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Politics Government News

North Korea Admits to Having Nuclear Weapons 2056

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we-knew-that-anyway dept.
steelvadi writes "North Korea has now admitted to possessing nuclear weapons. Government officials there claimed that they are needed as defense from an increasingly hostile attitude from Washington. It was also stated that N. Korea will not be reentering negotiations on disarmament for the foreseeable future. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

North Korea Admits to Having Nuclear Weapons

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  • Not Surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Adrilla (830520) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:17AM (#11629128) Homepage
    We all knew this already, but I wonder if we should worry more now that they've admitted it.
  • Well then.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ligur (453963) <or_inanc@hotmail. c o m> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:17AM (#11629132) Homepage
    I guess I won't be renewing my sattelite TV subscribtion.
    As I understand it WMD:s are only a threat if the dictator doesn't admit to having them!
  • Israel (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:18AM (#11629149)

    perhaps they could do the same and admit they have also illegally aqquired WMD too ?

    then we can move on to sanctions and UN inspections

  • by Robocrap (652257) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:18AM (#11629150) Homepage
    i saw this post regarding iran's nuclear weapons program yesterday, that is relevant to korea as well: "Ending Iran's WMD programmes will not prevent invasion from a hostile foreign power. The only way to ensure their security is to have a suitable deterrent. Their neighbours Iraq scrapped their WMD programmes and soon as they were suitably defenceless they were invaded. No state rogue or otherwise will now believe that complying with UN resolutions or appeasing a more powerful enemy will prevent attack. The USA's policy of 'Might is Right' is now to be cascaded throughout the world." -James, Newcastle, UK
  • by fmckee (632814) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:19AM (#11629158)
    1) Withdraw our troops from SK and clear the area for what comes next. 2) Let China deal with it.
  • by Adrilla (830520) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:19AM (#11629166) Homepage
    Yeah, good thing we raided big bad Iraq, while sweet lil' N. Korea was doing all of this.
  • by lucabrasi999 (585141) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:20AM (#11629173) Journal
    we should not believe anything that Kim Jong Il says without adequate proof.

    While your statement is true overall, I don't think it is true in the context of nuclear weapons. Everyone already knows that North Korea has more than a few nuclear warheads. In this case, by announcing that he has them, Kim Jong Il is playing a deadly game of chicken.

  • Oops... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:20AM (#11629177)


    I guess we invaded the wrong country... maybe we should elect presidents with a better grasp of geography. Or reality.

  • politics section (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jdowland (764773) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:21AM (#11629192)
    I thought 'why on earth is this article themed with the US flag - are north korean WMD only of interest to usa citizens?' then I realised that was the theme for politics.slashdot.org.

    Then I thought 'why on earth is this category themed with the US flag - are politics of interest to usa citizens?'
  • by Evan Meakyl (762695) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:22AM (#11629214)
    Yes, a big thanks to the United Nations and the UN weapons inspector Dr Hans Blix.
  • by Enoch Root (57473) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:22AM (#11629219)
    What does it matter if it's true or not? Kim Jong Il admitting to having WMDs is already more proof than was necessary to invade Irak...
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:23AM (#11629233)


    > What's even more frightening is that they're not willing to talk about it.

    What's really frightening is that we have an Administration that couldn't invade Iraq fast enough, all the while pretending that North Korea would just go away if we ignored it hard enough.

  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:24AM (#11629249) Homepage Journal
    So what if North Korea has nukes? That's a good thing.

    Same thing with Iran. I'm hoping they get nukes within a few years.

    Why? Because people with nukes don't do stupid things (excluding the U.S. of course).

    I've been saying this for a long time. Despite what the neocons would have you believe having nukes is a great way to make a country get its act together. In the case of North Korea they are protecting themselves from attack since any country that would attack them knows what to expect.

    On the other side North Korea knows that if it attacks someone what it can expect in return.

    The same with Iran.

    To those who say that countries like North Korea and Iran having nukes is a bad thing because they could sell/give the info to terrorists, think again. In the case of Iran the last thing the ruling mullahs want is to give a nuclear device or supplies to someone and have that same person/group turn around and set off that device in the middle of Tehran.

    On another point, take a look at India and Pakistan. They've had seven major wars since the two countries gained independence from Great Britain. However, as soon as India had their nuclear tests and Pakistan followed close behind, both countries have had several meaningful discussions on how to reduce tensions and learn to live peacefully with one another.

    I know it's an unpopular opinion but a country like North Korea or Iran having nukes is a good thing. It forces all sides to not be stupid.
  • by shreevatsa (845645) <shreevatsa...slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:25AM (#11629255)
    Well that may be true, but then why didn't you just go out and say it? Why didn't you say that you had to invade Iraq so that it wouldn't have WMDs in the future... instead of the saying that you were invading it because it already had weapons of mass destruction?
    The end does not always justify the means?
  • Not surprised (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Dracolytch (714699) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:25AM (#11629256) Homepage
    Huh... Imagine that. Go around beating the crap out of smaller countries because you can, and sooner or later they'll ~really~ start posessing the means of defending themselves.

    Our government has acted like a bully for a long time, especially recently. We can only push so many people around before they start pushing back.

    You get what you give.
    ~D
  • by That's Unpossible! (722232) * on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:25AM (#11629257)
    "Their neighbours Iraq scrapped their WMD programmes and soon as they were suitably defenceless they were invaded. No state rogue or otherwise will now believe that complying with UN resolutions or appeasing a more powerful enemy will prevent attack. The USA's policy of 'Might is Right' is now to be cascaded throughout the world."

    Ummm, except that they were in violation of UN sanctions, and had been in violation for over a decade. Even the UN does not dispute this. The only dispute was whether it was the right time to attack, or should further diplomacy be had.

    If Iraq had not been in violation of UN sanctions, the coalition would not have been willing to mount the war.
  • Re:Korea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:25AM (#11629258) Homepage Journal

    But did they start making the nuclear weapons only after Washington started turning hostile?

    You don't believe Washington turned hostile in 2001, do you?
  • by asoap (740625) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:25AM (#11629260)
    You're absolutely right. It's sad that in order to prevent your country from being attacked, you have to be able to assure "MAD", Mutually Assured Destruction.

    The States has proven with their pre-emptive attack that if you don't have WMDs, you are a threat.

    It's such messed up logic. I can see why every single country that poses a threat to the U.S. will try to arm themselves now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:25AM (#11629264)
    You don't realize that we had to invade Iraq just so that it would not become another North Korea?

    Uh, no. We invaded Iraq over North Korea because we knew we could kick Saddam's ass. If we had invaded North Korea, Kim Jong Il would have responded by lobbing a few nuclear warheads into Tokyo and/or Seoul.

  • by ezavada (91752) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:26AM (#11629271)
    Hmm... a government hostile to ours with nuclear weapons is a real threat to us. They won't negotiate with us and they certainly won't give up their nuclear weapons. We'd better make it clear that any hostile action can be met with nuclear response. Especially since they have expressed a desire to remake the world in their image, and have used military force to do so in the past -- I'm sure that's what the North Koreans are thinking when they look at the US. And of course that's what the US is thinking as is looks at North Korea. I doubt this will be an easy one to resolve.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:26AM (#11629273)
    Let's pretend you are a mid-east country. You say you don't mass destruction weapons. They send watchers who find nothing. Eventually when is clear they have no MDW and cannot harm us, you invade the country.

    Maybe the solution is playing pretend: "OF COURSE I HAVE THEM AND I'M READY TO USE THEM ON YOU"

    Jataimi in Iran is doing the same. What pretends C.Rice saying "we are not invading Iran ... yet" is she creating a menace? is she forcing the "axes of evil" to arm themselves "for protection"?

    sad sad world.
  • by MartinG (52587) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:26AM (#11629274) Homepage Journal
    And what exactly is "another North Korea"?

    We all know where Iraq got by not having any serious weapons, by allowing inspectors in, and generally doing what the west told them. That's right, they got illegally invaded and the place turned to chaos.

    If by "another North Korea" you mean a country prepared to stand up to outrageous american threats then we could do with a few more North Koreas.
  • Re: Checklist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:27AM (#11629287)


    Lesse...

    North Korea:
    Dictator: Check
    Oppressed people: Check
    No legitimate elections: Check
    WMDs: Check
    Threatening to the West: Check

    Send in the troops! What's that? We're going to use diplomacy instead? We're going to try to avoid tens of thousands of deaths and injured? Wow, good thinking. Too bad about that other country...


    You neglected the all-important:

    Has major portion of world's oil supply: nope.

  • by Engineer-Poet (795260) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:28AM (#11629310) Homepage Journal
    You don't believe that North Korea was all sweetness and light until Washington got belligerent, do you?
  • by GodBlessTexas (737029) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:30AM (#11629334) Journal
    You may or may not remember that part of the UN resolution that stopped Gulf War I was not only that they end their chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs, but that they also show PROOF that they had done so. Saddam never presented any such proof. Hence, Saddam didn't comply with the UN resoltuions in the first place.

    However, now this whole SNAFU is a convenient excuse to ignore UN resolutions, but again, they usually got ignored anyway.
  • Re:Israel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:30AM (#11629340)
    "Israel
    perhaps they could do the same and admit they have also illegally aqquired WMD too ?
    then we can move on to sanctions and UN inspections"

    No, it doesn't quite work like that. Whether you agree with it or not, we don't do that to our allies.... notice that france and england both have nuclear weapons also. (and i just found out today, belgium does too)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:30AM (#11629345)
    I think that's his point. Washington has been war-mongering for decades. North Korea has been stockpiling in step.
    duuhhhh...
  • by lythander (21981) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:31AM (#11629349)
    Not that we didn't (or shouldn't have) know(n), but it presented a governing coalition with an agenda and a chip on it's collective shoulder an excuse, a mechanism by which to dupe a credulous population.

    I think this particular whack job (Kin Jong Il) wants the sort of respectful, diplomatic (by comparison) treatment Iran is getting, rather than the sabre rattling it gets now. Let's face it, if South Korea weren't completely held hostage and likely to lose 10^6 people in a week should a real war break out, North Korea would have already have been invaded.
  • by *weasel (174362) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:31AM (#11629355)
    'Everyone already knew' that Saddam had WMDs too.

    Maybe it's just me, but I'm not too eager to put put too much stock into what 'everyone' in the world community 'knows'.
  • by MooseByte (751829) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:32AM (#11629365)

    "You don't realize that we had to invade Iraq just so that it would not become another North Korea?"

    We need to invade any country that might someday start up a viable nuke program? Wow, by your logic that sure is a LONG list of countries that need invading ASAP. And STILL completely ignores the countries that now have or are very close to REAL WMD, not phantoms painted on an oil-rich country.

    And do you know why those countries accelerated (pun?) their efforts? They realized that America does NOT go after countries that have the Bomb. They also realize that America can't open a new war front. We're too tied down in a country that posed NO immediate threat to us, so the guys with the real nuke programs get to pursue them at will. We're currently toothless, and they know it.

    Anyway, laugh it up, all the dead soldiers appreciate it.

    Irony - you should look it up sometime.

  • Uh oh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JessLeah (625838) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:33AM (#11629385)
    Watch the far right go absolutely ape-shit on this one.

    Note to any far-right-wingers reading this (by any odd chance): Please, PLEASE don't start a war with the North Koreans. Kim Jong Il is crazy. Please, PLEASE don't threaten a crazy man.

    Sad thing is, he's right when he claims that they need the weapons as a defense against the US. Our current President thinks he's a cowboy, and treats every encounter with a nation that doesn't agree with us as a showdown in front of the OK Corral. He thinks he's the guy wearing the badge and they're the evil felon in all black... Well, it ain't that simple. North Korea might be evil, but the US is evil too. Just less evil (arguably) and evil in different ways.

    North Korea doesn't, for instance, operate a huge network of sweatshops all around the world to supply its uncaring citizens with cheap clothing. It doesn't sell its citizens massively fattening foods and mindless TV that attempts to turn the whole country into a giant farm of happy, mindless, fat cash cows for a few select billionaires to milk dry. The US (specifically, its businesses, with the tacit approval-- or at least complete lack of viable disapproval-- of its government) does those things, however.

    American businesses are just slightly less corrupt than North Korean politicians. And have a whole boatload more power over the world at large.

    The US vs. North Korea is not white vs. black. It's gray vs. slightly darker gray.
  • by Adrilla (830520) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:33AM (#11629389) Homepage
    I don't think Bush is stupid (I won't say he's the smartest president). But his priorities are out of whack. We attack a relatively weak Iraq to draw attention away from the fact that we can't capture Bin Laden, and while on this diversionary mission, not only does much more dangerous N. Korea get nuclear capabilities; next door neighbor Iran gets them too. So he's not a stupid person, but he is a stupid president. (oh! did I mention his Iraq exit strategy? NO? Well maybe that's because he didn't have one going in and still doesn't)
  • by ch-chuck (9622) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:36AM (#11629426) Homepage
    for pulling Gen. MacArthur off the Korean war instead of letting him finish the job with more resources, at risk of War with China.
  • by lucabrasi999 (585141) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:36AM (#11629435) Journal
    'Everyone already knew' that Saddam had WMDs too.

    Actually, only one group of people 'knew' that Saddam had WMD's. And, those people happen to populate the West Wing of the White House. Remember, Colin Powell had to testify before the UN on the 'proof' of the WMD's, and the UN still didn't buy into the 'proof'.

    In the case of North Korea, I imagine if, last year, you asked any Intelligence Agency in the world about North Korea and nukes, you would have received a positive response.

  • by JavaLord (680960) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:37AM (#11629443) Journal
    Hmm... a government hostile to ours with nuclear weapons is a real threat to us. They won't negotiate with us and they certainly won't give up their nuclear weapons. We'd better make it clear that any hostile action can be met with nuclear response.

    Oh they will negotiate, they want more foreign aid. It's standard US policy that any nuclear attack on the US will lead to nuclear retalitation. That is a card North Korea can bluff with but never play. Even if they did, they would be lucky if any of their missles could hit the continental US. Sorry Hawaii ^_^.
  • Softly, softly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dammital (220641) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:38AM (#11629468)
    We'd better make it clear that any hostile action can be met with nuclear response.
    Seoul is 40 miles away from the DMZ, and has 10 million people. Rattling swords is a touchy business.
  • by sxpert (139117) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:39AM (#11629479)
    But his priorities are out of whack

    it depends, you don't know his priorities.
    For all I know he is more interested in grabbing all the oil he can from irak, using the weapons of mass destruction as a pretext
  • by daem0n1x (748565) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:39AM (#11629483)
    That "baddies" and "goodies" speech is a little braindead, don't you think? Real life is not like super-hero comics.
  • by rokzy (687636) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:42AM (#11629528)
    are you American?

    well, outside of America, everyone knew Saddam DIDN'T have WMDs. the inspectors didn't find a single thing.

    if you were surprised that troops didn't find any WMDs then you were watching the wrong news channel before the war.
  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <<ten.suomafni> <ta> <smt>> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:42AM (#11629530) Homepage
    You don't realize that we had to invade Iraq just so that it would not become another North Korea?

    Hussein's Iraq was in no position to do anything but dream of becoming another North Korea. As the complete failure of the search for WMDs shows, the sanctions worked perfectly adequately to keep them from developing nukes.

    Meanwhile, the invasion demonstrated to the world that the U.S. will not be restrained by law, ethics, or common sense; so if we don't like your nation, the only way you might be secure against U.S. invasion is to develop WMDs.

  • by Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:42AM (#11629537) Homepage
    Not entirely, this admission raises the spectre of a Japan having to develope nukes to protect themselves from a nuclear N. Korea. The thought of a nuclear Japan really ruins China's day, so there maybe some real friction in the region.
  • by swb (14022) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:43AM (#11629546)
    No state rogue or otherwise will now believe that complying with UN resolutions or appeasing a more powerful enemy will prevent attack.

    Rogue states always believed that a mixture of diplomatic stalling (cf. Microsoft Anti-Trust Settlements) and, most importantly, the relatively high cost of ground invasion and the reluctance to do so in a post-Vietnam world, is what protected them.

    I also don't believe that posession of a nuclear weapon is a deterrent to any U.S. military action, either, since these states seldom have the means to produce more than a handful of low-yield weapons and lack the ability to deliver them outside their own theater.

    They're not defensive weapons unless they can be delivered against their adversary's homeland. You don't nuke your own country as a defensive measure against invading forces. Well you can, but that's like chopping off your leg..

    Furthermore these states (with the possible exception of North Korea) are rational actors and realize that the use of any nuclear weapon against the United States or its allies would result in a nucleare retaliation that would end their governments and quite possibly close the book on their nations.
  • Re:So? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by df200 (577345) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:44AM (#11629567)
    I know it's an unpopular opinion but a country like North Korea or Iran having nukes is a good thing. It forces all sides to not be stupid.
    In principle you are right. Let's just hope that Dr. Strangelove doesn't turn into reality.
  • by Eminence (225397) <akbrandt AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:46AM (#11629584) Homepage
    Knee-jerk???? If any regime on Earth really deserves to be invaded and dismantled by the civilized nations of the world it is North Korea. And not because it has atomic weapons, no, but because it is the worst place on this planet since Auschwitz crematoriums ceased to work and Stalin died. Even Cuba is a paradise both in terms of economy (haven't heard of people dying from hunger there) and freedoms (on Cuba you are for example free to choose your profession and you don't have to worship whole family of Fidel three generations back). In North Korea people have 200 grams / 8 ounces food ration to survive on. Their kids are raised from the age of 4 in worship of the Dear Leader and his f**king, fortunately now dead, father. Everyone is a secret police informer. There is no private possessions or privacy of any kind - at least not for general population. They have no access to Internet, satellite TV or even foreign radio. Their nice capital is amazing because... there are no old people there (they get deported so that they don't spoil the looks). Hell, they even have concentration camps out there complete with gas chambers operating right now, in the 21st century. It is impossible for normal people to imagine the misery of people living there...

    And please, before anyone replies to this with some pacifist BS just one suggestion: learn something about this country. I've talked to people who visited North Korea, I've even met a North Korean back in the eighties. I've read their own propaganda materials. This is an unforgettable experience, it is almost impossible not to feel compassion for those poor people who had the terrible misfortune to be born in this hell. Civilized world should do something about it if it is to be worthy that term.

  • by TheConfusedOne (442158) <the.confused.one@ g m ail.com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:46AM (#11629597) Journal
    Let's see, we already had direct negotiations with North Korea over nuclear proliferation.

    Turns out that after agreeing to everything and getting their huge bribes (errr, international aid) they still went ahead and built the nukes.

    You know there's supposed to be something used besides a carrot to make a carrot work.

    Right now, the ONLY way to break the dead-lock with North Korea is to get China involved. China is the single largest supplier of aid to North Korea. If they agree to clamp down then something can be done, otherwise we're just sending more bribe money to a liar and a cheat.
  • Re:Not Surprising (Score:1, Insightful)

    by mirko (198274) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:47AM (#11629602) Journal
    Admitted ?
    Can someone point me to the article they actually published on their Press Agency web site [kcna.co.jp] ?

    I don't see such an announcement, at least not dated from today.
    Here's the only announcement which contains the word "nuclear" :
    The U.S. has talked much about the "six-way talks" over the "nuclear issue," asserting that "it has no intention to invade the north", but it is aimed to cover up its aggressive nature, he noted, warning that one should not be taken in by such trick of the U.S.

    The anti-Americanism of the south Korean people has gained momentum in the wake of the June 15 joint declaration, he said. He expressed the conviction that the mindset of the south Korean people following leader Kim Jong Il and supporting his Songun policy will grow stronger as the days go by and national reunification will come true thanks to this policy.

    So, I just wonder whether it's not in the news because CNN of Fox put it there : Iraq and Tunamis just stopped selling.
    They need a new fresher war to sell more pictures.
  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:47AM (#11629604)
    who cares, if they decide to do something bad then they'll get smashed to smithereens, but probability wise i bet they just have them to threaten and scare big people like the u.s. who likes to lurch over them and poke them in the buttocks.
    By "something bad" I'm going to guess you mean "sell a nuke to a terrorist organization who then puts it on a ship and sails it into New York's harbour and detonates it wiping out millions of US citizens".

    Is that what you meant?

    I can see how some people might find that "annoy[ing]".
  • by Enoch Root (57473) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:47AM (#11629607)
    1. They had WMDs? Oh, do you mean the chemical weapons they received from the US and other allies to use on Iran in the 80's, which they turned on the Kurds, and which they were forced to disarm after the first Gulf War?

    2. Ok, so... According to you, the UN didn't find anything in Irak, NOT because they weren't there despite the US's best efforts to find them after they marched in claiming to have 100% PROOF that they did, BUT because the UN inspectors were inept? Sure, buddy. Whatever you say.
  • Re:So? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GoofyBoy (44399) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:48AM (#11629615) Journal
    >Why? Because people with nukes don't do stupid things (excluding the U.S. of course).

    How can you say when USSR and USA had nukes pointed at each other able to destroy each other multiple times over within 20 minutes was not stupid?

    The best that you can say is that countries with nukes haven't done any thing stupid, YET.

    >In the case of North Korea they are protecting themselves from attack since any country that would attack them knows what to expect.

    Yes, and thats what causes an arm race. You hit me, I'll hit you harder. How is this a good thing?

    >However, as soon as India had their nuclear tests and Pakistan followed close behind, both countries have had several meaningful discussions on how to reduce tensions and learn to live peacefully with one another.

    The last major war was in 1971. Its only recently that nukes got involved.

    >I know it's an unpopular opinion but a country like North Korea or Iran having nukes is a good thing. It forces all sides to not be stupid.

    Having nukes does not suddenly embude the political leaders with intellence bonus, this is not the game Civilization. Now their mistakes are that much larger. How is this not stupid?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:49AM (#11629637)
    Even the UN is based on this fact. That's why the US can (and does) veto any negotiation it doesn't agree with.
  • by asoap (740625) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:49AM (#11629640)
    Ok, maybe "pose a threat" is the wrong words to use, maybe the better words to use were "Countries that the United States thinks pose a threat". Maybe I should have spelt that out, but I wasn't arguing wether these countries were a threat to the United States or not.

    The argument was that the United States will say that "They have weapons of Mass Destruction" when they don't, and then attack. But if they DO have weapons of mass destruction that argument won't be said simply because the United State wouldn't want to risk an attack with a country that has nukes.

    Then again, I could be wrong. I wouldn't put it pass the U.S. to attack anyway.

    But it's interesting that you bring up the part about the countries being run by BAD PEOPLE. Now I won't argue that the dictator of N.Korea is an asshole or not, I personally think that he is. But I will argue that the BAD PEOPLE defense is very relative. You can find a lot of people in the Mid East who think the exact same thing about the United States, and also believe that the United States is out to "GET" them, and to ruin there way of life.

    It's that very thinking that causes terrorisim. "The United States is out to _get us_, so we have to go bomb them to stop them."

    Also alot of this is a results of the United States protecting it's oil intrests in the middle east. Such as giving Iraq military intelligence in it's fight against Iran. So good guy Saddam Hussien could find out when those evil Iranians were going to attack and from where. You can see why Iran might have a grudge with the U.S. over stuff like that.

    Now I don't want to say that I'm right and that they are wrong, I do want to say that there is a lot more to this then just your president pointing to a country on a map, and saying there evil, and everyone just believes it, and attacks. There is so much more, and that type of action and thinking just creates more problems, and continues to increase the risk of terrorisim in the U.S. instead of decreasing it.

  • by deanj (519759) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:50AM (#11629663)
    Only one group? Quit your revisionist history bullshit. Here's one of many articles that clears up this bit of FUD:


    From the Washington Post [washingtonpost.com]


    Clinton's Secretary of Defense, William Cohen: "I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons. . . . I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out."


    Jacques Chirac: "we have to find and destroy them [Iraq's weapons of mass destruction]."


    Hans Blix: Iraq possesses 650 kilograms of "bacterial growth media," enough "to produce . . . 5,000 litres of concentrated anthrax."


    Al Gore: "[Saddam Hussein has] stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."


    Bill Clinton describing "[Iraq's] offensive biological warfare capability, notably 5,000 gallons of botulinum, which causes botulism; 2,000 gallons of anthrax; 25 biological-filled Scud warheads; and 157 aerial bombs.": "...Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions, a small force of Scud-type missiles, and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons."

  • Re:Not Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JavaLord (680960) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:50AM (#11629670) Journal
    And we shouldn't worry that the US has more nuclear bombs than any other country?

    Russia still has more nuclear bombs than any other country. They went more for 'quantity' in the cold war why the US went for 'quality'.

    We shouldn't worry that Bush commands them?

    Please, enough with the reactionary Bush bashing. He's not dropping 'the bomb' on anyone. If he didn't do it post 9/11 it's not coming unless the US faces nuclear attack from an actual state.

    Maybe the US's hipocracy is why North Korea stopped talking.

    North Korea is just running this scam for all it's worth to get more foriegn aid for it's starving populace and to ensure that South Korea is no threat. This has little to do with US foreign policy in the middle east over the past few years. That may be North Korea's excuse, but as is always in politics what people say is the cause for something, and what the actual cause is are two different things.

  • by cybrthng (22291) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:51AM (#11629690) Journal
    It's just now officially policy.

    The BIG question isn't the intentions of N. Korea but what the US will do.

    The Sad part is, living in the US i don't even know what we will do. Isn't it great when the foreign policy of a nation is scretive to its own people that government is supposed to serve and protect?

    I certainly hope it won't be war, i certainly hope our government can get back to civil politics and i hope that we learn from the past so we aren't doomed to repeat it.
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@gmail.cRASPom minus berry> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:51AM (#11629694)
    Iraq never 'kicked out' the weapons inspectors in 1998, Clinton pulled them out. They were never asked to leave, they were never threatened, they were never forced out of the country.

    Iraq may have been in non compliance with inspection requirements, but thats not to say that the UK/US invasion was legitimate or legal. There was a reason this wasnt a UN led operation, the lack of convincing evidence presented to the UN security council. Those who voted against military action in the security council based on the evidence presented were ultimately proved right - so far theres been nothing of any substance discovered.

    Hans Blix is also quoted as saying Iraq did not possess the weapons or materials that the US and the UK said they did - but I see most people overlook this little matter. Face it, Iraqs invasion was Bushes way of tying up loose ends rather than anything legitimate and good. The arguement that 'Saddam was a bad man' doesnt hold up. Yes, its good hes gone, yes, he was evil. Unfortunately, when you dispose of governments in that way, you face a very real risk of becoming that which you are dealing with.
  • I'm so ronery (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:52AM (#11629698)
    I'm So Ronery
    I'm so ronery
    So ronery
    So ronery and sadry arone

    There's no one
    Just me onry
    Sitting on my rittle throne
    I work very hard and make up great prans
    But nobody ristens, no one understands
    Seems that no one takes me serirousry

    And so I'm ronery
    A little ronery
    Poor rittre me

    There's nobody
    I can rerate to
    Feer rike a bird in a cage
    It's kinda sihry
    But not rearry
    Because it's fihring my body with rage

    I work rearry hard and I'm physicarry fit
    But nobody here seems to rearize that
    When I rure the world maybe they'rr notice me
    But untir then I'rr just be ronery
    Rittre ronery, poor rittre me
    I'm so ronery
    I'm so ronery
  • Re:Uh oh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spamfiltertest (820587) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:56AM (#11629758) Journal
    You are right; North Korea doesn't do those 'evil' things corporate America does. It may be because they don't have the resources, or because they wish to keep the power in the hands of a few.... however.... The BLACK and WHITE truth is that we have a choice to buy into the "evil" that is corporate America or not. North Koreans don't have a choice on their life, or life style.... we do.
  • Acctually.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:56AM (#11629761)
    they were the most reasonable they had ever been. The relatively recent policy of the Bush Sr. and Clinton administrations had been almost entirely successful in encouraging them to give up their 50 year policy of brinksmanship. They even showed extrodinary patience (a distinctly unNorth Korean trait) as an unreasonably and hostile congress held back parts of the hard won agreement. The beligerance of North Korea today is ENTIRELY the fault of the Republican party, and it started with Newty in 1992. Incidentally, the same year the CIA averted WWIII by dismanteling Taiwan's nuclear weapons program which was taking place LITERALLY under the noses of the IAEA. Through a trapdoor, specifically.

    North Korea use to just suck if you lived there. Now it sucks if you're within 9,000 miles of it. Yay, Bush. Why didn't God magic that ok?
  • by Ironsides (739422) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:56AM (#11629766) Homepage Journal
    Even if they did, they would be lucky if any of their missles could hit the continental US. Sorry Hawaii ^_^.

    I'd be more sorry about Guam, American Samoa, Japan and South Korea personally. (among others)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:58AM (#11629790)
    What pretends C.Rice saying "we are not invading Iran ... yet" is she creating a menace?

    Yeah, if I was running Iran, I'd be concentrating completely on making nuclear weapons and WMD right now. And I am sure that they are - you never admit to making them obviously, only to having them when you finally do! Chemical WMD to attack troops that invade, nuclear weapons to destroy cities in nearby countries that are allied with the west. Possibly Saudi Arabia, dunno if they'd reach Japan but they might.

    The USA had it easy in Iraq because, well, you invaded a country that didn't have WMD or nuclear weapons, so troop losses have been minimal. All that has done is convince a lot of other countries that capitulating to "don't make WMD or nuclear weapons" demands is a recipe for getting invaded. So future invasions will most likely end up with tens of thousands of *invading* troops killed - losses I don't think the American public could accept.
  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:59AM (#11629813)


    > If you really think Iraq was invaded for "weapons of mass destruction" or "oil" you are brain dead.

    Well, I don't think it was for WMD; I think that was just a deceptive excuse that the Warcriminal in Chief thought he could get away with.

    As for oil... yes, that was a major reason. The '91 war left Iraq isolated and restricted on selling its oil output, with no resolution in sight. The Bush Administration found that situation unsatisfactory, and used the first possible excuse to do something about it.

    > Iraq was simply a front in 'war on terror' or the christian/secularist vs radical islamic war.

    Yeah, right. The only Islamicist terrorist organization in Iraq was thriving under our protection in the northern no-fly zone.

    > The war was brought to Bagdad so it wouldn't be fought in Boise.

    Funny, people used to justify fighting in Vietnam so we wouldn't have to fight commies in California.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:01AM (#11629832) Homepage Journal
    Oh, get off your high horse. It's so good to see that you are so willing to ignore two important facts:
    Oh, now come on, as analogies and the rewriting of history goes, that takes the cake.

    Iraq did have WMDs and used them on its own people... in the 1980s. This it did without any comeuppance. It wasn't until Iraq invaded Kuwait that the entire issue became one of concern to the rest of the world. The invasion was reversed, Iraq surrendered, agreed to destroy its WMDs, and promptly - under the guidance of the UN weapons inspections - promptly did. Meanwhile Saddam continued to terrorise his own people, just without using WMDs. The only silver lining was that the group terrorised became smaller and smaller until, by the end of the 90s, Saddam ran around a third of Iraq.

    Your analogy is entirely wrong. If this really were a DEA/drug dealer thing, it'd happen a bit like this: The DEA goes in at the start, with an agreement to let the drug dealer avoid stiffer penalties if he destroys his drugs. The DEA watches him do this, but then the two reach a stalemate where the DEA hangs around on the off chance there's something it missed and the dealer is upset about the invasion of privacy this ensues. Eventually he kicks the DEA out, holes himself up in his house for a few months surrounded by armed police, finally lets the DEA back in, the DEA confirm that they believe there are no drugs in the house but would appreciate a little more cooperation from the sulking dealer, and finally the cops raid the house anyway.

    Note the analogy is stupid, but that's because you came up with it.

    Hans Blix was right. The right wing morons who insisted he and his team were stupid, incompetent, or whatever, really owe him a massive apology, and, FWIW, a debt of thanks. Yes, thanks. Because if he and his predecessors hadn't done their job, Iraq would have had WMDs, and there'd be a hell of a lot of dead Americans, British, Italians, and other allies outside Baghdad.

  • by nsupathy (515587) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:02AM (#11629846)
    Nope. Pakistan and North Korea has traded missiles and nuclear device to each other. North Korean nuclear weapons are from Pakistan and they are tested indeed.
  • by jac1962 (822171) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:02AM (#11629851) Homepage
    You only have to look at those poor, suffering Japanese and Germans to know that America wants to rule the world.
  • Re:Not Surprising (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ari_j (90255) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:03AM (#11629860)
    Russia may have more in numbers (something I don't know the veracity of but will accept for the sake of argument), but the US has more over nuclear power. The best part is several of the states, particularly North Dakota and probably Utah and Colorado as well, are home to enough missile silos that any one of them seceding from the Union would become the world's third-strongest nuclear nation. Of course, the US wouldn't exactly hand over the launch codes to a seceding state, so that's kind of irrelevant, but interesting nonetheless. ;)
  • by intnsred (199771) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:03AM (#11629867) Homepage
    But as long as we're talking about stupid presidents, how about Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter giving them the freaking reactors?

    The arrangement worked out by Clinton, using Carter as the go-between, was to build light water reactors in exchange for the DPRK doing away with their heavy water reactors. It was a good deal.

    Light water reactors (the kind the Russians are building in Iran, BTW) use fuel that is much, much harder to enrich into weapons-grade material, and they are easier for inspectors to monitor.

    In short, the Clinton deal engaged North Korea and would have worked to stop or slow their weapons programs. Bush stopped the Clinton deal's funding and changed to a hard-line approach, and now we see ourselves in the present situation.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:08AM (#11629925) Journal

    you understand why an Iraq-style attack on them is out of the question, right?

    Because we'd actually have to justify it to the American people and explain to them why the sacrifice was required? Make no mistake: Either the United States or South Korea could defeat the North in a military confrontation. The price (tens of thousands of troops, the likely destruction of Seoul, possible strikes against Japan) is just too high to be paid.

    As scary as that SOB (Kim Jong il) is I'm more worried about Iran in the grand scheme of things. North Korea at least (by and large) still behaves as a nation-state. Kim Jong knows that if he attacks Seoul, Tokyo or Honolulu we can turn Pyongyang into a glass parking lot. He might rattle his saber but that's as far as it's likely to go. The same limitation might not exist in the minds of Islamic Jihadists who think that martyring themselves against the "Great Satan" gives them everlasting life and 30 virgins.

    We can only hope and pray that the reformist movement in Iran is the real deal. I don't want to see Tel Aviv or Washington nuked anytime soon.

  • by B2382F29 (742174) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:09AM (#11629929)
    Except that the US accused Iraq of driving around their labs on trucks (nice made up pictures btw.) and even lied to the UN about baby massacres. As you might remember, Iraq did give a shitload of paper and CDs with "Proof", but unfortunately "too late" for the Bush-administration. IMHO, that "too late" smells a lot like "we don't care what you say, we will invade you anyway....". Oh, and the UN inspectors were making great progress when they were taken out of the country to prepare the attack. (And please no more "they didn't follow the UN resolution", there are plenty of other resolutions not followed but you don't see the US enforcing them....)
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:10AM (#11629944) Homepage
    Funny, people used to justify fighting in Vietnam so we wouldn't have to fight commies in California.

    I remember thinking that myself. Funny no one ever stood up and said we screwed up in Viet Nam. Just like no one can just come out and say we screwed up in Iraq. For some reason we have to collectively go on kidding ourselves that there was some grand purpose, some lofty goal. It was a screw up, plain and simple, and everyone knows it except for 52% of the population. You can't ever make progress denying reality (but apparently you can get re-elected). The truth really will set you free but continuing to live a lie costs 4 billion a month.

  • by operagost (62405) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:14AM (#11629993) Homepage Journal
    Funny how you didn't quote the parent poster's last paragraph where he points out his first-hand experience with a North Korean immigrant and North Korean propaganda publications. Probably because it invalidates your "argument."
  • by dfn5 (524972) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:15AM (#11630000) Journal
    The point was we invaded the wrong country. Obviously Iraq has no weapons, and N.K. does.

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <<ten.suomafni> <ta> <smt>> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:16AM (#11630010) Homepage
    How is it then that all of those other countries are able to prevent themselves from being attacked?

    They aren't. Any non-nuclear nation on the face of the earth is protected only by not being important to us, or by sympathy of nations we care about.

    Since WWII the U.S. has engaged overt military interventions or in major covert operations in nations including Cuba, Guatemala, Panama, Iran, Grenada, Lebanon, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Libya, Somalia, Haiti, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and, oh yeah, we're still involved in the Korean war (there's been a long cease fire but the war is still in effect).

    The historical lesson is clear: we want you, your ass is ours. Unless you've got nukes.

  • by JudgeFurious (455868) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:20AM (#11630069)

    I disagree with you. I believe the reason North Korea wasn't invaded (and will not be invaded by the US) is simply summarized with one word, "China".

    The best way to deal with Kim and his nukes is through China. Sure they don't particularly want to get involved but he's their puppet nutbar and not ours. The only sane path to checking this guy and his new toys is to put the pressure on China. Reign in that little freak or we're going to find ourselves another country to make pretty much everything we use. There are plenty of candidates out there.

    Economic power is the way to go here. It's not as cool and flashy as military power but then it's also not nearly so expensive in lives. We won't do it though. No way will we do it.
  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:23AM (#11630118)
    Home of the unqualified opinion!

    Well, here's mine. It hasn't been brought up yet, so let's see if anyone considers it insightful...

    The Chinese are not our enemies in this issue. They actually fear a totally destabilized N. Korea as well. That they came to the rescue in the Korean War belies a much more complicated truth about the relationship between Koreans and Chinese. China, on the verge of becoming the 2nd superpower economically, is really not all tha keen on seeing Kim Il Jong do things like test fire intermediate range missiles into the Sea of Japan. They know that quite a few U.S. boomers are riding the coast of Korea, and will have Trident IIs arriving on target in minutes if we think a nuke had been actually launched, at either the West Coast (which we know they cannot yet reach) or Japan. And they know that the Chinese would not respond.

    The worst case scenario really is, that NK's increasing starving and helpless population is thrust under some stupid pretext into an attack on S. Korea and a nuclear weapon is moved to the front and detonated and then denied. Again, I think the U.S. would go nuclear if that happened.

    Prosperity of S. Korea combined with an internal assassination campaign is probably Washington's strategy. It's best to fight this one using spies and satellites, a conventional invasion would be pointless and unlike Iraq, we don't want to assert control over the region.
  • What??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@NOsPAM.Gmail.com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:25AM (#11630143) Homepage Journal
    "...all the while pretending that North Korea would just go away if we ignored it hard enough."

    That's absolute bullshit. We NEVER ignored North Korea. North Korea was second only to Iraq in terms of rogue nations we were concerned with. Not even Iran ranked that high until now. Have you ever actually LISTENED to Bush's speeches on national security? Hello Axis of Evil!

    And this begs the question, what would you have the President do about NK? Hmmm? Diplomacy? We've been doing that intensley. Sanctions? They're starving already, and I doubt you would have supported that option anyway. Invasion? I KNOW you wouldn't have supported that. So other than just criticizing Bush, what would you have had him do? Throw money at North Korea? We've BEEN doing that for over a decade. Hell, Clinton GAVE them reactor technology if they'd promise pretty please not to use it for military applications. Unhhh huhhhh. THAT was bright, eh?

    So do you actually have any solutions to the NK problem? Or are you just going to bash Bush for it?
  • Re:Retaliation!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ezavada (91752) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:26AM (#11630159)
    So let me get this straight. They protest that the US government is hypocritical because it doesn't support human rights and you offer as defense that something about American nuclear policy?

    How about this:

    Bush in his State of the Union address said that it was the goal of the US to promote freedom thoughout the world, for all people everywhere.

    Meanwhile, he appointed one of the masterminds of the American human rights abuses in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib as the chief law enforcement officer in the US.

    It sure doesn't sound like he's very sincere.
  • by ggvaidya (747058) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:26AM (#11630165) Homepage Journal
    So what does the Doomsday clock [thebulletin.org] say about this? I'll put my money on five minutes to (it's currently at seven minutes to, and i think the closest we've ever been was two minutes to in 1953).
  • by love2hateMS (588764) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:31AM (#11630236)
    Hello??? North Korea blackmails the rest of the world. Jimmy Carter responds by giving them, what was the number again, $10 billion?

    You celebrate this as victory for diplomacy.

    Now North Korea is back blackmailing again, and people like you are gonna just keep bending over for them.
  • by PhYrE2k2 (806396) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:31AM (#11630242)
    The reality is that the US is the largest holder of nuclear weapons in the world right now. The US is then the one telling everyone else to disarm their weapons? Not only that, but the US has just invaded TWO (read: TWO) countries in the past TWO YEARS, with eyes set on a third (Iran)- each of the two invaded showed no evidence of having nuclear weapons of any kind, and really posed a minimal threat overall towards the US (in comparison to the retailiation).

    So can you blame them for hanging on to some weapons? Either the whole world disarms at once (creating well... peace) or nobody's going to do it... especially with a president who lies to his entire country to further his personal agenda.

    N. Korea is its own country governed by its own laws and operating its own military. Until it uses these weapons against another country, we can't say a thing.

    We all know the power of nukes- nobody will blindly send a nuke unless the US is dumb enough to go in there- oh crap- we're screwed!

    -M
  • Re:Uh oh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eminence (225397) <akbrandt AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:34AM (#11630293) Homepage

    Yes, I'm going ape on this one. I'm going ape because each time I think of NK I imagine the life of those poor bastards who were born there and when I do this I almost cry.

    You write about "massively fattening foods"? Do you have any idea what it means to compare that vide selection of cheap food available to everyone in the US with the situation of a North Korean with his 8 ounces of food rations? Would you say it in the face of a person who knows what hunger is how bad "massively fattening foods" are? You don't have any imagination? Any decency? Any measure? Any compassion? Are you so blinded by your ideology?

    You write about "mindless TV"? How about a totally censored TV, with songs worshiping the Great Leader? How about spending hours and hours training to become part of a gymnastic parade during which you are a pixel in an image of the Beloved Great Leader?

    When I see comments like yours I know where the opinion comes from that Americans are generally ignorant and stupid. I just can't believe that such a piece of BS can be described as "Insightful". Really, people, you should learn some about the world. It seems that ages of freedom made it impossible for you to even imagine life in the hell North Korea is. Good for you, but really, think, think! If you still can!

  • by mrtrumbe (412155) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:34AM (#11630298) Homepage
    Deep breath. Calm down, everyone.

    I agree with you that many people outside the US--and many liberals in the US--thought that Saddam had aspirations of WMDs and probably had a few stashes of weapons with rather limited destructive potential. I thought that myself. What I disagree with is the conclusion that was drawn from that information by the Bush administration: that Saddam's aspirations and small amount of weapons made him so dangerous to the US and other countries that we needed to go to war to stop him. I never believed that. And I believe my perception of the situation was vindicated after the war. Saddam's weapons programs were in shambles and his "stockpiles" of weapons were puny to non-existant. Clinton and Chirac may have recognized that Saddam COULD be a danger, left unchecked, but neither of them thought he was so dangerous as to undertake a war because of it. He was contained. His power and danger was very limited. They recognized this. Bush and company didn't.

    This, obviously, doesn't speak to the humanitarian aspect of the war. Yes, the Iraqi people are better off without Saddam in power. But do you want the US to be the world police? Do you want the US to right every wrong in the world (or are we even capable)? I don't want that. Clinton had this tendency, as well, and I didn't like it one bit. There will always be injustice in the world, but the US can't be held responsible for all of it. How about letting an international body figure out when intervention is needed and deploy international troops in that case (UN anyone?). Why not work with the UN to get more EU or Chinese troops in the UN peacekeeping forces? Why not try to better the UN to make sure it answers humanitarian crises in a timely and efficient manner? It would be better than taking the responsibility (and risks, international PR problems, etc.) on our shoulders alone. Bush combined his cowboy "go it alone" attitude with Clinton's "world police" tendencies and ended up painting us into a international relations corner. Not a great strategy, if you ask me.

    Further, on the point of the "Oil for food" program, you should really look up the US's involvement in the program from it's start shortly after the first Iraq war. The US helped set up the program and benefitted from the program for years before it was determined that it wasn't in our best interests. Sure, at the time of the second Iraq war we weren't involved in the program any longer, but many out there like to paint the picture that the US's hands were clean. I don't buy it. Backdoor dealings for power/money are the norm in US politics. Why would you assume those principles wouldn't apply to our international dealings as well? We were involved in the program and my guess is that we benefited from it.

    Taft

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:34AM (#11630301)
    Agreed.
    China is the reason North Korea existed in the 50s and the reason they exist now.

    Shame most people on Slashdot are too stupid and childish to admit that.
  • by MetaPhyzx (212830) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:37AM (#11630331)
    not to mention the US actually failed to live up to the previous agreement:

    Korea - we want to develop nuclear power
    USA - we'll help you with technology for nuclear power so you don't need to develop it yourself ...many years later...
    Korea - er, hello. where's our help?
    USA - fuck you
    Korea - fuck you too then


    Not quite. Clinton and the IAEA negotiated to place cameras in the reactor. To behonest, it was a fair arrangement. The imminent change in policy after George Bush took office, and his lack of PERSONAL policy detail (being in front of dealing with other nations as a personal engagement; palm pressing; making them feel they were a part of the process) immediately made the already paranoid NK government renege.

    Thier feeling was now they were no longer dealing with an American administration that believed in exhausting diplomacy and would allow the NK's to save face (by exchanging the ability to give up weapons for aid and a security guarantee), but one that if pushed, strike.

    NK almost seems to belong on another planet in how it's citizens behave; from all accounts it's closed society is in a different world. I remember seeing a documentary recently where the power went out in a family's home and then blinked back on, only to hear "Damned Americans", like we had something to do with it.

    The regime maintains power through fear and the projection of military strength while the basic necessites for citizens are ignored. Without external aid, this might be the one legitimate regime that may decide "you know, fuck it. Let's take someone else with us."

    So they felt that by holding the region "hostage" by becoming a nuclear power, they can: One, guarantee thier own hold on power as the US and UN would dare not invade lest Seoul or Tokyo get turned into one big sheet of glass and two, demand food and supply aid to feed and maintain control of its' population.

    To us, now we're damned if we do aid them, because we're caving in and damned if we don't, because I've got a feeling the Asian nuclear proliferation problem may get a lot worse. Japan has made minor rumblings about getting a deterrent, and they can have a bomb at any time within six months of starting a program.

    Clinton mulled a cruise and air missle strike to take away NK's ability to make weapons, and opted for the placement of cameras in the hope that a diplomatic response coupled with aid would work. Plus, he knew hitting NK could result in seoul being behind enemy lines in 48 hours in the event of a war.

    Bush has fanned flames, and then with tunnel vision
    zeroed in on Iraq since his election, while NK might, just might, pose the biggest threat to democracy and stability in a number of the worlds critical economies: China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, India, Australia to name the big ones. Ignoring this, and possibly fighting the wrong war could seriously come back to haunt us.

    Coupled with the perception in the world that to get any respect from Washington you have to have weapons, what can we expect? Which is why Iran isn't CLOSE to thinking about giving up thiers, knowing they're that close.

    What's that old adage about catching more flies?
  • by g0hare (565322) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:38AM (#11630351)
    You're citing Newsmax as a source? Crap, you can do better by doing numerology on the bible.
  • name one (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fuzzums (250400) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:39AM (#11630366) Homepage
    name one big nation with nukes, sarin, a big army, a hostile attitude and a moron as president.

    the influence of that nation, at the moment, is bigger than that of NK...
  • by Fjandr (66656) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:42AM (#11630402) Homepage Journal
    I'd hardly call South Korea defenseless. They might lose a lot of individuals, but those individuals would be soldiers. North Korea would lose many more.

    Additionally, South Korea doesn't have to worry about being nuked from North Korea, based simply on what ol' Kimmy-boy wants.

    Unlike the power-monger US, South Korea doesn't actually want to invade North Korea. They want to reunify Korea peacefully. Fortunately for all involved the US hasn't butted in more than to make idle (and empty) threats.

    The US will not invade North Korea because North Korea could inflict massive casualties on the US and/or US allies in the blink of an eye. The blatant hypocrisy is also apparent when you look at US treatment of China.
  • Re:Not Surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by electroniceric (468976) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:43AM (#11630412)
    North Korea is just running this scam for all it's worth to get more foriegn aid for it's starving populace and to ensure that South Korea is no threat.
    I think the reasons are somewhat more opaque than this. My feeling is that is has something to do with China. China pretty much dominates Asia these days, and they supply N. Korea w/ most of its fuel oil and if I'm not mistaken, food as well. In other words, China could pull the plug on a lot of this nonsense, and is certainly in the best position of anybody to take him out - though I believe Beijing is in range of some of his missiles. But I think China is comfortable enough with the leash they have him on, so they're just as happy to have him distract and tie down the US with plausible threats, while they continue to sew up Asia and explore eastward for oil and other goodies.

    The other factor that makes the situation opaque is that Kim Jong Il is pretty close to insane - like comic book character insane, so you can't do the usual reverse engineering of geopolitical strategy to get an idea of what his game is.

    This has little to do with US foreign policy in the middle east over the past few years.
    While I think we've made a big mess in the Middle East bigger in most places and smaller in a few, I believe you are indeed correct - this is not really about Iraq at all. As an aside, I do think we can improve our batting average in the Middle East if we're a) willing to be a little more circumspect and pay more attention to attitudes on the ground than Bush has been so far, and b) willing to really commit aid money, technical assistance and troops over the time scale of decades, not years. A lot of these world hotspots had their development woes magnified by being proxy states in the US-Soviet conflict and then being utterly abandoned. Undoing these kind of festering problems takes a long, long time.

    That may be North Korea's excuse, but as is always in politics what people say is the cause for something, and what the actual cause is are two different things.
    It's a global chessboard..ain't politics grand? ;)
  • by plague3106 (71849) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:44AM (#11630442)
    Just curious..why do you think anyone would want to agree on 'war by the enemies terms'? What would that by the country?

    So now what do we do? Stand back and wait for the next "Great Patriotic War" when they get a huge stockpile built, or cut our losses and fight now?

    Maybe they wouldn't be so scared if we didn't invade Afganistan. Then Iraq. Iran looks next. Hmm... don't you think they have a right to worry about being invaded?
  • Re:Not Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:44AM (#11630444)
    Oh, please.

    In the last several years the US has showed the rest of the world that it can easily invade any country that it pleases based on fake premises, even if that decision is not aproved by the UN security counsil (if you do not remember, Bush told them before invading Iraq that he really doesn't give a shit about what they think).

    Now, I am not in support of dictatorships like the one led by Saddam Husein or Kim Jong, but lets be honest about this: no WMDs were found in Iraq. The entire premise of the war which was sold to the citizens of this country and to the rest of the world was completely incorrect. Did Bush at any time apologize to the citizens of this country or to the rest of the world about this? Did he say, I am sorry, we made a mistake? I do not remember, and if he had, I sure would remember it.

    What is the alternative of a hostile regime such as North Korea in this current position? Of course they have to develop WMDs right now, they need them right now, because they do not have the military power to withstand an invasion of the US. N. Korea's WMDs will make Washington think twice before confronting them directly (relax, even if this happens, this would be at least 10 years down the road... US forces are too ocupied and spread out for a second direct offensive).

    My 3c.
  • by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:44AM (#11630446)
    If any regime on Earth really deserves to be invaded and dismantled by the civilized nations of the world it is North Korea.

    I completely agree, but unfortunately, invading North Korea is an intractible problem. Even if The People's Democratic Bullshit Dictatorship of North Korea doesn't have nukes, it still has plenty of WMDs of other kinds and plenty of conventional weapons. During the opening hours of an invasion, hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery and missiles would rain down on Seoul and kill millions of civilians. This is why it's intractible. And if NK does have The Bomb, the invasion force would also be nuked.

    The only feasible way to approach it would be if the US opened with a heavy barrage of neutron bombs to kill most of the 700,000 NK soldiers that line the border, but AFAIK the neturon bomb was discontinued and the usual pacifists would get all worked up in a lather about it anyway.
  • by salvorHardin (737162) <(adwulf) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:47AM (#11630492) Journal
    Somehow I doubt that if we had proposed raiding sweet lil' N. Korea with military force, you'd have supported it. Somehow, I get the feeling you would have said "We're attacking an innocent sovereign nation for no good reason!"

    Depends on your version of innocent. If having nuclear weapons makes a state inherently evil, then that'd make USA, France, UK and Russia all evil. I think perhaps that being told not to develop nukes by a nation loaded with nukes is a little hypocritical. Sure, the stakes just got higher, we're really gonna have to learn to play nicely now. And that means everyone.

  • by hostyle (773991) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:47AM (#11630504)
    US companies having control of more of the worlds oil != cheap oil products for anyone. Bush is in it for the big companies, to make them more money, and not for the little guy.
  • My brain hurts. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) * <sexwithanimals@gmail.com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:52AM (#11630579) Homepage
    We invade the guy who doesn't have 'em, but who killed some of his people. In the process we kill a few hundred thousand.

    We let the guy who DOES have them and lets his people starve to death sit around in his palace while we throw money and food at them.

    I like how this works.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:54AM (#11630612)
    Wrong Argument, he isn't interested in doing you a favour. He's interested in doing his rich friends a favour and they make larger profits if oil is available but the price is high.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:55AM (#11630632) Homepage Journal
    "Iraq may have been in non compliance with inspection requirements, but thats not to say that the UK/US invasion was legitimate or legal. There was a reason this wasnt a UN led operation, the lack of convincing evidence presented to the UN security council. Those who voted against military action in the security council based on the evidence presented were ultimately proved right - so far theres been nothing of any substance discovered."

    I think it also might have to do with some VERY high up people in the UN, France and others making tons of illegal money off the "Oil for Food" fiasco...Saddam was paying them off, and they didn't want the gravy train to end, nor have it revealed what they were doing...

  • by imroy (755) <imroykun@gmail.com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:59AM (#11630688) Homepage Journal

    And WTF does Iran have to do with Jihadists? From I've read and seen (on the news), Iran is slowly becoming more moderate. There's a younger generation that grew up after the islamic revolution (or whatever it was called). A lot of them want the country to open up to the west. President Khatami [wikipedia.org] is a reformist and has often clashed with the hard-line islamists that run the government. The country is slowly changing and it would help if GWB and his posse don't make any more stupid remarks about it being in "the axis of evil". George W. would make a terrible diplomat...

    On the other hand we have a country with an extremely strong cult of personality around its leader. We have a populace that is brainwashed constantly about it being under threat and the evil of the USA. Its citizens are taught that the US started the Korean war by attacking them, even though there's documents showing that the north started it by attacked the south. There's a monument where visitors go to weep over the fallen "heros" of the Korean war. Every evening the government-controlled TV shows a military parade. The country is a f**king powerkeg of anti-US, anti-west sentiment just waiting to go off.

    No sir, North Korea is the country I'm worried about.

  • by Vaystrem (761) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @10:59AM (#11630696)
    "Even if they did, they would be lucky if any of their missles could hit the continental US. Sorry Hawaii"

    Everyone is sort of missing the point. Their missile tech probably isn't good enough to hit the continental United States 'but' is sufficient to damage the American Economy. What about a well placed nuke in Japan? What about Taiwan and destroying most of the world' s chip fabrication capacity? Or Hong Kong? Or South Korea?

    A direct hit upon the United States is not required to damage the United States attacking its interests are 'sufficient'. By those measures - Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong (as a global financial centre, etc.) certainly qualify.

    There is a reason why South Korea is attempting to MOVE thier Capital. Seoul is within artillery range of the DMZ. If NK marches south... Seoul can be leveled before the war even really starts.

    Traditional discussions of territoriality are less important in an (and I hate to use this cliche) increasingly globalized world.
  • by starm_ (573321) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:01AM (#11630740)
    Yup everyone in the world (except in the US apparently) as known about this for years. Why do you think 90% of "the rest of the world" was shocked that Bush was elected for a second time. Republicans laught at us when we say we were scared of Bush. But these events are just what we were scared of. Bush is responsible for this. This is the logical result of the irresponsible meddling with the world. Bush is effectively following the path towards the destruction of this planet in the name of oil and money to his rich friends.
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice@gmail.cRASPom minus berry> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:01AM (#11630746)
    Whatever the ulterior motives, the REASON stated for voting against military action was ultimately proved correct.
  • Good for them! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by m3talsling3r (624150) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:02AM (#11630749) Homepage
    If more people had nukes, the US wouldn't be so prone to bully around.

    Plus it's about time we stop being hypocritical. We have nukes for the same reasons.
  • Re:Korea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fucksl4shd0t (630000) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:06AM (#11630819) Homepage Journal

    Seriously folks, if that was the case, wouldn't you expect the OIL prices to go DOWN?

    NOt until the country was stable again, anyway, and at least partially rebuilt. Since neither of those things have yet happened, it's too early to use this sort of 'fact' to dismiss Bush's motivation.

    Here's a real question. How much oil could we get from Iraq when they were under UN sanctions? Iirc, France got most of the oil that came out of the OIl for Food program Saddam abused. How could we get the UN to lift the sanctions on Iraq (so we could buy oil from them)? One of two ways:

    1. If Saddam were a compliant dictator, he wouldn't be a dictator. So lifting the sanctions peacefully while Saddam was in there was unlikely.

    2. Invade them and replace their government. No matter how angry the UN got at us, they'd still have to realize they can't visit the sins of Saddam's regime on the new government, no matter how bad we fuck it up. So the sanctions will be removed (or rather, rendered obsolete), and, Bush's Words, he'll have "secured American interests in the country".

  • by reallocate (142797) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:06AM (#11630823)
    The question of whether or not the DPRK deserves nuclear weapons begs this question: Does the DPRK government have a right to exist?

    The answer: no.

    The DPRK is a brutish, thuggish, criminal (in the literal sense) despotic regime. A tiny elite minority of sycophants surrounding Kim tyrannize and starve millions of Koreans.

    No such regime has any political, moral or ethical right to exist.

    The deliberately ignorant naivete of those who argue that the DPRK is threatened by the U.S., using the war the north launched more than 50 years ago and refuses to settle as an excuse, is toadyism in exterme form.

    If organizations like the UN, ASEAN, etc., are so dead set on helping people, why haven't they done anything to get rid of these people? All they do is beg aid money from the West to feed and support the victims of these criminals. But, without eliminating the victimizers, this aid is reminiscent of medieval Europeans dancing and singing to stop the plagque, while the rats feasted on their waste in the streets.

  • Re:Korea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jasonbowen (683345) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:06AM (#11630832)
    Getting Oil from there takes a lot of security which jacks up the price. It's basic economics. No direct threat to the US? They are developing or have the capability to hit the West Coast of the US. Do you realize how many people starve in North Korea because of their tyrants policies? Do you realize what a repressive police state it is? Go ahead and go there, if you can get in, and stand on the street corner and yell about how Kim is a bastard and see what happens. Saddam committed attrocities but a lot are happening in this world right now, the whole moral issue works as a good smoke screen to people like you that want to believe everthing that their government does is right.
  • by Pxtl (151020) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:08AM (#11630862) Homepage
    Screw that logic. I can't stand Bush, and a complete rabid left-winger - but that kind of moral relatavism is lunacy. We're not talking about "they just do things their way over there" - we're talking about a man who lets his people starve, throws suspected dissidents, their families, friends, vague acquantances, pets, etc. into death camps, and generally runs his country like a plantation. He makes Saddam look like Mother Teresa.

    The man is an amoral lunatic, and he's got The Bomb. Abusive dictatorships are a blight on this planet, and nuclear weapons let them get entrenched.

    Now, people keep saying this, that, and the next about Clinton's reactor deal: "Bill Chamberlain gave N.K. teh bomb!" "Noes! They were stopping teh Chinese for giving them teh biggar bomb!" - does anyone have any actual _facts_ on the subject?
  • by TheConfusedOne (442158) <the.confused.one@ g m ail.com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:09AM (#11630869) Journal
    I remember Hans Blix being quoted as saying that Iraq had failed to account for a large quantity of declared WMD stock piles.

    Many people seem to have gotten the whole burden of proof thing ass-end-to. It was Iraq's responsibility to live up to the agreements it made when the cease-fire was negotiated. Iraq singularly failed in that matter and despite numerous warnings, second, third, and fourth chances they continued to play cat and mouse over it.

    Sometimes the mouse gets eaten.
  • by diamondsw (685967) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:09AM (#11630875)
    I wish China would sort this mess out. They have already annexed Tibet, want to annex Taiwan, why the hell don't they sort out this festering sore on their northern border?

    Because China is manipulating that "sore on its border" to do its dirty work in the region while it keeps its hands clean as a "modern, capitalist, open China".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:11AM (#11630903)
    So you think we should have invaded North Korea, while ignoring Iraq?

    I disagree with both points.

    Saddam had to go, and we had the means to remove him, so we did.

    Kim Jong Il also has to go, but we need to consider the interests of Japan, South Korea, and our other allies in the region when dealing with them... Not to mention the People's Republic of China. A country that shoots down our surveillance planes just to remind us who's boss in the region could not be expected to react well if we moved a couple carrier fleets to their coastline and invaded a border state which is on freindly terms with them.
  • by Kosi (589267) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:13AM (#11630932)
    Two questions always come up in my mind:

    WhoTF said that it is ok for the USA to have nukes but not ok for Iraq, NK or else? And WhoTF asked the USA to enforce this?

    No one? Then whyTF do the USA dare to act like they had anything to say to anyone outside their own borders?
  • Re:Korea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by L0k11 (617726) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:15AM (#11630976) Homepage Journal
    I'm sorry. But whats fair enough for other destabilising countries such as say Israel (holds match to karma). Or even for that matter the USA (karma is now flames). Should be fair enough for all nations. Just because a country is branded "an outpost of tyranny" doesn't mean it does not have the right to defend itself.

    I mean you Americans can hardly gush about non-proliferation when you have enough nukes to turn the entire world to glass several hundred times over. And dont try and tell me that you are any more responsible and the world is much safer with them in your hands... to date you are the only country that has used them to kill people.

    Nuclear weapons are a problem the entire of humanity faces not just the Asian area.

  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:19AM (#11631037) Journal

    The country is slowly changing and it would help if GWB and his posse don't make any more stupid remarks about it being in "the axis of evil".

    Yes it is slowly changing and if you had actually read what I wrote you would have noticed my last line hoping for it to continue to change for the better. But it's also useful to note when things go the other way -- such as when the Revolutionary Council kicked all of the moderate legislator's off the ballots in the elections a few years ago. Iran could go either way and it's foolish to ignore this possibility.

    On the other hand we have a country with an extremely strong cult of personality around its leader.

    I'm not disputing any of what you said about North Korea. But Kim Jong il (like Saddam for that matter) isn't motivated by fanatical religious beliefs. Everything he has done is about staying in power. He doesn't get to stay in power if he nukes Seoul (or Toyko or Honolulu for that matter). Why do you think they were willing to give up the weapons in exchange for a non-aggression pact? Engagement is the correct answer to North Korea -- not saber rattling.

    No sir, North Korea is the country I'm worried about.

    When fanatical North Koreans fly airplanes into American buildings then I'll start to worry about them more. Until then I'm worrying about the religious zealots that want to see me dead.

  • Re:Korea (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Phillup (317168) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:21AM (#11631072)
    Seriously folks, if that was the case, wouldn't you expect the OIL prices to go DOWN?

    Only if you assume competence in the ability to lead, plan and meet goals.

    I'm not willing to assume that with the characters at hand...

    If you assume that the players are stunningly incompetent, you end up with exactly what we have today.
  • Re:Not Surprising (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:27AM (#11631173)
    In the last several years the US has showed the rest of the world that it can easily invade any country that it pleases based on fake premises, even if that decision is not aproved by the UN security counsil (if you do not remember, Bush told them before invading Iraq that he really doesn't give a shit about what they think).

    Should he? Try looking at it from Bush's point of view. France and Russia both voted against the US war in Iraq because they had a sweet oil for food scam going on with Sadaam (especially the french).

    Russia voted against the US despite warning the US that Sadaam was planning to attack the united states [cnn.com]. If you believe the premises were false, then what do you think Bush's motivation was?

    Now, I am not in support of dictatorships like the one led by Saddam Husein or Kim Jong,

    That is good to hear.

    but lets be honest about this: no WMDs were found in Iraq. The entire premise of the war which was sold to the citizens of this country and to the rest of the world was completely incorrect.

    Do you think Sadaam didn't have them? Seriously, he did in the 80's (we gave them to him). The question is...where did they go? I'm sure he didn't use them all on the Kurds and the Iranians.

    Did Bush at any time apologize to the citizens of this country or to the rest of the world about this? Did he say, I am sorry, we made a mistake? I do not remember, and if he had, I sure would remember it.

    What is he going to say? "Oh hey sorry, we didn't find the WMD's". My bad. Iraq was in violation of the UN agreement, the UN didn't act because the UN is corrupt, so Bush *DID* act in the best interest of the American people.

    What is the alternative of a hostile regime such as North Korea in this current position? Of course they have to develop WMDs right now, they need them right now, because they do not have the military power to withstand an invasion of the US.

    They would have developed them regardless of our policy in the middle east. They were developing them before the axis of evil comment. North Korea has plenty of reasons to develop nuclear weapons that have *NOTHING* to do with President Bush or what the US is doing in the middle east. To try to blame it on Bush is simply misguided.

    N. Korea's WMDs will make Washington think twice before confronting them directly (relax, even if this happens, this would be at least 10 years down the road... US forces are too ocupied and spread out for a second direct offensive).

    The US wasn't going to invade North Korea WMD or no WMD.
  • Fallacy Alert (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quarkscat (697644) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:30AM (#11631210)
    The USA has had NORAD and the DEW line for about 50 years, Space Command and the KH-nn satellite system for nearly 40 years. The DPRK (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) will not be launching nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles at the USA without the threat of total destruction.

    Missiles that the DPRK currently has can travel nearly 7,000 miles, which puts more than 1/3 of the USA within their range - think Boulder CO and Cheyenne Mountain, and not just Hawaii.

    The DPRK also has submarines sold to them by our friends the Russians - they aren't nuke powered
    but they are quiet. The best-guess scenario would be that the DPRK delivers a few nukes by submarine to the USA's west coast, or smuggles them across the nearly wide-open borders. Hand-delivered nukes can be shielded much better against
    radioactive emmissions than any missile-borne WMD, which would thwart the USA's highlysecretive NEST teams. Without the tell-tale trace of a ballistic launch, which would pinpiont the country of origin, the USA would have a hard time determining whether a nuclear explosion onUS soil was a result of hostile action by Al-Queda, the DPRK, or any other member of the nuclear "club" (or some combination thereof).

    "Dubya's" entire "justification" for a preemptive
    war in Iraq is nonsense, since even Dr. Rice admitted before cameras (check out the M.Moore
    Fahrenheit 9-11 DVD) that Saddam did not have WMD capabilities, well before initiating war. But what this war has done is to draw down USA defense forces in the homeland, leaving our borders and seaports insecure, and our nation's financial
    health at risk. The DPRK does not have oil - if they did, "Dubya" would have gone there first. OTOH, the IRI (Islamic Republic of Iran) does have oil and is trying to become a member of the nuclear club. But they also have a population of 75 million, which could make a USA invasion very risky (as opposed to Iraq's population of 25 million). Of the three members of "Dubya's Axis of Evil", Iraq posed as the weakest and most tempting target - beaten in one war, strangled by UN sanctions, AND with nearly 1/2 of all known oil reserves. The Bush team did the math, figured the odds, and THEN tried to build the justification for war with Iraq.

    The Bush administration has been counting on pressure from the PRC on the DPRK to halt their nuclear program. 80 percent of all foreign aid
    flowing into the DPRK comes from the Chinese, not the RoK or the West. Let's just call that a big bad judgement call, because the DPRK is a client state of (and proxy for) the PRC. The PRC's rapid industrialization has made it the fastest growing importer of oil, which they recognized as an economic weakness for a long time. That is why they have been so deeply involved in the Middle East for as long as they have - both as an ally to these OPEC countries and as a "spoiler" to the West. Before Gulf War (I), it was Chinese "silkworm" missiles that threatened oil shipments in the Persian Gulf, deployed along the IRI coastline. And the PRC was the "hidden hand" behind the DPRK's nuclear and missile trade with Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan that brought Pakistan into the nuclear club.

    You don't really thing that it was just a mistake
    that the CIA made when the USA targeted the PRC
    embassy in Iraq during Gulf War (I), "mistaking"
    it for the Iraqi military intelligence building?

    The DPRK presents the biggest threat to its regional neighbors, as it has been for 25 years.
    Japan would do well to become a member of the
    nuclear club, and quickly, as a counter to both
    the DPRK's and the PRC's ambitions of regional hegenomy. They might have to re-write their
    constitution to do so, but so be it.
  • by Red Pointy Tail (127601) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:36AM (#11631305)
    North Korea is much more delicate than Iraq. Seoul (pop:14 million) itself is within artillery range of North Korea, to talk nothing of missles. They have more artillery than any other army, the world largest submarine fleet, 700 naval vessels, and the third largest standing army (so they can just send waves of drones across the DMZ to Seoul, just 35 miles away). And now nukes to add to the fun. Still gung-ho about invading them?

    Even if you want to bomb them to submission, they will destroy South Korea and Japan first. Acceptable?
  • Re:Korea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Spoonman (634311) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:43AM (#11631385) Homepage
    NOt until the country was stable again, anyway, and at least partially rebuilt. Since neither of those things have yet happened, it's too early to use this sort of 'fact' to dismiss Bush's motivation.

    Okay, then, here's one: the US only imports 18% of its oil from the middle east. The remainder is imported from Canada, South America, an Russia. Why? Simple, it takes almost as much oil to transport it from the middle east as you can bring over. The real reason gas prices are so high is because of investors taking advantage of the gullible in a speculative market. "The rubes don't know we don't get our oil from Iraq, we can gouge all we want!"
  • Speeking of sheep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by N3wsByt3 (758224) <Newsbyte AT freenethelp DOT org> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:51AM (#11631492) Homepage Journal
    you're one of the hurd. (ask Stallman for more info)

    1)WMDs *were* an excuse, I think by now everyone (not being a sheep) can agree on that.

    2)The oil, aside from geopolitical reasons, has always been an important consideration; to claim differently is naive (at best). If the war in Iraq had gone the way the USA government had forseen it, oil would have spiced the USA economy already. And more then it ever could with the sanctions in place, as another poster already explained.

    3)Yes, Saddam commited terrible crimes to his own people, however, this was never mentionned as the prime cause for going to war. In fact, international law does not allow to invade a sovereign country because it has a dictator commiting crimes. Besides, the USA has held (and helped) dictators in power that commited terrible acts against the populace, as long as the dictator was cooperative. The argument that they invaded Iraq for that reason (as only is argumented now, afterwards) would be more convincing if the USA didn't show they were perfectly prepared to help dicators, as long as it suited them.

    3)There was a majority? Must have misread about pretty much all of the world-opinion, then. That US politicians were in support says more about the majority of them (linked with sheep) then anything else. But then, a pretty much biased media and the developed national-zealot-reflex of pretty much all americans goes a long way in explaining it.

    4)"There is a difference between a threat to the country and a threat to human life. North Korea doesn't pose a direct threat to the US..." Indeed. Neither was Iraq a threat to the USA. And while you claim there is no mass-murder (how would you know that?) also in N.Korea people are being tortured and killed; so where does that leave you, with your justified reason to go to war? And btw, if anything, since N.Korea has nukes AND rockets, it poses a far greater threat to the USA then Iraq ever did. And they aren't predicatable at all, which has been proven by the numeous times they reacted on the 6-countries talk. Predicatble and knowing his intentions...geez. You are completely inventing this, aren't you?

  • by Jerk City Troll (661616) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:55AM (#11631568) Homepage

    Iraq has oil, therefore we invest in invading and occupying.

    North Korea does not, therefore we save money by pursuing diplomacy.

    I don't understand how any of those goddamn Right-wing nut-jobs out there can possibly not see how much bullshit there is in the Bush Administration's policy. We go after the non-threat while the threat is sitting there bragging at us all the while about how they are actively developing WMD.

    I am so sick of these stupid fuckers making big mistakes for which we will all have to pay dearly.

  • by incog8723 (579923) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:57AM (#11631592)
    In fact, the US must have known that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Who would invade a country that had nuclear capabilities?
  • Re:Korea (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:57AM (#11631594)
    Do you realize how many people starve in North Korea

    Do you realize how mean people are just plain starving, but for some reason no-one gives a shit about them either

    Nearly 30 million Africans could be facing famine within months.

    Estimates from UN agencies, African governments and relief charities put the number at risk in the Horn of Africa at about 15 million, over 14 million in southern Africa and hundreds of thousands in the Sahel region of West Africa.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2449527.st m [bbc.co.uk]

    yeah freedom terrorists WMD liberty woooh !!

  • Good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Catbeller (118204) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @11:57AM (#11631598) Homepage
    Good for them.

    It's not illegal for North Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

    Bush has tossed away several treaties we've already signed regarding development of nuclear weapons. We're not special children of God's army, so the privilege is open to other nations now.

    They are busy starving, and not menacing us.

    They have been explicitly informed by Bush that he is going to make a point of destroying them. They have an excellent case for defending themselves. They have a logical case that possessing the weapons deters an invasion by Bush. By Bushian logic, we haven't invaded, so possessing the nukes keeps us out. Q.E.D.

    They aren't going to attack anyone with the damned things. It would be instant suicide. CNN would be roasting radioactive weenies on their ashes in a month, chuckling at the wonderfulness of it all.

    Wrapup: they have the weapons for the exact same reason the U.S. claimed it needed ours. Deterence.

    The evil or not-evil of North Korea is irrelevant. Bush et al support Uzbekistan, which boils its dissidents alive in oil. Evil is a convenient label for removing people you don't like.
  • by vk2 (753291) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:14PM (#11631860) Journal
    Who said Dubbya invaded Iraq to lower your bills? He is not there for you, its for companies like XOM [exxonmobil.com]. A brief look at the stock charts of any major US oil company will tell the tale.
  • Re:Korea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by calstraycat (320736) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:14PM (#11631867)
    Have you forgotten the mass genocide Saddam has commit, even to his own people? If you look at history, I think this would be topped only by Hitler.

    Not even close. You would have to have a very limited knowledge of history to come to that conclusion. Every heard of Pol Pot? That's a example from recent history. There are hundreds of other examples if you look back thousands of years.

    I'm still amazed people buy into the "we had bad intelligence" argument regarding WMDs. Heck, Karl Rove even admitted that the WMD angle was just the most sellable excuse rather than the real reason. The plan for invading Iraq was developed in the late nineties. When the folks who developed the plan came into power in 2000, the invasion of Iraq became inevitable. It would have occurred had their been no 9/11. It would have occurred even if the WMD claims were discredited in advance. The "we need to save the people of Iraq from this evil dictator" excuse was not mentioned until it became clear that there were no WMDs.

    For the record, I'm fine with the idea that some people feel that it's the responsibility of the US to save people from evil dictators even though I don't think we should. But, I'm surprised when act as though the "we must save the people of Iraq" was the original intention.

    I also don't agree with you on North Korea. They scare the hell out of me. I just don't understand your position. It was important to invade Iraq (which was not a threat to the US and had essentially no viable army and no WMDs) simply to save it's people from their leader, but we need not worry about a sophisticated, first-world nation with a massive army and nuclear weapons?

    Now, their dictator is completely nutz, but very predictable. US intel knows that.

    Where did you get that idea? Do you have inside sources? Since when are crazy people predictable? You want to blame US intelligence blunders for the WMD fiasco re: Iraq, but then turn around and say we should trust US intelligence re: N. Korea?

    Saddam is an evil man. But, Iraq was never a threat to the US or it's allies. North Korea is a threat to the US and our allies. I, for one, don't believe it's the responsibility of the US to save nations from their leaders. I don't believe in nation building. I do believe in protecting the nation from real threats. North Korea is a real threat.

  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:29PM (#11632083) Journal
    "So... what were those truck leaving with in such a hurry whenever weapons inspors arrived at a site?"
    I guess they were carrying entire dismantled WMD factories! That's right, they must have had inflatable factories and equipment so that they could just deflate it whenever they showed up unannounced!

    Even the CIA said that there were no WMDs in Iraq. Face it. Accept it. Bush lied.

  • Re:Korea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Catbeller (118204) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:34PM (#11632151) Homepage
    "North Korea is selling nuclear technology around the world. What could threaten us more than that?"

    That was Pakistan. Huge scandal, physicist sold nuke tech around the world, got pardoned last year?

    We don't seem to be invading Pakistan. Where bin Laden is. Which sold the weapons tech.

    Curious.
  • by ifwm (687373) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:39PM (#11632230) Journal
    "Maybe they wouldn't be so scared if we didn't invade Afganistan. Then Iraq. Iran looks next"

    This statement is idiotic. North Korea had nothing to fear until they developed nukes. Now they're afraid because... they developed nukes.

    If they had no nukes, they would be anothee insignificant SE Asian country, with nothing to fear from the US.

    Of course, N Korea is ALSO a brutal dictatorship with no respect for human rights.

    And before all you US haters try to slam the US, ask yourself what american transgressions have to do with this. Drawing parallels is a cheap way to deflect the discussion away from the point, so don't bother.
  • by highcon (857286) <paul@NosPAm.highcon.homeip.net> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:40PM (#11632240) Homepage
    ...We have a populace that is brainwashed constantly about it being under threat...

    Sounds a lot like this other country I know, the United States. I don't know how long it will take people to realize that the ordinary citizen, with all the "brainwashing" that supposedly goes on doesn't give a fuck about international politics and just wants to go on with their daily business. As for the Korean war, let's not start mentioning other wars where the North of something attacked the South of something or vice versa due to political reasons. The United States got involved in a war between 2 other groups to advance it own agenda, as it tends to do. Any anti-US sentiment is IMHO justified, especially since North Korea feels (and quite rightly) threatened by the current administration of a country that attacked it 50 years ago.

    There is no "powder keg waiting to go off" since the populace is not in control of the nukes (or anything else for that matter). The people in charge aren't going to go start a war because they know they will lose (and the people at the top have the most to lose). They will try to arm themselves so as to create a deterent to the attack from the US that they know is coming.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:41PM (#11632265)
    Meanwhile on the Korean Slashdot:

    On the other hand we have a country with an extremely strong cult of personality around its leader. We have a populace that is brainwashed constantly about it being under threat and the evil of the "Axis of Evil". Its citizens are taught that Hussein started the Iraqi war by attacking on 9/11, even though there's documents showing that they had nothing to do with it. Every evening the government-influenced TV shows a military attack. The country is a f**king powerkeg of anti-Korean, anti-east sentiment just waiting to go off.

    Just sayin'
  • Re:Korea (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:42PM (#11632276)
    Riddle me this: If the invasion of Iraq was so just, why did he have to lie to justify it?
  • by Jason Hood (721277) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:42PM (#11632287)

    What's EVEN more frightening is that they've wanted to have talks with the US for years, but the US has refused any direct negociations with them.

    BS, negotiations were ignored because they werent negotiations, they were blackmail and scams. NKorea want financial or economic benefits in return for not building a nuclear stockpile. It was a joke. They actually wanted cash to stop!

    In case you dont know, building nuclear weapons can take decades or research and testing. These are not new revelations in the last 3 years. The very fact that these totalitarian countries desire weapons to protect them from free countries should be enough to classify them as a threat to humanity.

    Not sure where you get your news from, try cross checking with multiple sources before you accept "news" as fact.

  • right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by N3wsByt3 (758224) <Newsbyte AT freenethelp DOT org> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:44PM (#11632316) Homepage Journal
    "Note that some European nations have been complicit, particulary France, in aiding these rogue nations developing these weapons."

    Not like the USA, who merely sold tons of chemicals to Saddam, even well aware they were going to be used as chemical weapons against his people. Even after he massacred a whole village with those chemicals, the USA happily supplied him with more.

    "Nice try blaming the U.S., but unless North Korea travelled in time, going to the future, to see the 2nd Iraq war, you can hardly say they accelerated their Nuke program because of it. Iran had a nuke program long before the U.S. invasion. Libya had a nuke program before the invasion."

    Ofcourse, there was also the 1st Iraq war, and besides that, your argumentation lacks coherency. In what way does it exclude that the nations, even if they already had nuclear programs as you claim, accelaerated that program after the Iraq-wars? I fail to see any logic in this particular reasoning of you.

  • Re:You need proof? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:45PM (#11632323)

    You do know Pakistan has nuclear weapons right? Then traded their nuclear know how for N. Korea's medium range missiles or have you not been following the news.

    You say that like they did a bad thing.

    The fact is, the USA has demonstrated repeatedly that if you don't have an effective means of defending yourself against them, you are going to be pushed around and possibly invaded. And it doesn't matter if you are their ally, things change quickly.

    Basically, every other country is likely to cooperate with each other to defend themselves against the USA. It's a sensible thing to do and I don't blame them one bit for doing it.

  • by Catbeller (118204) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:46PM (#11632342) Homepage
    Oh, it's quite easy to visit Cuba. Change planes in Central America, and fly to Cuba from there. The Cuban customs will stamp a piece of paper and place it in your passport, so you can toss the evidence when you leave.

    I feel quite sad for Cuba. Eventually the U.S. will come back in and "liberate" the country. Then it will be a violent free market hell with a surging infant death rate. At least if you keep your nose clean there today, you can live to be quite old and healthy, if not rich.

    If the U.S. hadn't kept the country isolated from the NA market for the last half century, perhaps we would have seen the world's best socialist experiment. Maybe they could have made it work, like China has. With a 90 mile separation from the U.S., they could have become quite the tourist destination and manufacturing center. I think they are instead doomed to a military/corporate invasion in the near future. Poor bastards.
  • Re:Good. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Catbeller (118204) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:49PM (#11632401) Homepage
    " Good for them.

    It's not illegal for North Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

    Bush has tossed away several treaties we've already signed regarding development of nuclear weapons. We're not special children of God's army, so the privilege is open to other nations now.

    They are busy starving, and not menacing us.

    They have been explicitly informed by Bush that he is going to make a point of destroying them. They have an excellent case for defending themselves. They have a logical case that possessing the weapons deters an invasion by Bush. By Bushian logic, we haven't invaded, so possessing the nukes keeps us out. Q.E.D.

    They aren't going to attack anyone with the damned things. It would be instant suicide. CNN would be roasting radioactive weenies on their ashes in a month, chuckling at the wonderfulness of it all.

    Wrapup: they have the weapons for the exact same reason the U.S. claimed it needed ours. Deterence.

    The evil or not-evil of North Korea is irrelevant. Bush et al support Uzbekistan, which boils its dissidents alive in oil. Evil is a convenient label for removing people you don't like."

    Labelled a troll? It's a simple statement of several obvious facts. Deal with it, wingers. Moderation is not meant for political hitmen to use to stifle information.
  • Re:Not Surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

    by utlemming (654269) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @12:51PM (#11632434) Homepage
    I am not sure that I would say that NK plans on attacking Tiawan, but it is still a leveraging piece. The United States is committed to protecting two countries by treaty -- Tiawan and Japan. The United States is involved in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Between the two the US military is stretched. Given a problem in east Asia, the US could have some serious issues. NK probably recognizes the overstretched military and feels that it can leverage the US into getting what it wants by making threats. The US isn't so much in a position to attack, and the NK isn't in a position to defend. But NK doesn't have the inhibition to throw a nuke or two around. The US has everything to lose by throwing a nuke their way. NK is trying to blackmail the US into doing what it wants, while at the same time failing to live up to promises.
  • by ThousandStars (556222) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @01:04PM (#11632606) Homepage
    You do realize why MacArthur was pulled, right? His strategy for defeating the Chinese was to drop nuclear weapons up and down the coast until China stopped. I think removing MacArthur was the right thing to do.

    If you're going to blame anyone, blame Clinton, who accepted the 1994 deal in which we gave NK resources to prop up their economy, in turn for them... keeping the nuclear material they already had! And us trusting them not to turn it into weapons! Brilliant!

    Now, in the unlikely but still frighteningly plausible idea that we do have a war with NK, we have the pleasure of dealing with nuclear weapons in the hands of madmen, in addition to the gazillion pieces of artillery that will pound Seoul into dust.

  • by I8TheWorm (645702) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @01:21PM (#11632828) Journal
    It's so much easier to point a finger and pass the blame. This is a bit offtiopic, but does North Korea actually wonder why South Korea has all the creature comforts, while North Korea doesn't?

    A small part of the reason may be that South Korea is a bit more temperate, but the reality is North Korea has suffered decades of mismanagement. Is the correct solution to the problem a) take over another sovereign nation and exploit their resources, or b) realize the err of your ways and begin an economic overhaul (with China as a possible example)?

    The reason the US has troops still stationed in Korea is the very same reason there are US troops in Taiwan. The minute we leave, a new war begins... see Viet Nam if you need an example. Does anyone think (formerly) South Viet Nam is better off with a dictatorial communism these days?

    Lets remember why the root cause of any of this.

    You can't possibly be suggesting that this is South Korea's fault, can you?
  • Re:Korea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Proc6 (518858) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @01:22PM (#11632833)
    Yeah really. Saddam's only killed 6x10^5 civillians, that's nothing, a speedbump, sheesh. Educate yourself, killing that many civillians is all in a days work for any competent respectable leader, disagreeing is just buying into the propaganda.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @01:32PM (#11632961)
    Whatever you think of his big stick policy, it clearly is failing in Korea.

    The policy is obviously not to give in to the dictator's demands. The Bush administration is taking a slower pace on N. Korea, as it is quite unstable and in a terminal decline. Their collapse would happily be the end of all this chest-thumping nuclear showmanship. Here's to the most oppressive regime on Earth.
  • Re:Korea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by N3wsByt3 (758224) <Newsbyte AT freenethelp DOT org> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @01:44PM (#11633116) Homepage Journal
    I understand the sentiment, and no one is claiming it isn't awful, but the poster was right in correcting the parent poster, because he was factual wrong.

    Sentiments and emotions are no excuse to distort the truth or posting something as a fact when it isn't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 10, 2005 @01:50PM (#11633186)
    10s of thousands???? you do realise the NK army is over a million strong?

    You also realise that the US would not dare contemplate using nukes in retaliation, they are not that stupid, despite what we all like to pretend. The US people would accept the massive slaughter of all the civilians in Pyongyang?
  • by Edward Faulkner (664260) <ef&alum,mit,edu> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:07PM (#11633408)
    History is propaganda, the type of propaganda is determained by who is writing the history.

    But if you make an effort to read and compare a wide enough range of historians and primary sources, you can sort out a much better approximation for the truth. My own efforts on this front have completely changed my understanding of politics and economics.

    This is not how schools teach history, unfortunately. What you learn in school is indeed saturated with propganda.
  • Peace (Score:3, Insightful)

    by daigu (111684) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:10PM (#11633439) Journal

    To quote an old saying: "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way."

    Or in other words, adventures like Iraq and tough talk from Bush, Rice and others leads to the proliferation of weapons and increased likelihood of conflict. Less freedom, less security - double plus good?

  • by 5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:10PM (#11633444) Homepage
    What's that old adage about catching more flies?

    It took Europe (and the rest of the world) YEARS to realize that toothless agreements made with a certain German tyrant were ineffective and diplomacy had to give way to the use of force.

    This is why there will always come a time when force becomes necessary (same as with human-human interactions), although we would obviously try to keep this to a minimum.

    There will also come times when a country that believes that it is in the right (even to the disagreement of others), and has the bravery and might to make things right, does so ;) This is also not unlike relations down at the person-to-person level. History will hopefully show that this whole Iraq thing, for example, wasn't a mistake, just a "short-term cost to achieve long-term gain" decision.

    In any event, I wish that idealists would please give up their pipe dreams of world peace through diplomatic means only. It won't happen. As long as there will be violence in our society (bar fights, spouse abuse, child abuse, violent crime), there will be idiots in power that must be stopped with the use of force.
  • Re:Korea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by servognome (738846) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:48PM (#11633886)
    Should be fair enough for all nations. Just because a country is branded "an outpost of tyranny" doesn't mean it does not have the right to defend itself.
    Well the US, Russia, France, India, etc. have alot to lose in terms of trade, wealth, which prevents them from using nuclear weapons. Now do you want nuclear weapons in the hands of somebody with nothing to lose? Mutally assured distruction prevents nuclear war, only so long as both sides care that they don't want to be destroyed. There are groups of zealots all over the world who don't care if they live or die, so long as "evil" is destroyed. That is where the danger lies in nuclear proliferation.
    The US is not the only target for N. Korea. Japan, Guam, S. Korea would be the most likely targets, since N. Korea I don't think has demonstrated a long range missle capable of hitting the US (though they have developed one that can hit Japan) . I'm sure if you lived in either of those countries, you would really appreciate nobody caring about N. Korea getting nuclear weapons.
    to date you are the only country that has used them to kill people
    And used them to end a war quickly to save lives. The firebombing of Tokyo and battle of Okinawa each killed about the same number people as each atomic bomb.
  • by mathmathrevolution (813581) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:52PM (#11633935)
    Excuse me, but your primary "source" of information regarding death tolls is an article without any citations from a propagana website. It also happens to be highly exaggerated.

    I agree with the following statement from wikipedia:

    "How many millions died under Stalin is greatly disputed. Although no official figures have been released by the Soviet or Russian governments, most estimates put the figure between 8 and 20 million."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stalin

    When comparing death tolls, its important to keep in mind that the 8 to 20 million of people "killed" by Stalin for the most part are not people who were deliberately killed in the purges between 1936 and 1938. The 8 to 20 million is overwhelmingly people who incidentally died in famines that were partially the result of Stalin's economic policies.

    I think including the famine numbers in the "death toll" figure is legitimate, even if those deaths were unintentional. If you don't think that's its reasonable to compare Hitler's Holocaust to Stalin's unintended economic blunders, then Hitler's death toll is far, far greater.

    If you do think its perfectly fair to attribute deaths that are a direct if unintentional result of their actions to somebody's death toll, then I contend that nearly all fatalities of WWII (excepting China, Japan, and other Pacific casualties) are on Hitler's shoulder's. That would bring Hitler's death toll to about 70 million.

    Either way, Hitler was the worse of the monsters.
  • by N3wsByt3 (758224) <Newsbyte AT freenethelp DOT org> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @02:55PM (#11633973) Homepage Journal
    Indeed, we might be closer. It is reasonable to limit any threat to yourself or your country, provided the measures taken are reasonable on themselves. A pre-emptive strike is not. But I think we agree on this.

    Ofcourse, this is true for other countries as well.

    Unfortunatly, the recent history shows us that the USA is:

    1)Able AND willing to invade another country (even when not directly a threat), in a 'pre-emptive' manner.

    2)The USA does not do the same (even when the same arguments/reasons apply) when it could seriously get hurt in the process.

    Following those observations, and seen the fact that a country actually having nukes poses too great a risk for the USA to invade, the only logical conclusion for those countries (especially those on bad terms with the US) is that they *have* to have nukes, to be sure they will not get invaded.

  • by kilfarsnar (561956) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @03:24PM (#11634328)
    " The vast majority of posts here *always* blame the U.S. for every problem going on in the world.

    This is an exaggeration, but there is some truth to it. This is one of the ways that our increasingly polarized society expresses itself. There are also many people who *never* acknowledge that the US has been a poor public citizen in the world. Not always, but we have had our bad moments.

    As with any conflict it is no one's fault entirely. There are always things that both sides of a conflict could do to make things better. An honest discussion of current radical muslim terrorism (for example) would take into account the repressive and nihilist fundamentalism of the "terrorists" but would also recognize that the US has been overthrowing governments, exploiting local populations, and generally fscking with the Middle East region for half a century at least. This is bound to piss people off. Like the Merovingian said, it's all cause and effect.

    "Brutal dictators that murder their own people? Blame us."

    Again, this is one side of the issue. You may not like it (I sure don't) but we have, and continue to, arm brutal dictators around the world for our own purposes. It does not absolve the dictators of being brutal, but it is dishonest to pretend we had nothing to do with it. When Saddam Hussein was gassing the Kurds, or the Iranians, he was doing it with the knowledge and implicit consent of the United States government. Hell, we gave him sattelite pictures of Iranian troop movements so he could better target them with chemical weapons! But this is never discussed in public. Why is it unpatriotic to point out when my country is behaving badly? But as to why I am so hard on the US, it's because it's my country. I care more about how my country acts on the world stage (and domestically too of course). When George Bush says you are with us or against us, he is speaking for me. When he says the US won't join the world court because it won't give us immunity, he makes me look like a hypocrite.

    I am hard on the US because I love the US. It is still the best country to live in IMHO. I cherish the rights and freedoms we have, and I am upset when I see them threatened. Not by an invading army, but by my own government.

    "Maybe they should start acting a bit more rational and patriotic - and a bit less like homo pinko commie politcally correct appeaser pacifist traitors."

    This type of language undermines whatever point you were making. The motto "My country, right or wrong" is not patriotic, it is nationalistic. There's a difference.

  • by gbdc (708056) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @04:04PM (#11634792)
    America did not invent it, but it's the only country which _actively_ practices it in this generation.
  • by EatingPie (850731) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @04:52PM (#11635337)
    Korea - we want to develop nuclear power

    USA - we'll help you with technology for nuclear power so you don't need to develop it yourself
    ...many years later...

    Korea - er, hello. where's our help?
    USA - fuck you
    Korea - fuck you too then

    Actually...

    Korea - we want to develop nuclear WEAPONS
    USA - we will PAY YOU not to develop them, and help you develop power

    ...immediately afterward...

    USA - Here's your check (I recall $2,000,000, but I think that's low).
    Korea - THANKS!

    ... Many years later ...

    Korea - We want to develop Nuclear WEAPONS
    USA - We ain't payin' you this time!
    Korea - Fuck you
    USA - LET'S NEGOTIATE
    Korea - Fuck you

    ... Nine months Later ...

    Korea - We got bombs now!

    I've gotten facts wrong on posts before, so your post is forgivable. I followed this and supported the Clinton Administration decision to play the "blackmail" money. My thinking: What the hey, it's only money. *shrugs* But all that did was postpone (possibly aid?) Korea's drive for a Nuclear Arsenal.

    And it was obvious to me, and the Bush administration -- who actuallly followed/remembered past dealings -- that last year's rumblings from North Korea was just another money blackmail attempt.

    So don't just rag on the US and the Bush administration. North Korea is the one making the weapons and using them as a threat... Oh and they have an ICBM capable of striking Japan, who they hate with a passion...

    -Pie

  • by ralphclark (11346) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @05:49PM (#11635897) Journal
    The years of "peaceful diplomacy" (eg bombing civilian facilities, and withholding food and medical supplies) I remember those, sure.

    The bit I have trouble understanding is the bit where according to you it suddenly "failed", providing the jusitification for an attack. See, Hussein was bending over backwards to comply with all US demands, and the UN inspectors said sanctions were working fine and that there were no weapons. The rest of the world was happy to continue with a policy of containment. But to you and the Bush regime, Iraq was now suddenly a target for invasion.

    Lets not go through this all again. THERE WERE NO WEAPONS. Iraq was not a threat. The intelligence community knew it. The US and UK governments knew it. The reasons for invasion lay elsewhere (hint: all wars are fought for economic reasons). The whole world is aware of this. Including everybody in your own country who doesn't have his head up his ass. Why don't you get it?
  • by workindev (607574) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @06:25PM (#11636228) Homepage
    The bit I have trouble understanding is the bit where according to you it suddenly "failed", providing the jusitification for an attack. See, Hussein was bending over backwards to comply with all US demands, and the UN inspectors said sanctions were working fine and that there were no weapons. The rest of the world was happy to continue with a policy of containment. But to you and the Bush regime, Iraq was now suddenly a target for invasion.

    If you read any of the weapons reports issued by the ISG and the UN you would know that Saddam wasn't bending over backwards to comply with US demands. He was bending over backwards to create the illusion of compliance so we would leave him alone. His main goal was to end the UN sanctions so he could resume his weapons programs that he had done a pretty damn good job of hiding from the UN inspectors.

    Lets not go through this all again. THERE WERE NO WEAPONS. Iraq was not a threat. The intelligence community knew it. The US and UK governments knew it. The reasons for invasion lay elsewhere (hint: all wars are fought for economic reasons). The whole world is aware of this. Including everybody in your own country who doesn't have his head up his ass. Why don't you get it?

    Why don't you get it? The reasons for the war have been clearly justified by our subsequent investigations. Saddam Hussein was clearly a threat to the peace and security of the region, and was in defiance of international order for 13 years.

    Take a step back and look at what you are saying! Saddam Hussein was an oppressive dictator who:

    Tried to illegally expand his borders TWICE

    Attacked a non-hostile state at least FOUR times

    Used Chemical weapons on a number of occasions, both against Iran and against his own people

    Publically stated his goal of obtaining Nuclear and Biological Weapons

    Was on the US State Department list of State Sponsors of Terrorism for over 20 years

    Was directly responsible for between 500,000 and 2,000,000 deaths of his own people

    Had participated actively in international terrorism, including a plot to assassinate a former US president, and a plot to bomb a radio facility in Prague

    Had paid families of terrorist bombers on LIVE TV

    Had offered political assylum to Osama Bin Laden in 1998

    Was currently providing assylum to Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters that escaped Afghanistan in December 2001

    Was in direct defiance of 17 unanimously passed chapter 7 UN Security Council resolutions

    Had not accounted for stockpiles of WMD that the UN Inspectors knew about, including 30,000 liters of Anthrax

    How on earth can you claim that this was not a threat? How on earth can you claim that the world is not any safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power?

    Combine the above facts with the fact that we just had got our butts kicked on 9/11 by a similar threat that we had ignored, and leaving him alone so he could write the playbook for any rouge despot who wanted to defy the US and the UN was NOT an option.

  • Re:You need proof? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by trawg (308495) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @06:32PM (#11636298) Homepage
    Dude, come back when you've got some links from Fox News - all those other news services are amateurs!!
  • by wwind123 (838753) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @06:51PM (#11636488)
    It is not in China's interest to see a neighboring country possess nuclear weapons. More generally, no country would ever like to see any other political force to possess nuclear weaposn, no matter how strong the alliance between the country and the political force would be. That is why Soviet Union did not want to help China develop nuclear weapon even when they were still in honey-moon in 1950's (hence Chinese had to do it on their own). That is why U.S. forced Taiwan to stop nuclear weapon development in 1970's.
  • by Eminence (225397) <akbrandt AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @06:54PM (#11636509) Homepage

    Could that same size force hold it indefinately? Probably not.

    Well, they have one huge advantage over Iraq - the South Korea, with its strong economy and well-organized and trained military. They are well capable of rebuilding the North economically and probably also socially. They are probably not capable, however, of defeating the North militarily on their own.

  • ermm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by N3wsByt3 (758224) <Newsbyte AT freenethelp DOT org> on Thursday February 10, 2005 @07:27PM (#11636771) Homepage Journal
    "What to do? Sounds a little like a catch-22, but there is an answer. Don't build the nukes."

    No, I just explained why: even when they won't, there is a chance they'll get invaded. That's what happend with Iraq, after all. So, are they going for that option? That's wishful thinking, not the obvious step of countries capable of creating nukes and on bad terms with the USA. As I said, seen that they feel threatened by the USA, those will create nukes. Exactly what N.Korea and Iran is doing.

    It only looks like a catch 22 on first sight; in reality, even the USA can't permit to invade one country after another. It would be political and military suicide. I think it's all too obvious the USA has more then it bargened for in Iraq, and I don't think anyone would seriously believe the USA would invade another country, before they settled with Iraq first. Even the roman empire tried to avoid battling on two fronts at the same time.

    So, in effect, the invasion of Iraq created at the same time the obvious pressure/threat of the USA *and* provided a period where it will rather bark then bite to other countries.

    So, what they *really* think is: let's build nukes as fast as we can, so we're safe by the time the USA would feel arrogant enough to pre-emptively attack again.

    As an european, I can relativate that to the current USA government, but I doubt those countries can or will.

    And it must be said, while under Clinton relations over the big dipper were pretty good, I think most USA-citizens fail to realise how much sympathy the US has lost even among europeans. 'Our' politicians, being diplomatic, only show the top of the iceberg, really. The opinion about the USA among the people is hugely negative these days, and that sentiment is reflected by all layers of the populace.

  • by ralphclark (11346) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @08:12PM (#11637186) Journal
    Regarding UN reports, this is disingenuous of you. The final reports from the UN inspection teams let by Hans Blix etc stated plainly that sanctions were working and there was no evidence of WMDs. Let me spell this out for you since you seem to find it hard to comprehend. The expert sent to determine whether there were any weapons on his final visit said that he had concluded there were none.

    As to whether Sadaam was bending over backwards to comply genuinely or merely to seem to comply genuinely, who cares what he felt about it? The point was to make him comply and that is, (according to both the inspectors *and* UK and US intelligence) exactly what he was doing, whether he was enjoying it or not.

    Your "charge sheet" bullet point list is not in dispute. He was an asshole dictator, just like numerous other asshole dictators around the world, many of them still supported by the US just like Sadaam used to be. But it is a straw man. The charge sheet is completely irrelevant to the question of "was he a big enough menace to justify invasion". None of these crimes made him a unique and direct threat to US national security which is presumably why the exaggerations about possible possession of WMD's had to be concocted as a pretext for war.

    As to whether the earth is safer without Sadaam Hussein running Iraq - I am sure that some of his closest neighbours feel safer. But most of the world is I think a lot more worried about the new jackboot politics of the neocons in Washington. After all, Sadaam had very little capability to deliver destruction outside of his own immediate region. The US however has demonstrated both its capability to wage wars of shocking destructiveness against relatively defenseless enemies on the other side of the world (with an almost total disregard for tens of thousands of civilian casualties), *and* its willingness to do so regardless of all international opinion.

    If the Iraq invasion was meant to be a response to 9/11 then it was truly an overreaction on a major scale. I'm not even going to get into how the White House tried for a long time to make it look like Saddam had something to do with the 9/11 attacks and failed to make it stick. But you're suggesting that its reasonable and acceptable to go around invading sovereign nations on the off chance that they might possibly assist terrorists later on. In the eyes of the rest of the world today, it's not reasonable and it's not acceptable. Especially when they are, as you were ready to admit, bent over backwards and pleading with you not to do it.

    In your Hollywood movies, the hero is the guy who is viciously attacked but then goes after the perpetrator, gives him a taste of his own medicine thus humiliating him and turning him into a snivelling cowering wreck. Then he shows mercy and backs off saying "let that be a lesson". But the image of America today is of a protagonist who, with only a bloody nose (4,000 dead) in the first instance inflicted by someone else entirely who he couldn't get to, couldn't even be satisfied with winning against some other convenient bully of choice but had to beat seven colours of shit out of him as well in order that everybody would know who was the strongest.

    Well, congratulations - so you are the strongest bully in the playground. But you're no hero, you're nobody's policeman and if this is you doing unasked favours for the rest of the world, no thanks and please don't do it in our name. We'd rather deal with a dozen small-time bullies on our own terms and take a bloody nose occasionally (the price of freedom maybe), than have to cope with a lone superpower bully who is bigger than everybody and beholden to nobody.
  • Re:Korea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grozzie2 (698656) on Thursday February 10, 2005 @09:28PM (#11637715)
    The real reason for the high oil price, is the drop in the us dollar over the last couple of years. Oil has retained it's value, the greenback has not. It's actually an artificial increase, that affects only the usa, and any country using a currency that's in some way tied to the greenback.

    Contrary to what america wants you to believe, the greenback is NOT the defacto standard for world pricing anymore, the Euro is. Put a couple of charts side by side, one the price of oil (in us dollars), the other the exchange rate between the us dollar and the Euro. They will look surprisingly similar. Compare that to a chart of oil vs the Euro, and you'll see a relatively stable pricing environment, with some increases that basically are accounted for by the reduced world supply thanks to a war in iraq, and the uncertainty that brings to the market.

    The greenback will not regain it's former strength till americans start running a balanced budet. For those that dont understand the concept, it means spending only what you take in, no charge cards allowed, and no negative balances carried forward. Since this is a concept that nobody in the usa even comes close to comprehending (how many of you have credit cards maxed out today?), it's never gonna happen. The american economy is imploding under an unmanageable debt load, and the only way to stop it, is for every american to actually pay off thier credit cards, and the government to run a balanced budget. Not gonna happen in our lifetime.

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