Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Bush's Pre-emptive Strategy Meets Some Untidy Reality

China has been the most outspoken proponent of this view, suggesting publicly that the administration cannot be trusted when it asserts that North Korea has secretly started up a second nuclear weapons program — one based on enriching uranium. Administration officials say the Chinese are exploiting the Iraq findings for political convenience, because finding a solution to the North Korean problem will be far simpler if the evidence of a uranium program can be ignored.
"It hurts us, there is no question," a senior aide to Mr. Bush conceded on Friday, as the Senate report was published. "We already have the Chinese saying to us, `If you missed this much in Iraq, how are we supposed to believe that the North Koreans are producing nuclear weapons?' It just increases the pressure on us to prove that we are right."

Gee, maybe you should show some interest in finding out whether you're right, instead of being dead set on proving you're right? Though I don't so much doubt that North Korea is up to something, really. But it's revealing about the prevalent mindset there. Not that I had much doubt about that, either.

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