Tuesday, October 10, 2006

David Frum on North Korea: Mutually Assured Disruption

The New York Times departs from its normal Bush-bashing to take a walk on the tame side---namely, publish a sensible piece by David Frum, who actually coined the phrase "Axis of Evil" for Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address.

First, however, I must say I'm still shaken by a CNN piece by Fresno on the dark Hermit Kingdom above the 38th Parallel. Videos are shown of firing squads executing starving farmers complaining of food shortages. Bodies of dead women and children are filmed lying in the streets as people walk around them as though they were dead dogs---although in civilized societies even dead dogs are taken off the streets. One of the dead was a good-looking young woman who was well-dressed, and I wondered to myself if she was a suicide---just another victim of world-wide Communism as practiced by Stalin and his acolytes, including Dear Leader's Daddy.

I also remembered that Stalin invaded South Korea because the witless Democrat Secretary of State Dean Acheson omitted Korea from a list of countries that the US considered vital and defensible. Just another brain-dead Democrat. Dean Rusk was his East Asia Asst. Secretary of State, the same Dean Rusk who said that North Vietnam was the cat's paw of Communist China and not simply trying to reunify the South with the North part of that former French colony. For those stupid mistakes [I assume Rusk gave Acheson the speech that omitted South Korea as a defensible country] the imbecile from Georgia became Secretary of State under Kennedy and LBJ, ensuring the disaster in Vietnam would occur after instigating the disaster in Korea.

But I digress. Frum has an observation that dolts from the Acheson/Rusk/Christopher/Albright tradition of failures as SecStates would never understand:
It is, alas, an iron law of modern diplomacy that the failure of any diplomatic process only proves the need for more of the process that has just failed.

Frum believes that now is the time to apply pressure on North Korea. He mentions China, but China is so p-o'd over NK's nuke test that it used language formerly reserved for its imperialist enemies to describe Kim the Ill's little stunt. So he's wrong on his third bullet-point, which is to "punish China." China is essential to keeping East Asia under some kind of stable umbrella, at least economically. Two of his points have salience:
A new approach is needed. America has three key strategic goals in the wake of the North Korean nuclear test. The first is to enhance the security of those American allies most directly threatened by North Korean nuclear weapons: Japan and South Korea.

The second is to exact a price from North Korea for its nuclear program severe enough to frighten Iran and any other rogue regimes considering following the North Korean path.

With the new UN Secretary General a South Korean dove and half the population too young/stupid to remember the horrors of the last century, the odds of getting South Korea onto a tough program of deterrence are long. Frum's first action-plan item is okay:
• Step up the development and deployment of existing missile defense systems.

The United States has already fielded 11 missile interceptors, nine in Alaska and two in California. The Navy has designed ship-based interceptors as well. As we well know, they are not perfect — but they are something.

Until now this lack of perfection has been allowed to block full deployment of the technology. But missile defenses do not need to be perfect to complicate any aggressive action by a comparatively weak power like North Korea against the United States or its allies.

And deploying a missile defense of growing effectiveness also helps achieve another goal — it would indirectly punish China by corroding the power of the missiles China uses to intimidate Taiwan.

The multiculti no-frontier unilateral disarmament crowd hates fences, borders, and detests anti-missile defenses. But development of such systems is feasible and prudent, in an age when whackos like Dear Leader, Ahmadildojihad and formerly Qaddafi were going for nukedom. China built the Great Wall to keep out the Huns. We can do our bit to avert nuclear hits on West Coast sites like LA and SF, although the irony would be rich if these centers of appeasement and surrender were the first targets of a Mad Dictator's nuclear wrath.

Frum's other suggestions are basically non-starters, but what must be done is some sort of quarantine by the UN to put REAL sanctions on North Korea, and not just a slap on the wrist as is the normal MO of this feckless NGO.

And kudos to the New York Times for publishing an occasional OpEd which goes against the leftist grain of its usual suspects.

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