October 13, 2006

On Provoking Ponderous Ponderings of Pyongyang and Palestine

Hatched by Dafydd

Paul Mirengoff of Power Line has a great post up, "On Talking With the Enemy." Paul takes up the question of whether "I believe in talking to your enemies," as James A. Baker III, co-chair of the newly formed Iraq Study Group, likes to say, is a workable policy -- or just a mindless liberal slogan. Sorry for the redundancy. Paul's conclusion:

We should, of course, make an effort to find out the real views of our enemies. And if those views indicate the possibility of negotiations that hold a reasonable promise of a beneficial outcome for us, we ordinarily should hold such negotiations. But it's pointless at best, and dangerous at worst, to hold publicized negotiations when we know that the enemy's bottom line is one that we cannot accept. Indeed, while critics of the Bush administration like to remind us that we talked with the "evil empire" Soviet Union, we actually learned through bitter experience to avoid holding major summit-style talks unless there was reason to believe they would succeed in advancing our interests.

Paul considers this point in the context of the bilateral talks with North Korea that many Democrats, including Republican Baker, demand the Bush administration undertake, hoping for the same wonderful outcome we had when the Clinton-Carter team agreed upon the Agreed Framework (hence the name) with Kim Jong-Il in 1994. The net effect of the Agreed Framework, along with South Korea's Sunshine Policy of "engaging" North Korea, was described in the Washington Times by Dr. Yearn Hong Choi (and quoted in yet another Power Line post) thus:

North Korea kidnapped South Korean fishermen from the open sea and Japanese citizens from the seashore of Japan, and bombed a South Korean plane. The DPRK sold opium and produced counterfeit U.S. dollars. It has been starving its own people. But it has produced nuclear bomb(s) and long-distance missiles in order to threaten South Korea, Japan and the United States....

The appeasement policy and Sunshine policy just helped the North Korean dictator sustain his power, rather than have his country go bankrupt.

I really like Paul's criterion: no negotiations with the enemy if his bottom line is utterly unacceptable. It leads to quick resolution of a lot of thorny issues. Here's one:

  1. The bottom-line position of both ruling Hamas and opposition Fatah in the Palestinian Authority is the destruction of Israel and expulsion of the Jews;
  2. This is clearly unacceptable to Israel and to the United States;
  3. Therefore, negotiations between Israel and the PA, or between the United States and the PA, are utterly pointless and should be broken off.

I have long agreed with the Power Line crew that President Bush's "Roadmap to Peace" is a farce, his worst foreign-policy program... and not coincidentally, completely at odds with his stance on all other terrorist organizations, including, oddly enough, Iran's proxy, Hezbollah: Bush does not demand Israel commence negotiations with Hassan Nasrallah on how much of northern Israel should be ceded to Hezbollah.

What could change the climate on negotiations with the PA? Only a change in their bottom line. If something forces the PA to drop the idea that they will ever be able to destroy Israel -- perhaps a horrific war, such as the civil war now looming in Gaza -- and they truly accept the inevitability of a two-state solution, then and only then would negotiations be feasible.

But you cannot negotiate your way to useful negotiations. You cannot negotiate your enemy's unacceptable bottom line into being acceptable, thus permitting negotiations. They have to change the goals first; and they will certainly need an external event to do so.

Until then, let the Palestinians stew in their own juices.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 13, 2006, at the time of 2:29 PM

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The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Great post!!!

Country's own Nukes...all around N-Korea. i missed it the other night, so add Russia to that list.

Why do we even talk about N-Korea!!!

Let's Nuke China or Russia...both would be a good move, with Pakistan tossed in.

We won't, so we wait once more...like a tired and cornered Wild Hog...wait for our next elections whilst we are at War...

"W" has given the Middle East another chance, so i will give him one more chance, and Vote against the Democrat Party in 2006. Shouldn't, but i will Vote one...more...time.

After this or 'Dat, then whatever works for me...so to speak of America and some Americans having an understanding of what Guerrilla warfare and/or Guerrilla theater and/or STREET THEATER is about.

Genghis Khan said it best:

"A man's greatest work is to break his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all the things that have been theirs, to hear the weeping of those who cherished them, to take their horses between his knees and to press in his arms, the most desirable of their women."

After that, the choices for Peace grow small, and one is forced to give up family and friends...if they wish to survive as a free human...if they can deal with the STREET THEATER that follows, and are willing to deal with such a pruning.


The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 13, 2006 5:12 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

OK...i just mentioned Genghis Khan.

Here's Bill Clinton speaking:

"When the chips are down, this country has been jammed to the right, jammed into an ideological corner, alienated from its allies, and we're in a lot of trouble," he said.

Bill was trying to gain more support for Jimmy Carter's son, at a fund raiser that featured "about 50 top-level donors to the Jack Carter for Senate campaign".

Have you ever hunted Wild Hog???


The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 13, 2006 5:45 PM

The following hissed in response by: DaveR

You forgot to mention the Rangoon bombing in 1983, where DPRK agents attempted to assassinate the Prime Minister of South Korea at a commemorative ceremony. They missed the PM, but killed the RoK Deputy PM and 20-odd others, mostly South Korean cabinet officers and reporters. Pretty damn impressive record when you can whack the Deputy PM and half the Cabinet of your neighbor country, and it not only doesn't even make the A-list of your misdeeds, but they keep on kissing your ass for another 20+ years!! How effen nuanced is that?!

The above hissed in response by: DaveR [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 13, 2006 6:08 PM

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

Negotiating bilaterally with North Korea would only work if we (USA) were the player with the most leverage, but we're not--China is. China could shut North Korea's itty bitty little economy down tomorrow--make them starve and freeze to death at the same time.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 13, 2006 6:37 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Yo...Palestinians. Have y'all ever saw an American basic beheading tool? Of course not.

Here is just one example

N-Korea...what is 'Da "Bomb" without even basic Electricity ?!?

Why do we even talk to, or even talk about the N-Koreans, Iraqis, and Iranians?!? Behead their males, and be done with their race...well, other than their females.

Accept Israel...or, be beheaded, and have your women produce my offspring.


The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 13, 2006 7:05 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Excellent, Dafydd. I excerpted and linked at If I could talk to the animals ...

So, here we have and Old War Dog leaving a comment for a Big Lizard about talking to animals. Beam me up, Scotty ...

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 14, 2006 12:17 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

Well done Dafydd.

I have never gotten it either. Somehow, just talking, seems like progress to many people.

For negotiations to work, you have to assume that the party you are negotiating with is trustworthy and rational. Neither is true with N. Korea or the Palestinians.

There is an element of game theory that deals with irrational opponents. Actually in poker it is called being "on-tilt", meaning that you (or your opponent) is pursuing an irrational strategy. At times rational players will intentionally pursue irrational strategies to get their opponents "on-tilt".

So are we on-tilt, or the N. Koreans? I've given up figuring the Palestinians.

Actually they are completely rational. What happens is that they get offered a great deal, one that 95% of Palestinians would accept. Their leader (however that may be) is about to agree...then he realizes that the last 5% will probably assassinate him like Sadat. Rational self-preservation.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 16, 2006 9:53 AM

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