Talking About Korea

Thanks to Fiore on Buzzflash who posted this essay by Mitchell Bard on Huffington Post on why Sarah Palin’s Korea flub matters.

That’s the real story about the Palin flub about North Korea that the media isn’t covering. It’s not that she misspoke, but that anyone cared what she had to say on the issue in the first place.

Sarah Palin, with her reliance on spouting talking points, simplistic approach to issues and complete lack of experience beyond a half term as governor of a state the size of Columbus, Ohio, is not competent to be discussing North Korea. And shame on any media outlet that treats her opinions as if they’re worth anything.

The real damning Palin quote in the Beck interview is the one in which she worries if “the White House is gonna come out with a strong enough policy to sanction what it is that North Korea’s gonna do.” Putting aside her usual butchering of the English language, she takes a complicated problem facing the United States (and the world) and reduces it to a talking-point political attack on the president.

Her comment reveals that she has no understanding that we are dealing with a North Korean leadership that may not be rational and may even be self-destructive. And one with the firepower to kill legions of South Korean civilians.

Korea’s dangerous dictatorship is a problem the Bush administration left unsolved for the next president. No one is proposing that we invade Korea, so how we ‘get tough’ will have to be worked out through alliances and diplomacy. Our allies in South Korea and Japan depend on wise policy from the US.

7 thoughts on “Talking About Korea

  1. Right-blame Bush.North Korea has been assuming this posture intermittently since 1953.
    Palin can’t be blamed because the media reports everything she says.The media has their own motives and defusing the Korean situation isn’t one of them.
    We have 28,000 troops in harm’s way there.
    Kim Jong Il hasn’t been rational since he’s been alive.
    I’m not sure what can be done except to lean on the Chinese,who seem to be rational in the pursuit of their own ends, to reign in their client state.
    Obama doesn’t get much respect abroad so it’s hard to use “diplomacy”effectively.
    Sure,Palin was a quitter(which really says something about her)but that doesn’t do anything to build up Obama,who was a “community activist” and acolyte of Saul Alinsky’s teachings,and oh,yes,an Illinois state senator-about as impressive as a RI state senator.I lived in Illinois and the state senate there is a collection of political hacks and slugs like our senate here.Can you think of anyone on Smith Hill qualified to be President?
    Obama won’t have the American public hoodwinked again in 2012.He will be a one termer like Jimmy Carter.
    Palin will never get serious consideration as a nominee.
    I think Chris Christie may very well receive a lot of support.He is a highly intelligent and knowledgeable man and a very effective speaker without histrionics.
    Mike Huckabee isn’t going away,and he’s no slouch in spite of his folksy manner on tv,and Romney is still in the running.
    Watch Evan Bayh and Hillary(Lady Macbeth)Clinton on the Dem side.
    Biden?He couldn’t win an election for hall monitor in a grade school outside Delaware.
    It’s ironic that Obama might be forced into a corner where he becomes the only president since Truman to use nuclear weapons.I sure hope that doesn’t happen.(This could happen if North Korea uses theirs).

  2. Once in a while, historic reality does matter. The off-hand comment of suggesting Korea as a Bush problem (either Bush) is as silly as the supposed off-hand comments of Ms Palin. Korea has a long and complex history, thousands of years old. The modern division of Korea is a product of the aftermath of World War II. Korea was dominated during the war by a ruthless Japanese occupation, and in the aftermath of the war negotiations by the Democratic Presidents, Roosevelt and Truman, with the Soviets led by Josef Stalin led to a division of Korea at the 38th parallel into North and South entities. In 1950, the North, economically depressed and led by a ruthless dictaorship attacked a recovering and prospering South. The “Police Action of the Korean War was the proper response of President Truman and the United Nations. Soldiers from many nations combatted the aggression from North Korea, later aided by the Soviets and Chinese Communists. Soviet pilots flew Migs against American pilots, and China poured almost a million men into the battle. The “Police Action”only ended when Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican and great General, brokered a truce that has remained in effect since 1953. More than 50,000 Americans were killed in that war as were many South Korean soldiers, Aussies, New Zealanders, Brits, Turks, Greeks, etc. The U.S. has maintained a trip-wire presence in Korea for 57 years since the end of the war. Korea has been a topic of importance for every President since Eisenhower, Republican and Democrat: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama. The South is propering and democratic; the North, starving, economically depressed to a level difficult to understand and dictatorial. Americans, perhaps 35,000, remain a trip-wire against deadly attacks. We must defend our allies for all the right reasons.

  3. I found this website through and noticed this entry.

    The current situation with North Korea is not simple for anyone — especially those of Korean descent such as myself. My immediate family has directly experienced the Korean War and its aftermath.

    Several people have already asked me about the average opinion of Koreans who live in the US.

    Key point: I haven’t even bothered to find out what people such as Sarah Palin are saying.

    I’ve been concerned about the welfare and opinions of Korean citizens — especially those who lived on the island that experienced the attacks.

  4. I didn’t mean to suggest that either George Bush created the problem with North Korea. But during the eight Bush years it was clearly a problem and was not solved.
    As Julie reminds us– preventing war and protecting lives is an urgent priority.

  5. Eight years of Bush and it wasn’t solved?Right,and as Donald says many years of everyone else since Truman.
    China might solve this if it suits their interest,but does a lessening of hostilties do anything for them?
    Julie-it’s not just Koreans in danger-we have had troops there since the late 40’s and I have to wonder why.And why we still have troops in Japan,Germany,the Sinai,the Balkans,etc while we’re actually engaged in combat in Iraq(yes,still) and Afghanistan.
    Maybe it’s time everyone learned that they’re just going to have to take care of their own problems.
    No exceptions.

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