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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Saturday, October 19, 2002

It's Easy To be Gracious When You Are Right

OK, I'm guessing - someday I'll be right, and we'll see just how easy it is for me to be gracious. But Daniel Drezner makes it look easy.

Prof. Drezner concluded that "The hypocrisy charge sticks" in his post evaluating North Korea. In response to my anguished query, he then modified and clarified his point in a follow-up. My argument was that, absent a viable military option with N Korea, the Administration is stuck with the diplomatic route, and that the "Bush Doctrine" included pre-emption as an alternative, not as a commitment to hopeless warfare. And, Holy Cow, he agrees with me that the Administration is not acting in a manner inconsistent with its stated principles. I may never blog again!

However, he goes on to clarify his hypocrisy argument - referring to the NY Times piece, he points out that the arguments offered by the anonymous Admin officials do not make this point. Instead, the reasons given are a bit of a stretch. Prof. Drezner nicely summarizes this as arguing that, between Saddam and North Korea, we are being assured that there is a "malevolence gap". Well, that is silly. However, it is the outside experts in the Times piece that offer the real reasons for pursuing the diplomatic route.

I will Boldly Predict that this will be clarified on the Sunday talk shows. Some official will be sent out to tell us what we already know, that North Korea is too hard a target, militarily. Invade North Korea? Call that "re-invade" North Korea: the idea has a ghastly "been there, done that, got the t-shirt shot full of holes" quality.

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