Sunday, April 5, 2009

Let's have a war!

I was reminded of an old punk song today: Let's Start a War.

No, former President Bush is still safe in scrubland of Texas. The thought was prompted by this little piece in the Rasmussen Reports. Rasmussen does polling on all sorts of things - and apparently 57 percent of the US public wants a military response to the attempted missile launch by North Korea.

Wow. Let's jump first to the military response, without considering other options or the real consequences of taking on a heavily militarized country. What sort of military response does the public want? Perhaps bombing? That's always popular. It seems so sanitary - to drop bombs from a safe distance and believe that pesky political problems will be eliminated neatly.

What lessons have been learned in the last eight years? Do people really think that war is the best solution to complex problems?

I am not an expert on North Korea - but I am sure that a military response carries the risk of dangerous repercussions. I'm hoping that the people deciding the response to the missile launch consider those repercussions carefully.


Ani said...

Oh, let's not! :(

I prefer this approach, from the NYTimes Opinion page yesterday:

To Beat a Dictator, Ignore Him

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been wise to reject the idea of shooting down the Taepodong-2 missile. It is safer to allow Pyongyang another hollow victory than to humiliate it before the world. Punitive sanctions after the fact would most likely make no difference, because North Korea will return to negotiations in any case. But next time we go into talks, we must do so with an awareness of the domestic political realities that force the North Koreans to do the things they do.

This means demanding changes where they matter most, and can be immediately verified — on the propaganda front — before putting our faith in some grandiose timetable of disarmament. If Kim Jong-il will not cease referring to himself as a “military first leader,” or stressing that America and North Korea “can never share the same sky,” we can be certain, without letting yet another deadline elapse, that he is negotiating in bad faith. For far too long, American diplomats have treated Kim Jong-il’s political culture as his business. It is ours as well.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Very interesting piece. Thanks for recommending it. The approach he advocates is novel, but it makes sense to me.

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