On Korea

So it occurred to me that I run a risk in posting ahead of time. while this has the advantage of assuring that I won’t miss a posting date, it runs the risk of putting up a post that is out of date when it actually goes public.

The cost of this risk became more obvious when I realized my thinking on President Obama’s performance was being highly influenced by the progress of the Korean threats on America.  I haven’t previously posted on this topic, but I responded to an email from a friend who asked what I thought about Korea’s threats to attack the U.S. when they were first made.  To wit:

“I don’t think north korea is such a big problem, but I think letting them threaten us is.  They should be given a short  time to take it back and open talks to work out any problems they have with us, including making the cease fire of the 1950’s a treaty.  If they don’t, I think we should do a preemptive strike–bigger than they expect–and I’d make it clear that the real problem is the threat.  I’d do everything possible to turn this into an object lesson for Iran or anyone else, including terrorist groups, who might be planning direct action against us.

So, if you’re wondering, I am not, and never have been, a pacifist in the sense of never seeing legitimate reasons for kicking ass if it’s needed.  I think bullies ought not run countries and the best time to stop them is long before they become a real threat.”

Of course, nothing happened insofar as U.S. response is concerned.  Also of course, as predicted by my favorite method of thinking about politics-the playground model-being ignored wasn’t acceptable to the North Koreans.   They immediately upped the ante.

As I write this, the North Koreans have cut off all communication safety  lines with the south across the DMZ, have declared the armistice ending the Korean war null and void, have put their military on red alert threatening to attack U.S. and South Korean military stations in both the Far East and the American homeland in response to an American Stealth flight the Americans claim was part of a planned U. S. military training exercise.  They’ve continued to escalate the rhetoric to the point that even China has asked them to cool it a bit   The U.S. has postponed a planned missile launch in California, while they are now threatening to do exactly that without prior plans at all.

To date the U.S. essentially continues to assume the new North Korean head of state can  be ignored, only confirming the almost universal impression that the U.S. is a  paper tiger.

As rational and measured as that response may seem to some, I suspect this tact will only increase the boisterousness of Kim Jong-Un and may well lead to the loss of life on our side, very likely even of American lives.

If and when that happens, all political bets are off and events may spin rapidly out of control.  Maybe our role in trying to preserve life on Earth will quicky become an expired speculation.
Unfortunately, virtually everything that I thought might be positive about my original proposal is now moot.  But then, I am not the President, so all I can ever have as solace, no matter how it goes, is the possibility of an “I told you so.”

Small solace, indeed.

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