Mark Shields Discusses Kim Jong Il's Male Enhancement And Hints US Should Invade
On Friday night’s edition of Inside Washington, a program which airs on the Washington DC area PBS station WETA, and re-airs on Sunday mornings on the DC ABC affiliate, WJLA, and consists of a round table of political pundits, one of the topics discussed was North Korea. As was widely discussed last week, North Korea test fired a long range missile that could potentially hit the United States called the Taepodong 2 missile. Panelist Mark Shields attempted to make a joke out of the name:
"Does anybody else think Taepodong sounds like a male enhancement device available on cable?"
However, the rest of his exchange with fellow panelist Charles Krauthammer was not so light hearted. Shields used the subject of North Korea to segue into an attack on the administration’s Iraq policy, suggesting that an attack on North Korea would have been a better strategic move than the war in Iraq. Charles Krauthammer disputed this, noting the differences between Iraq and North Korea.
A transcript of the exchange follows:
Mark Shields: Does anybody else think Taepodong sounds like a male enhancement device available on cable? But the other thing about this is, if the axis of evil was literally Iran, Iraq, and Japan, err Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as the President declared, then this is the equivalent, as my friend Allan Ginsburg puts it, of had FDR invaded Italy by going after Iraq because the two most formidable players are Iran and North Korea.
Charles Krauthammer: That’s such a silly argument. Would you have invaded North Korea?
Mark Shields: I would not have invaded Iraq. But I think that’s where our tension and energy may have been directed, may have been directed to a more formidable adversary, and Iraq turned out to be anything but a formidable adversary.
Charles Krauthammer: The idea of an invasion of North Korea is such a straw man. Nobody imagined it because it’s already a nuclear country, and because it could wipe out Seoul so it’s not a serious option.
Mark Shields: You think the isolation policy has worked so well, Charles?
Charles Krauthammer: Comparing it with Iraq is nonsense.
Mark Shields: You think isolation’s worked well.
While Shields is no fan of the Bush administration’s policy on Iraq, often labeling it a disaster while reciting the number of casualties, here he appears to be suggesting that President Bush should have instead invaded North Korea, implying that would have beeen more of a strategic success than the war in Iraq has been. But as Charles Krauthammer pointed out, these were two very different countries, and they require different solutions.