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Our Newest Diplomacy: No Santa for Kim

Our latest diplomatic efforts to deal with North Korea border on complete insanity, extreme naiveté or both. What would you say to this dialogue?

“All right, son, if you are going to continue to build nuclear weapons in the garage, test them out in the open fields, if you construct new missiles to fire the weapons at a long distance, if you get your gang members to keep marching in front of the house with weapons drawn and on military parade, and if you go on repeating these violent verbal threats against your mother and me, we will have no choice but to ban you from having the right to buy iPods, cognac, sporting equipment and Rolex watches from us.”

Absurd, you say? Yeah, so do I. But that is the new plan right from the Commerce Department. God almighty, WAKE UP AMERICA!!

This ridiculous idea which is now being attempted by the current administration is said to be an effort to punish North Korean dictator Kim Jong II for his militancy by denying him “luxury imports” from the United States.

Like he won’t be able to get them elsewhere. Oh sure. And what if he can or cannot? The issue here is what we do about a country that now has nuclear capability, albeit rudimentary, and routinely threatens and screams war chants at the United States. Our great super-power has the new answer. Lets deny him jet skis and plasma TV’s!!

Idiotic. There is no other word for this latest absurdity. Former Clinton senior Commerce Department official, William Reinsch, actually attempted to comment rationally on this new program:

“It’s a new concept; its kind of creative…The problem is there has always been and will always be this group of people who work at getting goods illegally,” he said. That is because small electronics, such as iPods or laptops, are “untraceable and available all over the place,” he continued.

Yeah. Right. The problem is exactly that, but the goods Kim has been receiving that are “untraceable and available all over the place” are things like raw and enriched uranium, plutonium, nuclear processing equipment, reactors, missile launchers and such.

“If you take away one of the tools of his control, perhaps you weaken the cohesion of his leadership,” said former U.S. State Department official Robert J. Einhorn, part of the group that went to North Korea in 2000 with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. They all ate very well at their lavish visit there while the rest of the country continued to starve. Albright’s answer to our growing threat from this country was to present Kim with presents, including a signed basketball from Michael Jordan because the loveable little dictator just adores basketball. All this, while he imprisons millions, stifles any dissent and lets millions more go without any food at all.

Apparently, Mr. Einhorn, and others, I guess, actually believe that if we impede Kim’s ability to give his friends, his most faithful bureaucrats, American-made electronic gifts, we’ll embarrass him and ruin his ability to “lead.”  At least they all think it is worth a try.

Trade groups involved with some of these so-called “luxury items” jumped on the new bandwagon as well. Apparently the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has said it supports the Administration’s policies. The Jet Ski group was right in there too:

“The thousands of American and Canadians who build, ship and sell personal watercraft are patriots first,” Maureen Healey, head of the water sports trade group is quoted as saying. She endorses the idea “because of the narrow nature of this ban and the genuine dangers that responsible world governments are trying to stave off.”

Well, if we are really trying to be responsible and stave off a madman who now knowingly has weapons of mass destruction and mass communication devices that have brain-washed a good portion of his people against the United States in particular and other freedom and peace loving countries as well, the answer is not to deny this idiot electronic toys and other “narrow natured” bans. The answer is to get rid of him, and do it now, or at the very least degrade his ability to cause any other nation harm.

The trouble with many peace loving people and peace loving nations is that they value their peace so highly that they are unwilling to fight for it. Just as Winston Churchill knew in the 1930s, you cannot ignore a growing menace and you cannot attempt to placate it by looking the other way at massive land-grabs, or by giving gifts nor by making shallow statements, like  “peace in our time.” A bully is a bully as long as you allow him to be. If a kid on the school playground is picking fights with everyone, if that kid has a lethal weapon, the strategy to defeat him cannot be to deny him his lunch.

The only strategy must be a very firm hand. This strategy must be very simple “You have 10 days (or even 10 seconds) to disarm completely and if you don’t the biggest superpower in the world is going to deny you one helluva lot more than your latest ipod.”

Fear of action, fear of our own strength is rendering America useless around the globe, and, no doubt soon, here at home as well. We have the power, much of it non-nuclear, to deal with errant children who run errant nations. It is time to act with strength and not like a disgruntled Santa Claus.

Text message this: “Wake up America before it really is too late.”

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Written By

Mr. Weinberger is the son of the late U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. A 1968 graduate of Harvard College, Weinberger is a writer and lecturer on world events. A former television writer, producer and director for NBC affiliate KRON-TV in San Francisco, he served in both California Gov. and President Ronald Reagan's administrations. He now resides in Maine.

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