Speaking of people whose continued employment by major American newspapers is inexplicable, we have Mary McGrory of the WashPost.
She still doesn't like our foreign policy:
At a glance it would seem as if the warlords in the White House are as clueless as the frustrated police pursuing the shooter who has been rampaging through Washington's suburbs for the past 2 1/2 weeks.
George W. Bush, who had been doing a credible imitation of Alexander the Great conquering the known world, was stopped in his tracks by North Korea.
Excuse me? While "warlords" is just precious, and the Alexander the Great ref is hilarious, what, exactly, have we conquered?
Has not the President gone to Congress to seek authorization for the use of force? Has he not gone before the United Nations? Do his State Department minions not even now negotiate with France and Russia to hammer out a UN resolution acceptable to all?
In short, Mary, what the hell are you talking about?
Yes, representatives of Pyongyang's demented leader told a State Department envoy, they are working on a nuclear bomb.
Despite promises bought from them by appeasement as dictated by BIll Clinton and brokered by Jimmy Carter.You'd think that such a complete and utter failure of precisely the policy she advocated would at least cause McGrory a moment's pause. You'd be wrong.
Iraq, Bush's obsession, has been six months away from a nuke for years, and Bush wants to bomb, invade and occupy it. But here's North Korea's Kim Jong Il, who fits perfectly Bush's description of Saddam Hussein as "a homicidal dictator who is addicted to weapons of mass destruction."
Bush doesn't want to raise a finger against him.
"We seek a peaceful solution," said he.
Um...because Kim Jong Il has a couple of million men on the border with South Korea, and tens of thousands of artillery pieces within range of Seoul, which is only 40 miles from the border, and which is the capital city of an ally, and which contains several million civillians? Did you ever consider that, Mary? That an attack on North Korea will be orders of magnatitude more costly in terms of both U.S. military casualties and allied civillian casualties than an attack on Iraq?
It is true that there is a difference between Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il. Hussein is power mad; Kim is mad -- certifiably so, which could make him even more dangerous. And his nuclear program -- aided and abetted by our principal ally in the war against terror, Pakistan -- is farther along than Iraq's. Moving into the broken-promises area, North Korea has been no piker: Hussein has broken more U.N. resolutions, but Kim violated the all-important 1994 agreement on nonproliferation.
Signed by whom, Mary?
As for mass murder of their own people, they are twins. The president has been telling us of the crimes of Hussein, the gassing of the Kurds and the cruelties toward his real and official family. Kim has chosen another means of exterminating his citizenry. In the wake of flood and drought, North Korea faced famine, and some think as many as 2 million died. Kim manipulated humanitarian aid programs and starved people he deemed nonessential.
Bush has no comment.
What would you have him do, Mary? What is your policy? You've been writing this crap since the early 70's. Surely you must have some ideas of your own.
Oh, never mind. I forgot who I was talking about.
What has been drained off his crusade for sending the bombers over Baghdad is the moral imperative of regime change. If Hussein has to be removed because he is so loathsome, why not Kim? You had to go to the small tent city outside police headquarters in Rockville, where frustrated cops brief press from all over the world about what they don't know, to find a more flummoxed crew than the White House warlord. The most recent shooting was of a 47-year-old woman who had survived cancer; she was felled by a single shot as she and her husband loaded their car with Home Depot purchases. The horrible event was thought to have a redeeming feature -- a harvest of clues and eyewitness accounts. But it all vanished. Chagrined officers and officials said the cream-colored van, the olive-skinned man and the broken taillight were imagined and not seen.
Fuck you, Mary. There's no more polite way to say it.
Your gloating over the fact that our nation and our leader has had an awful, intractable, horribly dangerous problem dropped in our and his lap is disgusting. This is not about politics, or about scoring cheap points, or about stupid namecalling. This is about potentially millions of lives.
Bush is moving fast these days. The commander in chief spends all his time waging war on Democrats. He should perhaps pause long enough to explain to those in Congress why he withheld the news about North Korea's nuclear program from them for 12 days, making sure that the war resolution was safely passed without any distracting revelations. Democrats who voted for the resolution, particularly those who railed against it while doing so, might find an explanation to mitigate their embarrassment. They were prodded to a roll call by Bush's hard sell about the importance of every minute; they were also being hammered on the right for being "appeasers." Democrat Paul Wellstone, despite a stiff Republican challenge, bucked the tide and voted against the war. He is so far not paying any price. Even pro-war voters have commended him for showing guts.
Gasp! the President, a Republican, wants to help his party win, and help defeat members of the opposition party. Let's impeach the bastard!
Voters have long been accustomed to living with a double standard from both parties in dealing with troublesome foreigners. Little Cuba is still caught in a 40-year-old embargo because of its Communist dictator, while humongous China, with its brazen human rights violations, religious persecution and ruthless repression, is a partner.
There is a reason for that. You might remember the Cold War, Mary? It is, perhaps, time to change our policy towards China, but there were valid reasons for our behavior towards them.
But as we barrel down the road to war with Iraq, maybe we ought to quiz our unilateralist president about why it is necessary for us to bomb, invade and occupy Iraq while North Korea gets the striped-pants treatment. Is it because North Korea has a million men under arms? Is it because Kim Jong Il never threatened to kill Bush's father, or because he has no oil, or is not a Muslim? Maybe we should ask the advocates who dreamed for 10 years of invading Iraq. Do Richard Perle, Richard Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz believe in equal opportunity for tyrants? Their leader seems to be pointing the other way.
As noted above, Mary, since you're so goddamn ignorant - or willfully blind - our ally South Korea has a big say in the matter, since they will take thousands, perhaps tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties, if there is war with the North.
Maybe the President is not quite the evil "warlord" you'd like to believe he is, Mary, and he's not prepared to sacrifice thousands of South Korean lives simply in order to placate you.