Mustard Burgers and North Korea, It is All The Same to the Rabid Right

Burgers and bombs

Yes the same guy that brought us the torrid truth behind Spicey Mustardgate and celebrated accordingly across the Rightosphere now tells us we’re doomed because writers like Allison Kilkenny write, Update: John Bolton Still Crazy

Experts on North Korea say Kim Jong-il’s motives center around receiving aid, and fear of the United States, since they bombed his country during the Korean War. B. R. Myers, a researcher of North Korean ideology and propaganda at Dongseo University, recommends America ignore Kim. South Korea’s new president, Lee Myung-bak is badmouthing Kim (and his nuclear program) enough as it is, and everyone in the region is slowly realizing the great leader is gravely fallible. A dictator only has a few options to show he’s still hot shit, and one of those is to blast a missile into the ocean. But it’s not a threat to the United States. It’s actually just pathetic. Call it the official countdown of Kim. He’s also sick, weak, and may have had a stroke.

And yet all of these facts couldn’t soothe the nerves of our mustachioed maverick, John Bolton. Get Ready for Another North Korean Nuke Test he hollers at the top of the page. Bolton recycles the argument that Kim got everything his tiny dictator heart desired by bullying the world into six-party talks, which “gave [him] cover to further advance his nuclear program.” If the US strategy was up to Bolton, he would scream threats at everyone he perceived as being Korean, which is exactly what would make things worse, Myers argues.

Jacobson does not say exactly what Obama is supposed to do. N.Korea continued its nuclear program during the Bush administration’s reign. Dick Cheney and John Bolton both said mean tough things about them, just like Jacobson and his followers are and hard to believe, but the North Koreans simply ignored them. It is the history of N.K. to do perform these provocative shows when they want something – more fuel usually, sometimes more food or medicine. Much of the time it also has to do with ironically, a neoconservative craving to have its ego messaged. So the WP of all places is as right as anyone else guestimate on what the correct reaction should be,   What if Kim Jong Il detonated a nuclear warhead — and failed to gain special U.S. attention?

What Kim Jong Il’s latest provocation should not cause, however, is the response he is seeking: a rush by the Obama administration to lavish attention on his regime and offer it economic and political favors. That approach has already been tried by two U.S. administrations, which handed Pyongyang a string of bribes in exchange for ceasing its provocations, suspending its nuclear activities and entering negotiations. In each case, the North failed to fulfill its commitments and eventually returned to producing weapons and testing missiles.

It’s time, at last, to break this pattern and call Mr. Kim’s bluff. That doesn’t mean threats of U.S military action or a blanket refusal to talk with the regime; those tactics have been tried and have failed as well. Instead, Mr. Obama should simply decline to treat North Korea as a crisis, or even as a matter of urgency. The United States should press for the toughest sanctions it can extract from the Security Council and ratchet up its own measures, including a renewed squeeze on the regime’s access to the international financial system.

Its a big let down for Let’s Just Nuke Everyone Bolton crowd. They could pop a Hungryman dinner into the microwave and watch the mushroom cloud on Fox while Bill O weras a party hat, but fonancial sanctions against N. Korea actully work. No one, including the Chinese who Kim depends on for oil fuel approves of this newest childishness. So he has no one to turn to for support, Pursue Sanctions that Work

Japan too can act decisively. In 2005, Japan cracked down on gambling enterprises controlled by North Koreans that sent remittances back to the North. Last year, Japan loosened these sanctions in the wake of an agreement with the DPRK whereby the North Koreans pledged to investigate abductions of Japanese citizens to North Korea in the 1970s. At least 13 Japanese citizens were abducted. North Koreans control the pachinko gaming centers and it is estimated that this earns the DPRK revenue of approximately $100 million of dollars annually.  It is time for Japan to tighten these economic sanctions again.

North Korea is critically dependent on the outside world for three things: oil, food and essential medicines. Restricting the trade of he latter two would effect the already marginal existence of the beleaguered North Korean people but cutting off North Korea’s fuel supplies has worked in the past. The problem is that North Korea gets most of its fuel from China so for this sanction to work it is up to the Chinese. Still China did stopped oil deliveries once before back in 2003. Deprived of fuel, Pyongyang quickly returned to the negotiating table.

I recommend reading the whole post at MyDD. Kim Jong is ill and this little exercise could have been his last hurray, some symbolic salute to the military to pave the way for his son’s ascendancy to leadership. Either way its serious, but hardly the end of the world. The U.S. has enough land based ICBMs alone to turn N. Korea into a dust bowel in about twenty minutes. Kim knows this. As crazy as he might be, he has never done anything that would invite the total annihilation of his country. Its difficult to tell who’s more insecure, Kim or America’s last remaining neocons. In the next few weeks the neocons will move on to the next great issue of national urgency like Joe Biden ordering a BLT with low fat mayo.

Retired General and Republican Colin Powell has at least some surface charm and intelligence severely lacking on the Right, but make no mistake he is a far right ideologue. That Limbaugh and Cheney see Powell as too moderate is a warning about how rabid Right the Republicans party is. It is also unfortunate that the American public does not see Powell for what he is because it gives a false impression of what should constitute a moderate Republican. IraqTortureGate: Powell Denies Knowing He Used Tortured Evidence for UN Case

The most damning credible allegation to emerge regarding the Bush Administration is arguably that Dick Cheney and other Bush Administration officials ordered the use of torture to produce false evidence of a connection between Iraq and al-Qaida to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Lawrence Wilkerson, who was chief of staff at the State Department under Colin Powell, recently wrote,

as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002 – well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion – its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa’ida.

Wilkerson cited the case of detainee Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, whose tortured testimony was crucial for building the case for war, and was cited in Powell’s speech to the UN.

when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney’s office that their detainee “was compliant” (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP’s office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa’ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, “revealed” such contacts.

About this case, Human Rights Watch has recently written,

Al-Libi was sent by the CIA to Egypt for interrogation in early 2002. A declassified CIA cable later described how al-Libi told the CIA that the Egyptian interrogators had said they wanted information about al-Qaeda’s connections with Iraq, a subject “about which [al-Libi] said he knew nothing and had difficulty even coming up with a story.”

The cable went on to say that al-Libi indicated that his interrogators did not like his responses and then “placed him in a small box” for approximately 17 hours. When he was let out of the box, the cable states that al-Libi was given a last opportunity to “tell the truth.” When al-Libi’s answers did not satisfy the interrogator, al-Libi says he “was knocked over with an arm thrust across his chest and he fell on his back” and was then “punched for 15 minutes.” It was then that al-Libi told his interrogators that Iraq had trained al-Qaeda operatives in chemical and biological weapons, information that was later used in Colin Powell’s speech to the UN Security Council to justify war with Iraq.

A bipartisan report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that that al-Libi “lied [about the link] to avoid torture.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee knows that al-Libi’s false, tortured testimony was part of Colin Powell’s speech to the UN. Human Rights Watch knows it. Lawrence Wilkerson knows it. And you know it.

But supposedly Colin Powell doesn’t know it. Is this credible?