North Korea's and Iraq's Weapons Declarations: One of These Things Is Exactly Like the Other, Except Not:
Wait, wait, wait a minute here. North Korea submits a weapons declaration to China that might tell us what we want to know about their nuclear weapons programs; as Condoleezza Rice said, "I do think it’s important to note that if we can verifiably determine the amount of plutonium that has been made, we then have an upper hand in understanding what may have happened in terms of weaponisation." You got that? And the result is that it's cool by the Bush administration.
In fact, shit's more than cool. It's downright detenterrific. Said the President, "First, I'm issuing a proclamation that lifts the provisions of the Trading with the Enemy Act with respect to North Korea. And secondly, I am notifying Congress of my intent to rescind North Korea's designation as a state sponsor of terror in 45 days."
Now, if the Rude Pundit remembers his recent history (although, truth be told, these days, shit that happened last year seems about as distant as the tadpole days of a dying frog - such is the result of our American dementia), back in December 2002, there was another member of the Axissss o' Eeeeeevil who made a big ol' weapons declaration, when Iraq "delivered a 12,000-page declaration on banned weapons to the United Nations, meeting a Security Council deadline with more than 24 hours to spare. Officials said the documents confirmed, in rebuttal of American and British claims, that Saddam Hussein's government had no weapons of mass destruction and no current programs to develop them." As the ever dickish Ari Fleischer said at the time, Iraq had issued "what it claims is a declaration of its programs to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems."
That huge motherfucker, which turned out to be more right than just about every publicly revealed assessment about Iraq's WMDs, was given this prelude by Bush: "We will judge the declaration's honesty and completeness only after we have thoroughly examined it, and that will take some time. The declaration must be credible and accurate and complete, or the Iraqi dictator will have demonstrated to the world once again that he has chosen not to change his behavior."
Now, hey, groovy, man, that actual, honest-to-god, "talking to our enemies" diplomacy has produced results. And, yeah, Bush made sure to say he hasn't gone all pussy on North Korea ("We remain deeply concerned about North Korea's human rights abuses"). But the disjunction is jarring, like that moment when you realize that your parents are carnal creatures who were probably 69ing while you were dreaming of GI Joe adventures.
Who knew there were levels of eeeevil in that axisss? Today, more than ever, the throbbing hard-on this White House had for war with Iraq is a visible tent in their pleated trousers.