A Lesson in Foreign Policy   Leave a comment

How much harm can a 4-pound cat do? A fair amount when you back her into a corner and give her no option but to fight. Brad learned this lesson with the neighbor’s cat. He was just trying to get her out of our son’s tiny home so he could close the door and he had no intentions of hurting her, but when hissing at him didn’t make him put her down, she sunk her teeth into the fatty part of his thumb and refused to let go. While she held on for dear life and ripped long scratches in his forearm with her hind claws, he begged her, slammed her against a wall and finally pried her jaws open with a racketball racket. She ran off for home and Brad went to the doctor for stitches and a tetanus shot. The cat is fine, by the way. She’s back hunting voles in our yard and I’m sure she’s telling other cats all about the human she made cry. Brad now knows that just because he’s bigger and stronger does not mean his “victim” can’t impose some damage of her own.

Image result for image of north and south korea at nightKim Jong-un is a 4-pound cat backed into a corner and the Washington political class needs to learn what Brad learned from that cat. Backed into the corner in a tiny country with a trashed economy and an outsized but weakly equipped military, Kim is responding to a fearsome world’s provocations with threats of violence far beyond his ability to deliver.

The Washington political class and their compliant commentators have learned nothing from the disastrous history of American interventionism.

Truman’s so-called “police action” in Korea was, in reality, a proxy war between the United States and the Soviet Union, with China as an active surrogate. Sixty-seven years later the Soviet Union is gone, China is a major power, but in Korea there is no resolution and no peace, only an uneasy truce.

North Korea is about the size of Mississippi in area with a smaller GDP. South Korea, though slightly smaller than the North, has more than twice its population and a GDP at least 60 times larger.

To hear the politicians and pundits talk, North Korea is this huge threat to the world and especially American security. Yes, North Korea has tested a 10 kiloton nuclear bomb. That’s about 75% the size of the bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima. That is concerning, but North Korea has no certain means of delivering its bomb to another country, not even South Korea. None of its missiles can carry such a sizable device, and it has no bomber capable of successfully delivering a nuclear payload.

Isolated and impoverished, North Korea sees wealthy South Korea and its powerful American ally conducting large military and naval exercises off its coast and importing the new THAAD missile defense system and it launches a feeble missile to show that it can fight back, however ineffectively. It’s the national equivalent of hissing at the human. Maybe they feel a little bit like Americans felt when the Soviets placed its missiles in Cuba.

It is in the best interest of all parties to allow the Koreans, North and South, to work out their differences We’ve been here before. East and West Germany reunified, so why can’t North and South Korea? President Moon Jae-in in South Korea has promised to “embrace the North Korean people to achieve peaceful reunification one day.” While Kim seems ill-disposed to the idea of giving up his petty fiefdom to his southern neighbor, a poll of North Korean workers in China has revealed strong and non-ideological desires for reunification among his people.

If the United States and China would have the wisdom to withdraw from the arena, the Koreans would be faced with three choices:

  1. They could engage in a devastating war that South Korea would win because they have the money and population
  2. They could continue the status quo as belligerent neighbors
  3. They could move toward detente and the possibility of eventual reconciliation

In any case, it would be their choice and, thereby, more likely to result in a positive outcome. The safest and best policy the United States could adopt would be for America and the world to disengage and set the Koreans free to resolve their own problems.

Posted July 24, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

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