Wednesday, October 11, 2006

North Korea: More Foreign Policy Follies

According to an Associated Press report, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said young Mister Bush has told the North Koreans that "...there is no intention to invade or attack them. So they have that guarantee... I don't know what more they want."

Ah, U.S. foreign policy at its finest. We invaded a country that had no nukes (Iraq), we threaten to attack a country that has no nukes and says it doesn’t want any (Iran), but North Korea, a country that not only admits it has nukes but claims to have tested one and threatens to test more, them we promise not to invade or attack.

Rice also said that Pyongyang may be afraid that the U.S. will conduct an Iraq-style invasion of North Korea. But no, she said, "Iraq was a very special situation… Iraq was a desire to finally deal with a threat that had been there for too long."

Candy Condi has an odd sense of history and a seemingly inferior grasp of arithmetic. North Korea became a threat when it invaded South Korea in 1950. Saddam Hussein changed from an ally to a threat when he invaded Kuwait in 1990. The way I figure it, that means North Korea was a threat for forty years longer than Iraq was. You have to wonder what kind of Brave New Math the State Department uses to calculate these things.

Then again, you also have to consider that the Generation X neoconservatives who used to work for Condi on the National Security Council didn't think weapons of mass destruction were factors during the Cold War, and simultaneously blurted absurdities like, "Arms control, what's that?"

U.S Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said that the U.S. won't be intimidated by threats from North Korea. "This is the way North Korea typically negotiates by threat and intimidation," Bolton said. "It's worked for them before. It won't work for them now."

I don't know about that, Moustache Ride. We warned them not to develop nuclear weapons and they went ahead and did. We warned them not to test missiles and they went ahead and did. We warned them not to test a weapon and they went ahead and did that too. They're already slapped with so many sanctions that more sanctions aren't likely to make any difference in their behavior. And we've promised that we won't attack or invade them. I'd say threat and intimidation tactics are working out pretty good for them.

What's It Oil About?

In the Rose Garden yesterday, Mister Bush talked about North Korea's successful "nucular test" and how it constitutes a threat to international stability. Ho-hum. But perhaps his most notable statements regarded his "staying the course" Iraq posture. He said that the Islamic "caliphate" wanted to be able to take over Iraq and use oil as an economic weapon, which means that he's openly admitting now that his administration's U.S. Middle East strategy is, and always was, about oil.

That brings us back to what was really different between Iraq and North Korea, and what's different between North Korea and Iran. Though the Bush administration has consistently used the specter of a mushroom cloud over an American city as a tool to gain support of its pitiful policies, it really couldn't care a tree hug less if another tinhorn or two has a fistful of nukes. What the neoconservatives really worry about is control of the balance of global energy. That's why they want so desperately to hang on in Iraq. It's also why they want to paint Iran as a bigger threat than North Korea.

The Balance of Electrical Power

Among what I describe as the "upper tier" political entities in the Next World Order series, energy has supplanted military force as the premier tool of trans-national power. These days, firepower is far less important than the kind of power that turns on electric lights and fuels industrial growth. That's why Iran and Iraq have become such critical factors in the present global power struggle and why North Korea, despite its possession of nuclear weapons, is little more than a tic on a dog's tail.

The neocons thought they could cheaply and easily grab control of the balance of the world's oil reserves by invading and controlling Iraq. As we have seen, that plan fell out of the sky like a lead zeppelin, and created a gaping vulnerability for America's adversaries to exploit.

China, the rising hegemon on the block, has formed an energy coalition with Russia, Iran, and Venezuela that seriously threatens to chop the western nations' control of the energy market off at the knees, and if they succeed, they'll have done so without firing a single shot. And there's a good chance they'll pull it off, because as strategists go, the Chinese and their allies read Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, while Dick, Dubya, and the rest of the neocons are still struggling to grasp the basic concepts of Dick and Jane and My Pet Goat.

See Spot Poop

In his landmark novel on World War I titled The General, C.S. Forester likened the British high command during "The Great War" to a group of simpletons trying to pull a screw out of a floor with a claw hammer, never imagining that the task could be easily accomplished with a screwdriver.

I'd like to think that if we handed a screwdriver to the mouth breathers and kindergarten kids in charge of the United States, they'd use it to extract us from the hole they've drilled us into, but I suspect they'd just use the tool to drive the screw in further.

Poop, Spot! Poop! Right on Mommy's carpet!

Good boy!

Spot remover? What's that, Dude?


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.


  1. First good belly laugh of the day, thanks!

  2. Glad I could give you one. Have a good day!

  3. Anonymous10:23 AM

    The DPRK and Iran are both close to China; this a-bomb test makes all but impossible for the Bush-Rice-Rumsfeld team to attack Iran to promote non-proliferation.

    How likely is it that these two facts are related?