McCain Makes Grunting Noise

McCain actually guest-posted at: Captain’s Quarters. Boy, is he ever slumming of late…

His statement is cut from the same cloth as Bush’s stance regarding NORK:

Time for Decisive Action on North Korea

Korea doubts the world’s resolve. It is testing South Korea, China,
Russia, Japan, and the United States. They launched seven missiles in
July, and were criticized by the Security Council, but suffered no
serious sanction. We have talked and talked about punishing their bad
behavior. They don’t believe we have the resolve to do it. We must
prove them wrong.

I am encouraged by the Security Council’s swift and strong
condemnation of the act on Monday, but the permanent members must now
follow up our words with action. We must impose Chapter 7 sanctions
with teeth, as President Bush has proposed.

China has staked its prestige as an emerging great power on its
ability to reason with North Korea, keep them engaged with the six
party negotiations, and make progress toward a diplomatic resolution of
this crisis. North Korea has now challenged them as directly as they
challenge South Korea, Japan, Russia and the U.S. It is not in China’s
interest or our interest to have a nuclear arms race in Asia, but that
is where we’re headed. If China intends to be a force for stability in
Asia, then it must do more than rebuke North Korea. It must show
Pyongyang that it cannot sustain itself as a viable state with
aggressive actions and in isolation from the entire world.

They have missiles, and now they claim to have tested a nuclear
device. Eventually they will have the technology to put warheads on
missiles. That is a grave threat to South Korea, Japan and the United
States that we cannot under any circumstances accept. North Korea also
has a record of transferring weapons technology to other rogue nations,
such as Iran and Syria.

The President is right to call on the Council to impose a military
arms embargo, financial and trade sanctions, and, most importantly, the
right to interdict and inspect all cargo in and out of North Korea. I
hope the Council quickly adopts these sanctions, and that all members
enforce them.

The worst thing we could do is accede to North Korea’s demand for
bilateral talks. When has rewarding North Korea’s bad behavior ever
gotten us anything more than worse behavior?

I would remind Senator Hillary Clinton and other Democrats critical
of Bush Administration policies that the framework agreement her
husband’s administration negotiated was a failure. The Koreans received
millions in energy assistance. They diverted millions in food
assistance to their military. And what did they do? They secretly
enriched uranium.

Prior to the agreement, every single time the Clinton Administration
warned the Koreans not to do something — not to kick out the IAEA
inspectors, not to remove the fuel rods from their reactor — they did
it. And they were rewarded every single time by the Clinton
Administration with further talks. We had a carrots and no sticks
policy that only encouraged bad behavior. When one carrot didn’t work,
we offered another.

This isn’t just about North Korea. Iran is watching this test of the
Council’s will, and our decisions will surely influence their response
to demands that they cease their nuclear program. Now, we must, at long
last, stop reinforcing failure with failure.

Instead we must extinguish the behavior by ignoring it, apparently. Good dog training; poor diplomacy.

McCain wants to continue the disastrous Bush policy of refusing to enter into bilateral talks with NORK. All this accomplishes is to subordinate American security needs to the interests of China. Instead of treating NORK’s WMD capability like a regional issue and letting China, SORK, and Japan define the agenda, we had damn well better step up to the plate, recognize reality and enter into touch and verifiable bi-lateral security agreements with NORK. Doing otherwise is going to have Japan going nuclear in a matter of months, and SORK following soon after. We’ll have an East Asian nuclear arms race to complement the South Asian and Middle Eastern ones we’ve already got on our plate.

Warfare by other means: that’s what sanctions really are. The people will pay for the sins of the leader, and it will only stiffen the resolve of the people and the regime. Nor is it likely to be successful in bringing the regime to heel. As we saw in Iraq, sanctions actually tighten the grip of tyrants on power. Not to mention that NORK is perhaps the most isolated and self-contained nation on earth. Their major trade is charity from China, which is unlikely to be interrupted by UN sanctions. The whole idea is simply window dressing for a policy of continuing inaction in the face of extremely destabilizing events. More of the same for the GOP: they have consistently acted to waste our diplomatic and military capacity, and failed to act when decisive, and politically difficult action is needed.

If this is what we can expect from McCain’s international leadership, it’s a damn fine thing he’ll never successfully run the Christo-fascist gauntlet the GOP Presidential nomination has become.

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