The Stupidest Thing I Have Ever Heard

The Stupidest Thing I Have Ever Heard

Sirian
Sirian

October 18th, 2002, 4:38 am #1

I've heard many a foolish comment in my lifetime. Some are funny, some sad, some are so bad you can only shake your head. One I heard tonight tops them all.


The Context

There's a report in the current news cycle about North Korea's admission to having been running a secret nuclear weapons program for years now. Some facts:

* Former President Carter (recently hailed by the Nobel committee) went to North Korea in 1994, on behalf of the Clinton Administration, to broker a solution to a crisis. The solution? The USA would help North Korea to build two modern nuclear power plants, of US design, and also supply them with fuel oil (I believe that is refined, not crude) of an equivalent to what the power plants would eventually produce, until the plants came online -- in exchange for North Korea halting its nuclear arms program. The President of North Korea gave his personal word to Carter on the matter, and the arrangement was hailed as a breakthrough at the time.

* As reported today, the United States became suspicious in summer 2001 that North Korea was cheating on this agreement: that they were secretly conducting a nuclear arms program. Proof was obtained in recent months establishing that North Korea is in material breach of this agreement. When confronted with the evidence in a recent meeting with US officials, the North Koreans defiantly admitted to the truth, and went further to say they consider themselves no longer bound by the agreement.

* Key words there: "When confronted with the evidence..."

If you haven't heard the story, you can find it on the web.


The Stupidity

Commenting on this development, a US lawmaker said that she considered the admition a good faith effort on the part of North Korea to come clean.



- Sirian
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Ozymandous
Ozymandous

October 18th, 2002, 12:05 pm #2

What's even worse was that when we bailed out North Korea they were on the verge of collapse, a collapse which could very well have forced their government to give up communism/socialism and adopt a more representative form of government.

All of the possible good gone because "Billy Boy" wanted to "leave a legacy". The 'funny' (as in "damn that sucks" and not "haha" way) is that all this seemed to have proved was that talk isn't the only or even best way to solve all issues, sometimes promises and verbal agreements do more harm than good, especially when dealing with dictators and tyrants.
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Zed
Zed

October 18th, 2002, 12:35 pm #3

I've heard many a foolish comment in my lifetime. Some are funny, some sad, some are so bad you can only shake your head. One I heard tonight tops them all.


The Context

There's a report in the current news cycle about North Korea's admission to having been running a secret nuclear weapons program for years now. Some facts:

* Former President Carter (recently hailed by the Nobel committee) went to North Korea in 1994, on behalf of the Clinton Administration, to broker a solution to a crisis. The solution? The USA would help North Korea to build two modern nuclear power plants, of US design, and also supply them with fuel oil (I believe that is refined, not crude) of an equivalent to what the power plants would eventually produce, until the plants came online -- in exchange for North Korea halting its nuclear arms program. The President of North Korea gave his personal word to Carter on the matter, and the arrangement was hailed as a breakthrough at the time.

* As reported today, the United States became suspicious in summer 2001 that North Korea was cheating on this agreement: that they were secretly conducting a nuclear arms program. Proof was obtained in recent months establishing that North Korea is in material breach of this agreement. When confronted with the evidence in a recent meeting with US officials, the North Koreans defiantly admitted to the truth, and went further to say they consider themselves no longer bound by the agreement.

* Key words there: "When confronted with the evidence..."

If you haven't heard the story, you can find it on the web.


The Stupidity

Commenting on this development, a US lawmaker said that she considered the admition a good faith effort on the part of North Korea to come clean.



- Sirian
The US administration has known for many days now that the Koreans were in violation of the agreement, but when they were first confronted the evidence, the Koreans vehemently denied having a program. Then they went back and changed their minds the next day, presumably having decided they could not keep their program secret any longer.

Tell me that signifies a good faith maneuver. More like the 5-year-old who got caught stealing from the cookie jar.
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Joined: October 18th, 2000, 2:14 pm

October 18th, 2002, 2:04 pm #4

What's even worse was that when we bailed out North Korea they were on the verge of collapse, a collapse which could very well have forced their government to give up communism/socialism and adopt a more representative form of government.

All of the possible good gone because "Billy Boy" wanted to "leave a legacy". The 'funny' (as in "damn that sucks" and not "haha" way) is that all this seemed to have proved was that talk isn't the only or even best way to solve all issues, sometimes promises and verbal agreements do more harm than good, especially when dealing with dictators and tyrants.
all this seemed to have proved was that talk isn't the only or even best way to solve all issues, sometimes promises and verbal agreements do more harm than good, especially when dealing with dictators and tyrants.

...every US administration seems to feel the need to prove this over and over again.

Hands up anyone who thinks the current cosying up with General Musharraf (Pakistan) isn't going to come back to haunt us somewhere down the line.
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Drasca
Drasca

October 18th, 2002, 4:23 pm #5

What's even worse was that when we bailed out North Korea they were on the verge of collapse, a collapse which could very well have forced their government to give up communism/socialism and adopt a more representative form of government.

All of the possible good gone because "Billy Boy" wanted to "leave a legacy". The 'funny' (as in "damn that sucks" and not "haha" way) is that all this seemed to have proved was that talk isn't the only or even best way to solve all issues, sometimes promises and verbal agreements do more harm than good, especially when dealing with dictators and tyrants.
forced their government to give up communism/socialism and adopt a more representative form of government.

(lecture/nitpick)
As much as I abhor to do so, I say either proofread more or review your vocabulary, as communism/socialism is an economic system, not a political one. I know you intend otherwise, but it never looks good for an adult to have their foot in their mouth (to foot fetishests are the exception, but quite a different story).

fevered utterings:
I can understand the desire for communism, as it controls the market and can keep foreigners out. Historically, due to the colonial/imperialist system, eastern asia was carved up for trade and it wreaked havoc on the locals (opium wars, etc).

I chuckle to see today it is our very economic sanctions which choke N. Korea (S. Korea is very strong in comparison). the mercantilism that destroyed so long ago becomes the capitalism that we link with wealth, luxury, and the bounties in standards of living today. Funny that.

-Drasca
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Occhi
Occhi

October 18th, 2002, 6:02 pm #6

I've heard many a foolish comment in my lifetime. Some are funny, some sad, some are so bad you can only shake your head. One I heard tonight tops them all.


The Context

There's a report in the current news cycle about North Korea's admission to having been running a secret nuclear weapons program for years now. Some facts:

* Former President Carter (recently hailed by the Nobel committee) went to North Korea in 1994, on behalf of the Clinton Administration, to broker a solution to a crisis. The solution? The USA would help North Korea to build two modern nuclear power plants, of US design, and also supply them with fuel oil (I believe that is refined, not crude) of an equivalent to what the power plants would eventually produce, until the plants came online -- in exchange for North Korea halting its nuclear arms program. The President of North Korea gave his personal word to Carter on the matter, and the arrangement was hailed as a breakthrough at the time.

* As reported today, the United States became suspicious in summer 2001 that North Korea was cheating on this agreement: that they were secretly conducting a nuclear arms program. Proof was obtained in recent months establishing that North Korea is in material breach of this agreement. When confronted with the evidence in a recent meeting with US officials, the North Koreans defiantly admitted to the truth, and went further to say they consider themselves no longer bound by the agreement.

* Key words there: "When confronted with the evidence..."

If you haven't heard the story, you can find it on the web.


The Stupidity

Commenting on this development, a US lawmaker said that she considered the admition a good faith effort on the part of North Korea to come clean.



- Sirian
Who made the naive remark?

Clinton, and Boxer, of course, respectively.
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Occhi
Occhi

October 18th, 2002, 6:41 pm #7

all this seemed to have proved was that talk isn't the only or even best way to solve all issues, sometimes promises and verbal agreements do more harm than good, especially when dealing with dictators and tyrants.

...every US administration seems to feel the need to prove this over and over again.

Hands up anyone who thinks the current cosying up with General Musharraf (Pakistan) isn't going to come back to haunt us somewhere down the line.
You're Canadian, eh?

Politics Has Always Made Strange Bedfellows.

A few examples

1. US and USSR (inimical political and economic styles) versus Third Reich

2. US support of Saddam Hussein, 1980-1988, versus Iran (He was more of a Soviet Client in those days than a US ally: look at who supplied his hardware.)

3. US and Saudi Arabia in any regard. A medieval, theocratic monarchy, and anachronism in the 20th century, and a constitutional republic. (Remember, in 1973, SA was a lead member of OPEC, and was one of the more outspoken members who led the embargo against us over the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Iran it was who sold us much oil during those days, the Shah's Iran . . . )

The reality is that any nation will, and often should, adjust its alliances as time, goals, and reality dictate. When NATO dissolves, which it eventually will, it will be because the relationship will have outlived its purpose, just as the various coalitions against Napoleon coalesced and then dissolved . . .

If you, as a national leader, spend all your time worrying what might happen, you can paralyze yourself into an inaction, and thus then guarantee that your fate, and the fate of your nation, is in someone else's hands.

That is reality and realpolitik at work.
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Joined: October 18th, 2000, 2:14 pm

October 18th, 2002, 8:12 pm #8

And actually I'm British (more specifically English), but currently resident in the USA.
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Ozymandous
Ozymandous

October 18th, 2002, 8:14 pm #9

forced their government to give up communism/socialism and adopt a more representative form of government.

(lecture/nitpick)
As much as I abhor to do so, I say either proofread more or review your vocabulary, as communism/socialism is an economic system, not a political one. I know you intend otherwise, but it never looks good for an adult to have their foot in their mouth (to foot fetishests are the exception, but quite a different story).

fevered utterings:
I can understand the desire for communism, as it controls the market and can keep foreigners out. Historically, due to the colonial/imperialist system, eastern asia was carved up for trade and it wreaked havoc on the locals (opium wars, etc).

I chuckle to see today it is our very economic sanctions which choke N. Korea (S. Korea is very strong in comparison). the mercantilism that destroyed so long ago becomes the capitalism that we link with wealth, luxury, and the bounties in standards of living today. Funny that.

-Drasca
If Communism/Socialism is an economic description then what would be a valid description of their form of government? Dictatorship?
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Ozymandous
Ozymandous

October 18th, 2002, 8:18 pm #10

And actually I'm British (more specifically English), but currently resident in the USA.
Seriously, who is "right" and who is "wrong" is usually a matter of opinion. I wouldn't think that most of the people from Europe, having grown up in a more "the government is here to protect and lead us" mentality (a throw-back to their monarchies and empires I'd assume), would quite get the mentality of the people here in the US, and vice versa.

It's mostly culture and how your society was formed I suppose...
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