OxBlog

Saturday, January 18, 2003

# Posted 3:18 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

RIGHT-WING REVISIONISM: Josh read this column, liked it, and then asked "Am I missing something?"

You betcha. While the column deserves a thorough fisking, I don't have time since I am at this conference. So let me say this: The foundation of the column's argument is that the situation North Korea is in today closely resembles that of the Soviet Union in 1975. Not even close. At that time, the Soviet Union was a confident superpower which had just recently achieved nuclear parity with the west and seen its archrival humiliated in Vietnam. When it accepted the Helsinki Accord's provisions on human rights, it thought it had nothing to fear.

In contrast, North Korea is the last outpost of Stalinism and is desperate to avoid recognizing that it committed even the slightest violations of human rights. While I think we need a bold accord with the North to end the current stand-off, I think nothing will put that accord out of reach faster than demanding acknowledgement of the legitimacy of human rights. I say this: Let's get North Korea disarmed and focus on Iraq. When we're ready, we'll bring Kim's brutal regime crashing down like all the other dictatorships before it.
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