Why warmongers are talking of pre-emptive strikes on North Korea

What does a small nation do when powerful countries continue hitting with punishing sanctions, and more?

 |  4-minute read |   18-05-2017
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The warmongers are having a field day yet again. A familiar setting, albeit different characters, similar plot, comparable screenplay and matching marketing pitch pushing for the same end-result. 

As we see some reduction in the level of destruction in today’s war zones, another one is being pushed to a boiling point. The catcalls, expert opinions, the doomsday prophesies are all in abundance. This time the target is the Korean Peninsula.

They are talking of pre-emptive strikes on North Korea.

George H Wittman, a veteran in international security affairs, wrote in a Washington Times column that “…a simple, though agonising choice: go with a crushing conventional pre-emptive strike to the extent that is technically possible”. He goes on to say, “The alternative is to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike on North Korean hard points and facilities along the DMZ and beyond.”

kim_051817014316.jpgNorth Korea may be behaving badly as per US assessment, but it would not be good behaviour either to violently end the era of 'strategic patience'.

So Mr Wittman, you propose dropping a nuclear bomb on a sovereign state on the basis of a perceived (or ill-perceived?) threat? We may have forgiven your arrogance as the price we pay for your love for mankind. But, hell no! You deprive us of this generosity by going further — “In either case, United States will take a diplomatic blow, but will limit American and allied casualties.”

Wow! He recommends dropping a nuclear bomb on North Korea to "limit American and allied casualties"!

Douglas Birkey, the executive director for the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Power Studies, let loose another tirade on Korea on May 11 on Fox News, “The United States must seriously anticipate the use of force to eliminate this rogue nation’s offensive nuclear capacity.” Birkey has it all figured out: “The United States needs to consider options that would collapse the North Korean threat as fast as possible. That means hitting targets in a concurrent, decisive fashion to prevent wholesale devastation in Seoul and a nuclear launch. Doing so demands America’s most advanced combat aircraft — the B-2 bomber, F-22 fighter, and F-35 fighter”.

On can go on quoting magniloquence from committed champions of wars. They would not blink an eye before shrugging off the ensuing death and destruction as unavoidable collateral damages — all for the greater safety of our future generations. Surely, this would have nothing to do with the powerful arms industry and their brokers.

I am not a fan of North Korea, or for that matter of any such state where happiness and prosperity of the masses is not a priority. Nonetheless, I cannot help wonder what have they done to our world to deserve this? Leaving aside their aggressive posturing and damaging rhetoric towards South Korea and their closest allies (let’s not forget the two countries are technically still at war), what else?

Have they attacked any other sovereign state? No.

Have they tried to destabilise any other sovereign country in the name of faith, affiliation, political views or threat perception? No.

Have they declared any hegemonic ambitions? No.

They just want to be left alone. Then, why are they developing WMD? This is not what the world needs; nuclear proliferation is never good for our planet.

What does a small nation do when the world’s most powerful countries, armed with ammunition to destroy our world many times over, call it "rogue" and "evil", declare their intention to do what it takes for a regime change, continue hitting with punishing sanctions, and more? Challenged with its very existence, the regime does what best it can do —refuse to give in and go on an overdrive to create as much deterrent as possible in its own defence.

Is it that the world is concerned about their records on human rights? Oh, come on! Do we have to name the countries that are best of friends with our powerful captains despite those countries’ abysmal human rights records? 

Is it about love for the famished North Korean people? Not true. There are scores of people languishing in abject poverty in many parts of the world, with no one to care.

The reckless saber-rattlers should be urged to step back for now. Unless its basic survival is absolutely threatened, a struggling North Korean regime is unlikely to take on the world and bring upon itself a definite annihilation.

We need to, instead, engage its leadership, earn their trust and strive to integrate them with our world in prudent steps. North Korea may be “behaving very badly” as per your assessment, (US) President Trump; but it would not be a good behaviour either to violently end the era of “strategic patience”.

Hope (South Korea) President Moon Jae-in indeed heralds a new dawn for the "Sunshine Policy" bringing some relief to millions of people in the Korean Peninsula. And relief to millions of us, weary and frustrated with bloody wars that could have and should have been avoided.

Also read: The real reason wars never end

Writer

Jayanta Gopal Borpujari Jayanta Gopal Borpujari

The author is an Indian journalist and commentator.

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