Monday, October 09, 2006

In North Korea's Case, Only Military Action, Not Sanctions, Will Suffice

The United States is off on the same fruitless course, using the useless United Nations, in trying to curb North Korea after its presumed nuclear test. And the talk is of sanctions, not military force.

But only military force, in my view, will suffice to deal with the regime of Kim Jong Il, before he has accumulated enough nuclear weapons to be uncontrollable. We can't afford to wait until he starts selling his nukes to the terrorists, Iran, Syria, or someone else. We can't afford to wait until Japan, South Korea and a whole host of other countries start to develop their own nuclear arms.

Perhaps, it is not so outlandish to think that that military action would come from China.

Last night, it was notable that the Chinese used a very strong word to describe the nuclear test. They called it "brazen," (and followed it up today with "fragrant") and when the North Koreans did them the courtesy of notifying them, in advance that the test was imminent, the Chinese immediately sent an emergency message to the U.S., saying the event would occur at any moment. So the Bush Administration learned of it from them just before it happened.

This sequence of events betrays the fact that the Chinese are now very concerned. They could act in a quasi-military way to cut off oil to North Korea, leaving the regime there to wither on the vine. Or they could do something even more dramatic. They might not have the scruples we would have.

It is worth remembering that when Pol Pot went wild in Cambodia after the North Vietnamese had won the Vietnam war, Vietnam finally turned on him and invaded militarily to oust that fanatical regime. Similarly, Tanzania finally took action against Idi Amin's Uganda. Regimes that are truly crazy often have to be removed by military force. Just like cults have to be eradicated.

As for President Bush, he has, so far, not been helped by the nuclear test. It compounded his problems in the Mid-Term election, because it shows him unable to perform on his promises.

Mr, Bush said a nuclear-armed North Korea was "unacceptable," and he said he would not "tolerate" a nuclear North Korea, but so far today, all he has done is go to the U.N. He hasn't taken any action. He's beginning to look, as he has for some time in Iraq, like a wimp.

Now, there's a word not too many have used about him, but fortified with all the attention I got today from Al Martinez, I'm doing so. It's best, I think, to recognize that the situation we face with nuclear proliferation is despierate, since we are the prime target.

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