02/13/02: Is the Army in danger of becoming "irrelevant"?
02/11/02: So, I "propagate hatred"
02/06/02: Bush whacking the media
02/04/02: Why serious folks disregard the European Union --- and why Bush must, too
01/30/02: Give economy pneumonia in order to protect it from a cold
01/28/02: Media is its own worst enemy
01/25/02: Journalists making road to peace a bumpy ride, or: A case study in stupidity
01/23/02: Toward a stronger defense at a lower cost
01/21/02: How Bush could be Generations X and Y's Kennedy ... and guarantee a GOP victory in the midterm elections

© 2002, Jack Kelly