"…for the Democrats on defense and national security issues than Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and Jack Reed of Rhode Island", says David Broder in the Washington Post. That is how he starts off his column written to assure America that the Democrats do too have national security chops of the first degree. Honest. No, really. Unfortunately, Broder as well as his two role models miss the boat right off the bat:
In a conference call with reporters the other day, the two senators outlined the changes in U.S. policy toward North Korea and Iraq that they and their fellow Democrats would like to see. They signal to voters the kind of change a Democratic victory would mean.
In the case of North Korea, Levin called for doing something that President Bush has refused for six years to do — engage directly in talks with representatives of the communist regime.
But he put a condition on it, saying such talks should take place only "providing our allies and partners want us to do it" and only as part of an agreed-upon strategy supported by Japan, South Korea, China and Russia.
Reed, who endorsed the idea, said any direct U.S.-North Korea talks would "most likely" take place in the context of the six-power talks, now stalled over Pyongyang's defiance of the United Nations and the regime's testing of a nuclear weapon.
Levin said he believes the other nations in those six-power talks — Russia, China, Japan and South Korea — all wish the United States would talk directly with the North Koreans. Our willingness to do so would not be a sign of weakness, he said, but a way of removing an excuse the North Koreans have used to explain their obduracy.
Consider for a moment that North Korea has already – due to Bush's stance and diplomatic efforts – told the Chinese they would not test any more weapons and that they regret having done the first test. Consider for a moment that North Korea has hinted – due to Bush's stance and diplomatic efforts – that it might be ready to resume six-party talks. Consider for a moment that China has already – due to Bush's stance and diplomatic efforts – stopped all currency transfers into or out of North Korea, putting enormous strain on the rogue nation to actually step up and negotiate in good faith. Then consider for a moment that Levin and Reed are quite willing to throw all of that out of the window and give North Korea exactly what it wanted all along.
Then consider if this is the voice you want to speak authoritatively on the defense of this nation. I'll leave it to the casual reader to dissect the rest of the nonsense.