Opinion

Rewriting history in North Korea

Leave it to the Democrats-particularly if their name is Clinton-to attempt once again to re-write history. As the issue of North Korea heats up, the Democrats have wasted no time blaming the Bush administration for the actions of mentally-unbalanced North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il. Normally, I think liberals and Democrats-particularly since they got their own mentally unbalanced leader, Howard Dean-are full to the brim with self-righteous hypocrisy. In the case of North Korea, though, they’ve raised the art to new heights.

Among the many catcalls of those opposed to Iraq was the charge that the United States should not “go it alone,” that we needed other nations to be part of the negotiating process with Saddam Hussein because that would give our efforts the supposed legitimacy of international support. Although I submit we did that in first working through the ridiculously inane United Nations, it was very clear that whatever would have emerged from that process was so watered down it hardly would have made a difference. And thus we ended up having no choice but to take action.

From the beginning of the process, during the Bush administration, the United States has endeavored to deal with that nation through a diplomatic framework comprised of the major nations in the region-Russia, China, Japan, and South Korea. At every step, North Korea has proven nearly impossible to deal with, constantly demanding a one-on-one meeting with the United States. And yet, in a case where the Bush administration is doing everything diplomatically that liberals and Democrats demanded on Iraq, all we hear are demands that the United States must “go it alone” in North Korea. If the philosophical point is that more nations involved give the effort greater international legitimacy, then why is the only solution in North Korea the United States acting on its own? Looking at history provides an answer.

After taking office, President Clinton endeavored upon a series of negotiations with North Korea over the development of uranium enrichment and a possible nuclear weapons program. These negotiations began under the regime of Kim Il-Sung, the dictator that started the Korean War and the father of the current nutjob running the country. An agreement was reached following a series of diplomatic efforts conducted by former President Jimmy Carter, which provided for US assistance in helping North Korea to develop peaceful nuclear energy capabilities as well as food aid, provided the North Koreans give up their uranium enrichment capability. We kept up our end of the deal. North Korea never abided by their end of the agreement.

For nearly seven years, the Clinton administration did what liberals and Democrats are demanding and North Korea kept working on a nuclear weapon. North Korea has a nuclear weapon today, but not because Bush held them accountable; he inherited this problem.

Appeasing dictators has never worked. It didn’t work in Europe in the 1930s and it hasn’t worked with North Korea. If the Democrats are so concerned with US standing in the world, they should offer more than the policies we already know don’t work. If doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is one definition of insanity, then trusting liberal whining on North Korea is the most insane choice of all.

Scott Wacholtz is a graduate student concentrating in Middle Eastern history. He may be contacted at s.wacholtz@umiami.edu

October 17, 2006

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

In 2016, the Miami Hurricanes had tight end David Njoku, who went in the first round of the 2017 NFL ...

Four days had passed since his University of Miami basketball team squandered a 13-point second half ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ search for offensive line help is set to continue on the weekend of Jan. 26, w ...

It looks like Chad Thomas will have another opportunity to show NFL scouts that he is ready to play ...

Hurricanes fans, get out your pencils, calendars and a list of your favorite hotels. The Atlantic Co ...

Presidents at three higher education institutions in Miami "lend our unified voices” to the cal ...

Thirty high school English teachers from Brazil are spending six weeks at UM in a new skill-building ...

Global and local efforts needed to respond to biological threats, UM President Julio Frenk warned at ...

As artificial Intelligence takes hold, tech visionary David Kenny stresses keeping human values in t ...

UM’s First Black Graduates Project committee visits an iconic D.C. museum for inspiration to create ...

The Canes won four events against FGCU on Saturday while also recording a total of 11 top-three fini ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team (1-1) opened the spring portion of its 2017-18 schedu ...

The Miami women's basketball resumes play Sunday at 1 p.m., at Boston College with its northern ...

The University of Miami track and field team starred in the Lone Star State, as the Hurricanes shone ...

The Miami women's tennis team dominated play on its home court Friday to open the 2018 spring s ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.