Rice also refuted North Korea's contention that it needs nuclear weapons for "self-defense." "The North Koreans have no reason to believe that anyone wants to attack them," said Rice. "The president of the United States said in South Korea that the United States has no intention to attack North Korea. They've been told they can have multilateral security assurances if they will make the important decision to give up their nuclear weapons program."The reason that Dubya's image as a "Cowboy" has caught on so well both here and abroad is that he fosters that image. Aside from the whole Texan thing, Dubya fancies himself a wild card. He shoots from the hip. He's a loose cannon. I believe one of the reasons that we lost back in November is that after we yelled all these reasons to voters, many of them responded in smug unison with, "Yeah? So?" and all the rest of us were left speechless.
There are a number of people who like Bush and voted for him because he seems a little nuts. Their view is that since terrorists and some world leaders are unreasonable, why shouldn't he be. Maybe things would get done with an unreasonable man in office. Maybe a combination of veiled threats, saber rattling, and outright warfare would get some people's attention and bring them into line. Problem is, it doesn't always work that way.
Rice's attempt to tell North Korea to settle down and take it easy would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic. Ever since Bush's "Axis of Evil" declaration (boy, he loves rhetorically linking his war with that of the Greatest Generation, doesn't he), North Korea has been on his sh*t list. He named three countries as part of the Axis. The first we invaded and occupied. The second we (specifically, Rice herself) have made major threats towards in the past several weeks. The third is North Korea. Now tell me again why they have no reason to be paranoid?
If the world has learned nothing else from the Iraq invasion, it is this: If Dubya wants to invade, he'll find a reason. Let's review: Bush threatened to invade Iraq if they didn't give up their WMD's. Iraq said that all their WMD's were destroyed. Bush called them liars, presented some cruddy evidence and invaded anyway. When no weapons were found, he said the invasion was really all about bringing democracy to an oppressed people. After all, we all know how real interested Bush is in human rights in particular countries where it suits his plans.
Why wouldn't North Korea believe that, after hypothetically giving up their nuclear weapons program, Bush would say either, "You're lying. You have them hidden. We're going in." or "You're people are oppressed. We're going in."? The answer is that there's no reason at all. Bush can't have it both ways. He can't portray himself as having and itchy trigger finger and an on-a-mission-from-God mindset and then say, with a straight face, that he's willing to sit down and talk this through.
So my advice to Condi, who is about to discover how really stressful Colin Powell's old job can be, is this: Although Kim Jong-il is a certifiable nutjob, don't go and insult the man's intelligence.