Streetwise Professor

July 11, 2010

The Boneless Wonders

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 8:32 pm

Yesterday I wrote about the feckless response of the world generally, and the UN in particular, to the North Korean sinking of a South Korean naval vessel.  Well, based on an article I read today in Foreign Policy, I conclude that “feckless” is too feckless a word to describe the UN’s response:

Fast forward to today, when the United Nations released a presidential statement which not only does not specify any consequences for the Kim Jong Il regime, but doesn’t even conclude that North Korea was responsible for the attack in the first place.

The statement acknowledges that the South Korean investigation, which included broad international participation, blamed North Korea, and then “takes note of the responses from other relevant parties, including from the DPRK, which has stated that it had nothing to do with the incident.”

“Therefore, the Security Council condemns the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan,” the statement reads.

Go out on a limb there, guys.  I guess this was just sort of the immaculate explosion, or something.

The NoKos, who usually squeal like stuck pigs at even the most oblique criticism, had nothing to squeal about here.  They were quite smugly satisfied, thank you:

North Korea’s representative to the U.N., Sin Son Hocalled the statement a “great diplomatic victory.”

Why this result?  Chinese and Russian refusal to permit any criticism of North Korea, let alone any action against Kim Jung Il:

The South Korean official pointed at Russia and China as being responsible for the weakness of the statement.

“Definitely there has been a tough negotiation, especially to persuade the PRC and Russia, and this is result,” the official said, “All the other countries except [China and Russia] strongly supported putting pressure on them.”

The US, which at least said something semi-tough at the outset, has has gone full Stanley (“The Boneless Wonder,” in Churchill’s stinging description) Baldwin mode:

“I think right now we’re just allowing North Korea to absorb the international community’s response to its actions,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Friday.

Oh, they’re absorbing it all right.  And they’re absorbing it in Terhan, and many other unsavory places.  The lesson they absorb is that there is no price to be paid for the most flagrant acts of aggression.  And when something is free, people buy a lot of it.

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  1. A joke beyond belief which upholds my previous comment about NK, i.e. completely impossible to deal with from a practical/rational manner. But then again, the UN belongs in that category, too.

    Comment by Howard Roark — July 11, 2010 @ 11:45 pm

  2. Russia’s cadre of friends is most impressive. Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua and, yes, you guessed it, North Korean.

    Comment by La Russophobe — July 12, 2010 @ 4:25 pm

  3. UN is a loyal friend of all totalitarian states. No surprise here.

    Comment by voroBey — July 12, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

  4. Maybe we should ask what the South Koreans want first? AFAIK, it ain’t war, nor, God Forbid, reunification.

    Comment by So? — July 13, 2010 @ 12:24 am

  5. It’s simply amazing that the Russophile rabble cannot even find it within themselves to criticize, or at the very least distance themselves from, Russia defending North Korea. What pathetic rabble! Uncivilized trash.

    Comment by La Russophobe — July 14, 2010 @ 6:54 am

  6. Russia is not defending North Korea. Russia doesn’t care about North Korea. Russia, like South Korea, China and Japan is content with the status quo. Shit stinks really bad when you disturb it.

    Comment by So? — July 15, 2010 @ 1:45 am

  7. The status quo includes two factors which sometimes outweigh more obvious self interests. China is not the United Nation’s devil’s advocate out of a sense of intellectual philosophy. China views the Monroe Doctrine as one of the regular fixtures of a major nation. China borders Korea and is as suspicious of international involvement there as the United States would be toward an international policy regarding Cuba or Mexico. Secondly, as long as secondary theaters of engagement are kept open in the world, the major nations can step into them every so often to size each other up and test the latest technology, which includes logistics and field communications. Note how, more than thirty five years after the official close of the Vietnam war, clashes with Russian operatives and excursions across the Chinese border are still being talked about in round about ways, and memoirs written by vets record their frustration with involvement of organizations such as Rand Corp., especially related to the development of “battle management systems”.

    Comment by Brian Rabourn — July 20, 2010 @ 6:33 am

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