Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Paper Tiger Should Show It's Teeth

"Above all things, never be afraid. The enemy who forces you to retreat is himself afraid of you at that very moment." ~ Andre Maurois

Recently, North Korea test fired some missiles that supposedly did not carry any warheads. From what I understand, the reason for the test was to determine if they had successfully built a missile with the capability of striking targets at long range.

There had been a lot of speculation about what America would do about it, and there was even some speculation that Bush would order the missiles shot down. Fortunately, the order was not necessary as it appears the missile tests were a failure.

So the world can breathe easier now.

Or can it?

I have given the matter some thought, and I will admit, before the tests were done, I was thinking that we really didn't have much choice but to shoot them out of the sky. There are several reasons I thought it was the best thing for us to do.

First, we really don't know what that little pot bellied dictator will do. For all we knew, those missiles were armed with nuclear warheads. What if they were? Could we really trust Ill to not send them up armed? How would we be able to tell if they were or not? If they had been armed and the tests were successful, he could have taken out an entire American city before we could react. Remember, this little dictator is not in his right mind. You can't put anything past a crazy person.

Second, we had to take them out simply to show North Korea that we are not the "paper tiger" that Osama bin Laden says we are. When a bully threatens to take your lunch money, you don't back down and meekly hand it over because he will be waiting there the next day to take it again. You have to stand your ground and make it clear that you cannot be intimidated. Letting that missile test go off unmolested made us appear cowardly, in my opinion.

Also, the other nations of the world were watching. If American wants the support of nations like Russia and Germany and Japan and China in the future, in the preparation of a war or a police action, we had better show them that to get on the wrong side of the United States is a risky decision.

When Muhammed Ali was the world heavyweight boxing champion, he wasn't well liked primarily because he was brash, arrogant, and cocky. He actually would predict the exact round in which he intended to take his opponents out! But guess what? He was able to back up his boasts. If he said he would knock out his opponent in the seventh round, he knocked out his opponent in the seventh round.

He earned respect from both his detractors and his opponents because he was able to prove that he was exactly what he said he was. The greatest of all time. America would be wise to follow Ali's example.

By the same token, if America wants respect from her allies, we had better show them that we have the muscle to get the job done and the willingness to demand their support. Blowing those missiles out of the sky would have proved to them that we are perfectly capable and willing to do whatever it takes to convince our enemies of our strength and capablities.

It was our failure to stick it out and fight in Bosnia that prompted Osama bin Laden to characterize America as a "Paper Tiger" Consequently, we are in a war that, if we had taken a stand and struck back decisively, we may have avoided in the first place. You cannot allow bullies to take your lunch money and expect them to not take further liberties. If you do, they know they can.

Fortunately, the missile tests failed. Perhaps our missile defense system was at the ready in case the course was altered. We may never know. Rush Limbaugh suggested that it is entirely possible that we did shoot the missiles out of the sky, but won't admit it because of national security. That's an interesting theory except for one thing. If we had, the New York Slimes would have already printed that information.

But I think we made a mistake not showing our teeth to North Korea in this case.

17 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

"America would be wise to follow Ali's example."

Refuse to participate in a questionably legal war?

Mark said...

Back to your old habit of twisting my words to try to make a fool of me. No, Dan, you know what I meant.

Intentionally taking my words out of context is low even for you.

Dan Trabue said...

It's a joke, son. I know what you meant. Just seeing if you'd poke yer head up out of hiding.

Smile, relax a bit. We're just concerned about you.

(Although, I DO think the US would be wise to follow MY Ali example...)

Liam said...

Mark, what a remarkable post!

To characterise North Korea as the bully intimidating the cowardly USA is quite a reversal; you are the nuclear superpower leading the charge against any other nation that tries to go nuclear. I’m not saying that nuclear proliferation is a good thing, or that I want North Korea armed with nukes, but I can imagine the propaganda machine in Pyongyang using exactly the same analogy; “We can’t let the USA bully us into submission by shooting down our missiles. They have no right to prevent us pursuing our own national interest so we must not be intimidated. If we are, they will just keep taking further liberties. Instead we must stand up for ourselves and improve our missiles and nuclear technology and show that we must be taken seriously!” That's how you start an arms race!

How can you think that anyone else’s national pride and national security is less of a driver for them than yours is for you?? Think of it from the other side for a moment: If China shot down some of your unmanned recon drones, wouldn’t you be hugely indignant and want to slap them down for it? How about if they instead shot down the pinnacle of your military engineering, would that incline you to be more or less submissive to China’s demands?

Exactly! Get over yourselves!

I’m also curious about how you define an ally… you don’t demand the support of an ally; it is given freely and willingly because you share the same aims and ideals. If you have to put on a show of force to get that support, then you are imposing your will on others through fear. That is only effective in the short-term and generally comes back to bite you in the long-term. Besides, I thought that was the opposite of what America is supposed to be all about!

coffee & comedy said...

Although I disagree with your views on American foriegn policy, I appreciate your intelligent post as opposed to a lot of bloggers who spew out loads of crap.

Dan Trabue said...

Well spake, Liam! Bravo!

Your words remind me of that beautiful hymn that includes this verse:


My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.


Why do we believe this? Because we're weak-willed and fearful? Because we believe that people are inherently good and we can all learn to get along, golly gee?

No. We believe this because, as Liam so aptly pointed out, our very own nature recoils at and reacts against the sort of behavior that we're suggesting. It is, therefore, naive and immoral to suggest that we can force on others what we would never accept for ourselves.

Might doesn't make right for a whole lot of reasons.

Dan Trabue said...

Well spake, Liam! Bravo!

Your words remind me of that beautiful hymn that includes this verse:


My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh hear my song, oh God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.


Why do we believe this? Because we're weak-willed and fearful? Because we believe that people are inherently good and we can all learn to get along, golly gee?

No. We believe this because, as Liam so aptly pointed out, our very own nature recoils at and reacts against the sort of behavior that we're suggesting. It is, therefore, naive and immoral to suggest that we can force on others what we would never accept for ourselves.

Might doesn't make right for a whole lot of reasons.

Lone Ranger said...

North Korea is not a nation, it is a prison camp filled with millions of starving slaves who have been brain washed to believe that Kim Jong Mentally-Il is a god. It is the American way to help the helpless, to defeat evil. It is NOT the American way to hide under our beds and allow evil to fester and spread.

I don't believe North Korea is a nuclear threat -- yet. Why? Because liberals DO believe it and liberals are ALWAYS wrong. But they are a conventional threat. Seoul is within artillery range of the North and I know for a fact that the first thing they will target is American military family housing. There is a move on now to move American military forces in Seoul further south.

Most of the rhetoric coming out of the North is pure hyperbole, meant for the ears of North Koreans. How else to you keep a starving population under control except to make them think that the government is the only thing standing between them and a hostile world that wants to destroy them. I see this stuff coming out of the North nearly every day. The press just picks out the most sour cherries to feed us.

All Kim wants is to live as a God and everything he does is calculated to keep him on the throne. If his security is every threatened, he will most likely sic his million-man army on the South and try to kill as many people as he can. I'm not even sure he has missiles capable of hitting Japan, but if he does, he'll use those too.

If leftists had their way, the planet would look like the evil alternate universe on Star Trek. They aren't willing to fight for anything, much less Truth,
Justice and the America Way.

Jim said...

Decent post Ranger, except for the liberal bull. I don't think Korea is a nuclear threat. I have yet to hear a liberal say anything different from the administration or conservatives regarding the North Korea threat.

So it's just gratuitous liberal bashing. What else is new. Same with your last paragraph. Rediculous hate speech containing no hint of reality.

Lone Ranger said...

"Former Vice President Walter Mondale says he supports a pre-emptive U.S. strike against a North Korean missile that is raising nuclear fears around the globe."

if North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. -- Bill Perry, Clinton Defense Secretary and Ashton Carter, former Clinton assistant defense secretary

"They're testing these missiles because they want to put a nuclear warhead on these missiles and attack" other countries, including the United States, said Democratic strategist Kirsten Powers. "The White House is really trying to play it down saying it's not that big a deal, saying it's not a failed policy when in fact it has been ignoring this problem."

"'The American officials have said that if the North Koreans proceed with a test, there are going to be consequences,' said Robert Einhorn, former assistant secretary of state for nonproliferation in the Clinton administration and chief U.S. negotiator with North Korea from 1996 to 2000. 'If there aren't consequences, the Bush administration is going to look like a paper tiger,' said Einhorn, now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies."

"Sen. Edward Kennedy (D., Mass.) told activists from President Bush's own denomination that the president has squandered international good will by planning a war against Saddam Hussein while ignoring the greater threat in North Korea."

"'North Korea is moving outside the circle of acceptable behavior and is threatening the region, the United States, and the world. We must use every possible tool to stop North Korea's unacceptable, provocative actions including six party, multilateral, and bilateral diplomatic negotiations. North Korea must know without a doubt that their behavior will not be tolerated.- Nancy Pelosi"


And on, and on, and on.

That's another thing about liberals -- they have very selective memories.

Oh, and it isn't bashing if it's true.

Mary said...

It's important to remember that we are closely monitoring Kim Jong Il's North Korea.

I trust that Condi and the State Dept., and the Pentagon determined that it would have been a mistake to escalate tensions by using our missile defense system in this case.

The China factor can't be ignored here.

In response to the "America is arrogant" comments--

That sort of stuff really hits a nerve with me.

Sometimes I think that we should try isolationism, if for no other reason than to show our significance to maintaining freedom and liberty all over the world.

Where would the rest of the Free World be without the allegiance of the U.S.?

These one-way street allies should try to go it alone.

That's a test I'd like to see.

"The danger with America today is not that they are too much involved. The danger is that they decide to pull up the drawbridge and disengage. We need them involved. We want them engaged."

--TONY BLAIR

Dan Trabue said...

"Where would the rest of the Free World be without the allegiance of the U.S.?...

That's a test I'd like to see."

I suspect the rest of the world would like to see that, as well. As long as we take our multinational corporations out of their countries with us.

Etchen said...

OMG, I can't begin to tell you how hard I am laughing that you called him a pot-bellied dictator. Too funny!

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I trust W with our national security. Hannity has pointed out that there were 17 resolutions before we intervened in Iraq. I think W will let diplomacy play out as far as it can and then he will take action. I will admit that I have itchy fingers and want to take action immediately but the stability of the world is at stake so you have to be careful. I trust that W and Condi and others know when action needs to be taken. They aren't the wimps of the Clinton administration like Madeline who had tea parties with Kim Jong Il and talked about how nice he was.

ALLURE said...

Well said Lone Ranger.

Jim said...

In response to what you need to believe to be a liberal, I have posted what you need to believe to be a Republican over at According to My Sources.

Mike's America said...

Well at least we got a unanimous and somewhat strong resolution out of the UN Security Council. Not that it matters, North Korea dismissed it immediately. Still, we did things by the book here and are in a stronger position should further "measures" be necessary in the future.