6/25/2007

Who deserves the credit for foreign policy victory on Korean Peninsula?


Houston Chronicle: UN nuclear monitor to visit N. Korea

Everyone in Washington and on the major cable news networks has embraced the idea that President Bush has a failed foreign policy, and to back up this audacious claim it provides the "lost" war in Iraq as their evidence.

The problem with politicians making the bold and extreme decision to classify a particular president's policy failed, whether in the foreign or domestic realms, is that it guides their rhetoric on when addressing each by-product of said policy and marginalizes the scope of any debate over the nuances of that policy.

The recent breakthroughs in the drawn-out standoff between North Korean and essentially every other government in the world, but primarily the US, have brought the promise that the nuclear reactor which has recently been utilized in the development of several nuclear weapons from the rogue regime of Kim Jong-Il. The multilateral diplomatic approach utilized by the State Department under Colin Powell and Condi Rice is essentially the exact approach advocated by the president's detractors on Capitol Hill, so it would not surprise me if claims come from current presidential candidates, particularly on the Democratic side, that they in fact are responsible for this resounding foreign policy victory rather than the president.

I agree with everyone who asserts that Christopher Hill is the individual within the Bush Administration that deserves the lion-share of the credit, and I believe that the Chinese were the single indispensable element of the entire diplomatic effort. I also believe that the South Korean cooperation, serious cooperation on the part of Putin in Russia, as well as Japanese diplomatic leverage helped push the envelope and keep talks moving forward. But if Bush is to be tossed to the dust-bin of history based simply on his effort in Iraq then we are unlikely to learn anything from his presidency and American politics may be forever doomed to death by sensational sound-bite.

I am curious if someone would like to explain to me why the recent developments are not a significant mark of success on Bush's record. Any answer will suffice, conspiracy theory or critically contrived op-ed.

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