December 4, 2002 5:46 AM   Subscribe

They have violated countless UN resolutions, they have starved their own people and used the money for weapons of mass destruction, they have been to war with the US, they are ruled by an evil regime, and NOW they have openly rejected the inspection of their existing nuclear weapon facilities.
The US has no choice but to invade North Korea.
posted by CrazyJub (15 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason:

You forgot one thing.

They don't have oil.
posted by titboy at 5:58 AM on December 4, 2002

You say they don't have oil, but have you ever tried the BBQ? That, my friend, is some oily stuff.
posted by Fezboy! at 5:59 AM on December 4, 2002

If we rid the world of one member of the axis of evil, what can we call (name) the remaining two? the axis name plays off the It,German,Japan Axis of WWII.

For those who think we are there for the oil: would you prefer it to be controlled and used to hold against us by Russian, China, Iraq, etc or would you think that it might be comfy to know we are not being held hostage by Saddam, Saudi Arabia. Sure: cut back on our use. What mileage does you car get?
posted by Postroad at 6:03 AM on December 4, 2002

Isn't this just another repeat in N Korea's usual shakedown-of-the-world-for -money-by-threatening-with-nukes cycle?

Once the US, China, S Korea and Japan give them enough aid they tend to change their tune.

If they don't, then they've just condemned themselves to further international isolation, something they have shown recently they wish to end...
posted by PenDevil at 6:12 AM on December 4, 2002

For those who think we are there for the oil:

Postroad, you seem to be agreeing that we are there for oil, but that we have a right? obligation? to take it. True?

You forgot one thing.

There's another thing, too. Kim Jong Il didn't try to kill W's daddy. The politics of the grudge match.
posted by norm29 at 6:17 AM on December 4, 2002

we are there for oil, but that we have a right? obligation? to take it. True?

Well, one of the oldest reasons in the world to go to war is control of natural resources. We modern (American) humans are no different.
posted by moonbiter at 6:51 AM on December 4, 2002

It is completely reasonable to pick your battles in the arena of international policy. I see no reason why we need to try and fight everyone at once for instance.

It's a sort of misguided attempt I guess at saying something like "If your going to use those reasons to attack one person, those reasons will force you to attack everyone simultaneously for consistency". The end result being, I think, that they expect us to say "oh yeah, you're right... we won't attack anyone then".

Similar to all the people on the net who seem to think if we don't invade China right now we are being hypocritical.

I'm not going to argue the Iraq/China/ N. Korea relative policy issues and ethics here... just mention that the underlying logic that we must go "all or nothing" here doesn't make any sense.
posted by soulhuntre at 6:57 AM on December 4, 2002

There's obviously a reason that US would insist on going to war with Iraq and not North Korea or any of several other offenders, but I don't think it's oil, vendetta, human rights violations, or W. of M.D. I'm usually not the alarmist type, but I get the feeling that there's something kinda sinister underlying all this sword rattling in Saddam's direction. Am I alone on this?
posted by mikrophon at 7:14 AM on December 4, 2002

The US has no choice but to invade North Korea.

Sounds good to me.
posted by eas98 at 7:17 AM on December 4, 2002

Iraq, North Korea, Iran.....they're all so tempting...

If we can trust Wolfowitz and Cheney's written opinions on the matter, "Iraq provides the immediate justification [for a massive introduction of US forces and bases in the region of Southwest Asia] but Iran may prove to be a far greater threat." (from "Rebuilding America's Defenses", 2001) Seymour Hersch has written quite a bit about Iran's somewhat aggressive efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. But I've heard nary a peep about this from the Bush Adminstration, even though they have their spinners working overtime to hype the Iraq threat. I wonder why?.....I have the funny feeling that I'm going to hear a LOT about Iran in 12 to 18 months (just in time for a triumphant Bush reelection?.....)

So my prediction: Iraq first, then Iran, and then North Korea. [ then comes the China pacification program ] I would do the same if I were a committed neocon wanting to flex imperial muscle (and test neat new weapons and tactics) and clean out the area of all substantial opposition and potential "weapons of mass destruction" threats. Just roll 'em up, one at a time, with massive force and 'extreme prejudice' -- works every time.

hey!! when we're finished with all this "war on terrorism" and "war on anybody who ever even thought about getting weapons of mass destruction", what'll we do then? maybe declare a "war on Global Warming" and go fight it in some flashy technological way like dumping mass quantities of iron oxide into the oceans to create a huge algal bloom to suck up the CO2 "sorry about the eutrophication effect, fish. we had no choice, see, we need these big SUV's for all the bags of organic groceries and 100 pound dogs we have to haul around".....or maybe we should just declare war on Canada and force them to annex the State of Maine so we can catapult all of our trash and toxic waste over the border like in that book "Infinite Jest"....or maybe we can make these nanobots that eat CO2 and are perfectly safe or...
posted by troutfishing at 7:32 AM on December 4, 2002

I'm not going to argue the Iraq/China/ N. Korea relative policy issues and ethics here... just mention that the underlying logic that we must go "all or nothing" here doesn't make any sense.

I think the issue isn't so much that we aren't starting world war 3, but rather, why Iraq first of all when there are so many other "rogue nations" out there that evidentally pose a much greater "threat?"

could there be perhaps a vested intrest? I think troutfishing has the right idea. Iraq would be an easy victory and look great on bush's permanent record. Iran would be probably play out similarly. think of it, the man that one two wars and killed all the terrorists so that there won't be any more ever!

it could be crazy talk (in fact, I hope it's crazy talk) but I wouldn't put it past this current administration. his reelection is pretty much guarenteed so he may not need to go that far. someone else made the point in a thread that he'll probably put the war talk away on the backburner in case another enron stumbles along (remember that day in august when we woke up and suddenly we were experts on the plights of the iraqi people?).

my prediction: some surgical strikes followed by own-horn-tooting for a while, and then Iran will be in the fridge just in case.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:01 AM on December 4, 2002

I just love a deliberately obtuse Metafilter thread.

"I know! I'll set up a false analogy suggesting something the exact opposite of what I believe, because it will make the other thing I don't like look like a bad thing!"

This is, to be sure, a regular frame for the construction of front page posts -- or (alas) left-protest talking points. I suggest we take it about as seriously as it is proposed. Hopes that an actual left foreign policy -- much less one that the American people will vote for -- will emerge from such reactive rhetoric are minimal.

We have, in fact, almost gone to war with North Korea over their nuclear weapons program. The president in charge at the time was Bill Clinton. According to reports (much later), we had a squadron of bombers en route when an agreement was reached. Obviously, we can't rule out a similar response down the road.

The strategists in the Bush administration, however, are not likely to be swayed by boneheaded, idiotic, sarcastic calls to "invade everybody with WMDs/human rights violations/aggressive foreign policies/former unresolved wars with the US/bad teeth/casual shaving habits/poor fashion sense right now, just to prove you aren't a hypocrite, because being a hypocrite is the worst thing in the world, even worse than those things we just listed". Strategy, almost by definition, chooses its own day.

Our response to North Korea has barely just begun, and as PenDevil notes, they tend to use whatever they have -- at least under the Kim Jong Il regime -- as a shakedown. The only reason they released the Japanese that they kidnapped the promise of development loans by Tokyo (they haven't, yet, reached agreement -- because the DPRK couldn't resist still using the hostage release as a way to fuck with the process). Having abrogated the prior agreement with the US, however, they are not likely to be able to reach a new one quickly.

Saddam, of course, is at the end of his rope. He's played this game all the way out. We've been pressuring him for ten years now. It's doubtful the North Korean process will be permitted to drag out to that extent, but there's still plenty of room for diplomatic solutions -- even as there's room for an Iraqi diplomatic solution, although it's very unlikely the regime will seize that opportunity.

mikrophon, what the hell are you talking about?

trout, I simply don't believe that Iran is "next on the list". A close study of the country demonstrates it is reaching a period of instability, with significant sectors of the middle and educated class sympathetic to the West and eager to throw off the theocracy. (Unlike 23 years ago, protestors in Tehran may even carry a sign saying WE LOVE AMERICA.) The tacit cooperation that Iran is giving suggests that the operational sectors of the government are malleable. Ultimately, our best strategy with Iran is wait and see.

Maybe, trout, you should do some broader reading on foreign policy, rather than always referring back to the cartoon of neoconservatism that apparently animates you a great deal. Can you, for example, name the features which distinguish the foreign policies of Nixon, Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43? To which is Bush 43's policy closest? How did Reagan's people reject Nixon's approach (hint: they stole a page from Carter)? Also, there are two approaches to China, which have had major tension in Republican administrations since Nixon. What are these two approaches, and why are they so often in opposition?
posted by dhartung at 8:04 AM on December 4, 2002

Invade you, invade everybody!

Punitive damages!
posted by xmutex at 8:15 AM on December 4, 2002

Nice post Dan, as always.
posted by pjgulliver at 8:36 AM on December 4, 2002

Dhartung - no need for the didactics! But I hope you are right about Iran. I agree that there are vast differences between Iran and Iraq or North Korea. I wish you were advising GW. I keep getting the impression - from amdinistration statements - that many Bush advisors deal in sweeping (and inaccurate) stereotypes and generalizations (who knows what they say in private)....I keep harping about the "Rebuilding America's Defenses" piece because so many of the current architects of US foreign policy have had their hand in it. I think that the differences between Bush2 foreign policy and previous recent republican adminstrations may, arguably outweigh the simlarities in terms of the sweeping vision of the Bush2 program. I'd be a bit happier if the Powell-sian faction had more time at W's ear. The "let's just clean up the whole damn mess" statements immediately post 9-11 were telling, in my opinion. But first things first...there's that darned Saddam and those clownish ineffective UN inspectors....hey! no more Mefi for me! time to engage the physical world and get something done besides generating cybertext...
posted by troutfishing at 8:48 AM on December 4, 2002

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