Patterico's Pontifications

12/19/2014

Obama: Sony Made a Mistake

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:19 pm

It’s rare that I completely agree with Barack Obama, but I agree with Barack Obama. The video is of one those stupid autoplay videos, so I am embedding it on a separate page, here.

I just wish he could apply this same logic to see how some of his own actions — like coddling dictators and paying off terrorists — create similar dangerous incentives for bad men to do bad things.

Isn’t it more important that the president recognize the beam in his own eye, rather than the mote in Sony’s?

UPDATE: This is the guy who tried to suppress the YouTube video that he later blamed for Benghazi.

Also, now the President of Sony is acting as though he wanted to do a digital release all along, and gosh darn it, it’s just the theaters who won’t play ball.

Well, that’s what I thought at first — until a story emerged saying Sony wasn’t going to release it, no way, no how, no DVD, no streaming, no Blu-Ray. Then there was a huge backlash, and now he’s claiming he’s trying his best to find a partner to stream the movie.

Except Sony has their own streaming service.

If the backlash continues, maybe they’ll finally stream it themselves. And then pretend as if that was their plan all along.

But only if the backlash continues.

85 Responses to “Obama: Sony Made a Mistake”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. When the Prez mentioned the “practice of self censorship”, I thought he was going to have an important epiphany. Perhaps the first ghost of Christmas.

    felipe (40f0f0)

  3. My irony-meter assploded.

    JD (86a5eb)

  4. a black man criticizing a company named “Sony” is racist.

    redc1c4 (4db2c8)

  5. Hah! You guys missed it (the 2nd comment) by that much!

    felipe (40f0f0)

  6. Obviously, what’s been revealed so far is pretty tame, certainly not sufficient to justify the uproar or to explain why Sony executives quickly made obeisance to the odious Al Sharpton. The Sony emailers must be afraid of something big and ugly enough to upset their apple carts or they wouldn’t have rolled over so easily.

    After all, the studio wields a pretty big club of their own. The prospect of a world-wide distribution of very unflattering movies ridiculing the stupidity, incompetence, and insanity of the North Korean dictators is something the gimpy fat pervert might want to avoid.

    ropelight (0001a7)

  7. If, for national security reasons he didn’t want the film pulled and if he or Valerie or the FBI had told SONY that, it would not have been pulled. Simple as that. I think he’s playing big brave man after the fact.

    elissa (877e0e)

  8. Elissa – I guess he couldn’t figure out a way to jail someone like he did with the YouTube video of doom.

    JD (b6e376)

  9. Oh lookee— in an update over at HotAir the SONY CEO says they were in contact with a “senior advisor” in the White House. Hmmm. I wonder who that might have been. Does the president even know what is going on in his own administration, or does he just sit around watch ESPN all day.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/19/obama-sony-made-a-mistake-in-pulling-the-interview/

    elissa (877e0e)

  10. So he’s saying that the federal government was willing to indemnify Sony for all the potential liability claims should, God forbid, something happen at a screening of this movie? Not just a terrorist attack, but a bunch of mouthbreathers spoofing a terror attack, causing hysteria, heart attacks (“I can’t breathe!”) and injuries from the fleeing crowds trampling people?

    Well, that’s good to know.

    Russ from Winterset (30a992)

  11. Russ,

    That was the idiotic suggestion of Jonathan Chait: have the feds indemnify Sony.

    I already started to draft a post explaining why this is a disastrous idea.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  12. Sony says “The President is wrong, we haven’t caved. But no one else was willing to stand with us.”

    JWB (c1c08f)

  13. From narcisco’s link: CNN is interviewing the Sony exec who contradicts the president and says that he himself was consulting with the White House over what to do and the reporter is apparently unable to bring himself to directly ask the exec if he believed the president lied today at the presser, as he instead asks him whether he thought the president was wrong today.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  14. hacking sony was interesting i guess, though i feel kinda bad for angelina

    but if these enterprising nokos hack obamacare or the irs next then god love em

    happyfeet (831175)

  15. From the president today:

    We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace starts imposing censorship here in the United States. Because if somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary they don’t like or news reports they don’t like. Or even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others starting to aging [sic] and self-censorship Because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody who sensibilities probably need to be offended. That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.

    From the president in 2012:

    In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others.

    That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  16. Isn’t Barack Obama the same guy who had a movie pulled off YouTube and a man jailed to appease the Benghazi terrorists?

    Someone needs to explain to this fucking dolt how leadership works.

    someguy (37038b)

  17. Don’t be a gypsy on parole; be Sony. Wait, don’t be Sony, either. Uhh, uhh, insult Kim Joing Un, don’t insult Mohammed. That’s it. That’s the ticket. Don’t insult Mohammed, insult Kim Jong Un.

    nk (dbc370)

  18. It could just be that he has more flexibility after the election.

    nk (dbc370)

  19. Is it possible that he evolved in his views?

    nk (dbc370)

  20. I wonder who Sony reached out to at the White House? I bet it’s someone they already knew. Could it be Eric Holder or Valerie Jarrett, who attended a private screening with the Sony CEO a mere two years ago?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  21. That comment would have been much more effective if the link worked.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  22. I cannot fathom why any in this jackass nation attends to this fool’s words.

    Well, Ok, apart from spotting which end of the toilet plunger they’re about to receive.

    DNF (d52fb5)

  23. Lynton’s wife has been an Obama fundraiser and field volunteer. She also has ties to the media and Chicago:

    Jamie Lynton — The sister of Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter and wife of Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, Jamie Lynton was raised in Chicago, where her mom, the late Joanne Alter — the first female Democrat elected in Cook County — spotted Obama in 2003 and convinced her daughter to support him. As a result, Lynton co-hosted an early fundraiser for Obama’s Senate bid in 2004 in addition to hosting a presidential campaign event early last year, when most showbiz types were still supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton. Will.i.am, who composed the viral video for “Yes, We Can,” met Obama during a fundraiser at Lynton’s home.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  24. It must feel bad to be thrown under the bus by Obama when you did so much to help him.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  25. It’s the only way they’ll ever learn, though, DRJ. It’s the only way they’ll be able to see him for who he really is and accept that he’s very far from “the messiah” they thought he was.

    elissa (3a550f)

  26. James Fracco probabry feering pretty ronery right now.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  27. Round up all the Celluloid Heroes… all the silver screen tough guys and send ’em on a mission to NoKo.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  28. oT

    The weatherman predicted rain would pound the morning commute today, then break up to partly cloudy by afternoon (1:30 pm or there about).
    Instead, the morning commute was dry. The rains came around 10AM and haven’t left yet.

    Same computer simulations they call reliable up to three days out.
    Also the same they use to predict global warming.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  29. Best bet. Some disaffected IT geek(s) at Sony got approached by North Korean agents and sold the security codes. It’s a one-time thing and not a matter of a national concern. Do we even know if the access was in the USA and not in Tokyo?

    nk (dbc370)

  30. elissa,

    Call me a sexist but I think men learn from incidents like this, but I’m not sure women do.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  31. what color is yonder black swan

    happyfeet (831175)

  32. Why, ’tis no color at all, my lord. Black is the absence of color.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. point taken

    happyfeet (831175)

  34. I am a sexist, and God help whomever proves a woman wrong.

    “If I tell her she will not believe me. You may remember the old Persian saying, ‘There is danger for him who taketh the tiger cub, and danger also for whoso snatches a delusion from a woman.'”

    Sherlock Holmes in “A Case of Identity”

    nk (dbc370)

  35. You know I have no idea what you meant by that, right?

    nk (dbc370)

  36. i just mean the sony thing is a black swan what probably shouldn’t inform policy in the way your average dumbass statist whore like obama tend to think it should inform policy

    happyfeet (831175)

  37. *tends* i mean

    happyfeet (831175)

  38. Totally agree.

    nk (dbc370)

  39. Sony made a mistake in green-lighting the movie.

    Not in pulling it from distribution.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  40. Narcissists gotta narcissi (is that a word?).

    John P. Squibob (4affc3)

  41. UPDATE: This is the guy who tried to suppress the YouTube video that he later blamed for Benghazi.

    Also, now the President of Sony is acting as though he wanted to do a digital release all along, and gosh darn it, it’s just the theaters who won’t play ball.

    Well, that’s what I thought at first — until a story emerged saying Sony wasn’t going to release it, no way, no how, no DVD, no streaming, no Blu-Ray. Then there was a huge backlash, and now he’s claiming he’s trying his best to find a partner to stream the movie.

    Except Sony has their own streaming service.

    If the backlash continues, maybe they’ll finally stream it themselves. And then pretend as if that was their plan all along.

    But only if the backlash continues.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  42. Sony made a mistake in green-lighting the movie.

    Not in pulling it from distribution.

    Why do you say that?

    Patterico (9c670f)

  43. I’ve got a bad feeling about this, there’s too many big name players involved, too many inexplicable twists and turns predicated on a relatively minor issue. Whatever is actually afoot, it has yet to surface.

    ropelight (0001a7)

  44. I note that Obama also is taking credit for the roaring economy, which he claims has led to dropping oil prices. Clearly he is not well versed in economics. Or reality.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  45. Seriously. Green-lighting The Interview has brought such joy to my life the last few days.
    Made asses out of all the right people in such stark terms that even the lap dog media can’t clean it up.

    green-lighting Good Night, and Good Luck, now that was a mistake.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  46. For instance Sony CEO Michael Lynton, whose wife worked so hard to get Obama elected, whose bank account was milked as regular as Bessy for Obama’s campaign funds, that guy found out what his money was worth.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  47. A buddy told me a rumor that the movie was so bad that Sony made up up the whole Nork thing in order to keep the movie out of theaters.

    Denver Todd (5f001f)

  48. Denver, That crowd is not particularly renowned for quality product. Nor shy about releasing dross.

    Gazzer (ae5179)

  49. Obama prolly wants to drone the Korean dude but Valerie won’t let him.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  50. 45. I think the NSA pulled the caper so Princess can take over Al’s interthingy.

    DNF (d52fb5)

  51. The interesting thing about the Mohammed video is it had very few views on YouTube until after the attacks, in the short period before it was taken down. Once source claimed it had been in the low 300s on the morning of the 10th. Somehow, the new Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt, in the midst of unrest and financial crisis, found the video and aired it on Egyptian national television that evening. It was not aired in Libya.

    The 9/11 protest by radical groups had been planned for our Cairo embassy for weeks, the additional attention from the video the night before gave those demonstrations not only more people, but an excuse for the violent attack carried out by the radicals, which was likely always part of their plan.

    As obscure as that amateurish video was, and as busy as the Egyptian government and the White House must have been at the time, somehow both took notice of it and took it seriously.

    Odd, isn’t it?

    Estragon (ada867)

  52. Responding to public outcry, Sony has decided to release a slightly edited version of “The Interview”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRC86RAvbdc#t=10

    nk (dbc370)

  53. nk About 5 minute in Kim Jong starts directing the actors and videographer on the correct way to do their jobs. He was a Jong of all trades apparently.

    So he and Barry have that in common.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  54. Reason warned that we might watch it longer than we intended to. I should have included the warning and the link to them. http://reason.com/blog/2014/12/19/friday-av-club-an-exclusive-look-at-sony

    nk (dbc370)

  55. the whole press conference, is just fraught with delusion:

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/19/obamas-no-good-bad-terrible-breakthrough-year/

    narciso (ee1f88)

  56. “Sony made a mistake… I wish they would have talked to me first.”

    Can it get any more narcisstic?

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  57. “We will respond proportionally and we will respond in a place and time and manner that we choose</em."

    Translation: We won't do a damn thing.

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  58. “When I came into office, I set up a cyber security team.”

    And how did that work out?

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  59. Don’t remember this level of outrage over the Russian hack of Citibank in the 90’s or China’s ongoing hack of defense contractors F-35 and other secrets. Both are far more serious than the loss of catty internal messages and a crappy movie.

    crazy (cde091)

  60. And finally, the criticism that self-censorship is bad when:

    “…they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody who sensibilities probably need to be offended.”

    You have the mainstream media to thank for that.

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  61. 57, 58. At what point did the Roman empire turn to a nihilist gay crack whore demigod whose fave pastime was BDSM Spades with SportsCenter mood chatter?

    DNF (d52fb5)

  62. So, what kind of federal control would prevent things like Wikileaks or the North Korean hacking? Does the government want the ability to pull down any website it wishes? Do they want a national firewall “to protect us from foreign hackers”?

    Do they really think we’re that stupid? It’s a couple orders of magnitude stupider that voting for Obama.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  63. I’m reminded there was an inside man, in Olympus has Fallen,

    OT, is everything a movie tie in, (the one on the far left)

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/12/brilliant-obama-sends-four-more-gitmo-detainees-back-to-afghanistan/

    narciso (ee1f88)

  64. I am with you in this one!
    SONY Pictures crapped their pants and run.
    If this becomes the norm, soon we will have every mop hair, butt face, pimple short dictator attacking our entities because they expose their ridiculousness, make fun of them or say something they do not agree with.

    Horatio
    RTW OEM Wheels

    Horatio (35f15c)

  65. Here’s why I believe that Sony made a mistake in greenlighting the movie to begin: It should have been obvious to any rational businessman that it was a spectacularly bad idea for the Hollywood subsidiary of a Japanese corporation to poke its corporate thumb, via a stupid and valueless film, in the eye of the homicidal and maniacal dictator of North Korea, especially in the current geopolitical vacuum of leadership in which the POTUS is incapable of deterring that dictator’s attacks (cyber- and otherwise). Sony and its investors deserve to lose every dime they sank into this film, in my opinion.

    I share the distress of most Americans, including most commenters here, that the Norks are able to get away with this sort of outrage. Can you imagine that Teddy Roosevelt — or for that matter, Franklin Roosevelt — wouldn’t have treated the cyberhacking attack within American borders as an act of war?

    But I blame the current POTUS and his party for this state of world affairs. Hollywood’s complicit but in a comparatively minor way.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  66. Following Denver’s lead, maybe this is actually a PR stunt. Stay with me a minute: internal showings at Sony reveal the movie may be a dud. They dream up a hacking, or maybe the hacking of the email system comes at the right time, so they concoct some threats about the movie and then decide to yield to the threats. The public, and The Prez, get upset at the Sony “caving” and push for more guts in the movie biz. Viola! Sony rethinks the decision and releases the film to a huge patronage, theaters paying bribes to get a chance to show it. Sony turns a dud film into a blockbuster. Win!

    More real: Paterico, how about giving us some insight as to how you justify this post saying that Sony erred in pulling the film and your morning offering of 12/18 in which you painted a pretty realistic picture of the problems that Sony and the theaters could face at the hands of the ambulance chasers should any threat materialize. In daily life, don’t we all self-censor to some extent when we discover that our planned speech might reap a backlash we do not care to deal with?

    Gramps, the original (9e1415)

  67. in retrospect, Sony could do little else, the administration, certainly did not warn them of the pitfalls of such a release,

    narciso (ee1f88)

  68. Gramps, the original – Obama said Sony erred. How can you get more authoritative than that? :)

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  69. The whole GOP – Guardians Of Peace thing is a big hint towards making me believe it could all be a stunt to get out of releasing a dud of a movie.

    The racist emails and so forth that haven’t been denied, seems a little too real.

    luagha (3a49b9)

  70. I didn’t see as racist, just shallow and uninformed.

    narciso (ee1f88)

  71. Barack Obama: A Legend In His Own Mind

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  72. Now you know why he doesn’t do many pressers. He is an absolute disaster without a script. (Much like Sony’s stable of actors?)

    There will be blood, as they say in the movies. Hollywood has given millions to this guy, and for that he calls them cowards on international tV.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  73. he’s got all the answers… at least he thinks he does… but the man with the plan is too enamored with himself to realize that whether tin-horn tyrant, despicable dictator, or legitimate leader… the world understands him better than he does himself.

    They’ve got his number.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  74. #68, Gramps, you’re suggesting a University of Virginia style plot-line with Sony in the role of Jackie making false rape accusations and Obama as Sabrina Erdley publicizing the fairy tale and being exposed as a fableist? It ain’t exactly right but it just might play in Peoria.

    ropelight (0de283)

  75. Next up on the Sony roster: “The Tawana Brawley Story” written and directed and starred in by Angelina Jolie, produced by D. W. Sharpton.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  76. Patricia – Followed by: Assault On Freddy’s Fashion Mart

    The Rev. Al Sharpton says “Pin your yarmulkes back for non-stop action in this gritty thriller.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  77. oh, daleyrocks, LOL.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  78. There are some problems with what President Obama said:

    1) He didn’t have to wait for SONY to ask to speak to him (and they could get in contact – some important people at SONY are big donors – although maybe they did that only to stay on good terms with other people in the industry – that bantering about movies was prompted by Amy Pascal complaining about to attend a “stupid Jeffrey (Katzenberg) breakfast.” I think they give so much because they want him to stick up for them on copyright issues.)

    It was in the news that SONY might pull the movie.

    2) Even more, SONY actually was in contact with people in the White House.

    On the other hand while SONY is blaming the theatres, they also themselves have pulled the Facebook and Twotter pages for the movie or the comments there.

    Sammy Finkelman (6a57b5)

  79. North Korea now says it wants a joint investigation of the hacking.

    And that there’ll be serious conseuences if there isn’t one.

    The Administration said if they want to help, they should acknowledge responsibility and compnesate SONY.

    They also want China to help investigate this.

    Now there are lots of reports, according to Stewart Baker, that North Korean hacking is actually run out of a China from the Chilbosan Hotel in Shenyang, China.

    Here is one of them:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/12/20/inside-the-surprisingly-great-north-korean-hacker-hotel.html

    North Korea is so isolated that rather than bring the Internet to its hackers, it brings them to it—in a swank hotel in China. The luxury hotel that has been called a command post for North Korean hackers would make for a unique holiday getaway and give you lots to talk about back home. …

    …So, rather than bring the Internet to the hackers, the North Korean regime brought the hackers to the Internet, at places such as the Chilbosan Hotel, which it partly owns in partnership with the Chinese.

    The priority that the regime places on cyber warfare is made clear by its recruiting. Fledgling hackers are chosen from among the youngsters who show the most talent for mathematics and they are given years of training, often with additional instruction in China or Russia. They then become members of the ultra elite Unit 121, granted premium housing and a well-stocked cupboard…

    …The North Korean hackers helped defray the cost of their program by tapping into the South Korean cyber role-playing game Lineage and using autoplayers to rack up huge numbers of points that were then sold online. South Korean police busted up one such scheme in 2011, which was said to have netted millions.

    At the same time, North Korean hackers are said to have used gaming to infect some 100,000 computers in South Korea, commandeering them in 2012 to mount a cyber attack on Incheon Airport. ..

    Sammy Finkelman (6a57b5)

  80. One thing about the press conference: Obama decided to call on only female reporters. He called on 8 of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (6a57b5)

  81. Estragon (ada867) — 12/20/2014 @ 2:16 am

    Somehow, the new Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt, in the midst of unrest and financial crisis, found the video and aired it on Egyptian national television that evening. It was not aired in Libya.

    The 9/11 protest by radical groups had been planned for our Cairo embassy for weeks, the additional attention from the video the night before gave those demonstrations not only more people, but an excuse for the violent attack carried out by the radicals, which was likely always part of their plan.

    As obscure as that amateurish video was, and as busy as the Egyptian government and the White House must have been at the time, somehow both took notice of it and took it seriously.

    Odd, isn’t it?

    The Moslem Brotherhood probably put it up there in the first place.

    In fact, the Moslem Brotherhood, or other Islamicists probably commissioned it.

    Nakoula was not anti-Islamist. He received money for it from Egypt, and I think the FBI decided to believe that it came from his family. He told everybody that “Jews” were financing it, and lied to everybody about the movie, including the actors, telling some people it was goio show the persecution of Copts, but using a title “Innocence of Muslims” that made it sound pro-Islamic.

    And the biggest lie of all of course was that there was a movie. It was only a trailer. There was no movie, or at least there wasn’t anything that was remotely coherent.

    Sammy Finkelman (6a57b5)

  82. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/12/on-north-korea-obama-leads-from-behind.php

    …I hope I am wrong, but I suspect the North Koreans won’t need to lie awake at night, worrying about Obama’s proportional response.

    And, needless to say, no reporter asked whether it was the North Koreans, the Russians or someone else who hacked into the White House’s own computer system just two months ago.

    Ghere is a killer sanction. It was imposed for a while around 2007, in retaliation for counterfeiting money, but then North Korea went ballistic, and the whole confrontation was tamped down after hey were given to understand that we only got so drastic because of the counterfeiting.

    http://freekorea.us/plan/

    Consider what happened in the 17-month period between September 2005 and February 2007, when the Treasury Department took decisive action against North Korea’s counterfeiting of our currency. Treasury applied Section 311 of the PATRIOT Act against Macau’s Banco Delta Asia (BDA), a small bank that was laundering the currency and the proceeds of North Korea’s counterfeiting operation. Treasury called BDA a “willing accomplice” to North Korea’s criminal activities, including counterfeiting and drug trafficking, and labeled it as an entity of “special concern” for money laundering.

    That single measure cut off BDA’s access to the international banking system and blocked one of the North Korean regime’s most important conduits for recouping the profits from its illegal activities and weapons sales abroad. Depositors rushed BDA, which only stayed afloat because Macanese authorities stepped in and blocked $25 million in North Korean assets. North Korean front companies’ income stream had been dammed.

    They sought new banks elsewhere, but Treasury followed them. Treasury’s action soon brought Kim Jong Il’s opulent palace economy to the brink of the same catastrophe that the rest of the North Korean economy reached 15 years ago.

    Stuart Levey, Treasury’s Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, soon expanded this campaign with visits to other nations, where he persuaded other states and banks to close questionable North Korean accounts. In January 2006, according to Japan’s Kyodo News Service, Kim Jong Il told Chinese President Hu Jintao that he feared that the sanctions would cause the collapse of his government. The following month, the Asian Wall Street Journal reported that Treasury’s action had “dealt a severe blow” to North Korea, “dried up its financial system,” and “brought foreign trade virtually to an end.”

    In April, Levey predicted that the sanctions could have a “snowballing ‘avalanche effect’” on North Korea as other banks sought to cut their ties, creating “huge pressure” on the regime, and noted that sanctions had hit the North Korean elite especially hard. Soon, Kim Jong Il started selling off his nation’s gold reserves. Even a leader of North Korea’s small group of European investors conceded that “[t]he impact is severe.” Marcus Noland and Stephan Haggard, two of America’s foremost experts on the North Korean economy, later wrote that the sanctions “hit harder than most people realize,” and caused the black-market rate for North Korea’s current to plummet. They estimated that before the sanctions, North Korea’s criminal activity and arms sales accounted for as much as half of North Korea’s exports. After Treasury imposed sanctions, that share had fallen to just 15 percent…

    …In retrospect, it is probable that Kim Jong Il saved his regime by signing the February 13, 2007 agreement with Chris Hill and using Hill to get the sanctions lifted despite Treasury’s reservations. Not only did this breathtaking policy reversal extend the life of the world’s most odious regime, it also removed Kim Jong Il’s greatest incentive to disarm and assured that the U.S. diplomatic initiative would fail. President Obama ought to know that China won’t allow tough U.N. sanctions to pass, but if he is serious about attaching a cost to North Korea’s provocations, he doesn’t have to look far.

    But Obama said “proportional.”

    That doesn’t sound good.

    Sammy Finkelman (6a57b5)


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