Thursday, January 02, 2003

Josh Marshall starts taking apart the administration's attempts to avoid blame for the Korean crisis--er--"situation":
The line taken on this point by administration defenders is, what do you want us to do? Go to war? They've got nukes and forty thousand of our soldiers are there ready to get slaughtered and they can destroy Seoul and on and on and on. This line of argument is supposed to shut up administration critics because who wants to be in the position of encouraging the administration to go to war. But it doesn't end the argument, it just gets it going. If war is such an ugly and unviable option -- and it is -- then why in the hell did they provoke this situation in the first place? It's a really good question and one the administration and its defenders are entirely incapable of answering. You only get to seem tough and principled and Churchillian if you draw a line in the sand and then have something to follow it up with. You only get credit for pointing out what everyone already knew -- that the 1994 agreement was an imperfect one and perhaps only a stopgap -- if you've got something better. If you don't, you just look like a fool.


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