Norah 'Loves' Larry's Lingo, Larry Launches at Cheney

Norah loves Larry. At least, she loves the way Larry Eagleburger phrased things about North Korea. At the same time, Eagleburger made clear there's no love lost between himself and Dick Cheney, taking some surprisingly acerbic shots at the Veep.

The former Bush, Sr. Secretary of State appeared on this evening's Hardball. Guest host Norah O'Donnell interviewed him along with former Clinton defense official Ashton Carter. Carter had in turn written an op-ed in today's Washington Post, which as indicated by its title, If Necessary, Strike and Destroy, advocates blowing the North Korean ICBM off its launch pad if N. Korea persists in its launch preparations.

Eagleburger also supported the pre-emptive strike strategy. This is contrast with the position of some conservatives, such as those at the National Review, who have editorialized in favor awaiting launch and then attempting to blow the missile out of the sky with our anti-missile defense system.

In any case, at one point Eagleburger observed that: "where this leads is missiles with nuclear warheads that can reach the United States from a pipsqueak country like North Korea."

Norah: "Secretary, I love the way you phrase that, that this is a pipsqueak country, North Korea, and quite frankly ruled by what we think is a crazy man."

I don't know what kind of history there might be between Eagleburger and Dick Cheney, but there's clearly little love lost between them. When O'Donnell invited Eagleburger to respond to VP Cheney's statement of today rejecting a pre-emptive strike, Eagleburger responded with asperity rare from a former senior Republican administration official to express vis a vis a sitting Republican VP:

"The answer to that is that it's not the first time the Vice-President has been wrong. . . If we don't stop this process now, we will have to deal with in in a far more difficult way, five or ten years from now, and I don't know why the Vice-President and a lot of other people can't seem to understand that."

Ouch!

Norah closed on a kumbayah note: "It's fascinating that there is agreement between men like yourselves who have served both President Bush and President Clinton, that we should blow this thing off the launch pad right away."

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.