Monday, June 22, 2009

And North Korea plans a fireworks display.

I've posted about this before, and usually I've taken flak from readers who thought I was overdramatizing or overreacting; I've been accused of being too warlike, too "ugly American" in my outlook and intonation. It's just that this whole situation with North Korea and the missile they supposedly intend to "test-fire" towards Hawaii, perhaps "in honor of" the July 4 holiday... Well, it reminds of the defiant kid in the schoolyard. You remember that kid, don't you? The obnoxiously noisy one that the "yard duty" tells to be quiet...so he stands off to the side making fart sounds under his breath (but purposely loud enough for everyone to hear); the kid who, as soon as he's out in the hall after his latest dressing-down from the principal, turns around and makes an elaborate show of grabbing his crotch or giving the principal the finger.

Except we're not talking crotch-grabs and elevated middle fingers here. We're talking nuclear weapons and their delivery
systems. Perhaps more importantly, we're talking terror: i.e., the North Korean government's purposeful attempt to bully us, to instill fear in us, or at the very least to deprive us of some degree of peace of mind. The difference between what's being done by Kim Jong-(very)il and his mad minions today and what those hijackers pulled off on September 11, 2001 is really just a matter of degree. It's intimidation. It's the terrorist's charming way of making us feel a little bit more anxious, a little bit less secure, about life.

I realize that "blow 'em off the face of the map!" isn't an answer. As satisfying as it may be to contemplate at times, that tactic involves the mass killing of million of innocents, whose only crime is that they live under the iron rule of a megalomaniac who doesn't seem to care if they live or die. I also realize that even if that option were on the table, it's not a path we could travel for practical and geopolitical reasons
such as the fact that any atomic cloudbursts over P'yongyang would also drift south, to our allies in Seoul, and northwest, to our mortgage bankers in China. (Why did we abandon the neutron bomb again?)

All that said, we have to do something, because eventually bullies, left unchecked, graduate to more provocative behaviors. Very soon, North Korea (as well as other mortal enemies) will be fully capable of inflicting catastrophic damage. We simply cannot let that happen. And we can't simply "respond" to it after it happens. The cost is just too high. We have to prevent it. Somehow.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The six-nation talks didn't turn out well. When the Bush Administration tried to negotiate, North Korea only bought more time.

Maybe we should make this China's problem, as in "Hey China - our Star Wars missile defense system hasn't been working too well recently. We try to shoot missiles down, but all we wind up doing is bumping them way off target and consistently to the north. You really ought to have a chat with your southern neighbors."

Voting "present" just isn't doing the trick, either.

Stever Robbins said...

The neutron bomb was never a solution. It emits a much higher percentage of energy as radiation, but the actual blast itself is still of epic proportions.

Steve Salerno said...

Stever: I do realize that all nuclear weapons are horrific. I was mostly being glib. But maybe this is not a topic for glibness in any sense.

Anonymous said...

So, did you sell the Koreans nuclear kit?

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 8:41: I...have no idea what that means or how to respond. But it's been a long day. Maybe I'm just slow tonight.

Anonymous said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/may/09/nuclear.northkorea