Sunday, December 02, 2007

Some Fallout of Appeasement

Appeasement, however seemingly "minor" will always have bad effects. These effects can be seen not only in the strengthening of the enemy but in the harm do to allies and to the relationships with allies who may be in trouble.

Both of you, my faithful readers, already know what I think of our weakness in the face of the Dear Murderer-Freaks crimes and provocations. Here is some more (it never stops).

Pyongyang Fallout
One unfortunate consequence of the Bush Administration’s about face-face on North Korea is playing out in Tokyo, where the new Prime Minister is struggling to deal with a string of recent insults from Washington. The sharpest slap may come today.

When Yasuo Fukuda visits the White House, President Bush is widely expected to tell him that he plans to take North Korea off the U.S. list of state sponsors of terror, despite Pyongyang’s refusal to provide any new information on the Japanese citizens it kidnapped in the 1970s and ‘80s. Information on the abductees has been Tokyo’s top priority in he six-party nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea.

Until recently, the administration has made progress on the abductees issue a prerequisite for taking North Korea off the terrorist list. Last year Mr. Bush met in the Oval Office with the mother of Megumi Yokota, a 13-year old girl who was kidnapped by North Korean spies in 1977 as she was walking home from school in the western city of Niigata. He called it “one of the most moving meetings since I have been the President.”
U.S. support for Japan’s position also goes to the heart of American credibility as a security partner. Some Japanese are already beginning to wonder why the U.S. is so eager for a deal that won’t truly de-nuclearize the North, which has hundreds of missiles capable of reaching any corner of their country.

North Korea has failed to declare the components of its nuclear program-seven month after the agreed-upon deadline for doing so. And there are growing doubts that the U.S. will insist on an accounting that includes the North’s nuclear weapons, its stockpile of plutonium, and a uranium program That Pyongyang once touted but now says doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, the Yongbyon nuclear reactor that is now being “disabled” too much fanfare may already be at or near the end of its useful life. No wonder Tokyo is nervous.

J. Thomas Schieffer, the U.S. ambassador in Tokyo, is widely reported to have sent Mr. Bush a private cable last month, warning that the pending nuclear deal with North Korea could damage relations with Japan. There are indications that may already be happening.

On November 1, Japan suspended its naval mission to supply fuel to U.S.-led coalition forces in the Indian Ocean. Mr. Fukuda’s government pushed through a watered down bill in the Diet’s lower house this week restarting the mission. The Prime Minister decided against using his authority to push through stronger registration in part, we are told, on the counsel of advisers who urged him to distance himself from the Americans. That kind of thinking could lead to a decision by a future Japanese government to go nuclear, rather than run the risk of relying on the unreliable Americans.
North Korea is winning due to our weakness and gullibility.

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