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Here's the one thing: Diplomacy is neat and everything, but while your right hand is shaking, your left better be ready to throw a punch.
When the only consequence of breaking your word — not to mention international law — is a strongly worded letter from the United Nations, diplomacy by itself will never work.
Take what's happening in North Korea right now: We've watched Kim Jong-Il and his goose-stepping army march down the streets in missile parade after missile parade and we've done virtually nothing.
Since Bill Clinton's first term in office, America's policy has basically been: "Hey, China, you deal with them."
How has that strategy worked out for us?
North Korea just conducted an underground test of an atom bomb comparable to about 4-5,000 tons of TNT.
The Chinese have plenty of leverage to stop Kim Jong-Il from going nuclear; after all, they do supply them with 90 percent of their oil, 80 percent of their consumer goods and half of their food.
Which means only one thing: The North Koreans don't have nukes in spite of China, they have nukes because of China.
Oh sure, China condemned the test and all, but if they'd really wanted to stop them they would've backed up their words with actions a long time ago. Of course, even if the Chinese threatened to hold back food, that wouldn't change much in North Korea since so many people are already being starved to death.
So, what else can we do? Quick, President Obama! Grab your teleprompter and start talking them into disarming!
We've taken this same exact flawed approach with Iran since 2003 when the world learned that they had hidden their uranium enrichment program for 18 years. All along, Iran has claimed it's only going for nuclear energy — which would be completely believable, if it weren't for the pesky fact that Iran is sitting on 10 percent of the world's proven oil supplies and they rank third in the world in oil supply (behind only Saudi Arabia and Canada) and they rank second in natural gas behind only Russia.
Other than that, it makes complete sense that they need that nuclear energy.
For the last three years, as we've waited for the U.N. to do something other than write a letter, Iran keeps inching closer towards a nuclear bomb.
And, while a showdown is clearly looming between Israel and Iran — 51 percent of Israelis want an immediate attack on Iran's nuclear facilities — we are sitting around waiting for China and Russia to deal with both the Iranians and the North Koreans.
Oh wait, I'm sorry — I apologize. We did do something. Last month in Europe, President Obama pledged to work toward a world free of nuclear weapons. That's just great: Our president is off in socialist utopia la-la-land while dictators are on the brink of acquiring nukes.
Wait, I'm sorry — again. I'm not being fair to President Obama. He is not in la-la-land; he is paying close attention to China and he has sent a special envoy to help push them toughen up against Iran and North Korea. He sent Nancy Pelosi.
Go get 'em, Nancy!
You know, a lot of academics believe that China still listens to us and would never threaten us because they need us as a market. But, despite what the men in tweed say, we don't have much chance of coercing China into putting pressure on Iran and North Korea.
Far from being stuck to the U.S., like The Financial Times and others have claimed, it's the United States who needs China to pay for $1.8 trillion in our red ink.
People say that China will never stop buying our debt — but they already are. China has actually removed more than $210 billion of capital from the United States this year. And when China has invested in the U.S., it's only in short term treasuries.
I would hope that while our speaker of the House was in Shanghai she would be talking about all of these matters of national security. But apparently we have far more pressing concerns than nuclear tests, because she was there to talk about global warming.
Memo to Washington: If you keep sending letters to countries that are developing nukes, I can promise you that certain parts of the Earth will be getting very, very warm — like around 10 million degrees.
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