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"North Korea seems like much more of a danger to peace ...(19 posts)

"North Korea seems like much more of a danger to peace ...velocity
Feb 5, 2003 12:43 PM
North Korea seems like much more of a danger to peace and security. Iraq, on the other hand, is largely weakened by Gulf War I, our daily flyovers, and the weapons inspectors. Why are we myopically focused on Iraq and not North Korea?
Reasons (listed)OldEdScott
Feb 5, 2003 12:56 PM
Strategic importance (location, oil)

Much easier to whip (days or weeks rather than years)

Personal Bush/Bushite score to settle (sorry, but this is obvious)

Simple momentum from talking too tough too early with not enough forethought. It's a lesson Bush, to his credit, seems to have learned re Korea.

We have proxies in the Far East to deal with some aspects of the Korea situation, none w/Iraq.

It's still a lame war, though.
re: "North Korea seems like much more of a danger to peace ...cdale02
Feb 5, 2003 1:23 PM
The way I see it is this:

Iraq agreed to disarm and discontinue it's weapons programs as part of an armistice that ended the first Gulf War. Violation of this agreement justifies forcible disarmament.

N. Korea agreed to discontinue its nuclear weapons program as part of an agreement that was negotiated in return for aid (economic, food, fuel, etc.). Violation of this agreement justifies elimination of the economic aid, new negotiations and diplomatic talks, as well as pressure from other countries in

Call me crazy, but I believe in holding people to their agreements.
Bush and Powell think you are crazy.czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 1:40 PM
According to them, Saddam is too insane and duplicitous to be expected to hold to any agreement. Only a fool would expect or hope otherwise.

. . .which makes you wonder why they are so focused on his non-compliance in the first place. They must really be scraping the bottom of the justification barrel.
Bush and Powell think you are crazy.cdale02
Feb 5, 2003 1:55 PM
Maybe I should have added to my statement. Countries should honor their treaties, or expect there to be consequences. What do you think the consequences should be for Sadamm's lack of compliance to the Gulf War armistice?

I think Bush did use the compliance argument in the first place in his State of the Union address. This was the first point he brought up.

I think he is using more "justification" for others who will avoid war for any conceivable reasons. (i.e. the French).

FWIW, I spent four years serving my country in the Navy, no direct combat, but I am aware of what it is like to take an oath of service. I am not a war-hawk, but I believe sometimes it is necessary to use military force.
All I'm saying. . .czardonic
Feb 5, 2003 2:07 PM
. . .is that however reasonable your "consequences for non-compliance" rationale is, it is moot if Saddam is too nuts to care. Thus, it makes no sense to simultaneously catalog Saddams defiance and characterize him as a lunatic.

He can't be both a crafty manipulator and a maverick nutball. Either he is the former, in which case it is reasonable to assume that he will only push us so far before backing down in order to ensure his own survival, or he is beyond reason. So far, the Bush administration's evidence points to the former. Fortunately for us, I think the former is true. I don't think anyone wants to confront a world where a rabid looney can out-maneuver the US on the world stage.

That still leaves the question about what to do with him, and as far as I am concerned something should be done whichever of the above is true. But Bush's plan starts and ends with raining bombs on Baghdad, and that's not good enough for the Iraqi people or for the American people.
All I'm saying. . .Alpedhuez55
Feb 5, 2003 5:47 PM
You said "But Bush's plan starts and ends with raining bombs on Baghdad, and that's not good enough for the Iraqi people or for the American people."

It is not a good thing if we make the same mistake we made in 1991. If we are forced to go at Saddam and use force, we will not let him stay in power. It may start with bombs raining over Baghdad, but it will end with Saddam in either exile or in front of the World Court on war crimes charges.

Mike Y.
Feb 6, 2003 7:09 AM
He certainly can be "both a crafty manipulator and a maverick nutball". Joe Stalin was another very good example.

As for the statement that "Bush's plan starts and ends with raining bombs on Baghdad", it is patently false. All you have to do is read more than your copy of the New Republic to be aware of this.

The Nation. Not the New Republic. (nm)czardonic
Feb 6, 2003 11:13 AM
re: "North Korea seems like much more of a danger to peace ...sn69
Feb 5, 2003 6:39 PM
Mostly because Iraq has 45 Amry divisions and the willingness to use WMDs. They're not as weakened as you might think, and our operations in support of ONW and OSW don't arbitrarily bomb targets of opportunity. Strict rules of engagement are adhered to. You'd be shocked to learn how muc the f-ing lawyers control (Doug...that's for you).

As for N Korea, they're not honestly threatening the use of their weapons. They are a nation in economic, social and political isolation to the extreme. This is their way of attempting to play a bad hand poorly. In the end, the Chinese will squeeze them from the north and we'll offer concessions of some type.

They are two different situations.
you may be rightvelocity
Feb 6, 2003 1:10 PM
Edward Peck, a former US ambassador to Iraq, though, claims we've destroyed 98% of Iraq's pre-1991 military capability.

How much of the budding crisis in Korea has been facilitated by lumping the N. Koreans in with "the axis of evil?"
They are BluffingAlpedhuez55
Feb 5, 2003 7:11 PM
North Korea is bluffing. You would hear a lot more noise from Japan and South Korea if they were a real threat. They are just trying to get economic concessions. This situation can and is being handled by diplomats. Besides, we already have pleanty troops there.

I think some of the anti-war crowd is just trying to make people think they are more of a threat to try to divert attention from Iraq. It is not working though.

Velocity, if you really thought they were a threat, would be calling for carpet bombing of North Korea? I assume no.

Mike Y.
They are BluffingSteve98501
Feb 5, 2003 10:31 PM

I hope they're bluffing, and I kinda' think they probably are, but speculation won't even buy a cup of coffee. N. Korea knows they cannot win, but if pushed they'll fight, and it'll be awful. I'm not sure we have enough troops there if the North attacks. A recent Nightline panel of experts described the likely scenario: the North has the resources to overrun the border - us and the S. Koreans. They would turn Seoul into a "sea of fire" and send missles into our bases in Japan. The North would still lose in two to three months, but it would be an incredibly expensive win for us. Ergo, even knothead Bush seems OK with going the diplomatic route there. S. Korea and Japan would incur most of the direct harm, compared to us, and therefore they don't want to push it, is how it appears to me.

you're awfully certainvelocity
Feb 6, 2003 10:57 AM
Carpet bombing? Ya talkin' 'Nam? Our capabilities are a little more, ahem, surgical these days.

I endorse the use of force in certain instances but the biggest threats to homeland security remain terrorist cells and "nuculer" weapons. I subscribe to the theory that an attack on Iraq increases rather than diminishes our vulnerabilty to terrorist attacks.

Why the GWB administration is treating the Korea situation so lightly perplexes me. I'm just not getting a sense from this administration, perhaps with the exception of Powell, that they're diplomatically savvy.
I don't understand this theory.....cdale02
Feb 6, 2003 11:22 AM
You stated "I subscribe to the theory that an attack on Iraq increases rather than diminishes our vulnerabilty to terrorist attacks."

I don't understand this. I think the Al Qadda network wants the destruction of America period. What were the terrorists demands for 9-11, and how will their hatred for us increase from what it is now if we liberate the people of Iraq and allow them to establish a democracy?

I think if we show that the world that we will not tollerate regiems that harbor terrorists, the rest of the world may re-gain some respect for us. There is also a large benefit to having a large U.s. presence in the region, this can severely disrupt Al Queda ops there.

I'm no expert by any means, but I think if we allow "what the terrorists MIGHT do to us.." infuence out policy - then the terrorists have at least met their objectives.
bill kristol has trouble sleepingvelocity
Feb 6, 2003 11:59 AM
Is this about liberating Iraqis? Or is it about disarming a dangerous character leading a dangerous regime? When did "regime change" become a war for the liberation of the Iraqi people? Why aren't we encouraging all the other Arab countries who are our allies but lead repressive regimes that foster terrorism toward democracy? We had a chance to finish the job in 1991, but backed off out of fear of what a regime change would mean, and because our allies in the region, who funded the bulk of the war, didn't want us to proceed further.

Even the conservative Bill Kristol, who's a very strong advocate for the war against Iraq, has admitted he has trouble sleeping due to his fear that this action may spur more attacks against us.

There are many reasons to attack Iraq but a convincing argument has yet to be made that there are substantial links between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

If I attack a bee hive, I have to be prepared to be stung. And, in this case, there are many much smaller hives trying to figure out a way to sting us. These extremists will will be roused even further if we attack.
Feb 6, 2003 1:29 PM
I'm not saying our primary reason is that we go to liberate Iraq, or that there is a direct link to Al Quaeda (that we are positive of yet). My rational is listed in my first post in this thread.

I have a lot of fears of going to war...the largest being my fear of Iraq's use of NBC weapons on our troops (nuclear, biological,or chemical). As in anything, you need to weigh the positives as well as the negatives of a successful outcome - a healthy debate is good.

We are also in a new world after 9-11, even after the first Gulf war. I do not believe that any country can win/wage a conventional war with the u.s.. We are too advanced technologically and economically. I think we need to prepare for unconventional warfare and unconventional tactics. The definition of "delivery system" has changed from intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple warheads to civilian aircraft and individual suicide bombers.

You stated: "These extremists will be roused even further if we attack." but you didn't try to answer my original question:
What were the terrorists demands for 9-11, and how will their hatred for us increase from what it is now if we liberate the people of Iraq and allow them to establish a democracy?....keep in mind, I'm not saying Iraq is linked to AQ in this question, just referencing the same extremists in your original question.

It's not easy to do but can you consider any positive outcome of a successful multi-nation campaign that enforces the U.N. resolutions and forcibly disarms Iraq and effects a regime change?
re: inaction because of fear of more terror attacks...MrDan
Feb 7, 2003 5:57 PM
IMHO, it is ridiculous to stick your head in the sand. It is a war of ideaologies. To not take action because of fear is simply not how the human race can evolve. In the end, if you don't make decisions, others/the environment around you will make decisions without you. Take no action and you give the signal that it's ok beat you up and encourage more terror. Take a stand, make the good fight, and they and others will definately think twice long and hard about the cost. The problem has been inconsistency across the world stage in dealing with these events. Personally I wish G.B would cut the "evil empire" rhetoric, it helps nothing. I don't like G.B. as our president, but in the end no matter who is in office, they would be up against this - they would have to act. The UN has shown it has no spine/no teeth for many years now. Bureacracy (sp?) at it's absolute worst.
we SHOULDN'T live in or act out of fearvelocity
Feb 8, 2003 8:52 AM
IMHO this administration is fostering fear in the populace to enhance its popularity. I do, though, applaud it for going through the Security Council. Multilateralism is a less direct path to some kind of resolution in the short term but is better in the long term. We have a lid on Iraq with renewed inspections backed by the use of force and, if Iraq continues not to comply, it's very likely the Security Council in a matter of weeks will sign off on military action. We don't currently have a lid on N. Korea, though, and N. Korea is much more likely to sell WMD to terrorists.