SteveAx wrote:I never said that NK becoming a nuclear power wasn't a problem or a cause for concern, but comparing NK to 1930's Germany is absurd.
Comparing the DPRK to the Nazis would be a stretch, but that wasn't my point. We're still talking about appeasement here, and the parallel holds if you consider that in both cases, the strength was on the other side of the table. Britain and France were stronger than Germany in 1938. They chose to give in to Hitler's demands, hoping they could win the peace.
I will say, however, that even a single nuclear weapon could turn any third-rate dictator into a Hitler, able to bully his neighbors without fear of intervention by greater powers. See: Pakistan.
Nuclear proliferation is clearly one of the greatest threats the world faces, but NK isn't the first player I'd worry about. That spot would be reserved for our current buddies the Pakistanis.
Who became nuclear-capable during the Clinton era. Again, the opportunity for control has been lost. Pakistan is now the world's radioactive Johnny Appleseed, proliferating fission technology to all comers.
The Pakistani relationship is a matter of bad choices and worse ones. Better an "ally" than an enemy.
The other elephant in the nuclear room that no one talks about is Israel. Heck, they joined the nuke club in part through stealing our nuclear secrets and we just look the other way.
Strangely, I don't think of Israel as a threat to world peace. It's true that they helped S. Africa develop their bomb, so I can't hold them blameless, but I don't worry at all about Israel using their weapons aggressively. After six invasions and 50 years of Arab-funded terrorism, they have a perfectly good reason for a nuclear defense.
Remember, we gave nukes to Britain and France as well. No one should worry about that, either.
Compare that to Pakistan's conduct after joining the nuclear club. After losing three wars to India's superior military, the Pakistanis have accelerated their terrorist campaign in the Kashmir, and even launched a commando attack against the Indian parliament. When India sent troops to Kashmir, Pakistan threatened to use their nukes.
Back in the 1980s, Iraq made it's nuclear aims clear: They threatened to destroy Israel. Iran doesn't even have it's bomb yet, and they're saying the same thing.
Frankly, I think the lesson that BushCo's respective treatment of NK and Iraq teaches the rest of the world is "Join the nuke club as quickly as you can"
You can't blame NoKo's conduct on Bush. How is he mistreating the DPRK? Yes, he refuses to negotiate with Kim, because the benefits all go one way. Kim will give up nothing, and asks for more Danegeld. Appeasement got us into this mess, and paying ransom will only buy Kim more technology and time.
I wish the lessons learned were "attempt to gain WMD and you will lose your sovereign state," and I wish the world's democracies could agree on that. Diplomacy can't be all carrots and no sticks. We tried that in North Korea, and eight years later, we've learned that Kim turned our carrots into sticks.