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Liz Cheney Blames George Bush for North Korea Situation

3 years ago
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Since being sworn-in nearly two years ago, President Obama has blamed his predecessor for many of America's problems. Typically, Republicans have pushed back at these assertions, arguing that Obama refuses to accept responsibility for anything.

But an exception to this rule can be found in the recent heightening of tensions between South and North Korea: Some prominent Republicans have assigned partial blame to President George W. Bush for mishandling the North Korea situation.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday" this weekend, former State Department official Liz Cheney joined that chorus when she said,
I do think what we have seen [in North Korea] is an example of how provocative American weakness can be. And I think that unfortunately it is policy of weakness that has expanded back into the Bush administration -- into the last years of the Bush administration. . . . We have seen time and time again North Korea -- if they test a nuclear weapon, there are no consequences. . . . And what they have learned is that their belligerence, in fact, oftentimes yields from us capitulation and concessions.
This is not the first time we've heard this. Cheney's comments about the latter years of the Bush administration are consistent with what former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton wrote in his 2007 book, "Surrender Is Not An Option." In it, he wrote,
the state of play at this writing is that the permanent government has triumphed over Bush, or at least over his principles. This is a far cry from the Bush who said to Putin at Camp David in October 2003 that Kim Jong-il was "like a baby who throws his food on the floor," so that the adults come around to pick it up, whereupon the baby throws food on the floor again."
Sadly, the baby, it seems, is developing nukes.

Coming on the heels of President Bush's tour for his book "Decision Points" -- which many consider an attempt to influence his legacy -- it will be interesting to see whether the worsening situation on the Korean peninsula will ultimately be laid at the feet of the 43rd president.

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24 Comments

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judgejfm

Oh Liz, you have to go back to Truman and Ike. Truman's limited war didn't work; Ike's truce didn't work. Sometimes you have to win. Easier in 1953 than now.

November 29 2010 at 8:42 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
BLONDIE & GRUMPY

I blame Harry Truman as he pulled General Mac off the attack... See what you get when you don't finish what you get involved with...

November 29 2010 at 6:02 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Brad

Amazing what some Republicans "leaders" will say. I think a couple of years wondering in the political wilderness has made them (more) crazy. I mean, what did Bush Jr do that was so different than President Obama? While I agree that we ought to take advantage of North Korea's weakness in terms of their lack of adequate food and fuel, I fail to see how spending more money on our military than all other countries combined has made us so weak. North Korea got those nukes under Bush Jr, when instead President Clinton drew the line on them removing those nuclear fuel rods. What I see is Republicans having a dangerous failure of memory, and using National Security as just another chip in their grand game against their Democratic rivals. Shame on them!!

November 29 2010 at 3:47 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Brad's comment
Kenneth

Very lightheaded post. This has nothing to do with Politics. It has to do with a nut cake for a leader in an unstable country. Nobody can get him to stop the nukes not even china. He knows no one will fire on him with his gun pointed at the capital of South Korea. He does not shoot at military targets he shoots at civilians. The only way to stop him would be a low level 3am bomb run targeting his military might, nuke factory,and the palace. If you do not take him out you wasted your time. Even if you were to beat him and he surrendered he would not stop. He has been pulling this same crap for almost 60 years.

November 29 2010 at 5:05 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Rogell

Brad, Liz Cheney wasn't a leader in the sense that you think. She was a Federal Government employee with the Dept of State, but nothing more. Her father, however, was Vice President of the US, and was considered a leader. As for republicans, I submit to you that I would consider them as being obstructionist. If they truly had the country's best interest at heart, they wouldn't be acting in the shameful manner that they've been displaying these past two years. For a Senate Minority Leader to claim that they're main goal is to ensure President Obama is a one-term president is shameful. Jobs and the middle-class should be major objectives of the republicans...

November 29 2010 at 5:51 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jalg302

We should sink some of the North Korean cargo vessels on the high seas. It would be good practice for our sub fleet. The North Koreans wouldn't have a clue. The Israelis know that force is the only way to deal with terrorists. China should be told that we will nuke their North Korean proxy if they attack South Korea. If it wasn't for Chinese help, North Korea would have collpsed a long time ago. China is the real threat to America's existence as a world class power. It could bankrupt America in a day if it wanted to!

November 29 2010 at 3:34 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
firstad

North Korea learned its bad behavior from us and China. If they use force, or nuclear weapons, China and the US need to have their response in hand. They are formulating and offering negotiations which probably won't make North Korea respond. Clinton and Bush knew dealing with the Korean peninsula would involve force in the future. The future is on our horizon now, and war there is tangible.

November 29 2010 at 3:06 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
John Vilvens

This problem start long before Bush. As always who is to blame? I think the real question now is what are we going to do now?

November 29 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
dc walker

......no one stopped Hitler resulting in the death of 60 million people. The UN needs to make a decision on this dufus, he either lives or dies, so the rest of us can go on living.

November 29 2010 at 1:24 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
jesbett3

The North Korean problem goes back much further than President Bush. As ayyiyicaramba said below, the USS Pueblo is paraded around as a huge victory over the US and Bill Clinton went so far as to put a naval blockade of North Korea in place, only to have the worst President in modern times, Jimmy Carter, go and begin negotiations that started the entire concessions parade. We should have sunk the Pueblo and kept the blockade in place, instead, we pulled the blockade, gave them millions in aid and fuel oil AND stood back and let them build a nuclear bomb. The weakness projected by the Obama administration has only boldened rogue nations like Iran and North Kores, which, as any student of history can tell you, repeats itself over and over. After the Cheonan was sunk by the North Koreans, we were supposed to do war games in the Yellow Sea, but China pressured Obama and we moved them thousands of miles away to the other side of South Kores, away from the North. Yet another victory to embolden them to shell a civilian occupied island. Weakness projected by America at work, we'll probably give them more assistance to settle down in the same pattern set up by Jimmy Carter!!

November 29 2010 at 1:11 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Welcome Mr. Robb

Remember when Bush labeled Iran, Iraq, and N. Korea as 'the axis of evil' and failed to do anything about it. Yes he attacked Saddam in Iraq but 7 years later the country is more broken than it was [under Saddam] and now Al Qaida is there that was not there when Saddam was in power. No president has a worse record of failure when it comes to foriegn policy than Bush and for once I gotta agree with Liz Cheney!

November 29 2010 at 1:00 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Kenneth

Most presently China has gotten North Korea to attend an emergency meeting in China where North Korea, China, Japan, Russia,and the US will sit and talk. Nothing will get accomplished. North Korea will agree to do somethings just to get the food, medicines and other goodies offered. If if they agree to take down their nooks,they never will. The will never allow inspections. We have been playing this same stupid game with the nut ball for a leader in North Korea sine the cease fire agreement. We have put up with his little war games and attacks on South Korea and US ships for almost 60 years. When is enough going to be enough. He is getting ready to turn powers over to his youngest son who will be worse then he is.

November 29 2010 at 12:57 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply

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