can’t see the forest

UN Confirms Sanctions Against North Korea

The BBC reports that the United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to impose sanctions on the government (and people, of course) of North Korea. UN Resolution1718 includes:

  • A ban on the sale of military equipment
  • A ban on travel for those working on such equipment
  • A ban on the sale of luxury goods
  • Allowance for inspection of ships entering and leaving North Korea
  • No hint of military enforcement or other forceful measures

Within what Chomsky might call the institutional lunacy of international diplomacy, I’d say the resolution makes good, sound sense. At least at the surface, countries like Japan, China, Russia, and the US seem to be satisfied for now. But I may need you guys to help me get over the stark differences between:

  • The reaction to Saddam’s “failure to disarm” in 2003, which prompted a massive, bloody US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq that of course continues to this day, with US officials recently suggesting the need for a strong troop presence until 2010; and
  • The reaction to Kim Jong Il’s apparently successful test of a nuclear device, which includes economic sanctions, harsh rhetoric, and not much more.

Please don’t take my comparison to mean that I think North Korea should be invaded, because I certainly don’t. I would just like to hear your ideas about this teensy slight discrepancy between how the United States, in particular, has reacted to supposed suspicions of an intent to develop such a device in Iraq, and the increasingly confirmed actual detonation of such a device in North Korea. Because I think it confirms what intelligent people have been saying about the role of oil in Iraq all along, but I certainly could be mistaken. So, please, let’s discuss.


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