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Monday, August 09, 2004

It just gives my day that extra spice when I sit down in the mornings and the first thing I read in the newspaper is this:

American intelligence officials and outside nuclear experts have concluded that the Bush administration's diplomatic efforts with European and Asian allies have barely slowed the nuclear weapons programs in Iran and North Korea over the past year, and that both have made significant progress.

Well, there’s a surprise. Not. Diplomacy is all nice and well, but it needs something else to work than good words, and in both cases, any notion that the violating countries would be threatened with anything as harsh as a UN resolution saying they’re naugthy boys, has been off the screen for a good while now.
Perhaps something should have been done earlier?

"It's a much harder thing to accomplish today," said one senior American intelligence official, "than it would have been in the '90s."

Ah yes, but in the 1990s nobody in the developed world was interested in such stuff as war and weapons and all that. And Bill Clinton certainly didn’t seem care in earnest. Again this episode sadly shows what a catastrophe Bill Clinton’s time in office has been for global security. While I’m not much of an instinctive fan of Bush’s foreign policies, I will at least say in his defence that he’s largely trying to mop up the problems Bill Clinton should have dealt with. Problems that could have been dealt with far more easily too, and in a much nicer manner, without sabre rattling and preemption and endless diplomatic rows and . . . you get my point.

"It's very frustrating," said one former official who left the Bush administration recently and who believes that the administration has failed to draw clear "red lines" beyond which North Korea would not be allowed to expand its arsenal.
. . .
On July 31, Iran announced that it was resuming the production of centrifuges needed to produce highly enriched uranium, though it said it was still "suspending" actual enrichment activities. While the United States has threatened to take the issue to the UN Security Council, it has yet to win support from many allies.

That’s the European way. Coincidentally that’s where would be today in regards to Iraq if Bush hadn’t been such a "unilateralist". Just a cautionary tale that the "sophisticated" EUropeans certainly don’t know better all the time. I mean they keep going on about how great all this UN-thingy is, but then baulk at actually using it for anything sensible. And that includes sadly our own Government.
What a whopping failure all round.


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