North Korea – Trident A Complete Irrelevance in a Genuine Nuclear Standoff 75


The situation developing on the Korean Peninsula is close to the fulfilment of the nightmare scenario. A genuinely crazed regime, controlling a serf population, is on the verge of acquiring viable weapons of mass destruction.

It must be stressed that North Korea is not there yet. It is one thing to create a static nuclear explosion. It is quite another to miniaturise the mechanisms down to warhead size, with a viable trigger and reliable delivery system. It is understood North Korea has enough material for about five warheads. Its missiles are erratic. It has no missile ready mechanism.

How to deal with North Korea is an extremely difficult question. It has a regime which is completely despicable. Wishing it would behave well is pointless. Evidently the attitude of China – which appears still to see the continuance of the regime as preferable to the consequences of its collapse – will be crucial. There is no good solution. I am sorry to say that I tend to the view that least evil may have been done if we had not offered palliative aid to save North Koreans from the consequences of a disastrous form of communism.

Put harshly, if we had let large numbers of North Koreans starve to death, at some stage – and I realise a very late stage – the remnant would realise the regime wasn’t doing such a good job after all and string the Dear Leader up. That would have been horrible, but less horrible than the possibility of a war with nuclear elements which could engulf the whole peninsula and have the potential to become at least a US/China proxy conflict.

But I want this morning to concentrate on just one aspect of the problem in relationship to what the UK can do. That is to point out that the Trident missile system, for which New Labour are committed to buying an incredibly expensive replacement, thus smashing the Non-Proliferation Treaties – is absolutely no use whatsoever.

A casual observer dropping in from Mars would look at the UK’s massive nuclear arsenal, compared to the size of the country and its economic problems, would look at New Labour plans to replace our nuclear arsenal with something still more massive, and conclude that Gordon Brown was much more of a crazed militaristic nutter than the Dear Leader. And perhaps the martian might have a point.

Those who argue for Trident 2 no longer make a public case that we need to be able to obliterate Moscow, St Petersburg and Ekaterinburg. They tend rather to emphasise that we need to be able to deter rogue states which acquire nuclear weapons.

But now we actually do have the hawks’ favourite scenario playing out before us, and what use is our massive nuclear arsenal in this situation? Have you seen a single commentator refer to our Trident missiles as a factor? Of course not. They are, in point of fact, the most expensive chocolate teapot in the world, and quite possibly the universe.

Indeed, where are our Trident missiles targeted this morning? Do they still point at St Petersburg, Moscow and Ekaterinburg? Have they had the Pyongyang coordinates fed in? Two of our Trident submarines will be at sea today. What are their instructions? The truth is, the question is the world’s most expensive irrelevance.

The problem with deterrence theory is that you cannot deter a madman, particularly one who is going to die very soon anyway and may think a mass immolation sounds glorious. Let us look at the ultimate worst case scenario. North Korea somehow gets five warheads onto missiles, and fires them – let’s say at Seoul, the US and Japan. So this really is the worst case scenario, let’s say in two or three cases neither the missile nor the warhead malfunctions. The result is hundreds of thousands dead and environmental devastation.

Do we then obliterate North Korea with nuclear weapons and kill tens of millions of people and create untold further environmental damage?

North Korea poses the problem of asymmetric nuclear warfare. It may soon possess a very small number of low quality nuclear missiles, but is potentially mad enough to use them. That madness means that our possession of vastly more and vastly superior nuclear weapons does not deter. North Korea has the potential to be the nuclear State equivalent of the civilian suicide bomber, who can inflict casualties on the most sophisticated army in the world. We have got some understanding of the dilemmas posed by asymmetric warfare. What we have here is just vast difference of scale; the asymmetry remains.

Let me be plain. I am not predicting any of these disastrous outcomes. I am running through the very scenarios that are used in theory to justify the spending of huge sums in my taxes, and those of my children and grandchildren, in government borrowing mind-blowing money to acquire Trident 2.

North Korea shows just how pointless that is.


75 thoughts on “North Korea – Trident A Complete Irrelevance in a Genuine Nuclear Standoff

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  • VamanosBandidos

    Craig,

    Noting that;

    A- I am not glamorising “Dear Leader” in any way, or shape, or attempting to gloss over his sins, and also the fact that I will not be attempting to try and bury his appalling human rights record.

    B- “Dear Leader” has been using the threats of Military action by the US against DPRK as good as US has been portraying him as a mad man to all and sundry around the world. In fact the symbiotic relationship between the opposing parties, would make for an almost hilariously funny comedy, were it not for the seriousness of the situation in the Korean Peninsula, and the potential resultant fallout on the wider world.

    Whereas;

    Also I would not in a months of Sundays expect the “zombiefied” population of the DPRK to be able to rise up and get rid of “Dear Leader”, and his ilk. Seeing as the condition of these people, and their fear of the outsiders which has been confirmed time and again, renders the population hopelessly unprepared for any kind of mobilization against their government. Which is further aided by a most pervasive regime of suppression, that is achieved through legions of secret police, in the way of holding steadfastly to the lines of thoughts of the interested parties, as prescribed.

    However considering that;

    A- Colin Powell, during the many of his early visits (circa 2002, onwards) to Japan was pushing the Japanese government to repeal the laws concerning the use of Japanese Military solely as a defensive/peace force, with a view to moving the Japanese Martial Resources in the direction and aims of the US.

    B- recollecting the embarrassing episode of return of the; Japan Maritime Self-defence Forces (JMSDF or Kaigun), ie. The Japanese Navy assets, leaving the Persian Gulf theatre of war for their home waters, amidst the ongoing fighting in Iraq, and Afghanistan, due to the Japanese parliament failing to reach and agreement on renewing the terms of the stay of the said naval assets.

    Krauthammer on North Korea: It’s time for Japan to go nuclear

    http://tinyurl.com/re5cqg

    Neo-cons come out guns blazing

    By Jim Lobe

    http://tinyurl.com/qdbyp8

    For those wishing not to sully their computers with venturing into the following dubious site;

    http://tinyurl.com/p5r72z

    here is the points of interest;

    Japan’s Future

    #”But since the July upper house poll, he has refused to consider an extension of the anti-terrorism law that allowed Japanese maritime forces to provide thousands of gallons of fuel to coalition ships operating near Afghanistan. This was a puzzling move, since the election had focused on domestic issues. Mr. Abe, however, had declared his intent to get the renewal passed, otherwise Tokyo would have to withdraw its ships from the Indian Ocean starting on November 1.#

    Japan resumes Afghan war role

    http://tinyurl.com/qvx92g

    Therefore, as it is evident that, the notions of the agreement between Clinton, and DPRK with respect to; construction of three light water reactors for generation of electricity, and shipment of 500,000 tonnes of fuel oil per annum for the various oil fired electricity generation plants, as well as provision of half million tonnes of grain for consumption per annum, were all too easily reneged on by the neo conservative incumbents of the White house , whose notions of controling the Chinese growth index took into account a total and global dominance of the resources needed for any potential growth. This idea getting sold to the power brokers, as well as the movers and shakers of the US/UK (ultimately Europe), whilst the promises of concurrently diagnosing, and curing the Enronitis of the US economy through the greater consumption brought on by the wars to be fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. These plans were fool proof, so these were sold as, and these were thought of!

    Fact is, the efforts of militarisation of the whole of the area, have been kept apace, regardless of the smoke and mirrors Kabuki we all have been treated to. The notion of DPRK going nuclear was a desired outcome, with a view to push the Nuclear Shy Japanese, in the direction of mustering their martial provision to fall within the parameters of the weltanschauung of neo conservatives in US. This in turn was to keep the Chinese and Russians on their toes, and busy. Simple Fact is “Dear Leader” is doing exactly what is required of him, and delivering the goods just in time.

    It is time that the world community started addressing the real issues facing it, without wasting time on the tertiary matters that are only in the interest of US.

    PS My post on the Israel thread upon hitting the post button, was met with; “Your comment has been received. To protect against malicious comments, I have enabled a feature that allows your comments to be held for approval the first time you post a comment. I’ll approve your comment when convenient; there is no need to re-post your comment. Return to the comment page”. Needless to point out my post to date has not made it through, and remains unpublished.

    PPS this post yesterday met with the same fate as above.

    PPS my humble apologies for such a long winded post. Alas the pervasiveness of disinformation make necessary such copiously worded posts.

  • Craig

    There are a number of very interesting comments on this thread, including many which take a different view to me. But I have deleted a whole train which got back again, irrelevantly, on to Israel and the Holocaust.

    Frankly, anybody who believes that the list of names of historic Chairmen of the US Federal Reserve, reveals some sort of secret grouping that is orchestrating the North Korea dispute from behind the scenes, is crazy.

    As for the idea that North Korea may just be pretending to explode nuclear bombs for domestic consumption, that is not crazy but I fear unlikely. Famously, you cannot predict earthquakes. Is there any evidence that the NKs have signalled oin any way there explosions in advance? (Open question – don’t know the answer this morning).

    I fear the probability is that NK does have the ability to create a nuclear explosion, and wishinhg it away doesn’t really help.

  • Craig

    Vamanos

    Your comments keep getting rejected as spam becuase you put too many links in them. One comment, one link max is a good rule of thumb.

  • Mentalogirl

    Wow – I guess I was wrong about you being a champion of freedom.

    I don’t think I posted anything “incendiary” about the H(won’t write the word in case you delete it again).

    But don’t worry,I won’t participate here again.

  • KevinB

    I must have missed the ‘Chairmen of the Fed’ responsible for Korean nuke post.

    Here (below) is an article about North Korea’s bomb. A rare thing. A journalist producing interesting, non-bellicose, informative copy.

    Kim Jong Il’s provocations to the West may hide a rational purpose

    In a global unpopularity contest it is difficult to think of anyone more friendless than the North Korean Government of Kim Jong Il. He makes Robert Mugabe, the Burmese junta and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad look appealing by comparison.

    So what can North Korea gain by its current round of provocations, which have alienated even its old ally, China ?” a nuclear test, followed by short-range missile tests, and now a threat to tear up the armistice that ended the Korean War?

    The most common analysis is that it is an effort to capture the attention of the Government that matters most to North Korea ?” the US Administration of Barack Obama. Mr Kim wants one thing more than any other ?” a comprehensive peace treaty, with guarantees of North Korean security, in place of the flimsy armistice, and all underwritten by the US. It is towards this end that all his mischief-making, and his nuclear programme, are bent; and he will have eagerly noted Mr Obama’s inauguration promise to reach out a hand to America’s antagonists.

    He may by now be wondering why he has not received more attention from the US, which has been far more focused on Afghanistan and the Middle East. Part of North Korean thinking is undoubtedly to force itself on to the US political agenda, and put itself in a position of strength in advance of the inevitably tough negotiations ahead.

    It has worked in the past ?” even the temperamentally uncompromising Bush Administration gave in and agreed to bilateral talks with Pyongyang, and removed North Korea from a blacklist of terrorist states. There is something about the speed and tone of the current development ?” a sense of acceleration and a manic quality, striking even by North Korean standards ?” that leads one to suspect that there is more to it than the usual urge to affront the outside world.

    The answer may lie in that element of the North Korean enigma least accessible to outside scrutiny ?” the internal power politics of its leadership. The signs are that Kim Jong Il is in complete control, but close examination of recent internal developments leads many Pyongyang-watchers to the conclusion that he is leaning towards military hardliners, and away from the more reform-oriented advisers he favoured in the middle of the present decade.

    Reports, unsatisfactorily filtered as always through unsourced leaks to South Korean journalists, suggest that old aides have been dispatched to labour camps or even executed, and replaced with hardliners. In February the vice-marshal of the Korean People’s Army, Kim Yong Chun, was appointed minister of the National Defence Commission, and General Ri Yong Ho was made army chief of staff. Both are hawks, associated with the North’s first nuclear test in 2006, the kind of old fashioned ideologues who would always favour confrontation over compromise and who would glory in the prestige of membership of the nuclear club.

    Why does Kim Jong Il need such men? The best one can do is speculate, but the answer is almost certainly connected to the stroke that he appears to have suffered last summer, which put him out of action for weeks. Other snippets of information suggest that he is wisely contemplating his end, and preparing one of his sons (probably the third and youngest, Kim Jong Un) for power. Any such transition will be highly uncertain and will require powerful supporters. In the absence of the Dear Leader, the only power that will count may be that of raw military force.

    It is easy to overlook another, and more obvious factor ?” public opinion. North Koreans are probably the most oppressed people on Earth, but they are not completely brainwashed.

    Plenty of them will take a genuine, and uncynical pride, that their small country has matched in technology the superpowers of the world.

    Finally there is the most obvious motivation if all ?” the military one. North Korea has been on a war footing all of Kim Jong Il’s life. Comparatively recently, President Bush pronounced his Government to be part of the Axis of Evil ?” shortly before invading Iraq. Whatever you think of Mr Kim, it is entirely understandable that he should want to protect himself as effectively as possible ?” and history suggests that nuclear weapons are a potent guarantee of being left alone.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6374870.ece

  • KevinB

    Mentalogirl,

    This is a blog rather than a public forum. I can understand that the author sets the subject matter up for discussion. He has a right to defend his site against threads being taken over by others every bit as opinionated as himself. I expect to suffer from this kind of editing myself.

  • VamanosBandidos

    Craig,

    Thanks for the advice, will adhere to the mentioned rule of thumb.

    With respect to your comment;

    “fear the probability is that NK does have the ability to create a nuclear explosion, and wishinhg it away doesn’t really help.”

    The current stale arguments forwarded in respect of the failing nukes, and pretend nukes of DPRK, these lines of thinking are the remnants of the neo con stories on their way to their war in the Korean Peninsula.

    These arguments were publicly first forwarded by Joshua Muravchik , and Edward Luttwak both arch Zionists of the nth degree, and therefore fully paid up members of the neo con cabal, following in the foot steps of Leo Strauss, and engaging in telling the consolable lies that evidently societies are in need of!

    The policies of bigging up of none existent threats with a view to start a war with the militarily weaker nations, also needs to be complemented by the playing down of the potential threats emanating from smaller but capable nations, for the benefit of these warmongers.

    In the first instant the bigging up is to create a risk to the public, which is then inured against by the initiation of war, to destroy the risk.

    In the second instant the levels of threats faced are played down to start the war, for a frightened nation may decide to capitulate (negotiate, their way out) and leave the neo cons without their war.

    Therefore the notion of wishing away the DPRK nukes, as well as casting doubts as to the success of these tests are for the benefit of improving the Gesundes Volksempfinden, and getting the lily livered masses to back the war these neo con warmongers are desperately in need of starting.

    Therefore the fanciful notions of wishing away the Fission reaction that has resulted in a 4.5 Richter scale earth quake, and has been verified by the various seismic stations dotted all around the globe for this very reason. This in addition to the sniffer satellites orbiting the earth, as well as the flights of aircraft equipped with detection gear, will soon result in revealing the make up profile of the device used on this occasion by the NK. However dependent on the political imperatives will this data be made available to we the people or not, is another question that only time will answer?

  • tony_opmoc

    VamanosBandidos,

    It is refreshing to come across such an intelligent and eloquent poster.

    I understand that the various different monitoring systems across the globe can easily tell the difference between natural eathquakes, nuclear explosions, and conventional explosions.

    As I posted above “the USGS cannot positively identify the seismic event as a nuclear test”.

    Why would they say that – paricularly with the disclaimer wrapped afterwards which said it was at almost exactly the same location.

    Its easy to amplify a loud bang, put probably impossible to suppress the fingerprint of a nuclear explosion.

    I forgive Craig for deleting my last post – because it was in response to other posters and off-topic.

    Tony

  • Jaded

    ‘Frankly, anybody who believes that the list of names of historic Chairmen of the US Federal Reserve, reveals some sort of secret grouping that is orchestrating the North Korea dispute from behind the scenes, is crazy.’

    I quite agree with you there Craig. I may have missed some of the comments you deleted since I last looked at this site. So, if anyone read my post directing eddie to a list of names of undemocratic bankers – God knows why eddie brought that issue up on this thread in the first place (very confusing, but thought i’d answer his quetion) – thought it was linked to North Korea in some way it certainly wasn’t. My mind boggles.

  • Paul Jakma

    FWIW,

    I think the correct course of action with NK is to avoid unnecessary escalation, where possible – particularly actions that escalate things for little practical benefit. Instead to keep things militarily as stable as possible, while engaging at a human level with NK as much as possible (trade; tourism; etc).

    This course has worked well with stand-offs and cold-wars with other paranoid, marxist-communist states in the past, USSR and China particularly. The lure of hard-currency trade/tourism opens the door, which leads to human engagement, which helps, slowly, to dispel the paranoia (present mostly on one side, but not completely absent on the western side either). With repeated application there-of, pressure will build from within for the regime to liberalise.

    It takes time and patience, and it denies the more militaristic their fun, but it’s been proven to work without having to starve (by western sanctions at least) or nuke lots of people.

  • eddie

    Jaded

    I did not bring up the list of names or the Federal Reserve, I don’t know where you got that from, and I can see why Craig deleted all that irrelevant stuff.

    To return to North Korea – probably the most evil regime on the planet. What more needs to be said. Any notions of dark forces and conspiracies are simply false. If they are anywhere close to producing a deliverable nuclear weapon I think we, the West, would be fully justified in destroying their facilities.

  • Jaded

    Eddie, I referred to the issue you raised of no one naming the names of powerful bankers, which you clearly did. Or do you formally deny you made that post? Craig will have this on record still and many people will have seen it, so don’t start being silly. I simply saw your post and responded with the most obvious list of names I could think of. What prompted you to make that post I know not. Let’s stick to the facts please eddie. I think you may well have some of the stuff Kevin said confused with my post, If you think I am telling fibs I suggest you take it up with Craig. I know full well what you wrote. I must have missed all the conspiracy theories, so I don’t know what was said. I wasn’t too happy to see my post linked with any of those theories, as I hadn’t said anything remotely like that to be honest. On North Korea I think we should just leave them alone myself. I don’t see them attacking anyone unless they are threatened themselves. It’s hardly rocket science.

  • KevinB

    By Israel Adam Shamir ?” May 29, 2009

    The successful underground nuclear test in North Korea unleashed a huge wave ?” a wave of hypocrisy, that is. The state with by far the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, the country that has already used A-bombs against civilians, the US, expressed its outrage. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said, “The United States thinks that this is a grave violation of international law and a threat to regional and international peace and security and therefore the United States will seek a strong resolution with strong measures.” According to Rice, it is not invasion, it is not occupation, it is not aggression, but rather it is arming oneself against a very probable invasion, aggression and occupation that violates international law. And she did not remind us of a well-forgotten fact: for many years it was North Korea that called for turning the whole of Korean peninsula into nuclear-weapons-free zone, and it was the US that insisted on having its nukes on North Korea’s doorstep.

    North Korea, or the Chosen in its own language, is a country of indomitable men and women. They are strong, independent and hard-working. They shake hands with an iron grip. Their names are short, their cabbage is fiery, their national pride knows no limits ?” and for good reason: they fought against the US in its prime, and survived the worst onslaught ever engineered by Man. Think Dresden, multiply by Gaza and add Iraq to equal Korea in the 1950s. The US and its satellites dropped more bombs on this small mountainous country than they had dropped on Germany. General Douglas Macarthur wanted to nuke them, but Harry Truman stopped him: there were no objects worth nuking, for every single standing man-made structure had already been destroyed. The Korean War was mass murder writ large: millions of Koreans were killed, burned by napalm, shot and executed by the Americans and their allies. Any Korean village’s death rate could compete with that of Auschwitz.

    The Koreans survived and rebuilt their country. But the massive bombing took a heavy toll on the people’s psyche. A nation will never be the same after saturation bombing, any more than will an individual who has been gang raped. Usually they break down into total submission for a generation (that is why gang rape is the prisoners’ way to assume control over a disobedient inmate), so did Serbs, so did Germans, so did the Japanese after being sodomised by US bombs. The Koreans’ own post-traumatic syndrome consisted of withdrawal, extreme self-reliance and endless fear of another attack. This fear was well-grounded in reality: US troops and bases still occupy the south of the Korean peninsula. South Korea is still as far from independence as it was before the WWII, only the US has replaced Japan as the colonising power.

    More importantly, the US has carried out relentless sanctions warfare against unvanquished, independent Korea. This well-developed strategy of blockade was utilised with great success against Iraq and Cuba, and now Americans plan to use it against Iran. Noam Chomsky correctly defined the US strategy: never give up; keep destroying countries which do not submit by all means possible including economic warfare. Whoever does not surrender should be pushed back into the Stone Age.

    Korea was willing to dismantle its nuclear facilities, provided the US would cease its economic warfare. They signed an agreement, closed down the reactor, but the US reneged on the agreement and turned up its hostilities. America, as ruled by its “Chicago boys,” is neo-liberal to the bone and cannot tolerate a socialist state. Korea would not let American companies take over its economy, and that is why the US and its satellites kept impounding Korean bank accounts and interfering with its trade. The imperial media were kept busy churning out dreadful stories (actually, regurgitated anti-Communist urban legends from McCarthy’s days) about starving Koreans under commies’ yoke. They were not going to allow Korea to live its own, socialist way.

    When the people of South Korea began to express their wish to unite with the independent North, South Korea was robbed by the Mammonites who engineered the great Tiger crisis of 1997. Everything you are experiencing now during the 2009 crisis the South Koreans went through twelve years ago. Their great economy was broken to pieces and bought for peanuts by the trans-nationals. All their accumulated labour of many years was snatched by George Soros et al. At the same time, the American offensive against independent Korea was intensified.

    President GW Bush (or his speechwriter David Frum) designated Korea, next to Iraq and Iran, to be part of the Axis of Evil. In this situation, the Koreans were right to develop the ultimate weapon of defence. And this holds equally true for Iran today. A Korean and Iranian nuclear deterrent would be a defensive shield for these independent countries.

    Korea did not take it lying down. This rather small and far away country, enfeebled by blockade and sanctions, contributes more than its fair share to the most important battle over Palestine. The Koreans, who suffered so much from the American-imposed siege, do help besieged Gaza and other neighbours of the Jewish state to acquire weapons. Not necessarily nukes ?” even conventional arms interfere with the total freedom of Israelis to kill Palestinians and to fly over Beirut and Damascus.

    Using the nuclear issue as a pretext, the pro-Israel Lobby pushed for the decision to search all Korean shipping. They also orchestrated a vast public campaign in the mass media, uniting anti-Communists and nuke-fearing pacifists against socialist Korea. We are supposed to be afraid of Korean A-bombs and call upon Obama and Netanyahu to disarm the rebels.

    God knows I am a peaceful man, but I’m not a pacifist. Weapons are needed to defend people from Israeli-American state terrorism. A so-called pacifist who supports American and Israeli attempts to maintain their monopoly on nuclear arms is, in my book, just another supporter of the Judeo-American war machine. If he is an honest man, let him call for the disarmament of the Chosen Peoples of Israel and America, and postpone dealing with the Chosen people of Korea and the Iranians until after Dimona is dismantled and American nukes are turned into ploughshares.

    The struggle for Korean nuclear independence is extremely relevant for the Middle East, and first of all, for the Iranian nuclear project. It is true that Iran is not seeking military application for its nuclear industry, being perfectly content with peaceful energy. However, the Judeo-American interests want to turn North Korea into an example for Iran. They wish to do something nasty to not-too-relevant Korea so that Iran will fall in line.

    Obama could settle with Korea at the quite reasonable price of stopping the interference with its life. Sign a peace treaty, stop the threats, remove the sanctions, terminate the campaign of hate. The Koreans would pay for normalisation of their relationship with the US by giving up their nuclear facilities. But that would neither frighten nor seduce Iran. So Obama may choose a violent action including a naval blockade, so that a suitably impressed Iran will close down its reactors.

    This would be a pity. A pity for Koreans who deserve, like everybody else, to live their lives the way they like. A pity for Korea’s enemies, for the Koreans are not easy to defeat. And a pity for the Middle East which badly needs the deterring presence of a nuclear-capable Iran.

    The Israeli media published a poll claiming that “some 23 percent of Israelis would consider leaving the country if Iran obtains a nuclear weapon”. The idea is to push the US and Europe into a frenzy of anti-Iranian action, for no country would like to absorb two million Israeli refugees. This is the secret Doomsday weapon of Zionist propaganda: if pushed hard, we’ll just go back to your countries and you are not going to like it. However, the small print of the survey shows that this fear of Iran is spread mainly among suggestible Israelis, 39 percent of women as opposed to 22 percent of men ?” they swallowed their government’s propaganda — hook, line and sinker.

    Paradoxically for us Israelis, nuclear Iran represents hope for peace, not a threat to it. Our greatest danger lies in the aggressive tendency of our generals and politicians. They have already caused so many unneeded wars by attacking Lebanon, Syria, the Palestinians. There is need for a counterbalance, for a great and powerful state that would keep our [Israeli] hawks in check. Since Iraq was subdued by the US army and Egypt by political means, Israeli generals have gone to war every two years. Only a nuclear Iran is likely to check Israeli warmongers and force Israel to proceed with peace process.

    No sane Israeli expert, not even an extreme hawk, believes that a nuclear Iran would endanger or threaten Israel. Israel is too powerful, perfectly capable of delivering a deadly second strike. But this mind-boggling freedom of action the Israeli military enjoys would be gone, and that would be a good thing.

    The balance of fear, or MAD (mutual assured destruction) is still the only way to deal with the Israeli-American threat. This was the reason for the martyrdom of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg; by helping the USSR to build their nuclear bomb they saved uncounted millions from horrible death, even at the price of their own life.

  • angrysoba

    The DPRK is, in fact, a member of the United Nations despite what a previous commenter said as the link they provided also showed (hint: look for “Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of”)

    Also, Mr Murray, you seem to think that depriving people in North Korea food aid will bring the people to their senses and have them rise up against their oppressors. Even if such a hideous moral calculation was based on a hope that a “long-term better outcome” was possible then you will find that history is dead against you. People starved to death in their millions particularly in the 1990s in the countryside, perhaps as many as 2 million, and the results have been stunted growth, mental retardation and decreased fertility of many of the survivors but barely the faintest stirrings of revolt so let’s lay that one to bed immediately if you want to have anything worth saying about the outrageous treatment of Palestinians or the death toll in Iraq as a foreign policy towards North Korea implemented by you would lead to vastly more deaths with zero positive results.

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