Pombo And A Nuclear North Korea
Yesterday Jerry McNerney issued a strong press release calling for Richard Pombo to denounce Dennis Hastert for his role in covering up the Foley/Hastert/Predatorgate story. McNerney’s statement was picked up by several local papers, including the San Jose Mercury News. As part of its article, the paper sought comments from the Pombo campaign:
Pombo campaign spokesman Carl Fogliani did not directly respond to McNerney's requests regarding Hastert and returning campaign donations.Okay. So you want to talk about important issues all of a sudden? Let’s talk about nuclear North Korea.
Rather, he called McNerney's statements a distraction from issues of greater importance, such as a nuclear North Korea.
To begin, this following quote from U Dub may quite possibly be the single most relevant piece of information that you’ll ever read about North Korea:
Much of what the North Koreans do is a reaction to US actions or policies, but most of the actions and policies of the US that disturb North Korea are either not reported in the media, or are buried in policy documents that only wonks — in addition to the North Koreans — ever read. The result of these conditions is that much of what the North Koreans do that in fact is rational and systematic from their point of view seems erratic and foolish to even a well-informed American.Starting from that vantage point (and especially given Republican attempts to blame the current events on Bill Clinton) it’s important to recognize that the Clinton Administration negotiated in reasonably good faith with North Korea throughout the ‘90s, and in 1994 North Korea suspended its nuclear proliferation program. A détente of sorts reigned throughout the rest of the ‘90s. Hmmm… deal with them fairly, and they respond in kind. Wow, what a concept.
But fast forward, if you will, to January 29, 2002, and the State of the Union address. The nation was only a few months removed from the 9/11 attacks. Bush was feeling manly in his new role as the War on Terror President and gave the infamous speech in which he first referred to the Axis of Evil — Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Of the three, Iran and North Korea had semi-dormant nuclear programs. As we now know, Iraq had none.
Now, imagine for a moment that you were Kim Jong Il. I know, it’s hard — you have good hair and you’re not slightly loopy. But bear with me. After that speech, you watched the US systematically ramp up the frenzy for war and then invade the weakest of the three nations that had been identified as the “Axis of Evil.” Wouldn't you be very afraid that you were going to be next?
So is it any real surprise that three weeks before the US launched its invasion of Iraq, North Korea dusted off its nuclear program for the first time since 1994? Kim Jong Il, sitting in the wings, watching the build-up to war, had to realize that his nation was under imminent threat. Ask yourself; what would you do? You know you’d try your damnedest to defend your country from any possible attack. Duh.
Now, to anyone who stopped for a moment and thought about these things from back in 2002 onward, a perfectly foreseeable response to Bush’s belligerent foreign policy was for both Iran and North Korea to develop nuclear weapons in an attempt to ward off an American attack. Historically, that has been the only protection strong enough to deter the US. Yet the Bush Administration either didn’t think these things through or they simply didn’t care.
But our Congress, that wonderful creation of the framers of our Constitution which they envisioned acting as a check and balance to the potential excesses of the Executive branch, was supposed to be the deliberative body that DID slow down and think through the ramifications of our actions. Congress had the ability to ask hard questions of the Administration, demand accountability, and even refuse to approve the Iraq invasion.
Yet when faced with Bush’s rush to war in Iraq and ALL of the possible repercussions of that policy, Congress folded. Richard Pombo not only folded, but he actively supported the Bush Administration in its push to exploit faulty intelligence and lead the invasion into Iraq, consequences be damned.
For Richard Pombo to now pretend to be shocked and dismayed by the absolutely foreseeable outcome of the reckless policy that he himself helped to promote and implement is not just a little hypocritical; it’s totally dishonest.
So getting back to the San Jose Mercury News article, what we apparently have is Pombo’s campaign saying something along the lines of “Don’t ask me about being accountable for the actions of myself and my party in the Foley/Hastert/Predatorgate matter because you should be paying much more attention to my responsibility for the Bush/Republican/nuclear North Korea crisis.” Well, okay, then. We can do that.