November 23, 2010

JUST WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW: North Korea fires artillery barrage on South. If they start anything, I say nuke ’em. And not with just a few bombs. They’ve caused enough trouble — and it would be a useful lesson for Iran, too. We can’t afford another Korean war, but hey, we’re already dismantling warheads. . . .

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Years ago, I was one of those guys tasked with nuking North Korea, as an Air Force navigator/weapon system officer on F-4E Phantoms. I’d counsel caution today. The immediate problem is that North Korea has ten thousand artillery tubes pointed at Seoul, the capital of South Korea, where a large portion of the southern population lives. Basically, the North Koreans have a knife to the throat of South Korea. Temperance is a virtue in this situation.

North Korea has already lost the cold war with South Korea. It’s patrons have abandoned it. Starvation is breaking down the government. The military doesn’t have enough to eat. Even the secret police are now on the take to feed their families. The inevitable economic failure of the communist state has rotted out its political structure, which is ready to collapse, lacking only some precipitating event.

The best way to hasten the downfall of Kim Jong Il’s rotten regime is through information. The South Koreans used to fly propaganda into the North via balloons when the wind was favorable. How about bombarding North Korea with information by inserting radios and laptops into it? Some personal DVD players might help, North Koreans having a taste for South Korean video. Information is what North Korea fears most and for which its citizens are most hungry. Feed them with facts from the outside until they lose all faith in Kim Jong Il and fear of his government. It would be far better if the North Koreans overthrow their government than if we bomb them back into the Stone Age. The best case is for all those North Koreans manning the cannons across the Han estuary from Seoul is to lose faith in their mission and to simply walk away from their guns.

I agree, but that doesn’t help if they’re invading across the border, which is what I was talking about. Meanwhile, James Bennett emails:

You know, somehow there has arisen the idea that there’s some magic rule that prevents a nuclear power from using its nukes against a conventional state. That perception will probably persist until somebody attacks a nuclear power and gets nuked. Then everybody will wonder why anybody was stupid enough to believe that. Actually, that’s almost happened already.


MORE: Reader Bill McLane writes: “So what are we to do if Obama decides that this Korea thing could be a perfect thing with which to turn his ratings around? Like bomb them and become a war president? Like get us into a tussle with China? Do you think he is above this sort of calculation?” Nope. And if he does, Media Matters, Oliver Willis, et al. — maybe even Ed Cone — will praise his courage and decisiveness.

STILL MORE: No doubt they were clutching their pearls just as hard when Bill Clinton threatened to “erase North Korea from the map of the world.” Well, except for Oliver, who was busy with puberty.

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