"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
A couple of weeks back in this space, I made a passing reference to ‘rope-a-dope’ — the much promoted theory under which the administration’s apparent lethargy this last year is all part of some cunning bluff. Even if it were true, a man like Kim Jong-Il reminds us of the perils of this approach: crazy as he is, it’s unlikely he’d be crying ‘Look at me! Over here, you moronic cowboy!’ if Bush had already killed Saddam and set in motion the remaking of the Middle East. The 13 months since the liberation of Afghanistan allowed Kim to figure that the US isn’t serious. When Saddam looks out the window and sees Hans Blix motoring around in his UN minibus, he concludes likewise. So do Hamas and Hezbollah. And those ill-disciplined Pakistani border guards who fired on US troops the other day. And the al-Qa’eda sleepers in Amsterdam and London and Montreal. And all the other likely customers of Kim’s going-for-a-Dong discount warehouse.
Every month that passes without the Americans using force against Iraq increases North Korea’s potential client list. That’s the linkage, and the deterioration in perception this last year is at least as damaging as any actual capability in Pyongyang’s arsenal. If Saddam’s still in power by May, the world’s in big trouble.