Sunday, September 14, 2008

Politics is Inevitable III

It is now pretty well established that Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator, suffered a stroke in August which has left him largely incapacitated. The intelligence community of the West still seems unable to learn more than that: he can "stand if assisted" and is "able to brush his teeth", descriptions appropriate of a toddler, not a man with his finger on the button of Armageddon.

The fact that Kim was unable to put in an obligatory appearance during Chusok only increases the level of concern that a power vacuum will soon obliterate what little progress the Bush administration has made after giving up its dunderheaded ignore-it-and-it-will-magically-become-democratic "policy" of the last seven years and actually making diplomatic contact with the loony leader to the north. While Kim has three sons, none are viewed as capable of leading should that be necessary. The most likely scenario has a military junta stepping into the leadership role.

Many South Koreans are pleased with news of Kim's illness, but concerned that there are few options for the rest of the world in influencing the next steps. They dream of ultimate reconciliation, a chance to visit freely with family members in the North, but shrug when asked to describe the mechanism that will open the border again.

Once more we see how the Bush administration (applauded and defended by each and every Republican on Capitol Hill) has fucked everything up! Any reasonable administration would have continued the back-channel diplomacy of Clinton and George the First, and thereby have some tools and room in which to operate. But not Mr Decider and Darth Vader, oh no!

Indeed, the fact that the loony at issue has his (shaky, stroke-ridden) finger on the button is directly due to neocon "magical thinking"--and if you think Mr McCain and the Hairdo have a plan to change all that, you are as crazy as Mr. Kim!

Now, I am by no means some Obama freak who faints at the recitation of his pearly words of wisdom, but I gotta ask--what's wrong with talking to our foes on the world stage? Hell, even Nixon went to China!

So, it appears from here that the choice is pretty clear cut: four more years of cynical neocon lies, intentional incompetence and demagoguery; or something else--a willingness to negotiate, a desire for peace, a tendency to roll up the sleeves and work at this difficult business of governing, rather than strutting, snickering, and lying through your teeth. Vote Democrat straight in 2008!

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