Neocons and North Korea

Last post I simply listed the names of the neocons for many to ponder. Here's more:

I am currently studying the North Korean conflict with historian Gavan McCormack, visiting scholar at International Christian University, and professor at Australian National University. He is the author of the recent book, "Target North Korea." The basic premise of the book is that North Korea is the only nation in the world to stand at the sharp end of America's nuclear sword for over half a century and still not be attacked. He is fair in his approach, but it does make you wonder why Kim Jong Il is so crazy - I'd be crazy too if I had a gun pointed at my head for so long.

Now, in class I presented on the neocons and North Korea. Here are some thoughts.

First, a thought from DPRK:
“If the United States persistently pursues its confrontational hostile policy towards the DPRK from the viewpoint of escapism, it will only compel the DPRK to double its deterrent force,” the newspaper said. The commentary said the root cause of the US policy was that Washington wanted to retain military influence in the region, even though the United States — unlike its regional partners — is a long way from Northeast Asia. .

Now, who are these neocons?

During the last four years, the term “neo-conservative” has risen to common use in political dialogue. For some, they are new phenomenon. However, neo-cons find their roots in deep in the cold war.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the “birthplace” of the modern neoconservative movement was during the 1960’s and 1970’s in Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson’s office. Sen. Jackson served as a senator from Washington State for over four decades, and today has both a foundation and school of International Affairs at the University of Washington named after him. He twice sought the Democratic Party nomination for President, but failed. He is well known for his environmental legislation.

He was also a staunch anti-communist, and has been described as one of the “most strident Cold Warriors or either political party.” This stand attracted his young protégés who have since become the staunchest supports and architects of President George Bush’s foreign policy. Notably, Richard Perle, Doug Feith, and Elliot Abrams all worked for the Senator.

The Christian Science Monitor has a wonderful primer on Neo Conservatism on their website: They identify four organizations that promote neoconservative thought today. They include the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and the Center for Security Policy (CSP). There are also several publications of note: “Commentary,” “National Review,” “The Weekly Standard,” “The New Republic,” “The National Interest,” and “The Public Interest.”

In compiling a list of neo conservatives, the starting place is undoubtedly “The Project for the New American Century” ( The project began with a letter released June 3, 1997. The signatories of that letter include a who’s who of American politics.

What do they believe?

According to the Project for the New American Century website, there are four neocon motives:

1. Increase defense spending
2. Strengthen ties to democratic allies, and challenge those hostile to US “interests and values.”
3. Promote political and economic freedom overseas
4. “Accept responsibility for America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles”

Surely, there is no reason for the North Koreans to feel threatened, is there?
Let's try these documents:

January 20, 2002 State of the Union - The “Axis of Evil” speech.
“Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction. Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.
Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.
Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens -- leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections -- then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.”
May 6, 2002 – “Beyond the Axis of Evil: Additional Threats from Weapons of Mass Destruction.”John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International SecurityRemarks to the Heritage Foundation
”The Administration will not assume that because a country’s formal subscription to UN counterterrorism conventions or its membership in multilateral regimes necessarily constitutes an accurate reading of its intentions. We call on Libya, Cuba, and Syria to live up to the agreements they have signed. We will watch closely their actions, not simply listen to their words. Working with our allies, we will expose those countries that do not live up to their commitments.”
September 17, 2002 – Release of the National Security Strategy
According to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice:
“It calls on America to use our position of unparalleled strength and influence to create a balance of power that favors freedom. As the President says in the cover letter: we seek to create the "conditions in which all nations and all societies can chose for themselves the rewards and challenges of political and economic liberty."
This strategy has three pillars:
· We will defend the peace by opposing and preventing violence by terrorists and outlaw regimes.
· We will preserve the peace by fostering an era of good relations among the world's great powers.
· And we will extend the peace by seeking to extend the benefits of freedom and prosperity across the globe. Defending our Nation from its enemies is the first and fundamental commitment of the Federal Government. And as the world's most powerful nation, the United States has a special responsibility to help make the world more secure.”

This is reinforced by William Kristol in his magazine (funded by Rupert Murdoch):

Editorial in “The Weekly Standard” by William Kristol and Gary SchmittOctober 28, 2002 “Lessons of a Nuclear North Korea”

For almost a decade, the New York Times, the Clinton administration, and others have told us that the only sensible strategy for dealing with North Korea was engagement. But it hasn’t worked; if anything, it has actually increased the incentives for North Korea (and like-minded states) to develop as many dangerous “bargaining chips” as they can. This softheaded policy of engagement produces a world no one wants to live in. And certainly our current difficulty in confronting an armed North Korea shows precisely why dealing with Iraq and Saddam Hussein can’t wait. As President Bush has made clear over the past year, the United States has a fundamental choice to make in confronting rogue states, dictators, developing weapons of mass destruction, and global terrorism: Either we act aggressively to shape the world and change regimes where necessary, or we accept living in a world in which our very existence is contingent on the whims of unstable tyrants.

So, on November 3rd, if John Kerry wins and you hear a loud noise coming from across the horizon, it's probobly a big sigh from North Korea.

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