Which was the Greater Threat?

Q: In 2002, which was the greater threat to America, North Korea or Iraq?
Clinton's Agreed Framework was unraveling. The light-water reactors, it was clear, were never going to be built. Normalization of relations was another non-starter. The CIA got wind that North Korea may have been acquiring centrifuges for enriching uranium since the late 1990s, most likely from Pakistan. By September 2002, the conclusion was inescapable. It was debatable whether this literally violated the Agreed Framework, which dealt with the manufacturing of plutonium, but it was a sneaky end run and a violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

On Oct. 4, Kelly flew to Pyongyang to confront North Korean officials with the evidence. The North Koreans admitted it was true. For almost two weeks, the Bush administration kept this meeting a secret. The U.S. Senate was debating a resolution to give President Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq. The public rationale for war was that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. If it was known that North Korea was also making WMDs--and nuclear weapons, at that--it would have muddied the debate over Iraq. Some would have wondered whether Iraq was the more compelling danger--or asked why Bush saw a need for war against Iraq but not against North Korea. The Senate passed the Iraqi war resolution on Oct. 11. The Bush administration publicly revealed what it had known for weeks about North Korea's enriched-uranium program on Oct. 17.

A: Obviously, Iraq. If you said North Korea was the bigger threat, then clearly you have forgotten the lessons of September 11. We were invading Iraq to rid Saddam of shadowy , putative weapons of mass destruction, and everyone knows that mysterious weapons people might have are more dangerous than ones you know people possess. After all, knowing is half the battle...

By the way, if not wanting to "muddle the debate over Iraq" seems like a familiar construction, that was the justification we used not to kill Zarqawi in the months before the invasion. Think about how many Iraqi civilians and American servicemen died because of these decisions.

To have so much on one man's conscience... So many rust colored stains. It must be a truly terrible burden.

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