Sunday, February 18, 2007
Be Dubious of Any Deal with Dictators
North Korea is just another nation in a long line of countries that has broken the majority of the treaties they have ever signed.
Sure, it's a relief that an agreement regarding North Korea's nuclear program has materialized from the most recent round of six-party talks, and the agreement is certainly better than a military confrontation (I can hear the left now getting all excited, proclaiming that negotiations work just dandy). However, when taking into account North Korea's track record, I think we need to hold our applause for a while.
In keeping with the new agreement, North Korea has agreed to shut down the Yongbyon reactor within 60 days in exchange for 50,000 tons of fuel oil. Also, North Korea is required to readmit the international inspectors it expelled in 2002. Talks are expected to make an attempt at normalization in regards to diplomatic relations between North Korea and the United States.
Wait, don't cheer just yet. Remember 1994? That was the year of a provision that closely resembled this one, and it included promises of such talks as well, and none of it ever led to meaningful negotiations. Simply put, North Korea never fully complied to that agreement, and the agreement finally broke down altogether in late 2002.
If North Korea does surprisingly disable their nuclear program, additional aid will follow. Perhaps even more U.S. economic concessions will follow as well. But it is a big "if" that North Korea will abandon the goal of nuclear aspirations. However, if they do abandon their nuclear program, it would be way beyond the 1994 agreement, which only required North Korea to freeze its plutonium program.
Now for the holes in the agreement. North Korea is obligated to account for the plutonium extracted from the Yongbyon reactor since 2002, but is not required to specify the details regarding any nuclear weapons that they may have already built. Imagine that. They would be receiving a $400 million aid package to close their reactor, which is a handsome reward, while already having a credible arsenal. Also, in regards to North Korea's uranium enrichment program, which is different from their plutonium program at Yongbyon, North Korea has never acknowledged that a uranium enrichment program even exists, so uranium enrichment is not addressed in the agreement - meaning they can continue such a program, and remain squarely within the perameters of the agreement.
And don't forget, North Korea's history is proof positive that they cannot be trusted. The nation has broken every agreement it has ever signed on the nuclear issue. Even though North Korea joined the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, they violated that agreement on two occasions (in 1993 and again at the beginning of this current crisis in 2002) before they completely withdrew from the treaty. The violations were both about illegally blocking inspectors in both of those years.
Okay, I admit IF North Korea was to abide by this most recent agreement, it would be an encouraging first step, but remember who this is we are dealing with. They can't be trusted, and we would be extremely naive to assume that the North Korean nuclear crisis has been resolved.
And as this is going on, the left is also screaming for the United States to make nice with Iran.
Like North Korea, Iran cannot be trusted, and has a track record to support that belief. And on top of that, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has pubicly stated that he, and the entire nation of Iran (and the Muslim World for that matter) seeks the eradication of Israel.
Iran, like North Korea, also seeks nuclear weapons to destroy its enemies, and Israel, the United States, and any other free nation of the world, is in their crosshairs.
So, is there anything to discuss with Iran? Perhaps we can talk them down to smaller dirty bombs so that they can only annihilate a few thousand of us at a time. Or maybe, if we're lucky, the untrustworthy Iranians will promise not to use any of their weapons.
Observing the mullahs since the late 1970's, and watching Ahmadinejad, has convinced me that like Kim of North Korea, Chavez of Venezuela, Castro of Cuba, any leader in China, and any other leader in the Islamic World, Iran cannot be trusted, and Ahmadinejad is not capable of being rational.
Making deals with dictators may seem encouraging, but remember, Chamberlain made an agreement with Hitler before World War II, and we know how that one ended up.