Should Bush be allowed to handle North Korea?

Somebody’s gone and done it. As if trigger-happy President Dubya needed to be reminded of nuclear weapons. Bush is losing ground in multiple wars in the Middle East, the armed forces are recruiting so heavily, you’d think they’re dying off (hey, wait a minute.), and then North Korea’s dictator goes and impulsively blows a nuke. If you don’t have the armed forces to subdue a threat and a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons, then it can only spell disaster.

On the Daily Show, James Baker, Bush’s chief of staff, said that he visited North Korea in order to assess the situation. However, and here’s my beef, he’s not going to make his policy recommendations public until after the elections-can we say “draft”? Where the hell else could we get the troops?

Yes, I know, the Daily Show. But Fox News’ coverage was much more substantive: they reported on how North Korea’s Kim Jong-Il likes all things Western: fast cars, James Bond, and scotch, which really is very useful information for the average American citizen.

Not that I’m saying the Republican Party needs any more bad press, but don’t you think that how the U.S. deals with a nuclear threat is an important decision that people will want to base their vote on? Do we really want to give the majority to a party that tends to support Bush, often without looking at the fine print-or, in the case of minor, inconsequential bills like the PATRIOT Act, the big print? Granted, Democrats aren’t much better, but at least they later denounced the decisions they backed (hey, wait a minute.).

Come on. Given the results we’ve had in Afghanistan and Iraq-do you really want the same people deciding how to deal with a nuclear threat? Last time we were at war, our goal was to “eliminate terrorism.” How’s that been going? Ask the 15 intelligence agencies who just released a report.

This kills me, too, because one of my friends always used to say that her greatest fear was a nuclear holocaust, and I used to scoff at her. Nuclear warfare-can we say Cold War paranoia? Today, I’m right there with her, and feeling like a bit of a sap. Why are contemporary politics so conducive to paranoia?

Let’s consider the track record: we went into Afghanistan to find Osama bin Laden, and that didn’t happen. We went into Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction, and didn’t find those either. Do we really want the same people to be in charge of finding nuclear weapons, and taking them from an unstable dictator with a penchant for scotch and James Bond movies? I have no doubt that if we invade, we’ll get their nuclear weapons, but I doubt that we’ll find them-I think they’ll probably find us first.

Bethany Quinn is a senior majoring in Latin American studies and visual communication. She may be contacted at