International: Bush Seen Thinking
WASHINGTON - President Bush said Thursday it is hard to read North Korea's motives in firing a missile with the potential to hit the United States or Canada, but said the U.S. cannot afford to misjudge the situation…
…Asked for an assessment of (Kim Jong-Il) the reclusive North Korean leader, who is variously described as quirky, eccentric or even unbalanced, Bush struck a thoughtful pose. (Boy, I’d have liked to have seen that! Rodin’s “The Thinker?”)…
"It's hard for me to tell you what's on his mind…What we don't know is his intentions," Bush said.
You really don’t know, huh? It’s got you “stumped,” eh, Mr. President? Well--let me tell you the score, let me “clue you in,” sir. Kim intends to build an arsenal of intercontinental nuclear missiles capable of killing millions of Americans. And that’s it, in a nutshell. That’s his intentions, that’s what he’s going to do; he’s going to build nuclear missiles and threaten the US and East Asia with them. Hey, here’s something else you should know, Chief: he’s already threatened a nuclear strike on the United States if we even INTERFERE with his missile program.
How do I know all this, sir? Because it’s all over the fucking news, that’s how I know it. This man’s intentions are no “secret,” Mr. President! I don’t know how much plainer they can be! He’s tested missiles, he’s launched missiles, and he’s probably already got the nukes for the payload. He’s going to threaten the US and the world with a nuclear arsenal. That’s his intention. Kim’s a megalomaniacal dictator who wants his own nuclear arsenal. Yeah, that’s right. He’s one of “those.” Where did we lose you on this “intentions” thing, Mr. President?
Actually, it doesn’t surprise me that Bush finds Kim “hard to read;” Bush finds everything hard to read. Our President has always had trouble grasping the obvious.
For example: if you announce that you will adopt a policy of striking first (“pre-emptive strike”) your worst enemies will rush to create a retaliatory capacity to deter you from doing so. Faced with the possibility of a pre-emptive strike, it becomes a matter of personal and political survival for these bastards. But this logical consequence doesn’t seem to have occurred to Bush and his advisors at the time they changed the rules of American war and adopted the “pre-emptive strike” policy. The North Korean race to secure a nuclear arsenal went into overdrive after Bush announced that pre-emptive strikes were the new policy; ditto the Iranian nuclear program.
Think about it from the viewpoint of cynical murderers like Hitler or Stalin—if your worst enemy announces to the world that he will launch pre-emptive strikes against you—do you end your WMD program, or go as fast as you can to complete it? It’s not a hard question to answer, if you are a megalomaniacal dictator.
And after Bush ignored the UN and invaded Iraq, development of nuclear arsenals became top priority for these two oppressive regimes—by George, Bush is serious! Look at that, he invaded Iraq, and they didn’t even have WMDs! We’re next, hurry up with those goddamn nukes, for Christ’s sake!
Yes, it’s incredible but true: at the same time White House inadvertently pressured the other two “Axis of Evil” members to put their own WMD programs into high gear, the Bush team destroyed the only “Axis of Evil” government that DIDN’T have weapons of mass destruction.
And even worse—after announcing that he would launch pre-emptive strikes to prevent the threat of WMD programs—Bush didn’t launch ANY against the other two enemy nations! The one that really WERE developing WMD programs! So it’s not only a stupid threat, because it encourages enemies to acquire WMDs as fast as they can; it’s not just a pointless threat, because it was carried out against the only “Axis of Evil” member with no WMD capability—it’s an EMPTY threat, because the very same two powers Bush hoped to discourage are now completing their nukes programs, virtually unmolested.
So this is conservative national security policy, eh? Now my point is not that Bush is a dangerously incompetent ass. That point was made a long time ago, and it has become the prevailing view of the American people. My point is that the conservatives—rich and poor, libertarian and social, neo-cons and right wing fundamentalists—are asses, too. Because they put an ass in office, and kept that ass and a lot of other asses in office, and have never seriously questioned these asses’ judgment on national security issues.
So there is no question about North Korea’s intentions. The real question is: which asses will the conservatives elect next time?