Friday, August 27, 2004

Deadlines for Dictators

I was off to sleep when my eye caught the breaking news story via Reuters covering an article in tomorrow's New York Times.

In it, he admits "miscalcuations in Iraq" due to the too swift victory. So, if only things had gone worse in Iraq, they would have gone better? Brilliant.

But that's not what caught my eye. According to the coverage of the article:

"The president also discussed the issue of North Korea (news - web sites) and Iran's nuclear ambitions, saying that he would not be rushed to set deadlines."

"The newspaper said 'Bush displayed none of the alarm about North Korea's growing arsenal that he once voiced regularly about Iraq.'"

Wow. A country with a real doozy of a dictator holding nuclear weapons - no alarm. A country with a real doozy of a dictator holding, um, nothing and it's "The sky is falling, the sky if falling, it's falling, the sky." I wonder whether it exhibits a combination of casual prejudice coupled with opportunistic hegemonic desire to say "Hey, we can finally invade Iraq - Americans won't be able to distinguish between Iraqis and Al Qaeda" but leaving real dangers to fester and erupt.

But even better, some of you (all zero of you reading this) may remember the run-up to war, many of you might recall that the Bush administration arranged for all kinds of deadlines and timelines, including most notably the one for the Hussein family to leave Iraq. How does the President feel about such things?

"It quoted him as saying about the leaders of North Korea and Iran: 'I don't think you give timelines to dictators.'"


"I'm confident that over time this will work -- I certainly hope it does," the newspaper quoted Bush as saying of the diplomatic approach."
in which the President asserts

Aside from the mind-numbingly foolish, flip-flopping hypocrisy, let's examine what lesson this might offer dictators. Dictators with nukes get diplomacy. Dictators without nukes get bombed. Hmm, I wonder what most dictators will try to do.

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