Column: How Can We Go After Iraq and Not North Korea?

News at Home

Mr. Carpenter is working on a book about American demagoguery. He is a columnist for HNN.

"Q: How Many Ws Can Stand on the Head of a Pin?"

If Fidel Castro has been reading the news about North Korea and is half the dictator he's made out to be, he would announce posthaste not that he's just thinking about arming his little regime with nuclear firepower, or that he's in the process of arming his little regime with nuclear firepower, but that he has, in fact, already armed himself with the radioactive buggers. At least then the White House would get off his back, for it appears that dyspeptic tyrants who possess these horrific weapons are of less concern to the Bush administration than those who merely yearn for them. As added bonuses for Cuba--but to repeat, it has to get plutonium-happy first--the Bushies would adopt a new attitude of diplomatic judiciousness towards Fidel, as it has done for Kim Jong Il of North Korea, and begin dangling all manner of delicious, statesmanlike carrots.

Such are the ever-evolving permutations of moral clarity in the guidance of U.S. foreign policy. It's become impossible to keep up. In attempting to sort out contradictory nua nces stacked atop contradictory nuances in the pursuit of clarity--normally, nuances aren't key and necessary elements of holistic moral rectitude--St. Thomas Aquinas himself would unravel intellectually and emotionally. He'd be left a sobbing shell, forced to admit that articulated American foreign policy now outstrips even biblical scriptures in rhetorical incongruities and Byzantine complexity.

The administration's most recent angelic dance on a pinhead leaves one in awe. North Korea, schlemia. Sure it's a member of the tripartite axis of evil we no longer tolerate; yes, perhaps it's been in possession of nuclear bombs since 1993; yeah, it does oppress and starve its own people; yep, it threatens neighbors from time to time; and, for sure, the invasion date of 25 June 1950 still lingers in memory and victims. But, said a State Department spokesman, "at least sometimes [North Korea] is susceptible to international pressure"--for example, like discontinuing its nuclear development program as promised--so who in his right mind would contemplate anything other than a diplomatic response? We have all the time in the world to deal peacefully with this intolerable villain.

On the other hand, says the White House, nukeless Iraq is a tremendous threat to international peace requiring immediate measures, of which diplomacy should be the least considered. Let's take a for instance. Unlike Kim Jong Il, Saddam Hussein has failed to demonstrate the admirable qualities of personal reasonableness, international compliance, and diplomatic open-mindedness. Kim may be a villain, but there are altogether differing manifestations of villainy and evil, which on occasion happen to include reasonableness, compliance, and open-mindedness. It's a nuance thing. Non-professionals should not try this level of thinking at home.

Furthermore, Iraq is a member of the axis of evil, which we no longer tolerate; it's trying its best to build a bomb; its government oppresses and starves its own people; it threatens its neighbors; and has indeed launched invasions against them. You just cannot compare Iraq and North Korea, you see, especially given that North Korea might very well have nuclear bombs and Iraq doesn't. Hence it would be foolish to regard North Korea as the greater threat to international peace. In addition, in view of North Korea's crushing poverty and starvation, it might be more amenable to diplomatic pressures: food for weapons. Not so with Iraq. Its population is happy, well fed, and prosperous, thus diplomatic pressures would be of no use.

If you're following this and in agreement, there's an office somewhere in the White House basement that needs you.

What's more, the administration presses, Iraq has used unspeakable weapons against its enemies and has a history of invading two of its neighbors. Should someone ever inform our president that the United States once used the ultimate in unspeakable weapons against an enemy and has a history of invading its only two neighbors, he just might, Scarlett, get the vapors. So we don't give a damn.

If nothing else, continue the morally astute, relatively quasi-evil North Korea pines for massively destructive weapons only to deter invasion--an honorable tradition among honorable nations--whereas Iraq (hiss…) desires them to bully others (hiss…). This stands in starkest contrast to our National Security Strategy statement issued September 20, in which for the first time in our history we embrace a policy of preemptive strikes: no bullying intended (yea…). We might even deploy small nuclear weapons able to burrow underground in these strikes. Some might protest this would place us somewhere betwixt quasi-evil North Korea and wholly evil Iraq on the Evil Spectrometer, but they don't understand nuance.

Nor do these critics understand the fundamental moral imperatives of oil and airbases. Some time ago the administration issued a wholly justified and solemn pledge to ferret out al Qaeda and all its funding sources, no matter who or where those sources might be. Again, however, this position has required some nuance. Because we get gobs of Saudi oil and can launch air strikes against Iraq from Saudi Arabia, wealthy Saudis who finance al Qaeda should be given a pass. We need these guys so we can attack Iraq, which we need to attack because it supports terrorism, which of course is financed by Saudi Arabians, whom we desperately need in order to crush terrorism--QED.

Administration supporters who've been blanketing the airwaves and op-ed pages accusing administration critics of lacking alternative proposals are, in a way, correct. For what the latter has yet to figure out is, an alternative to what? Bush's moral logic as the guiding principle of foreign policy? That tends to transmogrify daily, steeping domestic critics and the world in utter befuddlement. St. Tom himself would be stumped.

© Copyright 2002 P. M. Carpenter

Mr. Carpenter's column is published weekly by History News Network and

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More Comments:

mark safranski - 10/28/2002

And I appreciate your efforts Tom :O)

Tom Kellum - 10/28/2002

Tom is here to speak the truth, speak his mind, and do what he can to help educate people like mark safranski.

mark safranski - 10/28/2002

Nothing like a little circularity in one's logic. Again I suggest reading a primer on logical fallacies.

I'm trying to figure out if Tom is here to parrot Chomsky or McAuliffe

Tom Kellum - 10/27/2002

When corporate executives "work" together with accountants to "cook" the books; it is merely coincidental.
Certainly not conspiratorial. Conspiracies only occur in the minds of kooks.

Albert Madison - 10/27/2002

Gus Moner, I think you make some very good points in your widely scattered postings. I have just one quibble with one of them:

"On 11th September we saw how destructive a war can be, with just one attack"

I don't think Sept. 11th was an "act of war" any more than the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was. Both, it seems to me, were ATTEMPTS to provoke war. The question now is, will we Americans allow our President to blunder the way Austria (and the rest of Europe) did in 1914 ?

We can support the President when he acts wisely (even if he has to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into wisdom by the British and French) and we can criticize him when he acts foolishly (even if that is an Augean task). We do not have to buy into his abuse of the term "war" for short term political advantage.

Tom Kellum - 10/26/2002

I didn't mean to be so subtle that even unusually bright people such as yourself would miss the point.

That point being that the 9/11 attacks are an example of a conspiracy...except maybe to those folks who "don't believe in conspiracies"; only coincidences.

Gus Moner - 10/26/2002

All the democratic nations in Europe and America fail to assist the democratically elected Spanish government against a Fascist Christian military coup. Germany and Italy ignore ban on participation and weapons. Only the Soviets help the Spanish government, and it is eventually overwhelmed by rebels aided by the Condor Legion and 50,000 Italian troops. Where was FDR and the USA?
There is no “Western Europe” even conceptually, in 1939. Europe is not divided except that there is a Soviet Union in Ukraine, Russia and Byelorussia. Hitler was finally seen a menace after grabbing the remnants of Czechoslovakia. Britain and France begin to re-armament and modernisation of their forces. Hitler’s re-armament programme is unfinished, and against advice to wait for the completion of re-armament till 1944, he anyway launches an attack on Poland which is totally unprepared for a combined German-Soviet onslaught.

After declaring war on Germany Britain and France, terrified at another bloodbath, sit and wait out the Phoney War until Hitler attacks in May 1940 and wipes out the French army in six weeks, expelling the British from the continent. Turns out they had reason to be frightened.

What is the comparison, sir? Where is Hitler today? Where is the German menace to Europe or the world today? Iraq? Get real. They lasted 3 days in the last war. They could be defeated by Israel, and do not require nor merit the attention Saddam obsessed GW is giving it.

FDR provoked the Japanese attacks by strangling the Japanese economy with sanctions. He aided Britain with illegal warfare in the Atlantic. Where is the analogy, what the hell is the point of digging back to these unrelated events?

We are assured there is an Iraqi threat to develop WMD. Let’s inspect. If there are weapons, the UN, the international body overseeing Iraq can determine what to do.

But if the danger is the regime owning the WMD, as the Bush clan try to have us believe, N Korea’s regime is a much more serious threat to the world than Saddam’s Iraq. That's reality. Obtaining WMD and having the means to deliver them. THERE is trhe threat, whilst Bush II was busy obsessing in Iraq, the Koreans came and stole some of his bacon too! When are we going to admit these government warmongers are an incompetent lot?

While the Republicans obsessed with Clinton’s sex life they never mentioned al Quaeda or any other Iraqi threats. They went along with the N Korean agreements. On Bush’s watch terrorists stole the bacon from his plate and directly attacked the USA. Where is the war on terror these days? Distracted by king Bush II ‘s efforts to avenge daddy’s assassination attempt. It is a sad replacement for a coherent foreign policy.

I. I. - 10/26/2002

We could fill many pages of this website with historical examples of blunders and conspiracies. The latter are hard to pull off (see Lincoln), the former come as part of human nature. If you have good evidence of a 9-11 conspiracy (involving specific, pre-attack knowledge and involvement of the U.S. government) that CNN, NPR, BBC, and the New York Times etc. are unaware of or are suppressing, then out with it.

Tom Kellum - 10/26/2002

Red Herring:
HNN Comment Board

Dear Mr. Herring:

No one has said that incompetents don't often cloak themselves in arrogance.

Assuming you aren't with Hill & Knowlton, and that you really believe what you asserted; then I take it you'd buy the argument that what happened on 9/11 was "just" a coincidence, and certainly not a conspiracy.

Just out of curiosity, can you think of any examples of what YOU would call a conspiracy? Regardless of which special interests benefited from it (Carlisle Group, Enron, Unocal, L-Martin, Dyncorp, Halliburton, and all the rest).

Thank you.

Gus Moner - 10/26/2002

Now, now, Mr. Lloyd, let me try again and see if I get it right this time. Let's NOT attack the states that pose a proven threat, because they can threaten us back. Let's attack those that do not yet pose a threat in case they someday might. Brilliant foreign policy. I am not surprised you work for the government.

Furthermore, you say appeasement failed. But no, your logic failed. When a state violates international law, UN resolutions and treaties it ought to receive no punishment if it is armed with WMD. Thus, attack Iraq, Iran NOW. Before they become Korea.
Live with a threatening madman and his WMD. Sorry. I do not like it. If Iraq sees the UN act on Korea he will see he has no hope of keeping any WMD he produces.

How can you advocate no punishment for the violators? What possible incentive is there to comply with treaties if the world now turn up lame when the consequences should be meted out? The US ought to demand an immediate verified cessation to the WMD programme, destruction of the warheads or face the consequences of economic-military reprisal beyond any advantage a blackmailing nuke can provide.

How can you be so passive in the face of nuclear weapons in the hands of a madman? Through the UN the US, China, Russia all have the power and technology to destroy on the ground all N Korean missiles and their air force. It can attack the missile factories as well as the nuclear ones.

But wait, there is no oil there as war booty to finance and compensate, and when we win we’d have to feed 20 + million starving Koreans.

Diplomacy, or appeasement as you call it, has not yet failed. However, your employer’s lack of resolve and failure to have a defined, consistent foreign policy for issues of this nature are the reasons diplomacy is failing NOW.

gusmoner - 10/26/2002

Well, Mr. Lloyd, I understand your reasoning. Let's attack Iraq, a possible threat, who has waged war against neighbours (with US support and without). Let's toy with N Korea, a frequent combatant with S. Korea on land, sea and air, a terrorist state that bombs and kills S Koreans government officials in other nations, starves its own people, kidnaps Japanese, builds WMD while violating signed agreements, and is led through in a hereditary dynastic dictatorship, by a madman.

Politely, I dissent. I'd prefer to put the pressure on real threats like N Korea, with missiles capable of delivering their WMD and simultaneously go about uncovering other threats like Iraq, peacefully. Once we have proof of anything that requires action, we can decide what that proof requires from the international community. Bush says Iraq tried to kill his dad. Reagan tried to kill Ghadaffi and killed some of his children. Assassination attempts against disliked leaders are legion in US history. Ask Fidel Castro.

The USA hasn't the right to attack anyone without proof of a real, direct and imminent threat. It's against international law. And the USA is a nation based and governed by laws. Once the US does attack ‘pre-emptive’ or however it disguises it, we have an open door to a planetary free for all. Any nation could unilaterally argument a perceived threat and go after ‘enemies’.

In my opinion, harking back to Hitler is an argument for those who have no current argument. There are no similarities between today's threats and those posed by Hitler. It should be noted that that generation, having survived a bloodbath in WWI was hesitant to initiate another, and with good reason, as 60 million died in the process once unleashed. Could they have stopped Hitler before? It's easy to say yes now. No one wanted war then, having lived the inferno of WWI, with over 25 million deaths and memories of starvation, suffering, loss of homes, psychological damage to children, scarcity of all goods and services and the mutilated wounded all about them.

The US population, having been attacked but twice on its soil, in its peripheries at Pearl Harbour and in a single incident WTC / Pentagon, hasn't a clue as to the dire consequences of war, bombs and other attacks it freely launches on other nations. Television images are no substitute for the real thing, go hang out in Palestine or Grozny.

If, heaven forbid, war was ever fought again on US soil, US citizens would learn first hand what it is to have panicked parents running for cover with their terrified children, as Arabs, Chechens and others do. To have your house in ruins, lose friends and relatives, have all your possessions disappear, to be brutalised by invading armies, have no food supplies, running water and electricity, sewerage, hospital care, all this is serious business and ought not be dished out so easily.

When would have been the right time to attack Hitler? When reoccupying the Rhineland or when annexing Austria? Should they have attacked during the breaking of the Versailles Treaty provisions? When demanding the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, or later, when seizing the remnants? Should Soviet Russia have been attacked when it partitioned Poland with Germany and seized the Baltic republics?

The USA has attacked different nations in Latin America over 70 times since 1824. The USA and Iraq are the only nations to use WMD since the end of WWI. That’s strange company to be in, no? And the USA helped Iraq in that war, assisting in the cover up and dead-end status of UN investigations, under Mr. Schultz. Let’s not be so quick to the trigger. On 11th September we saw how destructive a war can be, with just one attack.

Strong diplomatic action with international coordination is essential if we want to safeguard peaceful processes and an international order that, over centuries, has cost hundreds of millions of deaths in countless wars to achieve.

Finally, I ask you; now that Russia has gassed its own people in a Moscow theatre, are we to lunch a pre-emptive strike there, too?

Iron E. Islostonem - 10/26/2002

You CAN fool some of the people all the time.

What is so hard about the concept that arrogance in politics is more often a simple cover for incompetency than a cloak for grand conspiracy ?

Obviously conspiracy theories make for better TV shows than simple examples of human blundering. Still, just because Washington politicians are marketed and chosen in about the same way as sanitary napkins or bathroom tissues, does that mean every Presidential mishap has to have a soap opera script to go with it ?

To answer Tom Kellum's question more directly: Yes, coincidences do occur in history. It was a coincidence that the founders of modern constitutional democracy in the 1780s inhabited a rich undeveloped continent whose natural wealth and diversity still help that constitution protect us today from attempts at centralized militaristic power. And it is a more recent but less fortunate coincidence that one of the most grievous foreign attacks on our country has occurred during the reign of one of our least qualified and least experienced leaders ever.

Tom Kellum - 10/25/2002

Bunnypants was a military deserter (not merely AWOL). He was grounded from flying those jets that were so outdated they weren't used in Vietnam (surely a disappointment to the dashing young brown shoe)...because he failed to take a drug test. Some mean-spirited people have suggested that he was concerned about what the test might have shown (internal flying?).

And, what say you historians about "Poppy" and the "magic" camera that just happened to be available to film his "rescue"?

Finally, speaking of those brave Bushes; why did Jebro declare a State of Emergency in Florida three or four days before the unpleasantness unfolded on 9-11? Is Jeb a pyschic? We know those boys are plenty bright. But, really now, how'd he divine that such a decree might be needed a few days hence?

Yes, I'm quite aware that things just sort of seem to happen that further the interests of the wealthy. Year in and year out.
No conspiracies needed. Mere coincidence, right?

J. Bartlett - 10/25/2002

Wait !

You forgot:

1999-2002: the Republican Party waits three years before bothering to figure out that Saddam Hussein is a greater threat to America than Monica Lewinsky.

If you are a thinking American soldier (and not just a mouthpiece for the Bush 2004 campaign) and you are a "real hawk" (and not a "chicken-hawk") why is Chicken Hawk Bush your idol and not Real Hawk McCain ?

McCain in 2004 ! What are you WAITING for ?


Alec Lloyd - 10/25/2002

Mr. Kellum, instead of answering my question changes the subject again.

Your question is, of course, pointless because it implies that those unwilling to serve in the military are unqualified to endorse war, but that those unwilling to do so are perfectly qualified to oppose it. If you would like to restrict the franchise on the basis of military service, I think you'll find the electorate will take a pronounced turn to the right.

But since you ask, yes, I re-enlisted after 9/11.

Does that make me a "plain" hawk and you a "plain" chicken?

Alec Lloyd - 10/25/2002

There are a few missing entries on your timeline:

1939: Western Europe WAITS until Hitler is ready to launch his war maching against them.
1998: The Clinton administration chooses to WAIT until North Korea actually develops nuclear weapons until doing something about them, hopefully after the administration has left office.

FDR did not WAIT until Germany invaded Britain to provide aid, nor would a leader as dynamic as Lincoln wait for the approach of certain danger. It's worth noting that FDR reinstated the draft, federalized the National Guard, made a massive arms transfer to a belligerent and launched a quasi-war with Germany. Were President Bush to do the same, I expect you would approve?

The difference between the earlier quoted attacks of course is that the potential loss of life has increased exponentially. Funny the same people who want to know why the Bush adminstration couldn’t stop 9/11 are demanding that it not act against far more obvious and pressing threats.

Just to review, your plan of action is to do nothing.

No, that’s not quite fair. You would paralyse US foreign policy until you find one man, who was most likely reduced to component atoms in Tora Bora.

If you think Iraq is as tangential to terror as the off-the-wall examples you provide, there is no further point in continuing this discussion.

Frank Lee - 10/25/2002

Mr. Safranksi has discovered the novel concept of historical analogies. Herewith a short list to assist him:

1861 Abraham Lincoln WAITS until Fort Sumter is attacked
THEN moves militarily against the Confederacy (not Mexico).

1917 Woodrow Wilson WAITS for the Zimmermann telegram and the resumption of U-boat attacks and THEN asks for a declaration of
war against Germany (not Australia).

1941 Franklin Roosevelt WAITS for the Pearl Harbor attack before asking for a declaration of war against Japan (not Algeria).

1964 Lyndon Johnson WAITS for the Gulf of Tonkin BEFORE asking for a resolution against North Vietnam (not Romania).

1999 Bill Clinton WAITS for Milosevic to massacre Kosovars BEFORE pressing NATO into attacking Serbian forces (not Uruguayan forces).

2001 The attacks of Sept. 11. Nobody was waiting from them, presumably because nobody knew that terrorists might hijack planes or attack the World Trade Center. Junior Bush discovers
foreign policy, declares the "war on terrorism" to be the defining theme of his Presidency.

2002 Junior discovers that "terrorism" is not a country. And wars are usually fought against countries. And Osama is neither dead nor alive and captured but missing. Therefore we all have to drop everything else and attack Iraq instead.

mark safranski - 10/25/2002

re: " Unelected " President

It seems that Democratic activists have all the respect for free elections that the Soviet politburo once did.

Aside from Al Gore's attempt to steal the presidency through legal machinations and a rigged state Supreme Court to let him count ballots in whatever manner helped him most on a precint by precint basis - the Democrats are now planning to send 1000 lawyers to Florida to contest a gubernatorial election that has yet to even occur. And in New Jersey the Democrats set aside the law to replace their losing criminal with an unblemished retread. Apparently the only principle that matters for Democratic partisans is a naked grab for power.

What hypocrisy. Any irrelevant comments Tom or was this too unclear for you ?

mark safranski - 10/25/2002

Name the impressive military heroics of the following " warmongers ": Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson and William Jefferson Clinton.

I assume then Tom, in your view, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton and Curtis LeMay would have been your sort of president.

Of course, were it not a need to distract attention from the criminal activities of his wife and his own sexual scandals, Mr. Clinton might have remained a pacifistic president.

You dismiss either what you cannot understand or are unable to form an argument against.

Albert Madison - 10/24/2002

Alec Lloyd has a good point: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Since the former applies to Iraq and latter to North Korea, a foreign policy based on lumping the two together with Iraq's arch-enemy Iran into an "axis of evil" is pitifully clumsy. When you stop to think of the many other potential Iraqs and North Koreas around a multi-faceted world (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia to name but two) Bush's simplistic, good versus evil sloganeering is more than clumsy, it's dangerous. Add to this mess the extent to which the U.S. President has managed to get much of the world ticked off at his arrogant and mealy-mouthed go-it-alone antics, and we are approaching a foreign policy that is downright disastrous.

Bush needs a real doctrine. Something like those of Monroe or Truman. "We can attack first when we feel like it", by contrast, is a good way to make Saddam look like one of two loose cannons in the world. It won't work to protect America, and it may not even achieve its real purpose, which is to get President Hanging Chad elected by a higher margin in 2004 than in 2000.

Albert Madison

Tom Kellum - 10/24/2002

It IS more gibberish. Have you two warriors enlisted yet, or are you both Chickenhawks? (BTW, I've never heard Bunnypants or Cheney or Lott or Rush et al. reject that descriptive)

How many wars do want our unelected President to start over the next say, six months? If only two, why?

Aren't you afraid that Chavez might be a threat? What about Lula? And Fox - the TALL one. You know he's a threat; advocating sending millions of Mexicans right over the Border...from less than a mile away from Texas. Bomb Mexico to kingdom come? You've got to stop these tyrants, right?

mark safranski - 10/24/2002

Careful Alec, that might be interpreted as " gibberish " by Mr. Kellum.

mark safranski - 10/24/2002

Tom, you really ought to learn the rules of logic.

Alec Lloyd - 10/24/2002

Perhaps Mr. Kellum will elaborate then on why he thinks we should try appeasement a second time?

Or why he sees no difference between *preventing* a state from becoming nuclear and attacking a state *once it has become* nuclear?

Is that respectful enough for you?

Steve Russell - 10/24/2002

A colorable reason why Iraq and not North Korea?


Tom Kellum - 10/23/2002

Ad Hominem responses combined with gibberish; the Safranski method.

mark safranski - 10/23/2002

The logic of Mr. Kellum's argument is to say the least unique. It is as follows:

1) If nuclear weapons are bad enough to require the US to attack Iraq then the US must attack North Korea.

2)Therefore the US must attack all nations with nuclear weapons regardless of the nature of the regimes. ( Apparently there is no difference between Tony Blair and Saddam Hussein )

3) Because the US we did not commit suicide by attacking the Soviet Union we therefore cannot attack Iraq.

4) In consideration of these arguments the United States must either do nothing about either Iraq or North Korea or must commit itself to attacking both states equally and at once.

Why only stupid options may be exercised I'm not certain but Mr. Kellum's post is useful as an example of the incoherence of the latest anti-war thinking.

Alec Lloyd - 10/23/2002

Sir, you have my position exactly backwards.

It is because North Korea now is a nuclear state that our options are against it are so limited. Deterrence, (a now-popular word) is working, though not in the way its newfound proponents claim: we are deterred by North Korea, not the other way around. North Korea has every incentive to continue to build its arsenal and sell the technology abroad. There is little we can do to stop this.

In effect, a xenophobic genocidal regime has found its magic bullet. All thanks to appeasement.

Saddam, on the other hand, does not yet have nuclear weapons. This makes corrective action imperative. Instead of enabling his ambitions, we should strike now while we still can.

In North Korea, we are now paying the price for our feckless use of Danegeld. North Korea is certainly going to raise its demands for tribute. Should we refuse, there goes Seoul, or Tokyo, or Los Angeles.

Forget Hitler analogies, we now have an even better example of appeasement failing utterly. Yet its proponents continue to urge its application in Iraq. I guess being a wrong means never having to say you’re sorry.

Tom Kellum - 10/22/2002

Pardon me for asking, but are you advocating that GWB should start two wars simultaneously? If so, why stop at just two, unless your definition of "horrific" weapons is limited exclusively to nuclear arsenals in countries we aren't currently bribing, threatening, and otherwise undermining. Unless they cooperate in "good" conspiracies. Those who won't LIHOP, we must BOP.

In your opinion, is the situation so dangerous that President Bush should not wait until after the November 5 elections? Should he go ahead right now and make a surprise attack on Iraq and North Korea TNT (today, not tomorrow)?

Did Reagan act dishonorably for not attacking the Soviet Union? After all, they had a 20,000+ nuclear arsenal. Course, they're friends.

Alec Lloyd - 10/22/2002

So let me get this straight:

President Bush is a hypocrite because he urges an attack on a nation BEFORE it has nuclear weapons but defers an attack on one that already HAS them.

Um, pardon me for asking, but isn’t that just a little OBVIOUS? Is it your position then that we should attack ONLY nations with nuclear arsenals? Or are you saying that we shouldn’t do anything and just let all dictatorships have whatever horrific weapons they want? Do clarify what YOU would do, because so far, you haven’t done anything other than whine pointlessly.

Seriously, if you can’t comprehend the elementary logic of “has” vs “does not have” then how did you get a doctorate, anyway?

I’ve got one better for you:

The same people who said appeasement and inspections would prevent North Korea from getting nuclear weapons now recommend using the identical approach to Iraq, because you know, it worked so well there. If anyone has a flat learning curve, it’s you guys.

Samuel Adams - 10/21/2002

Carpenter has delivered here a brilliant critique of our current President's contorted and dumbed-down foreign policy. Well done !

Sam Adams