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Clinton's "bad deal" responsible for North Korean situation today

Reported by Chrish - July 6, 2006 -

Julie Banderas, subbing for John Gibson on the Big Story today 7/6/06, teamed up with former RNC advisor Terry Holt to argue with NPR correspondent Juan Williams that ultimately Bill Clinton is responsible for the current stand-off. Williams was forceful and competent but got double-teamed by the supposed moderator and the Republican guest.

Banderas first said that Bush wanted a diplomatic solution but that takes time (remember this). Democrats seeking to place blame are pointing fingers at the Bush administration for the escalating crisis but perhaps, she says, they should go back in time and blame Clinton instead. The chyron read "Is the N.K. nuke crisis result of 1994 Clinton admin deal?" (Note the standard FOX tactic of making a talking point and pretending to phrase it as a question, most commonly seen on Your World with Neil Cavuto.)

Asked point blank who is to blame here, Holt said that Clinton made a bad deal with Kim Jong Il in the hopes that the North Korean dictator "would join the community of nations" - clearly that hasn't happened. Now we have to get tough and stay tough and keep the pressure on our allies, namely Russia, China, and South Korea, to keep the pressure on North Korea to make them do what we all need them to do, i.e. stop being such a terrible and threatening force in the world. ("Do as I say, not as I do.")

Williams was asked a different question - are we "where we're at" because we (Clinton) rewarded bad behavior? Williams makes the point that the Bush administation has ignored North Korea for the longest time but late last year made some concessions and agreed to help with energy etc. in order to bring them back to six-party talks. Americans both conservative and liberal have been trying to find a way to get through to "this crazy guy."

Banderas replied that it was Clinton who was soft on North Korea, even considering a trip there in 2000 and offering aid after NK fired test missiles in 1998. Holt interjected that Jong Il is the one who doesn't care if his own citizens die, (Banderas: then why should the Clinton administration?) Americans rightly care about the suffering of the NK citizens and have hoped through the years that the NK leaders would come around, but that hasn't been true.

Banderas takes the position that since it hsn't worked why not do something different and further isolate them, and directs the question to Williams. (Even Holt is shaking his head. She is such a hawk but clearly doesn't know what she's talking about.) Williams says that as soon as the Bush administration agreed to make some concessions to have talks with Iran, the day after North Korea started acting up saying hey, I want some attention too! The key is to get them back to six-party talks so their immediate neighbors are involved.

banderas wants to know, if the six-party talks resume, what good can come out of talking with terrorists? (Holt kind of laughs and shakes his head again.) Williams replies that he can't predict that, but the main thing is to get the neighbors involved - China has to say that the behavior is unacceptable and there will be consequences.

Banderas gives Holt the final word and he says to Democratic partisans who try to blame the Bush administration and who made fun of the "axis of evil" label , that it is evil and it is the place we have the most concern in Asia now. Banderas says triumphantly "and we do not negotiate with terrorists - that's what Bush says and we should not have negotiated with them back in 1994." (said with finality, as Holt agrees.)

She tries to thank them but Williams asserts "wait a minute, hold on, but he did say let's have these six-party talks.' Banderas says yes, and hopefully when we talk we'll actually come up with some kind of compromise."

Comment: But, but, but...talking and compromising - isn't that negotiating? Diplomacy takes time, remember three minutes ago? She slips in and out of the labels as they are convenient within the same segment, as long as Clinton = bad and Bush = good. She is the most blatantly partisan loyalist posing as a journalist on FOX, and that's really saying something.