Thursday, June 26, 2008

Disorienting Double-Take On North Korea

This has been in the works for awhile...:
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush said Thursday he will lift key trade sanctions against North Korea and remove it from the U.S. terrorism blacklist, a remarkable turnaround in policy toward the communist regime he once branded as part of an "axis of evil."
...but it will be disconcerting to those (e.g., John Bolton) who invested a lot of energy condemning the Clinton Administration for its 1994 deal with North Korea:
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed her “profound disappointment” over the decision, while Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, also expressed his outrage.

“Lifting sanctions and removing North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism flies in the face of history and rewards its brutal dictator for shallow gestures,” said Hoekstra, who has not shied away from criticizing the White House in recent years.

“Just as the Clinton administration was fooled by the Kim Jong-Il regime, time will soon tell if the Bush administration will fall for the same bait,” he added.
Reminds me of Winston Smith's experiences, in George Orwell's "1984":
He vaguely remembered that the Area where he lived which was now called Airstrip One was once called England though London had always been called London. And there were memories of a time when there was no war, when the first bomb had fallen and his family had taken shelter in a cellar.

Oceania was at war with Eurasia now, but just four years ago, these two had formed an alliance against Eastasia. Winston remembered this clearly, but it made no difference what he or any other individual remembered, for the Party said that Eurasia had always been the Enemy and what the Party said was the Truth. This, thought Winston, was the most frightening aspect of the party regime-that it could obliterate memory, turn lies into Truth and alter the Past. The Party slogan was “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”

This was where “doublethink” came into play, minds were trained to hold contradictory positions simultaneously and unquestioningly- for example you had to believe at one and the same time that Democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy. Winston could remember a time when the Party did not rule, when Big Brother had not become all-powerful; but according to the Party they had always existed and this lie was repeated ad infinitum until it “became” the truth. This, Winston thought was a far more terrible weapon in the hands of the Party than torture or execution.

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