Thursday, October 17, 2002
Now they get it: The New York Times' editorial page has finally seen the light on North Korea, after being hit on the head with the fact that, yes Virginia, they do have nukes.
Because North Korea has now violated solemn international weapons agreements, any new understandings will have to be verified unconditionally and highly intrusively. If there is one analogy appropriate to Iraq, it is this: Keeping nuclear weapons out of the hands of dictators who want them requires more than signed agreements.
For some reason, I'm still extremely skeptical the Times will apply that same bit of reasoning to Saddam Hussein.
While the Times finally sees the light on North Korea, they also, earlier in the editorial, illustrate the inanity of the dovish position on war with Iraq.
People on both sides of the Iraq debate will use this alarming news to prop up their views. Hawks will say this demonstrates the futility of treaties with megalomaniacal dictators, while doves will say this gives the lie to the administration's argument that Iraq is uniquely dangerous.
The only doves who make the argument the Times outlines are those who don't know history and have little capability for abstract thought.
First, unlike North Korea's Kim Jong Il, Saddam Hussein has actually used weapons of mass destruction -- on his own people no less.
Second, just because North Korea is a danger to U.S. national security, doesn't mean that Iraq isn't a danger too.