by David Haggith, The Great Recession:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says President Donald Trump wants him to push forward on diplomacy with North Korea “until the first bomb drops.” (Bloomberg)
Brilliant! That means until the first entire city is destroyed. At least, that is what it could easily prove to mean … unless he means until the US drops its first bomb.
I’m sure this policy is predicated on the belief that North Korea will test-drop a bomb before it actually uses a bomb and that it will do this somewhere “harmless.” The DPRK may, for example, launch a nuclear-tipped missile somewhere into the Pacific far over the heads of Japanese fisherman. Then, if the DPRK successfully tests an actual bomb or warhead, we’ll go straight to war. Until then, we’re letting them know we’ll stay with diplomacy.
However, the belief that the DPRK will test a bomb before it uses a bomb may be entirely misguided. Maybe the first dropped bomb or missile gets “tested” on Honolulu — a metropolitan US city that is already easily within reach of North Korean missiles.
I also have to wonder at the emphasis that everyone places on whether or not a missile can reach the mainland. What difference does that make? Would the loss of Los Angeles or San Francisco somehow be more important than the loss of Honolulu? Are the people of the US so parochial in their thinking that they regard Hawaii as a mere territory outside of the country … or as somehow a less significant part of the US than the other 49 states? What difference does it make if a missile can reach the West Coast — the seemingly all-important red line — unless we think Honolulu is somehow more easily sacrificial?
With almost a million people, Honolulu would be as massive of a human catastrophe as the loss of Seattle. And with the greatest number of military forts/bases per square mile of any piece of real estate in the US, it would be a military loss even greater than Seattle or Los Angeles. It is still central command for everything in the Pacific Basin. Strategically, it would be a greater loss than any West Coast city. Do we think North Korea is unaware that Honolulu is the United States’ Pearl of the Pacific?
Does anyone remember Pearl Harbor?
Are we really historically ignorant enough to forget the pre-emptive Japanese attack on Honolulu’s Pearl Harbor in 1941? Have we forgotten that this one act awoke the sleeping giant to join a world war that lasted years? Or are we just stupid enough to think no Asian country would ever try that again?
Why were we so cocky back then as to leave so many ships at ease in one place? Because we thought Japan would never dare attack Pearl Harbor with all of its protection. After all, an attack on Pearl Harbor would drag the US into direct war with Japan? Why would they risk that kind of provocation?
If we think that would not likely happen again, we have developed to become far stupider now than people were in 1941, given that 1) we have the advantage of history to teach us that it can quite easily happen on any given Sunday; 2) unlike the Japanese, who attacked by total surprise, North Korea has already told us it’ll throw test missiles either Guam’s way or Hawaii’s just for fun and provocation and just to show it can; 3) the Island of O’ahu, which would all be effectively destroyed by a Hydrogen bomb, is more built up militarily now than it was back then, making it an even more desirable target.
Are we also seriously stupid enough to believe North Korea would never use the element of surprise by actually putting their first test “bomb” aboard one of those missiles they launch over the top of Japan? Some pacifistic fool might retort, “Oh, but they wouldn’t do that because they know they would be annihilated in assured mutual destruction.” Well, if we really can count on assured destruction (mutual or not) being enough to stop them, why are we worried at all?
Pearl Harbor once, shame on you. Pearl Harbor twice, shame on us!
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