The North Korean farce continues, and to be sure, I made mirth of it here on April Fools Day. It is assumed that Kim Jong Un is an erratic young wacko, perhaps involved in some domestic intrigue. But maybe not. Let’s run through the balance sheet.
The pattern for North Korea for the last 20 years has been to throw a tantrum, and then collect concessions from the United States. It worked under Clinton, and under George W. Bush, too. So imagine you are Korean intelligentsia (now, now, treat this like a CGI movie, and engage in willing suspension of disbelief—you’ll be rewarded, I promise). You look at the leadership of the United States right now, and what do you see?
Skip past Barack Obama for a moment, and just take in the secretary of defense, and the secretary of state. Chuck Hagel. John Kerry. Take a deep breath here. Put yourself in the shoes of the Norks. These guys make the British appeasers of the 1930s look like Chuck Norris. Think the Norks haven’t paid attention to these guys? Add in Obama’s obvious liberal guilt and what conclusion would you reach? Even a 28-year old Kim, educated in private schools in Switzerland but moreover schooled in the Nork blackmail drill, will draw the obvious conclusion: time to go for broke and take the U.S. to the cleaners, because its leadership right now is ripe for the plucking. Far from being crazy, Kim Jong Un may be the most rational person around right now.
People have said that Obama represents in many ways the third term of George W. Bush. In some ways this may be true, but can anyone think the Norks would conduct brinksmanship like this if Bush were still around?
So here’s the test: if we think the Norks are serious about starting a war, the Bush Doctrine would call for a devastating, decapitating pre-emptive strike, which might in turn bring down the whole sorry edifice of Nork perfidy. Anyone think Obama is capable of this? Bueller? Bueller?
My prediction is another appeasement deal.