Our Iran negotiator sabotages our Asian ally....
SOUTH KOREA. Wendy Sherman, our lead negotiator in the Iran talks,who held the same position in the failed North Korea nuke talks during the Bush 43 years, said something spectacularly stupid last week. As recounted by Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick:
Last Friday, US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman scolded South Koreans for being too nationalist. In her words, “Nationalist feelings can still be exploited, and it’s not hard for a political leader anywhere to earn cheap applause by vilifying a former enemy.”
The South Koreans interpreted her remarks as criticism of their President Park Geun-hye for her refusal to reinstate reunification talks with North Korea due to Pyongyang’s refusal to discuss the dismantlement of its nuclear program.
Sherman negotiated the US’s nuclear pact with North Korea in the 1990s. The North Koreans used the deal as a smokescreen behind which they developed nuclear weapons while receiving financial assistance from the US which paid off the regime for signing the deal.
Another report makes a second, nastier connection:
However, there were also concerns about possible South Korean anger against American diplomats after recent comments by U.S. Undersecretary of State for Politics Wendy Sherman.
Ms. Sherman create outrage across South Korea when she suggested last week that South Korean demands for reparations and an apology from Japan over the World War II-era enslavement of South Korean women, many for sex, were simply political.
“It is not hard for a political leader anywhere to earn cheap applause by vilifying a former enemy … But such provocations produce paralysis, not progress,” she was quoted as saying.
Lawmakers and political leaders expressed outraged at Ms. Sherman’s comments, suggesting they were insensitive and ignored the cultural pain many South Koreans feel over the issue involving World War II-era Japan, which also had ruled Korea since 1910.
So one of our most incompetent diplomats fails upward to guide the Iran talks. And a US ambassador pays the price, halfway around the world.
MIDEAST. Another JPost pundit sees Israeli PM Netanyahu's Congress address has a signal to Sunni Arab states that Israel will supplant the US, if need be, as prime guarantor of Mideast security for Sunni Arab states. As added evidence of this epic strategic shift, Glick notes that last week South Korea inked a deal to supply Saudi Arabia with two nuclear reactors. This indicates anew that trust in the nuclear umbrella of the US has declined precipitously as our president retreats.
UKRAINE. Our allies notice as well the betrayal of Ukraine, whose territorial integrity we co-guaranteed in 1994, in return for which Ukraine surrendered its 5,000 nuclear weapons.
Bottom Line. Incompetent diplomacy poses all sorts of dangers for US policy and our position in world geopolitics. Would that the vicious attack on our unfortunate ambassador were the worst consequence of the administration's feckless diplomacy.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, WMD, Nuclear Proliferation, Foreign Policy, National Security, Conservative Politics