There are times when a very special kind of stupid rears its head, and I’m not talking about what’s been going on with Kanye West. Instead it’s a piece penned by the New York Times editorial board entitled, “Time to take North Korea seriously.” My friends, this is what I call a Bravo-Foxtrot-Oscar, a “Blinding Flash of the Obvious.” Sadly, we haven’t been taking North Korea seriously since President Bill Clinton signed a nuclear agreement with the rogue Stalinist nation back in 1994. And yes, that does sound familiar for the Obama administration regarding Iran.
As the New York Times writes, “Since the first of the year, North Korea has conducted another nuclear weapons test and launched a satellite on a rocket. Both acts further advance North Korea’s quest to acquire the ability to fire a nuclear-armed missile against another country, while serving as a reminder of the world’s lamentable failure to shut the program down.
Especially striking has been China’s impotence. President Xi Jinping has repeatedly urged North Korea to show restraint. At the same time, he has refused to endorse tough international sanctions that might have an impact on the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. Beijing recently agreed to work on new United Nations sanctions, but there is no indication that those sanctions would go far enough.
The Chinese are probably right when they say they have less influence over Mr. Kim than many people think. But as the North’s only ally and economic lifeline for food and fuel oil, China has more leverage than any other country to steer Mr. Kim toward a less hostile course. Beijing is understandably concerned that tough sanctions could cause people to flee North Korea for China. But even relatively modest gestures, like preventing Mr. Kim from obtaining whiskey and other luxuries, could force him to think twice about continuing North Korea’s provocative behavior.
While China temporizes, others are acting. Last week, Congress overwhelmingly approved strict sanctions intended to limit the North’s ability to finance warheads and missiles. President Obama should sign the measure into law. It is aimed at weapons and traders of raw minerals, as well as money launderers and human rights abusers, and its effects are likely to be felt acutely by Chinese companies, which are most involved with the North.”
The New York Times failed to mention the strict sanctions were passed by a GOP-controlled Congress. You can bet if a GOP-controlled Congress did something the New York Times didn’t like, they’d make that mention.
The Times must be willing to admit the foreign policy of their chosen one, Barack Obama, has failed. It was Obama who announced a “pivot” from the Middle East and a focus towards the Pacific Rim. Other than a deployment of a small contingent of Marines to Australia, I haven’t seen any evidence of a pivot to do anything substantial in the Pacific geographic area of responsibility (AOR).
Asking China to rein in its satellite North Korea is a waste of oxygen. China is busy expanding its maritime force in the Pacific and building manmade islands along the Spratly archipelago. Hey, where are all the environmentalists who should be screaming about China destroying reef systems in order to build up its protective chain in the South China Sea?
But back to North Korea…Little fat kid with the bad haircut, Kim Jung Un, is getting into the game himself. There can be no doubt collusion between North Korea and Iran on nuclear weapons and delivery systems development is occurring. We already know North Korea was in Syria working on nuclear weapons development — the Israelis got wind and blew the facility to pieces. That’s what despots, dictators, theocrats, and autocrats comprehend — strength and might. They see weakness in compromise, appeasement, acquiescence and negotiating. If you truly want peace, it comes via strength and having a verifiable deterrent capability. We lack both at this time.
I concur with the New York Times editorial board that President Obama must sign these sanctions into law immediately. We should never have lifted the ones off Iran. But what really needs to happen will not under this president, and that is rebuilding our deterrent maritime capability.
President Obama’s proposed budget would result in the loss of a carrier battle group (CVBG) – that’s not how you project power and deterrence. We will have to stand with our allies in the Pacific, namely Australia, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and establish open military relations with Taiwan and, yes, Vietnam. We need to bring together a solid Pacific coalition that will thwart the expansionist efforts of China and strangle its rabid dog rogue state, North Korea. Taking North Korea seriously is not about “strong condemnation” statements, it’s about taking noticeable actions, looking lil’ Kim in the eye and not blinking.
No, I’m not about existing in a perpetual state of war. But I am realistic to know that the reality of your enemy must become your own, or it eventually will at a time when you’re not prepared. We must leverage all the elements of our national power but in the end, the enemy has to believe you have a credible desire and capability to punch them in the mouth.
We ain’t got that right now, but I’m glad to see the New York Times editorial board has pulled its head out of its fourth point of contact to at least realize it.
Now will Kanye West pull his head out? Not betting on it…