Memorial Day

800px-memorial_day_at_arlington_national_cemetery

Here is a photo gallery of Connecticut’s war dead in Iraq and Afghanistan, provided by the Courant.

There was a great turnout for Enfield’s Memorial Day parade yesterday. Lots of veterans marched or rode, as did many other groups. Celebrations, parades and memorials are taking place this weekend across the state to honor those who gave their lives for the rest of us.

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24 responses to “Memorial Day

  1. Some time also, prescient Vice President Joe Biden predicted that the Obama administration would be “tested,” presumably by someone other than Rush Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney, within his first few months of office.

    A few days ago, North Korea’s wacky president and film buff Kim Jong-il, who reportedly is ill, set off an underground nuclear explosion that is said to have rivaled the A-Bomb explosion at Hiroshima. The president, so full of apologies, has yet to bend the knee to the Japanese on that one.

    The analysts, according to a report in the British Guardian have it all figured out: “Analysts believe the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, hopes to use the test to shore up support from the military amid mounting speculation that he is about to name one of his three sons as his successor.

    “Kim, 67, appears to be re-establishing his grip on power since reportedly suffering a stroke last August. Today’s test is a direct challenge to attempts by Obama to engage the North and stem the spread of nuclear weapons.”

    President Barack Obama and his erstwhile Vice President were rather hoping that a little diplomacy would persuade Kim to give up his testosterone filled hopes of a nuclear tipped North Korea. But no such such luck, says Kim Myong-chol, a fellow who is said to be “close to Kim” and the executive director of the Centre for Korean-American Peace in Tokyo: “North Korea doesn’t need any talks with America. America is tricky and undesirable. It does not implement its own agreements.

    “We are not going to worry about sanctions. If they sanction us, we will become more powerful. Sanctions never help America; they are counter-productive … We don’t care about America and what they say.”

    Kim is not the sort of dictator who is brought low by a silver tongue.

    And neither is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s Pot Pol.

    Der Spiegel OnLine, a news organization that is miles ahead of any US publication has just reported on a breakthrough on the UN’s Tribunal investigation of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, murdered by, so it was thought at the time, of the wily coyote of Syria, President Bashar Assad.

    Citing sources close to the investigation, Spiegel points out that Iran, not Syria, is the international culprit in Lebanon’s Shakespearian drama:
    “SPIEGEL has learned from sources close to the tribunal and verified by examining internal documents, that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn. Intensive investigations in Lebanon are all pointing to a new conclusion: that it was not the Syrians, but instead special forces of the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah (“Party of God”) that planned and executed the diabolical attack. Tribunal chief prosecutor Bellemare and his judges apparently want to hold back this information, of which they been aware for about a month…

    “This leaves the question of motive unanswered. Many had an interest in Hariri’s death. Why should Hezbollah — or its backers in Iran — be responsible?

    “Hariri’s growing popularity could have been a thorn in the side of Lebanese Shiite leader Nasrallah. In 2005, the billionaire began to outstrip the revolutionary leader in terms of popularity. Besides, he stood for everything the fanatical and spartan Hezbollah leader hated: close ties to the West and a prominent position among moderate Arab heads of state, an opulent lifestyle, and membership in the competing Sunni faith. Hariri was, in a sense, the alternative to Nasrallah.”

    Two of the legs of George Bush’s “evil empire” have now proclaimed them selves resistant to diplomacy, Amadinijad, the international co-conspirator in assassination who recently challenged Obama to a “debate” at the UN, recently having declared that its nuclear program will not be a part of any negotiation with the United States.

    Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that the Obama administration is living off the fumes of the Bush administration’s foreign policy.

    As the future stretches out before us, the fumes of success in Iraq will dissipate.

    And the test predicted by Biden will not be long in coming.

  2. Quod Felix

    The Memorial Day Parade in Cheshire was a little disappointing this year. The only veterans marching were members of the “Army/Air Force Roundtable”, a small group of WWII vets. There was a fife and drum group (too small to merit “corps”) that might be considered somewhat military in its bearing. The flyover was two helicopters.

    Other than that, it was the town’s marching bands, little league players, scouts, and dogs. Doggie spas seem to have proliferated this year, despite (or because of) the economy. The Shriners in their silly cars. The firemen put out a nice unit.

    Memorial Day is changing, I think. For better or for worse, I’m not sure.

  3. Thomas Hooker

    Some time also, prescient Vice President Joe Biden predicted that the Obama administration would be “tested,” presumably by someone other than Rush Limbaugh and former Vice President Dick Cheney, within his first few months of office.

    A few days ago, North Korea’s wacky president and film buff Kim Jong-il, who reportedly is ill, set off an underground nuclear explosion that is said to have rivaled the A-Bomb explosion at Hiroshima. The president, so full of apologies, has yet to bend the knee to the Japanese on that one.

    Let’s get back to basics, shall we? During the Clinton Administration, the U.S. went a long way toward drawing North Korea out of its shell. It negotiated a halt to enrichment activities at Yongbyon, and also an agreement that would lead to mutual recognition. That all collapsed with the Bush Administration’s ill-conceived strategy of re-isolating North Korea and threatening it with its “axis of evil” construction.

    Let’s keep in mind that it is in the interest of not only the United States but of all of the countries in close proximity to North Korea to manage the peaceful gradual demise of the North Korean regime and lead it into a peaceful and orderly reunification with the Republic of Korea. It is most certainly in no one’s interest to precipitate a cataclysmic war in which the North Korean regime fires off everything it has at the South and Japan in a suicidal final act.

    All should be reminded of a couple of critical facts. First, North Korea controls roughly twenty thousand artillery tubes that are located in hardened sites near the DMZ that are capable of delivering thousands of shells per hour at the Seoul metropolitan area. Second, keep in mind that roughly 40% of the South Korean population reside in that area, or roughly 20 million people. Also keep in mind that military experts have estimated that an attack by the North would result in at least a million casualties in Seoul, and destroy much of the area. Further, keep in mind that should the North succeed in miniaturizing its current nuclear arsenal sufficiently to place on a short-range ballistic warhead, it could, in the event of war, deliver a warhead on Tokyo that would utterly destroy life in that city. Given those facts, it is idiotic for an American administration to attempt to intimidate North Korea into submission on the nuclear issue. The North Koreans have nothing to lose, they already feel- rightly- that they are surrounded by far more powerful countries that are hostile to it, and that the long-term outlook for the regime’s domestic survival is bleak. So what to do.

    First, we must recognize that the strategy of the first term of the Bush administration- “axis of evil”- accomplished nothing but forcing the North to build nuclear weapons. No, this might have been the first successful test of a weapon, but our intelligence agencies have made clear that they believe North Korea acquired nuclear capabilities during the Bush administration. Second, as with South Africa, we can reverse their acquisition of nuclear weapons through negotiation.

    So it is silly to suggest that we must “get tough” with North Korea. South Korea doesn’t want a confrontation, nor does Japan. Though far-right Neocons always instinctively believe that military confrontation is the answer, it’s not. We need to engage the North in dialogue, slowly and consistently, and the carrot is far more important than the stick. Why? Because we hold all of the advantages. North Korea is dying- militarily, economically and politically. We need to be patient and consistent. Bombast, though conservatives love it, could lead us into another senseless war. But this time, it will cost millions of dead, not the thousands of the Iraq War.

  4. We need to engage the North in dialogue, slowly and consistently ….. ….. We need to be patient and consistent.

    Thank you Neville Chamberlain.

    You’ve missed the entire point to North Korea’s little “exercise” – it was a demonstration – now they’ll just sit back and wait for customers.

    We’re watching them already; but once they start selling few we could easily lose track of who has what and where it is until it goes off and that will probably be here.

    Indeed, depending on it’s overall size we might never know when they sell one at all.

    One thing for sure – they won’t be selling to any friends of ours.

  5. Let’s get back to basics, shall we? During the Clinton Administration, the U.S. went a long way toward drawing North Korea out of its shell. It negotiated a halt to enrichment activities at Yongbyon, and also an agreement that would lead to mutual recognition. That all collapsed with the Bush Administration’s ill-conceived strategy of re-isolating North Korea and threatening it with its “axis of evil” construction.

    Wow. Just… wow.

    Let’s get back to basics. During the Clinton Administration, President Clinton gave the North Korean government billions of dollars of food aid, oil and the promise of a few pressurized water reactors. In exchange, North Korea “agreed” to dismantle its heavy water reactors and end its nuclear weapons programs. Nobel Peace Prizes were handed out, Democrats congratulated one another, and all was ostensibly well, except for one key fact:

    North Korea never suspended its weapons programs, and never had any intention of doing so. Nothing “collapsed” with the designation of an “Axis of Evil,” because nothing was ever accomplished by Clinton, Carter or Santa Claus. Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize, and 75 cents, can buy you a copy of today’s Hartford Courant.

    Keeping that significant fact in mind, what do you propose that we say to the Koreans? “Stop making weapons.” That didn’t work the last time and it won’t work this time. Also, I take great offense to your pandering, apologetic statements such as that the North Koreans “rightly” feel that they are surrounded by powerful nations hostile to them, and that the North Koreans were “forced” to build nuclear weapons. Those statements are ridiculous and, frankly, wrong. Try as you might, you can’t blame everything on George Bush.

    Second, there’s a big difference between North Korea and South Africa, and we’re not just talking about geography. One is a hostile dictatorship, the other is a functional democracy. Have you noticed that South Africa didn’t give up its weapons programs until a democracy was in place? We simply cannot negotiate with North Korea because they cannot be trusted. A more appropriate comparison to North Korea is Libya, which gave up its weapons programs under the (likely correct) impression that a failure to do so could lead to American troops marching across its borders in the future.

    You want to engage in dialogue? Fine. Make it short and sweet: not a dime of foreign aid will enter into your country until you give up every single atom of fissile material within your borders, and any attack on Seoul, Tokyo or any other city will mean an end to your heritage. Once your atomic weapons have been verifiably forfeited, we’ll give you all the aid you want — if you implement a democracy.

    Anything less will permit a dictator to continue to hold millions of his own people (and hundreds of millions in the region) hostage. If that’s what you want, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

  6. Thomas Hooker

    Keeping that significant fact in mind, what do you propose that we say to the Koreans? “Stop making weapons.” That didn’t work the last time and it won’t work this time. Also, I take great offense to your pandering, apologetic statements such as that the North Koreans “rightly” feel that they are surrounded by powerful nations hostile to them, and that the North Koreans were “forced” to build nuclear weapons. Those statements are ridiculous and, frankly, wrong. Try as you might, you can’t blame everything on George Bush.

    I’m sorry, but did you just deny that North Korea is actually surrounded by far more powerful and mostly hostile countries? Really? Would you like to compare the economic, population, and military capabilities of Russia, Japan, and South Korea with North Korea’s? Would you like to add into that mix the PRC, which is certainly also no fan of a nuclearized North Korea?

    Before you go blathering toward an ultimatum to the North, think for a moment how well our attempt to cut off Japan’s oil supplies worked in 1941. They, too, felt that war with America and Britain would probably prove to be fatal, yet they started it anyway. Do not discount the possibility of North Korea’s embarking on a path to war with the same mentality of Jim Jones and his Guyana followers. This is a cult, not a country.

    Let’s not discount the fact that the Bush administration did, indeed, reneg on a number of obligations under the agreements signed by the Clinton administration, including completing those light water reactors.

    And please don’t for a second attempt to equate the dangers of Nazi Germany with North Korea’s. Nazi Germany was a global threat, a rising industrial and military power, while North Korea is an impoverished, backward minor country that is dwarfed by its powerful neighbors. Are you really suggesting to the readers of this blog that North Korean troops could possibly march on Beijing? Flow out of Siberia to seize Western Europe? Please!

    Before you start on your ultimatums, perhaps you’d like to run your plan past the South Koreans, who during the Bush administration were absolutely appalled by his blustering, short-sighted policies. For that matter, so, too were the citizens of most of the other countries in the world.

    Before you protest too much about laying blame at Mr. Bush’s feet, perhaps you’d like to take a second look at the precipitous change in the percentage of the American people stating that our country is on the right path versus the wrong path. It virtually flipped overnight after Mr. Obama took office.

    The Neocon strategy of threatening every country in the world with invasion unless they toe the American line has thankfully been cleaned out of the White House along with George’s cowboy boots. And the world is a better place for it.

  7. Bruce Rubenstein

    I am in agreement with Thomas Hooker…..these foreign policy issues are complex and cannot be reduced to spin and immature soundbites.

  8. Although few like to acknowledge it, after the 9-11 attacks, George with his cowboy boots and all kept this country safe during his Presidency. Let’s “Hope” that doesn’t “Change”.

    The Neocon strategy of threatening every country in the world with invasion unless they toe the American line has thankfully been cleaned out of the White House along with George’s cowboy boots. And the world is a better place for it.

  9. I’m sorry, but did you just deny that North Korea is actually surrounded by far more powerful and mostly hostile countries? Really? Would you like to compare the economic, population, and military capabilities of Russia, Japan, and South Korea with North Korea’s? Would you like to add into that mix the PRC, which is certainly also no fan of a nuclearized North Korea?

    North Korea’s plight is North Korea’s fault. North Korea is not South Korea’s equal because of the decisions that North Korea has made. Period. Communism vs. Capitalism, it’s no contest.

    Let’s not discount the fact that the Bush administration did, indeed, reneg on a number of obligations under the agreements signed by the Clinton administration, including completing those light water reactors.

    I don’t know what more I can say to make you believe the truth, but North Korea did not follow through with any of its obligations. Yet you would have the Bush Administration follow through with its predecessor’s bad deal? Really?

    And please don’t for a second attempt to equate the dangers of Nazi Germany with North Korea’s. Nazi Germany was a global threat, a rising industrial and military power, while North Korea is an impoverished, backward minor country that is dwarfed by its powerful neighbors. Are you really suggesting to the readers of this blog that North Korean troops could possibly march on Beijing? Flow out of Siberia to seize Western Europe? Please!

    First you say they deserve kid gloves because they have an atomic weapon and can kill millions… then you say that they’re no Nazi Germany. Is that what it would take for you to support military action against them? On second thought, given your comments about WW II Japan, that might not even be enough for you.

    Before you start on your ultimatums, perhaps you’d like to run your plan past the South Koreans, who during the Bush administration were absolutely appalled by his blustering, short-sighted policies. For that matter, so, too were the citizens of most of the other countries in the world.

    Now you speak for South Koreans. Fantastic. Too bad their President doesn’t agree with you.

    Before you protest too much about laying blame at Mr. Bush’s feet, perhaps you’d like to take a second look at the precipitous change in the percentage of the American people stating that our country is on the right path versus the wrong path. It virtually flipped overnight after Mr. Obama took office.

    Give him time. A few more atomic tests, a few more circumventions of the bankruptcy court, and a few more gifts for the auto unions will certainly change things.

  10. I am in agreement with Thomas Hooker…..these foreign policy issues are complex and cannot be reduced to spin and immature soundbites.

    Nothing complex about it.

    A total wingnut has nukes for sale to the highest bidders and that can’t be a good thing.

  11. This may seem off topic following the above debate but we had a great Memorial Day turnout in Middletown. The theme was “Middletown Honors World War II Veterans”. Susan Bysiewicz and Rosa Delauro sashayed down Main Street waving to an enthusiastic crowd. Mayor Giuliano and other Middletown politicos lead off the parade under sunny skies. The ceremonies and presentations by the vets and active military were impressive. Right of Middle reports.

  12. Thomas Hooker

    Nothing complex about it.

    A total wingnut has nukes for sale to the highest bidders and that can’t be a good thing.

    Nothing complex about it? North Korea has just announced that they will not be bound by the 1953 Armistice Agreement. Have you any idea how serious that is? To my knowledge, they have never renounced that agreement before, and their noting that boarding and seizing North Korean ships would constitute an act of war should get the attention of even far-right Neocons.

    Are you prepared to see war on the Korean peninsula? How many millions should die in this conflict? How many Americans? Now which is preferable in this situation: war or negotiation with a regime that will inevitably die out? Think for a moment: North Korea can start a war and kill lots of people, but they cannot win a war. They could never defeat China or South Korea or Japan, unlike Germany, which had the capacity to take over a continent.

    And the South Koreans were most assuredly appalled by the Bush administration’s hectoring. Read the link that was included, and you will see mention of trying to get the North back to the Six-Party Talks.

    This is serious; war could break out, as it almost did in the mid-90’s when former President Carter’s diplomacy staved off the conflict. I remember that episode well- I was living there at the time, and I seriously considered evacuating my family to the U.S. or Hong Kong.

  13. This is serious; war could break out, as it almost did in the mid-90’s when former President Carter’s diplomacy staved off the conflict. I remember that episode well- I was living there at the time, and I seriously considered evacuating my family to the U.S. or Hong Kong.

    So what would you do? Tell me exactly what you’d do. Not “engage in talks,” or any of that fluffy crap that Obama said yesterday in his press conference.

    Tell me exactly what you’d do, and then we’ll get to the issue of whether it would work.

  14. “The North Koreans have nothing to lose, they already feel- rightly- that they are surrounded by far more powerful countries that are hostile to it, and that the long-term outlook for the regime’s domestic survival is bleak. So what to do.”

    It wasn’t threats or military posturing that that set Kim’s teeth on edge. This is what did it: http://donpesci.blogspot.com/2007/07/why-north-korea-is-now-nuclear-free.html

    Incidentally, one of the powerful countries surrounding North Korea that appears to be hostile to its nuclear ambitions is the country’s patron, China, now in the mix because the hateful Bush insisted on multi-lateral talks with Kim. Hooker will remember that Kim wanted bi-lateral talks. Actually, he wanted his personal assets unfrozen.

    Don’t mess with success.

  15. Thomas Hooker

    In 2007, after five years of ineptitude by the far-right nutjob John Bolton, Christopher Hill negotiated an agreement with North Korea to freeze its nuclear program. As Time Magazine pointed out in its issue at the time:

    “The fact that Kim’s existing nuclear stockpile is not mentioned in the latest agreement ‘is probably not an oversight,’ says Gary Samore, who was head of the counterproliferation program at the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) under Clinton. ‘That’s an indication that the North Koreans are not going to be willing to give up their existing capabilities.’

    “It’s hard to see why they would do so. Ever since Bush’s speech in 2002 labeling North Korea a member of the ‘axis of evil,’ Kim has believed ‘he has a big, fat target painted on his back,’ says a former U.S. diplomat. ‘Kim believes that having a few nukes in his pocket is the ultimate guarantee that no one will try to topple his regime militarily. He’s probably right about that, and no matter how much fuel oil or diplomatic goodies we send his way, he’s not going to negotiate that away.'”

    “As Bush’s critics see it, that’s where the latest disarmament deal falls short. Former Clinton Administration officials say the agreement is a close facsimile of the Agreed Framework signed by Washington and Pyongyang in 1994. That deal called for the North to halt nuclear-weapons development in return for two light-water nuclear-power plants, which are difficult to use to generate fissile material for bombs. Clinton’s presidency ended before the power plants could be completed and the projects today are derelict—evidence, in Pyongyang’s eyes, of Washington’s bad faith. But those who defend the Agreed Framework say all Bush had to do upon taking office was follow through, and several years of dangerous saber rattling in Northeast Asia could have been avoided. Says Graham Allison, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Clinton: ‘The bad news is that this is four years, eight bombs’ worth of plutonium and one nuclear test’ after the Bush Administration veered from the course set by the Agreed Framework.”

    The Bush administration walked away from the Clinton’s Agreed Framework, then took five years getting back to where Clinton had left off. Readers should note that the U.S. did not follow through with the reactors, as agreed, and North Korea, after Bush’s “axis of evil” speech, produced several more nuclear warheads.

    The Bush administration continued to insist on the six party talks, when bilateral talks could have been pursued effectively as well. There was no reason to refuse bilateral discussions, and the result was five more years of no progress.

    What should we do right now? Not much. There is very little that we can do. We do not know what dynamics might be operating within the North Korean leadership, how close to death Kim Chong-Il might be, who might be making a play for leadership against Kim’s young son, or whether there is a power play amongst the military leadership. Sometimes it’s best to watch and wait rather than to act precipitously. I believe that the rhetoric coming out of the North is of a type to suggest that they might be willing to go to war. Remember, they cannot invade and occupy successfully any of their neighbors. They cannot win a war. But they can unleash a great deal of destruction. This, after all, is a paranoid cult that is intent on survival, unless it becomes clear that they will not survive. We need to exercise extraordinary caution at this time.

    Does that view square with the Neocon philosophy of always threatening military retribution? No. Does it make sense in this context? Yes.

    In regard to North Korean cheating, let’s recall that the Soviet Union cheated on virtually all of their agreements as well, but we did not seize on one of those violations as a cassus belli and launch a nuclear strike. We went back to negotiations and managed their gradual demise. We can do the same with North Korea. They want specific things from the United States, and issuing threats from time to time is not unusual from them. We shouldn’t panic, but neither should we answer saber-rattling with more bellicosity.

    Cool heads should prevail. It’s simply not worth starting a war that will certainly result in the deaths of millions.

  16. “As Bush’s critics see it, that’s where the latest disarmament deal falls short. Former Clinton Administration officials say the agreement is a close facsimile of the Agreed Framework signed by Washington and Pyongyang in 1994. That deal called for the North to halt nuclear-weapons development in return for two light-water nuclear-power plants, which are difficult to use to generate fissile material for bombs. Clinton’s presidency ended before the power plants could be completed and the projects today are derelict—evidence, in Pyongyang’s eyes, of Washington’s bad faith. But those who defend the Agreed Framework say all Bush had to do upon taking office was follow through, and several years of dangerous saber rattling in Northeast Asia could have been avoided. Says Graham Allison, a former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Clinton: ‘The bad news is that this is four years, eight bombs’ worth of plutonium and one nuclear test’ after the Bush Administration veered from the course set by the Agreed Framework.”

    Wow. Nice objective source there. Next time quote the New York Times, or Keith Olbermann. Of course Graham and the boys are going to defend Clinton’s record in dealing with terrorists after 9/11.

    You’re also conveniently leaving out the six-year gap between the execution of the Agreed Framework and the end of the Clinton era, and also the fact that North Korea never stopped working on its nuclear arms program. It doesn’t matter what George Bush did or didn’t do. North Korea would still have nuclear weapons today (and Jimmy Carter would still have a worthless Nobel Peace Prize).

    Also, if Bush was such a colossal failure on North Korea, and if he completely sidetracked all of the “progress” that Clinton made (and I use that term loosely), then why did this happened during the Bush Administration?

  17. Thomas Hooker

    Also, if Bush was such a colossal failure on North Korea, and if he completely sidetracked all of the “progress” that Clinton made (and I use that term loosely), then why did this happened during the Bush Administration?

    Could I ask you to read carefully? Please? Do you think you could reread the Time Magazine passage? If you take the time, you will see that the entire article was about how the Bush administration wasted five years after the Clinton administration’s Agreed Framework, then finally, after dumping the extreme ideologue John Bolton, finally under the leadership of Christopher Hill (now Obama’s ambassador to Iraq), basically returned to the Agreed Framework agreement of President Clinton concluded thirteen years before. That’s the point. By refusing to follow through with Clinton’s agreement, including constructing light water reactors and supplying oil and not following through with mutual recognition, and insisting on six-party talks instead of continuing with bi-lateral negotiations, the Bush administration simply wasted years during which North Korea abrogated the agreement, produced more nuclear warheads, and squandered the progress that had been made in the Nineties.

    Now do you still want to start a war there? Still want to wave the saber? Or will you concede that we have little choice but to return to the painstaking negotiations that the Clinton administration realized was the key path in the first place?

    Oh, and that useless Nobel Prize for Carter? Talk to military leaders from that time. In fact, it was the top general of American forces in Korea who contacted Jimmy Carter and suggested that he travel to North Korea and begin negotiations with Kim Il-Sung, because he definitely felt that the North was moving closer to a war that no one wanted. It was at that time that a North Korean spokesman remarked that it would make Seoul into a “pul pada”, or “sea of fire”. Jimmy Carter’s actions in Pyongyang averted a catastrophic war on the Korean peninsula. I don’t think anyone who was observing events closely could deny that. He deserved his medal more than almost any other recipient for many years.

  18. Could I ask you to read carefully? Please? Do you think you could reread the Time Magazine passage? If you take the time, you will see that the entire article was about how the Bush administration wasted five years after the Clinton administration’s Agreed Framework, then finally, after dumping the extreme ideologue John Bolton, finally under the leadership of Christopher Hill (now Obama’s ambassador to Iraq), basically returned to the Agreed Framework agreement of President Clinton concluded thirteen years before. That’s the point. By refusing to follow through with Clinton’s agreement, including constructing light water reactors and supplying oil and not following through with mutual recognition, and insisting on six-party talks instead of continuing with bi-lateral negotiations, the Bush administration simply wasted years during which North Korea abrogated the agreement, produced more nuclear warheads, and squandered the progress that had been made in the Nineties.

    I’m telling you the article was full of it. I don’t care if we repealed the 22nd Amendment and Clinton won two more elections… North Korea was not fulfilling its end of the bargain, and Bush called them out on it (rightfully so).

    You never answered the question: if Bush was such a colossal failure in dealing with the North Koreans, why did they blow up their Yongbyon cooling towers and begin disassembling their reactors on his watch?

  19. Thomas Hooker

    Apparently you have a serious problem reading the English language. Once again, slowly, the Bush administration abandoned its responsibility for taking leadership in Korea, doing nothing for five years while the Clinton administration’s Agreed Framework was allowed to dissolve and during John Bolton’s feckless five-year stay at the State Department resulted in nothing but the diminution of American leadership in the world and in East Asia. When he was replaced, Christopher Hill came in and basically restored the status quo in place during the Clinton administration. Are we supposed to give George Bush credit for taking years to finally return to the agreement that the Clinton administration achieved years before? If so, I suppose we’re also supposed to blame Bill Clinton for 9/11, even though it occurred nearly nine months into Bush’s administration.

  20. Joe Sixpack

    And if a new Korean War erupts six months into Obama’s term, we blame it on Bush? What is the statute of limitations to blame the prior administration, exactly? 6 months? 9 months seems to be it, as long as it’s a Republican you are blaming.

  21. Thomas Hooker

    No, we don’t blame it on Bush. But if Obama were a Republican, there is no doubt that Republicans would try to pin it on Bill Clinton.

  22. Joe Sixpack

    We’d blame it on Harry Truman. He should have let MacArthur finish the job…..

  23. Thomas Hooker

    We’d blame it on Harry Truman. He should have let MacArthur finish the job…..

    By dropping nuclear bombs all across Manchuria? By nuking Beijing? Really? Is that really your foreign policy perspective?

  24. Joe Sixpack

    Hooker – it’s a joke. Lighten up.

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