A possible North Korean missile test has produced what is being called a diplomatic crisis.
AsiaPundit is not worrying. Like other long-time amateur observers of the Stalinist dystopia, AP has become so inured to bellicose statements and provocative actions from Pyongyang that they are likely to produce mockery or boredom.
Still, remembering words of wisdom from our parents — ‘it’s all fun and games until someone loses a large Pacific Northwest city’ – AP will refrain from making jokes about the crisis. This is a serious matter and attempts at jocularity should be avoided.
AsiaPundit is outraged by the way the US administration is handling this crisis. There has been too much waffeling. This matter could have been quickly resolved if only today’s politicians had the resolve and unity of vision that was characteristic of those of days past. If yesterday’s leaders were currently in positions of power we would certainly be seeing more decisive action.
Former US Republican House leader Newt Gingrich has called for a first strike:
The American public is being reassured that we have a ballistic-missile defense that will work. No serious person believes this. None of the tests have been robust enough or realistic enough to assure us that we could intercept the North Korean ICBM no matter where it was aimed.
In the immediate and present danger, the United States should not wait to attempt to shoot the missile down after it is launched. There is no proven reliable technology and no evidence that we could succeed. Instead, we should destroy the missile on its site before it is launched. Our ability to preempt the launch is nearly certain.
We can’t afford failure.
Imagine the North Korean dictator in a moment of insanity has placed a nuclear weapon atop of the Taepodong-2. Imagine he believes that taking out Seattle is the best way to impress us with how serious he is. Imagine that we allow this missile to be fired because we want to be in State Department language “prudent, cautious, reasonable, and multilateral.” Imagine what the “6/21 Commission to Investigate the Loss of Seattle” would report about 13 years of diplomatic failure and the failure of the United States to implement President Bush’s pledge.
America’s actions must be decisive. We are faced with a brutal, totalitarian dictatorship about which we know little. It is acting in defiance of all of its own international commitments. The time for talk is over. Either they dismantle the missile or we the United States should dismantle it.
From an American viewpoint of saving American lives and American cities certain preemption is much less risky than uncertain defense. That is a simple but painful fact. It is one Washington should act upon.
As well as Gingrich, Bill Clinton’s former defense secretary William Perry has also emerged to support preemption.:
Should the United States allow a country openly hostile to it and armed with nuclear weapons to perfect an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons to U.S. soil? We believe not. The Bush administration has unwisely ballyhooed the doctrine of “preemption,” which all previous presidents have sustained as an option rather than a dogma. It has applied the doctrine to Iraq, where the intelligence pointed to a threat from weapons of mass destruction that was much smaller than the risk North Korea poses. (The actual threat from Saddam Hussein was, we now know, even smaller than believed at the time of the invasion.) But intervening before mortal threats to U.S. security can develop is surely a prudent policy.
Therefore, if North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. This could be accomplished, for example, by a cruise missile launched from a submarine carrying a high-explosive warhead. The blast would be similar to the one that killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. But the effect on the Taepodong would be devastating. The multi-story, thin-skinned missile filled with high-energy fuel is itself explosive — the U.S. airstrike would puncture the missile and probably cause it to explode. The carefully engineered test bed for North Korea’s nascent nuclear missile force would be destroyed, and its attempt to retrogress to Cold War threats thwarted. There would be no damage to North Korea outside the immediate vicinity of the missile gantry.
Oh how we wish we were back in the wonderfully bipartisan Clinton era.
UPDATE:Kim Jong-il must be trembling in fear. Walter Mondale has called for a first strike.
Technorati Tags: asia, east asia, korea, north korea, northeast asia
As AsiaPundit has a soft spot for underdogs, he was hoping for strong 2006 World Cup showings from ‘New World’ nations Australia and the US and Asian nations Japan and South Korea. While pleased that the Socceroos have advanced, he is a touch disappointed that the US and Japan have been eliminated.
Still soccer has never been a big sport for either Japan or the US, so the losses aren’t that big a deal. It would have been an embarrassment if the teams lost at events in which their nations are known to excel.
Iran the new robot super-power challenges Japan
RoboCup 2006 Results
I4U - June 18, 2006 Japan is only 3rd with 6 wins after China who won in 9 categories. Surprisingly Iran is fourth with 5 wins. Iran the new robot super-power
Technorati Tags: asia, china, east asia, japan, northeast asia
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Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.
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