The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The "Illness"

The elites tell us that patience and even-handedness are the only viable approaches to North Korea. Western politicians have tried sanctions, tough talk, calm talk, conciliatory gestures, and huge amounts of "aid." And yet, the NoKos have done nothing except to continue their game—outrageous and bellicose behavior that goes right to the brink, hoping for concessions and additional aid from Westerners who want to avoid war at all cost. North Korean has perfected its game, recognizing that the West doesn't have the stomach for violent confrontation. But as Western leaders kicked the can down the road, this despicable, communist dictatorship has passed from generation to generation, starving it own people while building nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. What to do?

That answer to that question is predicated on the answer to another. Exactly what danger do the NoKos present for the West?

The answer isn't difficult to formulate. Once the NoKos have a stockpile of nuclear weapons and ICBMs, they can and will use them as blackmail. They can threaten to share their apocalyptic technology with Islamic terror groups (including Iran); threaten democracies in their region; precipitate nuclear proliferation in Japan and South Korea, and ultimately, become the catalyst for a nuclear war that could spread to become a worldwide conflict.

The political elites tell use to remain calm. That statecraft will prevail. Yep, is that becuase it's worked so well for the past 30 years?

The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment:
... East Asia would join the Middle East in a new era of nuclear proliferation, with grave risks to world order. This is one reason that acquiescing to a North Korea with nuclear missiles is so dangerous.

Yet this is the line now peddled by former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who says the U.S. must begin “accepting it and trying to cap it or control it.” Having said for eight years that a nuclear North is unacceptable, they now say that President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had better get used to it.
So ... two inveterate liars from the Obama administration tell us that we have to accept the status quo. Yet, their advice sounds oddly reasonable, just as those who in the 1930s told us that German nationalism was something that we had to accept because the alternative was U.S. involvment and war. How did that advise work out for us and the world?

Over 500 years ago, Niccolo Machiavelli said: "... that at the beginning, an illness is often easy to cure but difficult to diagnose; but as time passes, not having been recognized or treated at the outset, it becomes easy to diagnose but difficult to cure.”

In the early 1990s, the NoKo "illness" was difficult to fully diagnose but would have been easy to cure. Their pathetic excuse for a regime could have been destroyed easily. Sure many people would have died, and China (then a much weaker adversary) might have gotten involved, but the "illness" would have been cured. Today. because it was not "treated at the outset, it becomes easy to diagnose but difficult to cure.” So Western leaders remain frozen, because the cure is onerous.

And yet, the "illness" does not abate—it gets more virulent year after year. Sort of like Germany in the 1930s. By the time the West decided to act in that era, the resulting conflict killed 40 to 60 million people.

Although its difficult to contemplate, by the time the West decides to act, the resulting conflict might make that total seem small.

The sad reality of our world is that sometimes war (e.g., violence and death) are inevitable. The question is, do we pay that awful price now, or do we wait, and pay a catastrophic price later?