Friday, March 02, 2007

Fred Kaplan Picks Up on the Bush Administration’s 180°on North Korean Uranium Enrichment Program. So Where Does That Leave Chris Hill?

I speculated about the sudden US turnaround on North Korea's uranium program here. And this is Fred Kaplan's take. Whatever the motives for the public acknowledgement, the Bush administration’s credibility was further diminished. But where does this leave Chris Hill?

I realize he's much more simpatico than Douglas Feith, John Bolton, and the other long-departed ideologues that decorated the White House landscape. Still, he must have had some responsibility for what took place?

I know I'm not supposed to complain, since the US is running Six-Party-Talks interference for Japan on the abductees issue. Still, you have to wonder: Was Chris Hill stupid? Or was he lying? And why doesn't the media care?

If this sounds a lot like my earlier take on Condoleezza Rice, it's no coincidence.


Japan Observer said...

Actually, this revelation is much more awkward for James Kelly, who made a visit to Pyongyang just to show North Korea that the US knew all about their uranium enrichment activities.

If anything, Hill -- and other North Korea "accommodationists" in the USG -- are in an even better position than before.

Jun Okumura said...

And that is why Chris Hill, like others in the administration who are newly ascendant in the Bush administration are being given a free pass.

I think you make two good points, Japan Observer; you have my respect. And not everyone should be expected to dissent publicly on every policy that they did not like, nor acknowledge every error in judgment. So perhaps I am being too harsh on someone who wasn't there when the precipitous decision was made. However, the Bush administration's strategic and tactical errors regarding the Axis of Evil have turned out to be so many and so momentous that, for me at least, it is hard to dissociate someone who has been an integral part of the show for the last two, three years from the ill effects thereof.

I'll gladly eat my words though, if Mr. Hill turns out to have come in, saw that the intelligence had been flawed and misused, worked to move the administration away from its paralysis due to a likely non-existent uranium program, and found a way to minimize the fallout from the revelation on the US by tacitly dropping it as part of the Six-Party bargain. All this, of course, turns on the non-existence of a uranium program.