Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Price of Fecklessness

The great John Bolton has it exactly right. We will pay a big price for being flat on our back with respect to North Korea and all of the other evil ones in the world that we seek to placate - and it will get only worse in an Obama administration (probably a McCain administration to).

Bush's North Korea Surrender Will Have Lasting Consequences
The negative ramifications are not confined to Northeast Asia. In Tehran and the capitals of other terrorist states and aspiring nuclear proliferators, policy makers are doubtless ecstatic that Pyongyang has out-negotiated Washington once more, and they are considering ways to apply the North Korea model to their own situations.

The North was nearly able to complete a nuclear reactor in Syria, and possibly other, related facilities, and suffered no penalty for it. Perhaps Iran will conclude it should do the same. What does it have to lose? In Tripoli, Moammar Gadhafi must be wondering why Libya's nuclear-weapons program now resides in Oak Ridge, Tenn., whereas the full extent of the DPRK's program remains unknown and now unknowable.

Having bent the knee to North Korea, Secretary Rice appears primed to do the same with Iran, despite that regime's egregious and extensive involvement in terrorism and the acceleration of its nuclear program. Watch for the opening of a U.S. diplomatic post in Tehran within days after our Nov. 4 election, and other concessions on the nuclear front. Hard as it is to believe, there may be worse yet to come.
We are losing. We have decided that we would rather just get along than win, and as a result we are losing.

Just wait, the consequences will be tragic.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Message from the Defectors

North Korean Defectors Send Anti-Kim Jong Il Leaflets by Balloon to North
A group of North Korean human rights campaigners has defied a request of the South Korean government and launched thousands of balloon-borne leaflets into North Korea. VOA's Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.

About a dozen people belonging to the South Korea-based "North Korea Freedom Coalition" took to the seas on Friday, carrying a cargo of thousands of leaflets - each one printed on tissue-thin plastic material resembling convenience store shopping bags.

The leaflets describe North Korean leader Kim Jong Il as a "devilish killer who views his people only as slaves." They say Kim Jong Il is the sole reason for North Korea's hunger and poverty.

When their boat reached a point about eight kilometers west of the South Korean city of Incheon, coalition members filled giant 12 meter long balloons with helium. Then they attached bundles of leaflets to the balloons, and let the ocean wind whisk them away, off in the direction of North Korea. By the end of the day some hundred thousand leaflets were airborne.
Of course, It is not so simple. The South Korean government does not want them to do this. The diplomats don't like it.
Balloon launches like this have gotten North Korea's attention. At inter-Korean military talks earlier this month, the North complained specifically about leaflets carried by balloon, and asked Seoul to put a stop to the launches.

South Korea's Unification Ministry followed up by requesting the defectors group stop the leaflet operations - but Park says he had no intention of complying.

He says only dictatorships order people what to do. South Korea, he says, is a democratic nation - and the government here cannot order legitimate human rights groups around.
Park Sang-hak has it right, and good for him. The diplomats have it wrong, as they always do.

The go along, get along attitude of diplomats has NEVER won anyone their freedom. With the left™ about to take over government here in the U. S. you can also expect to see us behave in the same way. Our diplomats are every bit as weak and feckless as theirs and we will soon be a country whose opinion can safely be ignored.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

North Korea to make "Important Announcement"

I know that I am not supposed to wish for such things, but I truly hope that the Dear Monster is dead.

Japanese report says North Korea will make 'important announcement'
TOKYO — A Japanese newspaper says North Korea has ordered its diplomats abroad to be on standby for an "important announcement" which could be about the health of its leader, Kim Jong Il.

Quoting several unidentified sources, the Yomiuri newspaper said North Korea had told its diplomats to refrain from travelling to be ready for the announcement.

It said the order was probably issued several days ago.

It says the announcement could be about Kim's health or North Korea's relations with neighbouring South Korea.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Solution to Piracy

I have said this before. There is only one solution to piracy and, sadly, the UN as well as our own government are too feckless to do it.


These are not cute people. They murder at will and stand to seriously affect world trade. Report warns Somali piracy threat to world trade
NAIROBI (AFP) — World trade faces major disruption if Somali piracy is unchecked and allowed to be co-opted by extremists and maritime routes could be gradually diverted, a report released on Thursday said.

London-based think tank Chatham House warned in a briefing paper that the international community needed to take swift action as pirates were rapidly improving their equipment and modus operandi.

Around 60 ships have been attacked so far this year alone. The danger has caused insurance premiums to rise tenfold in a year.

"If the cost of extra insurance becomes prohibitive, or the danger simply too great, shipping companies may avoid the Gulf of Aden and take the long route to Europe and North America around the Cape of Good Hope," it said.

"The extra weeks of travel and fuel consumption would add considerably to the cost of transporting goods" at a time when the price of oil is already putting the squeeze on world trade, Chatham House said.
And that support for terrorism;
"The other worst-case scenario is that pirates become agents of international terrorism," the study said, stressing that previous occurrences of seaborne terrorism in the region should act as an alarm bell.

Chatham House also argued that the ransom collected by pirates was likely used to fuel the war in Somalia and was routed to the Shebab, a hardline Islamist militia listed as a terrorist organisation by Washington.
And murder;
Pirates last week attracted the world's attention when they seized a cargo of battle tanks headed for Kenya and Chatham House warned it was only a matter of time before a hostage was executed.
See also these somewhat older stories;

Somali pirates seize Greek ship

Somali Pirates Held Record 374 Hostages in September

And if they pirate a ship carrying biological or chemical weapons (or worse) then you might actually get what is coming to you; Mysterious Cargo Aboard Iranian Ship Seized by Pirates Raises WMD Concerns
As Somali pirates brazenly maintain their standoff with American warships off the coast of Africa, the cargo aboard one Iranian ship they commandeered is raising concerns that it may contain materials that can be used for chemical or biological weapons.

Some local officials suspect that instead of finding riches, the pirates encountered deadly chemical agents aboard the Iranian vessel.

On Aug. 21, the pirates, armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, stole onto the decks of the merchant vessel Iran Deyanat.

They ransacked the ship and searched the containers. But in the days following the hijacking, a number of them fell ill and died, suffering skin burns and hair loss, according to reports.

The pirates were sickened because of their contact with the seized cargo, according to Hassan Osman, the Somali minister of Minerals and Oil, who met with the pirates to facilitate negotiations.
Sounds like radiation sickness to me, and others.
Chemical experts say the reports sound inconsistent with chemical poisoning, but may reflect the effects of exposure to radiation.

"It's baffling," said Jonathan Tucker, a senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. "I'm not aware of any chemical agent that produces loss of hair within a few days. That's more suggestive of high levels of radioactive waste."
Not necessarily waste either, I think.