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Catfish and Cod
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
 
It turns out that Willis can articulate policy!
(Link path: Like Kryptonite to Stupid, Catfish and Cod, Like Kryptonite to Stupid)

Excellent, Smithers! Now we shall a real policy discussion, and take over all the wealth of Springfield!

But sir, you already control all the wealth of Springfield.

Don't interrupt me, Smithers! I have work to do!

Willis:
Some answers:

Iraq -
The administration still seems enamored with Chalabi and installing him in control somehow, especially if they can get out of Iraq quicker. This would be a band-aid approach to the problem, and blowback would be huge.


I continue to maintain that this scenario won't come to pass. The Administration will float the idea as a trial balloon, either here or in Iraq. In either place, it will be violently shot down (and rightly so). Then the Administration will hem and haw for a few more weeks before assembling a coalition (including Chalabi) to take over the government. In the meanwhile, the moderate Republicans and the Democrats will reap windfalls by pointing out the Administration's fecklessness.

The Marshall Plan was a good enough roadmap for the rebuilding effort in Europe, I can't see why we should allow some idiot terrorists to change that. There should be a plan, a clear one.

The problem is that the neocons in charge think they are following the Marshall Plan. I'm not sure whether we are or not, or whether the Marshall Plan is applicable without serious alterations. The Germans and Japanese never had an third party conducting a guerilla/terror conflict against the occupying power, for instance. But yes, we do need a clear plan.

Korea -
Yes, the recent talks were a step forward but I feel that by being belligerent towards the North Koreans we are aggravating the situation. You don't have to sit across the table from the North Korean ambassador to make it clear that we're advocating a certain posture.


True, we are not friendly to the Korean regime. But in North Korea's universe, there are "aggressors" and there are "non-threatening states". We'll never be "non-threatening" to them, so I don't see how our posture hurts us with the Norks directly. They would refuse to negotiate no matter, because it's standard operating procedure for them. They only agreed to Carter's proposals because he fooled them into thinking it was a U.S. concession. However, our posture might be hurting us with China, who are the real people that must be convinced. No deal is enforceable without direct Chinese pressure on the Norks to play fair. For instance, they've already told North Korea that if the Norks start a war, there will be no support from China.

Corporate Crime-
Use the EPA to actually enforce environmental laws, assess real penalties to companies who screw their workers and the environment. Punish companies who move offshore to escaoe taxation.


None of this will be truly enforceable unless we start to punish companies who move jobs overseas to evade all the regulations we heap on them.

President Bush advocated a "humble" foreign policy when he was running for President, and for once I think we could take his advice.
But just once.


That's because he ignored his own advice. On the other hand, I don't want "humble" to go too far, either. First among equals is our place.