Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sweet Tammys Debut' & Build and They Will Qom!
Sweet Tammy's, Pittsburgh's eclectic and premier bakery, makes its debut today in three of Giant Eagles' signature grocery stores. Beginning with 7 SKU's - 5 various challah and two of their fabulous cookies, the plan is to place their products, over the ensuing months, into 12 stores, one of which will be out of state.
Sweet Tammy's is building a national brand and items can be mail ordered by going to Sweet-Tammys.Com
When you consider the quality of their ingredients, taste and cost 'ST' cannot be beat.
Now this is what I call clever advertising. (See image below.)
And I thought it was Goldman Sachs' fault.
Build and they will QOM! But then they will also destroy everything they build including your own society. (See 1 below.)
This nurse would like our president to grow up but that might be asking more than is humanly possible. (See 2 below.)
As I wrote yesterday. We lost the battle without having to fire a shot. (See 3 below.)
Defining Liberalism. (See 4 below.)
To hear 'Obamaites' tell it, it is Israel not Iran that is the greatest threat to world peace.
Obama seems to have a stranger 'lap dog ally' in Howard Berman who is gumming up the works and being paid back with campaign appearances by Emanuel.
I have often said Jews, Liberal ones, make the Jew's best enemies. FromKissinger to Berman. (See 5 below.)
Alas, there never was a table! All Obama puffery!
Like I wrote - Mother Hubbard diplomacy - the cupboard was always bare!
But Ignatius believes Obama is artfully laying a trap. Maybe our president should work for ORKIN!(See 6 and 6a below.)
Is Israel the only nation in the world not entitled to self-preservation and free to take actions in its own self-interest? Ayalon does not think so nor do I.
But Indyk warns, Israel must go it alone if it's self-interests do not mesh with America's. Of course, before Obama, America and Israel's interests were closely aligned. (See 7 below.)
Harvey fears the recent SEC attack on Goldman Sachs is for the 'Pitts.' (See 8 below.)
We are trying to warm up to Syria and the question remains will Assad come in out of the cold?
From my vantage point, we have no leverage over Syria as long as we remain soft on Iran.
Against tyrannical regimes you cannot play soft-ball.(See 9 below.)
Is South Korea's policy towards N Korea a useful diplomatic guide on how to deal with rogue states?
I once was on the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars' Board. Quite an impressive organization but I found there was little I could do to help their cause so I voluntarily resigned. I was grateful for the opportuity and met some fine and interesting people . (See 9a below.)
Leaving for Europe April 28. Hope it is not another Ash Wednesday. returning on May 21 and then leaving for two grandchildren's graduations so memos will truly be infrequent. You need a rest just as much as I do.
1) Iranian cleric blames quakes on promiscuous women More than 25,000 people died in the Bam quake Women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes, an Iranian cleric says. Hojjat ol-eslam Kazem Sediqi, the acting Friday prayer leader in Tehran, said women should stick to strict codes of modesty to protect themselves. "Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society which increases earthquakes," he explained. Tens of thousands of people have died in Iran earthquakes in the last decade.
Mr Sediqi was delivering a televised sermon at the Tehran University campus mosque last Friday on the need for a "general repentance" by Iranians when he warned of a "prevalence of degeneracy". "What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble? There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes," he said. 'Disappoint God' Correspondents say many young Iranians sometimes push the boundaries of how they can dress, showing hair under their headscarves or wearing tight-fitting clothes.
Mr Sediqi also described the violence following last year's disputed presidential election - the result of which prompted thousands of people to hold mass protests - as a "political earthquake". "Now if a natural earthquake hits Tehran, no one will be able to confront such a calamity but God's power, only God's power. So lets not disappoint God." More than 25,000 people died when a powerful earthquake hit the ancient city of Bam in 2003. Seismologists have warned that the capital, Tehran, is situated on a large number of tectonic fault lines and could be hit by a devastating earthquake soon. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said many of Tehran's 12 million inhabitants should relocate.
There are plans to build a purpose built new capital near Qom.
2)The President Who Won't Grow Up
By Carol Peracchio
Everything I need to know about Barack Obama I learned as a Cub Scout den leader.
Last week I watched an American president and a Russian leader sign a START treaty. I almost checked the calendar, wondering if I'd been transported back to 1980. In news stories of the summit I found a link to an article Barack Obama had written in 1983 while at Columbia University titled "Breaking the War Mentality." Back then, Obama was firmly in the nuclear freeze camp. It's true that many of us held views as college students that seem quaint and naïve after two or three decades. But compare the (nearly incomprehensible) writing of the 22-year-old Obama to the news reports last week. Incredibly, Obama's worldview has not changed. The Soviet Union is kaput, he is the leader of the free world, and he's still thinking the same way. He's the president who won't grow up.
Years ago, R. Emmett Tyrell characterized Bill Clinton as the "Boy President." In Barack Obama, I believe we are seeing the return of the little boy as president. As a former Cub Scout den leader, I spent a lot of time around boys. It struck me that the president exhibits classic little boy behavior. Here are a few examples:
Boys are bored by day-to-day work. Almost immediately after his inauguration, Obama started complaining. At a photo op at a school in February, 2009 he said, "We were just tired of being in the White House." The First Couple constantly leave the White House, putting the "frequent" into frequent flier.
Anyone who has been a Scout leader, coach, or teacher knows how quickly boys get bored. I used to plan extra activities, just in case the Cubs got fidgety. But an amazing thing happens as boys grow up: They are able to stay put for an hour. They stop whining, "This is boring!" and put in the necessary work to earn a merit badge or progress to the next rank. President Obama, however, reminds me of the Scout who would goof off and refuse to work during the meetings but return the next week with all the requirements for the merit badge signed off by his parents. Everyone, even his fellow Scouts, knew he didn't do the work. Which brings us to:
Boys don't respect things they haven't earned. Every parent I know has a story of a child given an expensive toy who treats it carelessly. But the toy that he has saved his allowance for months to purchase is treated with respect and reverence.
Barack Obama doesn't respect the presidency because he didn't earn it. He had a wafer-thin résumé, no paper trail, and a suspect autobiography. It took massive lifting from the media, Hollywood, and his PR team to put him over the top. He is like the college student whose mom is writing his papers. He doesn't value the education he's receiving because he isn't earning it, and he certainly isn't paying for it. He also doesn't respect the professors who are letting him get away with it. Note how President Obama treats the media.
Boys love snack and game time. It didn't matter how much I lectured or how formal the occasion -- as soon as grace was over, my Cubs shot to the front of the buffet line like a horse heading back to the barn. The best way to get them to pay attention to me during meetings was by threatening withholding of the cupcakes.
I've been fascinated by what foodies the First Couple are. Last year, we were treated to breathless reports on the gourmet food being served at the White House and the hot restaurants the Obamas were jetting off to. Even pizza became a "big f-ing deal" (as the Vice President would say). Perhaps the Republicans could coax Obama into listening to them by threatening to withhold the Wagyu beef.
As far as games are concerned, boys are always ready to play. Red Light Green Light, marbles, even paper football across the dining room table brought joy to den meetings. The president also loves game time, whether he's playing or watching. When an unexpected day opened up last weekend, he hit the links. I'll never forget an interview I saw when Obama was President-Elect. He was answering questions in that serious, dull manner, when the interviewer asked him about college sports. The change in Obama's demeanor was startling. He sat up straight, his voice became animated, and for the first time, he seemed interested in the conversation.
Boys have difficulty grasping the importance of tradition and protocol. We had a strict rule for our Cub Scouts: When we were in public as a den, they had to wear their uniforms. We discovered that the simple act of wearing the traditional uniform encouraged the boys to behave and to be proud of being a Scout. As the boys got older, we would rejoice to see them teach the Tiger Cubs to take their hats off during prayer, or stand and salute when the flag passed by. The boys learned these traditions were part of what made them Scouts.
It breaks my heart to see our president making a serious statement without a tie, or giving the British Prime Minister a cheap, thoughtless gift. By belittling tradition, he diminishes the magnificence of the office of which he's been given temporary stewardship. This past weekend, the president was unable to attend the funeral of the Polish president. Instead of visiting the Polish embassy to sign the condolence book, or even staying quietly out of sight, President Obama decided to play golf.
Boys are always in a hurry. Watch any boy at a computer. It doesn't matter how fast the connection speed is, he'll soon be tapping his foot and sighing in frustration as he waits for a page to load. By the time they start crawling, boys are hardwired to hurry up.
A President who hasn't grown up says "We don't have a moment to spare" concerning his nearly trillion-dollar stimulus bill. He tells a pro-health care reform rally:
My question to them is, 'When's the right time? If not now, when? If not us, who? Is it a year from now or two years from now or five years from now or ten years from now?' I think it's right now ...
Hurry up! Do it now! There's no time -- to read, to discuss, to compromise, to think. Cub Scouts have den leaders to slow them down, to teach them about tradition, to reinforce the rewards of work. But there are no den leaders surrounding our president. That could change in November, however. If Republicans win the Congress, Representative Boehner and Senator McConnell will be leaders. Hopefully they can encourage our Cub Scout president that it's time to grow up.
Carol Peracchio is a registered nurse.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------3)Soft Power and No Plan for Iran
By G. Murphy Donovan
Anyone who remembers the Vietnam War might be having hot flashes of déjà vu today. We are again engaged in a grand campaign to "win the hearts and minds" of an implacable foe in a place where we do not understand the language, the religion, the culture, or the opportunity costs. The macro-strategy is "nation building," a policy that explicitly admits, unlike Vietnam, that there are no "kinetic," or military, solutions to the Afghan insurgency.
So strategy begins with an oxymoron: 100,000 troops deployed to secure, police, and train -- not to kill and break things. The assumptions here are twofold: that Afghan troops or cops will serve for reasons other than pay, and that NATO troops are best used as secular missionaries -- teachers and social workers first, warriors only as necessary. Put aside for a moment the practical difficulties of such tactics. The purpose of this nation-building is to convince a semiliterate peasantry coming off years of theocracy that a corrupt central government in Kabul, and a bevy of naïve NATO philanthropists, has the best interests of the locals at heart.
It gets worse.
Flawed premises are a stone's throw from false assumptions. Spokesmen from Kabul, through Brussels, and on to Washington argue that a little (or a lot, depending on who is counting) of nation-building might drive a wedge between the "people" and the Taliban/al-Qaeda axis -- an axis underwritten by powerful shadow sponsors with deep pockets. Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, and Pakistan are just some of the players behind the scrim. These are states that NATO is unable or unwilling to confront for their support for Islamist incitement, insurgency, and terrorism in the Mid-East, South Asia, and elsewhere.
Nation-builders earnestly argue that the Taliban and al-Qaeda are "foreign" radicals not native to Afghanistan; fair enough, yet it is still only a half-truth. The Taliban, literally religious "students," are mostly native to Pastunistan, a tribal area of six million souls that includes parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Arab sponsors are indeed foreigners, but compared to whom? Surely Pashtun fellaheen have more in common with native mullahs and Arabian imams than they do with Americans and Europeans. NATO and the elites in Kabul are playing on the slippery slope, and the radical coalition of Islamists is the home team with the high ground.
Reasons for not confronting Arab and Persian sponsor states are clear enough: fears about energy, debt, and nuclear proliferation. Western politicians are reluctant to put their pecuniary or kilowatt excesses in play. Arabia owns many of the mortgages on Western furnaces and sovereign debts; Sunni Pakistan, another erstwhile "ally," remains a safe haven for serial nuclear proliferation and serial terror. Recall the recent Mumbai massacre.
Nonetheless, wishful thinkers on both sides of the allied political spectrum insist that they know the minds of illiterate tribesmen in Afghanistan, most of whom live under the Taliban thumb. The reliability of opinion polls in places where we can't drive a Hummer, much less take a political pulse, is more than a little suspect. However, there are many other polls in the Ummah (community of Muslim nations) that put the lie to the myth of moderation among Muslims.
Recent opinion surveys taken by the Pew Global Attitudes Project in the Arab/Muslim world indicate that terror groups and their tactics (jihad) have enjoyed significant support in many countries for years. These figures would surely be higher still if countries like Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen, Libya, and Iran were included in the polling. Anti-Jewish (not anti-Israeli) sentiment consistently comes in at 90-plus percent in the Arab world. Selective as they are, the Pew surveys clearly show that support for Islamism is hardly a "fringe" phenomenon in the Muslim world.
Beliefs of Muslims in general, and Arabs and Persians in particular, are guideposts to a larger question of opportunity costs, questions that four successive American administrations have been unwilling to confront. If the "war choice" in Iraq was a diversion from the "war of necessity" in Afghanistan, how is the war in Afghanistan not a distraction from the sufficient threat from Iran? The Tehran menace is not simple nuclear proliferation; the entire Levant is slipping its strategic moorings under the fog of a banal debate about micro tactics, like "soft power," in South Asia.
Exhibit one is Turkey, a NATO member state. Ankara is distancing itself from Israel and mending fences with Arab and Persian neighbors. Visa restrictions have been lifted among Turkey, Syria, and Iran. More ominous is the recent purge and persecution of military Kamalists (secular Turks) by the ruling religious party of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
Exhibit two would be Iraq, where the Shiite majority, using democratic elections and Persian financing, could become the permanent majority and make Iraq the second Shia state, forging another link in a theocratic Islamist crescent.
Exhibit three would be the unholy trinity on the flanks of Israel itself: Hezb'allah (in Lebanon) to the north, Hamas (in Gaza) to the south, and Fatah (on the West Bank) to the east. All three terror groups are now supported by Persian and Arab donors. Shiite and Sunni activists make common cause when it comes to the elimination of Israel.
Exhibit four would be the Persian nuclear program, where every day that passes lowers the threshold for a strategic war that would make Iraq and Afghanistan irrelevant overnight. Persians have taken the point and picked up the gauntlet of Muslim militancy after fifty years of Arab incompetence.
Picture now yet another war where Israel and Iran are involved in an aerial exchange, while Israeli borders are besieged by Islamist irregulars on three sides. NATO forces could not be easily redeployed without tedious international dithering, assuming the West supports Israel at all. Geography, space, and time are not IDF allies. The risk of another Holocaust is the most obvious opportunity cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan sideshows.
The renaissance of theocratic militancy within Islam worldwide is a rapidly escalating peril to believers and infidels alike. The subway bombings in Moscow on 29 March again underline the global scope of the problem. The nexus of the threat is political, yet the varied instruments are lethal. Religion is the burkha for an ideology that seeks to use and then curtail democratic processes, eliminate secularism, and ultimately replace democracies with a kind of utopian monoculture. Surely such totalitarian schemes must fail; the damage they do in the interim is the danger.
The most immediate existential threat comes from Iran. A recent Department of Defense memo addressed to the National Security Council expresses alarm that the Obama administration has no contingency plan should sanctions against Tehran fail. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates claims that the "the United Sates does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran's steady progress toward nuclear capability." According to the 17 April NY Times report, unnamed White House officials have dismissed the "wake up call" from DOD.
National security analysts have been looking at the evolution of "modern" Islamic irredentism for fifty years now. As the recent correspondence between DOD and the NSC suggests, experts remain reluctant to clarify the threat or prioritize the targets therein. Riflemen refer to such navel-gazers as "poges," military slang for useful idiots -- unwitting apologists who campaign vigorously for flaccid or ambiguous policies that put deployed allied soldiers, partners like Israel, and true democracy in harm's way.
The author is a Vietnam veteran and former intelligence officer. Blogs at Anacostia Angst and Jenkins Hill.
By Chuck Rogér
With the classroom lights down low, our teacher Julie asked, "Feel that?"
I looked at my empty hands and, echoing the class, I responded, "Oh...yeah."
Julie whispered, "Move your hands closer together. Feels like you're squishing a ball."
Yep, an invisible purple ball. Assuming the I-know-this-to-be-true look common to enlightened teachers in enlightened schools, Julie informed us that we were sensing the "body's natural energy." We partnered with other students to feel their energy.
A very pleasant female student took an enthusiastic approach, and I felt energized. A guy sporting ear, nose, and lip rings headed my way, and my energy vanished.
By the end of the "Polarity Therapy" course, most students swore that they'd learned to detect people's energy with hand gestures resembling a priest giving absolution. Never did I experience anything that I couldn't explain. But people believe what people want to believe. Weak correlations prompt weak minds to preach weak theories to anyone who'll listen.
"I believe what feels good to me," proclaimed Mr. Twenty-Something. A tiny bat darted from my physiology student's ear as he added, "The full moon's powerful gravity makes people behave weirdly." I explained that our moon's gravity is unaffected by how much we see lit by the sun. Briefly dazed, the student retreated to the protection of an air of superiority. "That's your science."
Suddenly, mini-bats filled the room. I saw students' eyes glaze and heads nod, all-knowing smiles filling self-assured faces. From basic enlightened swaggerers to lost wanderers, students and instructors in the alternative health care school where I taught for three years exhibited the most irrational thought process I'd ever encountered.
What drew me into "alternative" health care in the first place? Why did I take polarity classes? The answers -- perhaps another time. Suffice it to say that the polarity and moon gravity affairs were two of many odd encounters in the course of my journey through strangeness. I learned a great deal about liberals during my liberal period.
Imagine a worldview that licenses the student to claim to be "different" while hanging on every pronouncement by self-important gurus. The student (and the teacher) get to espouse "critical thinking" while succumbing to emotion. Neither can resist calling attention to contrived virtuousness and proclaiming, "I love new ideas. See how the echo-chamber embraces me?"
Picture yourself radiating intellectual and moral superiority. You burst with inspiration on how to run government and society -- or more accurately, how you should run society. Feel how easily you brush aside reality and seize moral high ground on issues about which you know nothing.
My insight into high ground-grabbing amoral liberals leaped when I studied eighteenth-century philosopher Immanuel Kant, who declared that "devils" can productively rule nations "so long as they possess understanding." The philosopher was right. Moral rascals make strong leaders. Kant reasoned that reality holds no relevance toward conceiving morals, which must evolve from pure thought. Only when we apply morals must we consider what's happening around us. I know. Confused me too, until I nailed the liberal modus operandi: Ignore truth when spouting theory, but embrace truth that favors your agenda. Ah, the liberal "thought process."
During my liberal period, I accepted a thought process that it now pains me to admit: "I think, therefore I am...always right." I remember a teacher in the alternative health care school -- a psychologist, of course -- claiming that simply by choosing to attend the school, the men in class were "more evolved than most men." Yes, evolved. I felt proud, giddy -- which is what liberalism is about: finding a way to feel good about myself no matter what was happening around me.
Liberals vigorously guard the feel-good. And so we find that rational people who methodically weigh evidence are shouted down by virtue-flaunting ideologues. Take the global warming hoax. Pope Al, Bishop Boxer, and other Church of Global Warming officials still preach the doctrine even though their cathedrals are burning down. The grand scam marked a first: Mainstream media adopted a religion other than liberalism. The media and the Church perpetuated wacky beliefs based on bogus theories that created bogus projections derived from bogus studies. The world witnessed liberals playing in top form.
You've seen the liberal game face: anger suppressed by enlightened arrogance wrapped in confusion. Were you to try to live the liberal's hell, you'd seek relief the same way that liberals seek relief. You'd ignore reality and act as though your theories were reality. Clear thinking would serve no purpose because logically weighing data, facts, and evidence risks exposure to two nightmarish conclusions that liberals won't accept: There are bad people who do bad things, and most "victims" victimize themselves. Liberals cannot abide unpleasant realities.
My echo-chamber mates' inability to grapple with unpleasant realities startled me when I dwelled among liberals. I discovered that I wasn't supposed to let data, common sense, or a scheme's likely failure stop me from falling in love with the scheme. I was supposed to let the misplaced love make me feel good about myself.
I should expand the feel-good angle.
If during your youth you had gotten little worthwhile moral guidance from Mom and Dad but enjoyed plenty of marginally-deserved stroking, how would you behave as an adult? You'd flit from cause to cause, thriving on smiles and applause, groping for childhood's defining feeling. You'd push any scheme, speak any nonsense, and feign any emotion that might impress people with your wonderfulness -- and to hell with consequences.
Looking back, I know that I could have taken a heck of a ride had I not recovered from liberalism. Surfing the global warming scam's bow wave alone might have been worth relinquishing my respect for truth and giving up my sanity, my ability to judge right from wrong, good from bad, and success from failure. The wild time might have made up for sacrificing my integrity. I probably missed a lot of fun.
A physicist, former high tech executive, and writer, Chuck Rogér invites you to visit his website, http://www.chuckroger.com. Email Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Immanuel Kant, "Critique of Pure Reason," in Basics Writings of Kant edited by Allen W. Wood, The Modern Library, 2001, pp. 3-115.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------5)Who Is Obstructing the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act?
By John Appleton
Iran is the number-one terror-sponsoring nation in the world; it has been killing Americans for years. The country is led to by mad mullahs who see nuclear weapons as a ticket to paradise. Why would one key congressman spend the last year and a half trying to derail plans to stop Iran's nuclear program? Perhaps because he is doing so at the behest of Barack Obama.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has messianic dreams that view nuclear Armageddon as a means to bring about the return of Shia Islam's Hidden Imam and usher in a new age. For years, the Iranian regime has boasted of its plans to destroy the little Satan (Israel) and the big Satan (America).
For the past few years, Congress has worked on bills to erect a sanctions regime designed to moderate that Iran's behavior and slow, if not stop, its nuclear program. Over the years, various sanctions have been put in place and have not yet worked. Therefore, efforts have been made in both the Senate and the House to toughen the sanctions. A key focus has been efforts to shut off the export of refined petroleum products (gasoline, heating oil) into Iran. Despite having vast crude reserves, the nation cannot refine its own crude -- leading in the past to riots.
The Senate has a version of what is called the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act; the House has its own separate, somewhat weaker version.
Before these bills are voted on separately by both Houses of Congress, they must first be voted out of the foreign affairs committees of each house. In the Senate, this would be the Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Democratic Senator John Kerry (D-MA). In the House, it would be the Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Howard Berman (D-CA). Both have been accused of working with the White House to slow passage of these bills. Nevertheless, eventually and through the hard work of many advocates, both bills were voted out of the committee and then passed in both the Senate and the House.
But for the bills to become law, the bills have to be "reconciled" in a conference composed of both congressmen and senators, usually chosen by the chairmen of the committees who oversee the area involved in the legislation.
This type of reconciliation is not the controversial type of reconciliation used to pass ObamaCare, but refers to the process of melding the two separate bills into one single bill that can then be voted upon by both the House and the Senate. Then it would be passed on to the president for signing, becoming law.
But there seems to be a roadblock: Chairman Howard Berman.
John Kerry chose his conferees on March 11, 2010. Howard Berman has chosen to sit this one out -- he has not yet chosen his conferees from the House. The obduracy became so bad that steps were taken to elevate the matter to House leadership. They seem to be exasperated enough with Berman's delays to take the naming of the conferees upon themselves this week. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking and the centrifuges are spinning.
This led me to suspect that something may be amiss with Congressman Berman, who professes to be, among other things, a strong supporter of the America-Israel relationship. There are reasons to question this view. Berman seems to be more devoted to doing the bidding of Barack Obama than to defending America and our allies from a nuclear Iran.
As noted above, the progression of the bill through the House has been a slow one. Clearly, the White House did not want a bill to interfere with its outreach towards Iran. There have been reports that Howard Berman worked with the White House to "gum up the works." His reward may very well have been help with fundraising.
From Politico (December 8, 2009):
Rahm Emanuel -- who has done no fundraising events for House members, or even for the congressional committees, since he left the body to become White House chief of staff -- will headline a Los Angeles fundraiser for Rep. Howard Berman tonight in Los Angeles, according to the invitation.
The event may be, in part, a thank you to Berman -- chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee -- for staying so closely in step with the White House on crucial issues, notably sanctions against Iran, on which the committee moved more slowly than some of its members would have liked as the White House sought to negotiate.
This was during the heat of the ObamaCare fight, yet the White House chief of staff -- for the first time -- takes a break to raise some funds for Berman. We shouldn't be surprised. The boys from Chicago have routinely treated Democrats as dogs in need of training: They can get the stick, such as a threat that they are "keeping score" regarding who supports them in Congress, or the carrot: fundraising help. Threats and bribes are the Chicago way.
But sadly, there are more grounds to be suspicious.
Howard Berman seems to have adopted the President's line of "reasoning". Before Barack Obama became president, Howard Berman spoke in June 2008 of the need for quickly passing a very tough sanctions regime. However, after Obama became president, Howard Berman changed his views and downgraded the importance of sanctions. In October of last year, sanctions became just one of many options for dealing with Iran. Actually, they became the fourth-best option. The first option would be continued (fruitless) engagement by Barack Obama, then U.N. resolutions, then other multilateral efforts. The very last option became sanctions. Berman seems to have done an about-face, all the while saluting Barack Obama.
An aversion to sanctions -- especially those that with bite that would crimp the import of gasoline by Iran -- is an Obama policy. Months ago, the administration made clear that it did not want sanctions that would affect the Iranian people, even though such sanctions would "heighten popular anger against the regime" (as a Washington Post editorial noted).
The steady weakening of the resolve of the administration to confront Iran (deadlines ignored by the mullahs and by Barack Obama; the devolution of sanctions from being "crippling" to "biting to "smart" to actually "non-existent") is an appalling but not surprising abdication of responsibility by our commander-in-chief.
Howard Berman seems to have gone along for the ride down that slippery slope -- endangering America and our imperiled ally, Israel.
One sign that Berman's weak approach matches Obama's agenda is that J Street -- an appeasement oriented lobby that declared it will serve as the "president's blocking back" regarding his policies towards Israel -- specifically endorsed Berman's approach towards Iran. Not a good sign that his approach has teeth.
There is more.
Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) attempted to introduce a resolution in the House that strongly supported Iranian protesters and freedom-fighters during last year's massive protests throughout Iran. The Obama White House was feckless, and its aversion to helping the Iranians even led them to chant the question in the streets of Iran whether Obama was "with us." By now, the answer to that is clear. In any case, Pence's resolution was gutted by Howard Berman, who preferred to dilute the resolution. Was this at the behest of the White House?
A further sign that Howard Berman is just following marching orders from the White House is an act that has nothing to do with Iran but is indicative that he wants to curry favor with the Oval Office. The president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, was legally removed from power and escorted out of that nation. Barack Obama objected, as did Hugo Chávez and a Nazi-sympathizer ally of Zelaya's inside Honduras. The Law Library of Congress ruled that his ouster was legal -- frustrating Obama. Howard Berman (and John Kerry) then both wrote letters demanding that the opinion be retracted and "corrected"
Berman even went so far as to pen an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times advocating that the legal removal be characterized as a "military coup" and that foreign aid be terminated as a way to pressure Honduras to reinstall Zelaya. Berman is known for his left-wing sympathies, but is there something more at work here -- perhaps a bit of sycophancy?
Howard Berman appears to be doing the president's bidding as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In doing so, he is following an agenda that puts America at risk, as well as putting Israel in peril. His district in California covers part of Los Angeles, a lot of San Fernando Valley, and a bit of Hollywood. The survival of Israel just may be one of the concerns of many of his constituents.
There may be a number of constituents there who might wonder why their representative seems to be serving the interests of Barack Obama instead of looking after their concerns and goals. They might judge him now -- as history will later.
John Appleton a pen name.
6)U.S.: Iran military strike is 'off the table'
The U.S. has ruled out a military strike against Iran's nuclear program any time soon, hoping instead negotiations and United Nations sanctions will prevent the Middle East nation from developing nuclear weapons, a top U.S. defense department official said Wednesday.
"Military force is an option of last resort," Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy said during a press briefing in Singapore. "It's off the table in the near term."
The U.S. and its allies fear Tehran is using its nuclear program to build
arms. Iran denies the charges, and says its program only aims to generate
"Right now the focus is a combination of engagement and pressure in the form of sanctions," Flournoy said. "We have not seen Iran engage productively in response."
Iran has rejected a 2009 U.N.-backed plan that offered nuclear fuel rods to Tehran in exchange for Iran's stock of lower-level enriched uranium. The swap would curb Tehran's capacity to make a nuclear bomb.
Iran has proposed variations on the deal, and Foreign Minister Manouchehr
Mottaki said Tuesday that a fuel agreement could be a chance to boost trust with the West.
Earlier this week, he said Iran wants direct talks about the deal with all the U.N. Security Council members, except one with which it would have indirect talks - a reference to the United States, which with Tehran has no relations.
The U.S. is lobbying heavily in the Security Council for sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.
Earlier Wednesday, Iran's supreme leader denounced U.S. "nuclear threats" against the Islamic Republic, and its elite military force said it would stage war games in a waterway crucial for global oil supplies.
The Revolutionary Guards' exercises in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz this week take place at a time of rising tension between Iran and the West, which fears Tehran's nuclear program is aimed at developing bombs. Iran denies the charge.
Iran has also reacted angrily to what is sees as U.S. President Barack Obama's threat to attack it with nuclear arms.
Obama made clear this month that Iran and North Korea were excluded from new limits on the use of U.S. atomic weapons -something Tehran interpreted as a threat from a long-standing adversary.
"The international community should not let Obama get away with nuclear threats," Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday.
"We will not allow America to renew its hellish dominance over Iran by using such threats," he told a gathering of Iranian nurses, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported. Iran was a close U.S. ally before its 1979 Islamic revolution.
Brigadier General Hossein Salami, also quoted by Fars, said three days of maneuvers would start on Thursday and would show the Guards' naval strength.
"Maintaining security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, as the world's key economic and energy routes, is the main goal of the war games," he said. "This war game is not a threat for any friendly countries."
Naval, air and ground forces from the Guards would take part, Fars said. The Islamic Republic's armed forces often hold drills in an apparent bid to show their readiness to deter any military action by Israel or the United States, its arch foes.
Nicole Stracke, a researcher at the Gulf Research Center in Dubai, said that with the "current threat to Iran increasing" the Guards were showing their capability and strength.
"The Revolutionary Guard is sending a message that we are ready and able to counter the threat," Stracke said in an e-mail to Reuters. But she added the force regularly held such drills and they were unlikely to increase regional tension.
Washington is pushing for a fourth round of UN sanctions on Tehran over its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear activities as demanded by the U.N. Security Council, including moves against members of the Guards.
Israel, widely believed to have the Middle East's only atomic arsenal, has described Iran's nuclear program as a threat to its existence. Although it says it wants a diplomatic solution, Washington has also not ruled out military action.
Iran, a predominantly Shi'ite Muslim state, has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests in the region and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz. About 40 percent of the world's traded oil leaves the Gulf region through the strategic narrows.
Salami made no reference to this in his comments, stressing Iran's "efficient and constructive role" for Gulf security.
"Peace and friendship, security, tranquility and mutual trust are the messages of this war game for neighboring countries in the Persian Gulf region," the general added.
Sunni-led Arab countries in the Gulf are concerned about spreading Iranian influence in the region and also share Western fears about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
Cliff Kupchan, a director of Euroasia Group, said in a note on Wednesday that he still believed that Israel was unlikely to strike Iran, but "the risk will grow as prospects for successful sanctions diminish". China and Russia, veto-wielding Security Council members, are reluctant to back tough sanctions on Iran
6a)Setting the Trap on Iran
By David Ignatius
The Obama administration's goal as it devises sanctions for Iran is to build a sticky trap -- so that the harder the Iranians try to wriggle out of the sanctions, the more tightly they will be caught in the snare.
It's a clever idea. But even if it works with mousetrap precision, it's unlikely to stop the Iranian nuclear program. That's why Defense Secretary Bob Gates and other officials are pressing to explore the "what-ifs" about Iran -- and to accelerate planning for contingencies that could arise as the confrontation deepens.
The White House didn't like The New York Times' characterization of a memo Gates wrote in January as a "wake-up call," given all the work the administration has already done on Iran. But the Times' story captured the urgency with which Gates and other officials see the problem -- and their fear that sanctions, however well constructed, may not do the trick.
Gates' memo called specifically for "prudent planning and preparation" for the showdown with Iran, according to one senior official quoting from the text. The defense secretary requested that the "principals committee," the top officers of the National Security Council, discuss the range of issues and options that might arise.
The next step in this pressure campaign is the sanctions regime being crafted by Stuart Levey, the undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence. This will have several interlocking components: The showpiece will be a new U.N. Security Council resolution to add sanctions against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its affiliated companies, along with other Iranian firms involved in manufacturing, transporting and financing weapons shipments and other illicit activities. But that's just the beginning.
The administration knows the resolution will be watered down by Russia and China, but it wants the U.N. sanctions anyway -- as a platform for additional measures by the U.S. and its allies. It's these private and unilateral sanctions that will have real bite: As the Iranians try to evade them, their deception will trigger additional punitive measures.
"If you focus on bad conduct, their evasion doesn't undermine sanctions but escalates them," explains one senior official.
An example of how the sticky trap can work is the case of the state-owned Bank Sepah. The U.S. imposed sanctions in January 2007, alleging that the bank had financed development of missiles that could carry nuclear weapons. The U.N. added its own sanctions against the bank in March 2007.
The Iranians allegedly then turned to two other state-owned institutions to finance nuclear activities, Bank Melli and Bank Mellat. The U.S. hit them with sanctions, too, and pressured international banks to stop doing business with them. Banks that allegedly helped the Iranians evade controls were whacked with big fines. To settle U.S. government charges last December, the British bank Lloyds agreed to pay $217 million and Credit Suisse agreed to pay $536 million. Most global banks have decided that doing business with Tehran isn't worth the risk.
The trap also squeezed the state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, which was cited in 2008 sanctions by the U.S. The company allegedly tried to escape the dragnet by renaming some of its ships. The British stripped the shipping line of its insurance; the Iranians sought coverage in Russia and then Bermuda, but they were pursued by U.S. monitors who argued that the company's deceptive conduct was evidence of its unreliability as an insurance risk.
Yet for all this aggressive pressure, Iran continues to conduct both banking and shipping -- which illustrates the difficulty of using sanctions to force a change in policy. The track record is spotty, from Cuba to Iraq.
For policymakers, the discussion is now beginning to shift to the sensitive area suggested by Gates' memo -- the space between sanctions and outright military action. What options would the United States and its allies have, short of war, to raise the cost to Iran of pursuing a nuclear-weapons program? Are there means of subverting, sabotaging or containing such a program without actually bombing Iranian facilities?
We won't be hearing a lot of public discussion about this gray area. But that's where senior officials will focus more of their energy in coming months, as they prepare for the possibility that Levey's clever trap won't work.
7)Ayalon to US: Pressure will prevent peace
By Roni Sofer
Deputy foreign minister says 'if Palestinians had done half of what Israel has, there would be peace'
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said in a message to the US Wednesday, "We must ensure Israel's existence as a Jewish State. Not only will pressure not support peace, it will prevent it."
In New York Times article, former US ambassador to Israel addresses root of political crisis between Washington and Jerusalem, says Obama views Iranian nuclear program, Israeli-Palestinian conflict as two sides of same coin while Netanyahu believes construction dispute only boosts Iran
In a speech before the Israel Bonds delegation in Jerusalem Ayalon said, "We desire peace – but not at the cost of Israel's national interests."
Ayalon was responding to recent reports that the US intends to present a conclusive Middle East peace plan, to which it will hold both Israel and the Palestinians.
Former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk said Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must choose between the US president and his right-wing allies.
"The shift in America’s Middle East interests means that Netanyahu must make a choice: Take on the president of the United States, or take on his right wing." Indyck said in an article published by the New York Times.
"If he continues to defer to those ministers in his cabinet who oppose peacemaking, the consequences for US-Israel relations could be dire."
To this Ayalon responded, "Resolving the conflict with the Palestinians is a principal Israeli interest, and no one may moralize with us on this issue. We desire peace, and have proved it more than once. If the Palestinian leadership had done half of what Israel has done for peace, we would have achieved peace with our neighbors by now. In response to Israel concessions, we must also see Palestinian concessions."
He added, "Peace is our goal, and if the means to achieving that goal is the creation of a Palestinian state, then that is what must be done – not by an artificial schedule and enforced solution, but by building a platform of trust and confidence between the two sides. This trust should be built by direct talks rather than proximity talks, and it is a pity that the Palestinians are creating obstacles on this issue."
Ayalon also added a post-Independence Day message. "Yesterday, the State of Israel celebrated its 62nd Day of Independence. Independence, which I am sorry to say, is not obvious to much of the world," he said.
"Israel faces security, social and economic challenges, but there are global extremists who threaten not only Israel but also the entire world. Israel has the capability to defend itself, and can be proud of its achievements in its 62 years of independence."
The deputy foreign minister also called on the international community to put an end to the Iranian threat.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------8)The SEC's Dangerous Gamble
By Harvey Pitt
The agency, already badly scarred by the financial crisis, runs the risk of blowing its credibility with the Goldman case, writes former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt.
The SEC’s recent action against Goldman Sachs gives new meaning to the expression “betting the farm.” That phrase signifies actions accompanied by huge risk, especially financial. In litigation, the expression references risks for one party to civil litigation, most frequently the defendant. It suggests a party risks losing everything if it gambles and follows a path to its logical conclusion. The expression rarely references plaintiffs, and certainly not government-plaintiffs litigating against regulated entities.
The problem with litigation is losing. But even if the SEC prevails, its reward may prove ephemeral.
But to quote Jimmy Breslin, in suing Goldman Sachs, the SEC “received immediate lacerations of the credibility.” This begs the question why, considering that this SEC litigation takes it places it hasn’t been before—
• challenging the premier firm of Goldman Sachs,
• about a synthetic derivative transaction,
• on which Goldman lost millions of dollars,
• where the parties were sophisticated and not in obvious need of SEC protection,
• after a year-and-a-half investigation,
• filed immediately after the President threatened vetoing financial reform legislation that doesn’t strongly regulate derivatives,
• and a few hours before release of the Inspector General’s Report on SEC inadequacies in attacking Alan Stanford’s Ponzi scheme,
• but apparently without giving Goldman advance notice of the filing,
• or exploring possible settlement, and
• splitting 3-2 along political lines in a major enforcement action.
More significantly, it comes when the SEC is badly in need of “unlacerated credibility.” Since January 2009, the SEC has done an admirable job of laying a solid foundation for restored credibility. But, its suit against Goldman could undo much—if not all—of that effort if the litigation doesn’t turn out satisfactorily, and even if it does, if reports about dissension and political splits are accurate.
• Tina Brown: Ghouls of Wall Street Reduced to bare essentials, the SEC alleged a garden variety securities fraud, but for the elements listed above. It claims Goldman sold synthetic securities but didn’t disclose the package was structured by an investor intending to short it, and affirmatively misrepresented who structured it. If the SEC prevails, it might reassert its position as a player in the current financial regulatory scene. But the lawsuit carries big stakes if the SEC loses—among other things, this case will influence the reputations of both Chairman Mary Schapiro, and Enforcement Division chief, Rob Khuzami.
The problem with litigation is losing. But even if the SEC prevails, its reward may prove ephemeral. After all, there aren’t any widows or orphans in the immediate vicinity of the central transaction, and even victory could be tarnished by questions about its potential motivations regarding the manner and timing of the SEC’s decision to sue. Is that worth the potential risk? The question answers itself.
The problem isn’t—as some suggest—with the substance of the suit. If the SEC’s allegations are proved, they seem to allege fraud. Nor is there a problem with the SEC pursuing a case where the alleged victims were able to fend for themselves. After all, if a broker defrauds sophisticated investors, it might also defraud unsophisticated investors. And, many sophisticated investors represent unsophisticated investors. Moreover, there’s no entitlement under the federal securities laws to defraud sophisticated investors.
One problem is that it was in the SEC’s interest to let Goldman react before filing a lawsuit. If Goldman had had a chance to settle before being sued, the SEC could have reaped everything it wanted to achieve, without the risks it now faces. Another problem is that filing litigation on a partisan split raises questions about agency motivations. Perhaps there was no way all five Commissioners could agree. But there’s no prior history of tension among them, while news reports indicate there was just a single meeting, and then a 3-2 vote.
With rules or policy decisions, some divided votes may be inevitable. But, the agency usually doesn’t split on enforcement actions, and especially not along party lines. Could more time have produced a different result? We won’t know. But, what was the rush? After a year-and-a-half of investigation, eight months after receiving Goldman’s “Wells Submission,” was there a need to file the litigation when it was filed? Why didn’t the five Commissioners take more time to try and find common ground? What was the need that compelled the filing of the action last Friday, instead of, say, this Friday, or next? These aren’t matters that will necessarily affect the ultimate outcome, but judges pay attention to news reports, and the possibility that an action was politically motivated won’t redound to the agency’s advantage, even if it isn’t something directly contested in the courtroom.
Goldman’s lawyers should have ensured they received notice before the lawsuit was actually filed. There are no assurances, under the SEC’s Wells procedures, that notice will be given before a suit is filed, although that’s the practice. But experienced counsel often seek assurances they’ll have at least one last clear chance to settle before confronting the SEC in court. If that assurance was sought and rejected, that should have signaled to Goldman it was looking at something unusual. If no assurances were sought, that was an error of judgment.
Government suits affect the target’s share price, as occurred here, and also adversely affect its reputation and potential business. In those respects, Goldman has already lost. Arthur Andersen ultimately prevailed in the Supreme Court, after losing in the lower courts. But its victory was Pyrrhic, and came long after the real stakes had been decided. Goldman’s a strong firm with an illustrious history. But if the economic collapse of 2007-2008 demonstrated anything, any firm can falter if its credibility is called into question.
In this litigation, either the SEC, or Goldman, is betting the proverbial farm, or perhaps, they both are.
Harvey Pitt, a former chairman of the SEC, is the Chief Executive Officer of Kalorama Partners, LLC.
9)Will Syria come in from the cold?
By KENAN MORTAN
Will the recent rapprochement between the United States and Syria mark a new era in Syria's international standing?
Syria can hope for two major changes following the restoration of full diplomatic relations with the U.S. First, it will be removed from America's informal blacklist of "Axis of Evil" countries, which will substantially improve its chances to enter the World Trade Organization. Second, Syria will probably receive the go-ahead for a pipeline to bring Iraqi oil across its territory to Turkey. Such a link to Turkey's economy — and thus possibly to the European Union — would encourage Syria to open its economy even more to foreign investment.
But all of this will undoubtedly come at a price. Syria's side of the bargain will invariably need to be an end to its support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, for which it will likely seek the return of the Golan Heights. Israel would presumably resist this outcome, and Iran — as leader of the "Shiite crescent" spreading from Lebanon to Tajikistan — would strongly, and perhaps violently, oppose such a bargain as well.
During Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Syria earlier this year, Syrian President Bashar Assad and he reiterated their unyielding cooperation in the face of "Western manipulations." But Assad is under growing pressure from the ranks of his Ba'ath Party to modernize the country and its infrastructure, which is impossible without improved ties to the West.
Syria's economy is a rust pile. With a per capita income of $2,000, it has been closed to the outside world until recently. Rationing is pervasive. But, in order to secure public support, Assad's government has allowed for greater domestic consumption, so foreign imports are rising fast. Indeed, the country has run a trade deficit since 2005, with no path back to balance in sight.
Supposedly "friendly" countries like Iran have been giving a helping hand, but almost always in the form of oil — and not even refined oil — rather than cash. The effort to liberalize foreign investment has not taken up the slack in investment from the regime's regional political partners. For example, the Foreign Investment Law of 2007, which fixed a 15-day deadline for projects to be authorized, has resulted in only $200 million in new inward investment.
This lack of investment has left the economy, particularly the oil industry, in a shambles. A member of OPEC, Syria is now a net importer of oil.
The ruling Shiite elite that surrounds Assad — and that, together with the military oligarchy, retains almost total control of the economy — appears to be interested mainly in preserving the stagnant status quo. In opposition stand Syria's Sunni traders, who are joined in demanding a change in the rules of the game by the country's various minorities, composed of two million Christians, 1.7 million Kurds and 400,000 Druse. The combined economic weight of the Christians — Nestorians, Maronites, Catholic Greeks, and Syriacs — is greater than their actual number, and the Ba'athist regime has always sought to accommodate these minorities. But it was only with the accession to power of Assad that they were given more economic and political breathing space.
Assad has good reason to do so, because the unequal distribution of wealth, combined with an official unemployment rate of 15 percent, is fueling social pressure. The $3 fare for a bus ride between Aleppo and Damascus might look cheap to someone from outside Syria, but, given that a well-trained technician may earn only $150 monthly, it is almost prohibitively expensive.
A warming of relations with the U.S. could set in play two types of dynamics: One originates with the OECD's development initiative for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), created in 2004. For the first time, the OECD became directly involved with non-member countries in the Middle East, and in 2009 Syria was included in its development cooperation master plan.
The second positive dynamic may come from improved Turkish-Syrian economic ties. Bilateral relations started to thaw 12 years ago, when Syria expelled the leader of the violent Kurdish separatist PKK movement, Abdullah Ocalan. A Turkish-Syrian Business Council was established soon after with the hope of developing economic relations, but little impact has been felt, owing to Turkey's lingering suspicion of Syria's political alignment. The only Turkish investment was made in the textile field by the firm Akteks.
Last year, however, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pushed forward on strengthening Turkey's Middle Eastern ties, visa requirements between the two countries were eased, with cross-border car traffic increasing 22 percent in five months. Regular bus lines have been opened, and, according to a high-ranking Turkish bank official, "We were hesitating about opening a branch in Syria because of the U.S. embargo, so the sending of an envoy is like a green light to us."
For Syria, the choice now is between seizing this opportunity to open its economy, or retreating back into its Ba'athist shell. The benefits of such an opening are clear. The question is whether Syria's rulers can make the political choices necessary to obtain them.
Kenan Mortan is a professor of applied economics at Istanbul Mimar Sinan University. His latest book is on Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. © Project Syndicate 2010.
9a)Engaging North Korea: The Clouded Legacy of South Korea’s Sunshine Policy
By Sung-Yoon Lee
The most prominent news out of the Korean peninsula in 2009 came from the North, where Kim Jong Il's regime continued its policy of military provocation, capped by a long-range missile test in April and a second nuclear test in May. But 2009 also marked the passing of two former South Korean leaders, Presidents Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun--the former succumbing to natural causes in his mid-eighties, the latter to a suicide in the face of a mounting personal scandal. Both leaders had staked their respective presidencies on engaging North Korea through the Sunshine Policy initiated under Kim Dae Jung a decade earlier and continued under Roh, albeit under a different name. From our vantage point today, nearly a decade after its implementation, the Sunshine Policy looks increasingly ineffective in light of Pyongyang's unmitigated nuclear threat and continued oppression of its population.
Key points in this Outlook:
•The Sunshine Policy, an effort to engage North Korea initially implemented under South Korean president Kim Dae Jung, appears increasingly ineffective in light of North Korea's continued nuclear threat and oppression of its people.
•Despite his work for human rights in South Korea, Kim Dae Jung chose not to address grievous human rights violations in the North in any meaningful way.
•In light of Kim Dae Jung's failure to fight for basic human rights for North Koreans, future generations of Koreans are likely to see Kim Dae Jung and his Sunshine Policy in an increasingly negative light.
Designed to further peaceful cooperation and short-term reconciliation with North Korea in hopes of achieving eventual reunification of the Korean peninsula, the Sunshine Policy swung into full force following a dramatic inter-Korean summit in June 2000 between Kim Jong Il and Kim Dae Jung. In the decade that followed, South Korea provided copious amounts of economic aid and made a series of diplomatic concessions to the North, with little more than domestic political gains to show for its efforts. As the global diplomatic stage is once again set for the resumption of six-party talks in 2010--despite Pyongyang's intermittent protests to the contrary--it is important to reflect on the precedents, motivations, and potential legacy of South Korea's Sunshine Policy, which is perhaps the most deliberate and sustained effort of "engagement" with North Korea to date.
What will be the historical legacy of the Sunshine Policy? One possible answer, of course, would be akin to Chinese premier Zhou Enlai's supposed reply to Henry Kissinger's query about the impact of the French Revolution: "It's too soon to tell." The full effect of the Sunshine Policy will not be known until the Kim Jong Il regime either is no longer in existence or has undergone revolutionary changes. Indeed, even following unification of the two Koreas, it would probably be many years before a full accounting could be made of how the Kim Jong Il regime used Kim Dae Jung's unconditional aid to North Korea and what impact, if any, such generous aid had on modifying the regime's behavior or improving living conditions inside the famine-stricken, isolationist, totalitarian state. But we can, and should, make some preliminary assessments, if only to help the public and their representatives avoid repeating mistakes of the immediate past.
Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine
Kim Dae Jung is perhaps the most well known South Korean outside of South Korea. Few would deny that his international fame stems largely from the sensational June 2000 summit with Kim Jong Il and his receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize later that year in recognition of his highly publicized overtures to Pyong?yang. It is possible that Kim Dae Jung will always be remembered favorably outside Korea as the symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation that he so assiduously aspired to be. For many Koreans at home, too, Kim Dae Jung symbolizes what the Korean nation has sought ever since the partition in 1945: unification. The overriding sense of collective Korean ethnic identity--one nation, one ethnicity, one language, and one culture--resonates in both the private and public realm on both sides of the border. The Korean term for the singularity of their divided country's nationhood is minjok, a concept that carries enormous emotional power for Koreans of all ideologies. The notion of minjok is particularly pronounced in--indeed, often central to--the politics of inter-Korean relations. For instance, it is enshrined in the 2000 Joint Declaration between Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jong Il. More broadly, the Korean impulse toward unity is evoked with powerful pathos in the pan-Korean anthem, "Our Nation's Wish." The song was composed in 1947, only two years after the partition at the thirty-eighth parallel in the last phase of the Second World War. In short, the lingering positive image of Kim Dae Jung in the Korean popular imagination is principally due to the fact that he appeared to embody the aspirations of a people, aspirations that have remained a powerful current in Korean political culture for over sixty years.
The majority of Koreans may ultimately remember Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine Policy most prominently for the hubristic adventurism with which Kim Dae Jung approached the North Korean regime.But minjok may ultimately prove to be a double-edged sword for the Sunshine Policy, for history is not always kind to those who presume upon a people's deep historical yearnings for short-sighted or immediate political objectives. The majority of Koreans, those in the North and South as well as abroad, may ultimately remember Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine Policy most prominently for the hubristic adventurism with which Kim Dae Jung approached the North Korean regime, and they may question the astounding absence of humanism in that approach as official records during his administration--intelligence reports on the North's military threat level, internal memos on the potential costs of propping up Pyongyang, and corresponding policy recommendations--become available.
For much of his adult life, Kim Dae Jung espoused humanitarian ideals. As South Korea's leading dissident for much of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Kim Dae Jung enjoyed a favorable image abroad, notably in Japan and the United States, based on his prodemocracy and anti?authoritarian stance toward governance. Kim Dae Jung's kidnapping by South Korean intelligence agents in Japan in 1973 and the subsequent U.S. intervention on Kim Dae Jung's behalf naturally cast him in a sympathetic light. Indeed, Kim Dae Jung became a symbol of what the South Korean nation aspired to become--a functioning democracy where constitutional liberalism could take root. In those times, Kim Dae Jung represented the hopes of a people and an era.
By the time Kim Dae Jung assumed the presidency in 1998, South Korea had enjoyed years of increasing international prestige on a variety of counts: the success of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the country's simultaneous and decisive transition from military rule to constitutional democracy, South Korea's accession to membership in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and, not least important, its post-cold war normalization of relations with almost all Communist states (North Korea and Cuba, still Communist in name, are notable exceptions). The growing economic gap between North and South Korea in the 1990s, as the South forged new trade relations while the North grappled with autarky, effectively marked the end of the economic component of the systemic inter-Korean contest.
With such a favorable formation of geopolitical forces, and with disturbing reports of a catastrophic famine in the early 1990s in the North intermittently making international news, Kim Dae Jung had an opportunity to engage the ever-more isolated Pyongyang in a manner that would reflect and even define the great will of his time. Instead, despite the tremendous economic and political levers at his disposal, once he became president, he courted Pyongyang--the world's most exemplary criminal, totalitarian regime--in a manner that can be described only as fantastic. Kim Dae Jung believed he could win North Korea's trust with patience and generosity while ignoring the fundamental political dynamics on the Korean peninsula--the ongoing pan-Korean contest for legitimacy and the threat South Korea, by its sheer existence, poses to the impoverished North Korean system. Much like Aesop's fable "The North Wind and the Sun," from which the name "Sunshine Policy" is derived, Kim Dae Jung's engagement policy was oddly optimistic, one-dimensional, and patronizingly didactic.
Ironically, North Korea initially perceived elements of coercive diplomacy in Kim Dae Jung's carrot-centered Sunshine Policy. Pyongyang at first averred that Kim Dae Jung was trying to scorch their skin through their clothing with his sunshine. The irony here lies not in the North's apprehensions about the Sunshine Policy's implicit intention of changing their regime's behavior, but in the fact that it soon became apparent that there was no element of coercion in this curious latter-day variant of "classical" coercive diplomacy. That is to say, the element of punishment in addition to rewards--particularly the sense of urgency that needs to be instilled in the state in order for coercive diplomacy to take effect--was utterly absent in the Sunshine Policy. On the contrary, South Korea felt an urgent political need to continue the policy even in the face of naval skirmishes in 1999 and 2002; a missile firing over Japan in 1998; and deep, growing, and ultimately justified suspicions about North Korea's ongoing nuclear weapons programs.
Kim Dae Jung believed he could win North Korea's trust with patience and generosity while ignoring the fundamental political dynamics on the Korean peninsula.Following Kim Dae Jung's Pyongyang summit with Kim Jong Il in June 2000, sunshine became a shibboleth in South Korea. Later, under Roh's watch, this South Korean sense of urgency to keep sunshine alive and well reached full flower in the face of North Korea's multiple missile blasts and its first nuclear test in 2006. What had begun as a means to an end had become an end itself--an end from which there could be no deviation and a dogma to which, as the Sunshine Policy approached its denouement, there could be no official denunciation.
The Possibility of "Peace"
As president, Kim Dae Jung often oversold his role in advancing peace in the Korean peninsula. Forging peace with North Korea, he said, was a "matter of survival," although none of the articles in the joint statement Kim Dae Jung signed with Kim Jong Il in June 2000 contains the word "peace." In April 2000, South Korean media reports on the upcoming first inter-Korean summit highlighted Kim Dae Jung's declared intention to conclude a "peace declaration" with the North. In 2001, in his March First Independence Movement commemorative address, Kim Dae Jung called for a "peace regime," an issue he also brought up with the United States during his visit to Washington, D.C., the following week. Despite such stated intentions and overtures, no signal of interest in an inter-Korean peace declaration came forth from Pyongyang.
Beyond Kim Dae Jung's repeated insistence on the need for a peace declaration and the seemingly contradictory claim that it was he who had brought genuine peace to Korea, the so-called peace agenda is a matter of continuing relevance and grave consequence for South Korean and regional security. At the same time, the Sunshine argument for a peace treaty is predicated on a number of questionable assumptions: first, that a paper agreement is a guarantor against war; second, that the absence of such a peace treaty, or even diplomatic relations, is an impediment to diplomatic progress on the North Korean problem; and third, that in the absence of a peace treaty, there has been something resembling continual war in Korea since the 1953 armistice.
A cursory overview of international history over the past century would reveal the first assumption to be patently false. The second assumption is debatable, especially in an alternative world that ignores the nature of the Pyongyang regime, the North-South dynamics on the Korean peninsula, and the manifest lack of progress toward a comprehensive resolution of the North Korean problem despite the lapse of nearly ten years since Pyongyang's normalization of diplomatic relations with virtually every European state, as well as most of its adversaries in the Korean War. As for the third assumption, de facto peace by virtue of the combined U.S.?-South Korea deterrent, specifically the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea, has been in place in the Korean peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
The issue of U.S. troop deployment in South Korea and the future of the U.S.-South Korea alliance lies at the center of any negotiations on replacing the armistice with a peace treaty or building a new "peace regime" in Korea. Any peace treaty between the United States and North Korea would call into question the rationale for the continued deployment of U.S. troops in South Korea and thereby advance North Korea's strategic interests. Seoul would increasingly come under political scrutiny at home as well as in the United States--a point that would not be lost on Pyongyang in all its multifaceted dealings with South Korea, the United States, and Japan. Should the political forces surrounding the Korean peninsula align so as to lead to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea, the balance of power between the two Koreas would undergo a fundamental shift in Pyongyang's favor. Conversely, if North Korea were ever to reconcile itself to the continued presence of U.S. troops in the South, that would indicate, more than any peace agreement on a piece of paper, a fundamental shift in North Korea's national policy toward reconciliation and peaceful coexistence with South Korea.
Remarkably, upon returning home from his Pyong?yang summit in June 2000, Kim Dae Jung announced that he had persuaded Kim Jong Il to agree to the continued long-term stationing of U.S. troops in South Korea. Had Kim Dae Jung truly persuaded Kim Jong Il to accept the continued deployment of U.S. troops in the South, it would have marked a breakthrough of near biblical proportions. Yet, immediately thereafter, official statements from North Korea, including statements by Kim Jong Il, repeatedly and explicitly called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. On June 16, 2000, the day after Kim Dae Jung's return home from the highly touted Pyongyang summit, the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Workers' Party of Korea, called for the "withdrawal of U.S. troops" as the "first step" in "Korea's reunification." The next day, June 17, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the official North Korean government news agency, stated that "the peaceful reunification of Korea requires the U.S. troops' pullback from South Korea."
Had Kim Dae Jung truly persuaded Kim Jong Il to accept the continued deployment of U.S. troops in the South, it would have marked a breakthrough of near biblical proportions.In July 2001, Kim Jong Il told the Russian news agency Itar-Tass that "the United States is constantly threatening us by occupying a half of our country by force of arms." Then, on August 4, 2001, as if to erase all doubt regarding the glaring variance at which North Korea's official position and Kim Dae Jung's protestations stood, Kim Jong Il, along with Russian president Vladimir Putin, signed the Moscow Declaration, of which Article 8 carried the following unequivocal statement: "the pullout of the U.S. forces from South Korea is a pressing issue which brooks no delay in ensuring peace and security in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia."
Throughout 2000 and into the following year, North Korea repeatedly stated its longstanding position that U.S. troop deployments in South Korea are a major detriment to its national interest. On June 15, 2001, the anniversary of the South-North Joint Declaration, the Rodong Sinmun declared that "the U.S. should not run wild, seized with the ambition for hegemony, but [should] do things helpful to the implementation of the declaration for reunification of the Korean nation as a party directly responsible for the division of the Korean peninsula." Lest the subtleties of Pyongyang's position be lost on the international audience, on June 30, 2001, KCNA stated that "since the North and the South of Korea declared they would reunify the country independently by the concerted efforts of the nation, there is no more ground for the U.S. forces to remain in South Korea. The U.S. forces should get out of South Korea at once." Again, on July 18, 2001, the Rodong Sinmun, describing the continued presence of U.S. troops in South Korea as "a criminal act going against the trend of history and the times," "categorically" called for "the unconditional withdrawal of the U.S. imperialist aggression troops from South Korea."
Despite what Kim Dae Jung repeatedly claimed, North Korea did not waver in its position regarding U.S. troops in the South. Moreover, North Korea saw the June 2000 summit--as did many South Korean critics of the summit declaration--as the basis for the North's repeated demands for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. The aforementioned July 18, 2001, Rodong Sinmun article pointedly noted that in the 2000 South-North Joint Declaration, the two Koreas had "stated their will to achieve the independent and peaceful reunification of the country on the basis of reconciliation and unity." The article specifically cites the June 2000 joint declaration as the reason the United States must "drop its criminal hostile policy toward the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] and immediately withdraw its aggression troops from South Korea." Indeed, the joint declaration Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jong Il signed is a one-sided affair; that is, it overwhelmingly favors Kim Jong Il's North Korea, especially in article 1, which implicitly calls for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from South Korea, and in article 2, which contravenes the South Korean constitution.
Kim Dae Jung's faith that a secret--and ultimately, in the verdict of South Korean courts, illegal--$500 million gift and several other concessions to North Korean demands offered just prior to the summit would induce Kim Jong Il to reciprocate stems from Kim Dae Jung's own hubris that he could change the North Korean regime despite its strategic interests, which stood directly contrary to those of South Korea.
If he had not executed the Sunshine Policy in the manner he did--that is, through financial bribes for and a disposition toward appeasing an implacably hostile North Korean state--Kim Dae Jung's place in Korean history would most likely have been secure.Ironically, if he had not executed the Sunshine Policy in the manner he did--that is, through financial bribes for and a disposition toward appeasing an implacably hostile North Korean state--Kim Dae Jung's place in Korean history would most likely have been secure. In assuming that he could succeed in changing the North Korean regime though all other South Korean and Western leaders before him had failed, Kim Dae Jung conflated his personal ambitions, his considerable powers of persuasion, and his own political hopes and dreams with the national and security interests of the South Korean state, and, by extension, the interests of the entire ethnic Korean nation. In this respect, Kim Dae Jung was a visionary of sorts: he saw things that did not exist in reality.
The Shadow of Human Rights
While the $500 million cash gift, larger than North Korea's annual export earnings, abetted the Kim Jong Il regime and was thereby tantamount to treason, there is another reason Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine Policy will come to be evaluated as a failure. Kim Dae Jung executed his Sunshine Policy while assiduously ignoring the massive human suffering in North Korea. He had fought for human rights in South Korea, but as president, he chose to ignore them in the North, where the scale, severity, and duration of human rights violations bear no comparison to those in the South.
Alleviating human suffering and advancing human rights requires a long-term commitment and significant economic and political capital. Evidently, the Sunshine Policy chose not to address such costly undertakings, opting instead for illusions of diplomatic progress and atmospherics of summit pageantry. The shadow of human rights in Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine Policy presents an irreconcilable conflict that will lead to a cold historical verdict on the man and his policy. In his effort to prevent the collapse of the North Korean system, Kim Dae Jung abetted and sustained the Kim Jong Il regime, a government programmatically committed to:
•"Ensur[ing] the complete victory of socialism in the northern half of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the accomplishment of the revolutionary goals of national liberation and the people's democracy on the entire area of the country, with the ultimate goal of the indoctrination of the entire society with Juche philosophy and the establishment of a communist society . . . [and] oppos[ing] imperialism and hegemonism at the vanguard of which stands the U.S., and struggl[ing] to win the victory of the collective feats of peace, democracy, ethnic independence, and socialism."
•Building a nuclear arsenal through military-first (songun) politics, while taking a consistent position on the irreversibility of its nuclear weapons program. For instance, the North Korean Foreign Ministry stated in June 2009, "It has become an absolutely impossible option for the DPRK to even think about giving up its nuclear weapons."
•Denying its population the most basic human rights by blocking out cultural infiltration and forces of globalization; North Korea describes the latter as "a basic way for the imperialists to build a neo-colonialist international order" that the "progressive people of the world" must unite to "thoroughly frustrate," or, variously, "resolutely smash."
To the North Korean people, victims of the most systematic totalitarian oppression in the modern world, Kim Dae Jung offered no vision, no hope, and no future. When asked about human rights problems in North Korea at the American Enterprise Institute on March 8, 2001, three months after being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Kim Dae Jung said, "To affront North Korea with human rights issues in their face, with criticism, would not be wise--the greatest human rights issue on the Korean peninsula is that of the 10 million members of the separated families." Such pronounced reluctance to address human rights issues set the tone for Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine era, which remained firmly in place throughout the term of his successor, Roh, despite rapidly expanding public information about North Korea's vast political-prisoner concentration camps and the inhumane conditions the North Korean state willfully maintained in those camps.
The shadow of human rights in Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine Policy presents an irreconcilable conflict that will lead to a cold historical verdict on the man and his policy.At the same time, to some, Kim Dae Jung continued to carry the mantle of humanitarianism as president. On October 23, 1998, he apologized on behalf of his country to twenty-nine invited South Korean-born adoptees from eight different countries for having sent abroad tens of thousands of Korean children over the course of the previous five decades. It was the first official recognition of some two hundred thousand transnationally adopted Koreans. The apology itself on behalf of the country by an incumbent head of state may have been inappropriate, but the gesture was well-intentioned and generally well-received. Then, obvious questions arise. Why did Kim Dae Jung not officially recognize the tens of thousands of North Korean refugees in China, meet North Korean refugees who had made their way to South Korea, or, most importantly, call on Kim Jong Il to dismantle his vast system of political-prisoner concentration camps?
The Legacy of Kim Dae Jung
Robin George Collingwood, the Oxford philosopher and historian, writes in The Idea of History: "For history, the object to be discovered is not the mere event, but the thought expressed in it. To discover that thought is to already understand it. . . . All history is the history of thought . . . and therefore all history is the re-enactment of past thought in the historian's own mind." In the case of Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine Policy, how will future historians come to interpret the thought expressed in the event?
History to date has not been kind to South Korean leaders. While "Great Leader" Kim Il Sung, the sole former North Korean leader, reposes in the world's most extravagant mausoleum, no former South Korean leader has been free of denouncement or controversy. Syngman Rhee, Chang Myun, Park Chung Hee, Chun Doo Hwan, and Roh Tae Woo all faced either a less-than-statesmanlike exit from office or postoffice ignominy. Most recently, Roh Moo Hyun, having served as president from 2003 to 2008, a time when South Korea was declared a full democracy, killed himself in May 2009 while facing investigation for graft.
Yet, in varying degrees, each South Korean leader defined and embodied the single greatest national task of his time and achieved it. For Rhee, it was nation founding and nation building in the 1940s and postwar reconstruction in the 1950s; for Park, eradicating abject poverty and widespread hunger while defending the nation against continued North Korean threats throughout the 1960s and 1970s; and for Chun and Roh Tae Woo, continued economic growth and the consolidation of a stable, educated urban middle class--the sine qua non in a functioning democracy--in the 1980s and in the wake of the cold war.
As future generations reflect upon the single greatest national challenge facing Kim Dae Jung's South Korea--an affluent democracy in a post-cold war era--in the late 1990s and in the early years of the new millennium, it will become increasingly apparent that the challenge was (as it remains today) the task of saving North Korean lives and alleviating the unspeakable suffering of the North Korean people. If my assessment is correct, future generations of Koreans will come to see Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine Policy in an increasingly negative light. As North Korea's political-prisoner concentration camps open up to outside scrutiny and the horrific conditions of life inside North Korea become universally known, Kim Dae Jung will increasingly be viewed not as a symbol of unification but as a misguided leader who, despite his intentions, ultimately abetted the world's cruelest totalitarian nuclear regime at the cost of his own country's security and tens of thousands of innocent Korean lives.
If my assessment is correct, future generations of Koreans will come to see Kim Dae Jung's Sunshine Policy in an increasingly negative light.Kim Dae Jung's last words at his Nobel Prize lecture in Oslo on December 10, 2000, ring with a tone that is at once prophetic and disingenuous. He noted, "He who wins by injustice may dominate the present day, but history will always judge him to be a shameful loser. There can be no exception. I shall give the rest of my life to human rights and peace in my country and the world, and to the reconciliation and cooperation of my people." Considering the failure of the Sunshine Policy and the persisting tyranny of the North Korean regime, history will most likely judge Kim Dae Jong as that very shameful loser who dominated the present day by pursuing false peace while sacrificing the human rights of his fellow Korean minjok.
Sung-Yoon Lee (email@example.com) is an adjunct assistant professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and an associate in research at the Korea Institute at Harvard University. This Outlook is based on remarks delivered at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars on December 2, 2009.
1. Minjok is not a term native or exclusive to Korea. It is the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese characters 民族 (minju), meaning ethnic nation. At the same time, in the Korean context, and particularly in the common lexical configuration Uri minkokggiri (by the Korean ethnic nation ourselves), the term has an unmistakable connotation of Korean exceptionalism and exclusivity. In fact, the latter formulation is featured in the first article of the South-North Joint Declaration signed by Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jong Il at the 2000 Pyongyang summit. The same Korean words transliterated slightly differently, Uri minzokkiri, are the official name of a website run by the Committee for the Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland, a major arm of the North Korean propaganda machinery founded in 1961 under the auspices of the Workers' Party of Korea. See United States Institute of Peace: Peace Agreements Digital Collection, "South-North Joint Declaration," June 15, 2000, available at www.usip.org/files/file/resources/collections/peace_agreements/n_skorea06152000.pdf (accessed April 7, 2010).
2. The song, composed by Ahn Byung Won, with lyrics by his father, Ahn Suk Young, for the commemoration of the 1919 March First Independence Movement in 1947, is known by virtually every South Korean above kindergarten age. Known in North Korea as "Our Nation's Wish Is Unification," it was sung at the summit meeting between Kim Dae Jung and Kim Jong Il in June 2000 and also played at Kim Dae Jung's state funeral on August 23, 2009.
3. See Alexander George, Forceful Persuasion: Coercive Diplomacy as an Alternative to War (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1991).
4. On October 11, 2006, just two days after North Korea's first nuclear test, Kim Dae Jung, in a lecture at Chonnam National University, defended his Sunshine Policy and squarely laid the blame for the North's nuclear test on the George W. Bush administration: "North Korea is developing nuclear programs because the U.S. is refusing to enter into a dialogue with it and impose economic sanctions without giving it an exit to find a way to live otherwise. Why are people pestering the Sunshine Policy? Why are people pestering the [faultless] Sunshine Policy? Don't even think that the Sunshine Policy is your easiest punching bag on which you can place any blame." See Sunny Lee, "South Korea's Sunshine Policy Strikes Back," Asia Times Online, May 7, 2008, available at www.atimes.com/atimes/Korea/JE07Dg02.html (accessed March 29, 2010). For a contemporaneous report in Korean, see Young-Soo Kang and Soo-Hyun Choi, "DJ: 'Haetbyeot jeongchaek silpae' neun haegwoehan iron" [DJ Calls 'Failure of Sunshine Policy' a Bizarre Theory], Chosun Ilbo, October 11, 2006, available at www.chosun.com/politics/news/200610/200610110205.html (accessed March 29, 2010).
5. Kim Dae Jung, "Ciampi Italia Daetong-ryeong naewoe juchae gukbin manchan dapsa" [Address to President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi during a State Visit to Italy, March 2, 2000], in Kim Dae Jung Daetongryeong Yeonseolmunjip Jaesamgweon [Selected Speeches of President Kim Dae Jung] (Seoul: Office of the President of the Republic of Korea, 2001), 3:102.
6. See United States Institute of Peace: Peace Agreements Digital Collection, "South-North Joint Declaration."
7. See "Gidae dwoeneun nambuk pyeonghwa seoneon" [Looking Forward to the North-South Peace Declaration], Kookmin Ilbo, April 14, 2000; Young-Sun Lee, "Nambuk 'pyeonghwa seoneon' mu-eol damna?" [What Will Be Featured in the North-South Peace Declaration?] Hankook Ilbo, April 13, 2000; and Hwa-Kyung Chang and Ho-Yeon Cho, "'Nambukhan peyonghwa seoneon' chujin" [Suing for Inter-Korean Peace Declaration], Kyunghyang Shinmun, April 13, 2000.
8. Kim Dae Jung, Kim Dae Jung Daetongryeong Yeonseolmunjip Jaesamgweon, 4:95.
9. See David E. Sanger, "Bush Tells Seoul Talks with North Won't Resume Now," New York Times, March 8, 2001.
10. The phrase "peace regime" is mentioned in the September 19, 2005, "Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six Party Talks." Paragraph four contains the following: "The directly related parties will negotiate a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula at an appropriate separate forum." See U.S. Department of State, "Joint Statement of the Fourth Round of the Six Party Talks," September 19, 2005, available at www.state.gov/p/eap/regional/c15455.htm (accessed April 4, 2010).
11. For example, see Kim Dae Jung, "North and South Korea Find Common Ground," New York Times, November 28, 2000. Kim writes in the op-ed, "North Korea has consented to the South's view that U.S. troops should continue to stay on the Korean Peninsula. Korea is the only country in the world surrounded by four big powers--the United States, Japan, China and Russia. I have long been convinced that the U.S. military presence on the peninsula is necessary for the stability and balance of power there and in Northeast Asia. I explained this to Kim Jong Il, and he readily concurred, for the safety of the Korean people." Kim Dae Jung repeated this claim at his lecture when he received the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2000, claiming that "the two sides concurred that the U.S. military presence on the Korean peninsula should continue for stability on the peninsula and Northeast Asia." See Kim Dae Jung, "Nobel Lecture" (lecture, Nobel Peace Prize, Oslo, December 10, 2000), available at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2000/dae-jung-lecture.html (accessed March 29, 2010).
12. See "Preparatory Committee to Remember Kim Il Sung Formed in Peru," Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), June 17, 2000, available at www.kcna.co.jp/item/2000/200006/news06/17.htm#7 (accessed April 8, 2010).
13. See "U.S. Urged Not to Stand in Way of Korea's Reunification," KCNA, June 17, 2000, available at www.kcna.co.jp/item/2000/200006/news06/17.htm#9 (accessed April 5, 2010).
14. "Kim Jong Il Answers Questions Raised by Russian Itar-Tass," People's Korea, July 24, 2001.
15. For the full declaration, see "DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea], Russia Reconfirm Revitalized Traditional Ties; Kim Jong Il Meets V. Putin Again in Moscow," People's Korea, August 11, 2001.
16. See "1st Anniversary of North-South Joint Declaration Observed," KCNA, June 15, 2001, available at www.kcna.co.jp/item/2001/200106/news06/15.htm#1 (accessed April 5, 2010).
17. See "U.S. Troop Pullout from S. Korea Urged," KCNA, June 30, 2001, available at www.kcna.co.jp/item/2001/200106/news06/30.htm#5 (accessed April 5, 2010).
18. See "U.S. Forces' Pullback from S. Korea Urgently Demanded by Times and Nation," KCNA, July 18, 2001, available at www.kcna.co.jp/item/2001/200107/news07/18.htm#6 (accessed April 5, 2010).
21. Article 1 of the declaration states that the two sides have agreed to resolve the question of unification "independently by the concerted efforts of the Korean ethnic nation ourselves." "Independently" and "by the Korean ethnic nation ourselves" (Uri minkokggiri) are not-so-subtle North Korean terms for "free of U.S. imperialist interference." See "South-North Joint Declaration," art. 1.
22. See article 1 of South Korea's constitution, which defines the Republic of Korea as a "democratic republic" whose sovereignty "resides in the people"; article 3, according to which, "The territory of the Republic of Korea shall consist of the Korean peninsula and its adjacent islands"; and article 4, which stipulates: "The Republic of Korea seeks unification and formulates and carries out a policy of peaceful unification based on the principles of freedom and democracy." See Constitution of the Republic of Korea, art. 1, 3, and 4.
23. Chosun Rodongdang Gyuyak Jeonmun [Preamble to the Charter of the Workers' Party of Korea], 6th revision, October 13, 1980, author's translation from the original Korean.
24. Statement by an unidentified spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry in response to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1874, which passed in the wake of North Korea's second nuclear test on May 25, 2009. The statement concludes with the following: "It is the Songun idea-based mode of counter-action for the DPRK to decisively counter 'sanctions' with retaliation and 'confrontation' with all-out confrontation." See "DPRK Foreign Minister Declares Strong Counter-Measures against UNSC's 'Resolution 1874,'" KCNA, June 13, 2009, available at www.kcna.co.jp/item/2009/200906/news13/20090613-10ee.html (accessed April 5, 2010).
25. See "DPRK's Socialist Constitution (Full Text)," People's Korea, available at www1.korea-np.co.jp/pk/061st_issue/98091708.htm (accessed March 29, 2010). Article 41 reads: "In building a socialist national culture, the State shall oppose the cultural infiltration of imperialism and any tendency to return to the past, protect its national cultural heritage, and develop it in keeping with the existing socialist situation."
26. See "Talk about 'Priority to Human Rights' and 'Liberalization,'" KCNA, January 12, 2000, available at www.kcna.co.jp/item/2000/200001/news01/12.htm#10 (accessed April 5, 2010).
27. See "Rodong Sinmun Calls for Smashing Imperialists' 'Globalization,'" KCNA, August 31, 2000, available at www.kcna.co.jp/item/2000/200008/news08/31.htm#10 (accessed April 5, 2010). Elsewhere, in 2007, North Korea describes globalization as "nothing but a yoke of exploitation and plunder, domination and subjugation as it is intended to put other countries under their tight control and bleed the world people white to the maximum under the spurious signboard of 'co-prosperity' and a neo-colonial system whereby to completely obliterate the Juche character and national identity of other countries." See "Imperialists' Moves for 'Globalization' under Fire," KCNA, February 25, 2007, available at www.kcna.co.jp/item/2007/200702/news02/26.htm#6 (accessed April 5, 2010).
28. Kim Dae Jung, "The Prospect of Peace on the Korean Peninsula" (speech, AEI, Washington, DC, March 8, 2001), available through www.aei.org/event/407.
29. See Tobias Hubinette, "President Kim Dae Jung and the Adoption Issue," Korean Quarterly (Spring 2003).
30. See Robin George Collingwood, The Idea of History (London: Oxford University Press, 1977), 214-15. Collingwood goes on to observe: "To the scientist, nature is always and merely a 'phenomenon,' not in a sense of being defective in reality, but in the sense of being a spectacle presented to his intelligent observation; whereas the events of history are never mere phenomena, never mere spectacles for contemplation, but things which the historian looks, not at, but through, to discern the thought within them."
31. Kim Dae Jung, "Nobel Lecture."