The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Tuesday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On the crisis in Korea:

Last night I predicted that the administration would do exactly the wrong thing and call … for a return to the Six-Party talks. Well sure enough, our envoy to North Korea, who’s now in Beijing, last night called for, yes, a return to the talks.

This is after he had a meeting with the Chinese and he announced that it was extremely successful, that we and the Chinese had agreed … on the need for — strong measures? Retaliation? Sanctions? No. On the need for multilateralism. Now, that was going to have an effect on North Korea.

To return to the talks is exactly the wrong thing because it’s exactly why — if there’s any logic at all to what’s happened — that’s why Pyongyang has been doing this: (a) the attack with the artillery, and (b) the revelation earlier this last week of this vast, advanced facility for uranium enrichment.

The point is this is a regime in transition, a regime in a succession crisis, that is in economic disaster. The people are starving. It needs [outside] aid because we and the South Koreans and the Japanese have correctly cut it off years ago, and this is the way it [North Korea] beckons us into negotiations where, again, it will offer a phony agreement on some kind of halting of perhaps the uranium or plutonium program, and we will once again subsidize them.

It’s the wrong reaction…

I think everybody understands that the only outcome of this eventually that will be considered a success is if the regime eventually implodes and collapses of its own inefficiency and irrationality — in fact lunacy in the way it governs itself.

And one way to do that is not to continue what we have been doing for 16 years — [which] is negotiating and periodically caving in to threats like this, or attacks like this, with carrots, meaning keeping the economy of that state, which is really teetering on the edge of collapse, keeping it going…

Unless we’re ready to attack the nuclear facilities in North Korea, which we are not, which might provoke a nuclear response, perhaps on Japan or even on Seoul, there is no way in which we can do anything about the existing facilities. All we can do is to hasten the demise of the regime.

On candidate Hillary Clinton’s having once warned about the White House receiving a 3:00 a.m. call — and President Obama having been awoken at 3:55 a.m. because of the Korea crisis:

He put them on hold.

On the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing plan:

It is a risky bet because it could create a bubble. Our problem was that we had a bubble, and this is injecting money into an economy artificially without having the requisite increase of the productivity … and getting a new bubble and setting up a premise for inflation.

But I worry about something else, which is the political reaction by the conservatives and Republicans. The Ron Pauls and Rand Pauls who always have been skeptical of the Fed and talked about even abolishing it or at least removing its independence are getting wind at their backs now.

That worries me, because if there is one thing an advanced society has to have it’s an independent central bank. And to corrupt it over this — the Fed is always human and fallible; but regardless, it’s better to have it act than having it act as an instrument of politicians in power. I worry about a reaction. 

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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