On March 26, it is becoming more apparent, a North Korean torpedo fired from a submarine detonated under the keel of the ROKS Cheonan, a corvette of the South Korean Navy, breaking the ship in half and killing more than 40 crew members.
This happened in South Korean waters and, did not a technical state of war exist between the two Koreas already, would have been an act of war.
That immediate action was not taken against the North is perhaps understandable. The cause of the sinking had not been determined with certainty at the time and action that could set the peninsula on fire was something to be avoided if at all possible.
It seems unlikely the attack took place without at least the tacit approval if not the outright order of the north’s increasingly erratic dictator Kim Jong-il — indeed New York Magazine is reporting Kim ordered the attack in order to secure the succession for his son Kim Jong-un. Kim Jong-il is not well and is apparently concerned about his dynasty.
The problem I see here is the administration’s response. President Barak Obama has only recently ordered the 28,000 plus American troops in South Korea to high alert.
The south over the weekend cut off all trade with North Korea in response to the attack and will bring the issue before the United Nations Security Council to ask for punishment of the north. You know, because that’s worked so well in the past.
Leaving aside the fact North Korea’s only real ally China has a veto on the Security Council and is unlikely to vote for more sanctions, there has yet to be one case of sanctions effecting change in any nation.
Fox News reports Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the situation is “highly precarious.”
We have in North Korea one of the last communist nations on Earth, led by an erratic, if not outright insane man, who impoverished his people to, among other things, amass a large collection of Looney Tunes cartoons and has nuclear weapons at his control.
That may be the understatement of the century.
The problem here is that once again the West is worried about not overreacting to what is under international law an act of war.
We could have stopped North Korea’s nuclear ambitions years ago, with quick targeted strikes. Instead first under President Bill Clinton, again under President George W. Bush and still more under the current administration we have negotiated.
Never mind Kim has violated every agreement ever made with him, and done so with near impunity. We have simply continued to make agreements with him.
I grant that the alliance with China and the Chinese history of interventionism in North Korea must give us pause. I cannot believe however, the Chinese are comfortable with a nuclear armed madman on their southern border.
The problem is, we continue to appease, kowtow and bow to every third-world dictator we come across.
Which only does what appeasement always does — embolden them to demand more.
Anyone who ever dealt with a bully on the school yard knows begging and trying to talk to said bully never did anything but make him more likely to torment you the only way to stop him was to hit back.
History has taught us this is also the only thing the dictators of the world truly understand.
It seems, however, the current administration has not learned this simple lesson — I question their grasp of history in general.
The Obama administration is painfully learning — or ignoring — the lessons of history first hand. Meanwhile the world is going up in flames while Caesar fiddles.
All IMHO of course.