n 1994, proponents of the Framework Agreement with North Korea argued that Pyongyang would not cheat because the risks of being caught were too great. As it turned out, even the chances of being caught were not great and the consequences proved to be negligible. When the Clinton administration found signs of a secret facility in 1998, it was unable to prove it, perhaps because the North Koreans had cleaned up the site (as the Iranians are probably doing now). Definitive proof of North Korea’s centrifuge programme did not come to light until 2002, but when charged with this violation, Pyongyang rapidly broke out of the 1994 restrictions, reprocessed the previously “safeguarded” plutonium and tested a nuclear device. Faced with the prospect that North Korea could always do something worse, the US kept making concessions in order to resume negotiations.
The West's handling of the Iranian nuclear program seems to be going down the same path. After years of waiting for diplomacy to work, with all official estimates pointing towards it being years before Iran gains nukes, Obama and company are now saying it is too late for a military strike. How these schmucks can continue to mismanage such important issues are incredible. Obviously the blame is not all on Obama as Bush could have taken Cheney's advice and done what has needed to be done. Be he spent all his energy on Iraq, which turned out to be the wrong target. To paraphrase the Godfather, it was Iran all along. They are the ones who have been pulling the strings of terrorist groups for the last 30 years and are a threat through their WMD's. Bush just became so beaten down that he really didn't do almost anything of consequence his last two years. Ariel Sharon and Olmert are also to blame. They kept thinking that either the US would handle Iran or they just thought the Israelis have already done enough. On the latter point, you could see that way of thinking in the way the Israelis conducted the War in Lebanon. They let the air force do most of the heavy lifting and were afraid to committ land forces which caused Hizballah to win a major public relations victory. Olmert just didn't have the guts to do what needed to be done nor take the responsibility if anything went wrong. Such was the case with the possible Iran strike. Now it's left to Bibi, who I think has the guts but it may even be too late already. If a strike had occurred 3 years ago and failed, at least there was time to do another one. Now there are no reserves, no margin for error and even a successful attack will only buy time, at best. Sorry for the rambling post, but this stuff really is worrying me. Everything just has the feel of the 1930's and I'm afraid we are headed towards another tragedy for the Jewish people. Israelis like to say "Never again. Never again will we walk quietly into the ovens." Let's hope that is the case, because Olmert and Sharon has brought Israel so close to them you can feel the heat all over your body.