Saturday, July 30, 2005

Kristof misses again

Kristof of the NYTimes has one talent: storytelling. He's terrible at analysis, but he's got an amazing talent for finding people on the edges and telling their stories. In the case of religious conservative activism against North Korea, he's missing the forest for the trees. I'll update this entry with my own e-mail to the Times, which they did not deign to publish, when I'm at the right computer... Here it is:
Mr. Kristof's criticism of "liberals" for not being as vocal as Christian conservatives about repression and atrocities in North Korea is a classic example of mistaking volume for content. A steady drumbeat of "isn't that awful" does not equal policy substance. Liberals have been trying for years, unsuccessfully and without a lot of help from conservatives, Christian or otherwise, to push the administration to deal constructively with Kim Jong Il's regime. We have pushed for talks; we have proposed alternative solutions; we have regularly pointed out the failure of the administration to make progress or even to properly prioritize the issues. I feel no shame for myself or "liberals" in general on this issue: it is the administration which should be ashamed, and the Republican establishment which has let it slide by with so little effort.


Anonymous said...

It is clear - North Korea is delusional. Apparently, it has dreams of taking the place of the Soviet Union simply by opposing the West. The delusion is manifest in their imagination of themselves to be of any significant importance in the world (economically, politically or culturally), as the Soviet Union certainly was.

Attempting to deal with North Korea is like attempting to perform a root canal on yourself (the latter may actually be more pleasant). By comparison, the Soviet Union then, and Russia now, is a refreshing bastion of reason and humility.

Ahistoricality said...

North Korea's rationality, or lack thereof, does not excuse the administration from its responsibility to deal with the problems created by this state.

Frankly, American policy towards North Korea has been a model of disunity, paralysis, and neglect: nobody who cares about the future of the world should be satisfied with it.