Continuing my post on the Bush Doctrine:

The least publicized method that President Bush has used to help eliminate our country’s enemies has been the persistent use of diplomatic and economic pressure on those states deemed threats to the nations security. No President has issued more economic sanctions than President Bush. Perhaps the best example of this strategy is the changing relationship between the United States and North Korea.

Though talks between the U.S. and North Korea began during the Clinton administration, it has been President Bush who has gained the most ground in the diplomatic effort. Most people know that President Bush labeled North Korea as part of the “Axis of Evil” in his 2002 State of the Union address. What they don’t know is that before he made that speech, he made an announcement on June 6, 2001that he would continue working towards a diplomatic solution with North Korea. What even fewer people know is that over the summer, President Bush removed North Korea from the Trading with the Enemy Act, and has worked to loosen sanctions on North Korean goods. For instance, it is now possible for a U.S. citizen to travel to North Korea without the special permission of the U.S. government, and it is also possible to import some goods from North Korea with the permission of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (more info here). As another sign of the improving relations between the two nations, the North Koreans demolished their nuclear reactor in Yongbyon, long considered to be a symbol of North Korea’s nuclear program.

Finally, the success of Bush’s enemy elimination program is shown by the fact that no President has lifted or weakened as many sanctions as President Bush. In addition to the North Korean sanctions listed above, President Bush has also weakend or lifted sanctions on Iraq, Myanmar, and Iran. The fact that the U.S. has been able to adjust these sanctions is a strong indication that President Bush’s foreign policies have worked much better than most people give him credit for.

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