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Feeding the "axis of evil". (Insider Report).

"The Bush administration plans to continue humanitarian food shipments to North Korea in the new year, despite what President Bush has called a 'diplomatic showdown' over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions," reported a January 1st Reuters dispatch. "We expect to continue providing the same level of aid to the [UN's] World Food Program in Korea as we have in the past," declared a senior administration official.

While Saddam Hussein's regime, under threat of a U.S.-led attack, allowed UN arms inspectors to investigate suspected arms sites, the Communist North Koreans evicted arms inspectors in late December. So far, inspectors in Iraq have yet to find solid evidence that Saddam possesses nukes or other "weapons of mass destruction"; according to the CIA, North Korea already possesses at least two nukes and may be able to assemble as many as a halfdozen more over the next six months. Pyongyang--an integral member of the Bush-designated "axis of evil"--not only threatens South Korea (and the 37,000 U.S. soldiers stationed there as part of the UN "peacekeeping" mission) but also Japan.

Nevertheless, President Bush insisted to reporters on December 31st that North Korea's nuclear program could be halted "peacefully, through diplomacy." "I believe this [standoff with North Korea] is not a military showdown, this is a diplomatic showdown," Mr. Bush said on his way to the coffee shop in Crawford, Texas. Saying that "we don't know whether or not he has a nuclear weapon," the president insisted that a potential nuclear threat from Iraq somehow trumps a confirmed nuclear threat from North Korea: "A Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is a threat to the security of the American people."

During the Vietnam War, the John Birch Society--taking note of Washington's continued aid and trade with Communist nations, and curious indifference to Fidel Castro's Cuba--posed this thought-provoking question: "Why fight 'em in Vietnam, and help 'em everywhere else?" The Bush administration's peculiar fixation on Iraq prompts repeating of that question relative to the war on terrorism.
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Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:9NORT
Date:Jan 27, 2003
Previous Article:Russia's nuclear aid to Iran. (Insider Report).
Next Article:Using torture in the war on terrorism? (Insider Report).

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