Once, Twice, Three Times

ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES….Glenn Kessler reports that senior members of the Bush administration, far from being shocked and appalled at North Korea’s nuclear test, have been looking forward to the day it finally happened:

A number of senior U.S. officials have said privately that they would welcome a North Korean test, regarding it as a clarifying event that would forever end the debate within the Bush administration about whether to solve the problem through diplomacy or through tough actions designed to destabilize North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s grip on power.

….”This fundamentally changes the landscape now,” one U.S. official said last night.

Let’s recap: The Bush/Cheney administration took a bad situation with Iraq and made it even worse. They’ve taken a bad situation with Iran and made it even worse (see here, here, and here). They’ve taken a bad situation with North Korea and made it even worse (see Fred Kaplan here). At every step along the way, they’ve deliberately taken actions that cut off any possibility of solving our geopolitical problems with anything other than military force.

Once is a singular event. Twice might be a coincidence. But three times? That’s a policy. Encouraging these “clarifying events” appears to be the main goal of the Bush administration. This is not the way to make America safer.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation