The howls were amazing when they were named part of the Axis of Evil - remember! Bush caused all of this by that speech, right? Not so fast.
John Kerry is right that we are in a mess now because the North Korean situation was mishandled early on. He’s just wrong about when the real mistake took place. The Clinton administration’s failed deal gave the North Koreans the time they needed to cheat, consolidate their ability to destroy Seoul with artillery, and develop nukes. The Bush administration inherited this situation. What John Kerry wants to do in both North Korea and Iran is to repeat Clinton’s mistake by negotiating yet another bogus bargain. The North Koreans and Iranians will drag out those negotiations until they have developed still more nuclear weapons. This is indeed a crisis, and one with no easy solution. But the greatest check on North Korea and Iran right now is their fear that they might go too far and provoke an American attack. That is why each country desperately wants John Kerry to defeat president Bush. The North Koreans and Iranians know perfectly well that they will be able to jerk Kerry around in negotiations forever, while they expand and possibly export their nuclear arsenals. And they know that Kerry is far less likely to do something serious about their crossing any “red lines” than president Bush. The fact that the president has remained resolute despite our internal divisions over Iraq, and the fact that he might actually win reelection because of that, scares the North Koreans and Iranians tremendously. Right now, their fear of president Bush is the best defense we have at this perilous moment in history.