Through Him All Things Are Possible
No, I'm not referring to God (all due respect). I'm talking about Bill Richardson who is a foreign policy god.
Yesterday, the six party talks which the Bush Administration had balked at for so long resulted in an agreement with North Korea. And the person who deserves the most credit for this agreement, isn't some staffer from the U.N. or State Department, and it isn't any Bush Administration figure. The agreement that was reached yesterday came as a result of Bill Richardson and his superb diplomatic skills.
For so long, the Bush Administration preferred the blowhard approach, calling North Korea a member of the "Axis of Evil" and demanding full disarmament of Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal. Bill Richardson, on the other hand, reached out diplomatically, searching for a win-win situation that defused the tension on the Korean Peninsula and reached an agreeable solution for all parties. As Governor Richardson's press release notes, he met with the North Koreans several times, asking them to make good faith efforts to abandon their nuclear program. Most recently, Governor Richardson met with North Korean officials in Santa Fe last December, just prior to the beginning of the six party talks.
So while Bush and company engaged in a juvenile game of name-calling and saber rattling with the North Korean government, Governor Richardson exercised his considerable diplomatic skills, and engaged them in respectful dialogue with the aim of reducing tensions and ultimately getting them to abandon their nuclear program.
The only reason the Bush Administration has achieved this success with the North Koreans is because Bill Richardson laid the groundwork. Without the personal connections that Governor Richardson has made, there could be no deal. So when news of the agreement broke, who do you think CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 turned to for comment?
Bill Richardson knows firsthand about it. Before he was governor of New Mexico or a Democratic candidate for president, he hammered out the last major nuclear deal with Pyongyang, back in 1994. [emphasis mine]Bill Richardson is the only presidential candidate who has a big enough shovel to fill the deep hole the Bush Administration has dug with regard to foreign policy. There is no substitute for experience.
RICHARDSON: Well, I'm glad he's no longer the U.N. ambassador [referring to former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton], because this is a good deal.
And it shows that, if you negotiate directly with the North Koreans, as I have been urging -- and the administration finally has done this with this very good negotiator -- you're getting something. The reality is that North Korea will not be able to harvest any new plutonium.
The next step has to be get them to dismantle all their nuclear weapons. But this is an important step. And I don't mind, as a Democrat, saying that.