Thursday, May 18, 2006

Bush Wants Peace Treaty With North Korea: Iran, Russia, and China On The Road Toward Irrelevance?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you George Walker Bush, master of detente. And yes, I'm quite serious.

Drudge is saying that Thursday's New York Times will break a story on the Administration's desire to ink a peace deal with Pyongyang. This move comes in a news cycle already heralding the normalization of relations with Libya and reminding the reading public of what The Wall Street Journal is calling the "one undeniable" diplomatic success of Bush's administration: the voluntary disarming of Moammar Gadhafii in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion. There's some political capital to be had here, and closing a deal with North Korea right now would be a masterstroke on all fronts. "See, Ahmadinejad, we can negotiate with emerging nuclear powers with whom we've had a rocky relationship. See, Iran, negotiation with the West can work, just look at North Korea! See, anti-war crowd, we're diffusing the North Korea situation diplomatically even as Iran refuses to go the peaceful route."

Think it can't happen? Just a half-decade ago detente with Libya was unthinkable. Then Ghadhaffi gave up WMD and nuclear programs after watching American tanks roll through Baghdad. After double checking the list of terror regimes and seeing his own still ranked towards the top, something changed. He's now off that list and everyone's better off for it. It's also entirely possible, I suppose, that the General is experiencing a genuine change of heart in the winter of his life. Can we trust North Korea? That all depends, but at least they don't have a fundamentalist mandate to wipe us from the Earth like some regimes.

The "welcome, back Libya" party the press treated us to this week was certainly warranted, and, more importantly, it primed the pump for public reception of Bush's overtures to Pyongyang. How ironic would it be if, bolstered by a peaceful, cooperative relationship with America, North Korea displaced vying Russia and China as the regional eastern Eurasian powerhouse? With a peaceful nuclear energy program and the promise of access to American markets, Pyongyang would have no real use for Iran or Venezuela. Ironic doesn't really begin to do this potential future justice, but it just might work. And it just might help us avoid the mutually assured destruction Islamofascists would bring if allowed. Can a godless Communist regime and a secular Western nation state thwart the goals of jihad? Keep watching.

UPDATE: NYT went live with the story as I was writing the above post. Read the story here. Think I'm right?


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