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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Friday, October 18, 2002

Totally Retro, But Amusing

In a lame attempt to create some sort of "faux-interactivity" with their readership, the Dead Tree NY Times has a feature quaintly titled "Letters to the Editor". Please. The editor gets hundrds of letters and picks a few that make some damn point or other. But let's check out the letters regarding the news that North Korea has cheated on their nuclear agreement.

First letter: "The administration's decision to withhold this information was apparently another cynical ploy to force a vote in Congress about Iraq while withholding critical and relevant facts."

Hey, suddenly I like this creative new feature offered by the Times! OK, this reader thinks it weakens the case for action against Iraq, but still. Who's next?

"But one wonders if President Bush isn't reasonable in his fears that too much trust and negotiation with Iraq could lead to even worse results."

Hey, this is what I'm talking about right here. What are the odds of hitting three straight?

"The Bush administration's preparations for an invasion of Iraq and its declared intention to pre-emptively attack any country that it deems a terrorist threat will encourage many countries to aggressively pursue a technology that promises protection against more powerful foes."

Oh, well. But let's applaud those crafty North Koreans - since they began cheating years ago, they must have anticipated not only Bush's nomination, but the controversial role played by Scalia in his eventual ascension to the Presidency. Maybe one of these North Korean analysts should get a job covering elections at one of the networks.

Any more?

"Should the worst happen in Korea, would fighting in the Taiwan Strait be far behind? So where are we headed? A three-front war? Or possibly World War III?

He who persists in denial of the danger may be doomed to live in fear — fear of the destruction of the world."

Now that is frightening - not the three-front war scenario, but the odd fortune cookie ending: he who persists in denial is doomed to live in fear. What the heck is the point of denial, if not to avoid living in fear? Maybe he means, if Bush lives in denial, the rest of us are doomed to live in fear. Well, I'm already afraid, and thanks for caring. But it is the failed policies of Clinton-Gore that have me on edge.

And finally, either Bush is a hypocrite and Iraq is just a political exercise, or:

"Since North Korea has, along with Iraq and Iran, been labeled by President Bush as part of an "axis of evil," I would expect nothing less than a "regime change," by force, in Pyongyang."

Myself, I would love to see regime change in North Korea. Hard luck that militarily they are a very tough nut, and have Seoul within range of their artillery. Sort of why we have had a stand-off there for about fifty years. But guided by a "do what you can, endure what you must" philosophy, Bush wants to deal with Iraq while it is still relatively manageable. And we do appreciate the writer's endorsement of the concept of regime change. Having established what the writer is, we are now reduced to haggling over his price. I, of course, have already sold out.

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