Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 01.13.03


'We will bury you'

Politics indeed makes strange bedfellows. One fellow I never thought I'd roll over and see in the sack with me is archconservative Pat Buchanan.

Although I can assure you that there has been no exchange of fluids I have to admit to being impressed with his views on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Buchanan points out that we have been taking a lot of heat from South Korea lately. They are unhappy that a military court found some soldiers innocent of wrongdoing in the accident causing the death of a Korean schoolgirl. Politicos throughout the country are calling for us to get the hell out.

We've been there since the 50s, ostensibly as a bulwark against the starving hoards from the North who may descend at any moment. Buchanan says, "Why don't we just go?"

We maintain about 36,000 American troops near the DMZ and have done so for decades. The South Koreans have a modern, well-equipped army of 100,000 troops. Why not pull out in an amiable fashion and allow the South Koreans to guard their own borders?

We could maintain a strong alliance and continue to supply them with the ordinance and training that they need. I don't see a downside to this idea.

We save mega-bucks, free up our troops for other service, be seen as responding to our host's desire for us to hit the road, and maybe even cool tensions with the lunatic leader North of the 39th parallel.

Chris Mathews, the popular conservative host of MSNBC's Hardball, muttered another thought that made some sense to me. He speculates that the President's idiotic "Axis of Evil" comments only included North Korea so that we wouldn't be seen to be bashing only Islamic countries.

That sounds very plausible to me. Our foreign policy analysts have all the foresight and sense of diplomacy of a suicide bomber. This administration "shoots from the hip," which indicates that they don't really aim and they aren't really sure of the consequences.

There is no doubt that the Axis of Evil comments regarding North Korea are at the root of this current round of nuclear saber rattling. Bush is provoking a very unstable government which possesses nuclear weapons and already has a huge grudge against us.

We have become one of those imperialist aggressors that we all read about in middle school history. Our control-freak foreign policy is enraging half the planet and scaring the hell out of the other half. Britain has thrown in with us because they have no alternative. Prime Minister Tony Blair, in a Chamberlain-esque fashion has been lead around by the nose by our administration to the confusion and dismay of the British citizenry. We send troops so Tony sends troops.

We now have American soldiers in Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Djibouti, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and a Kurdish controlled region of northern Iraq. And the President now says that he doesn't want a war with Iraq.

Those troops are not over there to work on their tans. I fear that George is speaking with forked tongue. Congress has given him the power to go to war without consulting them. Most of the civilian populations of the above countries hate our guts. Who could look at this situation and say that our foreign policy is a thoughtful one?

We need to wake up, look around, and discover that the Cold War is over. There is really no chance that the world will be taken over by international communism, or attacked by Saddam Hussein and his puny little band of crossing guards that he calls an army.

Nikita Khrushchev spoke at the UN in the 1950s and proclaimed that: "We will bury you." Now that Khrushchev and his Soviet Empire have crumbled, are we going to pick up the shovel?