His full statement from Saturday:
Statement of John Kerry on Libya’s Dismantling Weapons of Mass Destruction
December 20, 2003
For Immediate Release
“If the President can put aside his go it alone unilateralism to engage with a longtime enemy like Qaddafi, why are the ideologues in this Administration so hesitant to negotiate with North Korea to end their nuclear weapons programs?”
“Libya’s agreement to terminate their weapons of mass destructions program is an important step forward in addressing the great security challenge of our time, proliferation. It is particularly important that it will be done within the international non-proliferation treaty regime and using the IAEA, the bases of international law and multilateral cooperation and verification. After all, if anyone has any illusions about the true character of Qaddafi and the importance of vigilance in holding him to his word, they need only remember the victims of Pan Am 103 and their families who have paid the price for Qaddafi’s past brutality.
Ironically, this significant advance represents a complete U-turn in the Bush Administration’s overall foreign policy. An Administration that scorns multilateralism and boasts about a rigid doctrine of military preemption has almost in spite of itself demonstrated the enormous potential for improving our national security through diplomacy. If the President can put aside his go it alone unilateralism to engage with a longtime enemy like Qaddafi, why are the ideologues in this Administration so hesitant to negotiate with North Korea to end their nuclear weapons programs? Why not rally the United Nations and NATO to forge a new cooperative effort to combat proliferation around the globe?”
This is like the text version of one of those “What’s wrong with this picture?” games. Kerry wants Bush to put aside his “go it alone” unilateralism to negotiate with the North Koreans the way he did with Libya. And the Libya negotiations were good because they were multilateral. Um, okay. But Bush wants to negotiate with the North Koreans multilaterally and Kerry wants him to do it unilaterally. In other words Kerry wants Bush to abandon his unilateral approach to multilateral negotiations in order to embrace a multilateral approach to unilater negotiations. Follow that? Probably not. And neither will voters.