Monday, October 4

George W., nuclear proliferation wonk

Poor W. Even when he had something coherent to say in the first debate, he came off as an irritable kook:

KERRY: [...] With respect to North Korea, the real story: We had inspectors and television cameras in the nuclear reactor in North Korea. Secretary Bill Perry negotiated that under President Clinton. And we knew where the fuel rods were. And we knew the limits on their nuclear power. Colin Powell, our secretary of state, announced one day that we were going to continue the dialog of working with the North Koreans. The president reversed it publicly while the president of South Korea was here. [...] While they didn't talk at all, the fuel rods came out, the inspectors were kicked out, the television cameras were kicked out. And today, there are four to seven nuclear weapons in the hands of North Korea.

BUSH: The minute we have bilateral talks, the six-party talks will unwind. That's exactly what Kim Jong Il wants. And by the way, the breach on the agreement was not through plutonium. The breach on the agreement is highly enriched uranium. That's what we caught him doing. That's where he was breaking the agreement.

Sort of like the Odd Couple scene: "it's not spaghetti, it's linguini!" Although it sounded like a silly detail, W's uranium vs. plutonium point was an reasonable one. The reactor that the IAEA had its inspectors and cameras in was for making plutonium. That was the part of the agreement that was verifiable, so the North Korean started producing uranium out of sight of the inspectors.

I could imagine any number of points that W. might have attempted to make with this fact, but apparently the retrieval of this data made his brain overheat.

1 comment:

Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich said...

This debate proves yet again the presentation trumps content any time, especially convincing presentation of convincing content.

Bush got caught trying to make a developed point in the space allotted to a sound-bite. For some reason he was "off his game."

Considering the relative lack of impact from the Vice Presidential confrontation, all eyes turn to Wash U. in St. Louis Friday night, for a debate whose timing is clearly meant to alienate the Jewish voter.