Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Pot Calling a Kettle “Black”

“A defiant North Korea test-fired a long-range missile Wednesday that may be capable of reaching America, but it failed seconds after launch. The North also tested five smaller missiles in an exercise the White House called "provocative" but not an immediate threat. Ignoring stern U.S. and Japanese warnings, the isolated communist nation carried out the audacious tests even as the U.S. celebrated the 4th of July and launched the space shuttle.

"It wasn't that President Bush was surprised because we've seen this coming for a while," National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said. "I think his instinct is that this just shows the defiance of the international community by North Korea. We do consider it provocative behavior." Later the White House issued a statement condemning North Korea's "unwillingness to heed calls for restraint from the international community" and accusing North Korea of trying to "intimidate other states."

Defiant? Provocative? Unwilling to be restrained? Hmmm… let’s insist that this incident be kept in a crucial historic context. In 1996 the United Nations put forth a formal challenge to the world community of nations called the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. In the past decade 132 nations have ratified this “call for restraint from the international community” and ten have demonstrated their persistent “unwillingness” to ratify this treaty. One of those ten is North Korea. Another one of those ten is… yep… the United States of America.