The Blog

Preemptive Capitulation, Part III

9:25 AM, Jul 23, 2008 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with her North Korean counterpart today in Singapore as part of "informal" six-party talks, according to this report from Bloomberg. The face-to-face meeting, a first for a Bush administration that once considered North Korea part of the "Axis of Evil," comes within weeks of the State Department's announcement that President Bush intended to ease some sanctions on the rogue regime and, despite its proliferation of nuclear technology to Syria, remove North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terror.

Meanwhile, after years of the Bush administration refusing direct engagement with Iran, the State Department last week dispatched its No. 3 official, Bill Burns, for meetings with Iranian nuclear negotiators. Today comes word, via this story from the AFP, that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that Iran will not
concede anything to the "oppressive powers" in the negotiations. "The Iranian people are steadfast and will not step back an inch against the oppressive powers," he said.

If there was any doubt that such face-to-face engagement gives undeserved legitimacy to terrorist-sponsoring states, Ahmadinejad put it to rest saying in a speech broadcast on Iranian television that he appreciated how "politely" Burns treated his Iranian counterpart and "respected the Iranian nation."

Context: Iran, which has been training, equipping and funding some of the terrorists in Iraq responsible for killing American soldiers, has refused to suspend its uranium enrichment program. Many of the world's leading intelligence agencies believe Iran is close to becoming a nuclear power. In October 2006, North Korea tested a nuclear weapon and earned the condemnation of the world and stern warnings from the Bush administration. Then, last spring, North Korea was caught proliferating nuclear technology to Syria, the world's second-leading state sponsor of terror (behind Iran), and the Bush administration, after keeping this information secret for months in order to protect its diplomatic efforts with Kim Jong Il, once again warned against proliferation and then offered further concessions.

All of this from the administration run by a president who once said: "The United States of America will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons."